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Published: 2013/07/21

Phish Offer Chicago Fans Three Sets

Photo by Dave Vann © Phish 2013 via Phish’s Facebook page

Last night, Phish played a rare non-festival or holiday three-set show at Chicago, IL’s FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island. The Vermont Quartet announced their bonus set via social media on Saturday afternoon to make up for Friday’s concert, which was cut short due to the threat of lightening. The band also offered Friday ticket holders a partial refund and provided viewers who purchased their LivePhish webcast a rebate code. The last time Phish treated fans to a three-set show outside of Halloween, New Year’s Eve or a festival was when they performed at the intimate Melkweg in Amsterdam on July 12, 1996.

As many suspected, Phish kicked off their first set with “Prince Caspian,” the song they aborted when they were forced to stop Friday’s show less than two songs into their second set. Even though it was still light outside, the early portion of the night had the feel of traditional Phish second set, especially an extended “Twist” that segued into this summer’s first take on Jon Fishman’s “Ha Ha Ha.” Phish also dusted off “I Didn’t Know” for the first time this summer, complete with this year’s first vacuum solo, and jammed out the end of “Destiny Unbound.” An elegant segue from “Kill Devil Falls” into “Cavern” and “David Bowie” closed the first set.

Phish’s second set consisted of two extended segues of music. The first sequence opened with a funky “Back on the Train” that moved into a unique Mike’s Groove which included a particularly jammy “Theme From the Bottom.” The next chunk of music opened with Phish’s now regular cover of TV on the Radio’s “Golden Age” and segued into “Waves,” an extremely exploratory “Piper” and “Slave to the Traffic Light.” With the indie rock Pitchfork Music Festival taking place a few miles away, the TV on the Radio cover felt particularly well placed.

After Phish’s second set, Trey Anastasio reminded fans to stick around for their third set, and the band took an uncharacteristically quick set break. A funky “Meatstick” kicked off the third set, before Phish moved into “Birds of a Feather.” A bit later, they offered a definitive version of “Ocelot,” a psychedelic version of “Light,” “Harry Hood” and Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times.”

The summer’s first cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Shine a Light,” a holdover from Phish’s 2009 Exile on Main St. Halloween cover, closed the night. Phish will conclude their Chicago run this evening and head north for their Toronto make-up performance on Monday.

Here’s a look at night’s setlist via

Saturday, July 20, 2013, FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, Chicago, IL

Set I: Prince Caspian > Twist1 > Ha Ha Ha > Possum, Cities, Lawn Boy, I Didn’t Know > Rift, Destiny Unbound > My Friend, My Friend, Kill Devil Falls > Cavern > David Bowie2

Set II: Back on the Train > Mike’s Song > Theme From the Bottom -> Weekapaug Groove, Golden Age > Waves > Piper > Slave to the Traffic Light

Set III: Meatstick > Birds of a Feather, Strange Design > Ocelot > Light3 > Harry Hood > Good Times Bad Times

E: Shine a Light

[1] Oye Como Va tease from Trey.
[2] Melt the Guns quotes from Fish.
[3] Dave’s Energy Guide tease.

Notes: This was announced as a three-set performance the afternoon of the show, as a make-up for the set suspended due to weather the previous night. Twist contained an Oye Como Va tease from Trey. Bowie contained “Melt the Guns” quotes from Fish. Light featured a Dave’s Energy Guide tease.


There are 3 comments associated with this post

Good Times! July 21, 2013, 13:25:57

Stellar show! Purchasing last night’s web cast was a complete no-brainer. Too many highlights to mention…..BUT, the Good Times Bad Times to close the 3rd set was the best ever IMHO. 3.0!!

K July 21, 2013, 16:14:46

Attended the show and it indeed was a very good time. The venue set up is really cool and the security was almost nonexistent. I definitely prefer the current stage setting compared to the more traditional Northerly Island set up. Musically I think the energy kind of dwindled as the show progressed, but maybe that was just me. I would’ve rather heard Twist, Cities, Cavern and David Bowie in the later sets and songs like Light, Ocelot, Golden Age in the first set (or not at all) but three sets was still pretty amazing!

Devin July 23, 2013, 12:27:14

Having been at the show, I complete agree that the third-set Ocelot was indeed definitive. Maybe the best ever. Also, the second set was absolutely incredible — my favorite of the tour so far. The Page-centric Piper jam was far and away my favorite moment of the entire weekend. The rain falling during the set felt like poetic justice after having the rug pulled out from under us on Friday night (and, incidentally, foreshadowed the downpour the following night), so it really enhanced the experience. Also, I complete agree with the above comment that says the GTBT was the best ever! The crowd was in a complete frenzy by the end. If anyone needs proof that a jam can be great without being 20+ minutes or venturing into type II territory, look no further than this show. Outstanding performances all around!

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