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”

  1. vapebraham Says:

    There are other worlds they have not told you about

  2. vapebraham Says:

    have not listened to sun ra in a long while> lanquidity is really hitting the spot.

  3. vapebraham Says:

    lanquidity>mwandishi = space camp sweet spot.

    Delightful style and tone of music — somewhere between jazz, r&B, funk, rock — a semi-nuebulous, quirky, chill place inhabited by bassoons and flutes and sirens, watery piano, electric guitars, and bold echo sax .

    trey was clearly into sun ra . remember Surrender to the Air? a couple of the Lanquidity players show up on that Trey outing.

    If trey and the boys haven’t done so already, they should give the spacecamp trio a fresh spin. Imagine this stuff would be very inspiring to them, if it hasn’t already made an imprint.

  4. BingosBrother Says:

    I like that new song Harry Hood they pulverized this summer.

  5. dusty Says:

    At least more laboratory grade vacuum purging is going on in certain areas. Most people don’t realize that nasty extraction process in oils, like peanut or soy. Virgin, cold pressed and pressed crude are things to look for when buying. Ain’t no dang ol’ bumbees gonna care bout Larry’s Sodium Azide induced mutagen chem dawg in dang ol’ Lake county.

  6. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    the only time phish has ever played a sun ra tune “officially”


    from that Purple Dragon Studio show from 04.26.94 done for a radio gig.

    nimble trey busting up those horn runs like he owned the place

  7. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers!

    Hope everyone had a great weekend.

  8. dorn76 Says:

    Just another manic monday. Whoa oooh oh.

  9. dorn76 Says:

    shoot me an electrical message, @Kaveh.

    dorn76bb@ the googles

  10. vapebraham Says:

    the cymbals on osimnato form mwandishi sound a little mp3ish. is that the effect he’s going for – washed out/white noise cymbal? sounds crazy

  11. vapebraham Says:


  12. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Me too Bingos. Pretty hot little number. Already looking fwd to Commerce City Hood.

  13. Fly Says:


    7:16 of 8/3/14 Light on PhishTracks:

    “This could easily go into Terrapin.”

  14. Kaveh Says:

    Anyone need SF tickets? I have one set of 3 (27th-29th); and a single for the 28th and 29th.

    Let me know here or better yet, at kjrahimi at yahoo dot com.

  15. Kaveh Says:

    @dorn: electronics sent.

  16. Lee Fordham Says:

    Who doesn’t like lager improvisations?

  17. sumodie Says:

    Kaveh, I believe MiA is looking for SF

  18. sumodie Says:

    Kaveh & MiA, electrons sent

  19. Kaveh Says:

    @sumo: thanks electrons received.

  20. Kevin Says:

    I didn’t really think Wingsuit worked at all in the encore slot at Portsmouth 1. That whole show was a bit of a letdown, and I hoped that they’d at least play a couple rockers to get us pumped up a little. But nope. Wingsuit and Coil…

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    posted this on the tail of the last post:

    I have an extra pair for this week’s Mule show at Boston’s Harbor Lights Pavilion on Wednesday 8/13 if anyone is thinking of going and needs a pair.

    section 1, row p
    if you please
    typeiiijpd of the mail called g

  22. the Baker Says:

    Sorry to hear of your “letdown-situation” @Portsmouth1…as I recall, I twasn’t disappointed one bit (fine, fine 1st set, taBoot!).

  23. MrCompletely Says:

    thx for info @dusty. the porous ceramic is the one the Herer shop kids like. I’ll prob try that next

    glad peeps are digging the spacecamp. gonna try to figure out the deal with the supposedly-similar sun ra album list this week.

    as well as finishing up some living daylights. I haven’t forgotten about that. I have a few shows transferred that need light mastering before circulation and a few more queued up.

    I also talked to my taper bud who has the giant stack o’dats from that era. So, so much LD – Garaj – JFJO original trio – Zony Mash – all that kind of thing from late 90s to early/mid 2000s. Plus bluegrass and other random shows from PDX. He had SBD patch or onstage mic placement for all of that…when I get the queue cleared he’s gonna lend me his DAP1 and we’ll get some stuff moving

  24. Stoney Case Says:

    Lee, I prefer Porter and India Pale Ale improvisations.

    Fire is a burn dem burn dem

  25. Stoney Case Says:

    Gonna dive back for some highlights. Kinda 2014’d out.

    For my 21st Phishaversary gonna hit some 7/2/98 and 7/9/03. Now been seeing Phish for more years than I haven’t on this earth.

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