Phish "Blister in the Sun"
Photo by Dave Vann © Phish 2012 via Phish’s Facebook page
Phish returned to Saratoga Springs, NY’s Saratoga Performing Arts Center last night. Not only did the show draw sprawling crowds but it was also broadcast live on SiriusXM’s Jam_On channel. The group huddled around a microphone at the start of their first set for a barbershop quartet arrangement of “Grind.” It was Phish’s first performance of the Undermind track since December 31, 2010. Unlike most of their recent shows, the members of Phish did not bust out any rarities first set, though they did offer a cherished cover of Frank Zappa’s “Peaches en Regalia.”
However, The Vermont Quartet’s second set had something of a loose conceptional theme. During a set-opening “Down with Disease,” Phish threw in a verse of Violent Femmes’ “Blister in the Sun.” The group has covered the upbeat alternative rock song on two other occasions, most recently almost 14 years ago on July 9, 1998. The song became something of a running gag throughout the set:the band teased the tune during “Backwards Down the Number Line,” repeated the first verse verse of “Blister” during “Scent of a Mule” and then teased the ditty again during both “Mike’s Song” and “Weekapaug Groove.”
Phish did not stop performing throughout their second set, moving into some deeper jams during TV on the Radio’s “Golden Age,” the end portion of “Prince Caspian,” “Scent of a Mule” and the entire Mike’s Groove segment. At the end of the night, Phish paid tribute to Adam “MCA” Yauch, who recently passed away after a long battle with cancer, with a cover of Beastie Boys’ “Sabotage.” Trey Anastasio dedicated “Sabotage” to MCA before starting the number.
Phish will wrap-up the first leg of their summer tour at SPAC this evening.
Here’s a look at last night’s setlist via Phish.net
Saturday, July 7, 2012, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
Set 1: Grind, Possum > Golgi Apparatus, The Moma Dance, Torn and Frayed, Rift, Cities -> Maze, Lawn Boy, Peaches en Regalia > Bathtub Gin, Good Times Bad Times
Set 2: Down with Disease -> Blister in the Sun  > Down with Disease  > Boogie On Reggae Woman > Golden Age -> Also Sprach Zarathustra > Backwards Down the Number Line  > Prince Caspian  -> Scent of a Mule -> Blister in the Sun  > Scent of a Mule > Mike’s Song  > Contact > Weekapaug Groove 
 First verse only.
 Blister in the Sun teases (Trey).
Notes: Blister in the Sun was played for the first time since July 9, 1998 (390 shows). Both appearances of Blister in the Sun consisted of the first verse only. Down with Disease and Caspain were both unfinished. BDTNL, Mike’s Song and Weekapaug all contained Blister in the Sun teases from Trey. Sabotage was dedicated to MCA.