Back on February 3, 1986 Phish played one of their many shows at Hunt’s in their then hometown of Burlington, Vermont. What made the concert that night 35 years ago particularly noteworthy was the first known live Phish performance of their now-classic original “You Enjoy Myself.”
The Trey Anastasio composition would soon become the most played song in the band’s live repertoire, currently standing at 597 performances according to Phish.net stats. Coming out of a “Mike’s Song” > “Dave’s Energy Guide” pairing, the first live “YEM” clocked in at around 10 minutes – nearly the same length as the studio version that appeared on Junta in 1989 but much more developed than the less-than one minute version included on their self-titled The White Tape demo from 1986 (follow this link to Phish Tracks to stream the first “You Enjoy Myself”).
Featuring notorious lyrics – from the basic “Boy, Man, God, Shit” to the more peculiar “Wash Uffizi drive me to Firenze” – as well as Anastasio and bassist Mike Gordon jumping on trampolines mid-song and a playful vocal jam coda, the song is a signature of the quartet’s live theatrics. Over the years Phish developed “YEM” into a powerhouse jam-vehicle, typically stretching beyond the 20-minute mark and often filling the second set closer and encore slots.
For a taste of Phish’s ever evolving approach to “You Enjoy Myself” below is a 20-track Spotify Playlist featuring a career-spanning retrospective of the song from throughout its long history. Bookended by The White Tape and Junta studio recordings the other 18 versions are presented chronologically from the Colorado ’88 live release through a performance at the Greek Theatre in Berkeley, California in 2010. Included is the supersized 40+ minute “YEM” from Halloween 1995 in Chicago, the longest known rendition of the storied song. The 20 tracks come in at a hefty seven hours of “YEM” for your listening pleasure.
[Originally Published: February 3, 2016]
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