There is an enlightening article on the dollars and cents of the band Phish at Priceonomics.com. In the article, the author cites spontanaeity as a big reason for the band's success, and repeats a myth often told in Phish circles:
The band has never played the same set list twice...
A setlist, by the way, is a record of the songs played in chronological order at a single performance. Find a (complete?) record of Phish setlists at phish.net.
After Googling around a little bit, it appears there is little consensus about whether or not Phish has ever performed the same setlist twice, though fans seem apt to perpetuate the myth that they have not.
At the phish.net forum, one user rejects the possibility:
simple answer, no. thread closed.
The evidence he presents (none) is less than convincing, and other answerers at that thread are less sure.
At another fansite, phantasytour.com, a user answers the question:
I'd say no, but I agree, 88-91 are probably the years where you might find it.
For reference, some unofficial stats on Phish:
- The band has reportedly performed 1428 shows.
- The band has reportedly performed more than 800 songs, including nearly 300 original songs.
The fans have had at it. But what do the skeptics say? Has Phish really never played the same setlist twice?