You Never Know
Historian: Tim Wade (TheEmu)
Last Update: 2013-11-14
Think of it this way: If you’re a band that has recently gained a reputation for being a nostalgia act, perhaps the ultimate musical costume is an array of new songs which look to the future instead of the past. Instead of celebrating your history, ditch the idea of re-working a classic and play an album that doesn’t yet exist. By playing potential songs from a new album, Wingsuit, Phish found a way to simultaneously acknowledge where they’ve been and celebrate where they’re going, while confounding expectations and including the fans in a way they have never done before.
Closing the second set on 10/31/13 was “You Never Know,” the sixth of the potential Wingsuit tracks credited as a full band collaboration. The song immediately invokes the Burgettstown “Light” (listen to that version starting around 10:40) and is another example of Phish’s use of previous improvisation as the starting point for new material. Trey introduced the song as being about “a guy who stole all our money,” a likely reference to former money manager Dana Giacchetto who pled guilty to fraud charges in 2000. “You Never Know” appears to be told from the perspective of the pilferer, who has been on top of the world for the time, the subject of “You Never Know” has fallen and is being relentlessly hounded right out of the country. Those who he thought were friends won’t help, and his luck seems to have run out. That is, until he comes upon two guys with “piles of cash in Mexico.” Perhaps his luck has turned again.
The music is lilting, a bouncy tune to contrast with the story of an unsavory character on the run. Unlike some other debuts that night, it seems that the song may be destined for type-I peaks rather than type-II vistas, with the closing section set up for a guitar-driven crescendo. On the other hand, perhaps we’ll see the tune reinvented yet again when Phish actually records the album. Or this may end up being its only performance. You just never know.
You must be logged in to leave a comment!