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: 2016-02-11
The compact, rocking, powerful Jimi Hendrix classic “Fire” is the longest-standing cover song in the Phish repertoire. Introduced at one of their first gigs on 12/1/84 at Nectar’s, it survives to the present day. “Fire” was a Phish concert staple from early 1987 through 1997. After 12/31/97, though, the song was not heard again until 7/23/99 and has since become a more rare concert treat, with at most two appearances each year through 2015. “Fire” also holds a distinction for the consistency of its role: the song is almost always deployed to close a set or as part of an encore. The only mid-set appearance of “Fire” since the 80s was on 7/13/96, a single-set festival appearance in Belgium.
Jimi Hendrix, “Fire”
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). Also, don't miss 5/27/94 from The Warfield, with the audience shaking boxes of macaroni and cheese.
For Phish 3.0 offerings, visit 6/27/10 Merriweather (with “Saw It Again” quotes); 8/12/10 Deer Creek (capping off a “Fee” > “NO2” -> “Kung” > “Fire” quadruple encore); 6/19/12 Portsmouth, VA (“Let the Tucker take over!); 7/26/13 at The Gorge ("Move over rover, and let Jon Fishman take over!"); or 8/14/15 Walnut Creek (paired with “Farmhouse” in the encore slot).
Phish, “Fire” – 4/29/90, Woodbury, CT