Fitting In Fuego



This summer tour felt very much about integrating the band’s new material into their live show. Having debuted all but one of the songs in a single set lasst Halloween, Phish played seven of their new pieces over the New Year’s Run, but their roles were totally unknown going into this summer. And after twenty-two shows, the guys have sorted most things out, with only a couple selections whose placement remain elusive. Let’s look at a track-by-track analysis of how Phish has worked their newest batch of songs into their summer performances.

“Fuego”—After much speculation, “Fuego” was the only true jam vehicle that developed from Phish’s newest album. Though the song spawned three of tour’s most significant highlights with its SPAC, Mann and Portsmouth outings, “Fuego,” was still hard to pin down, as it was played far more times without a jam than with one. Perhaps this was due to the band’s “Everyone Gets a ‘Fuego’ (Except Pelham)” policy,  and they decided that it would be overkill to improvise from the song at every tour stop. Perhaps they didn’t even think this deeply about the issue at all. But when the promotional dust settles on Fall Tour and “Fuego” slides back into regular rotation, I bet we see it extend into a jam more regularly. The band has already proven how prolific a springboard it can be, as they crafted three twenty-minute excursions from the title track, all plunging different musical depths. One commonality between all three jams, however, was the group-wide patience that allowed the guys to collectively explore and discover some awesome spaces. Between SPAC’s unforgettable peak, the Mann’s bliss-turned-funk theatrics and Portsmouth’s clav-laced groove workout, “Fuego” has certainly proved its value quickly this summer. And we have only begun to see what this piece has in store. (Check out Philly’s version here.)

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Chicago (G.Lucas)

Chicago (Graham Lucas)

“The Line”—Despite placing “The Line” just about everywhere in their show this summer, Phish still hasn’t found a routine use for this song. The two most common placements have been in the middle of the second set as an interlude between lager improvisations, and as a standard first set song. I can’t say it has totally failed in its second set role, but its natural place in a show seems to lean towards the first. “The Line” appeared nine times this summer, trailing only “555” and “Fuego.”

“Devotion to a Dream”—This upbeat tune was used solely as a first set song this summer and that seems just right. Phish paired “Devotion” with “Wolfman’s Brother” on three of its last four outings of summer, using the two songs as a stylistic juxtaposition within the opening half of shows. I foresee more of the same for “Devotion,” as its structure and vibe don’t lend themselves to the second set.

“Halfway to the Moon”—Unfortunately, I have nothing of interest to report on “Halfway to the Moon.” The band has kept the song harnessed to the first set and has showed no interest in opening up what could be a promising jam vehicle. As previously noted before tour, Mike’s and Page’s songs don’t usually get jams in this era, and the trend continues with this number.

“Winterqueen”—Phish seamlessly integrated “Winterqueen” into their repertoire during SPAC’s opening show as a second set landing pad for the sequence of “Bathtub Gin > Limb by Limb.” “Winterqueen” was also used in this vein following Chicago’s “Down with Disease,” as it appeared in set two on three of five occasions this summer. Its most improvised version, however, came in Charlotte’s first set when Phish pushed the piece beyond its traditional contour for the only time of tour. This song translated incredibly well this summer and brought us “Fuego’s” most pleasant surprise. (Check out Charlotte’s version here.)

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7.16/14 (J.Herzog)

7.16/14 (J.Herzog)

“Sing Monica”—Another one of summer’s surprise developments was the emergence of “Monica” as a late-second set rock breather in smoking stanzas of music. Trey called for the song in both Randall’s iconic final set and Merriweather’s opening, jam-heavy performance. “Monica” also appeared in a SPAC encore before “Tweeprise” in much the same vein. But after Merriweather the song disappeared—perhaps because Trey didn’t feel another set of tour was hot enough to warrant the kickdown? Maybe that’s where this song has settled, and who’d have thunk it?

“555”—When Mike’s newest song opened up Charlotte’s second set, the potential of a jam loomed momentarily in the air. But it wasn’t to be, as the song simply kicked off the set before a long-form “Chalk Dust.” Every other appearance of “555” came in the opening set of shows, and that certainly seems to be where Trey likes the song the most. This one could get dirty if they opened it up, but as predicted before tour, it doesn’t seem like that will happen. “555” was performed 11 times in 22 shows, trailing only “Fuego” (12).

“Waiting All Night”—This was another song that slid into rotation with ease, as the band used it effectively as both a second set cool down and a first set single. Interestingly, the band paired “Waiting All Night” with “Reba” on three occasions this Summer, twice being placed poignantly after the revitalized classic. Mike’s bass lines give this one a smooth and groove-based feel in the live setting, and Trey seems to like playing the song quite a bit, as he called for it eight times this summer.

7.16.14 (J.Herzog)

7.16.14 (J.Herzog)

“Wombat”—“Wombat” was just getting loose when Phish shelved it for the tour. In Canandaigua’s first set, the band stretched out the funk number into its most significant incarnation to that point in tour. And then days later they blew it wide open on the first night of Chicago, taking the jam out of the groove realm and into the spiritual and wide open. Phish fully broke through with Chicago’s “Wombat” jam, and then we never heard from the song again. As we left it, however, the jam was just growing legs—and that is an excellent sign for the future. (Check out Chicago’s version here.)

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“Wingsuit”—“Wingsuit” found a couple effective slots in shows this summer, most significantly used as a landing pad for improvised, second set passages. Beginning in Randall’s middle performance, the band opened up the end of the song into a “Curtain With”-esque jam, and it became all the more worthy of its second set employment. “Wingsuit” truly came into its own this summer, featuring massive, emotionally-laced crescendos and serving as a powerful infusion of psych rock into the live show. Phish also used “Wingsuit” as a first set closer a couple times this summer, a slot that also felt fitting for the dramatic piece. One place it didn’t work so great, however, was as a mid-first set song, as it seemed a bit too slow as shows were building momentum. (Check out Randall’s version here.)

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Alpharetta (Chris LaJaunie)

Alpharetta (Chris LaJaunie)

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625 Responses to “Fitting In Fuego”

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  1. dorn76 Says:

    Like oral sex, or a good crossword, you gotta stick around a bit for the payoff.

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    SpaceCamp starter kit FLACs are tangerine’d

    Lanquidity – Mwandishi – Sextant

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    The Walken Comma

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    wow. mega upoload is back? does that mean i get my archive back? doubtful.

  5. the Baker Says:

    WAN&WingSuit tingled thru me each and every time I heard/felt them played this summer…”psych-rock/dad-pop”-perfection, IMHO.

    Miner sez; “Everyone Gets a ‘Fuego’ (Except Pelham)” policy…
    ^did the Boys actually “order up” that meteor, in lieu of the FUEGO?!?

    Thanx for the review, as always!

    …DICK’s is 17days & a wake-up…

  6. sumodie Says:

    Miner, nice recap of Fuego’s summer outings. Thank you.

    While I am a Wingsuit fan, I was surprised to discover how shiny it sounds live, meaning it sounds a little less phishy / harder to fit into setlists than I expected. Maybe, compared to the other Fuego tunes, I over projected where I thought the song could go based on its Halloween debut. Still love it, still hope the band at least tries to extend it at some point.

    Wombat deserves more love. Jam that marsupial mutha’ at Dick’s!

  7. jtran Says:

    cash for your vegas 2s

  8. MrCompletely Says:


    Old Mega went away when the government seized the US domains. The owner ended up moving overseas and now operates the new Mega out of New Zealand. It’s set up to use encryption in all steps, completely ignores all copyright and takedown orders and so far appears to be completely immune to any kind of legal action because of their jurisdiction. 50 gigs free, no intrusive ads; I’m a fan.

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    I definitely think Wingsuit fits really well in some spots and not at all in others.

  10. xpun Says:

    Not to nitpick but I think wombat was played at MPP1

    I was most surprised by the placement of Monica and how well it worked late in shows. I definitely see it as the new Suzy. Nice type 1 guitar jam although I’ll take a Page solo any day.

    Also really enjoyed devotion to a dream and fell in love with winterqueen. Liked the landing pad placement the best.

    Fuck the line

  11. xpun Says:

    I got an email the other day that demonoid was back. Haven’t looked into that but any info?

  12. Stoney Case Says:

    Hey all. Returned safely from a nice weekend in the City. Outside Lands biggest negative is the bay area weather! Cold and gray all day yesterday. Warm and sunny today. So many ladies. Wish Phishm was there.

    The guy in the middle is holding an American weapon. With a high dollar american digital scope. This shit really sucks and is so far escalated out of control, I don’t know where to begin wrapping my thoughts.

  13. Stoney Case Says:

    That and my old stomping grounds are engulfed in a major forest fire with evacuations in progress.

  14. Stoney Case Says:

    This is not a disco inferno. I wish it were:

  15. Stoney Case Says:

    sorry. don’t watch the video. just look at the photo. it’s the off-spring of the corrupt super powers. american weapon in the middle, flanked by two soviet weapons on either side.

  16. MrCompletely Says:

    Pirate torrenting without a VPN means you’re definitely going on a list these days. Just a matter of whether they decide to care.

  17. MrCompletely Says:

    that’s a big bummer @stoney. we got a fire burning too hot on preserve land in the Gorge right now. fire line is a path I know well. Summer in the west.

    middle east is the ultimate lesson in unintended consequences. sometimes there is no right thing to do.

  18. Stoney Case Says:

    As far as lessons, would be nice if we were learning something from this. Holy smokes.

    And on top of it all, we flew Ebola into this country! It’s like an evil Alice and Wonderland nightmare. What fucking track record on anything makes the government think this was an acceptable idea?? We have no cure for viruses. Ebola is a virus. We are losing the battle with bacteria. Is this all part of the plan? We flew Ebola to this country from Africa. I am dumbfounded.

    Okay, no more doom and gloom from me. Good night.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Well mixed nearly two hour comp from this tour. All jam and nothing but the jam.

    HT sttf

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    overall I am okay with the placement and inclusion of the Fuego tunes thus far. we had to expect that summer tour would have a lot of Fuego in it since it was the coming out tour in earnest for much of this material; that is no different than when Nectar, Rift, Hoist, Ghost, Farmhouse, etc. came out. I think many weren’t prepared for the repetition considering how little there had been over the past couple of years but the fact that they are playing well and bringing fresh ideas almost nightly to the stage is the important thing. they are clearly a band up there enjoying playing together and everything that goes with that and what more could we ask for at this point? don’t answer that 😉

  21. dusty Says:

    @Voopa Vibes about your pup man. Just know all the wonderfulness that was created in this world due to your relationship with him or her.

    So I just had a convo with the freaks at the best local shop about coils and the best thing they had was ceramic…is titanium the way to go? dubs and trips, so that’s 2 and 3 coil setups in the same element?

    Titanium > Nichrome/Kathal > Steel. Of course, you have to know/trust your vendor. At least grade 2 titanium, grade 4 is the best I’ve seen. Generic stuff you see online or at head shops freaks me out, even the ti coils. Ti burns cooler and hence tastes better. Most people like wickless coils, ie ceramic rods. New porous ones are coming out. If you go wicked coil, glass fiber wick is better than cotton. Dual and triple coils are good for larger hits and easier to deal with dying battery better in the non-ti coil world. You need a VV battery and not all will drive em. VV batteries are nice to tweak your heating setting.

    I don’t have a good source for quality non-branded ti coils. I also don’t want to wrap my own. You can get Kathal wire pretty easy at vap shops. I also agree that crumble and honeycomb are the easiest to work with. That stuff seems to be either incredible or greasy not fully purged gunk. I’m enjoying sap and shatter more lately, but really am looking to get into a solventless process. Funny thing is I’m not even an erl monkey, barely indulge.

  22. Darth Vaper Says:

    solventless is the only way to go. Or you could poison yourself.

    I don’t buy the apologists that say “they put butane in food” either. Not the food I eat.

  23. sumodie Says:

    C, thanx for the spacecamp starter kit! Already had Sextant but not the other two

    Forgot/never knew that Herbie wrote the soundtrack music for Bill Cosby’s Fat Albert show

  24. vapebraham Says:

    Miner: thanks for the new piece.

    C: Thank you for the space camp trio. holy shit this stuff is amaZing and new to me. will be spinning these today.

    Vibes to all those in need.

    VWE (with occasional pauses to refresh)

  25. Laine Says:

    Not to nitpick, but Wombat was played in the 1st set of MPP1. Agree with the sentiment, though.

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