In the lead-up to Trey Anastasio’s upcoming solo tour with classic TAB, the official Phish YouTube Channel has previously posted two live videos from past Trey solo performances that are still pretty relevant today.
But the second video is what really caught my eyes and ears, as it’s the debut of “First Tube” from April 17, 1998 at the Higher Ground in Winooski, VT:
Now if you know “First Tube” in its most recent “rocking set-closer” format, this version will seem downright otherworldly. A couple of differences from the standard version that really caught my attention:
- the long, mellow intro (that hardly fits the song at all)
- the backing vocals in the composed section
- the keyboard & vocals during the jam section (where they change to major key)
- Trey’s totally raw guitar tone
- and that odd stage set-up with the band behind a sheet
Although it’s definitely an odd, more psychedelic version than what the song has become, it’s just cool to hear the song as Trey originally imagined it.