Phish had not yet started their Fall 1997 tour, one that would be dubbed “Phish Destroys America,” yet they were already debuting new tunes for fans. On November 7, 1997, Phish performed on Late Night with Conan O’Brien, giving fans a first taste of “Farmhouse” before heading west a week later to kick off their Fall Tour in Las Vegas, NV.
As Glide Magazine points out, Phish was not prone giving names to their tours, but Fall 1997 quickly earned the “Phish Destroys America” moniker by fans, thanks to a controversial Ames Design tour poster used to advertise the tour opener at Thomas and Mack Center, althought the title fits the tour perfectly.
The performance on Late Night featured a stand alone version of “Farmhouse,” a song that lent its name to their May 2000 studio album. The mild reggae vibe brings to mind Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” and could be found in Phish’s regular rotation beginning in the summer of 1999. Guitarist Trey Anastasio can be seen enjoying the guitar solo thoroughly during the more than four and a half minute version of the song.
Following the performance of “Farmhouse” and Conan coming over to introduce and thank the band, O’Brien said “Take it away guys,” and Phish quickly moved into the intro to “Mike’s Song,” as they might do in live performances, much to the glee of lucky fans in the audience.
Impressively, bassist Mike Gordon flew back to Burlington after the show, joining Max Creek at Club Toast for the second half of their show that same evening. Gordon sat in for “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin),” “Wild Side,” “Outside of Home,” and “Just a Rose,” as well as the encore of Warren Zevon’s “Lawyers, Guns and Money” and “What I Like About You.”
Phish would return to Late Night with Conan O’Brien once more on June 27, 2000 to perform “Get Back on the Train,” which would also be featured on the band’s ninth studio album, Farmhouse.