On Friday night, Phish offered up a one-set late-night performance on their first of two nights at Manchester, TN’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. Phish’s first Bonnaroo appearance of the weekend comes on the heels of the band completing their tour-opening, two-night run in St. Louis on Wednesday night. At Wednesday’s show, Phish helped the local St. Louis crowd celebrate the St. Louis Blues‘ first-ever Stanley Cup victory with a rendition of their newly minted victory song, Laura Branigan‘s “Gloria”, and a lengthy rendition of the Rolling Stones‘ “Loving Cup” to kick off their second set.
Phish kicked off their rare one-set performance with a straightforward take on “Carini” which smoothly segued into “Down With Disease”. Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell locked into some delicate interplay before deciding to leave “Disease” unfinished and coasting into “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” Thousands of music fans finally got their first opportunity to learn what space smells like, as Phish offered up their first Kasvot Växt song of the weekend. Fueled by the enthusiastic festival crowd, Trey unleashed a roaring guitar solo, backed by Jon Fishman and Mike Gordon‘s tight rhythmic groove.
The quartet moved forward with “Everything’s Right”, opening up their most exploratory segment of the evening. Moving out of the song’s main theme, McConnell laid down a gritty lick on his clavinet, propelling the jam into ambient territory. Gordon and Fishman locked into a bouncy pocket, allowing Anastasio his opportunity to propel “Everything’s Right” into a silky-smooth sonic landscape. Friday’s “Everything’s Right” marked the band’s longest jam of the evening before Phish crashed into “Mercury”. The rivers ran deep like a quicksilver stream last night, as the band exposed the unbreakable net to the receptive Bonnaroo attendees, both longtime fans and first-timers.
Phish – “Everything’s Right” [Pro-Shot]
“Mercury” segued into the first “Tweezer” of the summer, which quickly moved into blazing hot Type II territory. McConnell and Gordon worked together to build a supportive foundation for the “Tweezer” jam, while Anastasio took the reigns and fired off a series of ever-evolving, uplifting solos. The monstrous segue continued as Phish smoothly sailed into “2001”, as McConnell got the jam going with a funk-lathered groove. Anastasio laid down some splashy licks with a washy effect, backed by some sticky bass bombs provided by Gordon. The eruptive “2001” landed into “Steam”, which was followed up by “Martian Monster”.
Moving into the final segment of their set, Phish offered up a tender rendition of “More” before Fishman banged out his signature opening drum breakdown for “Harry Hood”. Friday night’s “Hood” featured some of the band’s most impressive improvisational work of the set, which is hopefully an indicator of the band wanting to take the longtime favorite on some wild rides throughout their summer tour. Anastasio and McConnell locked into some rocking interplay before Trey showered the crowd with a red-hot, peaking solo. “Harry Hood” segued into a set-closing take on “Character Zero”, marking the band’s first repeat of the summer. Following a brief chance to catch their breaths, Phish returned to the stage to open up their encore with “Possum” before properly closing things out with “Tweezer Reprise”.
Remember that young lady who tweeted, “Don’t attack me but who tf is Phish and why does he have 3 different sets” following the Bonnaroo lineup announcement? Well, apparently she now gets IT and had a blast at her first show.
TONIGHT WAS SO MUCH FUN
— lil nug (@GH0STGRLS) June 15, 2019
thoughts on phish: i totally get it. the positive lyrics and atmosphere combined with the music that’s easy to jam to – all around a recipe for a good time
— lil nug (@GH0STGRLS) June 15, 2019
Phish will offer up a free webcast of their two-set headlining performance at the sold-out Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival this Sunday, June 16th. You can tune in live starting at 9:30 p.m. ET via LivePhish here.
For a full list of Phish’s upcoming 2019 summer tour dates, head over to the band’s website here.
Setlist: Phish | Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival | Manchester, TN | 6/14/2019
Set 1: Carini > Down with Disease > Say it to Me S.A.N.T.O.S., Everything’s Right > Mercury > Tweezer > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Steam, Martian Monster, More > Harry Hood > Character Zero
Encore: Possum > Tweezer Reprise