Phish won’t be in New Jersey this Halloween — they are performing at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas — but they have done two Halloween shows in New Jersey, in 2010 and 2013, both at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City. This is significant because the band has a tradition of impersonating another band for one set of their Halloween shows, and performing an entire album by that band. In 2010, it was Little Feat’s live double album, Waiting for Columbus. Other albums that have been played by Phish on Halloween, over the years, include The Beatles (also known as “The White Album”), The Who’s Quadrophenia, Talking Heads’ Remain in Light and The Velvet Underground’s Loaded. (In 2013, they impersonated their future selves, debuting songs from their upcoming album Fuego, which was released in June of this year.)
Other cover songs often make it into their Halloween shows as well. In 2010, they opened with “Frankenstein,” the 1973 hit instrumental by the Edgar Winter Group. The song’s name seems appropriate, and very Halloween-like, given the song’s aggressive, almost startling nature, though Winter has explained that he initially gave the song that name because, after it was recorded, the tape had to be cut up and then spliced back together to create something usable.
Though Phish is associated with Vermont, where its four members began playing together in the ’80s, singer-guitarist Trey Anastasio grew up in Princeton, and keyboardist Page McConnell spent some of his youth in Basking Ridge.
New Jersey celebrated its 350th birthday in 2014. And in the 350 Jersey Songs series, we marked the occasion by posting 350 songs — one a day, from September 2014 to September 2015 — that have something to do with the state, its musical history, or both. To see the entire list, click here.