Beauty of a Broken Heart

Originally Performed ByPage Mcconnell
Original AlbumPage Mcconnell (2007)
Appears On
VocalsPage (lead), Trey, Mike (backing)
Phish Debut2009-03-07
Last Played2023-10-08
Current Gap21
HistorianGrant Calof (That_Guy)
Last Update2024-01-27


Certain songs are a lock for any tour. “Reba”? Given. “Tweezer”? Naturally. Uncommon tunes like “Ride Captain Ride” and “Fikus” become increasingly sought after, whereas songs like “Chalkdust Torture Reprise” and “Harpua” are the proverbial holy grails of the Phish catalog. 

And while most new music gets quickly woven into the rotation, a handful of great songs from memorable albums (like “Waking up Dead”) fall into the category of rarely if ever played (see: “Windy City” or “End of Session”); once in a blue moon tunes that you’re truly fortunate to catch… Tunes like "Beauty of a Broken Heart."

A hypnotic and emotional song that emerged during the band’s extended hiatus, "Beauty of a Broken Heart" is one of the more pensive, revealing (and rocking) tunes from Page's eponymous 2007 solo album, which also marked a notable turn toward more introspective songwriting.  An alternate version of the tune was also released as an iTunes exclusive.

Page Mcconnell - “Beauty of a Broken Heart”

Whether it's examining the dissolution of the band or other longtime relationships, the contemplative song explores notions of loss, change and times of transition-- all set against the backdrop of hope; hope that the “colors can come back to you.” The lyrics seemingly reflect Page at his most vulnerable and offers insight into the healing power of music: for the people hearing it as well as those writing it. 

And though the thought-provoking song was penned by Page, the band adds their own secret ingredients to render it a Phish tune from start to finish; an indelible, soaring guitar riff, an instantly hook-y chorus and piano refrains that harken back to Hoist-era Phish.

"Beauty of a Broken Heart" was in heavy rotation during Page’s solo performances in 2007 and made a lone appearance during a Porter Batiste Stoltz featuring Page McConnell gig at Lupo’s in Providence on 09/25/08.

Upon their mighty return to the interplanetary, most extraordinary, craft (aka the“Mothership”), Phish debuted "Beauty of a Broken Heart" on 03/07/09. It was in modest rotation throughout 2009, including versions at Red Rocks on 08/02/09, Merriweather on 08/15/09, and Miami on 12/28/09

"Beauty of a Broken Heart" –08/02/09, Morrison, CO. Video by gdoucette1978.

After a two-year, 91-show absence the song returned to the Worcester stage on 06/07/12. It popped up briefly in 2013 (like the Gorge on 07/27/13) and 2014 (07/25/14 in Charlotte)... then disappeared until 12/29/16 at MSG. "Beauty of a Broken Heart" was played on 12/29/19 in New York, 10/17/21 in San Francisco and 10/08/23 in Chicago, but remains a setlist rarity.

"Beauty of a Broken Heart" –06/07/12 Worcester, MA

Last significant update: 12/19/2023

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