Phish's Three-Show Randall's Island Takeover: By the Numbers - Rolling Stone
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Phish’s Three-Show Randall’s Island Takeover: By the Numbers

Counting down the Vermont group’s weekend in New York City

Trey Anastasio Phish Randall's IslandTrey Anastasio Phish Randall's Island

Trey Anastasio of Phish performs on Randall's Island.

Dana Distortion

It’s fun to joke about the intensity of Phish‘s fans (OK, phans), but nobody does by-the-numbers better than that very specific breed of die-hard. During the band’s three-date run at Randall’s Island, there were people in the crowd who could not only name how many shows it had been since the last time the Vermont quartet had played any given song but also that song’s average length, the tour it was last played during and even the venue and date of its first live performance. 

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On Saturday, at the best attended of the shows, Phish played four tracks from their latest, Fuego, while mixing in crowd-pleasers like “Ghost” and “Harry Hood” and even an unexpected cover. Here’s how the rest of the night stacked up:

Length of the first set: 81 minutes.

Number of songs in the first set: 12.

Length of longest song played: 18 minutes for “Harry Hood.”

Approximate girl-to-guy crowd ratio: I’d say probably 1:20.

Number of times they played the ending of “Get Back on the Train”: 3. After the song’s initial conclusion, Trey announced that they messed it up and had practiced too much to not get it right. They played the last few seconds of the song again and though it sounded pretty good, they still decided to run it back one more time.

Number of songs dedicated to a phan: 1. “Run Like an Antelope” went out to Steve Pollak (a fan and occasional co-writer known for whatever reason as “The Dude of Life”) and his children, who were at their first Phish show.

Number of songs played off of new album, Fuego: 4.

Number of shows since they last played the night’s biggest break-out, “My Sweet One”: 24. It hasn’t been heard live since last October in Virginia.

Length of second set and encore: 94 minutes.

Number of songs in the second set: 6.

Number of songs in the encore: 3.

Amount of people who explained how rare it is for the band to play that many songs in the encore: Equal to the number of people I sustained eye contact with on my way off Randall’s Island. 40?

Number of cover songs played on Saturday: 1, the Velvet Underground’s “Rock and Roll.”

Number of people in the crowd smoking weed by the start of the second set: Depends. How many people is “all of them”?

And if you were curious:

Total number of songs played over entire weekend: 57

Number of those that were covers: 3. This has been a tour light on covers.

Number of total songs off Fuego played over 3 nights: 9 of 10. (They didn’t play “Wombat.”)

Longest jam of the entire weekend: A 27-minute rendition of “Chalk Dust Torture” on the third night.

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