Happy Birthday Jon Fishman: Performing With Yonder Mountain String Band In 2008

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Phish drummer Jon Fishman celebrates his 54th birthday today. The vacuum-playing, frock-adorned, co-founder of the seminal jam act has been behind the kit since the group formed in Burlington, Vermont in 1983.

On Thursday, Fish and his band mates Trey Anastasio, Mike Gordon and Page McConnell will perform their first three shows of the year at their Phish: Riviera Maya destination event in Mexico. The performances come just shy of 10 years since Phish returned from a hiatus that spanned 2004 to 2009. In honor of Fishman’s 54th today, here’s a look back an appearance he made with Yonder Mountain String Band during that hiatus in the fall of 2008.

Often playing entire (or close to) sets, Fish joined YMSB for three extensive sit-ins in 2007 and reprised his guest role several more times in 2008. Fish shared the stage with banjoist Dave Johnston, bassist Ben Kauffman, guitarist Adam Aijala and the group’s original mandolinist Jeff Austin at the Nokia Theatre in New York City on October 10, 2008, just a few days after Phish confirmed their return with shows at Hampton Coliseum in March 2009.

Fish emerged to add drums to the final two songs of Yonder’s opening set, assisting on “If There’s Still Ramblin’ in the Rambler (Let Him Go)” with “Two Hits and the Joint Turned Brown” fit within. After opening the second set with “Out of the Blue” and “Must’ve Had Your Reasons,” YMSB brought Fish back out for the remainder of the show, beginning with “Midwest Gospel Radio.” The collaborative set came to a close with “Angel” featuring teases of Ween’s “Spiral Meningitis” and a segue in and out of “Follow Me Down To The Riverside.” The encore at the Nokia was made up of “Steep Grade Sharp Curves.” Listen to the full show recorded by taper climbingbear below:

Watch video of “Crow Black Chicken” from the Nokia captured by dragonfly0811:

Crow Black Chicken

Setlist (via Phish.net)

Set One: Casualty, Dawn’s Early Light, Good-Hearted Woman, Country Boy Rock ‘n’ Roll, Happy to Be Here, Life’s Too Short, Idaho, Deep Pockets, Fastball, This Train, Free to Run, Damned if the Right One Didn’t Go Wrong, If There’s Still Ramblin’ in the Rambler (Let Him Go)[1] > Two Hits and the Joint Turned Brown[1] > If There’s Still Ramblin’ in the Rambler (Let Him Go)[1]

Set Two: Out of the Blue, Must’ve Had Your Reasons, Midwest Gospel Radio[1], East Nashville Easter[1], Crow Black Chicken[1], Boatman’s Dance[1], My Gal[1], Fine Excuses[1], How ‘Bout You?[1], King Ebeneezer[1], Angel[1] > Follow Me Down To The Riverside[1] > Angel[1]

Encore: Steep Grade Sharp Curves[1]

[1] With Jon Fishman

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