Buried Alive

Originally Performed ByPhish
Appears On
Phish Debut1990-09-13
Last Played2023-10-08
Current Gap18
Recommended Versions1990-09-20, 1991-09-27, 1991-12-07, 1993-02-06, 1994-04-04, 1994-12-02, 1994-12-03, 1995-12-28, 1997-02-26, 2003-07-15
HistorianCraig DeLucia
Last Update2017-01-25


"Buried Alive" is an instrumental number played regularly from 1990 through 1994, but only sparingly since then. The frantic pace and squealing guitar sounds conjure the image of a person truly being buried alive and fighting to escape. Trey remarked (perhaps jokingly) on 3/26/92 that the song was inspired by Jimmy Herring, who was in the crowd that night as part of the opening act, Aquarium Rescue Unit.

"Buried Alive" – 7/20/91, Parksville, NY

Many fans love the song for its ability to kick-start a set and raise the energy level of a crowd, despite the fact that most versions do not jam and are basically played the same way. An exception, though, was the fifteen-minute “Buried Alive” to open the second set on 7/29/98 in Maryland Heights, MO. Other fun versions include 9/20/90 (sandwiched inside “Tweezer”), 9/27/91 (with “Esther” teases), 12/7/91 (with yuletide teases),2/6/93 (with John Popper on harmonica), 4/4/94 (with The Giant Country Horns), 12/2/94 and 12/3/94 (with The Cosmic Country Horns), 12/28/95 (sandwiched between “Wilson” and “Tweezer”), 2/26/97 (at the start of a crazy second set), 7/15/03 (an abbreviated but extremely speedy version inside the monster “Mr. Completely”) and 6/7/12 (“Buried Alive” opener and “Buried Alive Reprise” to close). If you’re looking to dig deeper (pardon the pun!), seek out the 11/2/90Possum” and the 10/11/95Julius,” both of which contain “Buried Alive” teases.

"Buried Alive" > “Runaway Jim” – 6/7/12, Worcester, MA

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