Readers Picks: Josh Finkenberg

12-28-12 (Graham Lucas)

12-28-12, MSG (Graham Lucas)

All selections and text by Josh Finkenberg (@JoshFink17)

“One and Done”

March is my favorite time of year. The Vernal Equinox. Hope springs eternal. Phish drops tour dates. Tour plans are put in motion. Emails with phriends putting said plans in-motion. Sun-dresses and halter-tops. Pools open in Vegas (alas no Phish again this year). Dog beach. Spring training. NCAA March Madness. Filling out your brackets (be it your basketball picks or favorite Phish jams of 3.0 or all-time), upsets possible almost in every game, excitement of the buzzer beaters, split screens, watching David (Bowies) go up against (dried up) Goliaths (and a weasel names Fee) and the win or go home nature of the tournament. One and done—a fate that has befallen many tournament teams and over 300 Phish songs‚— is the theme of my Readers Picks… songs that Phish has only played once.


Mr. Completely7.15.03 II, Salt Lake City, Utah (Anastasio)

I love jams—strawberry, grape, Lebron during warm-ups, and of course Phish. This is the greatest one and done jam Phish has ever played. Storming the court, this nearly 45 minute deep and winding jam moves in and out of “Low Rider,” “BBFCFM,” “Buried Alive” and “Ha Ha Ha.” One of the best 2.0 jams period, and yet played only once by Phish.



Garden Party12.31.12 I, New York, NY (Ricky Nelson)


Garden Party

Speaking of basketball, a moment of silence for the Big (Ball Jam) East who after this season will look dramatically different. MSG has hosted the Big East Conference tournament since 1983, the same year Phish was formed. Coincidence? I think not.  MSG has seen some awesome basketball and some awesome Phish. Unlike almost every other song on this list, I don’t think Phish should ever play “Garden Party” again. This NYE opening number was the perfect song at the perfect time in the perfect place in Phishtory. I don’t need to say much about this one because Mr. Miner already had a perfect take on this moment.



Terrapin Station”8.9.98 E, Virginia Beach, VA (Garcia/Hunter)

The roar from the crowd after Laettner’s last second shot vs UConn has nothing on the roar from the crowd as it processes what is about to go down on 8/9/98. I get goose bumps every time I hear that roar. Played as the encore on the anniversary of Jerry’s death, I have been at every Phish show on August 9th since and have selected “Terrapin Station” as my bust-out in our setlist game every time. I am 0 for 3 from behind the arc.



The Rover 6.24.10 I, Camden, NJ (Led Zeppelin)

Physical Graffitti

Physical Graffitti

You know the drill: Phish announces a Halloween show (the selection committee announces the brackets), phans start guessing what album will serve as the musical costume (fans start filling out their brackets) and a lot of people are convinced that this is Zeppelin’s (Louisville’s) year. Phish seems to be aware of this as displayed in the 10/30/10 “Ha Ha Ha! Were Not Costuming Zeppelin Show.” While it will never be “No Quarter ” (a perfect Phish cover) I would love to hear Phish try “The Rover” again and produce a better version than this one. Amazing stat: Phish has played “The Rover” live in concert more times than Led Zeppelin did.



Spanish Moon” 10.31.10 II, Atlantic City, NJ (Little Feat)

Little Feat - Waiting For Columbus

Waiting For Columbus

Speaking of musical costumes, the last Halloween costume Phish donned was Little Feat’s Waiting For ColumbusWaiting for Columbus is one of my favorite albums, so it was pretty special to see Phish absolutely nail it. It has been very surprising to me that for whatever reason Phish has yet to take a song from this Halloween show and turn it into a regular staple of their own a la “Drowned,” “Crosseyed and Painless,” and “Rock N Roll.” Trey indicates that this is one of their favorite songs and they crush this version like UNLV crushed Duke in 1990. Getting down at this show, I felt confident “Spanish Moon” was going to be added to the Phish cover repertoire. Alas, it’s been a Spanish New Moon (despite the “Skin it Back” head fake.)



Them Changes” 11.30.97 E, Worcester, MA  (Buddy Miles)

Everyone (including this guy) wants Phish to bust-out “Izabella” again. Buddy Miles was Jimi’s drummer in Band of Gypsys—I would love to see another Jimi influenced song taken off the shelf.  Unlike “The Rover” cover, Page absolutely crushes the vocals on this one. Trey has a great solo and some shredding work throughout. The band is locked in with some speed rock in the end. Incredible cover…please skin it back.



Layla” 11.29.98 I, Worcester, MA (Eric Clapton) 

Layla and Other Asst. Love Songs

Layla and Other Asst. Love Songs

Eric Clapton is a prolific singer-song writer, musician and performer. Thus it is quite surprising that Phish has covered one of his songs. This song features a very successful sit-in by Seth Yacovone from Burlington (whose bands first gig ever was at Nectar’s.) This is a great version—it’s fun to watch Trey and Seth rock back and forth just as you would imagine Clapton and Duane Allman doing back in the day followed by the Chairman of the (back)Boards flawlessly playing the piano coda written by Jim Gordon. While I doubt we will see the Phish from Vermont play “Layla” again due to its guitar and singing complexities, this was truly a special moment; The Kevin Durant of Phish one and dones.



Pigtail12.28.10 I, Worcester, MA (Anastasio/Marshall)

The third one and done from Worcester on my list. Fortunately Marcus Camby was not a one and done for UMass (also in Worcester) and led them to the Final Four in 1996. This song made its debut with Phish at the DCU Center but since then has only been seen with TAB (including six times in 2013 alone.) Although Trey’s voice is a bit shot in Phish’s version, I really like this catchy tune and think it would make a nice addition to live Phish.



Rhymes06.07.11, Mansfield, MA (Al Green)

This song had been seen in a decent number of Cactus shows prior to making its debut in the first set in Mansfield. At the time we had no idea about the song but were really digging the groove and loved Gordon’s lyrical enthusiasm. “Rhymes” has some serious potential if Phish chooses to take it out for a spin again.



Time11.2.98 II, West Valley UT (Pink Floyd)

Dark Side of the Moon

Dark Side of the Moon

They play this version straight ahead, albeit with the help of the CD being piped into the sound system for the clocks and alarms sounds in the beginning of the song. If only I could go travel back in “time” and go to this show. That magical night in Utah is the only “time” Phish has covered Pink Floyd (excluding “Bike” and a dozen or so versions of “The Great Gig in the Sky.”) It’s “time” for Phish to bring other Pink Floyd songs back into the mix. Phish has been playing for 30 years; I have been seeing them for 20. “Time” keeps on slippin’, slippin’, slippin’ into the future (another one and done.) It’s a minute in “time” that we exist, we slowly make our way into the mist (not one and done.) We don’t know how many more “times” we will have the opportunity to see Phish and see shows with our loved ones. Enjoy life – it’s a great “time” of year.

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811 Responses to “Readers Picks: Josh Finkenberg”

  1. Sumodie Says:

    ^ From today’s

    Calling umass med school “umass” instead of “umms” in writing qualifies as a technical foul

  2. Sumodie Says:

    “For those of you who are interested: Phish singer Trey Anastasio said moments ago on the show that the band would begin working “tomorrow” on a follow-up album to their 2009 record “Joy.”

    Morning Joe’d indeed….

  3. bhizzle Says:

    As much as I love The Rover, I hope it is a one and done after hearing that.

  4. btb Says:

    Lookout Cleveland – was done very well…kind of funny

    Doin’ My Time – Del McCoury band

    Down by the River – Neil Young (i think only once)

  5. MiA Says:



    The whole 7/15/03 show (SBD renastered) is on Spotify with the Mr Completely > Low Rider > BBFCFM > Buried Alive > BBFCFM > Ha ha ha > BBFCFM > Mr Completely.

    Then a Spread it Around for good measure. Thena WoAC for those that enjoy a ripping version of that.

    The SASS Soundcheck is a must hear too.

  6. MiA Says:

    Maybe that is better.

  7. btb Says:

    Did we just get breaking PH news from Joe Scarborough???????

    What are Trey’s thoughts on Benghazi and Palestinian statehood?

  8. DocGanz Says:

    Of the recent “one and done”s, I think the breakdown of 50 ways has potential for a mellow, different sounding jam. Would definitely love to see Night Nurse some more, and if they cleaned it up a bit, think Tomorrow’s Song would make for a great occasional landing pad with jam attached.

  9. alf Says:

    piper>tomorrow’s song albany 09
    stand!>izabella 6-13-97
    mango song>happy whip and dung 7-24-99
    trenchtown rock 8-11-98
    viola lee blues 9-17-99
    burning down the house 7-12-98

  10. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers…let the madness begin!

    Great picks today; very fitting; one and done.

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    Night Nurse was so fuckin bomb.

  12. alf Says:

    BB should have some collective picks

    choose a theme, pick some jams & write descriptions, assemble list of 10

    like a jammier version of 1-offs, or hide under your seat jams

  13. btb Says:

    New album title: “Persnickety Gents” kind of obvious really

  14. Kaveh Says:

    Trey’s interview from this morning:

  15. roberto luongo Says:

    2 of the best one and dones

    I’ll Come Runnin – Eno 5/16/95
    You Ain’t Goin NOwhere – Dylan/Byrds arrangement 7/20/2003
    Cinnamon GIrl – Neil – other than the 97 Flynn Theater bustout for a handful of folks 7/31/97 SHoreline

    have fun comrades

  16. roberto luongo Says:

    2 one and dones

    and 1 2 and done I guess

  17. bhizzle Says:

    stand!>izabella 6-13-97….kills

  18. Fly Says:

    Very excite!!!

  19. alf Says:

    my entry for one-offs part II by the BB massive (aka jammier one-offs):

    11-27-09 piper>tomorrow’s song

    Following the debut of golden age and a fluffhead that seriously derailed my set II, phish dropped a late set gem as piper melted into the one and only tomorrow’s song. I got the deep jamming I was looking for the next night.

  20. alf Says:

    bhizzle, the stand>izabella from 6-6-97 crushes 6-13, but ‘does not count for stats purposes’

  21. Selector J Says:

    If we’re counting Halloweens, the list cannot possibly exclude The Great Curve.”

  22. btb Says:

    I was humming that Tommorrow’s song the entire next day. Pretty catchy

    The more I think about it, the Albany 09 run was a true 3.0 inflection point.

  23. guitarpicker420! Says:

    Thanks for the link to the interview. Trey didn’t sound flippant to me when he was responding to the question about when they were going to hit the studio. Kind of odd to not know what might be on the album. I mean, Steam seems likely, maybe Half Way To The Moon, what else seems likely?

  24. KOOKS Says:

    The song I don’t know why they don’t play is WINDY CITY and I think they only played it once.

  25. tela'smuff Says:

    hoping Halfway to the Moon is part of that new album.

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