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”

  1. Mike in Austin Says:

    This isn’t Star Wars? This is Star Wars. This isn’t Star Wars?!

  2. BingosBrother Says:

    that picture of the neighborhood while this was going on is crazy. do they spell saloon the same way we do, did that dude tweet in english? crazy age we live in.

  3. Robear Says:

    howz about:

    Stop Wars

  4. Mike in Austin Says:

    Interesting that he tweeted that the Military were doing door to door searches. Maybe they didn’t get everyone they were looking for.

  5. ae Says:

    funny, that twitter thing.

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    I’m ronald regan and I just wanted to pop in to say this is in fact STAR WARS

  7. bhizzle Says:

    howz about:

    Stop Wars


  8. Robear Says:

    MiA, let me know if you need a place to crash, post DTE. bane and boat rides by moonlight

  9. lastwaltzer Says:

    “Interesting that he tweeted that the Military were doing door to door searches. Maybe they didn’t get everyone they were looking for.”mia

    Wonder how that went:

    Us. military: Sorry to bother you but we just happened to be in the neighborhood and thought we might pop in and see if you happened to be harboring any terrorist.

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    “MiA, let me know if you need a place to crash, post DTE. bane and boat rides by moonlight”

    Sounds romantic.

  11. Robear Says:

    ::attempts to remove foot from mouth::

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    So, it was a prisoner in Gitmo that gave up the location? Anyone else here this?

  13. lastwaltzer Says:

    “So, it was a prisoner in Gitmo that gave up the location? Anyone else here this?”palmer

    nope, I thought they were tracking a courier. Where did you get that?

  14. garretc Says:


    Dang, already have a summer job… Shoulda announced the position earlier!

  15. garretc Says:

    @Mr. P

    I saw some bloggers mentioning that, but I haven’t heard anything official about it…

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    lw- it was on one of the stations this morning. Don’t remember which one. Probably Fox… With all this social media and the like, its hard to decipher what is accurate and whats not.

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I think this sounds great! FYI.

    The Grey Hall
    Freetown Christiana, Copenhagen, Denmark

    Source: Neumann ak50 > Sonosax > Sony SBM-1 (@ 48kHz)

    Transfer: Sony TCD-D7 > 7-pin optical > Creative Nomad Jukebox 3 > FireWire > CD Wave > FLAC

    Transferred and seeded by Paul Hofferkamp
    DAT provided by Mark Hutchison

    48kHz FILESET

    -Set I-

    01. Limb By Limb
    02. Ghost
    03. Water in the Sky
    04. Bouncing Around the Room
    05. Tube
    06. Stash
    07. Cities
    08. Roggae *
    09. Guyute
    10. Beauty of My Dreams
    11. Funky Bitch
    12. Train Song
    13. David Bowie

    -Set II-

    01. The Moma Dance *
    02. Birds of a Feather
    03. Wolfman’s Brother
    04. Frankie Says
    05. Run Like an Antelope
    06. Lawn Boy
    07. Ya Mar
    08. Ha Ha Ha
    09. Mike’s Song
    10. Swept Away
    11. Steep
    12. Weekapaug Groove


    13. Brian and Robert *

    * debut

  18. Mike in Austin Says:

    Robear. Sounds good. We definitely gotta get together.

  19. SillyWilly Says:

    thanks for the Christiana tip, Mr. P.

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    talk about a weird debut encore. definitely in the vein of calm-down-the-crowd-before-sending-them-out-into-the-night kind of encore.

    “yo, dude. what song is this?”
    “no idea. but it’s making me sleepy”
    “yeah… let’s go back to the hostel and catch some zs”

  21. win butler Says:

    just turned on npr and heard them interviewing locals. its good they finally have him taken care of. put his body to sea?? huh.

    the white house correspondents shindig from the other night was pretty entertaining. streamed that this morn. seth killed it.

  22. mitch Says:

    oops, wrong name. btw, good afternoon bb.

  23. snowbank Says:

    What up BB? Sooo, anything interesting in the news?

    I kid.

    “Still, it was unclear if the world would ever get visual proof. Bin Laden’s body was quickly buried at sea, and administration officials were weighing the merit and appropriateness of releasing a photo of bin Laden, who was shot in the head.”

    Looks like his body was dumped in the ocean… I mean buried at sea. 😉

    Can this really be a good day for america if it’s not supposed to affect the stock market? I want to retire someday…

  24. snowbank Says:

    Who wants to run against Obama in ’12 now?

  25. bhizzle Says:

    Seth DID kill it. The Donald didn’t look happen tho. Ah, fuck him anywho!

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