B List: 10 Phish Songs That Got Away in ’09

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9. I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome [LTP: 6/22/2000]

Back in 1994, the boys invited Rev. Jeff Mosier on tour with them for a few shows to teach them the intricacies of bluegrass as well as a number of standards. One of the tunes Rev. Jeff taught the band was Bill Monroe’s beautifully bittersweet I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome. Phish included I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome in many acoustic interludes over the rest of that tour and at many Fall ’95 shows.

Besides a version at the Bridge School Benefit shows in 1998 and an electric version with Del McCoury et. al in 2000, I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome has been M.I.A. We hope that Trey dusting off the tune during his solo tour in February – with the help of the Del McCoury Band – is a sign that it might return at a Phish show.

8. Magilla [LTP: 7/22/2003]

Speaking of tunes that Trey busted out on Classic TAB tour, Big Red and his band rocked this Page McConnell-penned instrumental three times in February. Phish debuted Magilla on September 13, 1990 and played the jazzy tune often over the next few years. Yet, after 1994 it became extremely rare and was only performed six times since May 4, 1994.

7/6. Izabella/Eliza [LTP: 7/31/1998 – 5/14/1992]

Trey’s two daughters are named Eliza and Isabella, so you’d think he’d play the tunes in the Phish repertoire referencing their names but think again. Eliza – a quick instrumental found on Picture of Nectar – hasn’t made a setlist since 1992 while the Jimi Hendrix cover Izabella has been long lost since 1998. Izabella fit perfectly into the rotation in 1997 and we’d love to see Trey opt for it over Character Zero in the shred-fest slot this summer.

5. Take The A-Train [LTP: 4/13/1994]

Reba Jam, A-Train

Phish has shied away from including jazz standards in their sets since graduating to large venues. Since the band has been throwing a few smaller shows in the mix, hopefully they’ll dust this one off this year.

4. Walls of the Cave [LTP: 8/14/2004]

The Anastasio/Marshall epic Walls of the Cave got plenty of love from Phish 2.0 but has vanished from the band’s repertoire since they came back last March. This tune hit its stride in the summer of 2004 when the group started opening up the end jam. We’ve got high hopes for the return of  WoTC.

3. Saw It Again [LTP: 8/3/2003]

One of the harder-edged songs Trey and Tom have written, Saw It Again has great potential in the repertoire as displayed in the jammed out version from December 12, 1997. There’s never been much of a consenus on this one as every fan you ask about it will give you a different response when you ask whether they like it or not. Consider me a fluffer as I like seeing this “punk” side of the band.

2. Dog Log [LTP: 8/2/2003]

One of the first Phish tunes, Dog Log has never been performed with much regularity, yet usually finds its way into a setlist once ever year or every other year – 2009 was not one of those years. Long noted as former soundman Paul Languedoc’s favorite song, we wonder whether its a coincidence that the tune hasn’t been attempted in concert since he left Phish’s employ. When we asked fans via the YEMblog twitter feed and Facebook fan page what songs they wanted the band to bust out, Dog Log was the second most popular response.

1. Alumni Blues [LTP: 7/24/1999]

The most popular response when we asked fans what tune Phish should bust out, Alumni Blues seems to be the song most longtime fans are looking to cross off their never seen lists. Is it because this is one of the best compositions in their catalog? Probably not, but it does have a cool groove that’s accentuated nicely by horns. M.I.A. since 1999, we’d not only like to see Alumni return, but we’d love to see a version that includes one of the first-ever Phish songs – Letter To Jimmy Page – included as the bridge which has happened in most instances of Alumni over the years.

15 Other songs Phish didn’t play in 2009: The Landlady, Sweet Adeline, The Curtain (sans With), Amazing Grace, Big Ball Jam, Mock Song, Round Room, La Grange, Carolina, Terrapin, Beauty of My Dreams, Dogs Stole Things, Life On Mars?, Kung, Inlaw Josie Wales

[via ZZYZX’s Phish Stats]

What song would you like to see Phish bring back this year?

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32 thoughts on “B List: 10 Phish Songs That Got Away in ’09

  1. ericwyman Reply

    Totally forgot about Johnny B. Goode! Add that one.

    And I’m a little disappointed Jennifer Dances can’t get some support!

  2. Matthew Pugh Reply

    Some great picks, specifically Saw It Again and Walls of the Cave – two I really miss. What about Buffalo Bill and Spock’s Brain?

  3. bobby m Reply

    I too agree that Izabella would fit nicely into the Zero slot. Not the biggest fan of inserting standards into the mix, unless the tune was given a unique treatment. They could always take a tune, say, “Out of This World,” or even a Larry Young organ groover like “Backup” and re-arrange them (add a modal section? a 13 bar blues?). To my ears that would sound super-hip.

  4. jacked Reply

    … Buffalo Bill and Spock’s Brain was much fun – Camden 03’… that two show run was great – we need a warm eastcoast feisty for them to bust out something like these two songs…

  5. Hot Dog Reply


  6. Chris H Reply

    Mighty Quinn

  7. Chris H Reply

    they played meatstick, saw it at Jones Beach

  8. Hot Dog Reply

    @Chris oops your correct. somehow missed that. I’m still calling it for July 4th (dressed in my hot dog suit)!

  9. dave Reply

    Another vote for spock’s brain

  10. Kenny Blankenship Reply

    Dogs Stole Things

  11. Dave Sas Reply

    What about “Come On Baby Let’s Go Downtown” – that Neil Young cover? I know Phish played it at least once in the 00’s but think it was more regular on those early Trey tours. Would love to hear this one come out at Telluride…

  12. dudiciah Reply


  13. posterNUTbag Reply


  14. JR Reply

    I’d have to say Life on Mars or Beauty of My Dreams or Light Up Or Leave Me Alone or Emotional Rescue. Yeah one of those.

  15. V Reply

    Olivia’s Pool!

  16. V Reply

    or Obvlious Fool 🙂

  17. kidcharlemagne Reply

    Alumni Blues….1st Phish song I ever heard and saw

  18. Justin Reply

    I would love to see Been Caught Stealin’ or Time Loves A Hero, both covers I know but great covers.

  19. @RickRoth3 Reply

    is it just me or did we not get a Song I Heard The Ocean sing ?

  20. spaceparanoid Reply

    ASIHTOC was played as the opener to the second set of Deer Creek

  21. Dave Reply

    The Inlaw Josie Wales

  22. Dave Reply

    ^ugh – my bad

  23. billish Reply

    ASIHTOS was also played knoxville

  24. Ben Leon Reply

    spocks brain, buffalo bill are good calls

    and personally i love saw it again and agree it needs to be busted out in 2010

  25. ruphunky Reply

    Shaggy Dog, where u been?

  26. Jake Reply

    the OPENING of Scents and Subtle Sounds, please.

  27. jeff Reply

    would love to hear saw it again, dog log or izabella – i’ve seen spock’s brain, and personally, it’s great to check that box, i suppose, but musically it’s not really my scene

  28. Adam Reply

    Hoping to hear me some Walfredo at a Merriweather show. Pumped up for Chocolate Land tomorrow. Hope the set-list is half as good as Chi-town’s was last night!

    Glad that yer a Glide

  29. mike Reply

    Alumni Blues, Camden opener june 25th 2010

  30. PhishyPhish Reply

    Fuck Your Face bitches!

  31. nich Reply

    Is it weird that i’ve been into this band since 1994 and I’m fiending harder for Round Room than anything else?

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