Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.

Originally Performed ByPhish
Phish Debut2018-10-31
Last Played2024-07-20
Current Gap1
HistorianSarah Cartwright (mysticfox)
Last Update2019-08-09


The origins of the members of Kasot Växt is a bit unclear. From what we can piece together from the Phishbill for the Halloween performance, the members of Kasvot Växt all met as either scientists or subjects while living briefly in a remote research bunker in Greenland in the late 1970s.
"Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S." answers a few questions—but leaves us with many more—about the group’s time in the bunker. Given that "S.A.N.T.O.S." stands for Subterranean Arctic Neuro-Technology Orientation Station—we can assume that the conspiracy theories about a remote bunker involving a top-secret perception-enhancing government experiment have some “truth” to them.
We still don’t know exactly what “You will always be remembered” for—or even "What space smells like." Unless you want take Mike Gordon’s word for it—in that case, it’s cherry plus spruce.
If we are to believe Kasvot Växt is a real band, with a real album, there’s no doubt "Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S." would be the hit single from í Rokk. The song has true classic rock potential; with a heavy bass groove and a super funky clavichord. By the end of the song you’re fist pumping and shouting “This is what space smells like!”
The debut on 10/31/18 is definitely filled with that fist pumping energy—even though the entire audience had no clue what to think about this elaborate prank. It is notable that the Phishbill includes the huge heading “We are vapor, we are lost” for the article describing the album costume—but these lyrics are missing from this performance. Trey reveals during the 12/3/18 and 12/14/18 acoustic performances that he forgot these additional lyrics during the chorus.

Phish ”Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” – 10/31/18, Las Vegas, NV. Video by Phish

The next notable performance is during the 12/31/18 New Year's Eve prank. Here the band opens with "Mercury" featuring an incredible stage performance with acrobats in nets above the stage. When you think the gag is over because the countdown has finished and the band played the classic "Auld Lang Syne," during the balloon drop, the band transitions into "Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S." with Mike and Trey in full silver jumpsuits hoisted above the stage on wires. This is certainly not the cleanest version—but you can tell the band is having fun playing it.

Phish ”Mercury > Auld Lang Syne, Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” – 12/31/18, New York, NY. Video by Phish

We finally hear the song with complete lyrics at the Barceló Maya Beach 2/23/19 performance and subsequent plays feature full lyrics.

Another notable version is from PNC Pavillion in Charlotte, NC on 6/21/19. Closing the first set and relying heavily on the grunge tone set by the "Tweezer" that proceeded it, "S.A.N.T.O.S." features clean guitar work from Trey that inspires the rest of the band to fall into a great fist pumping pocket.

Phish ”Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S.” – 6/21/19, Charlotte, NC. Video by Phish

Out of all the songs from Halloween, "Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S" has found its way into regular rotation into Phish’s sets. While any of these subsequent plays haven’t included much improvisation on the original theme or jam, "S.A.N.T.O.S." also hasn’t comfortably settled into any specific slot in a set. It’s been played as set closers, encores and in the middle of every kind of set imaginable.

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