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. Darth Vaper Says:

    “Boston class Bitchez!” made me laugh.

  2. bobby weird Says:

    Irony on steorids, BD, accusing Masshole of having zero tact when bitch cant even be big enough to congratulate winner. Cunt wears skinny jeans, right? As if i needed to know that based on his jeuvenile haterism? Grow up bro. Its just life.

  3. bob dylan Says:

    Never heard the one about cunt wearing skinny jeans.

    Did hear the one about dude taking shit personal on the Internet and then bringing up real life jabs. El boberino continues.

    Real winners don’t need to talk. Learn it and live it “bro”

  4. phishm Says:

    Aren’t you being rude to the folks you are partying with? I would be out celebrating if my team did what it took to win. They came up just short. Hope they find that edge next year.

  5. bobby weird Says:

    Step up and beat us any of you bitches. I dare Ya. Bring your weak ass shit!#

  6. bob dylan Says:

    Darth is right. Step outside and celebrate with the locals.

    I’m over here bitching to bitch. Don’t take my comments seriously.

  7. bobby weird Says:

    Win something then you can talk. Until then, lozers be lozers.

  8. tela's_muff Says:

    I’d like to get back to Katy Perry. Hot. Served the purpose.

  9. Stoney Case Says:

    Regarding the game:

    Amazing comeback by Brady after a rocky middle against an all-time great defense. Playing with pedestrian receivers and spotty run game. Truly one of the best we’ve seen and easily of this generation.

    Deflate deal is a joke and the NFL will be sharing the egg from their face soon.

    SpyGate also mostly a band aid on a larger league wide issue that I will explain off line but not here.

    If you’re an NFL fan, the Pats run under Brady and Bellijerk has been astounding.

    The Lions will be bad to average as long as the Fords own them. Nothing new. Puts me in a unique position as a fan that started following the Pats under Brady due to a simultaneous move to the NE and his being from Cali then playing at Michigan. I keep it quiet for obvious reasons. Guilt by association and such.

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    I really hope someone let the air out of the tires in Shadys new truck. That would be tops.

  11. Stoney Case Says:

    Tela. She crushed it. Looked smoking hot. Would’ve liked more Katy and less Missy but these event planners NEVER ASK MY OPINION!

  12. bob dylan Says:

    i’m of the folks that give 0 shits about football besides hating brady. similarly to my hatred of the yankees.

    i’m also thinking bobby is hammered right now. telling us to bring it when you’re on a message board is silly. i’ll refrain from addressing you for the rest of the night.

    stoney, a pats fan? you compared it to pre wrestling recently. you know this shit is rigged for them to win. c’mon man.

  13. Darth Vaper Says:

    Yeah. I wanna do a twosome with her and Zooey

    I liked the dancing sharks. It was N64 on acid. Mario World.

    Needed more Kravitz.

  14. Darth Vaper Says:

    I wrote Daschanel. Internet ate it.

  15. bob dylan Says:

    and now for something cool:

    scents from camden 04. ch-check it out.

  16. Stoney Case Says:

    I said the NFL has an entertainment factor that’s inflated which makes in akin to wrestling. On the field, it’s big strong men playing a complex game at unreal speeds. Brady is the man. Manning blows in the playoffs. #SorryNotSorry

    You have to follow someone when your a Lions fan or the playoffs get really boring. Got lucky with the Pats. So it goes. Like I said. Keep it mellow. You can understand I imagine.

  17. Darth Vaper Says:

    Fwiw, I trust stoney a little less knowing he is a closet Pats fan. 😉

  18. bobby weird Says:

    All i will say is BB is an obvious, unabashad, conspiracy theorist, everyone is cheating (dude even accused NCAA wrestling program of cheating….”) so obviously a conspiracy theorirst ala oliver stone. Think about it dude…

  19. Darth Vaper Says:

    He is out now so I celebrate that with him. Took courage and for that I applaud it. Next he’s gonna admit he really loves Chicago Blackhawks.

  20. Stoney Case Says:

    I only root for the Wings cuz birth and Kings cuz live in Cali and I hate the Sharks and Ducks. Wings never had rivalry with Wings.

    I have a Brady jersey and the 3 games to glory DVD set from their first three Super Bowls.

  21. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    Go Wings! Exciting game. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially Katie Perry’s blatantly obvious satanic half time ritual. Congrats Pats fans.

  22. BingosBrother Says:

    Stoney wears Uggs.

  23. bob dylan Says:

    $10 for a pic of stoney in uggs.

  24. tzara's Says:

    That was a rough one, just a Beast Mode run or two to seal it. WTF with the pass call. But at 24-14 with the ball could have sealed it earlier, but Pats D bucked up and we got a little conservative.

  25. tela's_muff Says:

    I def would have allowed Katy Perry to do multiple bad deeds to me.

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