Phish Riviera Maya 2019 Ends In Mexico: Setlist & Recap

By Ben Greenfield Feb 23, 2019 9:51 pm PST

On Saturday night, Phish played the third and final show of their run at Barcelo Maya Beach Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico. Coming on the heels of two shows that featured huge bustouts and huge jams, Saturday’s affair had less of each. But it did have some brilliant improvisation in the middle third of the second set, some excellent playing throughout the night, and an antic-filled six-song encore.

The band seemed to be on island time for the opening “Curtain With,” but the song’s slow pace only made its instrumental section even more gorgeous and majestic than usual. It was followed by an energetic, clean(ish) “Punch You In The Eye.” After the a propos lyrics in the first two songs (“Follow the lines going south,” then “palm trees” / “ocean” / “seagulls”) Trey Anastasio made “Blaze On” a bit extra appropriate, changing the lyrics to “And we’ll be dancing on the beach.” The tune’s usual jam plus its short spacey outro jam showcased a band that, in its third show of the year, sounds in mid-tour form. Next was a solid take on “Destiny Unbound.”

“Most Events Aren’t Planned” reminded fans, as Thursday’s huge jam in “I Always Wanted It That Way” had, that Page McConnell should write more songs and Phish should play the ones he does write more often. A raging outro jam gave way to a lovely “Divided Sky.” A fiery “Steam” was then followed by a set-closing “Chalk Dust Torture” which, though not as experimental as some recent versions, had a wonderfully dissonant guitar solo from Trey.

The second set-opening “First Tube” featured a scary moment, as Trey took a spill midway through the song, but luckily he quickly got up and appeared fine for the rest of the set. Next up was the fourth ever “Mike’s Song” > “Weekapaug Groove,” and the first pairing of the two songs with no interlude since July 17, 1998. This was much shorter than the previous three, with only a brief dark jam in “Weekapaug.” A routine version of “Fuego” came next. It was in the “Tweezer” that followed that the set saw its first deep jamming. The quartet wove its way through some patient full-band jamming before a magnificent uplifting section led by Trey’s looping, screaming guitar lick.

The jam out of “Carini,” was, for a while, muted but rhythmic (one might have called it “Plinko” if it were 2010), with Page McConnell skating around his synth over Trey’s staccato guitar lines. But it gradually built and built, ending with yet another desk-flipping dose of bliss. A momentary detour back into the “Tweezer” riff preceded a transition into “Ghost.” The tune had almost no jam, instead featuring a seamless segue into “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.,” which included the “We are vapor” lyrics that Trey sang on his solo tour, and also included an explosive guitar solo to close the set.

The encore opened with a nice take on “Simple,” after which Page attempted to play the “Because of the incredible speed of your rocket” sample, but accidentally went for “Faceplant into rock” instead. After a nice laugh, the band stuck with the initial plan and played “Martian Monster.” In the middle of the jam, Trey sang a verse of “Spanish Moon,” then quoted “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long,” “Sanity,” and then unleashed a full rendition of “Kung.” As if that weren’t enough, they extended the Mars suite with a take on “Big Black Furry Creature From Mars,” during which Jon Fishman called Trey “Lemmy.” But the band still wasn’t done: “Sleeping Monkey” featured Trey thanking CID for putting on the show, then asking Page to say something, but Page claiming the song made him too emotional to talk. Finally, “Tweezer Reprise” brought the encore, and the Mexico run, to a rousing close.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Barcelo Maya Resort [See upcoming shows]

8 shows — 01/15/2016, 01/16/2016, 01/17/2016, 01/13/2017, 01/14/2017, 01/15/2017, 02/21/2019, 02/22/2019

The Music

8 songs / 8:06 pm to 9:28 pm (82 minutes)

14 songs / 10:06 pm to 11:44 pm (98 minutes)

22 songs / 22 originals / 0 covers

1997

13.09 [Gap chart]

N/A

[ALL]

Kung - LTP 12/29/2016 (72 Show Gap)

The Curtain With - 14:45

Kung - 1:40

Junta - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 3, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 1, Fuego - 1, Big Boat - 1, Misc. - 14,

The Rest

78° and Clear at showtime

KOA 1

Phish From The Road Photos

Poster

JamBase Collections