|Originally Performed By||Vida Blue|
|Original Album||Vida Blue (2002)|
|Historian||Parker Harrington (tmwsiy)|
The Baker’s Dozen in the Summer of 2017 was one of the pinnacles of Phish's illustrious touring career. Inarguably one of the biggest highlights of the entire thirteen show run was the magnificent “Lawn Boy” on Jam Filled night featuring Page McConnell crooning the title song from the namesake of the band’s second album. It was yet another Page belted tune that made the highlight reel of the 13th and ultimate show of the run on “Glazed” night: “Most Events Aren’t Planned.”
While not quite as old as “Lawn Boy,” “Most Events Aren’t Planned” is also an old tune and had been around for almost two decades since its debut with Page’s band, Vida Blue, on 12/30/01 at the Higher Ground in Winooski, VT. It was subsequently played the following evening at Vida Blue’s New Year’s Eve show at the Roseland in New York City and then became a staple and a show highlight of most of Vida Blue’s shows throughout 2002 and 2003.
Unlike “Lawn Boy” that became a “Page song” because he sang it, “Most Events” is truly a Page song and written by him. It also includes music writing credits with his Vida Blue bandmates and his then-wife Sofi Dillof.
For those unfamiliar with Vida Blue, it was a power trio led by Page featuring bass guitarist extraordinaire Oteil Burbridge and New Orleans drummer Russell Batiste. They released two albums, the self-titled “Vida Blue” in 2002 and “The Illustrated Band” in 2003 that featured the Latin-Electronica-Hip Hop band, Spam Allstars. “Most Events” is the first track on the self-titled album.
On Vida Blue, Batiste said in a Modern Drummer interview when presented with the idea to play in the band by Page, “I had never heard Oteil before, but when he started playing, I just had to stare at him. Then Page came in on that little Andromeda keyboard, and I started kicking it. The stuff started rolling, man, and it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time. And when we played live, I was almost in heaven.”
And a psychedelic, keyboard swirled, funky heaven it was. Vida Blue toured and performed “Most Events” at dozens of shows from the debut in 2001 through 2003. Then, performing with the Spam Allstars, “Most Events” was performed another dozen times throughout 2004 culminating as the show opener at a performance at the late-night tent at the third incarnation of Bonnaroo which also featured Trey performing on the main stage one tent away.
Finally, before the Phish debut at the Baker’s Dozen, Page performed “Most Events” several times with New Orleans’ funk royalty, “Porter Batiste Stoltz” in 2008 and into 2009. The trio of George Porter Jr. on bass, Russell Batiste Jr on drums, and Brian Stoltz on guitar is something special. Throw in Page on keys as a guest and these were some spectacular shows.
But after the extensive playing of the song through various incarnations of bands with Page, the song would sit idle for many years, until of course, the final night of the Baker’s Dozen. “Most Events” exploded in the first set with the funky, techno-inspired keyboard stylings that Page has always brought to the song, as well as Trey totally embracing it and killing it from front to back. The Phish.net jam chart entry sums it up pretty well: “Impressive debut. While colored with shades of Straus, the version remains true to Vida Blue through Page's vocal delivery. Trey then leads the band on a wonderful odyssey, swapping ideas with Page, who alternates between slinky synth and pointed acoustic, the duo driving the version to a rousing conclusion.”
Thankfully, for fans of “Most Events Aren’t Planned,” Madison Square Garden was no conclusion. It was actually the beginning of a new chapter for the song. Just a month later, the song was brought out again on the final night of the Dick’s 2017 run and subsequently played in Alpharetta and Mexico both in the heart of the first set. Its first second set appearance came in the Summer of 2019 in Camden when it got jammed out pretty well and with some extra funkiness.
And if you were an astute fan and could read the writing on the wall and listened to the rumors, the announcement of the return of “Vida Blue” for another album and tour likely came as no surprise. After a 15 year hiatus, the band embarked on a brief three-show tour in the Fall of 2019. In this incarnation of the band, guitarist Adam Zimmon was added along with the three original members. “Most Events” kicked off the tour at the 930 Club in Washington DC and served as the show opener. It is a good bet the song will be played by Phish in the future too.Phish ”Most Events Aren't Planned” – 08/06/17, New York, NY. Video by Phish
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