Phish Debut in Reading With Throwback Show
There are few places left in this country that Phish hasn’t played, but up until last night, Reading, PA was one of those places. Stopping at Reading’s Santander Arena before their Halloween run in Atlantic City, Phish delivered one of those statement shows to the folks who may have skipped this show to forge on to AC.
Opening with the semi-rare “Cars Trucks Buses,” Phish moved through cuts like “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan” and “Ginseng Sullivan” to get them, and the crowd, warmed up. “Wolfman’s Brother” gave the band their first chance to lean into some familiar funk improv, and “Walk Away” served as a straight rocker before “Divided Sky” mellowed things out. The highlight of the first set, and potentially the show, came towards the end as “Split Open and Melt” jumped off the deep end into a dark, spooky territory fit for Halloween week. “Julius” eased the mood to close the set, with its upbeat finish.
The second set was a prime example of Phish putting its collective foot on the gas, and not letting up until it was time to go. The beginning “Down with Disease” proved to be one of the highlights of the tour as the band moved through a 21-minute version with precision, delivering one of the most fluid, natural jams since Tahoe’s “Tweezer.” After a well-placed “Taste,” the Joy cut “Twenty Years Later” saw one of its best versions yet, stretching out past the normal structure and giving way to some stellar improv.
Reading’s second set comes to a close with a “Piper,” “Backwards Down the Number Line,” “You Enjoy Myself” and “Grind” in the rare, set-closing a cappella slot. The encore once again featured multiple songs, a trend on this tour thus far, with “Bouncing Round the Room” and “Reba” making unusual appearances in the encore slot. “Good Times, Bad Times” brought the show to a raucous close as fans prepare to make the trek to Atlantic City, NJ for Phish’s annual Halloween show.
Here’s the setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section:
The Santander Arena, Reading, PA
Set I: Cars Trucks Buses, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Ginseng Sullivan, Wolfman’s Brother, Sparkle, Walk Away, Divided Sky, Split Open and Melt* > Julius
Set II: Down with Disease^ > Taste, Twenty Years Later > Piper > Backwards Down the Number Line, You Enjoy Myself, Grind
Enc: Bouncing Around the Room > Reba, Good Times Bad Times
^Unfinished; Pop Goes the Weasel tease from Mike during intro.