We’ve always expected the unexpected when it comes to Phish, but the Vermonters took it to another level 17 years ago today. At the first of two shows that would be released as the Hampton Comes Alive box set the following year, the foursome had plenty of surprises in store for their fans at Hampton Coliseum in Virginia including a one-time-only cover of a Will Smith hit.
Fans knew something was up towards the middle of the second set when Phish drummer Jon Fishman stepped to the front of the stage as tour manager Brad Sands laid out cue cards in front of him. Trey Anastasio, Page McConnell and Mike Gordon kicked into Argent’s “Hold Your Head Up” signaling a Fish-sung song was about to begin. The choice, however, was as far a field from typical Phish covers as it gets. Trey, Page and Mike lit into a funky groove and Fish starting rapping as the quartet embarked on what Phish.net notes was the first full rap cover in Phish history. Watch how it went down:
“Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It” wasn’t the only cover debut on the first night of Phish’s visit to Hampton in 1998 as they opened the show with Gary Glitter’s jock rock classic “Rock And Roll, Part II” which was followed the return of “Quinn The Eskimo” after 1,151 shows. While the Hampton ’98 performances didn’t feature much in the way of transcendent improv, there were plenty of memorable moments scattered throughout the two shows.
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