Today’s setlist lineup is courtesy of Aaron Hawley, a Yinzer from the other side of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (there are 4 states in the United States that are Commonwealths. Can you name the other 3?). I feel for Aaron. Rooting for the Pirates is almost an effort in futility. Since 1992 the Pirates have unquestionably been the worst team in Major League Baseball, which is unfortunate because a) Pittsburgh is a great sports town and b) PNC Park where the Pirates play is one of the most beautiful in the land. On a personal note, Aaron wrote a review a number of years ago for a TAB show in Charlottesville and is the only other proof on the Internet that proves the show took place. I was there too and had an amazing time, but for years there was no setlist available and I have not been able to track down the tapes of the show. I’m glad Aaron is here to prove that I am not crazy. But before we get to the lineup, the necessary reminder:
If you would like to submit your setlist lineup for your favorite baseball team, email firstname.lastname@example.org. The rules are simple: take your team’s starting lineup and match it with a specific version of a Phish song or songs that best matches that player. The only catch is that the songs you choose must have been played in your team’s general geographic area, so don’t pick the Greek Cities to represent Alfonso Soriano if you are a Cubs fan.
Audio guide here.
Andrew McCutchen – 11/24/95 I’m Blue, I’m Lonesome: For awhile, McCutchen was the only bright spot in an otherwise bleak Pirates lineup. During the band’s 1995 stop in the Burgh, this Bill Monroe tune was dedicated to Penguins great, and now owner, Mario Lemieux. The Pirates GM hasn’t been as successful building a contender as Lemieux has, but at least the young stars in black and gold have no reason to be lonesome any more. Blue? Well, that may continue for awhile.
Jose Tabata – 8/13/97 Amoreena: This surprise opener is the perfect fit for Tabata, who started the season batting leadoff before being dropped into the second slot. Amoreena was a Phish debut and opened 1997’s Star Lake show. Much like Tabata’s stellar play this season, it caught the audience completely by surprise.
Neil Walker – 8/13/97 Izabella: Another cover from 1997’s epic stop at Star Lake, current Pirates’ second baseman Neil Walker bears a striking resemblance to Izabella. Just as the Hendrix cover emerges from Gumbo, Walker came out of nowhere last season for the Buccos. Both Izabella and Neil Walker may be short and compact, but they both pack a maximum amount of power.
Lyle Overbay – 8/11/98 Runaway Jim: Lyle’s one of the newest Pirates and as the cleanup hitter, his job is to go deep. This version of Jim goes very deep indeed, going full on type II as it meanders through a variety of themes, including a play on Maria from West Side Story. Lyle’s job is to go long, and this Jim does, crossing the thirty five minute mark. Jim was only played twice in the US that summer, but the phans got their money’s worth out of this version, dropped at Star Lake.
Pedro Alvarez – 10/18/96 Maze: Pedro, like Maze, has been a star since he broke onto the scene. Highly touted for his power hitting, Pedro has struggled at times in the field and he seems to look lost, oftentimes the people watching him field the ball enjoy a good laugh. That said, like this version of Maze, Alvarez can pack a powerful punch when it counts.
Garrett Jones – 7/29/03 Crosseyed & Painless: Garrett Jones always seems to pop up when the Pirates need a big hit, and the same can be said for Crosseyed & Painless. Disproportionately played in the Steel City, this Talking Heads cover is often a sign of epic things to come, as was the case on 7/29/03. When Jones gets into his groove, it often is a sign that there may be runs in the Pirates’ future.