On New Year’s Eve in 1998, Phish opened their concert at Madison Square Garden with a fitting debut cover of Prince’s hit “1999.” In remembrance of The Purple One, Phish shared official video footage of their lone rendition of the well-known song.
Prior to playing “1999,” Phish had covered Prince a number of times dating back to their making “Purple Rain” a staple of their setlists in the mid-1990s as a vehicle for Jon Fishman to play his vacuum. The foursome from Vermont made their extended sole take on “1999” count, enlisting the help of costumed dancers onstage while Trey Anastasio and Mike Gordon executed a synchronized dance. They also teased the song during subsequent parts of the three set show. Official video of the nine-minute show opener was posted by the band with a message that read:
THANK YOU PRINCE
Page, Trey, Mike, and Fish
Watch pro-shot video of Phish covering Prince’s “1999” from Madison Square Garden on December 31, 1998 below:
Phish starts their Summer Tour near Prince’s hometown of Minneapolis with a performance at Xcel Energy Center in St. Paul, Minnesota on June 22.