Page McConnell and The Meter Men Revisit ’80s Phish Rehearsals
Photos by Dino Perrucci
With Phish off the road this fall, Page McConnell celebrated Halloween at New York’s BB King Blues Club last night. The keyboardist performed with The Meter Men, a trio featuring original Meters bassist George Porter Jr., guitarist Leo Nocentelli and drummer Ziggy Modeliste. The Meter Men plan to play a handful of shows in the coming months with a variety of keyboardists subbing for Art Neville, who has taken a hiatus from touring with The Meters.
Last night’s Meter Men performance was part of a four-show run with McConnell. Before the series of shows, the band asked McConnell which Phish songs he wanted to play. Instead of Phish songs, McConnell asked the band to relearn some old Meters numbers the band has rarely played since the late ‘60s. In particular, McConnell asked the band to perform the 1969 Meters track “Pungee,” a song Phish used to play during rehearsals in the ‘80s. The Vermont Quartet would jam to the song on their stereo, then turn the volume down to a low level, jam by themselves and turn the volume back up to see where they were in regards to the recordings. Phish also played the song during a few soundchecks, but the band has never performed the number live. The members of The Meters have also shied away from playing the song several decades before McConnell asked them to relearn the songs.
McConnell and The Meter Men will return to BB King Blues Club this evening.