Sat Eye Candy: Phish Covers


Phish sure has some big ears. As the lights went up after the first set at Shoreline on Wednesday, the intermission music wasn’t some jamband or esoteric African rarity. It was the classic pop stylings of She & Him. That night they’d already covered Los Lobos and would go on to play tunes by The Velvet Underground and Talking Heads. In many respects, Phish functions like a sieve for cool sounds, cherry picking interesting bits from rock’s past and present to incorporate into what they do. This week’s Saturday Eye Candy offers up some of the originals for songs Phish has covered just on the current tour leg. As they honor their peers and ancestors, so do we here at JamBase wish to raise a glass in celebration.

We begin with the Talking Heads in peak form. (Covered 08.05.09, Set II)

No disrespect to the boys but it’s tough for ANY band to match to unforced majesty and perfection of The Rolling Stones in 1972. However, it’s sure fun to see Phish try! (Covered 07.30.09, Encore)

Just last evening the band tackled this Robert Palmer groover. Here’s a live take from the early ’80s and you can check out the original video for the studio version, where Palmer was backed by members of Little Feat and The Meters on this Allen Toussaint composition he made famous, over here. (Covered 08.07.09, Set I)

Bet it shocked the hell out of many folks when they opened with this Ween bopper the last night at Red Rocks! (Covered 08.02.09, Set I)

A peroxided Lou Reed is in rare form in this vintage performance of one of Phish’s fave Velvets numbers. We think the look the lead guitarist is rockin’ is primed for a revival. (Covered 08.01.09, Set II)

You really have to love Stevie Wonder, don’t ya? We offer this bonafide classic off Fulfillingness’ First Finale in a trippy, Terry Gilliam-esque video form. (Covered 08.02.09, Set II)

It takes brass cobbles to tackle this iconic Beatles number but Phish didn’t flinch at Red Rocks. Here’s one of the original Fab Four from his hometown concert last year, where he does a cover of an old pal’s tune in the tail section. (Covered 07.31.09, Set II)

We end as we began, with the Talking Heads and a pleasantly jagged take on another Phish favorite, where one can really pick up on some of the flavors Phish fed on in developing their sound. (Covered 07.31.09, Set II)

Keep track of what Phish covers next at, where you’ll find setlists, Tweets and more.