Waiting All Night
Historian: Eric Wyman (ericwyman)
Last Update: 2014-06-18
If “Yarmouth Road” is a love letter to try and win back someone’s heart, “Waiting All Night” is the despair of having that call go unanswered. We’ve all felt it before. The sense that something you had is gone and you can’t seem to face the fact that it’s probably not going to change. No matter how hard you try. Beginning with the hypnotic useage of Page’s organ there’s a dream-like quality evocative of an inner dialogue, grounded in a sense of disbelief. Carrying through Mike’s envelope blast, there’s a release of emotion as they seemingly begin to let go with the morning sunlight, first with understanding, and later with a sense of liberation as Trey sings “Just sail on, sail on.” Then concluding with the droning refrain of “Waiting all night…” of someone who has let go but hasn’t given up hope.
The aforementioned dream-like quality of the music and the emotionally crushing lyrics almost lends itself to an interpretation of 70’s “Yacht Rock” combined with Radiohead. The most majestic portion of the song can be found with Trey’s major-key solo prior to the refrain. One of the signature pieces in the sound that he has developed this version easily should be bringing the unavoidable “eyes closed, soak it in” moments we’ve come to long for in songs like “Billy Breathes” and “Fast Enough for You.”
Phish, “Waiting All Night,” from Fuego
The eighth track on the album maintains the ethereal spirit with a cavernous echo on the lyrics and an abundance of musical texture. The studio track brings a more delicate solo from Trey and a lyrical refrain that highlight and improve upon the best elements of the song.