Words I Sailed Upon

Usually it’s the music, not the lyrics, that gets a Phish crowd going, as the band transforms their communal energy into unbridled cheers and enthusiasm.  Using their on-stage dynamic, Phish are masters at melding the minds of the masses into one musical sponge and creating the ultimate party.  However, sometimes, it merely takes a few words to elicit an enormous reaction from the crowd; words that go beyond their literal meaning and hold a greater symbolism for the Phish community.  Most often, these words are part of a lyric, and sometimes they are ad-libbed, but whenever you hear the following phrases, you can be sure that a passionate response from any Phish crowd will follow.

pink“Let’s get this show on the road!” (AC/DC Bag)

This ever-popular line from the classic Gamehendge song, especially when coming at the beginning of a show, will never cease to draw cheers from the masses.  Signifying the exuberance and enthusiasm shared by all fans in the building, this phrase gets people excited not only for the forthcoming “Bag” jam, but for the psychedelic smorgasbord that will present itself over the next three hours.  If this one comes out early at Hampton, the reaction will be extraordinary!

“Cause we’re all in this together, and we love to take a bath!” (Bathtub Gin)

Summing up the Phish community’s ethos in one line, this lyric always prompts cheers of joy.  Touching on the communal focus that has defined the scene from the beginning, this line not only affirms that we all are unified and equal, but that we all want to jump into the raging waters of a Phish show.  If the music was water, I’d bathe all day.

“Play it Leo!” (NICU, Yamar, Rocky Top)


(J. DiGiuseppe)

This cat call from Trey, directing Page to throw down furious piano and organ solos, always brings a raucous response from any group of fans.  Though not a formal lyric, but used routinely in these three songs, this line brings the show’s focus on The Chairman of the Boards; a spotlight he does not often garner.  While just as important as any band member, Page’s sounds are the most easily blended into Phish’s jams, and often times he doesn’t get proper distinction for his masterful and complementary playing.  Well, for these instances, everybody gets a chance to express their heartfelt appreciation for Page’s astronomical abilities.  The “Leo Trio” has only been played once in sequence at Alpine Valley on July 19, 2003, as “NICU > Yamar”, “Rockytop.”

“And I know I play a bad guitar…” (Loving Cup)

“Loving Cup” generally appears at the end of sets or in encores; times when the crowd is emerging from darkness and reveling in the celebration that is Phish.  During the sparse piano intro, these words are sung by Trey in a crystal clear voice- usually after he has shredded the arena to bits with his Languedoc.  The cheers emitted with this line are ones of comic irony; as if Michael Jordan was confessing to being a poor hoopster.  Trey has been known to sport a shit-eating grin to the crowd’s response, and this all comes right before the song kicks in for real- always a “warm” moment at a show.

“…but I sure got some powerful pills!” (Fluffhead)


Hampton (J. DiGiuseppe)

This line never ceases to draw animated responses- especially after the late-’90s mainstream infiltration of ecstasy into the scene.  Half of the cheers are generated by the mere fact that the band is playing “Fluffhead,” while the other half is generated by the obvious drug reference that most of Phish’s crowd can appreciate in one capacity or another.  The structure of the song even gives the audience the leeway of shouting “Oh Yeeeah!” in unison with Trey, inviting participation from the amped audience.

“Woke up in the morning… _____” (Makisupa Policeman)

While we are on drug references, this is Phish’s classic homage to ganja.  While not everyone in the scene indulges in psychedelic recreation, most everyone partakes in the hibbage.  Well loved from teenagers to senior citizens, marijuana has become a global, cross-cultural phenomenon; or to put it differently, “Everyone’s loves to smoke the weed!”  So when our red-headed Jedi mentions any form of THC, from “spliff” to “gooball,” “skunk” to “dank,” the crowd goes wild.  This represents yet another common ground between Phish and their fans.  The more creative Trey gets, the more cheers he elicits.  On 12.14.95, he came up with one of his most absurd versions, “Woke up this morning…Khaddafi in my bed.  So I smoked a joint with him.”  We’ll see with his new, cleaned-up, ways what word he will bust out if they play “Makisupa” again, or if he will stick with “poured myself a tall cool soy milk” (8.10.04 Great Woods).  At least Trey never lost his sense of irony.

“Filter out the Everglades…” (Water In the Sky)

p1020035Ever since Phish rang in the millennium at Big Cypress, this innocent line in “Water In the Sky” took on a whole new meaning.  With each utterance, the entire Phish community is reminded of that idyllic weekend in the Florida swamps so many years ago.  And each time they remember the life-affirming time, people respond in droves.  This is probably the quietest lyric to receive such a dramatic response.   And now, with the rumors of returning to Cypress for a ten-year anniversary, if this line is sung, you can be sure you’ll hear peoples’ enthusiastic opinions!

“If I could be, wasting my time with you.” (Waste)

A line that brings into question values and priorities in life, the meaning is paradoxical.  What most of the world views as “wasted” recreational time at a rock concert, we value as sacred.  When Trey utters these words, it is a reminder of the meaningful time spent together, living the Phish experience.  This line illustrates the shared importance of Phish to our collective lives.  The spectrum of human emotions and experience that arise at each and every show are highlighted by this simple, yet powerful, lyric.

“Oom Pah Pah!” (Harpua)

Needing virtually no explanation, when the four white spotlights come on to the band’s chorus of “Oom Pah Pah!  Oom Pah Pah!  Oom Pah Paaaaaah!”, it’s on!  Rarely busting out the well-loved and oft-requested saga of “Harpua,” each time Phish does, it’s a cause for celebration.  These opening “sounds” flood the venue with copious excitement due to the song’s rarity and the always entertaining story of Jimmy and Poster Nutbag.  Always taken off the shelf when you least expect it, “Harpua” will result in ovations for the rest of time.

p1010033While these lines will cause audience eruptions at all Phish shows, there are a few lines that if busted out at Hampton, will hold extra-special meaning, and could get more than their regular share of cheers.

“I saw you with a ticket stub in your hand!” (Golgi Apparatus)

With the well-documented, and virtually impossible ticket mission that fans navigated to get into The Mothership, you can be sure that if “Golgi” appears, this line will get the royal treatment.

“It took me a long time to get back on the train” (Get Back On the Train)

Though this song isn’t anything spectacular, each time Trey returns from a voluntary, or forced, hiatus, this lyric seems to possess a certain potency.  A song about regaining your focus and intention in life, this is thematically appropriate for next week’s shows.  A concept that everyone can relate to, you can be sure that this line will be greeted with a crowd explosion if played.

“I think that this exact thing happened to me just last year…” (Silent In the Morning)

A lyrical reference to the cyclical nature of our existence, fans adopt this concept to the Phish realm.  Reveling in the long-standing personal relationships we all have with Phish and their music, when this lyric gets sung, we think back to our memories of years gone by and all of the happiness they have brought us.  Out of context for the song’s meaning, leeway is taken by the crowd with this lyric to rejoice in the church of Phish.

“I feel the feeling I forgot” (Free)

This wouldn’t be on this list except for its obvious reference to the last five years.  If and when it is sung, expect an above average response to the now-poignant line.

Sometimes, it just takes a few words.



ham1“Let’s Get This Show on the Road!”

We have made some significant progress on the “No Spoilers” project!

We now have two tapers on board – and some great gear taboot. This should allow us to upload the show almost immediately after it’s over. We are therefore revising our estimate from 12 to 24 *hours* after the show ends, to 12 to 24 *minutes*! *

UPDATED NOTE: To err on the side of caution, we are going to revise
this to say within an hour of the show finishing unless something goes tragically wrong.  We have thought this out, we’re confident, and we have Plan B’s, but some things are beyond our control.”  It may be faster, it may be a bit slower.

So if all goes according to plan (and it’s technology – what could go wrong?) you should be listening to the crowd roar sometime around midnight EST!  Set 2+E will follow shortly thereafter.

If you have been on the fence because of our initial time estimate, it’s time to reconsider doing this!  Help spread the word – point people to phishthoughts.com/nospoilers!

Thanks to the following cool folks for helping make this happen:
Mark Hutchison
Jamie Lutch
Jason Sobel
Disco and the rest of the SHNfamily
Craig Harris

Please check out phishthoughts.com/nospoilers for more updated details on the project!



7.14.00 Polaris Amphitheatre, Columbus, OH < LINK

2000-07-14mo2In one of the craziest beginnings to a show, Phish came onstage while a fierce storm raged over the venue.  The sky looked like something out of “Ghostbusters,” tinted green and purple with nature’s psychedelia.  Forced into a weather delay after only one song, Phish came back with a menacing monsoon of their own.  After an exciting first frame, the and came out and played “Mike’s,” “Bowie,” and “Sand” within this excessively dark second set.

I: Sample in a Jar*, Punch You in the Eye > Timber (Jerry), Gotta Jibboo > Boogie on Reggae Woman, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Foam, Dog Faced Boy, Farmhouse > Taste, Golgi Apparatus

II: Mike’s Song** > Frankie Says, David Bowie, Waste, Sand** > Lizards, Weekapaug Groove

E: The Inlaw Josie Wales##, Driver^, Guyute

*Band announced that they will be taking a break until the heavy rain slowed down; followed by 26-minute delay **With Trey on keys. ##Trey on acoustic ^Trey on electric

Source: unknown

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146 Responses to “Words I Sailed Upon”

  1. c0wfunk Says:

    seriously cam .. there’s financial aid / loans for college, and jobs are jobs .. and ones that won’t let you take off a week aren’t worth it. Don’t take our advice, fine, but don’t get all snippy .. we’ve all given up shows for jobs or girlfriends or college or whatever that ended up in the end to not matter a bit .. and we remember the shows we did make it to. You judge of course based on where you are what you can do, but whatever high school job you have now you will barely remember in 10 years and whatever cash you make for college will end up in beer anyway


  2. c0wfunk Says:

    and what’s up with the missing timber ho from yesterday’s PNC Bank download (sample too but that I understand)? (looking gift horse squarely in the mouth)

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    scratch that
    I got today’s show and yesterday’s show all befuddled.. *nevermind*

  4. gills Says:

    “I bought and sold my self controll for less than it was worth”, —- horn.

    “Don’t you see anything that you would like to try”. —Theme

    “Toss away stuff you don’t need in the end, and keep what’s important and know who’s your friend”.—- Theme

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    in the farmhouse things’ll be all right .. alrightalrightalright

  6. Bandnana Says:

    Another good post, just over a week to hampton!!!!!

  7. gills Says:

    we could go on forever

  8. Frankie Says:

    I wish i was 4 hours away from Phish…

  9. gills Says:

    i wish i was going to see ohish man this sucks

  10. showhe Says:

    Hold the wheel, read the sign
    Keep the tires off the line
    Just relax, you’re doing fine

  11. uberchef Says:

    Let us not forget the imminent roar during NICU when Trey sings, “Bane on the weasel for biting is fun”!

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    pretty hard to not rock to axilla when in a computer lab .. lol

    without a feather grey or white to tickle that piano witch

  13. cottle Says:

    “til I’m released, a wakened beast, I’m on the road again”

  14. Little Buddy Says:

    @ camman

    How many days of work do you have to miss to go to Knoxville and how much would you earn in those days. I’ll send you a check to cover part of it. I’m not kidding… Someone else on here already offered you a ticket. Seriously, man – listen to Miner. You belong there! We’ve been there. College is important to many people – Hell, I’m an administrator at a somewhat prestigious school in the north east and I’ll have my doctoral degree soon, so I obviously believe in higher education (not that its the right path for everybody and it freaking expensive). But… Phish is actually more important, I think. That sounds crazy, but you’ll get IT soon! “Oh the places you will go…” There are places you will reach at a Phish show that you will find very hard to reach again. Live while your young, indeed!!!

  15. Highbury Says:

    About that Rainstorm in Columbus…

    Crew guys were running on stage during Sample trying
    to cover the monitors and such
    The Rain was coming down sideways and changing direction
    I felt bad for the people up on the lawn, most took cover, but some seemed to actually enjoy it…..”and we’d love to take a bath”

    I’ve seen some good rainstorms during the Dead days, but this torrential
    downpour was the worst I have been a part of

    Most Violent in Phish History?

  16. skipper Says:

    Anyone at the bonner springs ’00 storm? the water pouring off the lawn into the pavillion was like niagra falls

  17. Davey Says:

    Violent and Phish look so strange in the same sentence.

  18. camman Says:

    showe… you must have hit a wrong key cause D.C. is NOT 4 hours from STL, try something more along the lines of 14 hours….

    and this is the way it has to be. I’ll be in the fox, coughing up $250 bucks for a ticket. thats just the way it is…

    i won’t miss out on them Miner

  19. Sloth Says:

    please please we have no regrets!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. full tour: announced! Says:

    camman…you can get knoxville ticket for $60 bucks. I’m telling you, knoxville is gonna be the show of the tour! more seats = more people coming to throw down = bigger party.

    yes, the fox show will be a memorable, once in a lifetime event….but if your having lack of funds issues, knoxville is the way to go. With the money you save you can put it towards gas/food/lodging.

    Don’t give into the demands of the asshole scalpers and fake “fans” trying to make a buck at all our expense. Break that cycle and do the right thing….go to knoxville!

  21. hairy pood Says:

    st louis to deer creek is less than 4 hours. 244 miles= 3 1/2 hours if you average 70 mph. tack on a little extra getting out of the city and into the cornfields, but its still very close. at least when i compare it to the fact that i’m gonna be going from olympia, wa to pittsburg, dc, alpine, then come back to make money for THE GORGE!!! in the backyard of the PNW… (eagerly awaiting announcement)

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