Video: The Ultimate Phish Setlist
If you've been following along on our Facebook page over the last month, then you've probably voted several times on our Phish Ultimate Setlist project. As an innocent bystander (okay, I voted a few times), it's been fun to watch this set come together through the eyes of Phish's most loyal fans and now, we can present the set in full with videos attached. Before you get all "BUT WHAT ABOUT THE RIVERPORT 'GIN,'" know that the goal here is to provide a visual to the songs you voted on while showcasing every era of Phish from their birth to where they are now. All, however, are fantastic versions and you will thoroughly enjoy them.
Check out a full video playlist of the set that you voted on and enjoy seeing Phish perform some of their best tunes in all different eras and settings. Also, when you're done with that, check out an excerpt of our cover story with the band and find out how to subscribe to get your own issue of Relix.
"Punch You in the Eye"
"Punch" is really one of Phish's best openers. I will try to avoid saying it "packs a punch" at all costs, but it really does when played like this version from 12/30/97. From the build to the "HEY!" and the "Landlady" section, you know you're in for a fun Phish show when the band comes out with this tune.
"The Moma Dance"
1998 saw Phish at the height of their musical powers and one of the beneficiaries of that dominance was the new "Moma Dance" that spawned out of the 97-98 sessions for Story of the Ghost. Now, "Moma" is a surefire first set song to get the crowd moving.
For the first true jam vehicle of the set, fans wisely chose "Reba." One of the quintessential Phish songs has come in all shapes and sizes over the years, but this one from 8/16/93 in St. Louis may reign supreme. If you're looking to fall into a black hole of "Reba"'s, give 11/25/94, 2/20/93 and 4/398 a spin when you get a chance.
Always on the fringe of being a true rarity in the catalog, "Vultures" has seen somewhat of a renaissance in the 3.0 era, notching nine plays (just 36 total) since their return in 2009. Check out the tune from the 2011 New Year's run at Madison Square Garden.
Dayton '97. "Tube." Enough said.
Versions of "Bathtub Gin" don't get much better than the famed Great Went "Gin." Some may clamor for the Riverport "Gin" played the following year, but in the end the Great Went takes the title as one of the best out there.
"Maze" may rank as Phish's most dynamic rock song and is a fine candidate to follow what we assume is the best "Gin" ever played. This version from 12/11/97 followed a must-hear "Down with Disease" and was the third song of the night in Rochester, NY. Do yourself a favor and check out this version but also seek out the entire show if you haven't already.
"The Divided Sky"
When played perfectly, as it is above, "Divided Sky" is one of the best communal experiences one can have at a Phish show.
"Split Open and Melt"
Everything about 6/21/94 was atypical and unusual. About five songs in, the fire alarm went off, forcing an evacuation. Thankfully, no one was hurt but the band did come out and appropriately bust into "Fire." A few songs after that, this wonderfully weird "SOAM" was delivered, further establishing the song's "anything goes" mentality. Check it out, complete with "Rock and Roll" and "Hoochie Koo" teases.
"Run Like An Antelope"
Ah, the days when Phish used to play Student Union's. For the first set closer, you selected "Run Like an Antelope," one of the most popular first set closers in Phish history. This version from the University of Arizona closed the first set that evening and even included a "Smells Like Teen Spirit" tease at the height of Nirvana's power. Flip the page for set two!
"Down with Disease"
They say listening to the Reading "Disease" daily will add five years onto your life. So, do it.
Quite possibly their most reliable jam vehicle in the 3.0 era, the second set continues with "Carini." What better way to demonstrate the power of the song in its current state than reliving the incredible version delivered at the band's latest Hampton Coliseum run last fall.
"Harpua" > "The Lizards"
"Harpua" and "The Lizards" have only been paired together once--at the weather-plagued Northerly Island run in 2013. Phish welcomed the cast of Second City to do "Harpua" "the right way" and then broke into "The Lizards" after that. Given all the rain that fans had to sit through during the weekend, they certainly earned that segment.
The 2.0 years certainly brought an edge and grit to Phish's jamming style, and no tune benefited from this more than "Tweezer." Here, in one of their first shows back, they ripped an incredible 26-minute "Tweezer" that ignited the crowd to start the second set. There have been some great recent versions too (we recently celebrated one of them), and if this one doesn't wet your appetite, here are 40 more you should check out.
"Colonel Forbin's Ascent" > "Fly Famous Mockingbird"
You all sure like narrations. Anyway, here is a true old-school "Forbin's" with a lovely Gamehendge narration from Trey that ultimately leads into "Fly Famous Mockingbird."
While YouTube couldn't produce a video of THE "Fluffhead" from 7/24/99 at Alpine Valley (a venue Phish must go back to sometime soon), this is still a wonderfully executed version from the stellar 10/16/10 show in Charleston, SC. Trey really leans into his solo at the end and drives it. Kuroda lights up the arena like a Christmas tree, too.
"You Enjoy Myself"
Set two comes to a close with a monster version of "You Enjoy Myself" courtesy of 12/9/95 in Albany, NY. The Albany "YEM" is a masterpiece from start to finish and is one that every Phish fan should seek out.
To start the encore, you fans wisely chose "Harry Hood." This well-known version from 12/31/93 is wonderful in its own right. Trey hits the Tube Screamers and it's 'game on' all the way to 1994, producing a stellar version of the song. However, the beauty of "Hood" is in the eye of beholder. Be sure to seek out 11/23/96 for a different take on the song, further proving its versatility.
The Reprise so nice they played it twice. Goodnight.
Here's the full setlist:
Set I: Punch You In The Eye, The Moma Dance, Reba, Vultures, Tube > Bathtub Gin > Maze, Divided Sky, Split Open and Melt > Run Like An Antelope
Set II: Down With Disease > Carini > Harpua > The Lizards > Tweezer > Colonel Forbin's Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > Fluffhead, You Enjoy Myself
Encore: Harry Hood > Tweezer Reprise