The Road To 200 and Beyond: Phish Summer Tour Leg Two Preview

The first leg of Phish's Summer 2012 tour provided its share of fine improvisational moments and some great musical highlights, but in my opinion, the real headline of the summer has been the commitment to diving deep into the band's storied catalog.  In a (nowadays) rare moment of candor in the press, Page McConnell told Rolling Stone before the tour began that the band would be aiming to play 200 songs over the course of the summer.  Taken at face value at the time, the comment didn't appear to be describe anything overly ambitious -- the band has routinely crossed the 200 song mark on a yearly basis during the 3.0 era, though the limited 2012 schedule did provide a small challenge to accomplish this feat.

Soon after the tour kicked off, it became clear that this was not just an off-the-cuff remark.  The band had set that their sites and set out on a  campaign to not only reach that goal, but to shatter it; leg one ended with 207 unique songs performed.  While previous years followed a measured approach to adding songs to the repertoire, in 2012 the band seemed to trot out unplayed songs like it was their obligation.

I thought I'd visually compare the cumulative song totals, by show, to the trajectory of the other years in the Phish 3.0 era.  This graph gives a feel for the pace at which songs were added to the playlist year over year.  While the other years show a steep climb, but then a steadying of the repertoire (except of Halloween shows in 2009 and 2010) , the 2012 plot shows an increasing, purposeful climb all the way until the end of leg one.

So where do we go from here?  Will we see 2012 debuts at the same rapid clip as Leg One?  Using a linear projection function (orange line), I tried to show where we might end up at the end of leg two [333 unique songs] and a hypothetical (unannounced but heavily rumored) four show New Year's run [360 unique songs].  Then just for fun, I included the projection if the 2012 tour schedule had the same workload (48 shows) as 2009, the most heavy touring year in 3.0 -- at the pace they are on they would be approaching 495 unique songs!

While those number seem ambitious and the linear projection could probably be tweaked for accuracy after a few more shows, remember, Phish has accomplished what they already have in leg one with no new original debuts and only one new cover (Kenny Rogers' "The Gambler").  There have been 140 songs played since 2009 that haven't year seen performance in 2012, and the band hasn't been shy about reaching back to pre-3.0 material to round out this years' setlists.

Here are songs performed each year of 3.0 that haven't seen action in 2012 yet.

2009 2010 2011
Albuquerque A Apolitical Blues After Midnight
All Down the Line After Midnight Albuquerque
All Of These Dreams Albuquerque Anything But Me
Anything But Me All Of These Dreams Army Of One
Army of One All That You Dream Auld Lang Syne
Auld Lang Syne Army of One Been Caught Stealing
Blue Moon Auld Lang Syne Big Balls
Bobby Jean Beauty of My Dreams Brian and Robert
Brian and Robert Bill Bailey Won't You Pls Come Home? Cars Trucks Buses
Cars Trucks Buses Billie Jean Jam Colonel Forbin's Ascent
Casino Boogie Brian and Robert Come Together
Catapult Burn That Bridge Destiny Unbound
Colonel Forbin's Ascent Cars Trucks Buses Dog Faced Boy
Crimes of the Mind Cold Water Esther
Demand Colonel Forbin's Ascent Fast Enough for You
Destiny Unbound Day or Night Fifty Ways To Leave Your Lover
Dixie Cannonball Destiny Unbound Fly Famous Mockingbird
Dog Faced Boy Dixie Chicken Glide
Drums Dog Faced Boy Guy Forget
Esther Don't Bogart That Joint Halfway to the Moon
Fast Enough for You Dr. Gabel Harpua
Fly Famous Mockingbird Esther Have Mercy
Frankie Says Fast Enough for You Icculus
Free Bird Fat Man in the Bathtub Instant Karma!
Glide Feats Don't Fail Me Now Jam
Glory Days Fly Famous Mockingbird Lifeboy
Gone Frankie Says Mellow Mood
Happy Free Man in Paris Monkey Man
Happy Birthday Gone On Your Way Down
Harpua Halfway to the Moon Rhymes
Hello My Baby Harpua Rocket in My Pocket
Highway to Hell Have Mercy Rocket Man
How High the Moon Heartbreaker Round Room
I Been Around I Am the Walrus Scents and Subtle Sounds
I Just Want To See His Face I Been Around Sleep
I Kissed a Girl Idea Sparks
Icculus In the Aeroplane Over the Sea Sweet Adeline
Invisible Instant Karma! The Ballad of Curtis Loew
Let Me Lie Jumpin' Jack Flash The Curtain
Lifeboy Killing In The name The Way It Goes
Love You Let Me Lie Thunder Road
Middle of the Road Lit O Bit Time Loves a Hero
Mountains in the Mist Llama Reprise Twenty Years Later
Mustang Sally Look Out Cleveland USA Storage Jam
My Mind's Got a Mind of its Own Love You
NO2 Mellow Mood
Oh! Sweet Nuthin' Mercenary Territory
On Your Way Down Mountains in the Mist
Rip This Joint My Mind's Got a Mind of its Own
Rocks Off My Problem Right There
Scents and Subtle Sounds Night Nurse
Secret Smile NO2
Shake Your Hips Oh Atlanta
She Thinks I Still Care Oh! Sweet Nuthin'
Sleep Old Folks Boogie
Sleep Again On Your Way Down
Soul Survivor Pigtail
Stop Breaking Down Ramble On
Sugar Shack Rocket in My Pocket
Sweet Black Angel Sailin' Shoes
Talk She Caught the Katy
The Ballad of Curtis Loew Sleep Again
The Connection Spanish Moon
Time Turns Elastic Spooky
Tomorrow's Song Stairway To Heaven
Train Song Sugar Shack
Tumbling Dice Summer of '89
Turd on the Run Thank You
Twenty Years Later The Ballad of Curtis Loew
Two Versions of Me The Connection
Uncle Pen The Rover
Ventilator Blues Time Loves a Hero
When the Cactus is in Bloom Time Turns Elastic
Windy City Train Song
Tripe Face Boogie
Twenty Years Later
Uncle Pen
What Things Seem
Whole Lotta Love


Where do you think they will end up? What songs will we likely see?  What are you wishing for?

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