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. lastwaltzer Says:

    blotter paper that came with the new radiohead album. Guess we know were there at 🙂

  2. SillyWilly Says:

    Dude that sits across the aisle from me at my office served two years as a White-Ops agent (not sure which branch this is) in an Afghani village on the border with Pakistan

    He’s fluent in the conversational languages in the area and he lived in the village and tried to blend in to the community and served sort of as a grass roots level American diplomat. He also fought alongside many village militia.

    Anyway, he’s really happy today. Makes him feel like his two years was worthwhile.

    Pretty crazy that he was literally one of the guys on the ground looking for Osama

  3. lastwaltzer Says:

    i bet morgan spurlock is pissed

  4. Guyute711 Says:

    Find a city, find myself a city to live in

  5. lastwaltzer Says:


    how does pakistan sound? I hear there is a large organization that has an opening for a new leader.

  6. Guyute711 Says:

    It comes with a nice big house I hear.

  7. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    huffpo and NYT both saying that the courier intel came from Gitmo

    thoughts are with you Guyute, Halcy, and Mr. P – I get chills whenever I read your descriptions of 9/11 and you were one of the first people I thought of when I heard the news.

    No wonder Barry had such a pimp swagger at that correspondants dinner!

  8. lastwaltzer Says:

    “huffpo and NYT both saying that the courier intel came from Gitmo”dr. p

    I guess there goes any chance of gitmo closing. I imagine this will be the new mantra as to why torture works.

  9. Selector J Says:

    NPR said courier intel (via gitmo) came from several years ago. Took a long time to find, confirm his role, and track that dude. Apparently the guy wasn’t on facebook.

  10. bane. Says:

    radiohead blotter will be all the rage on tour

  11. Frycanthropist Says:

    “radiohead blotter will be all the rage on tour”

    Totally down for this 😉

  12. garretc Says:

    I’d dose off radiohead blotter…

    Just sayin’

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    give me the Greek Cities blotter, please

  14. garretc Says:

    Wow, so either I apparently already did dose off radiohead blotter, or the world decided to fuck with my head today…

    Finished watching the Sherlock Holmes tv series (starring Jeremy Brett), the last two episodes of which involved Professor Moriarty. Then, just now, I was searching for an academic review of a jazz history book I’m writing a paper on. I found one authored by a gentleman named “Eric Porter,” so I did a google search to find out who this Eric Porter character is and whether he’s a reliable source. But he’s not the most famous Eric Porter out there. No, the top search for Eric Porter is a British Shakespearean actor who played…

    Wait for it…

    Professor Moriarty in the Sherlock Holmes series starring Jeremy Brett.

    Mind = blown.

    Does anyone near Portland mind stopping by to wipe my brain up off the floor before it starts smelling?

  15. Frycanthropist Says:

    easy there young skwalker…


  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    some info on the sea burial

  17. kayatosh Says:

    love jah herb

    smokin STFTFP 10-12-2010 brimfield. not one of my fave tunes. but that one smoked.

    really enjoying the shuffle feature. covering more ground. now on a sweet 9.27.76 eyes.

  18. phoammhead Says:

    anybody want to come over to my house and mow my grass while i drink beer?

  19. phoammhead Says:

    ^don’t everybody jump at once!

  20. phoammhead Says:

    okay, i’ll drink beer and mow my own grass. the beer drinking will be just what i need to “let’s do this!”

  21. lastwaltzer Says:

    damn some of the comment sections on these articles really show how dumb some people are. I don’t think my jaw has come off the floor since I started reading the news today.

  22. garretc Says:


    Yeah, this place has given me a skewed impression of the quality of general online discourse… I always venture into other sites’ comment sections thinking I’ll find reasonable discussion occurring between people with some familiarity and respect for the views of the other commenters, but, well…

  23. marcoesq Says:

    Que paso folks..what a day

  24. Frycanthropist Says:

    I’ll do it @phoamm

    oh.. wait…

    you said MOW the grass..


  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    that’s because this place here is home


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