Devotion To a Dream
Vocals: Trey (lead), Page and Mike (backing)
Historian: Jeremy D. Goodwin (J_D_G)
Last Update: 2014-06-19
This bright, moderately uptempo rocker debuted in the midst of the surprise set of new tunes rolled out on 10/31/13 as a Halloween treat. Among those twelve new songs, it is one of only four credited to Phish's signature songwriting duo of Trey and Tom Marshall. This song arrived into the Phish world fully formed; aside from a slight rejiggering of its conclusion, the version unveiled eight months later on the album Fuego is more or less unchanged.
Though there's only a wisp of melody in its verses, the song is propelled by a repetitive vocal hook in the chorus, delivered by an attractive blend of voices. The song's first chorus features a call-and-response effect between Trey's lead vocals and a lyrical counterpoint from Page and Mike. Later choruses leave this effect out, instead offering a pleasing blend of all three voices in unison. A dance-friendly guitar break features clean lines from Trey and an overall effect not unlike that of "Back on the Train."
Lyrically, the song seems to be the narrator's psych-up anthem preceding a long-overdue breakup. The singer pledges that today will be the day when a stifling, sour state of affairs is finally put to rest. The couple's commitment to the relationship was merely "devotion to a dream" or fairy tale, he has decided. Today, finally, closed doors will be replaced by open windows; curtains will part, minds are open, and glaciers will make way for a triumphant march across the border toward a presumably happier future.
The song seems destined to be a crisp, first-set pacesetter, though one could even see it as the occasional show opener, albeit a mild-mannered one.
”Devotion to a Dream” 10/31/13 Atlantic City, NJ