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Published: 2011/08/16

Phish’s Chi-Town "Babylon Baby"

Phish’s three night run at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion kicked off in high gear last night with a lengthy performance that neared three sets when it was all said and done. The show (which took place on the 7th anniversary of the group’s Coventry debacle) marked the band’s first trip to the intimate venue since November 9, 1998 and came as one of the most highly anticipated stops on their 2011 summer tour.

The first set began with “Back on the Train,” and went on to include a fitting cover of ZZ Top’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago” and a highlight version of “Wolfman’s Brother.” Rarities “Anything But Me” and “Alumni Blues” were both dusted off in the set, while the Mike Gordon penned “Babylon Baby” saw its debut.

The second set contained fewer songs than many recent shows, opening with the powerful combination of “Sand” into “Light” before moving into the somber ballad “Dirt.” A selection of relatively recent songs then continued with the seamless transition of “Waves” into “Undermind” followed by 2011’s “Steam.” During “Undermind” Page McConnell used his Theremin as he has done during several jams this summer.

When returning to the stage after the second set, guitarist Trey Anastasio revealed that there was no curfew and the band would continue to play until their hearts were content. This resulted in a 40 plus minute encore featuring five songs and one of the best versions of “Harry Hood” in recent memory.

Phish returns to UIC Pavilion tonight and tomorrow night.

Here is the setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section

UIC Pavilion, University of Illinois, Chicago, IL

Set I: Back on the Train, Rift > Guelah Papyrus, Scent of a Mule, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Wolfman’s Brother, Anything But Me, Babylon Baby*, Reba, Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues

Set II: Sand > Light > Dirt, Waves > Undermind^ > Steam > Fire

Enc: Camel Walk, Guyute, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Harry Hood

Notes: *Phish debut ^Page on Theremin


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