Phish – Live in Chicago, 7/19/14

We were all probably expecting this from me.

I went to my second Phish show this past summer in Chicago with two of my friends. After getting up at four in the morning, riding on a train for several hours and walking around Chicago for four hours, we finally arrived at the venue. We got our tickets checked and we were headed to the lawn.


After getting a front row spot on the rail, we sparked up some conversations with other fans. It was amazing how long these people have been seeing this 30 year old band from Vermont. Some people have been seeing them since the mid 90s, while others have only seen them once or twice their whole life. But it didn’t matter, because we all loved the same band.


After talking to some fans for about half an hour, here comes the band! Cheers from 30,000 people filled the venue. The adrenaline and expectations were high, as so far this tour has been amazing.


The band starts the show with some funk with the song “The Moma Dance.” No one was expecting this as an opener. After the super solid “Moma Dance”, they played some more funk with “Wolfman’s Brother.” It was a pretty average version, but it’s okay since it’s only the first set.


Other songs were not too extraordinary. Songs like “Devotion To A Dream,” “46 Days,” “Yarmouth Road,” “Brian And Robert” and “Wingsuit” made up a good chunk of the first set. They weren’t bad versions of these songs, but they weren’t amazing either.


What really got this set started was a semi-rare song called “Tube,” which could be considered some more funk, but also some straight and simple rock. What really made this version special was the tease of the classic Deep Purple song “Smoke On The Water.” It was right at that moment that everyone there knew this show was gonna be something special.


After very good versions of songs like “Free,” “Roggae” and “Heavy Things,” we get our set closer, “Run Like An Antelope.” This song is super exciting and it runs at a length 10:43. It was a really good set one closer and it set the hype high for the second set.


After about a 15 minute break, the band comes back out. They start off the second set with their rockin’ song “Carini.” The lyrics make no sense, but the guitar and drums are super heavy that you don’t care.


After a solid version of the song “Waves,” they start the most played song of the summer, “Fuego.” This version didn’t get crazy and go past 15 minutes like the ones before it. But it did include a tease of “Little Drummer Boy.”


After solid versions of “Twist,” “Light” and “Twenty Years Later,” we get another big song, “Harry Hood.” After a spectacular 16:28 version, we get the set two closer, “Cavern.” This song is no jam monster, but it’s a hyped up closer with the famous lyric “Whatever you do, take care of your shoes.” Any Phish fan knows that line and take seriously.


The encore was also full of excitement. It started off with the acapella tune “Grind” which is about how long the four band members have lived. After that, they start a chill song called “Bug.” But they light the fire one last time for the show closer, “Suzy Greenburg,” which had everyone in that venue jumping and screaming.


Overall, this Phish show was an amazing experience. The people were friendly and I had the most fun I’ve had in a while. I recommend this show for anyone wanting to get into this band.