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Published: 2013/11/01

Phish Debuts New Album During Halloween Show

Phish showcased their flare for the dramatic last night during their first Halloween show since 2010’s stand that saw the Vermont quartet cover Little Feat’s Waiting For Columbus. This time, while returning to the same venue, the band changed the album, choosing to debut their own forthcoming release Wingsuit.

Before Phish would get to their newest music, they played a set full of songs that didn’t produce much improv, but still demanded Phish’s virtuosity. Compositions like “The Moma Dance,” “Mound,” “Free” and “Kill Devil Falls” all compiled the first set. “Bathtub Gin” and “Stash” included moments of improv and soaring peaks before the band broke for set break.

The moment finally arrived for Phish at the start of their second set as they donned their own costume, performing their new album Wingsuit. In the playbill, it was announced that the band will work with producer Bob Ezrin (Pink Floyd, Peter Gabriel) on Wingsuit in three days, finalizing the recording process.

While still not sure what the album title means, Phish opened with the title track, a methodical ballad of sorts. “Fuego” brought the rock to the album, topping out at over eleven minutes. “Winterqueen” may be familiar to fans of Trey Anastasio Band, as the solo outfit of Phish’s guitarist has performed the tune before. Phish’s composition-heavy new material also included an appearance by actor Abe Vigoda and dancers during the song “Wombat,” which references Vigoda.

Phish certainly delivered a third set that proved worthy of the price of admission, opening with another standout version of “Ghost.” Building on the momentum it gained from earlier this tour, “Carini” got spacey, funky and brought out some downright rock and roll in a nearly twenty minute version. Phish brought the six-song third set to a close with versions of “Harry Hood” and “Run Like an Antelope” that featured high energy peaks. “Quinn the Eskimo” served as the only cover on a night that normally features dozens of covers.

Phish returns to Atlantic City, NJ tonight for another show at Boardwalk Hall.

Here’s a look at the setlist from last night:

Phish, October 31, 2013, Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City, NJ

Set One: Heavy Things, The Moma Dance > Poor Heart > Back on the Train, Silent in the Morning, Kill Devil Falls, Mound, Free > Camel Walk, Stash, Golgi Apparatus, Bathtub Gin

Set Two: Wingsuit1, Fuego1, The Line1, Monica2, Waiting All Night1, Wombat3, Snow2, Devotion To A Dream1, 5551, Winterqueen4, Amidst The Pearls Of Laughter2, You Never Know1

Set Three: Ghost > Carini, Birds of a Feather, Harry Hood, Bug, Run Like an Antelope5

Encore: Quinn the Eskimo


[1] Debut.
[2] Debut; Acoustic.
[3] Debut; with Abe Vigoda and the Abe Vigoda Dancers.
[4] Phish Debut.
[5] Alternate lyrics referencing the Abe Vigoda Dancers.


There are 49 comments associated with this post

D'oh November 1, 2013, 07:39:42

Let me begin by saying, huge fan of PH. Phish has been at it for over 30 years and they have a right to do what they choose, especially when it comes to setlists. I imagine that this upcoming release will be decent, just like the last, but unspectacular. Imagine coming into the sewer pit known as AC, from someplace not so close, expecting something exciting, as in years past when it comes to Halloween shows, and receiving this. Probably very disappointed. I know the most extreme fans will post saying, this was the greatest ever, but let’s get real. With everyone having hindsight, maybe the only album I would appreciate seeing before having heard it, Grateful Dead “Blues For Allah”. That’s about it. To me, this could signal the end of Phish’s Halloween cover sets, which is OK. I will still love Phish. I will get this new release. However something like Neil Young & Crazy Horses’ “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”, would have been more greatly appreciated. Just saying’.

Kathy November 1, 2013, 07:50:41

You are 100% correct. This was a huge letdown and anybody that denies that is lying to them self. I took a moment during the second set to scan the faces and interest levels of everyone around me and probably 80% of the people around me were doing things other than listen to the music. I feel bad for anybody that paid a lot for tickets and/or flew cross country to knock a Phish Halloween show off their bucket list. Massive disappointment.

punky brewster November 1, 2013, 09:11:45

interesting…cool for the diehard fan maybe…. not so fun for the casual probably. i personally would have been disappointed…. based on my lack of interest for the last new batch of songs..

bwaaaahhaaaa November 1, 2013, 09:22:13

Aaaaha nothn worse then hearing new material from a mediocore band!!

Clive Bigsby November 1, 2013, 09:22:44

Wow, all this negativity. Phish did the exact opposite of what everyone was speculating. Isn’t that typical Phish? And it does show a lot of confidence with these news song. I dug them a lot. Can’t wait to hear more of them.

duggy November 1, 2013, 08:29:27

Huh? You folks are baffling me. I honestly thought covering their “future album” was brilliant — and I thoroughly enjoyed the set soaking up NEW PHISH! (Disclaimer: I was on couch tour) I’m not saying it was the best music I’ve ever heard, but the performance was inspired and the music was strong and interesting. In the past, the band has announced they will be wearing a “musical costume” for Halloween — not once did the band announce that this year, and I was wondering up until show time last night what would actually go down since they had NOT stated they would perform a cover. How can any phan NOT enjoy a set of NEW PHISH?! No matter what night it’s played … I mean: Why are you going? Just puzzling … I’m sorry you all focused on such negative energy rather than just accepting and seeing where the music led you … we all know that everyone would be likewise bitching about the chosen cover album had the band gone that route, so … it was lose/lose no matter what they did, but to my ears that was win/win … NEW PHISH!

Jackie November 1, 2013, 08:39:56

Look, if I was in the mindset that Phish was going to do the new album, OK. BUT, me and my buds watching the webcast were expecting what they’ve always done, which is nod to an album they love, we we’re stoked, American Beauty? Bowie? Genesis? A major let down to say the least and a bit self-centered. Love Phish and always will just sayin.

Greg November 1, 2013, 08:51:04

Phish playing Phish is not a “halloween costume”.... nuff said. Usually when a band has a CD release event, they play the new cd as a full set in celebration and usually that is the least exciting part of the evening. I definitely agree with those who think this was an uncool move toward their fans.

George November 1, 2013, 09:01:31

As far as I know, Phish never said they’d do a costume this year. If people feel cheated, maybe they shouldn’t have made assumptions. Playing all new, never heard music was bold and brave and risky and shows their confidence. It reminds me of their earlier days. I think in the long run this will be viewed positively by most everyone, particularly if the music plays well live down the road.

funkyriddims November 1, 2013, 10:25:49

I think its sweet they broke out a bunch of new songs. New, fresh material is a good thing. And they’re keeping everyone guessing, also a good thing. Long live the Phish!

Ira November 1, 2013, 09:38:37

How was playing all new music bold? Phish routinely debuts songs and has previously debuted multiple new songs in the same set. It’s definitely not anything adventurous, but the songs were just bad. Lyrically they were a disaster, I couldn’t stop laughing.

Otto November 1, 2013, 09:44:40

lol… alot of whiners here. I bet Phish plays someone else’s album tonight.

Marshall November 1, 2013, 10:19:38

I don’t understand how anyone could possibly think that this was a “self-centered” thing for them to do and an “uncool move towards their fans. They basically said that they wanted their fans to be apart of the process of creating this album, and that’s why they did it! It may not be what anyone expected, and it might not have been the most amazing set of music they’ve ever done, but to act as if they weren’t thinking about their fans and like they owe any of is something is rediculous.

yossarian November 1, 2013, 10:35:24

Sounds cool to me. And lets be real here- do ANY Phish songs have lyrics that aren’t laughable? The same people who whine about new songs whine about hearing the old ones too much. Phish can’t win.

Johnny Angel November 1, 2013, 10:47:28

Kudos to the band for having the cajones to bust out an entire set of brand new material on a night loaded with expectations, but impossible for fans to get down to stuff they’ve never heard. Obviously they love the new songs enough to have debuted them they way they did. Probably would’ve worked better covering a classic album last night though, giving the people what they want, and then surprising everyone tonight with Wingsuit. Too bad the majority of feedback on twitter and messageboards about last night has been so nasty toward a band people supposedly “love” so much.

George November 1, 2013, 10:55:17

Ira, Playing new music isn’t bold. My point seems to have gone way over your head. Apologies for confusing you.

me November 1, 2013, 10:59:06

I can see both sides of this argument… personally, I was glad I saw it on the couch… but I do think it was a fresh move and I think they did it with the best of intentions… I bet everyone changes their tune if they come out tonight with a cover album, or even simply a ripping, cover filled, show… remember this is a 3 day run… They had fun with Zeppelin last time! And I can here it now… if this album should turn out to be one of their better ones, those who are pissed now will be bragging about “being there” in 10 years… and, if nothing else… Abe Vigoda %^)

Snafu You November 1, 2013, 11:02:23

Panic’s show and covers blew Fish out of the water

m November 1, 2013, 11:20:05

I guess people complaining will have to wait for their programmed halloween shows when they decide to do a retro: Las Vegas Review as a money grab in the retirement years.
Oh I get it – there were no cute concept albums or iphone recording fodder while talking to someone next to you.
This is an inspired fresh take looking forward – looking for a retro band? Check out the covers at a dive bar downtown…

Ira November 1, 2013, 12:08:08

George: I must have missed your point you’re right. But from my prospective Phish has and always will have a captive audience (especially on Halloween) and can do whatever it wants. So I don’t think their desire to do what they want is bold by any means. Phish has basically always defied expectations, so the only thing bold, from my perspective, was the composition of the songs which were sub-par in my opinion.

Tostonesfix November 1, 2013, 12:08:38

Ya’ll are entitled to feel however you want but MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT because you didn’t hear a sloppy cover of a classic rock album and instead you heard new and fresh material from one of your favorite bands. Maybe I’m missing something but to me this should signal the end of going to Phish shows for you. MASSIVE DISAPPOINTMENT? Really? Wow.

KDF November 1, 2013, 12:18:17

keep crying, the scene will be better without you. what would a half baked rewarmed classic rock album performed worse than the original version done for you? satisfied your soul and made you a sandwich? phish did something that took cajones and you limp fools just sit and whine

Jason November 1, 2013, 12:34:17

Here’s what happens. The band debuts new music and traditionally they are bland. As time goes on they will develop the songs and jam them out more. I’m not surprised people didnt like the ‘costume”, over time I bet we come to love some of these songs.

CMS November 1, 2013, 13:15:15

I wanted to hear new old music not new new music. I was disappointed but loved the 3 set show.

chris November 1, 2013, 13:18:48

Time will tell how disappointing it really was. My friend said the new songs seemed to lack and that the band was really the only ones super excited about what was going on. I think it was disappointing because they allowed all this lead up and excitement to build, debates to rage about what would be played and then didn’t even put on the musical costume. If it was billed as a 3 set Phish Halloween buildup then people would view it different but it kind of feels like the band played a fast one on you.

kath November 1, 2013, 13:19:10

What you all fail to understand is that they could have just had a win/win and - done what everyone expected on 10/31 and played a classic album
-surprised everyone by playing wingnut on 11/1. This did not HAVE to be done on Halloween. Furthermore, had they played wingnut as set 1 tonight and set 3 from last night as set 2 tonight everyone would have been ecstatic with 2 great nights of music. People traveled and paid big bucks specifically to hear their favorite band cover a great album and to replicate the greatness of arguably the greatest show of all time, 10/31/1994. As the person next to me said: This is a big F-U to all the fans

ian November 1, 2013, 13:21:55

it’s so crazy to me that people are complaining about this. Phish played a 3-set show, and one set was entirely brand-new songs. that is incredible! what more can fans of a band want?? FOUR HOURS of music and people got to see an entire batch of FRESH material alongside many other great and beloved Phish songs. people who are complaining because they didn’t play OK Computer or something else random are insane.

ian November 1, 2013, 13:23:22

F-U to fans? good lord, this was a treat for their fans!

Todd Phillips November 1, 2013, 13:35:48

“Phish could urinate into it’s fans ears and tell them it’s music . The fans, in turn would be there with tape-recorders to capture the moment.”

me November 1, 2013, 14:08:35

I’m glad I chimed in…my opinion is important

Phan420 November 1, 2013, 14:19:10

Some people on here are saying that Phish never stated that they were actually going to play a cover album but that’s simply not true… they did multiple interviews saying that were practicing an album for Halloween… Page even stated he was taking vocal lessons for the album they are covering… I think one of 3 things happened, either they weren’t quite ready for the album so they abandoned it, or they plan on playing an album later in the weekend, or Trey decided that he wanted to play their new album instead… either way I think it was a copout and let down… most Phans know the majority of new songs don’t get good until they’ve been played live for a year and the majority of these songs were not good live (there were about 2 or 3 decent ones that will become stellar live songs in the future) The 3rd set was great though and gotta love the Vigoda cameo… But I do think it was a bit selfish of them to work out their new album as a “musical costume” and agree with most that they should of done another artists album set 2 and debuted wingsuit set 1 on Sunday and that would of been special and risky and more exciting. but Phish do what Phish do and that’s one of the reason we love them.

skidmorephish November 1, 2013, 14:22:03

I see both sides here, but I’d have to think any disappointment would have to reside in the fact that a lot of folks ponied up a lot to make it to a show where they expected a very specific thing, a traditional Halloween cover, and got something very different in return. I’d also like to think that if in exchange for that, you got treated to an entire set of brand new music from your favorite band (that mercifully excluded Yarmouth Rd..sorry Mike), that the end result would be one of mixed emotions at a minimum and gratitude toward the band as a maximum. What other band thinks highly enough of their fanbase to share an entire in-development album, so as to make them a part of the process despite the potential consequences? They went out of their way last night to express how much the fans being a part of this meant to them and how grateful they were for the acceptance of the audience and the reception they gave the new music, disappointment or not. Look, I have been seeing Phish for almost 25 years now and one of the best parts about the music, aside from how they are still playing at such a high level, is the confidence they have in themselves to still be experimental, experiential and constantly evolving. I think many fans would be well served to be of a like mindset when judging them. How many of our other favorite bands can we say that about? We could be talking about the highly diminished Dead of the early 90’s; would you trade the Phish of today for that? I’ll agree that they could have done a cover set for Halloween and unveiled this new music over the next 2 nights, but I’d surmise that performing a cover album requires some intense practicing, which would have taken away time and energy away from preparing the new material. The result of biting off more than they could chew may have been either potentially diminishing both or more likely, rendering doing both inviable. So, whatever the case, here we are, with our favorite band playing incredibly well, having fun and continuing to be a touring force as well as continuing to evolve and produce new music. Is that so bad? I’d love to hear them tear up Houses of the Holy, London Calling or Van Halen like everyone else, but I’ll take what i can get here as long as the quality and passion are intact. And, as we saw last night…you never know; we could get Zeppelin tonight, right? LETS GO PHISH!!

Randy Floyd November 1, 2013, 14:42:27

after hearing Trey’s monologue, it sounded like this wasn’t actually the new album, but it was basically a set of new music which still needs some fine tuning. the album might be something different, with a lot of the same songs but there more work to be done. as for the set, IMO some cool new music but still just too much of the cheesy song structure and lyrics that make many songs from the recent years all sound the same, yet overall also lacking the flow and coherence of albums like Rift and, dare I say it, Hoist. that abe vigoda song was sweet though. please wake me up when phish releases another instrumental album.

me November 1, 2013, 15:04:22

Couple of suggestions… 1st, read the Playbill… it discusses more than a few things people are questioning… 2nd, how many songs that Phish has penned were killin’ it out of the gate? You call yourselves fans and then bitch about a potential diamond in the rough… For instance, My Sweet One in the early days was not what it grew to be, another example… I hated Water In the Sky at first, but much better now… the list goes on and on… If Phish had said they were doing their new album people would have been dying to hear it… but surprise them and they bitch… guess that’s what you get when you’re are as great a band as Phish is!

me November 1, 2013, 15:10:07

@ me impostor… I’m flattered that you would dig through >30 posts to find mine and comment… however, you seem a bit obsessive, is your life really that dull? You come across as pretty sad and pathetic… but if it makes you feel better, please continue, I’d be glad to be your 1 “friend”...

New stuff Welcomed November 1, 2013, 18:34:00

Lets actually talk about the new music they played really well considering they had to break in a bunch of song back to back. Overall, tons of vocal harmonies and interesting arrangements. If you are an artist/musician, you will like me thinks… The amount music that Phish put out in the last 10 years was getting dangerously low for a band like this. They were in threat of becoming a nostalgic museum piece that recreates a concerts from the 90s and then everyone bitches that its not the 90s anymore. If anyone wants the regulars, there are about a million YEMs and Harry Hoods archived over the last 30 years to listen to. Me, looking forward to new stuff..

T November 1, 2013, 18:42:44

I would gamble they cover an album tonight, tomorrow night or both… Remember when they did Darkside in Utah after Vegas?

beedubble November 1, 2013, 19:14:02

Who remembers 11/198? After a scorching Velvet Underground in Vegas, they played a half full venue the next day in my home town of SLC, only to throw down the complete Dark Side of the Moon. Wait for tonight.

fluffhead November 2, 2013, 09:22:06

A musical costume is not, by definition, original material. Wingsuit might be a great album, but I don’t think Halloween AC was the time or place for the debut. I fear somebody somewhere told them this Halloween “trick” would be good for record sales. I’ve found pawing through vintage vinyl more rewarding than hoping for moments of greatness from a band I once loved madly. Will 10/31 go down as Phish’s Jump The Shark moment?

following for 15 years. November 2, 2013, 18:28:37

If you can’t embrace evolution in a band/life all together, you’re lost and you need to check your brain; the train has left and you’re comments are irrelevant to what is happening. Its 2013, they’ve been playing for 30 years! These new songs are a lot about people that have affected their lives or who they can relate to in many different ways. I enjoy music that comes from personal experiences. The new album is going to be different! Enjoy it!

paulfrombuffalo November 2, 2013, 19:58:15

I waited and waited but cannot help but share my opinion about this. Playing new material is hardly brilliant, daring or even original. Neil Young has done this his entire career. Time Fades Away and Rust Never Sleeps are both live albums which means he played all the new material in front of an audience that knew none of it. Same with the Nov tour in 73 when he played all of Tonights the Night a year and a half before it came out. He did it again this summer. Sorry but Phish isn’t Neil. I’m sure that I am not alone in liking Phish DESPITE their songwriting, not because of it. The vast majority of their lyrics are silly, simple or inconsequential. Hell, their best songs have little or no lyrics at all! Playing that second set was a bullshit move. I was there and made the 7 hr drive to see the best cover band in the world play Physical Graffiti, the Lamb or some other masterpiece. No Phish album will ever be considered one of the top 200 albums (and that’s being generous) They screwed over a ton of people. Between songs in that 2nd set you could hear a pin drop and it wasn’t because the crowd was being courteous. Most were bored out of their skulls. All the other Halloween Albums are must have classic Phish sets – that’s why many of us traveled for that particular unique event. What we got was a pompous move by Trey and his ego. Total bullshit.

I wish I was Me November 2, 2013, 22:08:58

If you’re reading this, I wanna be your friend…

kath November 3, 2013, 01:06:19

Paulfrombuffalo- I couldn’t agree with you more. If they wanted to debut a new album on an unsuspecting audience they could have done it in Reading and/or on nights 2 or 3 of AC. The idea that this HAD to be done on Halloween night- the date of some of the most memorable Phish moments of all time time- is nuts. I, like you, went to considerable trouble and expense to see THIS show specifically and I feel totally ripped off and screwed by the band’s self indulgence.

jackie November 3, 2013, 18:56:11

Phish have reached a level of success that they can pretty much do anything and they want and will still sell out tours, on the night of 10/31/13 they decided to screw over their audience. I’ve talked to people that went and they said there was a feeling of disappointment in the air that you just couldn’t ignore.

larry! November 4, 2013, 11:22:17

enjoyed the wing suit record. bravo, pheesh!

tellsemlikeIsmellsem!!!! November 4, 2013, 14:07:15

anyone that doesn’t like this album just isn’t a phish fan…. I’m sorry but phish is a creative force, not some washed up cover band…. you want that, then go check out further or any other fakeful dead project…. what phish did at this show was simply amazing and hats off to them for it…. I was there and not let down at all…... these songs rip… To Phish, thanks for keeping it fresh and absolutely shredding Atlantic city to pieces…. fuck covers…. your own material rocks…... Especially wingsuit…. best album since Story of the Ghost….. life changing…. Love my favorite band even more now….....

dubs November 5, 2013, 12:02:59

Was there. Was disappointed. No matter how you cut it, something unfamilar will take any show down a notch, even if you wind up loving those same songs later. I do think a few of these new songs will soon become favorites. In hindsight, at least half of the people there would have been somewhat disappointed no matter what they played. Waiting for Columbus, an album I adore, was not well received. The White Album was my first show and may still be my favorite, but not everyone was happy about that choice. I was there for Quadraphenia too, that was pretty well received. I heard Exile was, as well.

kane November 11, 2013, 17:06:42

Fresh idea I’ve seen mule, UM and Panic do this and now that I think of it Jorma ans blue country

Come on! November 28, 2013, 21:46:37

Tellsem, I’m not writing your whole name out but to say anyone who doesn’t like this album isn’t a fan is bs! Maybe your nobby a$$ hasn’t heard enough Phish but let me tell you I have just like a lot of people! This wasnt even an entire album people! This was a work in progress! They talk of Abe vigoda as some actor from the TV show fish. He was never apart of a TV show called fish. His name in the show was fish but not what they state! 2 maybe 3 songs have potential to be something down the road. I keep trying to like it but my ears didn’t lie to me live and they still don’t lie after x amount of listens! I knew the moment they were webcasting Hallween they had something up their sleeve like this. So surprise it was not but surprised in the sense that its a work in progress not even complete! To me, personally, that shows their complete lack of wanting to take the time to learn someone else’s album. Someone else’s album that led phish to whom they are as a band today and 30 years ago….they are now just a coverband of themselves! Just look at the song selection of a short fall tour. Songs you might hear once a year(if your lucky) you hear 3 times in 12 shows. It might not even be phish calling the shots but the entity higher than them….the dollar bill! Yes, they are rich but this attempt to see how their fans would react to this new album is what they did! We were test tube babies..just waiting for the outcome or results! They also showed that they have a new crop of kids to make money off of. The old fans whom have seen phish in all different eras can now sit at home and webcast while the new kiddos can pay the way on the road! It’s a cycular motion of business and they are filtering out the old for the new cause that’s where the money is! Period, everything in life to most people is money! They can say they aren’t about it or bush this, bush that but if their as big as they think they are why do they not go back to running tickets thru their own entity instead of having a crook run their ticketing process and leave the rest to ticketmaster? And the lyrics sounded like they were written by a teenager! Guess who their reaching out too?!?

Come on! November 28, 2013, 22:17:17

Ian, I’ve seen hundreds of hours of phish live, in person. So 4 hours of that was a disappointment. And as a friend stated to me, it would’ve been cool if it were a finished album and while walking into the show each fan got a copy of the cd with the playbill. Now that would have been a big thank you instead of a big F U! Oh and to add to my comment above, how many kiddos in that venue even knew whom Abe Vigoda was? Considering half the people in the venue were probably born in 1990 to present day….yes, some of you were born yesterday! If phish themselves didn’t know he didn’t actually appear on a TV show called fish, then the crowd sure as the heck didn’t! All I know is if that’s their future selves…...thank god I got to see one of their best shows….burgettstown 2003. Yeah 10/31/94 was historical. But burgettstown from head to toe hasn’t been beaten by any show since or before, IMO. That shows is the reason everyone goes to see phish or should! But no show will ever match that and I’m fine with that. Both nights of Wooster this year came very close, very close but just didn’t pull of the fluidity and instant jamming and playfulness that burgettstown will always hold for me! PS….listen to burgettstown 03 if you haven’t ever heard. 2.0 has some actually really good shows that people tend to miss!

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