Recap: Phish Mexico Night 2 | “Set Your Soul Free South of the Border”

(Writer: Cody Lantz)

Phish brought heavy jams while mixing both new and classic songs Friday night for their second of three performances at this year’s Riviera Maya destination event in Mexico.

The Vermonters again showed their eagerness and readiness to play as they opened the show with “You Enjoy Myself”. The quintessential Phish tune was met with huge cheers from the audience as the band worked its way through the many composed sections of the song, featuring bluesy soloing from guitarist Trey Anastasio, and a minor trampoline flub from bassist Mike Gordon. This was the first performance of “YEM” in Mexico and also the first time it had opened a show since 2003. Clearly these guys are enjoying themselves south of the border. Next, the band reached to a more recent song in their repertoire with the Kasvot Växt tune “Turtle in the Clouds”. A fierce take on “46 Days” kept the set moving along, followed by a funky “No Men In No Man’s Land” which entered into some Type I jamming territory. Continuing with the precedent set at the previous show of bust-out covers, the quartet then dusted off The Rolling Stones’ “Emotional Rescue”. Featuring Mike Gordon on vocals, this was the sixth ever performance of the song which was last played on 08/31/12 in Commerce City, CO. A slightly extended take on “Tube” followed before the band then cooled things down with “Shade” coming in the ballad slot with its appropriate “south of the border” lyrics. A dark “Saw It Again” brought the first set to an end.

Phish began the second set with the pairing of “Set Your Soul Free” > “Mercury”. The two newer songs both reached some monstrous Type II jamming as the sequence clocked in at over forty-five minutes. Featuring top tier interplay between all members, this sequence is the highlight of the show and worth a re-listen. Continuing with the night’s pattern of new and old material, the quartet then kept the set rolling with a sequence of classic old-school Phish tunes. “Slave To The Traffic Light” acted as a breather for the band after a fierce start to the set, which was then followed by a romp through “Possum” to keep the high energy going. The weird and funny rarity “Sanity” was next which was last played on 08/06/17 at the Baker’s Dozen residency in New York City. Phish had one more classic song up their sleeve as they looked to a cover of the James Gang’s “Walk Away” to bring the second set to a rocking close. For the encore the Vermonters chose the Big Boat track “More” leaving everyone in attendance vibrating with love and light. Phish finishes out their Riviera Maya run in Mexico Saturday night.

Setlist:

Set 1: You Enjoy Myself, Turtle in the Clouds, 46 Days, No Men In No Man’s Land, Emotional Rescue, Tube, Shade, Saw It Again
Set 2: Set Your Soul Free > Mercury > Slave to the Traffic Light > Possum > Sanity > Walk Away
Encore: More

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