Running Out of Time

Originally Performed ByPhish
Appears On
VocalsTrey (lead), All (backing)
Phish Debut2016-10-19
Last Played2016-10-24
Current Gap293
Last Update2019-03-02


Prior to appearing on Big Boat, “Running Out of Time,” circulated as an outtake from the Round Room sessions (as “Running Scared”). The song is by all indications a song about someone coming to terms with addiction. Whereas earlier Trey compositions like “Push On Till the Day” seemed to glorify what can euphemistically be called the rock and roll lifestyle, “Running Out of Time” paints a picture of a more troubled person, though the song is devoid of the implicit judgment in a song like “Gone,” written years later. 

"Running Scared" Round Room Outakes

The Round Room version is almost a demo… a half-baked song on an album of not-entirely-baked ideas, as if Trey didn’t know what to do with the song on a musical or personal level. From there, the song was put on ice (by Phish, at least) for the better part of fourteen years until it emerged at a soundcheck on 7/1/16. It would not be played that night or at all on the summer 2016 tour.  The seemingly random appearance finally made sense upon the release of the more polished version on Big Boat (featuring an oh-so-brief guitar solo and even a few bars of whistling, but dropping the “never been chosen” verse”). Since then, “Running Out of Time” appeared twice on the Fall 2016 tour (unsurprisingly, in the first set both times). 

So, why the “by Phish” qualifier, above? Well, Tom Marshall’s band, Amfibian, released a version of the song (as “Thunderclap”) on their 2007 album Skip the Goodbyes. The Amfibian rendition is drastically different from either Phish version; it’s reimagined as a straight ahead rocker. For those of you keeping score at home, Song Titles are currently leading Phish appearances 3-2 but that could change, as in this game we’re not running out of time.

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