A week after the end of what was, almost without question, Phish’s best tour in the 20 months since their reunion, I–like many of you, I suspect–am still feeling the effects of Atlantic City. This feeling is most palpable in the head cold that’s been with me for seven days. But it’s a musical aftershock, too: I’ve found myself re-listening to highlights from the most recent tour far more than I had after any of the last two years’ offerings. Phish is making interesting music night in and night out, and for that, we should be thankful.
In keeping with the theme, I wanted to share a rare recording of one of the most obscure, and in my opinion, prettiest Phish songs ever recorded. The tune, “Aftermath,” appears on The White Tape, the early band demos that circulated among fans for years before being remastered and released in 1999.
An acoustic guitar duet vaguely reminiscent of Led Zeppelin’s “Bron-Yr-Aur,” “Aftermath” was written and recorded by Trey and Roger Holloway, who played in early bands with Trey. Though the song was never played live by Phish, it surfaced during the acoustic first set of a show from Trey’s first solo tour.
The show took place on May 7, 1999, at St. Louis’s American Theatre. That venue had previously played host to Phish’s 4-14-93 gig, where Holloway came onstage at the beginning of the second set and proposed to his girlfriend before Phish dropped into AC/DC Bag (whose line “just like Roger he’s a crazy little kid” refers to Gamehendge’s Roger Wolfe, who was based on Holloway). Following an acoustic “Prince Caspian,” Trey invited Holloway to the stage, where the two played a gorgeous rendition of the 14-year-old song. The recording appears below; the intro lasts for about 95 seconds, then the song begins.