Crosseyed and Painless has not been seen in 9 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2012-08-26.
It was played at 1.77% of live shows.
It has been performed live 28 time(s).
Music/Lyrics: Talking Heads, Brian Eno
Original Artist: Talking Heads
Original Album: Remain in Light (1980)
Vocals: Fish (lead); Mike, Trey (backing)
Historian: Mark Toscano, Phillip Zerbo (pzerbo)
On the rocket-powered second track on Remain in Light, Talking Heads and Brian Eno pull off some amazing arrangements with great invention and precision. The song’s got legs, and they belong to a jive-dancing marathon runner. Adrian Belew's guitar solo is genuine and original, sounding like a train passing a station, leaving its prospective passengers scratching their heads in the kicked-up dust. There’s no clutter here, however. The arrangements are surgically precise, cutting, and exact.
Phish first performed the song as part of its 10/31/96 musical costume set. For this, the second song of the album (and thus of the set), Phish ripped the rug right out from under opening tune, “Born Under Punches,” taking the residual steam from that song and embezzling it for use in this track. Fishman takes the lead vocals, and he handles them with appreciably ironic restraint and terseness, adapting it nicely to his own timbre. Trey’s solo evokes Belew’s original well, but is arguably more ferocious and dangerous. Karl Perazzo lends his unquenchable hands on percussion to the song’s rhythm, and the entire tune is punctuated by occasional hoots and howls. The band was obviously having great fun. This version also features Dave Grippo and Gary Gazaway on horns.
They apparently had so much fun that "Crosseyed" entered the repertoire in the band’s very next show, on 11/2/96, in an incredible 20+ minute version that also featured Karl Perazzo on percussion. Fans should seek out this version if only to hear Fishman’s crazed shrieking during the early part of the jam. After a few comparably unremarkable renditions in 1997 (2/16/97, 2/21/97, 8/13/97), "Crosseyed" then took a hiatus. It turned up again towards the front end of the historic 12/31/99 all-night set, “The Show.” The massive 21-minute jam that ensued ranks right up there with the West Palm Beach version from three years earlier. Other versions of note include the inspired outing on 7/12/00 and the remarkable 9/14/00 rendition (captured on Live Phish 03), sandwiched oddly between “Drowned” and “Dog Faced Boy.”
“Crosseyed” also has the distinction of being one of the most exaggerated tease claims in Phish history. So many ‘98 jams were said to feature “Crosseyed” teases, that the whole thing became sort of a joke. However, some legitimate “Crosseyed” teases can be found in the 11/28/97 “YEM,” 4/3/98 “Weekapaug,” and 12/29/98 “2001.”
Appearances of "Crosseyed" have always been limited (it has only been performed a dozen times in over a dozen years) – but when it does appear, watch out, as it invariably anchors a killer set. Cause or effect? It doesn't matter. The first "post-hiatus" version was a blistering 25+ minute epic opening the awesome second set of 7/29/03 in Burgettstown, PA. The excellent 6/23/04 version at Deer Creek anchors an under-rated set that defies any claim that 2004 Phish lacked vitality. The second-set opening "Crosseyed" served up at Alpine Valley on 6/21/09 propelled what was widely considered the best set of the early summer tour, and the insta-classic 7/31/09 Red Rocks version (emerging seamlessly out of a monster "Drowned") is not to be missed. Strong performances continued in 2010 with offerings on 6/24/10 in Camden (out of "Down with Disease") and on 8/10/10 in the pristine setting of Telluride, CO (for the first time ever contained within "Mike's Groove.")
Watch Crosseyed and Painless on YouTube Talking Heads, "Crosseyed and Painless" – 1980
Albums: Live Phish 03, Live Phish 15, Coral Sky