The Very Long Fuse

Originally Performed ByPhish
Lyrics ByJimmy Johnson
VocalsLaura Olsher (Narration Samples)
Phish Debut2014-10-31
Last Played2017-07-26
Current Gap161
HistorianDan Purcell (sausagemahoney)
Last Update2016-10-11


Of course, you know what a fuse is. (FWIW, it's a long piece of cord impregnated with gunpowder.) This Chilling, Thrilling Songs of the Haunted House instrumental depicts in sound a very long fuse's fitful, sputtering path to its combustible end, starting with a skittering drumbeat reminiscent of the introduction to "Split Open and Melt."  The band settles into a half-rolling, half-bouncing jazz fusion groove that sounds like the Allman Brothers doing Weather Report and is tailor-made for the treadmill; the slightly ominous melodic theme evokes a ‘70s network sitcom that was too oddball to make it big. As the fuse nears its end it starts to go out, and when it's sparked back to life the groove comes back too, but it's all wrong: the theme wobbles sideways into dissonance, then disintegrates into a series of rhythmic hits. How does it end? If you guessed "duh, with a huge explosion," you're right.

Phish began their first performance of "The Very Long Fuse" sealed inside the Haunted House set on the MGM Grand Garden Arena stage, out of the view of their audience, who were still coming to grips with the audacity and stagecraft on display. As the band played the song a red laser-light "fuse" sputtered across the front of the house, getting ever shorter. The explosion at the song's end doubled as the night's big reveal, with the four walls of the Haunted House falling outward on hinges to unveil the four band members in their white tuxedos and zombie makeup.

”The Very Long Fuse” 10/31/14 Las Vegas, NV

The debut performance was also likely the tightest and most patient we've seen so far, maybe because the burning "fuse" acted as a metronome, keeping the band from rushing to the finish. But unlike some of its Haunted House brethren, "The Very Long Fuse" has found some footing in the band's repertoire, if in extremely light rotation. Fans charmed by the tune's debut have been delighted by its annual-ish returns to the stage, first at Alpine Valley on 8/9/15 and then as part of the Jaded Vet Rarityfest that was the first set of 7/20/16 BGCA

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