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 IIĀ  (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)

Tags: , ,

985 Responses to “Big-Time Bustouts”

  1. Jtran Says:

    Fluff went to a banker

  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    There are some great Phish lyrics, dont get me wrong. I actually like many of the newer songs because they seem to be a bit more age appropriate for the band. Not so much into songs about the pigs and such.

  3. David Bowie Says:

    Comes a Time off Dick’s Picks Volume 29 is some of the most awe-inspiring music these ears have ever heard. Quite possibly my favorite Jerry solo ever taken.

  4. El Duderino Says:

    I’m glad I started this convo. Seems like more people are getting what I’m trying to convey. This is not a Gd -vs- Phish thing, but a discussion on what I believe is the difference in jamming styles.

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    true dat poop, but then again the dead could never write something like YEM

  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    To Lay Me Down is the one that kills me every time. Man tears.

  7. El Duderino Says:

    “There are some great Phish lyrics, dont get me wrong. I actually like many of the newer songs because they seem to be a bit more age appropriate for the band. Not so much into songs about the pigs and such.”

    Could not agree more.

  8. phoammhead Says:

    All this talk of the GD and some of their tunes is making me sad that Jerry is no longer with us – yes, he died way too fuckin’ young – dammit. I’ve had moments when other bands have covered some of GDs tunes such as Touch of Grey, in the past 15 years, when I am overcome with sadness and almost despair that Jerry’s gone – He’s Gone alright. Long live Trey and the boyz, pleaz!!! I’ll also say on a more uplifting note that remembering some of these GD tunes also brings back a lot of elevating emotion as well – these GD songs really speak to my heart and being in a big way.

  9. Leo Weaver Says:

    Morning folks! Hope the day is treating you like it should so far. Finally gave the Camden Chalkdust a proper listen last night…very proper listen. I know it’s been discussed quite a bit around here, so this is just more of the same…to these ears, it is the most complete and musically dense jam of 2010 and perhaps 3.0. They all take turns holding the hose and all push it forward at different times.

    Also, re: 2010 Phish sound…I’ve been trying to put my finger on what their evolving sound is right now and it’s tough. They simply cover sooo much ground. But as (I think) Kaya said a couple of days ago, it’s very very texturally rich. And very rhythmic…all of the guys are playing very rhythmically, even Page on his clav and other toys; even Trey with his whale when he does the quick bends; and obviously Mike and Fish. In Hartford, gcub looked at me during DWD I think and said “Disco Phish” which fit pretty well, but upon further listen across the tour, isn’t quite right. It hit me last night…I call it Fractal Phish. It’s almost like they’re breaking the form of the music down into fractals…sometimes they put it all back together, sometimes it just fades into the next song. Think the end of Camden Light…

    Ok, back to your discussion…back to work for me.

  10. poop goblin Says:

    I still think there are many more of those 99 fluffhead style excursions than you are giving the boys credit for though el dude

    97-00 especially I think they were going in that direction fairly frequently

    Obviously not as much these days

  11. zzyzx Says:

    You need tickets earlier if – say – you’re getting greek tickets from someone in the bay area who found out that he can’t go because he has a trip then, so you want to make sure that they have time to get from Charlottesville to SF to Seattle before your trip starts.

  12. zzyzx Says:

    And they have to arrive in SF before he leaves for his trip…

  13. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    yep dude, good convo going

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    some good lyrics, but then some embarrassing lyrics with phish… tweezer?

  15. poop goblin Says:

    Of course I only caught 25 Dead shows 93-95 non of which I consider good shows and I was a young kid

    Caught around 200 or whatever Phish shows over the course of my adult life so my perceptions of the live experience are skewed by several outside forces

    Funny I still value the 25 bad Dead shows over the Phish shows even though I was at many of the legendary Phish shows

  16. butter Says:

    interesting thoughts @Dude, Poop, Phoam

    on light/dark, Phish/GD

    i’ve pondered those thoughts for years …..very subjective

    so much of the Hunter/Garcia catalogue seems to be about overcoming deep pain and darkness to get to the light, but you can never reach it , it just slips away

    we haven’t heard the deep lyrical references with Phish until this incarnation (3.0)

    i don’t think GD ever made it to this stage in their career (sober…on top) lessons learned….unless you count Phil and his incarnations of Phil and friends, Furthur and such, but of course this is without the fat man, so its not the Grateful Dead

    anyway i touched on lyrics , and you guys were talking jams, so whatever…..

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    ZYX, sounds like it may have to be a neighbor picking up mail and you getting it from them. “So, my buddy is going to come get these tickets. You will know him from his cape”

    Come to think of it, the cape may not be enough of a indicator in the Bay Area.

  18. butter Says:

    Poop ….stat dropper

  19. El Duderino Says:

    @ Poop

    Off the top of my head…

    Bomb Factory ’94

    Spartanburg, SC. ’94

    Maybe ????

  20. gavinsdad Says:

    funny how much i love the GD….just seeing song names gets me going. I know it’s probably blasphemous but I was a HUGE first set GD guy….loved Set 2 but the gems were always hidden in the first set for me….Candyman and Loser…goddamn I love those 2….Stagger and Row Jim and Pretty Peggy made my nights many times…

  21. angryjoggerz Says:

    dough knees

  22. David Bowie Says:

    Couldn’t agree more on To Lay Me Down, definitely in my top three absolute heart-wrenching GD tunes. Phish really can’t hold a candle to the Dead in terms of lyrics, but as someone posted earlier I do prefer what Phish achieves in terms of their “open jamming” more so than the Dead, as far as thematically developing ideas into full blown original segments of music. Jerry is a much better traditional soloist than Trey, but I can’t help but feel Phish is a sense more innovative than the Dead stylistically when it comes to jamming.

  23. zzyzx Says:

    angry – but it gets more complicated because I’m trading one thu to someone in Seattle as part of my Telluride deal and…

    It’s just a pain and it doesn’t stop scalping so I wish they’d just send them out.

  24. nonoyolker Says:

    My girl still thinks they are singing “Harry…Carray…where do you go when the lights go out?!”

    I don’t know if the boys have written a line as meaningful as “Let your life proceed by its own design”, but i feel like they have progressively made improvements. There are some intersting conceptual lyrics for songs, like ‘Sleep’ for example. Not my favorite track, but cool concept.

    @ AJ – “Man tears” – hillarious.

  25. butter Says:

    @Z – they need to ship them earlier…..end of discussion

    i had tickets come to my house in California, while i was already on tour on the east coast for leg 1!!

Leave a Reply