Phish Unleashes 24-Minute “Set Your Soul Free”, Debuts New Tune At Bill Graham Finale

first_imgPhish continued their summer tour last night with their second and final night at San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Center. The band delivered a rocking, song-centric first set followed by a more improv-oriented second set, completing an impressive two-show stint at the west coast venue at which Phish has played the most shows since reuniting in 2009.Set one started off the with one of the band’s most consistent songs from the past few years,”Roggae”. Having last appeared as a show opener at Deer Creek on 8/2/1998—nearly two decades ago—”Roggae” fit perfectly in the leadoff position, jump-starting the crowd with bass bombs from Mike Gordon, soaring guitar playing from Trey Anastasio, and a general cohesive feel from the band as a whole. Acknowledging that cohesive attitude, Phish followed “Roggae” with several versions of old-school favorites “Tube”, “NICU”, and “Runaway Jim” before moving into the classic pairing of “The Horse” and “Silent in the Morning”.Following that strong opening, the band debuted an uptempo new song dubbed “Keepin’ It Real” (according to the LivePhish recording of the show), sung by Gordon and featuring a confident backbeat from drummer Jon Fishman. When @Phish_FTR tweeted the name of the tune as it was being played, they listed it as “Keepin’ It Reel“, immediately evoking thoughts of the interactive “Reel” that Mike has brought along on his last few solo tours. Only time—and some official lyrics—will tell if it actually ends up being “real” or “reel” (or, like some of Phish’s multi-layered lyrics, both—lookin’ at you, “Sing Monica”). All we really know at this point is that the song is good fun.The rare ballad “Driver” (the first since 7/16/16) allowed the band to slow things down for a moment before picking them back up with a high-octane version of “Saw It Again”, which saw keyboardist Page McConnell continue to include samples from the Chilling, Thrilling Sounds of the Haunted House Halloween show in the song’s sinister breakdown.Shifting gears, “Ocelot” came next, giving way to the first impactful improvisation of the evening. The bouncy, patient jam was the perfect platform for Anastasio, who ferociously latched onto the band’s deep-pocket groove for an impressive solo and an early-show highlight. Gordon’s “Waking Up Dead” featured excellent playing by McConnell, who added inspired flourishes on his clavinet throughout the song. It’s hard to overlook the off-key vocals that often plague “Waking Up Dead”, but the band makes up for it with an intricate jam section that, while it has shown a lot of promise, hasn’t yet reached its full potential. It is, however, showing more and more signs of evolution with each version that Phish plays.“Backwards Down The Numberline” may be polarizing for many Phish fans, but when it’s played well it is one of the band’s best songs, and they showed that off on Wednesday night, delivering a spot-on version with a blissful peak that drew huge cheers from the sold-out San Francisco crowd. Phish then brought the somewhat uneven first set to a close with another sentimental rocker, the Big Boat standout “More”.To start set two, Phish offered up their second-ever rendition of “Set Your Soul Free”, originally debuted by Trey Anastasio Band last October in Las Vegas. Introduced by Phish this past weekend on their first of three nights at The Gorge, the band made quick work of the new song’s structure and moved into a groovy and ethereal jam that found Anastasio toying with his delay loop pedal while McConnell laid down layers of synth pads, Fishman and Gordon meditatively keeping time behind them. Finally, Anastasio emerged with a melodic lead that McConnell started doubling, eventually allowing for Anastasio to move on to some psychedelic guitar stabs. The band shifted significantly when Fishman kicked the drums into double time, moving the jam into full-fledged Type II territory. The driven, funky improvisation continued for several minutes as “Set Your Soul Free” pushed toward the 24-minute mark before dissolving into “Twist”.“Twist” featured some strong full-band improvisation, with Gordon leading the charge as Anastasio and McConnell followed his every move. The short-but-sweet jam made way for a rare “Makisupia Policeman”, which featured round-robin solos from McConnell, Gordon, and Fishman. Continuing with the rarities, “Makisupa Policeman” was followed by an intense “Scents and Subtle Sounds”, which saw Anastasio throwback to “Machine Gun Trey” for a raucous and exciting reading of the Undermind gem. Out of nowhere, Phish moved into an extra-delicate version of “What’s The Use?”, the ambient fan-favorite from The Siket Disc.From there, the band made quick work of “The Wedge” before going into overdrive with “Possum”, which featured a particularly atonal guitar solo from Anastasio, building the tension wildly before he finally released, whipping the crowd into a frenzy one last time to wrap up the second set. For the encore, Phish capped their San Francisco stint with one of their most beloved songs, “The Lizards”. The Gamehendge-era cut elicited a huge roar from the crowd, and the band delivered a faithful version that put a fitting cap on a memorable two-night run at the Bill Graham Civic Center.Phish returns this weekend with a two-night run at The Forum in Inglewood, CA. For a full list Phish’s upcoming summer tour dates, head to the band’s website.Setlist: Phish | Bill Graham Civic Center | San Francisco, CA | 7/25/2018Set I: Roggae, Tube > NICU > Runaway Jim, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Keepin’ It Reel, Driver, Saw It Again, Ocelot, Waking Up Dead, Backwards Down The Numberline > MoreSet II: Set Your Soul Free > Twist > Makisupa Policeman > Scents and Subtle Sounds > What’s The Use? > The Wedge > PossumEncore: The Lizardslast_img


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