Vocals: Mike Gordon
Original Artist: Mike Gordon and Leo Kottke
Original Album: Sixty Six Steps (August 23, 2005)
Historian: David Steinberg (zzyzx)
In a rather odd coincidence, both Trey and Mike released bittersweet songs about loss named "Invisible" in 2005. This led to some confusion after the debut. Which "Invisible" was it? If you need help remembering, Trey's is the one on Shine that is about Coventry, complete with references to "walking on wood," referring to the planks put down in a futile attempt to try to allow some navigation through the mud. Mike's is the one on Sixty Six Steps that was debuted in the acoustic set at Festival 8. Trey's walks on wood, Mike's sits on grass.
Lyrically, this song manages to pack a lot of story into its two verses. The song veers back and forth between a story about a woman who is slowly fading from sight and the point of view character who didn't really appreciate her until she suddenly wasn't there. It can be hard to focus on the story though, because there are so many lines in the song that call out to be appreciated for their own sake, highlighted by, "Her opacity had value that lasted past its time." One couldn't be blamed for speculating that the rest of the song was written as an excuse to use that line.
While the live version kept the tempo and feeling of the studio, there was one interesting rearrangement as Leo's defining guitar licks were played by Page instead of Trey. Whether this was a decision based around the logistics of an acoustic set or the way that potential electric versions would be played is currently not known. There's one way to find out but we're waiting for this song to reappear.