One of the main reasons people go to countless Phish concerts is because you truly never know what to expect–from catching your favorite rare song, to hearing them improvise on an unlikely tune, to witnessing funny stage antics or stories. One of the best surprises you can catch is a new cover of an old favorite song, like the crowd at LA’s Hollywood Bowl caught six years ago today, on August 8, 2011.
During “Weekapaug Groove”, Trey Anastasio made his way to the drum set to relieve drummer Jon Fishman. Fish, in turn, headed toward center stage, where stagehands had set him up a small drum kit with a microphone. After a quick back and forth with the sound man, the band launched into Paul Simon‘s “50 Ways To Leave Your Lover” from Still Crazy After All These Years (1975), the first and still the only time Phish has ever played the song. While it may not have been played perfectly, the playful randomness of the one-off cover is a perfect example of why many fan’s feel you can never miss a show: you really never do know what is going to happen.
Amazingly, after the cover, the band went right back into “Weekapaug Groove.” Talk about tight musicianship! Though the show overall may not be the upper eschelon of Phish shows, this moment will always go down in the history books.
Check out the full audio and setlist from 8/8/11, courtesy of fromtheaquarium on YouTube and phish.net respectively, below.
Setlist: Phish at Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, CA – 8/8/11
Set 1: Down with Disease > Cavern > Possum, Cities, Peaches en Regalia, Kill Devil Falls, Lawn Boy, Tube > Back on the Train, Wilson > Axilla > Split Open and Melt, Backwards Down the Number Line
Set 2: Carini > Crosseyed and Painless > Twist > Piper > Mike’s Song > Joy > Weekapaug Groove, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover -> Hold Your Head Up > Weekapaug Groove, Character Zero, Quinn the Eskimo
Encore: Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan > Julius
 Phish debut; Fish on drumkit in front of the band.