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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Breaking Down Phish Covers

Without question, Phish is the greatest cover band of all time. From the Halloween shows to just rare bust outs, any time Phish dials up a cover you can expect a special performance. There are the classics, the standards and the songs that we wish would return to full rotation. Here's my take 25 Phish covers that are just amazing.

Classics (Wait, that's not a Phish song?!?)
1. 2001- The space exploratory jam is a staple of Phish's performances. The lights, the keys and Trey make this the best cover. While there haven't been many 2001's in 3.0 that stand out, this song will forever be the best Phish cover.

2. Ya Mar- Anytime its above 60 degrees outside you can count on me listening to Ya Mar. It's the ultimate happy vibes song that just makes you want to dance on the beach in the Bahamas. The music is incredible too. Between Trey and Page's solos and Mike's funky grooves, Ya Mar stands out as one of the top Phish covers.

3. Funky Bitch- The rocking blues song also gives Trey and Page opportunities to blow away the audience, and another chance for Mike to sing. Always fun and jamming.

4. Loving Cup- The Rolling Stones cover has become a favorite of Phish, culminating with the performance of Exile on Main Street back in 2009. Any time you hear Page play those opening notes you know you are in for a real treat.

5. Cities- When you're checkin it out, Cities emphasizes the ability that Phish has to take someone else's song and literally create it as their own. While it's sometimes straight forward, Cities always has the potential for real improvisation.

Standards (Sweeeeet...I love when they play this)
6. Walk Away- If you want to hear Trey shred, this is the place to go. The James Gang cover has always fit perfectly with Tweezer and always rocks hard. Played four times this summer, Walk Away is another staple of Phish's repertoire.

7. Roses Are Free- Ween is retired, but this song isn't! The song hasn't really gotten the Island Tour treatment in 3.0 but there have been some fantastic moments, such as Worcester this summer. Here's to hoping for a jammed out Roses in NYC.

8. Crosseyed and Painless- Another Talking Heads song, CAP went to a whole new level this summer in San Francisco and has been a fantastic jam vehicle ever since it was first played Halloween 96.

9. Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley- The song was in heavy rotation before a long hiatus, and then the epic bust out on 12.30.97. Now it's hard to go a few shows without hearing Sally at a Phish show. The Robert Palmer cover is always sooooo funky. Gotta love this one.

10. Rock n Roll- The Velvet Underground song has been played, according to, an average of every 6 shows since it's debut on Halloween 98. This song can be straightforward killer rock, or can go places we've never gone before, such as this year's Long Beach Jam.

11. Boogie On Reggae Woman- When a person hears Mike play the funky riff to start this song, their head automatically starts bobbing. This song has had some bright shining moments and often is a great jam in whatever set it's in.

12. Frankenstein- Page on the Keytar is amazing. While only played twice in the last two years, Frankenstein was an integral part of Phish's history in the mid 90's and is still an awesome jam. Phish nails this one.

13. Drowned- The best Page cover. Awesome on the vocals and the keys. Drowned used to be played all the time, but was only played once in 2011 and 2012. Drowned needs to be put back into the main rotation.

14. Peaches en Regalia- When Peaches was played on 12/2/09 it was the biggest bust out at the time. But now Peaches has been played a lot, eight times since the reunion and three times this year. Nonetheless, it's a treat anytime Peaches is played, and it would be amazing if we ever got that Reba->Peaches.

15. Quinn the Eskimo- Quinn has an interesting history. Played a few times in 87, then put on the shelf until it's bust out in Hampton in 98, and then pretty much gone again until 2010. Now it's hard to go a few shows without hearing the Mighty Quinn. Still, Quinn is always a fun jam and a great chance to listen to Mike's vocals. 

16. Bold as Love- While it's not the most sought after Jimi cover these days, it's still a great tune and allows for some Trey shredding. CK5 is often MVP on this one in my opinion.

17. A Day in the Life- One of the greatest songs of all time by the greatest cover band of all time. An instant recipe for success.

18. Good Times Bad Times- This song just makes you wish Phish would cover Led Zeppelin IV on Halloween. They always do a fantastic job on GTBT, but how awesome would it be to hear Evermore, Stairway and Misty Mountain back to back to back. Makes you hope for 2013!

19. While My Guitar Gently Weeps- This song has been in rotation for the most part since it's debut at Glen Falls. That being said, it's only been played 6 times in 3.0, so it would be nice for another shredding from Trey sometime soon.

Hopeful Returns (Wow! I'm so glad I didn't miss tonight's show!!!)
20. Emotional Rescue- This song came out of nowhere in the FUCKYOURFACE show to the delight of many. It would be incredible if the band brought this one back out again and really improvised on it.

21. Izabella- Only played 10 times, and last played 391 shows ago, Izabella IS BEGGING to be played at this New Year's Run. PLEASE PHISH PLEASE!!!! We need IT.

22. Sweet Jane- Sweet Jane was played this summer in Noblesville, so could there be another Jane at MSG? Trey's solo on this is so pure.

23. Tuesday's Gone- Only played once on 7/13/99, this classic song hasn't been touched since and it's doubtful to ever be played again. But if Sweet Jane can be played, can't Tuesday's Gone be played too?

24. Foreplay/Longtime- I'm talking electric. Another one and done. When Phish busted out Skin it Back this summer, it gave every song in the catalog a chance to be played. Nothing would be more awesome than a Foreplay/Longtime opener one night.

25. Terrapin Station- It will never be played again, but it would be remiss not to mention it for the fact that it's Phish covering one of the greatest songs ever, for Jerry, on the anniversary of Jerry's death.

What did I miss? You tell me!


  1. Not necessarily a cover, but when Phish performs 99 Problems with Jay-Z, epic!!!

  2. i would have thrown a fit if peaches en regalia, while my guitar gently weeps, and a day in the life weren't on the list. cheers mate

  3. I had tears of joy during the encode of terrapin station, I will never forget that moment when I realized what trey was starting to play all the while hearing rumors in the parking lot that day that it was the 2,000 th show for phish when no one saw what was to come in the form of one of the most emotional,moving, chill bumb moments of my life, I wasn't the only one I've never seen a more somber group walk out of a concert and clear the parking lot in less than a hour no talking just low mumbles as we walked out of Virginia Beach amphitheater