a Project of the Mockingbird Foundation

Performances Song History

Acoustic Army

Music: Phish

Vocals: Instrumental

Debut: 1995-06-07

Historian: Mark Toscano

Last Update: 2015-04-04

This tune seems to have been a two-tour phenomenon. During the second set at the Boise, ID summer ‘95 tour opener on 6/7/95, Mr. Johnny B. Fishman treated the crowd to a rousing rendition of The Velvet Underground’s “Lonesome Cowboy Bill.” Strangely, though, he didn’t resume his seat at the drum kit after the song had ended. Rather, Fishman was joined front and center by Mike, Page, Trey, four stools, and four acoustic guitars. While the crowd looked on in confused anticipation, the guys tuned up and eventually launched into a pleasant little acoustic instrumental.

The song they played – dubbed “Acoustic Army” by fans – was based on the idea of creating a cohesive tune from the distinct, disparate guitar lines that each band member played. Although it had its critics, “Acoustic Army” was for the most part very well received by fans over the course of the summer and fall ‘95 tours. Its success is likely what led the band to try a similar experiment with keyboards, “Keyboard Army,” for the fall ‘95 tour. “Acoustic Army” was played a total of 27 times before it rode off into the sunset on 12/8/95

”Acoustic Army” – 10/21/95, Lincoln, NE

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