First Nights of the Later Eras

10.17.14, Eugene, OR (Eric Battuello)

Phish continued their unspoken tradition of dropping a chunk ofnheavy-hitting first night improv right on through the 2.0 and the modern era. Enjoy this long playlist of highlights, all plucked from the first nights of tours and chronologically ordered for your listening pleasure.

Bathtub Gin” / “Walls -> Carini” 2.14.03 II, Los Angeles, CA

After their shaky comeback run at MSG at Hampton, Phish announced their presence of authority with a feel-good and deeply grooving “Bathtub Gin” in the first set, and this menacing, wide open second set combo of “Walls -> Carini”  at the old LA Forum.

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Wolfman’s > Scents and Subtle Sounds” 7.7.03 II, Phoenix, AZ

This second-set opening combination was like happening upon a treasure in the middle of a desert. As “Wolfman’s” grew darker and demented, Phish twisted into the debut of “Scents and Subtle Sounds” in one of their greatest new song unveilings of their career What first sounded like a fable soon transformed into a glorious jam, and Phish’s Summer Tour of 2003 was officially underway.



46 Days” 6.17.04 II, Brooklyn, NY

Coney Island’s Keyspan Park was a perfect atmosphere in which to kick off a summer tour. This version of “46 Days” went deep, opening up the psychedelic vortex that would engulf the eternally underrated first leg of Summer ’04.



46 Days” 11.18.09 I, Detroit, MI

This dark horse version of “46 Days” from Cobo’s opening set came out of nowhere and is pure filth. A total diamond in the rough, Phish was still getting their sea legs back and dropped this dripping piece of psych-funk on the first night of Fall ’09.



Ghost” 6.11.10 II, Chicago, IL

This version of “Ghost” from 2010’s opening night at Toyota Park was gargantuan at the time. And even years later, it can still hold its own.



Waves > Caspian > Crosseyed” 5.27.11 II, Bethel NY

A methodical deconstruction of “Boogie On’s” groove led into this powerful trifecta from opening night of 2011 at Bethel. Both “Waves” and “Crosseyed” pack a punch, though of a decidedly different musical nature.



Rock and Roll -> Meatstick” 8.5.11 II, George, WA

Opening night at The Gorge in 2011 resulted not only in an all-tour jam, but an all-timer. This sequence is still among the elite of the modern era. A month after Super Ball’s Storage Jam, Phish integrated the dark and abstract style into this improvisational behemoth. And what a segue into “Meatstick,” also up there with the all-time greats.



Carini” / “Ghost > Boogie On” 6.7.12 II, Worcester, MA

Throw opening night of summer tour indoors and one gets much darker results. Both “Carini” and “Ghost > Boogie On” highlighted the second set, the former with more abstract psych rock, and the latter with grooves aplenty.

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Rock and Roll  > Ghost” 8.15.12, II, Long Beach, CA

It was in Long Beach on the opening night of Leg Two during Summer 2012 that Phish truly rediscovered long form jamming for keeps. It seemed as though they had reeled in their jams a bit over Leg One to tighten things up, and over Leg Two they began to let things breathe again. This “Rock and Roll” is a loose exploration that is a stark contrast to the tighter, thematic style of jamming we’ve heard over most of 2013 and much of 2014.



Carini” 10.18.13 II, Hampton, VA

In a Fall Tour littered with jams at every turn, Phish dropped one of tour’s elite excursions during the first night of the run at Hampton Coliseum. This jam needs no introduction at this point, as it garnered almost instantaneous fame in the community. No jam of 2013 contained more swagger than the Hampton “Carini.”



Harry Hood” 7.1.14 II, Mansfield, MA

This all-time version of “Harry Hood” went down during this summer’s opening night at Great Woods, and it would be the best version of summer tour. This version inaugurated a year of wide open “Harry Hoods,” though I’m not sure this version has been topped.



Twist > Crosseyed > Hood” 10.17.14 II, Eugene, OR

This three-song sequence from Eugene was packed to the gills with high-level and creative improvisation, setting the bar incredibly high for Fall 2014 on just the first night. “Crosseyed” provided the centerpiece of the set with a multi-tiered leviathan, but the bookends were incredibly inventive takes on their songs as well.

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13,510 Responses to “First Nights of the Later Eras”

  1. tzara's Says:

    Glad the game wasn’t decided by the refs though. But we’ll be talking about that play call forever.

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    that was incredibly satisfying.

    I’ve been in a bit of denial about exactly how fucking sick of the fucking Seahawks talk I am.

    Not to be all hivemind-y but yeah you just give it to Lynch for sure

  3. sumodie Says:

    Interesting Brady profile in today’s Times

  4. Joe Says:


  5. Joe Says:

    Get your freak on.

  6. MrCompletely Says:

    Katy Perry singing about how she kissed a girl and liked it at super bowl halftime and riding a giant psychedelic lion was pretty solid entertainment. like the Pats victory itself I enjoyed it much more knowing how salty it will make the haters.

    thinking anything is stacked in favor of the pats or anyone else is not very credible. the league has plenty of problems but the only time they normally decide games is when it’s the refs.

    that was a sometimes great, sometimes kinda bad game between two very good teams. ultimately it was decided by Pete C outsmarting himself. I like that part too.

  7. Snigglebeach Says:

    I’d prob hate Brady if I wasnt a Boston guy, but on the field, he has no equal.

    6 times the guy has led his team on potential 4th qtr game winning scoring drives in the Super bowl. The last 3 times in a row Td passes. 2 times out of those 3 his defense let him down. How much more could he have done??

    Can I be the first to call for a repeat contest next February.?

  8. Joe Says:

    One for the thumb next year. Tonight’s was for the middle finger

  9. sumodie Says:

    Wow, that Katy Perry half time show was wickedly whacked. I loved it, esp the dancing sharks!

    Complete performance

  10. sumodie Says:

    ^NFL’s version of a DMT trip

  11. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    Wtf is up with the “allure” of Kim Kardashian? I don’t get it. Maybe I’m missing something but I just don’t see the appeal at all.

  12. sumodie Says:

    Ha! Trey Perry:

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    Random, I wonder if it’s that there are a lot of people out there who are without talent but are willing to do anything to get ahead, and she has proved it’s possible for them…kind of a role model for the selfie economy?

    Plus some dudes are hypmo-tized by her booty, which, I dunno – as a lifelong booty connoisseur I think it’s a bit fake and exaggerated looking, but as Ol’ Dirt McGirt used to say, de gustibus non est disputandum

  14. Stoney Case Says:

    Hawk fans:

    Here’s my take: Carroll loves Russel Wilson so much. He wanted Wilson to have one chance at a passing TD and the MVP of the game. If it’s incomplete they run twice. He said “we designed the play for the db not to be able to do that” I.e., the play had a rub/pick and Butler beat it. Carrol was stunned the rookie Butler made that play.

  15. dorn76 Says:

    Lenny Kravitz played his guitar!

  16. bob dylan Says:

    I like your rationale Stoney. at this point in time that’s about the only thing that makes sense.

    Taste is not disputable…. Well, true that.

  17. dorn76 Says:

    Funny how the bb ended up in a scrum after it was said and done too!

  18. dorn76 Says:

    On record as liking the lion, sharks and polka dot 2 pieces.

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    I like the psychological interpretation

    It was a pretty damn heady play by the young fella. And after that catch! Wild ending.

    Thank Jeebus it didn’t end on any kind of disputed call.

  20. dorn76 Says:

    Never felt like rubbing it in anyone’s face when Yanks win. We are too haughty for that. #26times. These little town blues are melting away, everywhere is a little town, everything else but winning falls away.

    I get doing it with a chip too, I lived there a decade and I know that scrappy bunch. Congrats to The Hub, you win all the time but always act like noobs. Don’t ever change.

    It’s a compliment. Edelman, Brady, etc, all passed over. Hard workers. Opportunists.

  21. dorn76 Says:


    Almost too many too count.

  22. dorn76 Says:

    Dang that sounded dickish. Great win. 4.

    Better than my guy Dan the Man.


  23. vegas wolfmans Says:

    C’est la vie. That has to be the worst call in superbowl history, but that’s how Petey roles. Live by the sword die by the sword. Also, is Bobby Weird a sociopath? Any IRL confirmation?

    *pro Katy Perry

  24. Jerome Garcia Says:

    booby just be booby yo. A little tipsy & confrontational but hey. Guess going to bed @ halftime was a mistake huh? Missed delic KP & a stellar 2nd half. Oh well…off to milk those cows…

    Thx again Scoop for DP13. Shit is uncut GD @ its finest.

    Make it a good one you skinny jeans wearing conspiracy theorist cunts!

  25. dorn76 Says:

    Up long enough to close office for the AM, and share a Deep Denim Thought.

    Skinny Jeans are just jorts with legs.

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