Waiting For Columbus

Postcards From Page Side: No Small Pheat

In this installment, Brian Bavosa dons his thinking cap for an inside look into Phish’s 2010 musical costume: Little Feat’s Waiting for Columbus…

This past weekend, Phish successfully concluded their 2010 Fall Tour with a three-night stand in Atlantic City, NJ.  Pulling out both “tricks” and “treats” for all, things culminated with a nearly 6-hour (!!!) performance on Halloween night at the historic Boardwalk Hall, complete with a second set rendition of Little Feat’s classic 1978, Double-Live album, Waiting for Columbus.

[All photos by Regan Teti Marscher]

However, before the musical costume itself was performed – with the help of percussionist Giovanni Hidalgo and members of the Antibalas and Dap-Kings horn sections, Phish had a few scores to settle on the 29th and 30th, with some rockers, tongue-in-cheek humor and a a complete throwdown that saw them seriously get the Led out. Now, while I could easily turn this installment of the column into a three-show mega-review, as many may have seen me do in the past on my Phish tour beat, I will instead let the music do the talking for this past weekend and focus on how and why Phish arrived at the choice of Little Feat, and why it makes more sense than you think.

Now, to fully understand what Halloween means to Phish, and the elaborate thoughtfulness that starts months in advance, one must also consider at the very core, each and every choice in the musical costume tradition has essentially represented something about the band themselves, as individuals and a collective whole. Oh yeah, there’s the wild speculation, theories, sneaking around, misdirection and pranks, but you must also consider more than just the obvious factors and ingredients, as it all boils down to what is “in the fabric,” as drummer Jon Fishman says about this year’s selection.  In short, it was there all along, even if it is not glaringly apparent, as I feel Columbus might seem to most fans on the surface.

READ ON for more of Postcards From Page Side…

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