TTFF: First Set Fire

6.26.10 (G.Lucas)

This Friday’s installment of Ten Tunes was inspired by Twitter banter between fans and fellow Phish bloggers throughout the week about the band’s most devastating first set jams. Though I didn’t want to repeat songs, I did bookend the playlist with “Bathtub Gin” (and a couple more could have easily made it as well). This list is hardly comprehensive as its comprised of only ten jams, but these are some of my favorite first setters in history. May these tunes assist you in your ticket-finding missions today and tomorrow! (And join the conversations—follow me @mrminer on Twitter!)


Bathtub Gin” 7.29.98

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

The Riverport “Gin” gets my vote for the best opener in history.



Ghost” 11.17.97

And Denver’s “Ghost” from ’97 gets my vote for best first set jam in history; and can be in any sort of discussion about elite performances.



Tweezer” 6.24.00

10.31.10 II (G.Lucas)

10.31.10 II (G.Lucas)

Lakewood’s “Tweezer” from 2000 isn’t far behind; a top-shelf version through and through.



Gumbo” 8.13.97

My favorite “Gumbo;” gooey summer funk followed by a melodic release in a “Franklin’s Tower”-esque jam.



Tube > Slave” 12.7.97

3.09 (J.Volckhausen)

Dayton’s set-ending combo needs no introduction.



Ya Mar” 8.2.03 IT

Phish often dove deep early in the show in 2003, and this “Ya Mar” from IT is but one example.



Down With Disease” 12.11.97

12.30.2010 (G. Lucas)

A classic jam from Rochester ’97; hard rock into dripping brain candy.



Mike’s Song” 11.22.97

The opener from Hampton’s iconic show on 11.22.97.



Weekapaug” 4.3.98

8.10.10 (G.Lucas)

And The Island Run’s “Crosseyed” and “Mozambique”-laced “Weekapaug;” arguably its most impressive outing of all-time.



Bathtub Gin” 6.28.00

This shredfest from Summer 2000 at PNC is too fierce to leave off this list.



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1,801 Responses to “TTFF: First Set Fire”

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  1. voopa Says:


  2. beepaphone Says:

    I’ll repost this once more for tomorrow’s Chicago crew

    The UIC box office will NOT have a set allocation of tickets aside for Phish. Their tickets will be in the same pool as ALL ticketmaster locations. As such, there will likely be a long line out there with only the first 1 or 2 people actually getting tickets.
    Found this out today…scrapping my plan to get tix @ UIC. You should too if that was your plan.

  3. Kurt from Indy Says:

    why cant phisg tickets just givem all to us?? seems perfectly logical

  4. Kurt from Indy Says:

    thanks miner might actually make my way from jerry anthems back to ph songs, i guess where i belong….still taging that phil nphriend row jimmy every second

  5. Kurt from Indy Says:


  6. Kurt from Indy Says:

    wow, “best opener in history’? nice why do i feel like ive heard this before?

  7. Kurt from Indy Says:

    …. the gin not the quote, didnt want to undermind you miner, no puns

  8. Kurt from Indy Says:

    oh yes!!!!!!! i know exactly where i know this gin, every fall when the leaves are changing, you go for that dfive at about 5pm, and you get that strobe light effect from the leaves and trees and sun… on your way to your favorite frisbee golf course. straight IT

  9. Kurt from Indy Says:

    7.29.98 woooH YEA

  10. Kurt from Indy Says:

    i love tweezer *dinks* soooo much, mike is the greatest

  11. Kurt from Indy Says:

    page makes my day too

  12. Kurt from Indy Says:

    anyone???? im bout to fade out, love talking ot myw4

  13. Kurt from Indy Says:


  14. Kurt from Indy Says:

    00 tweezer is really wild, thanks miner

  15. JerZ Says:

    In my opinion 12/30/97 sneaking Sally was the best opener in history

  16. willowed Says:

    It’s Friday. We got 10 great jams…let’s make it a great one today fellas.

    Thanks Miner!

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Nice list. Can’t argue.

    #11.. Harry Hood 12.11.99

  18. willowed Says:

    Arguably one of the best show openers I’ve ever heard (non phish…sort of)


    Viola Lee Blues

  19. Foul_Domain Says:

    “i love tweezer *dinks* soooo much”

    ^easy now

  20. st8 of mind Says:

    Thanks for the tunes Miner. Have a good day everybody.

  21. win butler Says:

    carryover from last night.

    butter or anyone, how do you cold brew coffee? i always hot brew it and then put it in a pitcher in the fridge, would love to skip that step.

    kurt from indy said no pitbulls in denver. is that like a law or something??

  22. win butler Says:

    post script – good morning black boarders of earth

  23. Foul_Domain Says:

    noticed some new pavs available for Darien for anyone still looking…

    couple of seats in sec 300

  24. bouncin fan Says:

    It is a Denver law

    One of many reasons I find Denver a totally worthless city

    Who the Fuck passes laws banning breeds?

    Big ticket day kids
    I’ll be trying to hustle tahoe for the board and the bowl for myself
    Good luck comrades

  25. mitch Says:

    check your email. i emailed you about a bowl ticket. might save ya some effort today.

    hey BB,
    got ourselves some nice weather in the city. springtime here is something to behold.

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