The Final Hurrah

Originally Performed ByPhish
Music/Lyrics(Anastasio/Fishman/Gordon/McConnell)
VocalsPage, Trey (lead), Fish, Mike (backing)
Phish Debut2018-10-31
Last Played2022-07-24
Current Gap18
HistorianEllis Godard (Lemuria); Mockingbird Staff
Last Update2022-07-14

History

Phish debuted “The Final Hurrah” on Halloween, as the sixth song on a made-up album by an invented Scandinavian rock band, with glowing squares dangling over the audience while Page sang "I am in a square, dangling in mid-air." That could be the setup for something awesome, terrible, or just weird - and "The Final Hurrah" has some of each.

Regarded by at least some as simply a “terrible song,” this is a typical 3.0 mashup of lyrical mediocrity (sorry, fist pumpers) with a proper jam platform (jaded 1.0-er reporting for duty, sir). The lyrics are attributable to (and perhaps excused as part of) the Scandifakian gag. But at times, it's difficult to tell whether Trey's quite serious about it, or about to crack up at it (see 1:43 and 1:55 in the debut), even before Page almost overdoes repetition of the "faceplant into rock" voice samples.

Phish ”The Final Hurrah” – 10/31/18, Las Vegas, NV. Video by Phish

But by 3:20, this is solid Phish jam space. Beyond the second batch of voice samples (by the five-minute mark, if you need to skip ahead), that space is getting filled by enough love that, well... If this is a terrible song, it's a terrible band, amirite? Cuz, no, this rokks! Sure a minute later, all four members are grunting those three words, in rounds, pushing the envelopes of patience and toleration. And Fish and Mike keep up the grunts while Trey wheedlee-whees up the guitar neck a bit, before it all peters out, with a whimper. But later versions are arguably more gentle at the start, and rokking by the end. For example, on 12/30/19, Page adds some quite delicate piano work (such as around the 2-minute mark). The samples are still unrelenting, but the last couple of minutes fills that platform space a tad more:

Phish ”The Final Hurrah” – 12/30/19, New York, NY. Video by Phish

And versions as recent as 5/28/22 show continued promise that, if you can make it past the opening, without becoming unhinged with split eyes and faceplanting... you'll get into rock.

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