The B List: 10 Phish Songs That Got Away

7. Take The “A” Train – This cover, popularized by Duke Ellington, is the song that the Vermonters have played most in their career that I haven’t seen yet besides the throwaway gimmick Big Ball Jam. It’s not like I missed it as they haven’t played it since two shows before I saw my first Phish concert, yet I have no doubt that out of nowhere the boys will pull out this jazz standard in the middle of a first set at some random show in Ohio. Odds: 275 to 1

6. Everybody’s Got Something To Hide… – Phish debuted their cover of my favorite song about monkeys with the rest of The Beatles’ White Album in Glens Falls on Halloween ’94. This one stayed on the shelve until 9/25/2000 when they busted it out as one of the more randomly awesome openers of all-time. Odds: 450 to 1

5. Highway to Hell – When I first started seeing Phish in 1994 they were rockin’ this AC/DC cover all the time, but within a few years it had disappeared from the band’s setlists. How could they not want to tear the shit out of this tune on a regular basis?Odds: 75 to 1

4. Leprechaun – Before Phish headed out on arguably the most important tour of their career – Summer 1993 – they worked up a gorgeous Trey-written instrumental that featured all sorts of wonderfully complex changes. Leprechaun has been criminally overlooked by the band since being played three times that summer. Odds: 800 to 1

3. Mock Song – There’s no mistaking Mike Gordon’s songwriting style and this quirky song with nonsensical lyrics could only have been by the Cactus. The quartet treated fans at The Gorge shows in 2003 to their only live version of this tune that they had originally recorded for Round Room. Odds: 60 to 1

2. Demand – When Hoist came out in 1994 it contained rockers (Sample), ballads (Lifeboy), throwaway studio songs (Riker’s Mailbox) and one proggy gem that was more in line with the complex masterpieces Trey had written in college than anything else on the album – Demand. On Hoist, they tacked part of the Split jam from 4/21/1993 onto the end of Demand and in concert they would usually segue from Demand into one of their big jam songs, but they quickly abandoned the tune. Odds: 175 to 1

1. The Ballad of Curtis Loew – Page McConnell’s bold but beautiful voice is the perfect tone for many songs, but you’d never think The Chairman of the Boards would do a good Ronnie Van Zant. Yet Leo fucking p’wned his delivery of the classic Lynyrd Skynyrd song The Ballad of Curtis Loew. Add that to the ripping licks Trey liked to interject and you get one of Phish’s best played covers. Sadly, the band hasn’t dusted this one off in concert since 1993, but they have soundchecked it a few times. Bastards! Odds: 100 to 1

How does this compare with your list? Post your list of what songs you’d like to see Phish play that you’ve never seen before in a comment below…

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55 Responses

  1. My song like that isn’t that much of a stretch, but I’ve never seen them play If I Could.

    If I’m not mistaken though, I believe they did a Curtis Loew at the soundcheck on the evening before Big Cypress.

  2. I did see Highway to Hell but always, always wanted see Ride Captain Ride,
    from Page’s electric piano to Trey’s background vocals, it is a song that i wished lasted and hour.

  3. mostly covers – La grange, Back at the Chicken Shack Come on baby lets go downtown, Destiny Unbound, Emotional Rescue, Cracklin’ Rosie, Born Under Punches, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone, Quinn The Eskimo, Skin it Back, TALK, Tela>,

  4. I caught both the first time, but would have a much better appreciation if I heard them again.

    1. the modern lovers- roadrunner

    2. pavement- gold soundz

  5. I would have top second the cracklin’ rosie. i caught it once in 93. Another would be freebird, missed that one by one night twice.

  6. Happy to say I’ve seen a ‘Cracklin’ and a ‘Highway to Hell’ and ‘So Lonely’, but I, like John D, would love to see a ‘Ride Captain Ride…upon your gosh darn mystery ship’!

  7. i’d love them to play buried alive to start a jones beach show. last time played? opening a vegas show on my birthday in 04 but i wasn’t there.

  8. I’ll second The Wedge. Covers are always great, but I appreciate that a lot of them are just little one time deals. That being said, I love to hear Page tear in “Amoreena” again.

  9. I’ve seen Highway to Hell (10/31/96) and Mock Song (Gorge 2003) from this list but have never seen the others Scotty listed or TELA 🙁

  10. Sweet Virginia (Stones)
    Windora Bug

    What’s the Use
    Mountains in the Mist (but quickly into Fire on the Mountain, where this song belongs)

  11. I didn’t realize that Highway to Hell was out of the rotation – I guess it HAS been awhile!

    I’d pick Esther and Buried Alive.

  12. I’m still trying to figure out how you call the Big Ball Jam a throwaway gimmick!?!?! Bring back the big balls!

    The song I need to hear is Sparks.

  13. Tela!!
    Peaches En Regalia
    Mountains in the Mist
    Time Loves a Hero
    What’s the Use
    Cinnamon Girl
    Crosseyed and Painless – again
    Brother – got kicked out of Fiddlers Green 2000 mid-show before they busted it out
    Sleeping Monkey – again
    Walk Away

  14. peaches en regalia!!!
    buried alive
    famous mockingbird
    emotional rescue
    cracklin rosie/purple rain/sexual healing
    walk away
    the wedge – again
    my friend my friend – again

  15. I’ve seen a few one and only’s but the one song eluding me is Alumni and I would haveloved to hear it in Hampton but how can you complain after those marathon shows. Sanity > Wilson….sick sick sick.

  16. Songs that got away noone has mentioned “Goin’ Down Slow” I would also love if they brought back “If I Could” a gem that was never done enough and an “A-Train” needs to come back and “Fast Enough For You” along with “Peaches” plus “Buried Alive” and there is always room for a “Brother”

  17. I missed “Mound” by one night my first show the 2nd night of a Philly stop at the Mann Music Center 3,500 capacity in 1995. They played “Spocks Brain” that night. However I am patient and nearly 15 years later I think it is time they Play “Mound” again in Camden, NJ this time. I missed “Destiny Unbound” again but that’s OK BECAUSE here is what I have seen over the years. I have seen two songs with full band instrument changes Live, “Camel Walk” with Ken Kesey, a 4 song 2nd Set at Deer Creek “GTBT” with a Therimin, All the big festivals minus Coventry and IT. The thunderstorm at Walnut Creek that the DVD just came out for, Rain Soaked Polaris after 1st song 2nd verse of “Sample in A Jar” caused the band to duck for cover only to come back to a fatty “Timber HO”. A 22 minute Fee at VA Beach. Leroi from DMB at VA Beach playing 4 saxophones at once R.I.P. buddy. Debuts of “Emotional Rescue” “Ride Captain Ride” “Ghost” “Sabotage” “Sexual Healing” “Been Caught Stealing” “Gold Soundz” “Roses Are Free” “Taste” “Train Song” “Sixteen Candles” Multiple Vacuums a few Harpuas and Last but not Least by a F#@$ing long shot “Terrapin Staion” WOW was that sick.

  18. I’m with you on having seen most of their originals and a great selection of covers over the years, but here’s what I’d like to hear most, that I haven’t yet:

    Buried Alive
    Destiny Unbound

    Alumni Blues

  19. Well there is the one I had hoped would come out and there it is the gem “If I Could” the song they don’t do nearly enough (see above) and I am so glad they are digging out the songs that are buried. Hell at this rate could there be a “Gamehenge Narration” coming at Great Woods Saturday and NO that is not a typo I will always call it “Great Woods” and Yes I know they did one there already but that makes it all the more intresting that way and noone would expect it. So boys if you read this what do you say “Open wider wider there’s a 52 year old man sitting in a dentist chair and he’s thinking I’ve gotta get out of here….” now the question is what songs are gonna be buried could it be songs like “Hood”, “Stash” who knows it could be anything. That should be the next list of top ten tunes us fans think they will bury….hmmmmm!

  20. How about Brother? Always a personal favorite and completely disappeared from the setlists (8/2/03 Limestone was the last).

  21. Hell I forgot something else that has been buried and it is time for it to come back and that is …………….. THE SECRET LANGUAGE and I am not talking about the Simpsons D’Oh I am talking about the Big Dog which I caught in Philly in 1999 during Possum and that’s right you guessed it the “ALL FALL DOWN SIGNAL” I was on the floor and when I heard it I acted like MIKE TYSON caught me right square in the temple. I went down soooo good! that 2 ushers came to check to see if I was ok when I was flat on the floor looking around to see if anyone else joined me and there was maybe 2 or 3 people. I told the ushers “they told me to do that!” and they were dumbfounded after that I bounced up and everyone around me was like “how did you know!” my reply “because I do my homework!” Now is the time for the “ALL FALL DOWN SIGNAL” seeing how there are soooo many newbies at the shows which is fine but it is time for the newbies to learn a lesson. The lesson is KNOW WHAT YOUR SEEING! If you are unfamiliar with the purpose of the ALL FALL DOWN SIGNAL it is for the people who don’t fall when the band tells them through their instruments the people standing would be like what the hell just happened. So BOYS if you read this do it Saturday when I am there I can’t wait to see you guys keep breaking out the buried songs.

  22. They busted out curtis lowe at fenway late 2nd set b4 yem. I want to hear my mind has a mind of its own!

  23. Time Loves a Hero, Camel Walk, Esther, Mcgupp, Mound, Landlady, Sloth, Col Forbin/Mockingbird, UNCLE PEN, & Its Ice

  24. having started seeing phish in ’92, i’ve had the luck of seeing most everything i’ve wanted (‘camel walk’ 8-14-97, ‘brother’ @ the ball, ‘rocka william’ 8-10-97, ‘peaches’ & ‘magilla’ 4-9-94 and others that don’t come to mind immediately)…on the way to halloween ’96 i said “if they play ‘ride cpt ride’ as set 1, the cover album in set 2, then ‘sanity’ as set 3, i’ll be phine w that!!””; opened with ‘sanity’ and the night was made right then and there, the rest was icing on the cake….subsequently, i was lucky enough to catch my HOLY GRAIL; 8-3-98 (THE ‘ride cpt ride’ breakout) and also 11-8-98….now, i’ve been chasing ‘the curtain WITH’ and

  25. Until reading this post, I was blissfully unaware that there was anyone, anywhere who actually wanted to hear the song “Walfredo.” Is this some kind of fetish?

  26. Well Mr. Snarf, considering I missed all the previous performances of this tune, I would still like to see Phish play it. Is it the best song ever written? No. Would I prefer to see Phish play it once as opposed to the 754th version of Sample? Yes, indeed, I would.

    I appreciate the nods to the band’s history and getting to see Mike Gordon solo.


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