Celebrate Fourth of July with Some of Phish’s Best Independence Day Jams

July 4, 2018

Happy Fourth of July! 

Whether you’re headed to a show, grilling in the backyard or partying with your crew, you’ll need some tunes to throw on in the background. And since Phish has a pretty consistent track record on Independence Day, let’s all take a walk down memory lane and revisit the band’s Top Four Fourth of July jams. 

7/4/1999: “Ghost”> “Slave to the Traffic Light”

“Never Miss A Sunday Show,” was particularly true on 7/4/99 at Atlanta’s Lakewood Amphitheatre. After a set one that featured a Fishman vacuum solo (with the drummer wearing nothing but stars-and-stripes boxers), set two opened with this stellar “Ghost”> “Slave to the Traffic Light” segment. The lengthy jam clocks in at 25 minutes, and contains some particularly heady teases. Keep an ear out for nods to Phish’s “What’s The Use” as well as The Grateful Dead’s All-American mind-melter “Dark Star.”

7/4/2000: “Gotta Jibboo” 

It wouldn’t be a “Best of Phish on the Fourth” list without this epic “Gotta Jibboo” from 2000. It remains the longest version of this tune on record, and Phish.net praises its wide-spanning jam that “culminates in a breathtaking peak” and “devolves into dissonant and chaotic jazz that would feel at home in ’95.” The band kept the patriotic spirit going into their encore of “Lawn Boy,” which was accompanied by a fireworks display overhead and a rocking version of Led Zeppelin’s “Good Times Bad Times.”

7/4/2010: “Killing in the Name”

Phish debuted this Rage Against the Machine cover on 7/4/2010, and it perfectly captures the spirit of the Fourth of July. The center of a delicious “Harpua” sandwich, “Killing in the Name” rocks in the name of freedom and independence. God Bless America. 

7/4/2014: “Fuego” 

This Fourth of July “Fuego” is cited as the first improvisational version of the 3.0 track, stretching well past the 19-minute mark and eventually seguing into an unfinished “Down with Disease.” If you have time today, you might as well listen to this entire SPAC show, which opened with a patriotic rendering of “The Star Spangled Banner” and ends with a rowdy “Character Zero.”