Phish Riviera Maya Mexico 2020 – Night 4 Setlist, Recap & Skinny

By Scott Bernstein Feb 23, 2020 6:32 pm PST

Phish brought the 2020 installment of their Phish Riviera Maya destination event to a close on Sunday in Mexico. The quartet’s finale had an early listed start time of 5 p.m. as opposed to the 7:30 listed start times for Friday and Saturday’s performances. Phish played to the late-afternoon vibe during the first set, explored vastly different jam spaces at various points of the second set and delivered a six-song encore to conclude the event.

Sunday’s show began with “Crowd Control,” which has appeared in the opener slot for all 16 performances since 2009 with the exception of August 1, 2017 – when the Undermind track followed the “O Canada” opener. 2017 marked the last time Phish played a song from their 2004 LP in Mexico. “Crowd Control” came ahead of the tender “Farmhouse” and breezy “Breath & Burning.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio wrote the latter on the beach in Mexico after the inaugural Phish Riviera Maya destination event in 2016. Anastasio took a moment to explain how cool it was to be able to see the crowd due to the afternoon start and then led his mates through “Divided Sky.”

“Man you guys are so lit up now we know what you look like! Normally it’s just like a big black thing out there. We’re on to you now, we see you. You in the way back with the yellow thing on, I see you, up on the platform,” Trey noted. “You know we’re four mediocre-looking guys out here and you’re all these stunning model-looking people but now the secret’s out. It’s kind of like a whole beach full of mediocre people.” Drummer Jon Fishman gave a snare hit indicating a joke, yet Anastasio added, “That wasn’t supposed to be a joke. I’m serious!” before saying, “You’re all beautiful, we’re the mediocre-looking people.” Then, keyboardist Page McConnell added “except for our drummer” to which Jon Fishman quipped, “I’m the king of mediocrity. The KING … right down the middle!”

When “Divided Sky” was done, Anastasio apologized to the crowd for his earlier comment. “Not to belabor the point, but the comment about ‘ordinary-looking’ was supposed to be a compliment. I just meant, if the lights had come on and this looked like the Fyre Festival, like our whole audience was internet influencers who were just here to parade around and get their picture taken, I would’ve been surprised!”

“This is the best thing about [Trey]. He says something … this is our whole life … [then] half an hour later he says, ‘I’m really sorry, I didn’t mean that,'” explained Fishman. “Like you can look at your watch and wait for him to start apologizing. He’s a nice guy, he really is a good man. He’s got a good heart and he means well even though he says such rotten fucking things,” added the drummer ahead of a quick romp through the funky “Meat.” Up next was “Everything’s Right,” which led into the afternoon’s first extended jam. The band stuck in the song’s typical dark minor-key for a long time unlike many past versions of “Everything’s Right” featuring blissful improvisation. McConnell played lead on Fender Rhodes for the meat of the “Everything’s Right” jam while Trey focused on rhythmic work, bassist Mike Gordon utilized an envelope filter effect and Fish held down the beat. Eventually, Phish did modulate to a blissful jam space at which point Trey took the lead and strung together one beautiful riff after another. The quartet built to a crowd-pleasing peak to end “Everything’s Right.” It was then Page’s turn in the spotlight for “The Squirming Coil.”

“The Squirming Coil” didn’t end the set, which was the first time the Lawn Boy track wasn’t used as a set-closer or as the final song of a show since July 22, 2013. “Wingsuit” followed featuring its typical emotion-laden Trey solo and led into a set-closing “David Bowie.” The Junta classic hasn’t exactly been a goldmine for exploratory jamming over the past decade, so it was a surprise and nice treat when the band modulated between dark and light multiple times with great success.

Phish went an unusual route by selecting “Simple” to kick off the closing stanza. The band previously opened just one other second set with “Simple” since 1995 and that came on the final night of their legendary Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden in New York City on August 6, 2017. The “Baker’s Dozen” version was one of the best of the era and spanned 25+ minutes. Sunday’s “Simple” was “Evil Phish” at its finest thanks to the dark and patient approach the band took towards the song. The 16-minute take starred Trey as he delivered searing leads as part of the buildup and climax that signaled the end of the jam, which gave way to “Golden Age.” Phish wasted little time in diving back into full-band improvisation, blowing past the normal structure of the song. This time, the four-piece did go the bliss route as the band connected on an anthemic melody and built on it until they hit a massive peak. An ethereal ambient jam followed with Trey fitting in the anthemic melody Phish had just used as the base for a peak at various points throughout the second movement of the “Golden Age” jam.

The second set continued with a straight-forward “Fuego” that included “Simple” teases and gently faded into silence. Phish then kicked into an “Undermind” which came complete with “Manteca” teases from Anastasio. The quartet pulled off a slick segue into “Back On The Train” and took “BOTT” into unchartered territory for a few minutes that was more proggy than blues in stark contrast to most versions. Up next was Kasvot Växt track “Passing Through.” What was particularly interesting is how the jam which emerged out of the set-closing “Passing Through” was akin to the blues vamps that usually take place during “Back On The Train.” Phish capped the evening and their event with an encore consisting of “Rise/Come Together,” “The Horse” into “Silent In The Morning” sequence, a ragged version of the beloved “Fee,” a cover of Son Seals’ “Funky Bitch” and one final dose of positivity — “More.” The band are next slated to take the stage on July 14 in Eugene, Oregon.

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Moon Palace Golf & Spa Resort [See upcoming shows]

3 shows — 02/20/2020, 02/21/2020, 02/22/2020

The Music

9 songs / 5:45 pm to 7:16 pm (91 minutes)

12 songs / 7:52 pm to 9:31 pm (99 minutes)

21 songs / 19 originals / 2 covers


12.24 [Gap chart]



Passing Through -- 35 Shows (LTP -- 06/21/2019)

Everything's Right -- 18:06

The Horse -- 0:57

Junta - 3, Lawn Boy - 1, Rift - 2, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 2, Undermind - 2, Fuego - 2, Big Boat - 2, Misc. - 4, Covers - 2

The Rest

79° and Partly Cloudy at Showtime

Koa 2 / Languedoc G2 #4

Phish From The Road Photos


JamBase Collections