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Published: 2014/07/04

Phish Brave the Elements at SPAC

Photo: @PhishFTR

As thousands descended on the small town of Saratoga Springs, NY for the start of Phish’s three-night run at SPAC, they were greeted by nasty weather that threatened to interrupt the show.

While there would be a slight weather delay, Phish would hit the stage around 8:30 PM to an opening “Farmhouse” that gave way to a “Wolfman’s Brother,” which featured some loose, funk-oriented improv early on. “Maze” quickly turned the energy up several notches as Page McConnell and Trey Anastasio both dug into impressive solos, leading to a frantic crescendo many have come to expect with the Rift track.

The middle of the first set would see the pace slow considerably, as “Yarmouth Road” was followed by the more delicate “Strange Design” and the newer “Devotion to a Dream” as well as a groovy “Ocelot.” The band would close the first frame in a flurry, however, leaning on high energy takes of “Chalk Dust Torture” as well as the engaging “Mound” and set-closer, “Possum.”

While only “Wolfman’s” extended past the 10-minute mark, Phish would dig into some deep improv to start the second set with two songs that haven’t anchored second sets that often in the 3.0 era—“Bathtub Gin” and “Limb By Limb.” The “Gin” opener saw the group dabble in their “plinko” style of jamming following a Trey Anastasio-led section before opting for a more ambient tone, ultimately leading into “Limb By Limb.”

The Story of the Ghost track harkened back to a lengthy version they played in St. Louis in 2012, with the group turning the song completely wide open for true full-band improv. Last night’s “Limb By Limb” would once again feature an expert class in musical communication as all four members moved through the tune together before dissolving it into “Winterqueen.”

The second of four Fuego tracks on the night would provide a lighter counterpart to the opening two songs, stretching out to around nine minutes before Phish delivered another new track—“The Line.” The improv would kick back into gear following the tale about Darius Washington Jr. with “Tweezer,” which ignited the crowd for the charge to the finish of the set. This particular “Tweezer” was heavy on Page McConnell as he contributed a brief solo and led the group through the improv section.

As “Tweezer” gave way to two more singalong tunes—“Prince Caspian” and “Sparkle”—Phish closed the set with the exciting “Run Like an Antelope” before encoring with “Sing Monica” (it’s debut with that title) and “Tweezer Reprise.”

Additional notes from the show include that, once again, no covers were played. While the odds of the band making it through the weekend with this streak intact seem small, there certainly seems to be a concerted effort to focus on original material.

Phish will return to the stage tonight at SPAC to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. The show will be webcast via

Here’s a look at the setlist as it appears in our Box Scores section:

Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

Set I: Farmhouse, Wolfman’s Brother, Maze, Yarmouth Road, Strange Design, Devotion to a Dream, Ocelot, Chalk Dust Torture, Roggae, Possum

Set II: Bathtub Gin > Limb By Limb > Winterqueen, The Line, Tweezer > Prince Caspian > Sparkle > Run Like An Antelope

Enc: Sing Monica > Tweezer Reprise


There are 3 comments associated with this post

Phishphuck July 4, 2014, 13:21:00

Who gives a fourth!

MarZaPhiGar July 5, 2014, 10:33:30

So I’m a mile from SPAC- NOT going to the show btw; in ‘toga visiting fam. It’s 2 pm. I pull over into EMPTY lot to take cell call (you know, law-abiding citizen and all). Anyway, complete my call, hang up, and pull out onto rt 9. IMMEDIATELY I get yanked over by U/C cop. Comes to my pass window, flashes badge, and proceeds to tell me A) the reason he pulled me over was bc ‘we made eye contact (i’m wearing shades) and you took off’ and B) Sir, I’m trained in these matters, and I detect the strong aroma of marijuana coming from your car; I mean, it’s real powerful.’
I laugh. I haven’t puffed since last winter, and not in my car for at least a year. We go back and forth, he’s trying every trick in the book to get me to cop to SOMETHING. No luck. I told him he basically had 30 YEARS to have caught me, but too late. Meanwhile, cars, trucks, buses are rolling by crammed with wooks. Seeing this, I actually try and delay HIM- offering to let dogs search, whatever. He eventually gets frustrated, says I should consider myself LUCKY (?) b/c i’m the ONE GUY who’s gonna get away from him this weekend. As Im drivin off laffin this is what I say: Fuck tha po-lice LOL...

KC McCollin July 6, 2014, 08:31:19

F#ck the police comin straight from the underground
A young nigga got it bad cause I’m brown
And not the other color so police think
they have the authority to kill a minority
F#ck that shit, cause I ain’t the one
for a punk motherfucker with a badge and a gun
to be beatin on, and thrown in jail
We can go toe to toe in the middle of a cell
Fuckin with me cause I’m a teenager
with a little bit of gold and a pager
Searchin my car, lookin for the product
Thinkin every nigga is sellin narcotics
You’d rather see, me in the pen
than me and Lorenzo rollin in a Benz-o….......

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