Over three years since their last visit, Phish returned to First Niagara Pavilion tonight, the Pittsburgh-area amphitheater where they’ve played a total of six shows. Originally known as Star Lake Amphitheatre, Phish first played Burgettstown on August 13, 1997 and treated fans to a one-time-only cover at that show (Elton John’s Amoreena) and subsequent performances in 1998 (Bob Marley’s Trenchtown Rock), 1999 (Pavement’s Gold Soundz) and 2003 (Elvin Bishop’s Fooled Around and Fell in Love).
[Photo From 6/22 by Michael Stein]
The beginning of the first set was filled with heavy rotation staples such as Funky Bitch, Maze and Backwards Down The Number Line. For a cover of Torn and Frayed by The Rolling Stones, bassist Mike Gordon moved from his usual Modulus bass to a classic four-string Fender Jazz Bass the @Phish_FTR feed showed off earlier in the day, before swapping back for the next song (The Moma Dance). Seven songs in, Scent of a Mule off 1994′s Hoist was the initial 2012 debut of the evening and featured keyboardist Page McConnell utilizing a Theremin during the “mule duel.” Phish brought the set to a close with You Enjoy Myself, which hadn’t been played in the last 12 shows, tying a record for the longest gap in the song’s history.
Mike’s “new” Fender bass also got a work out during the Gotta Jibboo second set opener. Gordon went back to the Modulus for the Mike’s Song that followed. Simple’s typically beautiful jam melted into a spacey segment before seguing into Light. The spacey interlude previewed what was to come in Light as the band’s most recently-written jam vehicle featured a dark and sinister groove and a calypso-tinged, major-key sequence which made for a memorable version worth repeated listens. After more than ten minutes of outstanding Light exploration the quartet transitioned into a loose and funky Weekapaug Groove, another stand out of the evening. Seven Below, complete with a deep, Trey-fueled jam, saw its first action of 2012 next. Bouncing Around The Room was the first slower tune of the show, then Julius brought the energy right back up, while the Slave To The Traffic Light closer put an exclamation point on Set Two. For only the eighth time ever the Gamehendge tune Lizards served as the encore. Phish heads to Blossom next.
06/23/2012 First Niagara Pavilion
Encore: The Lizards
 Eleanor Rigby tease from Page and Trey.
 Mule duel featured Page on theremin.
 Scent of a Mule tease from Trey.
 Divided Sky tease from Trey.
Maze featured an Eleanor Rigby tease from Page and Trey. The Mule duel featured Page on theremin. YEM contained a Scent of a Mule tease from Trey. Weekapaug contained a Divided Sky tease from Trey.
We’ll have a full report and photo set tomorrow.
Here’s The Skinny for Phish at First Niagara Pavilion…
- Venue Capacity / Attendance / Type: 23,000 / 19,000 (Estimate) / Amphitheater
- Previous Shows at Venue: 6 Shows = 08/13/1997, 08/11/1998, 07/21/1999, 07/07/2000, 07/29/2003, 06/18/2009
- Number Of Songs / Length – First Set: 9 / 8:11 PM – 9:33 (82 Minutes)
- Number Of Songs / Length – Second Set & Encore: 10 / 10:03PM – 11:36PM (93 Minutes)
- Total Number of Songs / Covers / Originals: 19 / 2 / 17
- Biggest Bustout: Lizards – 41 Shows [LTP - June 4, 2011]
- Debuts: N/A
- Weather: 74° and Partly Cloudy at Showtime
- Wardrobe: Trey – Checkered Button-Down Long-Sleeve Shirt and Jeans / Mike – Grey Polo and Jeans / Page – Black Button-Down Shirt and Jeans / Fish – Dress
- Average Song Gap: 7.84
- The Spread: Junta – 1, Lawn Boy – 1, Rift – 1, Hoist – 2, Story of the Ghost – 1, Farmhouse – 1, Round Room – 2, Joy – 2, Misc. – 6, Covers – 2,
- Longest LivePhish Track / Shortest LivePhish Track: You Enjoy Myself (20:09) / Bouncing Around The Room (3:50)
- Audio: Live Phish