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.



Tags: ,

1,801 Responses to “TTFF: First Set Fire”

  1. garretc Says:

    Oh, and in case you guys forgot how kick ass I am, check me out in this youtube video:

  2. vegas wolfmans Says:

    The word ‘physics’ makes me shudder uncontrollably and triggers a gag reflex causing my anal sphincter to pucker up.

    IT Waves through headphones in honor of Mr. Completely.

    I’d like to repeat that the new Road Trips from Denver 11/21/73 is a ridiculously good show from a ridiculously good tour. Highly recommend.

  3. mitch Says:

    testing out chrome a bit more cause my buddies are talking about how fast it is. i miss top sites tho. i lock them all in place so every time i open the browser i know what sites are new. thats just convenient.

    thoughts on chrome?

  4. garretc Says:


    Well, I guess it’s a good thing I won’t be bringing it up very much anymore!

  5. Aquaman Says:

    Werd AW

    The hood has a four minute second jam that is just about some of the finest Phish around. I believe we did a mini search for that when last listening at your place.

    Other than that what’s up folks? Haven’t posted in a while due to massive vinyl discovery sessions. I have learned to curtain the intake, but tonights lesson was Hendrix A Cry of Love side one. Pretty brilliant stuff.

    Also, here’s to obama saying yo mamma to Osama.

    The only good terrorism is treys constant terrorist attacks on my ears.


  6. mitch Says:

    well well well, they have this thing like top sites when you open a new tab. lets give this thing a go.

  7. vegas wolfmans Says:

    “I don’t like sand. It’s coarse and rough and irritating and it gets everywhere. Not like here. Here everything is soft and smooth.”

    This makes me want to punch babies. Congrats on the end of physics, GC! Breathe easy.

  8. garretc Says:


    Does that mean you’re anti-“bass-led jihads”?

  9. BTB Says:

    Aqua – you see the chicken sandwich goof? Classic.

    ::fist bump::

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    Google UIC
    Marvel at synchronicity
    High 5 Universe(awesome band name btw)

  11. mitch Says:

  12. BingosBrother Says:

    Actually google uic with a space after uic. or laugh at how dumb I look.

  13. albert walker Says:

    you still hitting one night Bethel Aqua?

    midwest run at all?

    gonna go huge in Detroit

  14. Aquaman Says:

    Like I said there are two good types of terrorism……….

    I have not read back in days. I have missed this chicken sandy goof.


  15. Monsterpus Says:

    When I access the ticket exchange board on my phone, the whole summer tour ’11 comes up fine. When I use my laptop, it only goes thru Cinci, then fall 10 follows. Anyone else experience this?

  16. P.S.H.S Says:

    mitch chrome is sweet, every now and then you have to clear browsing history to ‘the beginning of time’

  17. Aquaman Says:

    Still have plans to hit Detroit, Blossom and Saturday Bethel.

    Kenny Powers and I are plotting. Think I will be driving with angryjoggerz from Chicago to Detroit and Cleveland and back.


  18. BingosBrother Says:

    cool video mitch.

  19. Monsterpus Says:

    Listening to my 1st show, Greatwoods Gamehenge. It’s weird thats over half my lifetime ago now

  20. Aquaman Says:

    Mitch are you still planning the entire Bethel run?

    (if you are still out there)


  21. mitch Says:

    monster, there is usually an arrow button at the bottom, no?

  22. Monsterpus Says:

    Mitch- yeah there is, but I swear it goes to fall 10 shows. My computer is 6 years old and acting funky though. It does whatever it damn pleases

  23. Aquaman Says:

    Ditto on the sweet trailer link, Mitch.


  24. garretc Says:

    Cash or UIC 2s for your Tahoe extras!

  25. mitch Says:

    ya still planning the whole bethel, gonna talk to a guy at work tomorrow about the trade.

Leave a Reply