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. phoammhead Says:

    lycan, come on . . . you know you want to! 🙂

  2. garretc Says:


    Can we make a Tron-style virtual BB world for all of us to go live in? Cause I totally would live there.

    It would be bitchin’!

  3. Guyute711 Says:

    How much does the job pay Phoamm, I may be able to fit you in

  4. phoammhead Says:

    guyute, this is mowing not growing . . . shouldn’t you be planning your trip to california for a summer internship?

    i use to hire out my grass mowing, but alas the economy has forced me to step up and mow my own grass – dammit! oh well, in a ’round about way it’s all for phish, so it’s worth it.

  5. phoammhead Says:

    beers, bane and grass mowing . . . not as good as beers, bane, accoutrements and phish, but could be worse . . .

  6. bane. Says:

    i mowed lawns when i was young. 20 bucks for an hour-hour and a half of push mowing.

    i’d come smoke your grass and drink your beer phoam.

  7. mitch Says:

    laaaazy day. anyone got some music they are excited about with a link? something different.

  8. garretc Says:


    Two albums I spun recently that really clicked with me were Pharoah Sanders “Karma”, and Derek And The Dominos “Live At The Fillmore”. I can up both/either to my mediafire if you’re interested…

    Both fire, in different ways.

  9. garretc Says:

    Or if anyone else is interested. Doesn’t have to be mitch…

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    new website for tracking live music acts.

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Mitch- find tela’s orangeness and grab Tosca and/ or Lemon Jelly. really cool stuff.

  12. mitch Says:

    garrett, sure to both. thanks.

    new computer, wanna start with some fresh tracks.

    also interested in the rap mixes from the other day and if anyone has a bomb ass reggae mix id take that. i’m n00b hard on reggae.

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    ‎”I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
    –Martin Luther King, Jr.

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Nice quote Miner.

  15. BrandonKayda Says:


    Karma is an intense, intense album.

    The Creator’s got a master plan…

  16. snowbank Says:

    Thanks for that Mr Miner… I have been thinking the same thing.. kind of… Of course, MLK says it brilliantly.

  17. marcoesq Says:


    whatup man, good looks on that advice last week. Friday’s Harlem adventure was a breeze.

    Ended up having to make it a quick trip to nyc and then Amtrak’d it back down to DC for an evening dinner then back home to bmore

    My setlist wouldve looked like:

    Home>Bmore Penn>NYC Penn>2/3 to Harlem (AKA- “I almost took the A Train”)>Back to Penn NYC>Washington Union Station>Penn Bmore>Home Reprise

  18. marcoesq Says:


    That is a great quote that we should take to heart on a day like today. great find

  19. snowbank Says:

    I think it’s important to remember that in this case the celebration for many is not so much the revenge for 9/11 but the removing the ongoing threat of Osama. It’s a very complicated that, shockingly, the media makes simplistic.

  20. lastwaltzer Says:

    war is not the answer for only love can conquer hate.

    Nice quote miner, when did the good doctor supply that pearl?

  21. garretc Says:


    Yup. Something like “The Creator Has A Master Plan” almost makes me wish that I had something so spiritually powerful in my life as a deity.

    But then I remember that I do have something that spiritually powerful, music.

  22. poop goblin Says:

    new TV on the Radio = $$$$

    loving this shit

  23. lastwaltzer Says:

    “I think it’s important to remember that in this case the celebration for many is not so much the revenge for 9/11 but the removing the ongoing threat of Osama.”snow

    I don’t know about that. I would imaigine for most it has to do with revenge. when it comes down it it, osama wasn’t a threat, the threat is/was the nut jobs his words inspired. And regardless of if his heart is beating that inspiration will always exist.

  24. poop goblin Says:

    Today is one of those great days I get to bust out the American Flag print Zubaz’s, flag bandana, and my Don’t Tread on Me, These Colors Don’t Run t-shirt in pride.

    Nothing says America like some hawkish white trash patriotism

  25. garretc Says:

    Aight, both Pharoah Sanders “Karma”, and Derek And The Dominos “Live At The Fillmore” are up in my mediafire.

    Just click my name!

    Live At The Fillmore will melt your face.

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