Phish Riviera Maya Mexico Night Two – Setlist & The Skinny

By Andy Kahn Jan 16, 2016 8:24 pm PST

Phish held the middle show of a three-night destination event at the Barcelo Maya Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico Saturday night. The first half of the evening provided fans with atypical song selections and fully fleshed-out improvisation while the concluding portion of the night delivered more jamming among a varied setlist.

Phish got off to a relaxed and funked-out start, beginning the first set Saturday with a slow burning take on the old veteran “Camel Walk” which had only opened a show one other time, back in 1997. The band kept the funk churning as bassist Mike Gordon drove them through a punchy take on his “555” punctuated by a gritty solo from guitarist Trey Anastasio. Next, keyboardist Page McConnell and Anastasio traded verses on a nicely played “Rift.” After taking up six covers Friday evening, Phish got back in the game Saturday with a performance of Talking Heads’ “Cities” that kept the laid-back funk vibe flowing as Anastasio and drummer Jon Fishman locked up to propel an intense and ultimately soaring segment of exploratory first set improvisation.

The somewhat rare bit of early improv segued into an even rarer first set performance of “Light.” Just the third such placement and first non-festival first set appearance since 2009, Saturday’s “Light” kept up the jamming foundation laid out one song prior, as McConnell made use of the Fender Rhodes and electric piano, creating an atmospheric soundscape for the band to play over before Anastasio settled on a syncopated rhythmic melody that the foursome eventually coalesced around. Fans hoping the improvisation would continue were rewarded with “Simple” and more of Trey’s soaring guitar solos supported by Gordon’s solid foundation. The covers kept coming out as “Simple” dissipated into “Timber (Jerry).” More exploration ensued over Fish’s rumbling beat as Page traded organ licks with Trey’s resonating chords. It was then Page’s turn to take lead, singing the ballad “Wading In The Velvet Sea” (another set one rarity) as fans were literally wading in the sea nearby. The multifaceted “Reba” came next and following the typically powerful climactic peak pf the song the band abruptly shifted – while abandoning the “Reba’s” ending – into a concise rendition of the set closing rocker “Chalk Dust Torture.”

The beach was home to another cover to start set two as TV On The Radio’s “Golden Age” served as launching pad to an at first minimally constructed, almost ambient jam that soon evolved into jittery but well-balanced interplay between the four musicians. Much like the first set, the quartet patiently proceeded as they left the song’s structure behind, building a wall of sound which Anastasio finally broke through with the opening chords of “Prince Caspian.” The oceanic lyrics were well-received as the band again played up their proximity to the water with their song selection. Song structure was again quickly cast off as another dissonant progression took hold and the quartet settled on a darkly jagged motif. Coming out of the jam, Page’s “Halfway To The Moon” was an uplifting counterpoint to the edgier start of the set.

Anastasio then slowed down the pace of the set with a performance of his ballad “Joy.” An attempt to bolster the energy back up was successful in the form the rocker “46 Days.” Patience was again an expressed virtue as the four took their time building the jam out of “46 Days,” allowing it to dismantle to its most basic parts as conversation between the four slowly evolved. Out of the depths of the jam came a straight-forward take on “Twenty Years Later.” The jovial “Julius” gave those in attendance cause to stir up some sand. “Harry Hood” and its journey to a gorgeous and blissful peak culminating with Anastasio unleashing an arsenal of notes served as a fitting final statement to the set and evening’s performance. For the encore the foursome reemerged for a performance of the anthemic “Character Zero,” sending vacationers back to their hotel rooms with a rocking finale.

Phish continues their three night visit to Mexico with the finale Sunday night. A webcast is available via

The Skinny

The Setlist

The Venue

Barcelo Maya Resort [See upcoming shows]

1 shows — 01/15/2016

The Music

10 songs / 7:34 pm to 8:56 pm (82 minutes)

9 songs / 9:37 pm to 11:00 pm (83 minutes)

19 songs / 16 originals / 3 covers


8.21 [Gap chart]



Twenty Years Later - LTP 01/01/2015 (33 Show Gap)

Harry Hood - 15:36

555 - 5:44

Junta - 0, Lawn Boy - 1, A Picture of Nectar - 1, Rift - 1, Hoist - 1, Billy Breathes - 2, The Story of the Ghost - 1, Farmhouse - 0, Round Room - 1, Undermind - 0, Joy - 3, Fuego - 2, Misc. - 3, Covers - 3

The Rest

75° F Clear with periodic clouds at showtime

Koa 2 / Languedoc G2 #4

Phish From The Road Photos …


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