Phish Kicks Off Riviera Maya 2020 In Mexico – Setlist, Recap & Skinny
Phish began the fourth installment of their Phish Riviera Maya destination event with a “welcome set” on Thursday night at Moon Palace in Cancun, Mexico. Last night’s show featured a top-shelf “Free,” a pair of bust outs, a handful of jam vehicles and more.
The quartet opened Thursday’s set with a cover of The Rolling Stones’ “Torn & Frayed.” Phish last played the song from Exile On Main St. on July 7, 2012 – a span of 285 shows. The bust out was followed by the evening’s first jam as Phish dug in on “Ghost.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio fronted a transition into a major key and tastefully found spots to insert beautiful leads while keyboardist Page McConnell offered countermelodies on Clavinet and Fender Rhodes. Drummer Jon Fishman propelled the improvisation with a driving beat as bassist Mike Gordon kept hinting at a return to more evil terrain. The short and sweet trip to the land of bliss was followed by a segue into “Free” complete with the capacity crowd going nuts for the “we’ll be splashing in the sea” lyric.
Phish connected on an anthemic and funky lead during another unusual “Free” after dozens of “seen one, seem them all” versions. Towards the end of an already stellar version, the band jammed on a Pink Floyd-esque soundscape similar to Chilling Thrilling Sounds Of The Haunted House track “Shipwreck” and McConnell inserted sound effects from both “Shipwreck” and “Your Pet Cat.” Anastasio also shouted “Rescue Squad!” in reference to the New Year’s Eve gag that went awry and the song he made up on the spot that night as techs led him to safety. The fun teases and quotes came ahead of Phish finishing “Free.”
More treats awaited as the four-piece performed “Shake Your Coconuts,” the Junior Senior song that kicked off the legendary Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden in 2017. Thursday’s “Shake Your Coconuts” was the first since the dozen and included lyric changes to reference “It’s Phish in Mexico time.” Next up was Gordon’s “Victim,” which has been in his solo repertoire for three years and appeared on his OGOGO album but just made its Phish debut in December. A fun and loose “The Moma Dance” that saw the band paint outside the lines led into a languid “Gotta Jibboo” before the ballad “Shade” appeared with its “south of the border” lyric. Phish played “The Landlady” next and in a throwback to 1991 dropped from the final note directly into “Destiny Unbound.” The same transition was pulled off 18 times in 1991 including on November 15, which was the last “Destiny Unbound” the band would perform until February 28, 2003 – a span of 796 shows.
The tail end of the set got underway with a “Steam” filled with filthy shredding from Anastasio. Phish then took Talking Heads’ “Crosseyed & Painless” out for a spin. In similar fashion to “Ghost,” the jam scored high on the quality scale but low on the quantity scale. However, on this one, Trey wasn’t as tasteful as he was powerful in soloing over a blissful progression. The guitarist had “Antelope” on the mind as he led an interesting segue into a sloppy “Run Like An Antelope,” which gave way to a romp through “Cavern.” Anastasio went on to call for another song filled with fitting lyrics for the occasion — “Beneath A Sea Of Stars” from his Ghosts Of The Forest project. The typical structured solo/jam faded into a spacey noise rock excursion in which Fish was the only member of the band who wasn’t “free of time.” Sharp notes rang out from Trey’s guitar, Page added layers of synth swirls, Mike moved between accenting the “1” and long bombastic notes before the band came together to end the song.
Another rocker was in store to finish the set as Phish called upon “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” from their Kasvot Växt set. The quartet followed the marathon two-and-a-half-hour “welcome set” with a “You Enjoy Myself” encore. On Friday, the band will play two sets in Mexico. A live stream is available via LivePhish.com.
Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort [See upcoming shows]
17 songs / 9:37 pm to 12:12 am (155 minutes)
17 songs / 14 originals / 3 covers
27.88 [Gap chart]
Torn & Frayed -- 285 Shows (LTP - 07/07/2012)
You Enjoy Myself -- 17:36
The Landlady __ 3:14
Junta - 1, Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 2, Billy Breathes - 1, The Story of the Ghost - 2, Farmhouse - 1, Misc. - 5, Covers - 3
77° and Cloudy at showtime