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Friday, July 8

Phish tour stays interesting in Mansfield tonight. Setlist and Recap

Phish keeps it interesting in Mansfield with a good first set and a second set in which the PA cut out after a vocal jam during the third song of the set. After "Wolfman's Brother" the PA cut out and the band left the stage and came back on for a smoking "Chalkdust Torture."
After possibly the weirdest and to some, the worst, show of summer tour, Phish comes back to Mansfield to try to pull themselves out of the doldrums. After a string of shows with flubbed notes and awkward setlists, not to mention the awkward band chemistry. They kicked off the show with "Party Time" and then into the song that has bounced around the setlists like the proverbial beachball,"46 Days" came next. A decent "Fast Enough For You" and a hot "Bathtub Gin" led into a beautiful "Strange Design." Following this was a, not to be clever, but a fiery "Fuego" and a funky "Cities", in which Trey broke a string, and after he changed guitars and the band brought the song to a close. "Space Oddity" acapella-style rang out. Making it not so much a tribute or rarity but possibly a new addition to the rotation. Considering the setlists they've been putting together, it actually wouldn't be surprising, at this point.

The second set kicked off with an exceptional, "Ghost" that led into deep, dark type-II territory. It's the kind of spooky funk that has been missing all tour but the jam transitioned rather ham-fistedly into,"Light" which was a nice major key jam. Then, it tailed off into a spunky,"Wolfman's Brother" that tried to bring the show together and led off into an interesting vocal jam, during which the PA went out. After last night's stage crasher and tonight's PA fail, this tour just hasn't been able to get off the ground. The band left the stage for a few minutes and then came back and played a short but raging, "Chalkdust Torture, and then the second, "Saw it Again" of the tour and then we had to "Get Back on the Train" which is a normally well-received song but seemed flat. The band wrapped up with "Slave to the Traffic Light." 
      This has been a weird tour with slow tempos and missed cues on top of awkward setlists. The band's chemistry has seemed weird and each show from Wrigley on has seemed to sink deeper into the mire. After last show's awkward setlist and flubbed notes along with tonight's technical flubs, the tour, almost at the halfway point, has nowhere to go but up. The trend of Beatle songs and covers to end the show continued with the second " I Am the Walrus" of the tour.  Hopefully, what we are witnessing is the band shifting into another style after 2015 and continuing to grow instead of losing their edge. Anyway, that's how the fans at the show tonight are seeing it. Every Phish show is someone's greatest experience and someone's worst show, that's the magic of this band. 
Written by: Greg Heffelfinger

Setlist Phish: Fri, Jul 08, 2016
Xfinity Center, Mansfield, MA
Encore: I Am the Walrus
[1] Trey broke a string and switched guitars mid-song, also introducing his guitar tech, Brian Brown. Trey then switched to Marimba Lumina and Mike played Trey's guitar.
[2] Vocal jam, during which the PA cut out and the band left the stage. Unfinished.
Notes: During Cities, Trey broke a string, switched guitars, and introduced his guitar tech, Brian Brown; Trey then switched to Marimba Lumina while Mike played Trey's guitar. Wolfman's contained a vocal jam, during which the PA cut out and the band left the stage. Wolfman's was unfinished, and after several minutes the band resumed with CDT.

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