Phish Honors Gregory Isaacs With Debut ‘Night Nurse’ Cover On Fall Tour 2010

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This year marks 25 years since Phish’s historic Fall Tour 1995. In recognition of that noteworthy tour and to make up for the lack of shows this fall, JamBase presents a daily retrospective highlighting a noteworthy moment from a Phish fall tour concert that took place on that date over the past 25 years (read a note on Fall 1997 here). The 25 Years Of Phish Fall Tour series runs each day between the start of Phish Fall Tour 1995 on September 27 through that tour’s finale on December 17.

On October 25, 2010, reggae icon Gregory Isaacs succumbed to cancer at age 59. Phish paid tribute to Isaacs by performing a cover of his most-beloved song, “Night Nurse,” on this date, one day after his death, during a Fall Tour 2010 stop at Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire.

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Phish’s lone concert at the venue was one of four concerts held on October 26 over the past 25 years. The quartet hadn’t performed in New Hampshire since 1994 and have yet to return to a state crucial to their early development.

While the band only has played one concert in New Hampshire since 1994, Phish sure made their visit count with a whopping nine songs from the show worthy of inclusion on Phish.net jam charts. The surprises came right from the start as the first “After Midnight” since Phish’s famed Big Cypress concerts kicked off the evening. Plenty of rarities followed with “The Sloth,” “Alumni Blues” (featuring “Letter To Jimmy Page” within), a cover of Bob Marley’s “Mellow Mood” and “Access Me” ahead of “Llama.” The return of ballad “All Of These Dreams” after 88 shows came next along with a powerful “The Curtain With” that gave way to “Scent Of A Mule” before “A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing” ended a 75-show gap. The pairing of “It’s Ice” and “Walls Of The Cave” concluded the eventful first set.

Phish’s second set in Manchester only contained one full stop. The initial seamless portion of the frame began with a run of “Possum” > “Light” > “Mike’s Song” > “Simple.” Phish then lit into their own reggae tune, “Makisupa Policeman.” Guitarist Trey Anastasio sang the keywords, “Woke up this morning with a policeman at my door all I could do was shrug, and go back in my bedroom and smoke another nug.” The four-piece pulled off a slick transition into “Night Nurse,” the title track of Gregory Isaacs’ 1982 studio album. Anastasio handled lead vocals on what still stands as the band’s lone cover of the song. Phish followed the complete performance of “Night Nurse” by segueing right back to the spot they left off in “Makisupa Policeman” to the delight of the crowd.

Another impressive transition came soon thereafter when Phish jammed “Ghost” into “The Mango Song,” which gave way to the expected “Weekapaug Groove.” Yet, what wasn’t expected was not only a jam on The Rolling Stones’ “Can’t You Hear Me Knocking” featuring lyrics from “Ghost” and “Night Nurse” but a segue into a reprise of “Llama.” For the encore, Phish sent fans off for the night with the reflective “Show Of Life.”

Watch Phish fit “Night Nurse” within “Makisupa Policeman” below:


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