Phish Plays ‘Mango Song’ In Memory Of Ellie Berg At Riviera Maya 2024 Opener — Setlist, Recap & Skinny

The all-original single-set was capped with a touching tribute to a young fan who recently passed away.

By Nate Todd Feb 22, 2024 6:17 am PST

Phish kicked off their four-night Riviera Maya run at the Moon Palace in Cancún, Mexico on Wednesday. As they have done since adding a fourth show in 2020, the band played one set and an encore to open the destination event. The 15-song, all-original concert saw the band dedicating encore starter “The Mango Song” to Ellie Pearl Berg, a 7-year-old girl from Boulder, Colorado who recently passed away.

Phish launched their first concert of 2024 with “Back on the Train.” The chug-a-lug jam began with drummer Jon Fishman keeping a steady snare roll while the rest of the band added variations.

Keyboardist Page McConnell worked the Wurlitzer electric piano as guitarist Trey Anastasio reeled off echoes before switching to his clavinet-like tone then toggling back to a cleaner sheen and going to work. The guitarist, keyboardist and bassist Mike Gordon linked up on a rolling lick leading to an intensity increase and some soaring from Trey ahead of rocking riffage. Page then gave the piano a sparkle before Anastasio dropped back into “BOTT” and out.

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“Welcome everybody, welcome!” Trey greeted the audience. “So nice to see you back here again.”

The quartet then got into the funk of “The Moma Dance.” Fish seemed to have some new samples in-store as the band modulated through the intro. The song carries a nautical theme, apropos for the historically pirated Caribbean Sea that stretches east from the Yucatán.

Next up, “Down With Disease.” The lead-in rattled with a cacophony from Trey which hid Mike’s telltale “DWD” effect. A less bass heavy, slightly shaky start before Trey dropped a “dancing on my beach” and the band got into the groove. The quartet swerved into a buoyant sequence that took an edgy turn before descending into a full vibe sesh.

Anastasio then moved things into a more major space as Page gravitated to the Fender Rhodes and up to the Yamaha synthesizer, unfurling soundscapes on the CS-60. Trey then worked out the left hand, laying out repeating riffs.

The jam flattened out into “DWD’s” Hoist companion, “If I Could,” like a breeze off the ocean — followed by a shimmering instrumental. The sequential songs had not been paired up since the “GameHoist” show in June 1994, which saw a complete performance of Hoist following a rendering of Gamehendge.

Anastasio then counted the band into “Everything’s Right.” While Trey’s voice was a little raspy, he charged into the chorus. A shifty sequence flowed out of the final lyrics with Fish smacking the whole kit around and Trey getting into some squishy auto-wah.

Anastasio steered the band into a brighter place with some right hand work, which didn’t last long, the section coming unglued into a shuffle with Page handling the Hammond organ ahead of fade out into the final chorus. “Halfway,” Trey said before the band dropped into the groovy McConnell tune, “Halfway To The Moon,” which boasted a soaring peak.

“Stash” slid in the seventh song slot. The jam saw Fish getting to work on the smaller toms with galloping beats while Gordon dropped booming bass runs. Fish then utilized the whole kit as Trey brought things to a boil on the A Picture of Nectar cut.

The quartet then took Mexico to “Alaska.” While Trey Anastasio Band has been playing the song regularly, Phish last played the strutting tune on June 3, 2022 at Ruoff Music Center (formerly known as Deer Creek), as per Phish.net.

Trey got into some swampy terrain on the “Alaska” exploration before sliding into a wailing affair with McConnell laying down a foundation of piano underneath him. The wailing heralded a transition into “Destiny Unbound,” led by Cactus. The quartet found the funk for the jam in an almost “Mike’s Song”-esque groove with Page bubbling on the clavinet before switching to piano for a charge into the song’s conclusion.

Read on after The Skinny for the rest of the recap and more.

The Skinny

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The Setlist

Set 1: Back on the Train, The Moma Dance > Down with Disease [1] > If I Could, Everything's Right, Halfway to the Moon, Stash, Alaska, Destiny Unbound, Ocelot, Julius, Sand > Life Saving Gun

Encore: The Mango Song, Carini

Down with Disease was unfinished and its lyrics were changed to “dancing on my beach.” Trey dedicated The Mango Song to Ellie, a young fan who had recently passed away.

The Venue

Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort [See upcoming shows]

12 shows
2/20/2020, 2/21/2020, 2/22/2020, 2/23/2020, 2/24/2022, 2/25/2022, 2/26/2022, 2/27/2022, 2/23/2023, 2/24/2023, 2/25/2023, 2/26/2023

The Music

15 songs / 9:16 pm to 11:37 pm (141 minutes)

15 songs
15 originals / 0 covers

2001

12.93 [Gap chart]

None

All

Alaska LTP 6/3/2022 (82 Show Gap)

Down wIth Disease 13:50

Halfway to the Moon 7:19

A Picture of Nectar - 2, Hoist - 3, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 2, Joy - 1, Fuego - 1, Sigma Oasis - 1, Misc. - 4,

The Rest

70° and Mostly Cloudy at Showtime

Ocelot (Koa 3)

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“Ocelot” occupied the 10th song spot, naturally played as Anastasio was sporting his Ocelot (Koa 4) Languedoc guitar. The band slinked into a silky jam that bopped along pleasantly and built through tiered peaks before settling back to end the track from 2009’s Joy.

Next, Trey rolled into the opening strains of the running rocker “Julius,” which featured Mike’s walking bassline and raucous piano from McConnell before Anastasio slid in and brought some heat — Page on his heels.

The gritty groove “Sand” filtered through the Moon Palace next. A broody sequence unfolded from the “symptoms” which saw Trey and Page whipping the jam into a more boisterous space, egging each other on back into the “Sand” riff and conclusion.

The quartet then dropped into Trey and Page January favorite “Life Saving Gun,” which made a good showing during the Madison Square Garden New Year’s Eve run a few weeks ago. While the lyrical portion seemed a bit unsteady at times, the band charged into a rowdy full-tilt funk groove with Anastasio conjuring otherworldly sounds from the Languedoc before wailing away once again, with Page ripping a biting clavinet and the Moog One at once.

“Life “Saving Gun” wrapped the 13 song set. “Thanks everybody, we’re (not?) going away for the next four minutes so stick around,” Trey said before the band did indeed go away only to arrive back onstage in roughly four minutes.

“So this is for Ellie. Your family is in our hearts, and Ellie is in our hearts right now with all of us so we’re gonna play this song,” Trey said ahead of “The Mango Song.”

After Ellie’s passing, Phish fans began an online movement to move the band to play her favorite, “The Mango Song,” which the quartet weaved through delicately with standout sparkling piano from Page.

Anastasio then banged out the opening kerrangs of “Carini.” Trey moved quickly into some demented riffage to begin the jam. The band kept things rowdy as Anastasio rampaged through the rambunctious, but brief, “Carini” to cap night one in Mexico.

Phish Riviera Maya continues on Thursday with a two-set show. Livestreams can be purchased via LivePhish.com.

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