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Performances Song History Lyrics

Day or Night

Music/Lyrics: B. Payne, Tate

Vocals: Page, Trey

Original Artist: Little Feat

Original Album: The Last Record Album (1975)

Debut: 2010-10-31

Historian: Phil Nazzaro

About midway through 2010’s Halloween musical costume the band tackled the most adventurous song from Little Feat’s Waiting for Columbus album, “Day or Night.” 

The Bill Payne and Fran Tate-penned song made its first appearance on the aptly named The Last Record Album. And as the most likely demarcation point between Lowell George’s Americana and the Jazz Fusion that began to dominate the band’s sound as he lost control, “Day or Night” combines both with a heavy lean towards the latter.

Phish’s singular performance of the song stumbles at times through the doubled vocals of Trey and Page, while at more than one point Trey shows some of the difficulties of reproducing the twin guitar attack of Lowell and Paul Barrere. Yet when the song let’s loose after the last verse, it soars into a climbing, dissonant jazz segment led by Trey on guitar and Ian Hendrickson-Smith of Antibalas on tenor sax. In Phish’s performance, when the air in the room has been made so dense by the increasing intensity of the piece, it implodes on itself before one last gasp, a short revival and a final (composed) stalling out of the song.

Phish, ”Day or Night” – 10/31/10, Atlantic City, NJ

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