First Sets of Fire

Atlantic City, NJ (Chris Klein)

First sets—though fun all tour—never made or broke a show. Comprised of bust-outs—large and small—and one or two contained jams, firsts sets largely spoke to people  based on song preference. Phish never botched a set this summer, using most opening halves to get some songs under their belt before the main event after dark. But on a handful of occasions, the band dropped first sets that contained plenty of action of their own. These four first sets not only flowed well and contained some legit jamming, if any rarities were included, they didn’t seem sprinkled in just for novelty’s sake. And when the band starts off the show with an power-packed opening half, only good things result.


6/8, Worcester

Free, Kill Devil Falls, Roses Are Free > Theme, Axilla, Julius, Bouncin, Maze, Bathtub Gin

Long forgotten in tour’s second show, this first set may just be the best of tour. Following the first night’s monumental throwdown, the band and crowd came ready to rumble on night two. Jumping right into the thick of things as if coming off an extended setbreak, Phish cranked through “Free” and “Kill Devil Falls” before starting up “Roses.” Out of nowhere, Phish slid into a “type II” wonderland, and nearly fifteen minutes later, everyone—us and them—emerged from only the third improvisational escapade to ever stem from the Ween cover. Though many would select Alpine’s “Fee,” this “Roses” certainly gets my pick for the first set jam of tour. Coming down into “Theme,” the guys kept the energy high with “Axilla” and “Julius” before punctuating the set with “Maze” and, arguably, the finest “Bathtub Gin” of tour.


6/22, Riverbend

Wolfman’s, Peaches, Shaggy Dog, Runaway Jim, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone > Wilson, Alaska, Stash, Llama, Buffalo Bill, Saw It Again > David Bowie

Phish stepped off the East Coast and into the “Rust Belt” with a smoking first set in Cincinnati. Lacing their jamming shoes tightly from the jump, the guys dug into a thick “Wolfman’s” to spark the show. The annual bustout of “Peaches” was followed by the first version of “Shaggy Dog” since Fall ’95—and only the third since 1988. A fine-tuned “Jim” led into a dense groove collaboration in, “Light Up or Leave Me Alone.” Phish followed a strong “Stash” with two botched song beginnings, prompting Trey to invite Fishman to play all the songs that start with the drums. Stringing together three rarities—”Llama,” “Buffalo Bill,” and “Saw it Again”—with a “Bowie” closer, the band had clearly come to play on this Friday night.


6/28, Deer Creek

Birdwatcher, The Curtain With, Fuck Your Face, Old Home Place, Pebbles and Marbles, Weigh, Chalk Dust, Wolfman’s, Cool It Down, Tweezer, Tela, Stealing Time

One hundred plus degree weather and ridiculous levels of humidity made the first set on Deer Creek’s first night almost unbearable. Sweating by doing nothing at all, one had to pick and choose his place to rage in this opening frame, less he didn’t fall flat on his face. Recognizing the circumstances, Phish responded with one of the more powerful first sets of the tour. Battling the heat with the serene stylings of “The Curtain With,” the band wouldn’t stay relaxed for long. “Pebbles and Marbles” upped the momentum of the set, while “Weigh” and “Chalk Dust” maintained the flow. But when the ferociously danceable trifecta of “Wolfman’s,” “Cool It Down,” and “Tweezer” hit, everything transformed into moisture. The rare Gamehendge ballad, “Tela,” gave everyone a figurative breath of fresh air, before the guys closed the set—a bit anticlimactically—with a standard “Stealing Time.”


7/6, SPAC

Runaway Jim, Ocelot, Heavy Things, Back on the Train, Funky Bitch, Tube -> Psycho Killer -> Tube, HYHU > Cracklin’ Rosie > HYHU, Stash, Bouncin, Paul and Silas, Horn, Corinna, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone

 Coming off two holiday shows at Jones Beach, things felt primed to explode when Phish got into the woods of SPAC—and explode they did. The band loosened up with a couple tight jams in “Jim” and “Ocelot” before picking up the pace with “Back on the Train” and “Funky Bitch.” Things got nasty, however, as Trey led the band in a “Tube -> Psycho Killer -> Tube” dream sequence. Placing Fishman in the first set, a welcome trend of 2012, the band followed his best Neil Diamond with a demonic “Stash.” Rarities “Paul and Silas” and “Horn” filled the gap before a stellar and unconventional, one-two punch of “Corrina” and “Light Up or Leave Me Alone” slammed the door on the opening frame. The band really let loose on “Light Up,” stretching out the piece into a rousing set closer.


Honorable Mention: 6/7 Worcester, 6/19 nTelos, 6/30 Alpine Valley, 7/1 Alpine Valley, 7/3 Jones Beach


Jam of the Day:

Fee” 7.1 I, East Troy, WI

Though I didn’t select its set as one of the top first frames of summer, Alpine’s “Fee” goes head-to-head- with Worcetser’s “Roses” for frist set jam of the tour. It’s amazing Trey lasted so long without a beat.



7.4.2012 – Jones Beach (Graham Lucas via webcast)

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361 Responses to “First Sets of Fire”

  1. voopa Says:

    7/6 Sally Jam>Ghost now on vimeo

  2. Albert walker Says:

    I dig most of those but beach house purity ring and projectors

    That’s just bad white music. The arcade fire U2 genre

  3. garretc Says:

    Yeah Robear, that’s the weekend right there! Good to know it’s available on your end, I’ll see if I can make it work on mine.

    If I make it happen that’ll be: backpacking this weekend, Humboldt the next, probable moving stuff up to PDX trip the weekend after that, then LBC > BGCA the next week/weekend, then back up to PDX for good the week after… That’s exhausting just typing it out, but would be a hell of a way to end the summer!

  4. Albert walker Says:

    You dig the bobby Womack or sugarman 3 DF?

    Good spins

    Or Robert glasper black radio

  5. MiA Says:

    Jam > Ghost FTW!

    Love it. Phish kicks Leg II off like this down in LB. On fire.

  6. GhostPhunk Says:


  7. MrCompletely Says:

    sugarman 3 indeed

    still getting spins on the reg

  8. snow Says:

    who’s got a get rich quick scheme for me?

    I’m going to need to see a lot of phish shows in 2012.

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    aw, don’t think i’ve heard those ones; behind on the bb recs

  10. MiA Says:

    who’s got a get rich quick scheme for me?

    Um? Short AAPL?

  11. revise your despise Says:

    Good afternoon BB!

    Hope y’all are having a great one.

    About to spin the AV shows for the first time. Heard the Fee sucked.

    Got my time off confirmed for my family visit/southern cross run! Also found out I will be unable to get the following Friday off for the CO run so it looks like only 2 of 3 for me. Oh well, at least they haven’t annihilated the first night of runs this year ::insert eye roll smiley::

  12. MiA Says:

    who’s got a get rich quick scheme for me?

    Um? Short AAPL? everything?

  13. MiA Says:

    NFLX getting crushed too.

  14. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    ” The arcade fire U2 genre”
    Legit genre classification here, also known as “Musics Tela’s likes and collects but won’t play for you because you’ll rightfully judge him.”

  15. Jtran Says:

    anyone have a link to that chromatics? not on spotify

    Thanks for the list df, was wondering what I should be listening to these days.

    Other music custys:

  16. kayatosh Says:

    TT anyone?

    palmer: saw that metermen thing. looks great. have never seen leo N play live, but familiar w/ his album work.

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    BB recs? Why certainly.

    VA – Beat Salad
    a compilation of select instrumental hip hop

    Aphrica – Colossius
    Big Cat (instrumental) – Quakers
    Cant Seem to Forget – Brenk
    Cinnamon – Floating Points
    Coldmess – Bonbooze
    Da Beat – Diabi$e
    Earth Guits Love – Goldee Barnes
    Flying High (instrumental) – MED
    For the Fusta – Kappah
    Free Your Mind – Goldee Barnes
    Glower – Sonakine
    Hash – Knxwledge
    Herstrionics – Mike Gao
    Hey !!! – Diabi$e
    Hide and Seek – Onra
    inTme(stndbye) – Knxwledge
    Lazy Soul – Mux Mool
    Les Saisons – B.Lewis
    Mazzini Science – Major Soul
    Mr Dynomite – Jordan Rockswell
    My Light, My Love – FaltyDL
    Micht Mehr Als 6 Euro – Hulk Hodn
    One Daaay – Brenk
    One for the Wu – Onra
    Openingame – Sir Froderick
    Orange – Digi G’Alessio
    Plug – B.Lewis
    Ploath – Ta-ku
    Seven Years – B-Ju
    Smoke (instrumental) – Quakers
    StarStruck – Diabi$e
    Stereotype (instrumental) – Pritch & Trim
    Strange Days – Daedelus
    Sunday – Christoph El Truento
    Sunrise Luminescence – Matthewdavid
    Thuner-Fonk – Walter Mecca
    Vendas Newly Won Dream – Jonti
    Wap – Oh No
    1 for Dilla – Jonwayne

  18. snow Says:

    AC TUBE!!!!

  19. MiA Says:

    Comcast Corp. (CMCSA), going after consumers willing to pay top dollar for the fastest Internet speeds, introduced a $299.95-a-month service that it says beats the speediest offering from Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ)’s FiOS.

    The new tier, called Xfinity Platinum Internet, offers download speeds of up to 305 megabits per second, Comcast said in a statement. The Verizon FiOS business, which relies on fiber-optic lines, introduced a plan in June that tops out at 300 megabits for $204.99 a month with a two-year contract.

    Signing up for this service is like alerting the RIAA and saying “I am likely stealing tons of shit and need more bandwidth.

  20. MiA Says:

    Been playing AJ stuff in TT today.

  21. Al Says:

    SNEAKIN’ SALLY Jam > GHOST vimeo release!!

  22. snow Says:

    305 mbps. 200GB cap.

    I don’t get it. What do you do with that? You can’t possibly watch and listen to all the shit you would get with that kind of connection. Most sites cannot serve at the speed.

    I could see gamers paying for a super low latency connection.

  23. snow Says:

    it’s pretty funny how we are all hanging on the BB, twitter and the TT.


    and nowhere.

  24. phlorida phan Says:

    At 300 mbps, are computers fast enough to handle those claimed speeds?

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ain’t love funny funny it’s funny
    funny is just what it seems

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