Phish Covers The Police’s ‘So Lonely’ On This Date In 1998
On November 14, 1998 Phish made a Fall Tour stop at what was then known as The Crown arena in Cincinnati. The encore that night at the since-renamed U.S. Bank Arena featured Phish’s lone performance of a classic hit song by The Police.
After offering a fairly straightforward first set that was highlighted by a “Tweezer” > “The Moma Dance” > “Sparkle” > “Character Zero” closing sequence, the second half of the show saw Phish mixing up their setlist following the opening “David Bowie.” Debuted at the Fall Tour opener, The Beatles “Something” was then played as the second of what would become so far only four live renditions by Phish.
Later in the second set, drummer Jon Fishman led the band through a vacuum-assisted cover of Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” for the fourth and currently last time by the quartet. An atypical non-closing “You Enjoy Myself” was followed by “Julius” and an a cappella “Hello My Baby” to close out the set. When they returned to the stage for the encore keyboardist Page McConnell was in charge of trying to imitate Sting’s falsetto lead vocals on Phish’s debut cover of The Police’s “So Lonely.” It remains the only time Phish has played the track off of iconic band’s 1978 debut LP Outlandos d’Amour.
Less than two years later guitarist Trey Anastasio would form Oysterhead with The Police drummer Stewart Copeland (and Primus bassist Les Claypool). Listen to Phish’s lone attempt not only at “So Lonely” but of any song in The Police catalog below: