Music/Lyrics: Noel Gallagher
Vocals: Tom Marshall
Original Artist: Oasis
Original Album: (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (1995)
Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Continuing his tradition of New Year’s Eve run guest appearances, the 12/29/96 gig at Philadelphia's Spectrum again found Tom Marshall a central figure in the holiday festivities. This time he played the role of “Uberdemon” in the midst of a memorable rendition of “Harpua.”
Trey makes quick work of the introductory “Harpua” narration, offering instead that: “for those of you who don’t know what’s going on in the story, there’s a lot of preliminary stuff, just ask the person next to you...” The story continues as “The Grinch who stole Christmas in Gamehendge,” passing over character development in order to get to the meat of the story. Trey: “Poster and Harpua are fighting, spinning, creating a tornado... so fast and so viciously that it actually begins to dig a hole in the ground... until it becomes a direct hole to HELL! And everybody in Gamehendge gets sucked down to Hell!”
“And they’re all down in Hell, they get sucked down. Jimmy looks forward and he sees... the horrible face of Hell, the Uberdemon coming towards him” (Could they even tell?) “Terror is filling his head. The Uberdemon comes towards him and he opens his mouth and the horrible sound of Hell comes out of his mouth and Jimmy, Jimmy hears the horrible sound of Hell...” Fishman chimes in: “Oh horrible sound of Hell… Speak to us!”
At this point Tom Marshall came out to perform the 1995 “chart-topping hit ‘Champagne Supernova.’” It was clear that there was very little respect involved in performing this Oasis cover, offered as the song the Devil himself might use to greet you. A terrible thing, indeed.
Phish, "Champagne Supernova" – 12/29/96, Philadelphia, PA
This “Harpua” came on the heels of a set that already boasted solid versions of “David Bowie,” “Bathtub Gin,” and an inspired “YEM” that included a solo performance of “Sixteen Candles” by Mike. The “Ooom Pa Pa, Oom Pa Pa...” and the events that follow make this a classic performance in Phish history.