Big-Time Bustouts

6.25.10 - Camden (Graham Lucas)

Summer’s opening leg included something for all parts of Phish’s fan base. Combining just enough open jamming with revitalized structured improv, the band’s exploratory adventure returned in spurts throughout the month. Precise playing and non-stop energy produced a new-found sense of urgency, lighting a fire under Phish from the tour’s opening “Disease.” Then there were the covers; ten new songs from various artists and genres that added spice to many setlists. And finally, the last element comprising a catch-all Phish tour were the many bust-outs that dotted the run. Not only did the band kick down once-in-a-while songs like “Forbin’s > Mockingbird,” “Roses Are Free,” “Sanity,” “Harpua” and “McGrupp,” they added more elusive songs such as “Destiny Unbound,” “The Ballad of Curtis Loew” and “Saw It Again.” But all these rarities took a back seat to a showcase of songs Phish hadn’t played in well over a hundred shows, one dating all the way back to the ’80s. The following six selections represent the headline-grabbing bust-outs of the early summer.


1. “Fuck Your Face” 7.2 II – last believed to be played on 4.29.1987 (1,413 shows)

6.27.10 (G.Lucas)

In the bust-out to end all bust-outs, Phish finally played Mike’s iconic piece of Zappa-esque humor, best known from its place on The White Tape. The Mockingbird Foundation believes the band played the song on April, 29, 1987, but that cannot be confirmed. Unless a rather eclectic old-school head found their way to Charlotte, this was the first time anyone had ever witnessed the song. Coming out of a ten-ton “Carini,” Trey began the guitar lick, sounding like something unique. As the band transitioned and Mike began singing, an incredibly small portion of the crowd actually knew they were witnessing history. “Carini > Fuck Your Face” sounds like something a student might scribble in the margin during lecture in a Phishy daydream. But lo and behold, it unfolded in a moment that will be remembered forever.



2. “Alumni Blues > A Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni” 6.25 I

“Alumni” last played 7.24.99 (222 shows), “Letter” last played 7.15.94 (587 shows)

6.25.10 (G.Lucas)

Phish came onstage the second night of Camden and didn’t hesitate, busting into the old-school classic “Alumni Blues.” The funky ditty became all-the-more interesting as the band bridged the halves of the song with Trey’s hard-rock homage, “Letter to Jimmy Page,” for the first time since 7.15.94. With most versions played in the ’80s and early ’90s, this resurfaced another piece of the band’;s legacy. Phish dug deep into their past this tour, and this segment – officially released by the band on video – exhumed another relic from the history books.



3. “Have Mercy” 7.1 II – last played 12.10.99 II  (189 shows)

One of Phish’s most precious covers, the band usually gives The Mighty Diamonds’ song special treatment by placing it after an exploratory mind-fuck; there are few more gentle landing pads in Phish’s repertoire. But when the band dropped the song after a sloppy “Fluffhead” in Raleigh, it hardly made sense. Always nice to hear, regardless of placement, Phish could have bumped this one up a few slots and made a gorgeous segment out of “Light > Have Mercy.” Unheard from since December ’99 in Philadelphia, this served as an out-of-context re-introduction to the song.



4. “Light Up or Leave Me Alone” 7.1 II – last played 12.30.99 I (181 shows)

Walnut Creek "Merit Badge"

Only the second time this song has been played since the ’80s, we last saw this Traffic cover during the opening, afternoon set of Big Cypress. When Phish let loose on the song late in Raleigh’s second set, it brought one of two improvisational highlights of the evening. Spearheaded by Trey’s shredding leads, the band destroyed an explosive groove-rock jaunt that contrasted to the laid-back version everyone heard in The Everglades. This bust-out carried more musical weight than any other of tour.



5. “Walfredo” 6.27 I – last played 9.30.00 (131 Shows)

Unseen since Vegas 2000, Phish opened the second night of Merriweather with “Walfredo,” their instrument-switching gimmick that includes the venue’s name in its lyrics. A clever move, this rather benign opener foreshadowed the second set theatrics that were to come. Though fun to see the guys in different spots to start the show, the set got started in earnest with another rarity that followed, Bob Marley’s “Mellow Mood.” Nonetheless, if you were there, scratch “Walfredo” off your list.



6. “Time Loves A Hero” 7.1 I – last played 12.31.02 (127 shows)

Little Feat - Times Loves a Hero

Phish played this Little Feat cover for the third time since the ’80s, and 2010’s incarnation was the of three to stand alone. Coming out of a funky “Wolfman’s” at Star Lake ’98, and creatively morphing from “Runaway Jim” in one of the few highlights of Phish’s first comeback show in ’02, this is another song that deserves better improvisational context. And sandwiched between “Kill Devil Falls” and “Alaska” in the first set isn’t exactly the context I’m talking about. Nonetheless, the groovy song was played well, adding to the set.



Jam of the Day:

Ghost” 6.11 II

Hands down, the “Ghost” of 2010 thus far, and one of the most engaging jams of tour.




6.11.2010 Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL < Torrent

6.11.2010 Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL < Megaupload

Official Bridgeview Poster

In one of the most exciting tour-openers ever, Phish came out firing on a sweltering Chicago evening, playing two sets worth of stellar music. Improvisational highlights abound in both sets, with the second-half sequence “Light > Maze, Ghost > Limb” providing the show’s centerpiece. After tour ended, Chicago’s opening night still sits among the band’s top-shelf offerings of the month.

I: Down with Disease, Wolfman’s Brother, Possum, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Reba, Jesus Just Left Chicago, The Divided Sky, Golgi Apparatus, David Bowie

II: Light > Maze, Ghost > Limb By Limb, Prince Caspian > The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Run Like an Antelope, Show of Life*

E: Cavern, Julius


Source: (FOB) Schoeps mk4v > KC5 > M222> NT222 > Oade m148 > SD 722 (@24bit/96kHz)

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985 Responses to “Big-Time Bustouts”

  1. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Your a strange bird, zzyxz. And i say that with the utmost respect.

  2. phoammhead Says:

    @El Dude

    I respect where you’re coming from, too.

    I’ve had some amazing psychedelia experiences on this 1st let of tour – the boyz have elevated and created many mind expanding moments for me – notably Chicaghost, BDTNL at BLO, Tweezer at MPP1, Light in RAL, 20 Yrs Later>Lizards>Carini>FYF in CLT, Tweezer>Slave in ATL1 and entire 2nd set in ATL2.

  3. zzyzx Says:

    El Dude – never intentionally consumed alcohol in my life.

    7/4/89 it was so hot on the floor that I gladly took a sip of some random drink that was offered, one day at a bar someone gave me a sip of an iced tea without telling me it was a Long Island Ice Tea, and a few years ago at a party I thought a Tecate was a Coke due to the red can. That’s it for booze consumption.

    I saw too many people doing too many dumb things for that ever to be attractive to me.

  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I was there but don’t recall anything being out of whack with that Slave. just listened back though on the phishows stream and I’m still not hearing anything bad-tempo-y. seems like a typical 95 slave to me. maybe slower than some others but still fairly regular to me. I think I hear what you are hearing but that seems purposeful rather than anything. you know, like the stupid fucking traffic lights are preventing them from really getting going until they break through that green one to the really short peak in this version. definitely the short encore version of the song.

    it’s a crappy version on there so it might be that certain aspects of the sound aren’t coming through well but now I’m talking out of my ass here.

    so to sum up, I guess I am not much help to you.

  5. BingosBrother Says:

    Chicago Light was an extremely psychedelic experience. I know. From experience.

  6. El Duderino Says:

    @ zzyzx

    Wow man!

    I hope I get a chance to meet you and shake your hand

  7. sven Says:

    Thank you Mr Miner for including the Carini and Free for FYF and Light up. It’s nice knowing I don’t need to download whole shows b/c I can get all the highlights here. My vloated pc thanks you as well.

    I had Light up and Low spark of high heeled boys mixed up in my head. When i started listening to it, was like “This is the wrong song…wait I know this…Ahhh dumb sven” then bliss.

    Rain, rain, stay away from Chicago and Millenium Park, please.

  8. poop goblin Says:

    Some of the great Mike’s from 95-98 had the darker heavy metal jam at the beginning but the 2nd jam which we never get to hear anymore would hit the more major keyed ambient funk style jam

    Def some Dark to Light style Mike’s out there. Oh how I miss the Mike’s song.

    I would agree there have been Light’s that also go from light, to heavy space, to light

  9. BingosBrother Says:

    “Rain, rain, stay away from Chicago and Millenium Park, please.”

    I’ll 2nd that.

    @Z: Ever been dosed accidentally?

  10. Jtran Says:


    Thanks for checking it out. Pretty sure my version of the show is a SBD (haven’t listened in a couple weeks, now I can’t remember why I brought that question up today haha), but I just remember not being able to get into it at all for various reasons. And Slave is my favorite song…who knows.

    Downloading Miner’s Picks 12/95…used to be a groove-era guy, but with the more dense sound these days decided it’s about time to really dive into some of the more dense Phish of the past.

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    Great example PG.

  12. HSV 007 Says:

    @ El Dude…yeah that was a suprise huh? 66 is quite the opening round. Rory lit it up today…63! Lets see if either of them can hold on thru the weekend. Nice to see it grey, cold, & windy…like a BO should be played in. Afternoon groups will have a tough time today.

    Thank you Mr. Miner for the covers & bustouts. It is so nice to go back & listen again with a more critical ear. While at these shows, I tend to get caught up in the moment at certain times & dont always appreciate the nuances of these tunes the way we can with headphones on.

    “Obviously, you’re not a golfer”

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    oooweee harford farmhouse is a great way to start the morning

  14. El Duderino Says:

    @ poop

    Splits were kinda like that in that same era. But again more just the dark side.

    What I’m saying fellas is that the GD could do light and dark simultaneously. With Phish it’s either one or the other, or they go from light to dark back to light or whatever.

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Dude, example of a GD light/dark simultaneously jam?

  16. gavinsdad Says:

    FYF is a nasty little fucker and i’d like to see it again.

  17. zzyzx Says:

    Bingo’s: I don’t think that really happens. I have tried a couple things here and there but for the most part I don’t like them and much prefer to be sober especially at a show where I’m trying to focus on the music. I’m remembering especially a 1999 SCI show in vancouver where the smoke was so thick that I had to go outside to try to clear my head…

  18. El Duderino Says:

    “At least I’m house broken!”

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I think that’s the aspect of Slave I appreciate the most. Much like Maze, the music echoes the lyrical content. This isn’t a big revelation or anything, as I think most people would agree with this. While listening I have always envisioned being caught at a stop light and then rushing forward only to be slowed down again by the next one and the next one and so on. it’s that final breakthrough that gets us to the release-peak which makes that song pay off.

  20. El Duderino Says:

    @ DF

    Check any of the Playin’ or UJB jams from ’90 – ’91 era Dark Stars too from ’89 – ’91

  21. El Duderino Says:

    Estimated Jams too DF

  22. HSV 007 Says:

    “you’re killing your father Larry….”

  23. BingosBrother Says:

    Word Z. An unadulterated Phish show is a powerful high in itself.

  24. poop goblin Says:

    I actually feel Light is probably the best example of what you are talking about it

    I get that sense of some of the better Light jams

    some of the better psyche tweezers from back in the day get there also IMO

  25. Jtran Says:


    Yep, I hear ya. I think the definition of release peak can be found on the A Live One version @9:17ish. My most rewound Trey lick/wail no doubt. Didn’t mean to insult your intelligence, I’m sure you know the version well..just love it so much I had to throw it out there for the collective (who also know it well).

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