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. MiA Says:

    Pole not poke…

  2. BingosBrother Says:

    That would be cool, but it seemed like nobody except the sherpas were achieving anything at all. They were climbing and surviving, but they had slaves to do all the hard work. Didn’t read much to brag about. Not to mention all the oxygen canisters.

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    before you take Into Thin Air at face value, read The Climb: Tragic Ambitions on Everest by Anatoli Boukreev and G. Weston DeWalt. Tells a bit of a different story about that time on the hill…

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    Being an adult is sort of a drag.

  5. BingosBrother Says:

    I’ll bet they all have a different story. Seems that once you get that high up, its like being spun cookies and drunk as fuck all together.

  6. xpun Says:

    ive got that one in my shopping cart t3. and one aout the 2006 season where a slew of people passed by an englishman as he slowly died. was still hanging on the next day and no one ever stopped to assist. alot like beck wethers in thin air that was left for dead 3 times and made it down alive. but this guy didn’t make it down though. people are so hell bent on the summit that they put basic humanity on the back burner.

    also been reading tonight on the possibility of mallory having made the summit (doubtful) and the very detailed search for irvine’s body and more importantly the camera he was carrying

  7. MiA Says:

    I agree Bingos. Sherpas are amazing. Practically carrying people down on their backs.

  8. xpun Says:

    i did enjoy the book though. ive read into the wild and started the one on tillman…..i love krakauer’s voice and his almost Lost type of jumping back to fill in the gaps story telling style. but even in his writing he comes across to me as a pompous ass.

    @palmer – have storm on my shelf, maybe ill hit that next, thanks

  9. angryjoggerz Says:

    I cannot even imagine climbing those mountains. Been at the bottom and that was plenty high enough. First few days in Tibet, even in the valley (3,500 meters) was hard to breath and get around. Crazy what people do.

  10. xpun Says:

    some craxy f’er skied down from the summit. should be able to dig up some video but work blocks youtube and most other sites

    heres the story

  11. angryjoggerz Says:

    I really enjoyed this book as well, worth a read for sure if you are into historical works on big time journeys

  12. xpun Says:

    somebody on here teaches some rock climbing (can’t remember who). wonder if they’ve done any major mt climbing.

    and 127 hours is also a good read. i guess I like to lay in my comfy bed, sip IPAs, and read about other guys crazy adventures. lameass

  13. angryjoggerz Says:

    After I read the book I posted above I did a big part of that Gobi trip – albeit not on camels but rather in mini buses and stuff – but it was amazing. Gobi desert scared me a lot. Beautiful and powerful but very intimidating. We would come upon these old ruins of towns and stuff, really cool to see. Hitting the last outpost of the great wall as it entered into the desert was special too. So grateful I got to do some of the travel I have done – thanks to good parents for encouraging me to leave.

  14. xpun Says:

    there’s just something in all of us about treasure hunting and exploration i think. the space race, claiming the poles and everest (the 3rd pole), the westward expansion, colonizing the americas, etc, etc.

    something about the unkown is so magnetic to our beings.
    thats why we chase jams

  15. xpun Says:

    thats awesome AJ. nothing like traveling to new places. and being awed and scared by mother nature

  16. MiA Says:

    That books looks good AJ.

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    Amen to that. I really need some good travel soon – work travel does not do it for me at all. So much harder to do with little kids – but someday again. Dying to go to the Middle East, India, Iceland, Spain, Italy, Argentina. I totally did not take my chance to go to Pakistan in 99 (at the end of above mentioned trip) – my friends went on and I headed back into China to focus on that. Oh well, someday.

  18. angryjoggerz Says:

    I liked it MIA, but it has been some years since I read it. BTW, bb’ers – please keep it up with book rec’s, I love it and instantly buy them for my ipad and then have new books when I need something to read, so appreciated. Some good tastes in the arts up on here. Except Traffic.

  19. BingosBrother Says:

    I really think you’d love david mitchell aj, if not already. He seems to be very interested in eastern life. Latest is set in 1790s japan, which is basically cut off from the world.

  20. MiA Says:

    Is cloud atlas pretty schizophrenic? I’ve heard people say it was challenging to read.

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    Took the fam to the art institute today. What a jewel. Don’t sleep on the thorne miniature rooms in the basement. Mind boggling.

  22. BingosBrother Says:

    More like interlocking stories. If you are a fan of synchronicity, you will love it. Very difficult to get in to, but the pay off is second to none. That mans imagination is stunning. The way he creates worlds and gets you to believe in them is miraculous.

  23. MiA Says:

    Downloading to iPad now (thousand autumns)

  24. Dr pronoia Says:

    Just back from the ER

    2 year old jumped face first into a coffee table and needed 4 stitches. A relative at the Seder fainted because of all the blood

    Luckily my sister in law is an MD and called ahead to the ER and got us right in. Plastic surgeon stitched him right up but we were all losing it. Interrupted his Seder ha

    These beers were earned

    Ps. Sam Lypsite’s new story collection is pretty funny if looking for something light yet dark/cynical. Powers’ Yellow Birds is an amazing war novel by an Iraq war vet

  25. Dr pronoia Says:

    Love Mitchell

    Any of you guys read Calvino’s If on a winters night a traveller? Best interlocking stories novel I’ve ever read and one of my all time favorites

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