Phish nTelos Pavilion Portsmouth Setlist and The Skinny

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Phish Summer Tour 2012 continued tonight at nTelos Pavilion in Portsmouth, Virginia. The smallest venue on this tour, Phish first visited the nTelos Pavilion in 2010 and clearly liked it enough to come back the next two summers.

The show started off in standard fashion with Sample In A Jar, but during the Party Time that came next the band welcomed old friend Carl “Geerz” Gerhard. The trumpet player performed with Phish as a member of the Giant Country Horns and other performances. Geerz most recent appearance came on at the nearby Hampton Coliseum on November 21, 1998 when he sat in on a cover of Chumbawumba’s Tubthumping after helping out on Cavern the night before. Gerhard took a trumpet solo in Party Time after a long introduction which mentioned his role as the Executive Officer in the Navy’s School of Music.

One of the shortest Simples on record led into straight-forward takes on Axilla, Tube and Kill Devil Falls. The road to 200 songs continued later in the set with tour debuts of Water In The Sky, Horn and the Mike Gordon-penned Babylon Baby. Bathtub Gin featured a slow tempo jam that exploded into a more fast-paced, Trey and Fish-driven shredding session. The quartet had some fun in I Didn’t Know when Anastasio introduced Fishman as “Executive Officer of the Air Force” and asked him to tuck in his dress before the drummer took his first vacuum solo of the year. A typically intense Run Like An Antelope closed out the cover-less set. Throughout the lyrics at the end of the tune, Trey referenced his request for Fishman to tuck in his dress and went so far as to tell everyone to tuck in their dresses.

For their second set, Phish came out with Back On The Train and Rift, before testing the improvisational waters with the first Split Open and Melt of the tour. Anastasio focused on one eerie riff for the majority of a jam that closed with a quick climax. Anastasio struggled with the tour debut of The Mango Song, but got in a distinct Dave’s Energy Guide tease as Backwards Down The Number Line hit its peak. Shine A Light marked the first cover of the night and was only the second version of the Stones cover played since 2010.

A wacky moment occurred next when Jon Fishman stood up at his kit and tucked in his dress before starting Lengthwise, referencing the wardrobe antics that went down earlier. Trey took the opportunity to invite up some audience members “to tuck.” At one point Anastasio reached into the crowd and came back with a light saber an audience member was using. Trey waved the stick around, played his guitar with it and made fun of the audience members’ tucking efforts as Fish transitioned into Maze. A set-closing cover of Fire saw the guitarist substitute “tucker” for “rover,” continuing the theme of the show. As the band said good night at the end of the set, they each made sure to tuck in their shirts. More wardrobe madness went on for the encore, when Gordon and Anastasio came out wearing sombreros and performed the tour debut of…you guessed it – Mexican Cousin. The pair did take the hats off for the show-closing Slave To The Traffic Light.

[You Suck at Tucking!]

[Mexican Cousin]

We’ll have photos and more on this show tomorrow from Parker Harrington. Phish returns to Portsmouth on Wednesday night.


Set 1: Sample in a JarParty Time[1]Simple > AxillaTubeKill Devil FallsWater in the Sky > Horn,Babylon BabyBathtub Gin > Stealing Time From the Faulty PlanI Didn’t Know[2] > Run Like an Antelope[3]

Set 2: Back on the Train > RiftSplit Open and Melt[4] > The Mango Song > Backwards Down the Number Line[5]Limb By LimbShine a LightLengthwise[6] -> Maze[7]Cavern > Fire[8]

Encore: Mexican Cousin > Slave to the Traffic Light

[1] Carl “Geerz” Gerhard on trumpet.
[2] Trey requested that Fish tuck in his shirt; Fish complied.
[3] Lyrics changed to “Been you to tuck in your dress, man?” “Tuck, tuck, tuck, tuck” and “Tuck in your dress man, you’re out of control!”
[4] Lyrics changed to “Split open and tuck!”
[5] DEG tease from Trey.
[6] Lyrics changed to “When you’re tucked, I sleep lengthwise.”
[7] Included Trey playing his guitar with his light saber.
[8] Lyrics changed to “Let the Tucker take over!”

Notes: Carl “Geerz” Gerhard sat in on trumpet for Party Time. Trey introduced Gerhard as having come to the School of Phish in 1991 and talked about Gerhard’s teaching career in the Armed Services. Trey acknowledged the crowd’s request by playing Tube. During I Didn’t Know, Trey said that they took Fishman on the road in 1983 and he went to the Phish School of Music, adding that he was now the executive officer of the “Air Force.” Trey said he didn’t think Fishman should be representing the vacuum cleaners without tucking in his shirt (a.k.a. Fish’s dress) and asked him to do so (Fishman complied). Antelope included alternate lyrics “Been you to tuck in your dress, man?” “Tuck, tuck, tuck, tuck” and “Tuck in your dress man, you’re out of control!” Trey also said that for 30 years, Fish has been leaving his dress untucked and told everybody to tuck in their dresses. Mike, Trey, and Page tucked in their shirts before the setbreak bow. Split Open and Melt included the alternate lyrics “Split open and tuck!” Backwards Down the Number Line contained a DEG tease from Trey. Lengthwise contained alternate lyrics “When you’re tucked, I sleep lengthwise,” Trey wielding a light saber, and an invitation for audience members to appear on stage and tuck. The audience was subsequently called out by Fishman and Trey, in part being told “You suck at tucking” over the Maze intro. Maze included Trey playing his guitar with his light saber. Fire contained the alternate lyrics “Let the Tucker take over!” Mike and Trey sported sombreros for Mexican Cousin.


  • Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 6,500 / 6,500 / Amphitheater
  • Previous Shows at Venue: 2 – 06/15/2010 and 06/19/2011
  • Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 13 / 7:57PM – 9:24PM (87 Minutes)
  • Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 13 / 10:01PM – 11:39PM (98 Minutes)
  • Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 26 / 2 / 24
  • Biggest Bustout: Lengthwise (LTP 08/17/2010 – 66 Shows)
  • Debuts: N/A
  • Weather: 83° and Partly Cloudy at Showtime
  • Wardrobe: Trey – Red, White and Black Checkered Button-Down Shirt and Jeans + Sombrero for encore / Mike – Light Blue Short-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt (Similar but different shirt worn in Set Two) and Jeans + Sombrero for encore / Page – Navy Blue Short-Sleeve Button-Down Shirt and Jeans / Fish – Dress w. Blue Underwear
  • Average Song Gap11.38
  • The Spread: Lawn Boy – 3, Picture of Nectar – 2, Rift – 4, Hoist – 1, Story of the Ghost – 2, Farmhouse – 1, Round Room – 1, Joy – 3, Misc. – 7, Covers – 2
  • Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Bathtub Gin 12:07 / Water In The Sky 3:08
  • AudioLive Phish


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6 thoughts on “Phish nTelos Pavilion Portsmouth Setlist and The Skinny

  1. kellerb Reply


  2. Teller Reply

    I Didn’t Know is a cover right (Richard “Nancy Taube” Wright)?

    • Scott Bernstein Reply

      I don’t consider it a cover. Nancy gave the song to Phish to perform and it wasn’t a known song before they did so.

  3. pageplus3 Reply

    If no members of Phish wrote the music or lyrics than the song is a cover. Morning Dew was written by Binnie Dobson but became known when both Jeff Beck and the Grateful Dead covered it.

  4. karmaphunk Reply

    They are really making you guys work for the wardrobe updates. Big summer for shirt stats 🙂

  5. DKinPA Reply

    The Banter Tour Rolls on?

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