Tonight, Phish returns to Jones Beach in Wantagh, New York, which has previously hosted the quartet 11 times. The group skipped the waterfront venue last summer after playing Jones Beach in 2009 and 2010. Phish’s last Jones Beach show on August 18, 2010 was marred by a leaping fan.
The band came out of the gates with the biggest bust out in Phish history, in terms of documented shows played, by dusting off a cover of Little Feat’s Skin It Back for the first time since July 29, 1988 (1,417 shows). Skin It Back featured a Anastasio-led jam segment, just like the versions from the ’80s, and lasted nearly 10 minutes. A standout Possum that followed contained Skin It Back teases, referencing the bust out we had just heard. Phish wasn’t done breaking out old covers as they nailed Happiness Is A Warm Gun off The Beatles’ White Album, which had remained unplayed since the quartet tackled the album in its entirety on October 31, 1994 at Glens Falls Civic Center (658 shows). The exquisitely balanced first set also saw the tour debut of Jesus Just Left Chicago by ZZ Top.
On a night when nearly everything Phish touched turned to gold, the group toyed with the tempo of Chalk Dust Torture delivering a slower-than-usual version of the high-energy rocker to open Set Two. The most impressive improvisations of the night were found in the exploratory Sand jam and a blues-rock Golden Age jam that featured Page McConnell leading the band on his Wurlitzer 106p electric piano through a segment that had a real Zeppelin vibe to it. Phish was on their game tonight and foreshadowed Walk Away as Wolfman’s Brother hit its peak. With a quick turn into The James Gang cover, Trey was given a chance to shine and was more than happy to comply by weaving one rapid-fire riff after another into his potent Walk Away solo. You might have thought Bug signaled the beginning of the end, but there was still plenty of action left by way of the old school Fluff/Antelope pairing split by The Wedge. Run Like An Antelope has been hitting its stride of late and tonight’s take continued that trend. A Character Zero ended one of the more well-rounded shows of the tour.
Set 1: Skin It Back, Possum, Tube, Happiness Is a Warm Gun, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen >Weekapaug Groove, Halley’s Comet > Axilla > Ya Mar, Joy, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Backwards Down the Number Line > Golgi Apparatus
Encore: Character Zero
 Skin It Back tease.
 Izabella tease.
 Dave’s Energy Guide tease.
Notes: Skin It Back was played for the first time since July 29,1988 (1,417 shows). Happiness is a Warm Gun was played for the first time since October 31, 1994 (658 shows). Possum and Chalk Dust Torture contained Skin It Back teases. Sand contained an Izabella tease. Fluffhead contained a Dave’s Energy Guide tease.
Here’s The Skinny for Phish at Jones Beach…
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 15,000 / 15,000 (Sold-Out) / Amphitheater
- Previous Shows at Venue: 11 Shows – 07/12/1992, 07/24/1992, 07/23/1993, 07/15/1994, 06/28/1995, 06/29/1995, 06/02/2009, 06/04/2009, 06/05/2009, 08/17/2010, 08/18/2010
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 14, 83 Minutes
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 10, 97 Minutes
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 24 / 6 / 18
- Biggest Bustout: Skin It Back, 1417 Shows
- Second Biggest Bustout: Happiness is a Warm Gun, 658 Shows
- Debuts: N/A
- Weather: 76° and Mostly Cloudy at Showtime
- Wardrobe: Trey – Plaid Shirt and Jeans / Mike – Black T-Shirt and Scarf w. Jeans / Fish- Dress / Page – Black Short Sleeved Button Down Shirt
- Average Song Gap: 91
- The Spread: Junta – 2, Lawn Boy – 1, Picture of Nectar – 1, Rift – 1, Hoist – 1, Billy Breathes – 1, Farmhouse – 2, Joy – 2, Misc. – 6, Covers – 6,
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: Fluffhead 14:29 / I Am Hydrogen 2:43
- Audio: Live Phish