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. tela'smuff Says:

    yo. listening to 10-30-10 and am immediately reminded of the energy of that Fall tour. Trey is amped. Cavern sounds fantastic. I love finding new joy in old standards like Cavern.

  2. Mr. Palmer Says:

    early first set Cavern. $$$

  3. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Palmer

    Erase/install BITCHES!
    I just had to do this on Sat. 🙁

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:


  5. tela'smuff Says:

    Dude – how’s the new pad? Or when do you move in?

  6. BTB Says:

    looks like a good film mitch

  7. Willowed Says:

    New phish this month

    Woot woot

  8. tela'smuff Says:

    i absolutely love Guelah. One of my favorite interpretive dance numbers. 🙂

  9. EL Duderino Says:

    We cleaned all the baseboards, crown moldings, doors/windows and frames with hot water and murphy’s wood soap, kitchen cabinets, bathroom and hardwood floors on Sunday.

    packed up the spare bedroom at the apt. and brought the area rugs to the new house today, had some beers and bane with the Weaver’s for the first time tonight.

  10. Monsterpus Says:

    I’m listening to Gamehenge, my gf walks by and says, ‘Phish sounds like Dungeons & Dragons’ and walks away. Good thing you guys are here

  11. EL Duderino Says:

    We love the new digs fo’ sho’.

  12. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Telas’

    The big stuff will be there on Sat. the 14th

  13. tela'smuff Says:

    nice Dude! glad to hear it has worked out. i would imagine you have some blisters to show for your efforts? sounds like we had a similar weekend. moving and packing sucks, but the end result is great.

  14. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Telas’

    We feel pretty darn fortunate that we got “the” house we did in the “Wilmore” neighborhood.

    It was a gut re-hab that was done about a year and half ago… me thinks 😉

  15. jdub Says:

    Super ball Bitches.

    People are sleeping on this one it seems. Been waiting a long time for some festival sized Phish.

  16. jdub Says:

    Congrats on the new home Dude!

  17. EL Duderino Says:

    thanks Jdub!

    Charlotte/Raleigh BITCHES!!!!

  18. tela'smuff Says:

    yeah man. that’s great. it’s sign good things are in the air.

    Trey has smoked every version of Walk Away since the comeback and it’s quietly become a first set show stopper in my opinion.

  19. ThePigSong Says:

    what’s up kids? grabbed some dales pales to celebrate a quiet bday at home.

    I’ve been holding off on superball tix thinking they’re gonna get silly cheap on the web right before. amiwrong?

  20. EL Duderino Says:

    one of my favorite covers Telas’ and an underrated one IMHO

  21. ThePigSong Says:

    finally getting around to cranking these ttff on Monday night, just started with the Mikes.

  22. BingosBrother Says:

    Toot, toot.

  23. halcyon Says:

    LOL at today’s meme×355.jpg

  24. tela'smuff Says:

    @pig – went to Oskar’s on Saturday evening. They craft some damn fine beer. Dale’s in a can is hard to beat for canned craft beers.

  25. jdub Says:

    I dunno pigsong. I don’t think it’ll sell out so no harm in waiting I suppose.

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