The jam rock icon Phish returned for their second three day stint in Atlantic City, NJ last Friday night, and turned the famous boardwalk into a raging dance party. The set was decorated with ocean themed songs from their vast catalog. This band loves playing in New Jersey, and found a new home at the Atlantic City Beach venue.
They have also successfully created a festival-like environment during the run, as other bands play sets before and after Phish. Almost all pre and post show venues were walking distance from the Atlantic City Beach venue. The boardwalk was colorfully decorated with Phish fans in their donut covered clothing at all hours of the day. Enterprising fans hustled to sell creative goods, while phish pod casters interviewed willing fans.
The set kicked off with the high octane "Chalkdust Torture" and quickly transitioned into "Wilson," which got the fists pumping early in the evening. The music continued to flow into "Sand", from Farmhouse, as the crowd became one with this same grainy substance below their toes. "Sand" streamed into "Plasma," as the sand on the beach flowed into the ocean. The band continued to find their groove in Atlantic City, as they went swimming by with "Theme from the Bottom." A sweet transition took the crowd into another Farmhouse delight, "Get Back on the Train."
The music changed gears with a fiery, twenty one minute "Sigma Oasis." This pivotal song set the tone for the evening, and launched a memorable jam that resonated through out the rest of the show. A deep jam followed, and segued into the Talking Heads' "Cities." The set closed out with vigor, as the band made a final transition for the set into "More."
After a quick break, the Phish returned to the stage firing on all cylinders for a non-stop second set, starting with the electrifying "Axilla (Part II)." This short, but raging song flowed into a blissful "Soul Planet," and the ocean was love for the crowd. The mood got dark as bassist Mike Gordon unleashed the bass line for "Down with Disease," and the rest of the squad dove in full throttle. The band and the resultant dance party were on fire.
The music continued to ebb and flow with the ocean theme into the sea of love, "Ruby Waves." Lighting director Chris Kuroda poured ruby waves of light down on everyone's heads. The music returned back to "Down with Disease," before another decisive moment where the band appeared to transition into "Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S." but instead played "Ghost." The funk jam evolved into the set closing jam vehicle, "Harry Hood."
The band stepped off stage, and returned to play the first "Sleeping Monkey" of 2022. This segued into the perfect ending for this ocean themed love fest: "Free."
Phish's love for New Jersey was cemented last Friday with a face melting, ocean themed set on the Atlantic City Beach. They have cultivated a special run that has grown into a festival like event. We can only hope that they continue to play at this venue for years to come. They are back in action tonight on the beach for the last night of the Atlantic City run before heading to Toronto on Wednesday. Hop on over to their tour page for more details about their summer tour.
Chalk Dust Torture > Wilson > Sand > Plasma, Theme From the Bottom > Back on the Train, Sigma Oasis > Cities > More
Axilla (Part II) > Soul Planet > Down with Disease > Ruby Waves > Down with Disease > Ghost > Harry Hood
Sleeping Monkey > Free