phish at mohegan sun arena night one rene huemer soundcheck photo
© Rene Huemer / Phish

Phish continued their Summer 2019 Tour with the first of two nights at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. Check out our full photo gallery from the show here, or read down and see notes of what I thought about the show.

Here’s a quick summary:

  1. Energy was a stellar opener, a welcome re-addition to the setlist choices as a unique and only-Phish-would-do-this type of cover. Keep it going.
  2. Bathtub Gin to close the set is a solid version, too.
  3. The Ghosts of the Forest songs that appeared are both vast experimentations in song style, structure and overall vibe that I really think we need more of at Phish shows. There can be this manic energy that keeps things UP UP UP, but ultimately, we need to be able to introspect a think and go deep, too. I think these are like, Pink Floyd level compositions that could really get roomier and stretch. Give them some time, y’all.

Read down for my play by play…

People love their “indoor Phish” in the summer thanks to the two full light shows with Chris Kuroda manning the controls like always. Plus this venue is only about 10K strong so it was a tough and tight ticket for many fans.

The band was broadcasting the show live via their SiriusXM Phish Radio channel.

Opening the show for the first time in a Phish setlist since August, 2013 was The Apples in Stereo cover “Energy” which got to liftoff very early in the tenure it had ran with the band prior to this year, so it got a huge ovation and people immediately gave the band tons of energy and it fed into the room. Somehow, the jam made its way into a groove that resembled “Weekapaug Groove” and it seemed as quickly as the groove got there that Trey pulled the guitar line out and the band transitioned into it.

Phish - Energy~Weekapaug Groove - 7/9/19 - Mohegan Sun Arena, CT

Totally huge moment. The place erupted.

“The Moma Dance” got the chill out funk slot and it totally worked perfectly here, and to keep the energy high the band started on “Maze” but Fishman started singing the “Lengthwise” lyrics, which is very similar to how it gets laid out on Rift. Huge, huge version, too! After a quick huddle, the band played their beautiful piece “Petrichor” even if the crowd audibly seemed to groan when the song started.

“Things People Do” and “Sample in a Jar” came next, and a huge set closer “Bathtub Gin” really tied the whole thing together. I got a few text messages after saying “wow” and it was definitely impressive from the couch.

Phish "Bathtub Gin" Mohegan CT 7/9/2019

Set two started with a pretty straight ahead “Soul Planet” which slowed itself down as a jam pretty quickly, immediately in a half-time pattern. This made a ton of sense later as the Ghosts of the Forest song “Wider” came out, which had a bit of a re-worked feel to it versus the versions I remember hearing during the Trey spring tour (need to re-listen today for sure). “Undermind” was super flowing and solid, Fishman was highlighting all over, and “The Final Hurrah” came out of the jams and reminded everyone to “taste the humidity” and have a blast.

“Beneath a Sea of Stars” has such a huge potential to be a Divided Sky like piece in Phish shows in the future. It has an equal mix of chance for transcendence but also true sonic improvisation, and this version became something really impressive.

Phish "Beneath a Sea of Stars Part 1" Mohegan CT 7/9/2019

“Ghost” emerged and immediately got into something special as well. I hardly remembered hearing the song before I was hearing them stretch into something else.

The playing was so rad and somehow the band ALSO moved that jam into a “Weekapaug Groove” jam, although not really a full return to the song. A great “Birds of a Feather” came next, even getting some “Third Stone from the Sun” Jimi Hendrix teases from Trey in there, and a perfect “Waste” and “Golgi Apparatus” closed the show.

For the encore, Trey and the band conferred a little bit and then stepped to the mic and said “you guys in a hurry to get out of here?” before a huge roar from the crowd. The first “Foam” encore then began, which is wildly crazy to see that it’s never appeared in that slot ever.

Phish "Foam" encore Mohegan N1 7/9/2019

The fan favorite “Contact” gave everyone the “we’re all in this together” vibe to close the night, and a pretty “More” closed the show entirely.

Phish @ Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville, CT 7.9.19

Set I: Energy -> Weekapaug Groove, The Moma Dance, Lengthwise^ > Maze, Petrichor, Things People Do, Sample in a Jar, Bathtub Gin

Set II: Soul Planet > Wider* -> Undermind > The Final Hurrah > Beneath a Sea of Stars, Ghost > Weekapaug Jam -> Birds of a Feather, Waste > Golgi Apparatus

Encore: Foam, Contact, More

^ – Fishman began the “Maze” beat but started to sing “Lengthwise”
* – Ghosts of the Forest song, Phish debut



phish mohegan sun night one poster 2019