It’s tradition for Phish to cover another artist’s classic album in its entirety on Halloween — and for fans to furiously debate which LP the band will choose in the weeks before the big show. This year, the Vermont quartet is playing along by teasing its devotees with a gallery of album covers on the official Festival 8 Website. Records that won’t be performed in Indio, California, at the end of the month are being figuratively killed off the band — stabbed with a knife or an ax (how appropriately gory).
Some of the survivors include a trio of David Bowie albums, U2’s The Joshua Tree, a pair of Zappa albums, Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers, Nirvana’s Nevermind, Pearl Jam’s Ten and, awesomely, Rage Against the Machine’s Evil Empire.
One of the survivors caught Rolling Stone‘s eye because a reader named Mr. Right left a comment on one of our Festival 8 posts insisting, “I know a lot of you are going to hate me for spilling the beans, but they’re going to play MGMT’s Oracular Spectacular.” MGMT’s debut is indeed in the Phish shooting gallery.
And though Radiohead’s OK Computer was voted to the top of our “What Should Phish Cover for Halloween?” Rock List, it wasn’t included in the gallery. Kid A is there, however. Other Rock List suggestions, from David Bowie’s Ziggy Stardust to Michael Jackson’s Thriller to Boston’s Boston have managed to avoid the ax so far. From the onset, Rolling Stone has predicted Prince’s Purple Rain will be performed on October 31st, and it’s still among the unbloodied portraits.
So what will fans definitely not be hearing on Halloween? Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ Damn the Torpedos, Leonard Cohen’s I’m Your Man, Ween’s White Pepper (sadly), White Stripes’ Elephant, Huey Lewis and the News’ Sports and a couple albums by artists who have already had albums covered by Phish on past Halloweens: The Who’s Who’s Next (Quadrophenia was played), the Beatles’ Rubber Soul (White Album), Talking Heads’ Fear of Music (Remain in Light) and the Velvet Underground & Nico’s self-titled album (Loaded). No matter how awesome it would be, we can essentially guarantee that neither Michael McDonald or Hall & Oates’ Private Eyes will be played on October 31st, despite their appearance in Phish’s album art gallery.
• Phish to Perform First All-Acoustic Set at Festival 8
• Readers’ Rock List: What Album Should Phish Cover for Halloween?
• Phish Announce Festival 8 In California, Bring Back Halloween Cover Band Tradition