Dogs Stole Things
Music/Lyrics: Anastasio, Marshall
Vocals: Trey (lead), Page (backing)
Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update: 2012-06-23
Debuted along with the “97 batch” of more than a dozen new songs, “Dogs Stole Things” was walked around the block at the private summer tour warm-up on 6/6/97, and then made its public debut on 6/13/97 in Dublin, Ireland.
A likeable, shuffling tune, “Dogs” doesn’t represent anything pivotal in Phish’s songwriting or performance history. That said, “Dogs Stole Things” is a nice breather tune for the band, showcasing some nice tickling from Page and restrained but loose backup from Trey, Mike, and Fish. The song ostensibly chronicles the habits of pets that steal the dreams of their human owners; what it is really about is anyone’s guess; your interpretation works as well as any other.
“Dogs Stole Things” was in heavy rotation in 1997 – performed a solid twenty times that year – and it remained in semi-regular rotation until the hiatus. After two performances in 2003 (2/22 Cincinnati and 7/12 The Gorge), the song would drop from rotation for 167 shows until opening the 8/10/11 gig at Lake Tahoe, followed by another appearance on 6/17/12 in Atlantic City.
Performances do not vary substantially among versions and the song is never likely to be employed as vehicle for improvisation. Representative versions can be found on several official releases including the Island Tour set (4/3/98), Hampton Comes Alive (11/21/98), Live Phish 06 (11/27/98), and Hampton/Winston-Salem ‘97 (11/21/97), as well as in otherwise solid shows including 8/17/97 and 9/11/99. Trey performed the song acoustic during the solo portions of TAB gigs on 2/15/99, 5/4/99, 5/7/99, and 8/11/05. Be sure to also check out the version by Trey and Tom Marshall on Trampled by Lambs and Pecked by the Dove.
"Dogs Stole Things" – 6/17/12, Atlantic City, NJ