Misty Mountain Hop
Music/Lyrics: Jimmy Page / Robert Plant / John Paul Jones
Vocals: Page (lead), Trey (backing)
Original Artist: Led Zeppelin
Original Album: Led Zeppelin IV/Zoso (1971)
Historian: Erik Swain
This classic-rock staple had surfaced in Phish’s soundchecks from time to time, leading fans to wonder whether it might make it to the stage. Sure enough, on 7/20/99 in Toronto the band broke it out to end the second set. It was quite a crowd-pleaser, with Page handling Robert Plant’s high-pitched caterwauling and Trey replicating Jimmy Page’s muscular riffs.
Like many of the covers broken out the year before, it was generally faithful to the original version, but unlike many of them it was not a one-off. The song appeared three more times in 1999, always as a second-set closer or encore. The 9/16/99 version featured Warren Haynes on second guitar, though some fans did not understand why Phish would deploy the talented Haynes for what they consider a “simple” Zeppelin song. Another notable version is 9/24/99, which featured an incredible “Sand” -> “Misty Mountain Hop” segue.