Phish returned to Nashville, TN for the first time since 2000 last night, playing to a sold-out crowd at the newly opened Ascend Amphitheater. With only the second-ever concert at the venue, the first being Eric Church, the Vermont band were determined to break in the place properly. And boy did they deliver.

Opening with a flowing “Free”, Phish quickly jumped into their new song “No Men In No Man’s Land”, which has appeared at every third show since its debut. The funky disco-esque tune dropped into the first big jam session of the night, “Wolfman’s Brother”. With great work from Trey Anastasio, the group was firing on all cylinders.

“555” was next, keeping the funk vibes flowing in the first frame. “Birds of a Feather” was next, again featuring a narration clip of “They Attack!” As Page McConnell has included this blurb during every performance of the tour, it may just be time to concede that “They Attack!” is part of BOAF. We’ll see if that changes any time soon.

The set continued with two covers, “Funky Bitch” and “When The Circus Comes”. While the two songs were setlist staples in earlier 3.0 performances, neither had been played in 20+ shows. “Stash”, “Lawn Boy” and “Walls of the Cave” closed out a fantastic, energetic first set.

Another cover started off the second set, as the group dug into TV On The Radio’s song “Golden Age”. With its fun-loving lyrics and loose structure, Phish had no problem extending this track before launching into another jam vehicle, “Light”. A soaring version, Phish was locked and loaded for a jam-heavy second set.

After “Shade”, another new song debuted this tour, the band dropped into the real highlight of the show, a “Mike’s Groove”. Starting with “Mike’s Song”, the band dug deep and hopped into the beloved “second jam” that fans had been yearning to hear. A regular occurrence in early versions, the second jam was all but forgotten until last night. Let’s hope it sticks around.


That jam segued into “Piper”, which in turn broke into the tour debut of the Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed and Painless”. Still waiting! The song was a crowd pleaser, sending the fans into a late-show frenzy. Anastasio led the charge into the final number, an extended version of “Weekapaug Groove”, which featured quotes from “Crosseyed” and “No Men In No Man’s Land”. The 15-minute version capped off a highly energetic second set.

With “Slave To The Traffic Light” in the encore position, Phish bid their fans goodnight and wrapped up their single night performance in Nashville. With Mike Gordon making himself a record at Jack White’s studio, and interesting reports from JamBase about Phish planning to record an album of their own in the “Music City”, hopefully it won’t be another 20 years before the circus comes back to town.

Check out the setlist in full below. Phish tour continues tonight with a performance in Kansas City, MO.

Setlist: Phish at Ascend Amphitheater, Nashville, TN – 8/4/15

Set 1: Free, No Men In No Man’s Land, Wolfman’s Brother, 555, Birds of a Feather, Funky Bitch, When the Circus Comes, Stash, Lawn Boy, Walls of the Cave

Set 2: Golden Age > Light > Shade, Mike’s Song > Piper > Crosseyed and Painless -> Weekapaug Groove

Encore: Slave to the Traffic Light

· The Birds quote in Birds of a Feather
· Crosseyed and Painless and No Men In No Man’s Land quotes in Weekapaug Groove