Phish Closes Out Fall Tour With A Stellar Saturday Night [Photos]

first_imgLoad remaining images On Saturday night in Las Vegas, Phish landed a knock out in the fourth round of their instant classic Halloween run. Each night has been more inventive than the last and has set a new expectation for America’s favorite Vermont-based Scandinavian prog-rock aficionados.“Moma Dance” opened the final evening at the MGM Grand Garden Arena the same way it kicked off the tour in Albany’s Times Union Center just over two weeks ago. The Story of the Ghost track found Trey Anastasio coming in hot–playing with a carefree and kickass attitude. “Kill Devil’s Falls” was up next and found its way onto a setlist for only the third time in 2018. After one dance tune and one rocker, “Roggae” produced a tranquil, thought-provoking vibe to the room as Page McConnell layered his grand piano over Mike Gordon’s thick bass. After a standard “Water in the Sky,” Gordon, dressed as a member of Kasvot Växt, got his chance at lead vocals for “555.”A laser focused “Tube” was knocked out of the park for the third time this tour as McConnell shared Clavinet funk that Anastasio bounced right back at him by way of heavy pedal effects and delays. The band took the “Tube” jam to a breezy, blissful place usually not associated with the funk monster. A well-executed return to the stupendous ending of “Tube” gave room for another chill first-set ballad in “Farmhouse.” “Mike’s Song” finally found a seat in Vegas on night four and left further proof that the quartet was collaborating on another level.McConnell slammed down on the Hammond B-3 to accentuate Anastasio’s stone-skipping riffs moving into the biggest bust out of the night in “Lifeboy.” Now that the deflated Curveball ticket holders have received their money back, the band felt it was okay to sing about not getting refunds and used this calming and soulful tune as the fluff between a “Mike’s Groove” sandwich–which hasn’t happened since 8/13/96 at Deer Creek. In a generation of Phish where the first set is as noteworthy as the second, “Weekapaug Groove” was an excellent choice to close out Set 8 of the all-star 2018 Halloween run. Chris Kuroda used his light rig wizardry to shine a multitude of colors on an ecstatic, behind-the-stage crowd while Anastasio closed out the high energy fan-favorite with a “Call to Post” quote.After a first set peppered with some of Phish’s more poetic pieces, the band returned for the final set of the run with a no-nonsense, grittier approach during “Carini.” Moving the sound from dark to spacey, Anastasio layered a hollow, echoey effect over Gordon’s meaty bass as Page hopped back and forth between organ and clav. Fishman’s alter ego from Friday night returned in the form of Bob Weaver and added chilling “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long” lyrics to the 13-minute lumpy-headed tune. “46 Days” was played with added vigor and displayed a full-of-life band not quite ready to get off of the road.“Scents and Subtle Sounds” took the third spot and immediately nose-dived into interstellar Type II terrain. McConnell reminded the audience why his nickname is “Chairman of the Boards,” following a pedal-happy Anastasio as the core of the jam became light and bubbly. To close out the 15-minute “SASS,” the band shifted gears, creating an eerie tone that would kick off “Crosseyed and Painless.” Locked and loaded, Phish remained glued together during the heart of the Talking Heads cover jam and produce a filthy groove that got asses shaking. Whacking away at the cowbell, Fishman set up a cosmic connection with his bandmates as Kuroda casted sharp blue and white beams of light above the stage–creating a welcome party for an alien abduction.Now that the entire room felt like they were inside of a spaceship, “2001” kept the Saturday night sizzling, but didn’t achieve full lift-off outside of its usual flightpath. “Possum” produced more sweat dripping and air guitar playing from the crowd, but the true gem of the night was still to come. To bring Sin City’s ninth set to a close, the band unleashed a standout “Split Open and Melt” for the ages. A patient Phish allowed for some phenomenal crystallization to occur during this slow-building and diverse Type II titan. McConnell and Gordon etched deep synth and heavy bass during the first chunk of this haunting jam. Anastasio pounced around on his pedals to move the 21-minute piece into a more ambient space that eventually would exit the solar system before returning back to its usual constructs as if nothing had ever happened. Fans new and old were left face-planted, ass-handed and elevated before giving their favorite band one last applause to end another noteworthy second set.To express their gratitude and offer one more ballad to the appreciative crowd, “Wading In Velvet Sea” peacefully opened up the two-song encore for a show that nobody wanted to end. Closing on a rock note, “Character Zero” pumped up the arena one last time and Trey quoted the famous Bob Weaver by thanking the crowd “so fuckin’ much.”When someone tells their coworker, parent’s friend, distant relative or Tinder date that they are a Phish fan, they are likely to get bombarded with an abundance of questions. “Wait, you’re going fishing? Deep sea or freshwater? Don’t they just play the same song? They are like the Grateful Dead right?” What outsiders don’t understand is that the dedicated fan base spends their hard earned money and vacation time on so much more than a trip to a new city. Standard American party holidays like Halloween and New Year’s Eve are more like family reunions or life-changing monumental occasions. Where 100 shows would sound preposterous for the average music fan, it is simply a bookmark for members of the Phish community to begin their next 100 shows. They have strategic approaches for ticket purchasing, tour mapping, hotel rewards point, and secret dance moves. The conclusion of the 2018 Fall Tour in fabulous Las Vegas is yet another example of why fans continue flocking together across the globe in search of the next great “it” moment. Spectators at a Phish show aren’t just watching a concert, they are members of a community that celebrates faceplanting into rock.Only 54 days left until the first of four nights at Madison Square Garden…but who’s counting?Check out a gallery of photos from the show below via Phierce Photo by Keith Griner.Setlist: Phish | MGM Grand Garden Arena | La Vegas, NV |11/3/18SET 1: The Moma Dance, Kill Devil Falls > Roggae, Water in the Sky, 555 > Tube > Farmhouse, Mike’s Song > Lifeboy > Weekapaug GrooveSET 2: Carini > 46 Days > Scents and Subtle Sounds > Crosseyed and Painless > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Possum > Split Open and MeltENCORE: Wading in the Velvet Sea, Character ZeroPhish | MGM Grand Garden Arena | Las Vegas, NV | 11/3/18 | Photos: Phierce Photo by Keith Grinerlast_img

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