Music/Lyrics: Bob Marley
Vocals: Trey (lead), Fish, Page (backing)
Original Artist: Bob Marley and The Wailers
Original Album: Single (1966)
Historian: Mark Toscano, Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Much like their unexpected performance of “Trench Town Rock” on 8/11/98, the tour-opening rendition of Marley’s “Mellow Mood” on 9/8/00 threw fans for a loop, albeit a happy-smiley loop. Subsequent performances that tour (9/24/00, 9/29/00 and 10/6/00) pleased fans mightily. During the hiatus, “Mellow Mood” took up temporary residency in Trey’s solo repertoire. First appearing 2/22/01 in Syracuse, “Mellow Mood” made six appearances on that tour, though none since. Fans of horns should be sure to check out some of these versions by Trey’s band, including Trey’s final performance to date of the tune on 3/4/01 with the addition of guest trumpeter Joey Sommerville. “Mellow Mood” made a triumphant return to the Phish stage opening the second day of IT on 8/3/03, though it has yet to resurface in Phish 3.0. The song itself is an interesting choice, representing one of The Wailers’ strongest early efforts, and is the oldest Wailers song Phish has covered. With their conversion to Rastafarianism in 1966, The Wailers took a different approach to their compositions and performances, imbuing their recordings with unique soul and a powerful, visionary outlook on life and love. “Mellow Mood,” released later that year, is a beautiful, seminal example of where the band – Bob Marley in particular – would be heading. These themes would develop over the next fifteen years, encompassing all of the band’s classic, groundbreaking albums, gradually rendering Bob Marley in the likeness we know and revere today.
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