Phish opened the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony last night, honoring Genesis by playing two of their songs, while in between Trey gave a gushing induction speech as their official presenter. Starting off the night with their take on the prog rock anthem “Watcher of the Skies,” Phish impressed Genesis, themselves, as bassist, Mike Rutherford, mentioned in his acceptance speech, saying “Thank you Phish! What a great version – much better than we used to do it.” Phil Collins also went out of his way to sincerely thank Trey with a smile, for such a “convincing argument” for Genesis’ induction into the Hall. Following the band’s speech, Phish took the stage again, this time playing the more popular 1981 single”No Reply At All,” all before the show cut to its first commercial break.
Aired on the cable network, Fuse, the ceremony gave the week a dash of Phishiness before the band’s expected tour announcement today. Perhaps more fun than watching the musical covers was watching Trey’s speech. In a very natural, cue-cardless, and charismatic tribute, Trey combined a well-versed career retrospective with childlike confessions of his life-long love for the band. An articulate presentation, some of Trey’s speech bears quotation. In describing Genesis’ as “rebellious, restless, and constantly striving for more than the obvious,” his description sounded parallel to the band he created. His praise of their career and personal influence went on:
Every musical rule and boundary was questioned and broken. It is impossible to overstate the impact and this musical philosophy had on me as a young musician.
In discussing Genesis’ 1970 album, Trespass, a record Trey discovered at age 13, he described his favorite track, “Stagnation.” His elaborate account gave great insight into his own vision of music.
You can feel the lightening strike on that song. You can hear the magic sound of a whole band becoming greater than its members. And that’s what this Hall of Fame is all about. It starts with Anthony Phillips playing a gorgeous seven-note guitar melody, and his playing was so critical in creating the initial Genesis road map. You hear Peter Gabriel enter with his shimmering vocals, and so longing. And there you are at the water’s edge that he’s describing. And then the whole band joins in, creating an aural painting to support the lyrics. John Mayhew taps on the bell of the cymbal and you can see drops of water falling into a crystal pond. Finally, everything lets loose, everybody jumps on the melody, and you can feel the explosion of energy. And by the end, Genesis has constructed an entire world, an alternate reality, that I could see in my head. That’s the power of the best music.
Hearing Trey’s passionate description gave us a portal into some of his own ideas and inspiration in forming the powerful Phish experience. And making a final, emphatic point Trey created another parallel between Genesis and Phish:
99% of the people who played prog rock lost their songs to their ego. Ideally, the point of music is community, not the player. Musicians are simply channels to link the audience to the music and to each other. Genesis understood that always.
Their musical performance entertained all, as the multi-faceted “Watcher of the Skies” opened the night with a healthy dose of musical drama. Decked out in suits and tuxedos, the band nailed the intricate piece and its psychedelic eccentricities. Coupled with lights and a smoke machine in a tiny ballroom of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria, the juxtaposition of stage and banquet seemed a bit comedic. As soon as Genesis finished their speech, the camera immediately cut to Phish, backed by a three-piece horn section, starting the upbeat “No Reply At All.” Trey’s vocals seemed a bit thin on this one, but the band nonetheless played a tasteful, celebratory version of the song. All in all, Phish put on quite a show at the beginning of the prestigious ceremony last night. And to see the guys in that context, in a room full of celebrities, has to make any fan proud.
“Watcher of the Skies” – 3.15.10
“No Reply At All”
Jam of the Day:
Keeping the flux capacitor set for July ’93 for now.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
7.25.93 Waterloo Village, Stanhope, NJ SBD < Megaupload
A ripping piece of Summer ’93! The “Bowie” and “Tweezer” are worth the price of admission on their own. Tour dates dropping in t-minus…10…9…
I: Wilson, Foam, Mound, Stash, Fee, Rift, The Sloth, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, I Didn’t Know, David Bowie
II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Suzy Greenberg, Tweezer > The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Maze, The Lizards, Big Ball Jam, Purple Rain > Hold Your Head Up, Harpua, Tweezer Reprise
Source: SBDTags: 2010, Culture