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. Mr. Palmer Says:

    not so much revenge as a sense of closure. Of course, the worlds problems aren’t over because OBL is fish food. But for 3,000 families and thousands more military families, a chapter of the last ten years can be closed, just not the whole book… – does that make sense?

  2. plord Says:

    Thanks Miner. Re-distributing that quote via other channels.

  3. lastwaltzer Says:


    that def. makes sense. I doubt the people you mentioned are the ones in the streets doing the fist pumping.

  4. snowbank Says:

    @LW – I agree that for most it is about revenge. That’s what makes it so complicated. Because to ‘rejoice’ in osama’s death implies support for the revenge aspect.

  5. mitch Says:

    anyone remember what page the rap link was on?

    getting those now garret, thanks.

  6. poop goblin Says:

    fist pumpin no

    but Palmer is rockin his Stars and Stripes Zubaz

  7. Frycanthropist 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.”

    Playing live music is the closest to God I have ever felt. Ever.

  8. YborCity Says:

    Osama thoughts:

    I am going to begin this thought with saying that I spent this past Fall in the Middle East. And while that experience in no way validates my opinions or proves that I know everything about the region, the experience does intensify my connections to that place. One week after I left Istanbul, Al Qaeda bombed Taksim Square: a place I loved, a place where I met many incredible loving people, and a place I remember very fondly. Last week, Al Qaeda bombed the square in Marrakech, Morocco. Specifically, they bombed a restaurant I ate lunch at with many of my friends. These places are real, the people who live and work there are affected by this constantly, and it isn’t fair to them. Al Qaeda is a horribly evil organization, they are not representative of the Middle East. Osama bin Laden was their leader and had power by being a living, influencing figurehead and icon.

    When I returned home, I saw the Middle East begin to take incredible strides towards a better future for their region of the world. Their strides were in the name of religious, social, and political acceptance. It was just, and I am proud to know those places and the people living in that revolution. Additionally, thousands of our fellow Americans are over there fighting for the Middle East’s freedom. Regardless of what you think about the purpose of or direction of the war (I’m not pleased with it either), these soldiers are our brothers, friends and neighbors. They are doing what I don’t have the balls to do, and it took spending time in that region and understanding the Middle East’s perspective to truly understand why it is important to support our troops.

    In the sense that Osama’s death represents a validation of the Middle East’s strides towards peace and freedom and a validation of our troops efforts, it is a good thing. In the sense that the death represents closure for the people who experienced loss during the attacks on 9/11 and closure for the countless people in the Middle East facing the threat of Al Qaeda still today, it is a good thing. In fact, it’s a great thing. I am not celebrating death. I am celebrating what this one death stands for. I am celebrating for the Middle East. I am celebrating for my fellow Americans. I am celebrating for what this means for the world.

    I am SO excited to see what happens in the Middle East in the weeks and years to come. I am confident in their ability to stand strong in their beliefs and to resolve no matter what. They have made great strides towards some incredible, important change. I can’t thank the US Troops enough for validating those strides and helping this world to become a more peaceful place. It is a great day to be a citizen of the world.


  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    the people in the streets seemed to be a bunch of silly college aged kids who were probably 8-10 years old when 9/11 happened. I took it with a grain of salt. Nothing against college aged kids btw.

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I don’t even know what a ” Zubaz” is. haha. I’ll have to google it. Although i did rock an American flag tie every friday for a few years after 9/11.

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    oh god! those things are awful! my eyes, my eyes. Never owned a pair…. i swear.

  12. lastwaltzer Says:

    “Nothing against college aged kids btw.’palmer

    well if your not going to i will 🙂 Fuck em with their heads in their digital clouds with their status updates, no respect for a fucking copyright, i’m so cool cause i wear 80’s clothes and listen to ironic music dumb asses. 🙂

  13. Guyute711 Says:

    Well said Ybor

  14. garretc Says:



    Fuck college kids.

  15. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ybor.. $$$. cheers

  16. Guyute711 Says:

    Seriously, why has my manager not sent me home for the day. He got canned too. I need a fuckin beer!!

  17. poop goblin Says:

    Never heard of Zubaz Palmer. That’s some unpatriotic shit right there.

    I think the NY Giants blue and red tiger stripes have your name written all over them for the Bethel opener.

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    for shame, palmer. as a fellow child of the 80s, zubaz should be ingrained in your dna like new wave music and big hair.

    I’m sure you have seen them many many times, you just don’t know the name.

    think Buffalo Bills football fans. no, not just in the 80s. now.

  19. Chuck D Says:

    black and gray zubaz should be the BB colors for all upcoming 2011 shows. kinda like hells angles jackets…

    then maybe get your handle embroidered across the ass. (aw has to go with “poop goblin”!)

    just think of all the drugz you can crotch in those…

  20. YborCity Says:

    FYI – I’m a college kid.

  21. garretc Says:


    FWIW, so am I

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    “I think the NY Giants blue and red tiger stripes have your name written all over them for the Bethel opener.”

    I’ll wear them only if you wear a cape. Deal?

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    wow, chuckSWED.

    that. just. might. work.

    we have our top scientists working on it as we speak.

  24. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Don’t mind me. I’m just jealous i’m not 20 years old anymore.

  25. mitch Says:

    i think of raiders when i think of zubaz. theyre black and grey taboot.

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