Music/Lyrics: Jimi Hendrix
Vocals: Trey (lead), Mike, Page, Fish (backing)
Original Artist: Jimi Hendrix Experience
Original Album: Are You Experienced? (1967)
Historian: Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update: 2012-07-28
Played in a straightforward manner – compact, rocking, and powerful – as a tribute to Jimi Hendrix, the greatest left-handed guitarist in the history of rock and roll, “Fire” was a concert staple from early 1987 through 1997. After that year’s New Year’s show, though, the song was not heard again until 7/23/99 and has since become a rare concert treat, with at most two appearances each year through 2009.
Jimi Hendrix, “Fire”
In true Phish fashion, they once sandwiched “Fire” between the Grateful Dead’s “Scarlet Begonias” and “Fire on the Mountain.” One of Phish’s first on-stage jokes (“Scarlet” > “Fire” > “Fire” – get it?), this triplet of covers began the second set of the band's first gig at Nectar's on 12/1/84.
Be sure to check out versions from 4/20/89 and 6/21/94, when the song served as a tribute to fire alarms in the concert venues, as well as 11/27/96 and 11/27/09 when the band used the song to pay tribute to Jimi’s birthday. Notable versions with guest performers include 7/23/88 (Peter Danforth and Dave Grippo on horns), 11/8/90 (John Popper on harmonica), 2/6/93 (John Popper on harmonica, Noel Redding from the original Jimi Hendrix Experience on bass, with Mike on keyboards), 11/3/96 (Karl Perazzo on percussion) and 12/1/03 (Jeff Holdsworth on guitar, on the band's 20th anniversary run). Finally, don't miss 5/27/94 from The Warfield, with the audience shaking boxes of macaroni and cheese.
Phish, “Fire” – 4/29/90, Woodbury, CT
Since Phish’s return to the stage in 2009, “Fire” has been in light rotation, typically once per tour. For recent offerings visit 6/27/10 Merriweather (with “Saw It Again” quotes and "Let Jon Fishman take over!"; 8/12/10 (capping off a ridiculous “Fee” > “NO2” -> “Kung” > “Fire” quadruple encore); or 6/19/12 Portsmouth (“Let the Tucker take over!).
Phish, “Fire” – 11/27/09, Albany, NY