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. jtran Says:

    re: prince club tour

    2 nights in SD. Prince is a bucket list show for me. What do we think tickets will be on this tour, like $100? more?


    Felt like the Hawks fell asleep last 10 mins of that game. Kaner got chippy at the end. I like that dude but he seemed like a doucher last night.

  2. xpun Says:

    Happy bday miner

    Amoreena and Vernon Down the House two of my favs.

    @plord – I’m still in Harrisonburg. You’re not missing ANYTHING.

  3. Dorn76 Says:

    He may like Big Balls. You may like them too. But I liked Big Balls first.

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Prince Club Tour.. I bet tix cost $250 a pop before scalpers get a hold of them

  5. jtran Says:

    well I guess that counts me out then

  6. Fly Says:

    @Leo Weaver

    I’d be interested in the SPACusty Crib.

    yetanotherfakeemail420 at gee male


  7. plord Says:

    @xpun what are the odds? I know a few folks who stayed in town after school, definitely not for me. I stretched it out a couple years extra, but when it was time to go it was a one way ride.

  8. BingosBrother Says:

    Fuck prince. Whiny little fuck.

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    No Hardbody premier Sumo. 100% Chilean Space Rock tonight

  10. MiA Says:

    Go Pittsburgh.

  11. makisupa Says:

    So many Pisces in the sea

    Happy Cake Day!

    other one and done gooders:
    11/23/96 Midnite on the Highway
    8/13/97 Bozo rant was an epic “one and done”
    Mock Song at Gorge 2003

  12. xpun Says:

    @plord – what years were you there?

  13. bhizzle Says:

    WOW! That Suzy from the other reader’s pick is crazy good. I cannot believe Ive never due to it’s original inception was during Phishthoughts era. Have you all never pimp’d it?!?!?

  14. roberto luongo Says:


    Hawks only play well when they’re skating. have a bad habit of playing more defensive with leads going into the third period. they don’t play well when they’re not pushin the puck.

    they looked strong early but as soon as that goal was overturned momentum got sucked out of the building.

    thought Ducks had edge after 1, Hawks after 2, battling first half of 3 and then hawks caved.

    Kane is a total chippy cunt. but cat has a miracle of a fuckin shot and insane ice vision. what can you do.

    good game though.

  15. jtran Says:

    ducks only 3 points back now. Look forward to some conference final playoff hockey against you . would be fun.

  16. plord Says:

    ’87 – ’93. You?

  17. roberto luongo Says:

    check this recent goal Jtran

  18. roberto luongo Says:

    no doubt building up a nice little Ducks rivalry

    not the chippy BS like Vancouver but great energy open iced hockey. good stuff.

  19. MiA Says:

    Updated the ticket spreadsheet FWIW. Great backhand by Kane.

  20. plord Says:

    I am such a sucker for the 12-13-14 seeds. Always bites me in the ass but I have fun.

    However my usual lack of faith in Pitt seems like a strong move. They are choking. AGAIN.

    I almost went against Brad Stevens and Butler but I came to my senses. The guy has a weaker team this year but he has been killing in lately in prepping for tourney opponents.

  21. ren Says:

    Happiness, Health and Wealth to you on your Bday Miner!!!!

  22. littleumbrellas Says:

    People post about how songs like Fluffhead and other long form compositional songs are a lull in their concert experience.

    I dont understand this at all. Jam chaser that I am, seeing them play insanely technical and musically brillant compositions is a thrill for me everytime.
    Improvisation and Composition.

    Maybe it’s because I usually only see around 7 shows a year, but I am always grateful for a Divided Sky, a Fluffhead, even a Guyute. And when it’s David Bowie or Yem, I always want the jam to be a monster too, but i dont tire of seeing them pull that shit off.

  23. ren Says:

    Diversity keep life interesting…fo’sho

  24. MiA Says:

    True, but I need more Dinner and a Movie’s and The Curtain With. I’ve never complained about a Foam either.

  25. BNCB Says:

    Lu, I like those compositions when they are crushing them. There are few things in the Phish world as bad as a Divided Sky that’s just slightly off, to my ears.

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