26 in 26 of 2019: #11 06/26/2019 Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, Bangor, ME (Hannah Duppen, @asanahanded)
The summer of 2019 was one of my favorite years as a Phish fan. I know..I know…I’m a 3.0 kid and believe me, if I could change when I was born I just might. That summer started out so strong right out of the gate with the Saint Louis shows while the Blue’s won their first Stanley Cup in 50 years…Gloria. Incredible. They were playing SPAC, my hometown venue…Fenway, Alpine, Dick’s…so many of my people all over the country were getting to see Phish in their favorite venues. The energy was buzzing extra hard, and man, a beautiful buzz it was.
Now, I’m gonna take you to night two Bangor. Although Bangor didn’t end up bringing the deep Maine bust outs that many of us thought they would…they definitely weren’t sleepers.
These shows were my crew’s first shows of the summer tour. We had been streaming every show we could up until and were so ready to see our favorite band in Maine, eat lobster rolls, and dance in the rain. We drove up the day of night one, all of us coming from Vermont. The drive to Bangor was epic. Windy roads, no traffic, so many lakes, and deeeep up into Maine. We were camping a pretty close to the venue and had a sweet set up with one of our buddy’s having a van that sat 10, so we could all travel to and from the show as a group. It was a wet and rainy those two days. Classic for June in the northeast.
When we first showed up to Darling’s Waterfront Pavilion, I was a little surprised at the set-up. It was seasonal and smaller than I imagined. I had GA pits for the first night, and the pit was pretty large. I was surprised to see their assigned setting was folding chairs, and the lawn was super small and way in the back of the venue. I felt like they could have just made the whole thing general admission, but what do I know. The town was kind of funny too. It didn’t seem to have much going on other than Phish, which is fine by me. Easy to park, easy to boogie on into the show.
Night one was a perfect show for me…the first show back bliss, being there with my best friends, two who were newly engaged…and the set list was exactly what I love most about Phish. Although night two wasn’t my top choices for set lists, there were definitely a bunch of gems in the way they played.
That night my friends all had pits except for me and I didn’t want to sneak into the pit, so I went to my seat. I got settled, introducing myself to my neighbors. Turned out I had met the dude in front of me and his girlfriend a year before on CashorTrade selling them Mike Gordon Band tickets, and the dude to my right was someone I met in Albany in 2018. Very cool! Love this little world! It’s always nice to have good neighbors, especially when you’re alone. They told me Olivia’s Pool was the soundcheck. I was pumped, one of the many songs I’m chasing.
The show started, I heard the first few notes of Crow Control, and laughed. It never seems to happen, but I had called it earlier that day! I love this tune for an opener. Night two, high on the call…let’s do this!
A gentle and controlled Plasma followed Crowd Control. I was hanging onto every note, I really love the lyrics of this song! Trey was really taking him time, and Page was making this sweet deep sound toward the end that I musically do not have the ear to describe…but was absolutely loving.
Army of One came next. Page’s voice sounded great. Just before my tour started, I had ended a relationship. Page hitting me with all the feels, I wrapped my arms around myself, and soaked it in while I could.
After my moment being my own little Army of One, Alaska brought the smiles and tempo back. Page’s intro was flawless, and Trey and Fishman had great control. Trey’s solo is one of my favorite parts about the whole song. His guitar sound is what I imagine his smile to sound like. So much energy. The whole row to my fest was empty. Like someone had 6 tickets and none of them could make it. A couple people from my crew checked on me then ended up all coming back. They said the pit felt more crowded than the night before. I was stoked. I love a solo show, but love my people more.
Next up, a slip from Trey gave away the first note of Kill Devil Falls. Due to how it was sandwiched, I think this KDF is an underrated. Mike really stood out here for me. He just lays it down so well, building up that foundation. The whole thing is really groovy, with all of them sounding super solid and moving into that classic Phish bliss. I am going to try not to say it a million times…but Fishman is so tight. We know that’s the case almost every show, and why he’s one of the best to ever do it…but he really was so tight the whole night.
Trey led the band into How Many People Are You. The dude next to me put both arms in the air, he told me before the show he wanted some Mike songs. Nice dude! Phish plays this song so well. Fishman really holding it all together and shining bright here. It’s one of those many moments I have where my brain swears he has to have an extra arm or foot hiding somewhere.
Next was a decent Petrichor, which I thought from the beginning felt a little disconnected. Eventually, Fishman was able to clean it up. This is definitely a gorgeous song, but either I’m into it or not, and that night I couldn’t get into it. I knew it was going to be a long, so sat back to just see where it would go. It was pretty, but nothing really noteworthy.
Just like that, I’m fully awoken with Trye ripping into Saw it Again. It was a nice breakup from Petrichor. Any song Fishman yells is a good time in my book. Next, SAND. It was a little sloppy intro, but it’s Sand…we’re all dancing so hard none of us cared. It was everything you want from live Phish. So full and commanded your attention for as many notes as you could hang onto. Great end to set one.
Set two opens up with Turtle In The Clouds which is fresh after the Kasvot Vaxt Halloween from the fall. Trey and Mike dancing, we’re all shaking our bones, Page and Fishman holding it down with the sweet sounds. Trey’s solo is so strong and beautiful, the energy I wish I had felt during Petrichor.
There were a couple of stumbles from Trey followed by Jibboo. This is one of those songs that to me, always feels so much longer than it is…in the very best way. It’s everything I needed after the kind of slow start to the night.
Now, here is where things get really interesting. A little shaky with the start, but Fuego. I really love this song. I remember the summer it came out so well…it played frequently on Sirius’ Jam On. That summer was filled with lots of boating, lots of Phish, and was a killer time in my life.
It started out a little choppy, but once they got into the harmonies, they really started a slow build that you knew they were going to take it somewhere. This is one of my favorite things Phish does. They start to stack these deep complex patters on top of one another, building the jam, passing the sounds back and forth. About 9 minutes in, Mike and Page are really shining here. Fishman always knows just when to be loud and when to make a noise so soft it feels like the wind. He’s doing it here flawlessly. Next, Trey walks through this wave of bliss extending and slicing notes like a damn chef. Page brings the jam to an islandish groove. Mind you, none of this sounds like Fuego. They all meet back in the middle and bring it up for what I like to call the “big sexy” which is usually a strong ass groove with Trey just ripping. Next he adds the distortion, Page moves to the Moog.
They pass this jam right into Cities. Not perfect, but damn close. I quickly realize, this Cities is going to be one of my favorites I’ve ever seen. It’s groovy as hell, they seemed to be carving the sounds out for one another. Mike, holding it steady yet also shredding. That guy is nuts. Trey pulls the jam out, and they drop it gently into darkness. Trey and Mike making it extra spooky. Mike sounds like he’s teasing Sand. This huge energy comes up from the dark and move into solid funk, Fishman hitting all of the right notes to speed it up. Trey teases the Fuego riff, Page making alien noises, Trey starts teasing Sand. I hug my best friend. High five my show neighbors. Best band ever.
Still jamming, Trey starts yelling something…which I eventually discover is the “wooo” from The Final Hurrah, which they melt into like nothing. We all are having SO. MUCH. FUN. No time to figure out what just happened in that Fuego> Cities but I already know that was the jam. Now we’re all just dancing. I love the Kasvot Vaxt songs, due to them making us and the band laugh, and Page kills me with those samples.
Caspian came next with a really clean transition. Who doesn’t love Caspian? Next they slowed it down with Farmhouse and Backwards Down The Numberline. Those two songs back to back confirmed for me this show was likely not getting any bust outs. My buddy Doug looked at me and said “yeah no bust outs” straight up reading my mind.
A wonderful BDTNL was followed by a monster Chalk Dust Torture. Not monster in jams but the energy was strong the entire time. Trey thanked us, said Maine feels like home to them, and it is Fishman’s home. He proceeded to gas Fishman up, yelling about him being up for election on the Lincolnville board, ”FISHMAN FOR PRESIDENT!”
Encore was an absolutely wonderful Lizards followed by miss Suzy Greenberg where Trey yelled “SAW IT AGAIN” during the screaming part. The show was solid. I had a killer time like the night before, I had an amazing two nights with my favorite people kicking off our summer tour. If you made it this far, thank you for taking the time to read this. I love this band so much. Their ability to sprinkle little things that make each show so special, and it brought me a lot of joy reliving and sharing this show with you!
Bio: My name is Hannah. I am a Vermont based fan. I work in tech, am an environmental activist, herbalist, & aspiring yoga instructor. I enjoy spending my free time hiking with my dog Bowie, cooking, biking, reading, seeing Phish, and talking about all things Phish.