Originally Performed ByPhish
Appears On
VocalsFish (lead), Mike, Page, Trey (backing)
Phish Debut2016-06-29
Last Played2016-07-10
Current Gap320
HistorianMartin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty)
Last Update2019-03-02


“Friends” debuted during the 6/29/16 Mann Center show in Philadelphia as a brief upbeat rocker which served as the energy sustaining bridge between the “Crosseyed & Painless” and “Down with Disease” that opened the second set. Being a Fishman song, it seems natural that it would follow “Ha Ha Ha” when it made it’s second appearance during the pride of Jamesville-Dewitt High School’s hometown Lakeview Amphitheater show on 7/10/16. Fish introduced it as “a song about outer space” adding that it was his favorite subject.   

”Friends” 6/29/16 Philadelphia, PA

Our third encounter with “Friends” came in the form of the pseudonymous title track of the 2016 Phish album Big Boat. Being the more complex (see “Ass Handed”) song of the two known tunes that Jon brought to the table when the band reconvened for a second time in the studio with producer Bob Ezrin, it is prominently featured as the lead-off track of the album. “Friends” artfully initiates the thematic arc of the larger work which can be interpreted as a cerebral think piece focused upon the Earth’s impending apocalypse at the hands of our demonic reptilian alien overlords. Viewed in this light, Big Boat is conceivably a dad-rock reworking of The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars, which could unequivocally serve as a poignant homage to the passing of the Starman himself earlier in the year. Although most if not all of the other songs from Big Boat made one or more appearances during the Fall 2016 tour, “Friends” was absent without leave throughout the run up to the bonafide Bowie tribute which occurred during the second set of the Halloween show at the MGM Grand.

In his composition of “Friends” it seems the noted former occupant of a geodesic dome is presenting us with a lyrical mashup of the wisdom contained within R. Buckminster Fuller’s Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth,  Graham Hancock’s Fingerprints of the Gods, and Gerald R. Clark’s The 7th Planet, Mercury Rising.  My friends, things are not what they seem as far as our planetary history and evolution of species go. We are not mere mortals. We are starseed, descendents of the Annunaki, hurtling through the oceans of deep space on the deck of a big boat, our spaceship Earth. So check yourself and get your bug-out bag ready, before Nibiru returns to wreck yourself. 

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