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Phish Debuted Ten New Songs At A Benefit Concert, On This Day In 1995

Perhaps most infamous for the creation of “Spock’s Brain,” today marks the 22nd anniversary of a legendary concert in Phish history. On this day in 1995, the Burlington band performed for a Voters for Choice benefit concert at the Lowell Memorial Auditorium in Lowell, MA. The group was introduced by Gloria Steinem, who promised fans more new music than ever before. Then, the band delivered.

What followed was debut after debut – 10 new songs in total – including some beloved originals that have made it in rotation ever since. Songs like “Free” and “Theme From The Bottom,” which would later make it onto Billy Breathes, were featured in the performance. The show also featured the debut of “Strange Design,” and a cover of Velvet Underground’s “Lonesome Cowboy Bill” that would foreshadow the band’s full-album performance of Loaded in 1998.

“Ha Ha Ha” got its start at this show, as did an unnamed original that would later be referred to as “Spock’s Brain.” After playing the song, drummer Jon Fishman polled the audience with some alternate title options, including The Plane, The First Single, Israel, and Spock’s Brain. We all know what the audience chose.

Other debuts included the traditional “Don’t You Want To Go?,” the original song “Glide II,” Brian Eno’s “I’ll Come Running” and Van Morrison’s “Gloria” as the show finale. Ten debuts in a single show is almost unheard of – not counting the band’s 2013 Halloween performance of the album that would become Fuego. To relive this magic moment, stream the full show below:

Setlist: Phish at Lowell Memorial Auditorium, Lowell, MA – 5/16/95

Don’t You Want To Go 0:08:24
Ha Ha Ha 0:14:05
Spock’s Brain 0:15:40
Strange Design 0:21:16
Reba 0:24:23
Theme From the Bottom 0:39:49
Hold Your Head Up 0:50:40
Lonesome Cowboy Bill 0:55:55
Hold Your Head Up 0:58:40
Free 0:59:44
Glide II 1:08:15
You Enjoy Myself 1:12:30
Sweet Adeline 1:38:05
Sample in a Jar 1:40:10

Encore:

I’ll Come Running 1:45:55
Gloria 1:49:20