Phish Light Up Bill Graham Aud Night One With Type II Jamming & Full On “Sneakin’ Sally” (SHOW RECAP)

From the most incredible outdoor venue in the U.S., to the high intensity of indoor Phish, Monday night (7/18/18) was a smoker in San Francisco. There’s a million ways to look at each and every show, but without a doubt every single head in the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium was feeling it last night.


 -Solid Set 1: A sense of equilibrium was achieved with set one last night. “Martian Monster” brought a party vibe right from the start, “46 Days” was rocking, and “Roggae” was placed perfectly. Even a rare “Daniel Saw the Stone” (4th time in 3.0) was a treat. It was a nice start to what would ultimately end up as a great night.

 -Divided Sky Brought A Shift: As the first set continued, “Divided Sky” signaled a shift. It wasn’t necessarily a standout version, but the crowd locked in, the band seemed to tighten, and the next three tunes benefited as a result. The quantity time-wise was low, but “Ocelot” had a little something extra on it. “Ya Mar” was funky, showcasing Mike laying down a few nasty riffs on Trey’s guitar, Page on the Bass, and Trey on the Marimba Lumina. “Possum” was also noteworthy for the drawn out peak near the end. All of these mentions may seem microscopic in the greater scheme of things, but the quality that was produced in set two seems to have been helped in large part by the exploratory, peak driven shift that started to take place in the second half of set one.


 -Golden Age: Move over Hampton 2013, last night’s “Golden Age” was straight high energy fire! This is a great example of where 13 minutes goes a long way, and you don’t judge a show on paper or by the length of the jam. There was a collective breath taken to kick off set two, and the patient, Type II largely missing from the Gorge was blasted within this small period of time even though the main course was still a few songs away.

 -Simple>Sally: “Twist” could’ve gotten weird, but it didn’t. Instead we had a flowing first twenty minutes of set two before “Simple” took center stage. The space being explored here was reminiscent of the fabulous Dick’s version from a few years back. Just when it seemed like the band was going deeper the move was made into “Sneakin’ Sally thru the Alley”. Subjectivity is difficult to squash, but it’s hard to put any other jam from the summer above where this one went last night in San Francisco. A full on high tempo, psychedelic funk fest was had, and beyond the major energy boost to the venue after the mid set breather of “MSO” and “The Line”, this blast of Type II dirty improv was exactly what this tour needed.

 -A Complete Show: Looking past the fact that Phish has not been taking their improvisational playing all that deep this summer, last night was a completely balanced show, top to bottom, start to finish. The slowly building first set with light improv and a high fun factor bleeding into set two, which brought beautiful improvisation, exploratory music, and that feeling so many of us crave so much from a Phish show was alive and well. After the “Sally” sender the “Limb by Limb” and “Slave” were perfect choices. ”Limb” was a little soft, but still played well enough and “Slave” brought another monumental peak to the show. Even the encore was well chosen with a slow “Circus” and upbeat “Antelope” to close it out.  With the strongest show this summer, and some of the best jamming since the New Year’s run.

Phish Setlist Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA, USA, Summer Tour 2016

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2 Responses

  1. Great stuff B!!! Awesome seeing you last night (Tuesday)! Wish we could have boogied down together. All good things in all good time. Monday night was great, but Tuesday night was grade A premium “don’t get much better” phish. Fluffhead was a celebration of how great a show it had been. The crowd willed them into First Tube. Can’t wait for tonight’s festivities. Hoping for a Sand.

  2. Thanks Dane! Great to see you too!! I agree that last night ramped it up-fun first set, good playing, but frame two was the heat. Yeah that was funny as they were about to leave after Bug, then sorta paused and sent First Tube. Hope to catch ya tonight, and hopefully tonight takes one more step in the up direction:)

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