Starting Things Off

7.8.2012 (Ryan MacNeil)

Openers, though not crucial to a standout show, necessarily set the opening tone of the night. Often used as a slot for a warm up song or a bust-out, when the band expands on show openers, the vibe of the night is immediately elevated. Phish featured a mixed bag of openers, hitting on all parts of the spectrum from token to stellar during Leg One, and following were the top five.

5.”Soul Shakedown Party” 7.1, East Troy, WI

A welcome beginning to any show, when the band opens up with the Bob Marley cover, it usually foreshadows good things. And looking back on Alpine’s second night, this occasion certainly fits the bill. A bust out that everyone loves, “Soul Shakedown” began a theme of rarities that carried throughout the first half. Nothing too serious, this opener, if nothing else, gave everyone plenty of time—and the perfect soundtrack—to burn a show-opening spliff before the action got going in earnest.


4. “Mike’s > Hydrogen > Weekapaug” 6.16, Atlantic City, NJ

Regardless of how insignificant “Mike’s Song” has become on the modern improvisational landscape, when put at the front of a show, the guitar lick, the drop into the jam, and the menacing textures take on a whole new role. Far more akin to its original format of the early ‘90s than its late-’90s jam-fiestas, “Mike’s Groove” will, nonetheless, always hold a special place in the annals of Phish. In this more compact format, the front of the first set is, arguably, the best placement for the musical suite, demonstrated perfectly by this Atlantic City version.


3. “Buried Alive” 6.7, Worcester, MA

This old school shredder kicked off the entire tour, illustrating the band’s intent to thrill right off the bat. Instead of warming up with “Sample” or “AC/DC Bag,” the guys dove head first into summer with a fierce take on”Buried Alive.” A good omen, no doubt…


2. “Wolfman’s Brother” 6.22, Cincy, OH

When Phish starts the show with a chunk of improv, a different sort of energy grips the crowd, and when the guys dropped a thick and extended “Wolfman’s” to spark Riverbend, that is exactly what happened. Digging into a plinkofied, funk exchange that blossomed into the most significant version of tour, the band strapped on their seat belts right away for one of the best two-setters of summer.


1. “Skin It Back” 7.3, Wantagh, NY

One of the greatest openers of their career, the band kicked off Jones Beach with their biggest bust out off all-time—and they jammed it! Though everyone thought the band was bringing back “Spanish Moon” from Waiting For Columbus, Phish was, in fact, digging far deeper—1,417 shows to be exact—playing the eleventh version of Little Feat’s “Skin it Back.” Jamming significantly in the bluesy, percussive sound, the guys combined everything one could look for in an opener into a single experience. It will be tough for any second-leg opener to dethrone Jones Beach’s shocker.



Jam of the Day:

Light > Twist” 7.8 II, SPAC

The fourth “Light” of Leg One; all were tour highlights.

[audio:,] Tags: , ,

206 Responses to “Starting Things Off”

  1. Xpun Says:

    The above banter sounds familiar. Guess I just figured someone up front yelled or did something.

    Just always wondered where they were headed w the story/song.

  2. Xpun Says:

    Ahh the rare topofthepage’d

  3. Chonz Says:

    Demonoid busted:

  4. MiA Says:

    Russian YAK’s dude. Russian YAKs. Notoriously non-trustworthy.

  5. kayatosh Says:

    check out my post from last night re. kimock & kimock worrell and hess. wow! great band. got me real excited to see the fearsome foursome at BGCA.

  6. Guyute711 Says:

    Cactus got a little practice on Terrapin this weekend eh? C’mon posterkid, break that sucker out for me again in the south land.

  7. marcoesq Says:

    Thanks, Selector. It’s next month so got a couple weeks still. Actually, if you have some good reggae recs (I’m sure you have a million) would you mind shooting me an email? Still looking for some good dancehall, dub, roots tracks for cocktail hour and dancing. m h o y t 1 3 at gheeeeemull

    I will definitely stop by there! Never heard of it but I love cross street mrkt. Will be downtown tonight for a freidn’s bday. Saw you were headed to Bmore before AC but I caught you too late on here and never heard back.

  8. sumodie Says:

    Move me brightly videos highlights at yahoo (link p3)

    At a minimum see Gordo share leads with Bob on He’s Gone, followed by a hot Eyes

    Also Mission & Terrapin

    didn’t see anything before FOTD but heard Gordo had a couple more lead vocal duties before then

    greenboard had audio links, i plan to spin the whole show again

  9. sumodie Says:

    Looks like no official rambles at terrapin crossroads during BGCA

  10. Kaveh Says:

    Fell asleep to the back half of the TRI show…and woke up to this, which I believe this the Dew that they broadcast after the show.

    Anyone confirm this?

  11. steamer Says:

    it’s really difficult to find a more powerful / majestic moment than 6.18.94’s MLB passage in Bowie. Trey reprises it in the Tweezer as well. that was my first phish show. i’ve been to many other seminal shows but it may have been all down hill from there. the energy in 94 is just so different. i like the jams better now but good lord trey, nobody could take their eyes off you back in the day.

  12. Guyute711 Says:

    Really enjoyed Eyes but I need to hear it baned and LOUD!!!

  13. Kaveh Says:

    And back to our conversation last week; this Dew is up there for an all-time great version. Pure $$$$$.

  14. voopa Says:

    Kaveh – That’s the one.


  15. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    I went to this one really good phish show.

    So, I went to another, and so on and so on….

  16. sumodie Says:

    Yup, kaveh, that Dew clip closed out the TRI show. Incredibly heartwrenching to watch, but perfect show closer

  17. Kaveh Says:

    Here is the whole show from that Alpine night:

  18. Kaveh Says:

    Thanks @sum: I thought so, nice piece to wake up to the and go back to bed afterwards.

    Yes, letting Jerry close the show with that Dew was perfect.

  19. sumodie Says:

    Hard to believe jerry is just 47 in that ’89AV Dew clip

    he looks more like 70

  20. tela'smuff Says:

    weird sumo. i was doing the age math as well as i watched this, again. so many ups and downs during Jerry week.

    also really loved the video piece Justin K did.

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    New Live bait,710/Phish-mp3-flac-download-Live-Bait-Vol-08.html

  22. BingosBrother Says:

    @steamer : The MLB section in that Tweezer is perfection. MLB is my holy grail jam. I live for the moment I catch it. Also echo Tagliabues suggestion. Time has passed phish, you can cover the GD if you want to. We would love it.

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    1. Run Like An Antelope > Big Black Furry Creature From Mars > Run Like An Antelope
    (1994-05-16 2. Wiltern Theatre – Los Angeles, CA)

    2. Bathtub Gin
    (2000-06-23 Lakewood Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA)

    3. Simple
    (1996-10-26 Charlotte Coliseum – Charlotte, NC)

    4. Buried Alive
    (1998-07-29 Riverport Amphitheater – Maryland Heights, MO)

    5. Halley’s Comet > Slave To The Traffic Light
    (1993-08-06 Peacock Pavilion, Cincinnati Zoo – Cincinnati, OH)

    6. Tweezer
    (2011-09-03 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, CO)

    all recorded by Paul Languedoc except 9/3/11 by Jon Altschiller. unmastered

  24. BingosBrother Says:

    Yay palmer! Good job! Lakewood Gin!

  25. voopa Says:

    Happy Birthday Tela’s!

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