Page Side, Wave Side – Day 1 of Phish Riviera Maya

The hype and anticipation surrounding Phish’s first tropical destination was colossal to say the least. This is the first time Phish has done anything with an all inclusive resort and more importantly this was the first time the band has performed in Mexico. The resort is absolutely gorgeous and Phans alike were taking full advantage of the amenities.

With CK5 and Jefferson Waful collaborating on a variety of lighting insertions, the concert area came alive once the sun set. Getting into the venue area was honestly more tough than going through Mexican customs. As the line of almost 7,000 people stretched as far as one could see, there were a few brave souls trying to bribe security with up to $400 to get inside. Since there were several waves of security, including a stage where they scan your wristband, it seemed almost impossible to sneak in. Inside the venue there was added security on the beach for swimmers. It was completely locked down.

The first set kicked off fittingly with “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” and the band wasted no time getting into thick improvisation. “My Soul” surfaced next lifting the no covers ban. Trey ripped through this version with conviction. The crowd favorite “Martian Monster” whiplashed the crowd into a dancing frenzy before “Ya Mar” brought everyone back to earth. There were many notable highlights in the first set but a special moment was when Trey stepped up to the mic and said “well, this doesn’t suck” which inspired a roaring cheer from the crowd. Trey then subsequently dedicated the next song to the people standing on paddle boards in the ocean before the band stepped into “Theme From The Bottom.”

The second set was full of prime song selection and buttery transitions. The band opened up with “Drowned” which segued into “What’s the Use?” “Sand” was all too perfect given the atmosphere on the beach and the transition into “Ghost” was absolutely beautiful. Just as the the opening notes starred the heavens opened up and the rain came pouring down, which was actually quite refreshing. The timing couldn’t have been more perfect. “2001” > “Wolfman’s Brother” > “Possum” kept the flow and energy consistent. It was especially nice to see the last two songs in the second set, outside of their typical first set placement. Phish closed with a tender, breathtaking take on The Rolling Stones’ “Shine A Light” that was full of emotion. Capping off the encore with “Rock & Roll” was a fitting reminder that everything is alright. One down and two to go and something tells me the best is yet to come.
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