Trey teased Cities in Light. Reba did not contain the whistling ending, but Trey briefly quoted Reba's whistling coda in Chalk Dust.

Photo © @Phish_FTR

Jam Chart Versions
Reba quote in Chalk Dust Torture, Cities tease in Light
Debut Years (Average: 1997)

This show was part of the "2016 Mexico"

Show Reviews

, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by Franklin

Franklin A very interestingly constructed show.

Camel Walk opener is some people's thing, so I'm happy for those people. 555 and Rift are both great choices for the first set, really gets the energy going.

Then this first set gets really good. Cities is simply astounding -- one of those compact, type 2 jams that you can really sink your teeth into. Very highly recommended listening. Light is another great pick, very rare in the first set, and the playing was tight.

I love Simple to death, but this one followed the tradition of the first set Simple (a la 12/30/15) where everything just fizzles out. Timber is a GREAT first set song, so exciting to hear, it was played with a lot of gusto. Wading was an appropriate cool-down, although Trey was really pushing it during the solo.

A really tight Reba, with a wonderful composed section and a super cohesive jam, follows. Very outstanding. Chalk Dust is fast and furious and the whistling over the intro is probably even more hilarious than it was during Gin in Atlanta, and the band is clearly fired up.

All told, a high-energy first set with great song selection, tight playing, and a lot of fun. You can't expect much more from a first set that still sounds like a first set.


Second set: Golden Age opener is AWESOME. Some really exciting playing from Mike and Page in the main section, then we peter out into space for a little bit before revving back up to a wonderfully cohesive, exciting jam. This is one to listen to a few more times and, along with Cities, is probably one of the bigger takeaways from this show.

Prince Caspian has now, post-Magnaball, become hella exciting to hear, and this version does not disappoint. The Webcast shots of people jumping in the water was honestly one of the more beautiful things I've ever seen. I'm very happy for the people who got to experience it.
In terms of relisten value, this is a strong Caspian, and even though it doesn't get all Tweezerpantsy, there's a solid peak and enough meandering to keep things interesting.

Then Halfway to the Moon and Joy happened. HTTM, for what it's worth, was played -incredibly- well. The band was visibly stoked. While the songs were done well, they were also not really in the right place at the right time. I think we were all expecting some other large jam vehicle to come in, and this is what happened instead. Both songs were played well, but they did interrupt the flow of the set.

46 Days was also really solidly played (save some miscommunication in the intro) and put a little pep in everyone's step. This is one of those songs that can go anywhere and wipe the slate clean, like a funky musical lemon sorbet.

20 Years Later, which now seems to be cursed since it last appeared 1/1/15, makes another appearance. Julius is still Julius, unfortunately, and so I can understand why people would be frustrated with this second set. Hood, however, is -marvelous-, a return to form and bringing about a wonderful peak. I think it's very funny that we all love when every song goes Type II, but then when Hood shows up, many people just say "No, that's okay, just play the regular Hood jam." Such a wonderful piece of music.

I sense (and read some) frustration with this set, so lemme put this out there...

A wonderful jam out of Golden Age, two more pretty good, somewhat exploratory jams (one of them belonging to Prince Caspian, no less) 20YL in your cool-down spot (maybe not everyone's favorite cool-down, but many sets put something here that isn't a monstrous jam vehicle), and a really well-played Hood to end things. Really, the only truly questionable parts of this set are Julius, HTTM (which is played much better than usual), and Joy (which is a great song -- just never really placed well). Just because there isn't a 20-minute jam doesn't mean that this set was bad. There were two songs strangely placed, and that's really it. Is it a set for the ages? No, and I'm not expecting it to be recommended to too many people. But it was all played well and there was still some nice, compact jamming. Certainly not a clunker.
, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by Mitchfreak

Mitchfreak I, personally, rate shows based on the the level of magic I can hear in the music when i close my eyes. I also rate shows on where I go in my head and heart while listening. I care nothing about which songs they play in which set, what order they play them in, which songs go type 2, and which don't etc. Not sure why a lot of people on this site want to keep a phish show in a box. IMHO, phish is at their best when unpredictable. I loved Saturdays show for this reason.
, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by cypressice

cypressice I don't understand how a show with a great first set and set two treats gets an overall rating way below the many interchangeable shows from 2014..winter depression? Jealousy that they couldn't go? Joy in a show means instant two star?.. or are people scanning for twenty minutes songs and in the absence of one, slamming the show? No this is not up on par with top 2015 shows but this is a far cry from Coventry.

Boggles my mind how many "phans" seem to hate 80% of the catalogue.

Anyway enjoy the show tonight. If they play BDTNL get ready for one star ratings!
, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by dumidiot

dumidiot I just want to say that I think the overall playing has been leaps and bounds above msg. I'm thoroughly satisfied all around with the execution of every song this run. Type 2 Jamming has not come as much, but I would put the quality of the improv above some of the examples from this last New Years run. For me, that much talked about twist fell amazingly flat, because trey did not feel like he was participating. That is not the story en Mexico, and even if the jams fall apart, at least everyone is putting in a full effort.

Cities was wonderful, as was golden age and light for your type 2 needs. Outside the box playing came in many tunes all night, as opposed to a single big jam. wading and Caspian were actually well placed and had great energy musically, and even joy was fun to hear. I can not pick on the Reba and Hood peaks, but even they were well above average for 3.0. Chalk dust, timber, Julius and 46 days were all very committed and intense, and to me the band felt "on" in a way they did not for most of New Years. While some examples like tweezer and NMINML were more jaw dropping than what we got last night, the overall consistency and flow has made these shows much more enjoyable to me. They could have done more, but they were on for every song. Not perfect but fucking solid.

, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by ziggybirds

ziggybirds Short and sweet: this show (along with the previous night), did not meet what I would consider an 'average' show for 2015. With that said, it was still a pretty sweet show.

Highlights: Cities, Reba.....Golden Age, Hood. Didn't have 'it', but sure fun to watch everyone from the couch. Jealous I wasn't there? You BET!
, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by bouncin7

bouncin7 Great first set.
Set two .....could.......have gone places, if Trey didn't cut that incredible jam short out of Golden Age. Too bad really. I was getting more and more exited as it when on, but to no avail. Not to discount Prince Caspian which turned out to be quite special, especially on the webcast with fans dancing in coastal warm waters and splashing each other. But still, would have really loved to seen that Golden Age continue to PEEK. Oh well. The Timber and Reba were exceptional~
, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by nichobert

nichobert Halfway To The Moon and 2o Years Later both felt so pregnant with the possibility of "this will be called the Mexican Halfway/20YL" for years to come

It didn't happen in either case, but both really solid versions especially the firey Halfway that hopefully Jumpstarted the potential this song seemed to have for a few years

In the smallest nutshell possible, set 1 isn't as great as it looks and set 2 isn't as disappointing as it might look.
, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by devwil

devwil I'm a little confused that—as of this writing—this show is rated so much lower than the other two Mexico shows (especially Sunday, which I found to be mostly ordinary except for maybe... DWD...? I love a "Curtain With" too, but... huh? Shrug).

To me, "Cities" (and especially its really nice jam) is perhaps the highlight of the entire run, and the whole first set is pretty rad.

But after that it's nothing special, so four stars, in my opinion. (I think Friday's the best show as a whole.)

(First written review, woo! "Pod-toured" this show, but... opinions! I've got 'em!)
, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by toddmanout

toddmanout By the second night of Phish at Riviera Maya in Mexico I had already faced the shock and amazement of how fantastic the entire experience was and on January 16th, 2016 I blissfully walked to the Phish concert on the beach in swimming trunks and bare feet, the powdery sand sifting between my toes.

With no poster crush to deal with, getting into the show was easy-peasy. I quickly got my first drink of the day and was surprised to see a big lineup for food. No worries, I was happy to wait until the show started at which point I was able to snack at will.

I quickly got my second and third drink of the day and just as swiftly found my first tequila shot of the day.

I parked myself by the ocean so I could see the light show projected into the water and in no time the show started. Unlike the previous night the staff was keeping people out of the water and as I stared at the ocean-lights it occurred to me the water-light tech was covering three roles: in addition to the obvious entertainment value the lights also provided security and safety. Soon after the show started we saw some people coming along the shoreline with inner tubes and bam, the lights were on them. Security had no trouble shooting them down (metaphorically I hope). When Velvet Sea started the crowd jumped in the water en masse and when it was clear there was no stopping the masses the security gave up and lights played off the waders for the rest of the night – safety. It kills me that I didn’t have the wherewithal to wade into the sea for that particular number.

I did, however, spend a good part of the second set waist deep in the ocean and I can tell you it was an experience of unparalleled awesomeness. Prince Caspian was a highlight (which it usually isn’t, Magnaball excluded) and I dunked my GoPro into the waves. I spent the night bouncing between hanging with friends near the back and up closer to the stage on Page side with m’lady and bunch more friends. Closing the second set, Harry Hood was my first favourite tune of the run and I sang it loud and proud in tribute to my late friend Chris Hood, as I always do.

I ran into some jammers from the previous night who encouraged me to join them again after the show and I eagerly agreed. As soon as Character Zero ended the concert I scooted back to my room to change out of my wet clothes and grab my mandolin. The jam never materialized but I sure had a good time hanging out with a thousand people in a dozen different rooms. I recall a late night stroll where three of us, strangers all, sang Little Feat’s Willin’ loud and proud. I knew the chords and the other two knew the words; it was a magic moment.

With the greatest of ease I found m’lady outside of the sports bar as the wee hours approached and we had some more drinks and a few snacks before calling it a night. Crossing the resort we were back in our room by 2am.

More ticket stories:
, attached to 2016-01-16

Review by mud_lovebuddy

mud_lovebuddy Two word review:

Shark Sandwich

This show is not a good Phish show.

The Cities is good but nowhere near as good people would like you to believe. Light is played very well and is a good version. In lieu of Magna and MSG though this one doesn't quite stack up. A good 3.0 Reba that is worth sticking around for if for some reason you chose to spin this show in the first place. Trey fumbles through the whistling section in his aww shucks charming way during Chalk Dust. It's not as well done as Atl 1 but fun nonetheless.

Set II is not worth it. The band has been playing so well lately any good moments from this stinker pale in comparison. Best advice, listen to the Hood. Close your eyes. Imagine being on the beach. Forget this one ever happened.

There are example this year of shows "light" on jamming that are much better than this. Bend N2, LA and 1/1/16 are all good examples of this. This show is not.
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