The Acoustic Set
While we sit and ponder the potential musical costumes, constantly checking to see which have been axed off, another mystery has us guessing and speculating – the acoustic set. As we have been attempting to analyze the possible albums, we have also taken it upon ourselves to put together some potential songs for the acoustic set. Let’s first take a look at some of Phish’s acoustic music from past years.
In ’93 Phish began to add some acoustic flavor to their shows, featuring Trey on acoustic guitar during “Horse” and parts of “My Friend, My Friend”. An acoustic intro section to “Maze” was also composed, appearing on 2.6.93 at the Roseland Ballroom in New York. “Ginseng Sullivan”, a song that would become a staple in later for soundchecks, also made its debut in ’93.
Phish would go on to explore acoustic music further in 1994, dedicating sections of their sets to acoustic music with no microphones. In the spring and fall of ’94, Phish began to introduce several new acoustic numbers including “Dog Faced Boy”, “Nellie Kane”, “My Mind’s Got a Mind of Its Own”, “Old Home Place”, Boston’s “Foreplay/Longtime” along with several more. These numbers featured Trey on acoustic guitar, Mike on banjo, Jon on mandolin, and Page on an upright bass. With the help of Rev. Jeff Mosier, the band took their acoustic playing to an entirely new level, exploring bluegrass music in depth. Who knows, maybe they’ll bring out the old bluegrass set-up for the acoustic set at 8.
The band delved deeper into the sounds of acoustic music in 1995 incorporating the four-guitar piece “Acoustic Army” in to many of their sets. This unique number features all four members of the band on (open-tuned) acoustic guitars, and explores the style that Trey would later incorporate into “The Inlaw Josie Wales” and other acoustic compositions. “Acoustic Army” was played heavily throughout ’95, before hitting the shelves after the show on 12.8.95 in Cleveland. Can you imagine this song making an appearance at 8?
At Red Rocks in ’96, the band introduced their acoustic mini-stage, debuting “Talk”. The mini-stage followed the band to Deer Creek on 8.13.96, and most famously to the Clifford Ball on 8.16.96. The songs by this point had changed to original acoustic Phish compositions including “Waste”, “Strange Design”, “Train Song” and “Talk”.
After ’96, as the band deeply explored funk, acoustic music simply didn’t fit the sets. However, in ’98 Phish performed two benefit shows, completely acoustic, sparking the band to explore acoustic music once again. New acoustic tunes began to surface such as “Sleep” and “Driver” and “Wading in the Velvet Sea”. In ’99 the band continued to debut new acoustic numbers including “The Inlaw Josie Wales”, showing Trey’s incredible ability to compose masterpieces for electric and acoustic guitar.
Recently, Trey has admittedly taken a keen interest for the acoustic guitar. In the summer of 2008 he performed his first entirely acoustic solo shows, marking his comeback in a very humble way. A great deal of the music for “Time Turns Elastic” was composed using alternate tunings. A video of Trey performing “TTE” acoustic can be seen on his website (click here to watch the video). That said, the acoustic set could turn out to be a very interesting experience.
[Guitar Note: Trey originally used a Wentzell acoustic, he then moved to a series of Martin's including D-28's and D-45's. He is now alternating between his Martin DC Trey Anastaso Signature Edition, and a D-45.]
Here are some acoustic numbers Phish has performed in the past that may appear in the set at 8.
“Billy Breathes” 10.18.98
“Old Home Place” 10.18.98
(Other potential choices are: “Ginseng Sullivan”, “Nellie Kane”, “Dog Faced Boy”, “Train Song”, “Inlaw Josie Wales”, “Foreplay/Longtime” etc.)
What songs do you think will be played during the acoustic set? Post your opinion in the comments section.
Set 1: Driver, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Possum, Roggae
Notes: This acoustic in-studio set was broadcast live for KBCO’s “Studio C” series.
“Acoustic Army” 10.21.95