Soul Shakedown Party

Originally Performed ByBob Marley and The Wailers
Original AlbumSingle (1970)
Appears On
Music/LyricsBob Marley
VocalsPage (Lead), Fish, Mike, Trey (Backing)
Phish Debut1997-02-17
Last Played2016-07-03
Current Gap25
HistorianPhillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
Last Update2016-02-11


Walk the narrow streets of Amsterdam, and it is hard to travel very far before seeing some tribute to Bob Marley. Given the obvious admiration members of Phish have demonstrated toward Bob Marley it was no great surprise for them to debut a Marley cover during their second ever visit to Amsterdam. “Soul Shakedown Party” opened Phish’s appearance at Amsterdam’s historic Paradiso on 2/17/97. After one more appearance on 2/20/97 in Milan, Italy, the song then went back into mothballs, gone and seemingly forgotten before even one performance on American soil.

Bob Marley, The Legend Live, 11/25/79, Santa Barbara, CA

All that changed on 2/28/03 at Nassau Coliseum. Emerging out of a monumental second set opening “Tweezer,” “Soul Shakedown Party” shocked the already delirious crowd with its return after a 270-show absence. This mid-set reggae interlude is but one part of what many seasoned Phish observers feel is one of their most powerful, well-rounded, front-to-back shows ever performed, given the unsurpassed strength of song selection and brilliant diversity of jamming. In a delightfully ironic twist, the breakout of “Soul Shakedown Party” – an event that would have been the highlight of many other shows – wasn’t nearly the biggest bust out of the evening, as the fan obsession “Destiny Unbound” was performed in the first set for the first time in almost 800 shows. 

Phish, "Soul Shakedown Party" – 12/30/09 Miami, FL

After the two aforementioned appearances out of "Tweezer," "Soul Shakedown" returned to its show-opening roots as the opener for the party-vibe Vegas gig on 4/17/04. Offerings of more recent vintage include the bustout-infused Miami gig on 12/30/09, the third day of SBIX on 7/3/11, as part of the “S” set on 9/2/11 at Dick’s, and 7/1/12 Alpine Valley. When Phish performed at the Santa Barbara Bowl on 10/22/14 – the venue for Bob Marley’s 11/25/79 show immortalized as The Legend Live – they honored the occasion by opening the show with a crisp rendition of the beloved tune.

Trey Anastasio, Santa Barbara, CA 10/21/14, Photo by Rene Huemer © Phish From the Road

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