Twenty Years Later: Phish Delivers ‘The Real Gin’

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Twenty years ago today Phish played the second of two shows at The Centrum in Worcester that began the 1995 New Year’s Run. Phish’s December 29th, 1995 performance in Worcester will best be remembered for the outrageous version of “Bathtub Gin” that came towards the start of the second set.

The Worcester ’95 “Gin” started off innocently enough, but as the rock-heavy jam progressed it became clear the band was making a move somewhere. Guitarist Trey Anastasio focused on a catchy riff and his band mates soon followed along. Drummer Jon Fishman then picked up the pace and Trey began playing powerful chords. Soon thereafter the quartet connected to kick off a cover of “The Real Me” by The Who. Phish had first covered “The Real Me” on Halloween ’95 in Chicago as part of a complete performance of The Who’s iconic Quadrophenia LP.

As soon as “The Real Me” began, the crowd immediately took notice and went wild. Anastasio provided vocals on the cover as he did on the initial version of “The Real Me” in Chicago. The foursome jammed on The Who song for a few marvelous minutes, some of which was led by keyboardist Page McConnell, before slickly seguing into the end of “Bathtub Gin.” Fans quickly dubbed the version “The Real Gin” and twenty years later it remains among the most beloved takes on “Bathtub Gin.” Phish has yet to perform “The Real Me” since that night.

Listen to soundboard audio of “The Real Gin”:

Phish returns to the stage on Wednesday night to kick off this year’s four-night New Year’s Run at Madison Square Garden in New York City. If you can’t make it in person, webcasts are available via LivePhish.com.

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