On Saturday night, Phish continued their south of the border excursion with their third and final performance in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Phish opened up their first set with “The Curtain With”, also played in the opening slot at their 1/14/2017 Riviera Maya show. Trey Anastasio took no time to get things fired up, laying down some of his intricate composed work, with Page McConnell following closely behind. With the standard and spot-on “The Curtain With” opener , the quartet smoothly moved forward with “Punch You In The Eye”. Trey and Mike Gordon stepped front and center with smiles from ear-to-ear, breaking down into their signature “Punch” dance, as the beachfront crowd erupted with applause. Page let it all hang out on his grand piano, spitting back jazz-infused licks with Anastasio’s scorching guitar solos.
It was clear the band was ready to continue fueling the fire, diving head first into “Blaze On”. Trey couldn’t contain his excitement as he belted out the lyrics, inviting Page to dazzle the crowd with an explosive piano solo. With Jon Fishman and Mike locking into a tight-knit groove pocket, the duo propelled the jam into a rocking segment, before Page took things into his own hands and added a dark and spooky element to the jam’s closure. Mike led the charge into “Destiny Unbound”, dropping some colossal bass bombs before taking the lead on vocals. Trey was out in his finest form on Saturday night, as he ripped through a series of gritty guitar solos backed by Fishman’s hard-hitting beats.
With no brief pause or break to catch their breaths so far in the set, Phish smoothly segued into “Most Events Aren’t Planned”, Page’s Vida Blue original that the band has only played live four times since its debut at the band’s iconic Baker’s Dozen run. Page sounded bold and confident with his vocal lead before moving into the tune’s uptempo breakdown. With Page amping things up with a funky synth-infused showdown, Trey took no time to join in the fun, tenaciously charging into a high-voltage, ever-evolving solo. Phish continued pushing forward with a breezy oceanside rendition of “Divided Sky” before taking their first chance to pause and grab a sip of water. Trey let out the opening riff for “Steam”, with Mike and Fishman locking into the tune’s infectious groove. There is no denying Trey was on one last night, as he unleashed his inner “dark and evil” concealed within the theme before the “Steam” disappeared, and Phish triumphantly marched into a set closing “Chalk Dust Torture”.
Phish showed no signs of slowing down, as they came back out to open their second set with a bouncy “First Tube”. Trey threw down some sinister wails out of the gates before jumping around like a mad man all over the stage. Fishman and Mike are a rhythmic force to be reckoned with, as they laid down a fierce backbeat for Trey to continue his hot-streak with a scorching guitar peak. As Chris Kuroda’s mind-bending rainbow light patterns reflected off of the Caribbean coastline water, Phish moved forward with “Mike’s Song”. For the first time since 1998, the band decided to toss zilch in the middle of their usual “Mikes Groove” sandwich, moving straight forward with a plinko-heavy “Weekapaug Groove”. With Trey dancing around on his pedals, some hints of “First Tube” reemerged, followed by a ripping finale back into the vocal closing segment of “Weekapaug”.
Phish kept it rolling with “Fuego”, igniting a full-fledged dance party for those lucky enough to be boogying under the Spanish moon. A standard but smooth-sailing “Fuego” led way to “Tweezer”, as Trey dialed things in, leading his bandmates into an at first eerie and dark jam, which quickly took a hard-turn into blissful Type II jam territory. With Fishman laying down the foundation, Page and Trey connected and found their sweet spot, progressively evolving into an earth-shattering peak. Slowing down the tempo coming out of “Tweezer”, and a possible hint of a forthcoming slower tune was the biggest fake out of the evening, as Phish crashed into “Carini”.
Last night’s “Carini” was as tender and silky-smooth as it gets, the Phish that every fans travels thousands of miles and through international customs to bask in. With Trey laying down some heavy-fan action on his Languedoc, he quickly spit out the “Tweezer” lick before taking the charge forward with the opening “Ghost” riff. “Ghost” lasted no longer than a few minutes, as the band made the game-time decision to shower the crowd with a set-closing “Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.”. Highlighted by Trey’s newly added lyrics of “We are vapor, we are liquid, we are love”, Gordon paved the way into last night’s scorching improvisational “S.A.N.T.O.S” segment, giving Trey once last chance to blaze on with a red-hot solo.
Phish returned to the stage with a massive, multi-faceted encore, beginning with “Simple”. Moving out of “Simple”, the band pushed forward with a “Martian Monster” chock-full of quotes and shenanigans, including “Spanish Moon”, “Death Don’t Hurt Very Long”, and “Sanity”. The biggest surprise of the night came next with “Kung”, played last over Phish’s 2016 New Year’s run. “Kung” contained “Shipwreck” teases from Page, followed up by “Big Black Furry Creature from Mars”, which was lathered with “Martian Monster” quotes. Trey took a brief moment to thank C.I.D. Entertainment and founder Dan Berkowitz for putting on such a magical event, before letting Fishman take the lead into a crowd-assisted “Sleeping Monkey”. “Tweezer Reprise” brought the marathon of an encore to a close, capping off undoubtedly Phish’s greatest Mexico run they’ve played.
Setlist: Phish | Riviera Maya, Mexico | 2/23/19
Set One: The Curtain With > Punch You In The Eye > Blaze On > Destiny Unbound > Most Events Aren’t Planned > Divided Sky, Steam, Chalk Dust Torture
Set Two: First Tube, Mike’s Song > Weekapaug Groove, Fuego , Tweezer > Carini , Ghost > Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.
Encore: Simple > Martian Monster > Kung > Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise