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Video: The Ultimate Phish Setlist

by Rob Slater on August 05, 2014

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.

"Reba"

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.

"Vultures"

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.

"Tube"

Dayton '97. "Tube." Enough said.

"Bathtub Gin"

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"

"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!

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Comments

“first set” is what I would have chosen, but the “second set” is where I tend to disagree with most of the versions selected (although the setlist itself would be nice) aside from the ‘03 Nassau Tweezer (which also has a great Gin), ‘95 Albany YEM and the NYE ‘93 Hood which I think anyone would tell you are ‘staple’ versions for each song. 

Any Forbin’s > Mockingbird is welcome

By chooglincharley - 08/05/14

The sad thing is there is probably a contract with Northerly that prevents them from playing Alpine again in the near future.

By pwr - 08/05/14

I just played all the videos at once and heard the voice of the Unit Monster.

By Glerg - 08/05/14

Mike’s song is missing

By Ed - 08/05/14

You mean unic monster

By s.l.c phan - 08/06/14

D sky soam
Are all sick
Good choices tube p.y.i.t.e

By s.l.c phan - 08/06/14

All are great although I’d put Mike’s Song and Suzy in there

By Ben - 08/06/14

Actually the northerly show went the other way around, and it wasn’t an > either. Lizards, then the worst Harpua ever. Check your setlists. Just saying.

By bobby w - 08/06/14

Well done guys. Great Went gin for dayzzzzz. Maybe th boys will catch wind of this and drop it for New Years

By Joe - 08/06/14

So, the ultimate phish setlist isn’t a full Gamehenge narrative? How?

By k.russell - 08/07/14

The ultimate setlist should probably include one cover ... I suggest Crosseyed and Painless

By Jack - 08/07/14

Also ... no Ghost? No Mike’s>Simple>Groove? I think the ultimate setlist should have merited a three set show, and a few more newer songs as well.

By Jack - 08/07/14

Contract with northerly forbids alpine?  How does this bs work? Is that why they don’t play deer creek anymore?

By Philbaby - 08/12/14

You meant unique monster.

By Jefvos - 08/12/14

what about Ghost?

By craig - 08/12/14

stash / ghost / the line / character zero / weekapaug groove / birds of a feather / bug / down with disease / wolfmans brother / 555 / halfway to the moon / sample in a jar / first tube / sand / tweezer

By JD - 08/13/14

Character Zero

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v33bpAmiE7g

By Hibiya - 08/13/14

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