For no particular reason, this week’s theme is Phish on TV. Although the band’s appearances on late-night talk shows are always limited by narrow time windows, they’ve tended to make the most of it, beginning with their first Letterman performance on 12/30/94:
Apparently, the band was planning to play something else (presumably Disease), but Letterman, a Chalkdust fan, requested that song instead.
Their next appearance on Letterman came the following summer. The band ripped through a Hoist-esque Julius:
A personal story: after the SPAC 2004 shows, I zipped back to Brooklyn, and got to my apartment at about 5 a.m. I figured I’d sleep in and go into work at 11 or so. All that changed when I checked my email and found out Phish would be playing atop the Letterman marquee at 5 p.m. the next day. So I bit the bullet, endured a painful early start to my work day, and headed up to midtown for the performance. The most memorable part, captured below, was the look on the faces of the unsuspecting workers who came out of their offices to see thousands of hippies on Seventh Avenue chanting “Wilson.”
Another classic Phish TV taping happened four years earlier and one block away, at Roseland Ballroom on 5/23/00. The show was cut down to an hour and aired on VH1 as part of their Hard Rock Live series. Here’s the PYITE:
Finally, a classic cut from FarmAid ’98: the blazing Birds opener.
More classic Phish TV to come next week. Have a good one…