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Published: 2010/06/16

Phish Covers Tom Waits

Phish debuted two songs last night at Portsmouth, VA’s nTelos Pavilion at Harbor Center. The first is a cover of Tom Waits’ “Cold Water,” a song which appears on 1999’s Mule Variations. Though Phish has never covered the elusive singer/songwriter in the past, Trey Anastasio performed Waits’ “The House Where Nobody Lives” with David Byrne at a Tibet House Benefit in 2000. He also performed on a bill with Waits at a Katrina relief benefit at Radio City Music Hall in 2005.

In addition, last night Phish debuted the new Mike Gordon original “Idea” during its second set (a slightly different version of the song is slated for inclusion on Gordon’s upcoming solo album). The eight-minute song is the second new original song Phish has played this spring—last Friday the band performed “Show of Life,” an Anastasio/Dude of Life collaboration Trey Anastasio and Classic TAB performed this winter.

Below is Phish’s setlist from last night

NTELOS Pavilion at Harbor Center, Portsmouth, VA

Set I: Tube#, Kill Devil Falls, Slave to the Traffic Light, Lawn Boy, Poor Heart, AC/DC Bag, The Moma Dance, My Friend My Friend, Cold Water*, Bathtub Gin, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan

Set II: Wilson > Seven Below > 46 Days > Idea*, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Simple > Joy, Taste, Theme from the Bottom, A Day in the Life

E: Heavy Things, First Tube

Notes: #By request. * First time played.

Here are the lyrics from Gordon’s “Idea” from Phish.com

Idea

Sliding down that final stretch of highway
I pass beside you and my mind comes alive
Got to find a way to the person inside
Skip my turn and follow you to a city
I scale the walls of a highrise to the sky
And I see you yelling and I don’t know why

I’m hiding in that empty room
Behind a pile of impending doom
It must have been a bad idea; gotta stop stackin’ it up
I don’t know why I got so lost; and how long; I’ve been gone

You’re meeting with an owl tycoon at a conference table
Another sketch of a higher tower is drawn
And your voice is becoming my favorite song
As the knights of reason stand in the way clanging
I step out and plead until they take me away
But another idea begins to inflate

On chairs stacked up to your room
I serenade you with a thought balloon that says
It must have been a bad idea to start stacking it up
I don’t know why it got so lost; and how long; I’ve been gone

You built an ancient town from rocks and bones
On sand they find your glossy tower sheens
Waves crash up and the spires beam
From the top of the world you scope out what you know
But standing way up there makes you feel all alone
With the odds stacked against me I walk up slow

Piece by piece you break your wall down
And as it tumbles to the ground you say
It must have been a bad idea to keep stackin’ it up
I don’t know why I got so lost; and how long; I’ve been gone

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