Phish Debut a Willie Nelson Cover, Explore "Chalkdust Torture" on Second Night of Dick’s Run
Phish returned to Dick’s Sporting Good’ Park in Commerce City, CO last night for the second show of their tour-closing run. The performance featured a number of explosive jams— including a highly improvised take on “Chalkdust Torture”—as well as the band’s first-ever rendition of Willie Nelson’s “On The Road Again.”
The sold-out show got started with one of the night’s biggest bust outs as Phish went into “Buried Alive,” which had not been played in 60 shows. The tune was followed by solid versions of “AC/DC Bag” and “Wolfman’s Brother” that got the the audience moving their feet before the band switched gears for the new Mike Gordon-penned reggae track “Yarmouth Road.” Next came the tour debut of “Fee” that many expected would come this weekend. The tune jammed out into the eighth-ever take on “Halfway to the Moon,” a Page McConnell original that made its debut in 2010. A fun version of “The Wedge” kept things moving before the crowd went into a full on sing-a-long during “Halley’s Comet.”
The night’s first heavy hitter came in the middle of the set, when the band took off with a soaring “Bathtub Gin” that was easily one of the show’s highlights. The “Gin” wrapped up with its signature, slowed-down outro, which served as a bit of soft landing before the band took things down a notch for “Bouncing Around the Room.” They then went into standard takes on “Mound” and “Gumbo” before closing the set with the night’s second big jam vehicle, a rocking “Run Like an Antelope.”
The show’s biggest moment came at the beginning of the second set, when the band came out the gate with a truly exploratory “Chalkdust Torture.” The 23-minute jam went in all kinds of different directions and even featured a few teases of the “Light” that was to come. The song also saw the band leave room for the now famous (infamous, perhaps?) “woo” chants to emerge, though they never really took off. The “Chalkdust” was left unfinished and the previously teased “Light” emerged from its wake. That tune was followed by a short yet explosive “46 Days” before things calmed down with “Steam,” “Free” and “Joy.” The heat turned up again with a “2001” that played into the first post-Tahoe “Tweezer,” which did the song justice even if it didn’t reach the heights of that now-legendary July, 31, 2013 version. Finally, the second set wrapped up with a “Backwards Down the Number Line” that featured a solid closing jam.
Phish then returned to the stage, where guitarist Trey Anastasio thanked everyone for a great summer tour and reminded those in attendance that the band would be back on the road soon for fall tour. That reminder was followed by a rather appropriate debut, as the band covered Willie Nelson’s classic “On The Road Again“for the first time (Gordon and Anastasio played the song during their G.R.A.B. tour in 2006). Then, Phish ended the night with the expected “Tweezer Reprise” finale.
Phish will return to Dick’s Sporting Goods Park tonight to close out their summer tour. They will hit the road again on October 18 when they open their fall run at the Hampton Coliseum.
Here’s a look at last night’s setlist via our Box Scores page
Saturday, August 31, 2013, Phish, Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
Set I: Buried Alive, AC/DC Bag > Wolfman’s Brother, Yarmouth Road, Fee > Halfway to the Moon, The Wedge, Halley’s Comet > Bathtub Gin, Bouncing Around the Room, Mound, Gumbo > Run Like an Antelope
Set II: Chalk Dust Torture*, Light -> 46 Days > Steam -> Free, Joy > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Tweezer > Backwards Down the Number Line
Enc: On the Road Again^ > Tweezer Reprise
Notes: (*) Unfinished (^) Phish debut.