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Phish Played “Carini” For The First Time, Twenty Years Ago Today

One of Phish’s more popular songs is the saga of the lumpy headed “Carini,” the outspoken purveyor of the band’s darker side. Today marks the song’s 20th anniversary, debuted in the middle of a second set at the Paradiso in Amsterdam, on February 17th, 1997.

When it first started appearing on circulating tapes, the band’s loyal fan group didn’t quite know what to make of the new song. The song was debuted in a raw and energetic form, and tapers had a hard time even figuring out what to call it. Names ranged from “Lucy with a Lumpy Head” to “Song for Carini,” as the band would ultimately trot out the song five times along their Europe winter tour of 1997. They kept the mystery high by not playing the song again through most of 1997, only to bring out the song’s namesake, drum tech Pete Carini, on stage at Madison Square Garden on 12/30/97.

From there on out, “Carini” would be a fixture in the band’s repertoire. Whether it was a first set scorcher or a second set dark jam vehicle, “Carini” has never failed to rouse the crowds with its energetic opening riff, hilariously absurd lyrics, and potent jamming. Take a listen to the song’s debut below.

You can also hear the full 2/17/97 performance, which includes the band’s debut of Bob Marley’s “Soul Shakedown Party” and a number of classics from the Phish catalog, courtesy of fromtheaquarium.

Setlist: Phish | Paradiso | Amsterdam, Netherlands | 2/17/97

Set 1: Soul Shakedown Party[1], Divided Sky, Wilson > My Soul, Guyute, Timber (Jerry) > Billy Breathes, Llama, Bathtub Gin > Golgi Apparatus
Set 2: The Squirming Coil -> Down with Disease -> Carini [2] -> Taste -> Down with Disease > Suzy Greenberg > Prince Caspian

Encore: Sleeping Monkey > Rocky Top

[1] Phish debut.
[2] Debut.
This show marked the debut of Carini and the Phish debut of Soul Shakedown Party. Page teased Tequila in Bathtub Gin. Carini contained a YEM tease. This show was officially released as part of the Amsterdam box set.

[Photo by Phierce Photo]