Music/Lyrics: Neil Young
Original Artist: Neil Young
Original Album: Tonight’s The Night (1975)
Albums: Live Phish 03
Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Perhaps a window into the feelings that come with the fame Phish has found, “Albuquerque” reflects on the time-honored notion of escape that permeates many musical genres: rock, blues, soul, even pop: “I’ve been starving to be alone / and independent from the scene / that I’ve known" and "I’ll find somewhere where / they don’t care who I am.”
“Albuquerque” debuted in Dallas on 7/26/98. Despite three guest appearances by Neil Young with Phish that year (Farm Aid on 10/3/98, and Neil Young’s own Bridge School Benefit at Shoreline on 10/17 & 10/18/98), Phish hasn't performed the tune with its original artist. In 1998 the song was performed acoustic on four occasions: Farm Aid, Bridge School, 10/20/98 for Sessions at West 54th and the “mini acoustic set” 12/28/98 at MSG. Trey also performed the song solo, acoustic, sitting in at Salt Lake City’s Dead Goat Saloon for an open mic night on 11/1/98 – on the night between performances of Velvet Underground’s Loaded and Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon.
Shelved for over a year, it was revived at about three in the morning during The Show at Big Cypress. This version included a key lyric change that belies the tenor of the song, but was so appropriate for the event: “So I’ll stop when I can, find some cheesecake and country ham.”
After Big Cypress “Albuquerque” has been performed only a handful of times, including 9/14/00 at Darien Lake (Live Phish 03), 11/21/09 in Cincinnati after a 115-show absence, and 12/28/10 in Worcester.
Phish, "Albuquerque" – 12/28/98, New York, NY