“It Hurts Us Very Deeply”: Phish Acknowledge SF Fan Death, Debut “I Never Left Home” in Oregon
On Oct. 19, during Phish’s first set in Eugene, Ore., guitarist Trey Anastasio took a moment to acknowledge a rash of incidents at their Oct. 17 show in San Francisco, leaving one dead and two injured.
“At the last show we played, we had some really awful stuff that happened,” Anastasio told the crowd, after playing “Stash.” “…I just need to say a couple of words about how heartbroken we all are that the events in San Francisco took place… I just want to name a couple of names here.”
Anastasio sent love to Keith Thompson – husband of the band’s Sacramento event manager Carrie – who accidentally fell and got hurt at the SF show, as well as Evan Reeves who was later meme’d when he broke his leg at the SF venue and still opted to enjoy the rest of the show from a wheelchair.
“Go Evan! We love you,” Anastasio said.
However, the guitarist still had to note the death of Ryan Prosser, a 47-year-old New York man who is now believed to have committed suicide at the San Francisco event. (If you or someone you know is struggling, please call the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 800-273-8255.)
“We send out love to you, to the Prosser family, and we’re sorry that this all took place…” he said. “I know this affected everybody, and some of the people who were nearby this event I know have a lot of feelings and experienced this thing, so I’m sending out my love to all – and I’m speaking for the band – sending out love to everybody in the whole community who experienced it… When something like this happens, it hurts us very deeply and we want to send out love. Please be safe and everybody have a great time.”
Musically, the Oct. 19 show saw the band open with a lengthy “Down With Disease”> “Runaway Jim” jam. Setlist statisticians later noted that the expanded “DWD” was the first 20+ minute opener in 18 years. (The last one was a show-opening “Scents and Subtle Sounds” on 7/23/03).
Later, the band’s second frame was highlighted by a “Blaze On”> “Plasma”> “Leaves”> “I Never Left Home” segment. The final song – a selection off Anastasio’s pandemic release Lonely Trip – marked its first-ever live performance.
The show was capped off with a “Sparkle”> “Also Sprach Zarathustra”> “Sigma Oasis” closer and a “Drift While You’re Sleeping” encore.
Check out the full setlist and watch the 20+ minute “Down With Disease” opener below:
Oct. 19, 2021
Matthew Knight Arena
Set I: Down with Disease -> Runaway Jim, Ocelot > Rift, Horn > Ya Mar, Stash, Walls of the Cave
Set II: Twist, Blaze On -> Plasma > Leaves > I Never Left Home, Sparkle > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Sigma Oasis
Enc: Drift While You’re Sleeping