When it comes to bass playing, few have more impressive résumés than Oteil Burbridge. The current bassist for Dead & Company has been a scene fixture for decades, from his start in The Aquarium Rescue Unit to his tenure with the Allman Brothers Band and, most recently, his gig locking down the low end with Dead & Company. Of course, being part of that crowd in the early 90’s means having ties to Phish.
As The ARU and Phish toured together on various H.O.R.D.E. efforts, the members of the two bands were well acquainted in the early years of the 1990s. During this time in the 1990s, the emerging, yet still fledgling, jam scene banded together for a strength in numbers approach on H.O.R.D.E., featuring stacked lineups with Blues Traveler, Phish, and The ARU among many others.
Thus, when Phish and Oteil Burbridge came together during a May ’94 show, it wasn’t necessarily expected, but it wasn’t a total surprise either. Burbridge had joined Phish a handful of times in the past, though the show performed on this day in 1994 would be their final collaboration. The sit-in came at the end of the Five Points Music Hall show in Birmingham, AL, when the band launched into the funky fan-favorite, “Mike’s Song”. The resulting bass jam is something out of this world, as Burbridge absolutely goes nuts with Phish behind him. The band also welcomed a stand-up bassist, Stacy Starkweather, to accentuate the bass jam.
The wonderfully spacey jam with Phish and Oteil can be heard below, with “Mike’s Song” starting around the 2:00:00 mark, and the band welcoming Burbridge around 2:04:30. Enjoy…
Phish — Five Points Music Hall — 5/2/1994 — Full Show
Setlist: Phish | Five Points Music Hall | Birmingham, AL | 5/2/1994
Set 1: The Great Gig in the Sky (Pink Floyd) > Split Open and Melt, Bouncing Around the Room, Down with Disease > It’s Ice > Glide > Divided Sky, Suzy Greenberg > Foam, Sample in a Jar
Set 2: Runaway Jim, Mound > Reba, Golgi Apparatus, The Lizards, Julius, Lawn Boy > Mike’s Song -> Jam
 Oteil Burbridge on bass.
 Oteil Burbridge on bass and Stacy Starkweather on stand-up bass. Band members switched instruments.
· Stairway to Heaven tease in Cavern
· Money tease in Suzy Greenberg
· Entrance of the Gladiators tease in Jam
· Money tease in Mike’s Song
Notes: Suzy and Mike’s Song contained Money teases. Oteil Burbridge joined on bass during Mike’s Song, also jumping on the trampoline. They were then joined by Stacy Starkweather on stand-up bass for the jam out of Mike’s Song, during which the band members switched instruments and Entrance of the Gladiators was teased. At one point, Trey wound up on drums while Fish played Page’s organ. Cavern contained a Stairway to Heaven tease from Trey.
[Originally published 5/2/18]