Latest Live Phish Release Features 1998 Vernon Downs Show

The latest addition to the Live Phish series is Phish’s show from Central New York’s harness racing mecca, Vernon Downs, on Aug. 12, 1998.

The only show Phish has ever performed at this venue worked perfectly into Phish’s wordplay throughout the night. The “Makisupa Policeman” lyric, “Woke up this morning, burning down,” was met with rapturous applause due to its resemblance to the venue’s name. Later in the show, the band performed a cover of the Talking Heads classic “Burning Down the House,” which took on a new persona as Trey Anastasio sang, “Vernon Down the house,” much to the delight of those in attendance.

The show was also somewhat of a hometown show for drummer Jon Fishman, a graduate of nearby Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Anastasio refers to him as “Bob Weaver” during the show. He also continuously busted Fishman’s chops throughout the show, referring to his old high school band, Frodo, on several occasions.

As far as Phish shows go, this one has to be one that would convert many first-timers. Covers of ZZ Top, Led Zeppelin, Talking Heads and the Rolling Stones, along with several popular Phish standards, definitely converted many in attendance for the first time.

Set One: La Grange, Makisupa Policeman, Funky Bitch, Possum, Roggae, Character Zero, Ramble On, Slave to the Traffic Light

Set Two: Mike’s Song> Simple> Rift, Loving Cup, Sleeping Monkey > Weekapaug Groove, The Squirming Coil

Encore: Burning Down the House, You Enjoy Myself

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