We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains

Originally Performed ByPhish
VocalsTrey (lead), Fish, Mike, Page (backing)
Phish Debut2018-10-31
Last Played2023-08-31
Current Gap24
Last Update2019-08-23


In the beginning, there was “Tube.” Next came “First Tube” and “Last Tube.” There’s even a “Fresh Tube.” So you could be forgiven for thinking that every permutation of “Tube” songs from the members of Phish has been exhausted.  But what if I told you that before there was a “Tube,” before there was even a Phish, the legendary Scandanavian prog rock outfit, Kasvot Växt, birthed the one and only “Wack Tube.” Well, W.A.C.T.O.O.B., anyway. Everything really is overlapping. 

“We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains” is the fourth track on Kasvot’s 1981 cult classic, í rokk. Phish famously covered the virtually unknown Kasvot Växt album during the second set of the 2018 Halloween show at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. For that performance, the shapes were hanging over the crowd as 12 squares were dangling in mid-air over the crowd.  Why?  It’s just one of the many mysteries of “Wack Tube.” The Phishbill for the performance states that the song’s “nine cubes” lyric is a reference to the biggest í rokk mystery of all. “Nine cubes” or “Niu Teningur” in the native Greenlandic, is, of course, the name of the project the members of Kasvot Växt were working on when they met in a remote Greenland research bunker in the late ‘70s. Some fans credit the mind-bending government experiments that took place at Niu Teningur as providing the inspiration for the masterwork that was very nearly trapped in time.

Thankfully, “Wack Tube” outlived the debut Halloween performance and has been one of the more regularly played Kasvot songs ever since.  “WACTOOB” opened the ensuing 2018 NYE run at MSG, which is also the longest version to date at nearly nine minutes. The 7/3/19 SPAC rendition saw the song act as the glue in “Plasma”’s magnet. Trey has even played the song at a handful of solo, acoustic shows (see, e.g., 12/05/19 Santa Barbara). Take a look around and find your favorite version.

”We Are Come to Outlive Our Brains” 6/12/19 St Louis, MO (video via LazyLightning55a) 

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