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. poop goblin Says:

    Better watch out Palmer. I got the final piece of summer tour together this weekend. And let’s just say I could probably get us buzzed out enough to def rock the zubaz and cape looks at Bethel.

    Let’s just say I am very excited about summer.

  2. Chuck D Says:

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

    good point, and i will never be affiliated with the raiders…

    perhaps we need to incorporate some orange accents and an endless stream of dumb comments to obviously differentiate ourselves…

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    that’s funny, mitch, because i just quoted raiders above.

    what’s that?

    oh. right. different raiders

  4. mitch Says:

    buddy has a pair of 200s for both tues and wed uic.

    tues are ptbm and wed are hard tm in hand.

    lemme know

  5. bhizzle Says:

    zubazs vs. skidz

  6. mitch Says:

    interesting discussion on the radio right now about how twitter affected the new spread and the internet spike last night. 4.1 million page hits a min at the peak

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    sounds like fun, Poop. gotta fight through 3 more weeks and we are there.

  8. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Do we still talk about Phish here?

    Because I’ve been spinning 1994.12.01 for the first time this afternoon and this is one FANTASTICALLY weird second set.

  9. Monsterpus Says:

    I worked with a true acid fried illiterate hillbilly who wore Zubaz pants almost every day and drank Coke out of a 72 oz NASCAR mug. Fact.

  10. mitch Says:

    bring him to a show monster

  11. Mulitbeast Says:

    Any thoughts on when Leg 3 dates will drop?

  12. garretc Says:


    Phish? What’s that? Am I missing something here?

  13. poop goblin Says:

    leg 3 will drop next Tuesday

    I’m hearing 3 more days added to UIC run

    even more UIC Bitches!!!!!!!

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    is that the salem armory show, duke?
    i done flat wore out that tape back in the day

    if you like that, check out the night before in Olympia.

    Halley’s Comet > Run Like an Antelope -> My Sweet One -> Run Like an Antelope -> Fixin’ to Die -> Ya Mar -> Mike’s Song -> Catapult -> McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Cavern

    now THAT is a second set to write home about.

  15. Chuck D Says:

    *insert joke about one’s “3rd leg” dropping*

  16. poop goblin Says:

    that Olympia set is straight fire. top shelf 1994 shit right there

    nothing like a type 2 My Sweet One Jam

  17. halcyon Says:


    don’t forget Z Cavaricci’s or Hypercolors

    BB Dance off between Mr. P and AW in the Bethel lawns

    AW with his Zubaz, and Mr. P with Z Cavricci’s and Hypercolors


  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I don’t know about you guys, but i was rocking the Jamz shorts in the 80s. None of this zubaz crap.

  19. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Enough of this 80s nonsense.

    If you rocked JNCOs in the 90s, stand up.

  20. halcyon Says:

    The triumph of love is in the victory. The triumph of fear is in defeat. The triumph of will is over mystery. The triumph of heart is in the beat.

    Saul Williams – From his FB page.

  21. Mike in Austin Says:

    I didn’t rock any clothes. Maybe some very colorful Oakleys.

  22. gavinsdad Says:

    thx for the MLK quote Miner. where my heart is at.

  23. Mulitbeast Says:

    “I’m hearing 3 more days added to UIC run” – Really? Any other rumored dates? Is this CO Labor day weekend pretty much confirmed?

  24. msbjivein Says:

    Happy Bin Laden is Dead Day!

  25. gavinsdad Says:


    Thinking of you Halcy. these are the times you dig in with your family.

    Guyute – sorry to hear about the gig man. you don’t wanna live up there by Bhizzle?

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