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. Guyute711 Says:

    My buddy called 46 days>20 Years later>The Lizards>Carini>FYF segment, “the best thing that’s happened since the domestication of the dog.”

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    dude are you saying, for example, phil will be playing something light while jerry might be playing something dark, etc?

    cuz i got a phish example of that, which is that tweezer from sometime in november ’92 that minor posted a while ago, forget the exact date cuz i dont have that ipod here

  3. phoammhead Says:

    I love the Playin’, UJB, DS and Estimate jams/songs and they are great examples of elevating and mind-expanding psychedelia, but they go from light to dark and back again. DS is mostly dark, imo, and that’s not a bad thing at all.

  4. Jtran Says:


  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    you know, I can’t even tell you the last time I listened to ALO. No reason why, just haven’t revisited that in a loooooong time. Huh.

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    @T3 : YES! I was thinking about that yesterday. While I am a huge fan of lyric based music, there is no one who does a better job of matching music and lyrics than Phish. Slave, Maze, Its Ice, and many others. Just another reason they became my favorite band.

  7. El Duderino Says:

    What about the Shakedown St. Jam????

    Soldier Field ’91 comes to mind.

    FYI: There is a new C. Miller of that Soldier’s ’91 show.

    Took my father to that show 20 years after his first GD show on 10/22/71.

    We dosed. He was hooked again. He never missed a mid-west show after ’91.

    Damn I miss my dad! Him living in the Swan Valley in Montana.

  8. El Duderino Says:

    @ DF

    It’s more of a collage than one individual

  9. gavinsdad Says:

    never chased old tunes ever. just not my thing. i see phish for my own particular reasons, which i’ve mentioned ad infinitum: 1) dance and get lost. 2) leave the world behind. a sub-par show is still better than being in the real world to me and nobody can change my opinion on that. i understand that i hold the bar low and i’m ok with that. i’m still here. i’m slightly self conscious that i’d be perceived as part of the “piss in my ear” camp but I don’t think that’s the case. i somehow have been a pretty satisfied customer for 20 yrs.

    @dancing: i think simultaneous dark/light GD is tough to quantify but I see what El Dude is saying when put into the context of the China>Rider transition. i’ve had many listening adventures at many a GD show to this tranny and it’s sinister *and* uplifting/hopeful. would this example work?

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    This Light Up is more of a justout. More money than a Swingers marathon.

  11. El Duderino Says:

    @ gdad

    Well said… Good points!

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    i think it’s the 11-25-92 tweezer, where they’re doing that major chord, happy jam but page is doing that really dark, diminished stuff during it

  13. poop goblin Says:

    I feel Waves also can be in that style el Dude

    Looking forward to the huge Dead style Light > Waves jam when Phish hits one of their old stompin grounds out west

  14. phoammhead Says:

    Shakedown is awesome – definitely a favorite and I agree it is dark and light at the same time – Terrapin Station has both light and dark elements and goes back and forth.

    Phish has Maze, DWD, Slave and Harry Hood which combine at the same time light and dark.

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    More money than a Swingers marathon.

    I know what your reference is here but I totally read this in another vein. In that regard (i.e. as spoken by the voices in my head) it would have probably been better phrased as “more key swappin’ than a swingers marathon”

    ymmv, of course


  16. gavinsdad Says:

    watched the IT Waves vid again last nite baked up…really fuckin good. I hope you all get one of those…also…the IT P&M tail end was pretty damn sick too. i have to revisit the P&M I got at the Gorge.

  17. zzyzx Says:

    For the Dead light/dark, I’d say it would be one of those late second set Jerry Ballads where the final jam would be a brief moment of light into the life of the poor dude who was dying or was in and out of jail or was stuck on a lifeless airless rock or was in the aftermath of a nuclear war or…

  18. El Duderino Says:

    don’t get me wrong here fellas. I’m not trying to debate which one is better because they’re both amazing. I’m just discussing jam styles and the complexity of how/what the GD do and Phish.

  19. phoammhead Says:


    I fall in your camp – I go to shows to get down and leave the world behind. 🙂

  20. El Duderino Says:

    @ zzyzx

    Sounds like you’re describing Wharf Rat or Stella

  21. gavinsdad Says:

    let’s not forget the darkness that a good Bird Song can bring. such a light song with so much swirling floating dirty psych.

  22. El Duderino Says:

    When Leo and Guyute711 were over a couple of days ago I had on the Raleigh ’97 DVD. Great vid by the way. I think it’s the best official release so far CB being a close second

  23. phoammhead Says:

    I hear you eldude, but saying absolutely that Phish is either light or dark and GD is often both light and dark at the same time is a bit too absolute for me, although I’m seeing your point.

  24. gavinsdad Says:

    i like this convo El Dude…no worries…dunno if i get the chills off a billy breathes the way i did from an “ill get up and fly away” section of wharf rat but it’s all good. i’m a fan of both. (just listened to the htfd BB this morning)

  25. zzyzx Says:

    El Dude – Black Peter, Wharf Rat, Standing on the Moon, and Morning Dew respectively, tongue in cheek with Standing on the Moon.

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