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. jtran Says:

    My company is also hiring in Burlington guyute.

  2. Monsterpus Says:

    Selector-I totally agree re: the story behind Jamacian music being as good as the tunes themselves. I’m nowhere near as schooled in reggae as you and some others, but reading about the personalities of the artists and the culture itself is really interesting. I was collecting a lot of Soul Jazz Studio 1 Comps for a while

  3. Guyute711 Says:

    I don’t take anything very seriously on here gdad, I’m pretty much on here to bust balls most of the time myself. All options are on the table right now. I went for the first option tonight and baned and grabbed some High Life. I am nervous but pretty excited about the future. Who knows, I could be seeing a whole bunch of shows this summer.

    Those are some choppy sentences right there.

  4. Jtran Says:

    Love finding shows on my hard drive I’ve downloaded but haven’t heard.

    Up for tomorrow: KP’s 7/21/97 remaster

  5. albert walker Says:

    kids can rip on the Billy sit in but I’ve been runnin through Red Rocks in my car this week and every once in a while when him and Fish get locked in (some def sloppy ass moments) there is some amazing psych rock going on

    end of 7 below and certain segments of Waves especially

    I mean it is 09 Phish but some hip shit going on at times

    the 17 minute Red Rocks Boogie is some top shelf 09 Phish though. a few segments remind me of the some of the jammed out 2.0 versions.

    one more phish thought. damn how bout that 03 Alpine Hood peak. never heard that on tape before. great unique full band peak

    laterz comrades
    rip some bags before hitting the grocery store

  6. kayatosh Says:

    feel like kicking myself in the balls.

  7. Selector J Says:

    Can’t go wrong with those Soul Jazz Studio 1 comps. Top notch collections with nuggets for the noobs and nerds alike.

    Perfect example of cool reggae history:
    I just learned from that interview about that book “volcano Revisited” that Barrington Levy’s smash hit “Prison Oval Rock” was made up on the spot at a Volcano Hi-Power dance which was performing outside a prison in Spanish Town.
    “The prisoners are dancing…”
    Indeed they were.

  8. garretc Says:


    But won’t your groceries fall out?

  9. Monsterpus Says:

    Selector-Have you been to Jamaica? I heard that Studio 1 isn’t there anymore. I really want to go, but I’m afraid it won’t be at all like I imagine/want it to be. (not that a trip to JA could be bad, just wondering if you can still hit the heady music spots or if it’s all resorts)

  10. Selector J Says:

    That Boogie On at RR ’09 does get slept on a good deal. Not your typical Boogie On jam either.

  11. albert walker Says:


    you hear Michael Palmer – Angela

    I think it’s early 80’s on Vista Sounds

    recorded at Harry J and mixed at Studio 1

    some good tracks and a terrible coverr of My Cherie Amoure. scored in OG copy at Dusty Groove last weekend. never had heard it.

  12. tba Says:

    very surreal day, there does seem to be a certain calm karma about….hmmm not a bad thing, it’s only the river….

  13. Selector J Says:

    Never been. I’ll get there some day. Gotta get a job first :mrgreen:

    Studio One, Black Ark, Channel One, Harry J, Dynamic, Joe Gibbs, Randy’s Tubby’s etc. just about every notable studio from the 60s through the 80s is gone or in total disrepair, as I understand it.

    They were all in the rougher areas of Kingston, too. Tourists do go to those sites but you have to pay a local guide some protection money. Still kinda sketchy and there’s really not much to see from what I understand.

    My friend who knows more about the JA scene than me was saying there was talk of turning Channel One into a museum and cleaning up the Maxfield Ave area around it (super sketchy garrison these days). This would have me on a plane to JA in less than 24 hours.

    Jack Ruby (most known for his work with Burning Spear) had a studio in Ocho Rios on the more tourist friendly north coast which is probably the safest to check out… if it’s still there. Probably a laundrymat or something now.

  14. phoammhead Says:

    bek and i just made enchilades . . . not peppadews, but not bad at all!

  15. Selector J Says:

    “some good tracks and a terrible coverr of My Cherie Amoure.”

    hahaha I can only imagine.
    Haven’t heard that one. Palmer is great though. Love his Roots Radics era LPs.

  16. Monsterpus Says:

    Selector-thanks for the info! That’s what I figured. Seems like you get either a gated resort or that you wouldn’t be welcomed in the more ‘authentic’ areas. I’ll have to gather some dready wooks off Phish lot for street cred 😉

  17. kayatosh Says:

    cheers, everybody

    savor life

  18. kayatosh Says:

    smile. you’re in jamaica

  19. phoammhead Says:

    thanks, kaya! you too!

  20. tba Says:

    If there are any rock band players out there, tomorrow Tweezer w/out pro g and Stash with pro guitar are available for download. Pretty psyched, although why the heck they don’t release the Tweezer in pro guitar mode (although being RB3 it will have keys) is a bit lame. Most of u probably think rock band is lame. It’s fun as hell for me, as I don’t like shooter games. Anyway psyched to play pro drums and keyboards and get my ass kicked on pro guitar for stash. I wonder if i can play in the Orlando Stash 95″ style :<) Boy my wife is going to be a HATER this week :<) puffing and playing loud :<) Man I hope they keep releasing material. As I said earlier surreal

  21. mitch Says:

    bethel bitches (when my avatar kicks in)

  22. mitch Says:

    looks like it already did

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Mitch- any programs you recommend to clean up a MAC. Things seem a bit slow and seeing the spinning rainbow of death more frequently.

  24. phoammhead Says:

    mitch represent!

  25. garretc Says:

    Yippee! Finished the last physics hw assignment I will ever have to do in my life!

    Isn’t the end of the school year grand?

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