Phish Celebrate July 4th with Halloween Treats, Tuck Jokes and More
Photo by Dave Vann © Phish 2012 via Phish’s Facebook page
Phish celebrated Independence Day with another set of rarities at Wantagh, NY’s Jones Beach Amphitheatre. After a prominent
“Dave’s Energy Guide” tease at the start of the show, the group offered this summer’s first versions of sibling songs “Alumni Blues” and “Letter to Jimmy Page,” both of which were coveted rarities until returning to rotation in 2010. Next, Phish dusted off their first cover of Velvet Underground’s “Head Held High” since their 1998 Loaded Halloween costume (on July 3 the band offered a similar Halloween treat and played “The White Album” classic “Happiness Is a Warm Gun” for only the second time). From there, the band moved through another set of regularly paired songs, the instrumental “The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday” and traditional Jewish prayer “Avenu Malkenu,” for the first time since June 21, 2009. Later in the set, the Vermont Quartet brought back “Bittersweet Motel,” which has been out of rotation since August 2, 2009, and offered only their third version of “Susskind Hotel,” a holdover from Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon’s short-lived 2006 G.R.A.B. project.
Adding to the evening’s festive feel, Phish also offered one of their Jon Fishman vignettes. This time, the drummer moved to the front of the stage for the band’s first rendition of Prince’s “Purple Rain” since July 25, 1999. Continuing a gag he started in Portsmouth, VA on June 19—a show which like last night was webcast—Fishman made several “tuck” references throughout the song and tucked in his dress at the end of the segment. The set closed with a barbershop quartet arrangement of “The Star Spangled Banner.”
The band’s second set consisted of a completely segued package of songs. Of particular note, the group’s jam from “Tweezer” into “Twist” stretched past 10-minutes. The band’s segue from “Twist” into “Taste” also contained some interesting pockets of improvisation. Near the end of the show, Fishman riffed on the “tuck joke” a final time when he changed some lyrics to “Sleeping Monkey” to “Why’d you tuck my monkey on a train.”
Phish’s summer tour will resume on Friday with a show at Saratoga Springs, NY’s Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
Here’s a look at last night’s set via Phish.net
Wednesday, July 3, 2012, Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, Wantagh, NY
Set 1: Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Head Held High, The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday > Avenu Malkenu > The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, Kill Devil Falls, Bittersweet Motel, The Moma Dance > Gumbo > David Bowie, Alaska, Susskind Hotel, Hold Your Head Up > Purple Rain  > Hold Your Head Up, The Star Spangled Banner
Set 2: Boogie On Reggae Woman > Tweezer > Twist > Taste > Quinn the Eskimo > Julius > Rock and Roll > The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Harry Hood > Shine a Light > Show of Life > Slave to the Traffic Light
Encore: Sleeping Monkey  > Tweezer Reprise
 Alternate lyrics “tucking in the Purple Rain” and “I am Friar Tuck!”
 Alternate “Why’d you tuck my monkey on a train” lyrics.