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Alaska has not been seen in 7 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2024-02-21.
It was played at 2.14% of live shows.
It has been performed live 43 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Anastasio, Marshall

Original Artist: Trey Anastasio

Vocals: Trey

Debut: 2009-06-09

Historian: Chris Bertolet (bertoletdown)

"Alaska" made its world debut as what you might call half a Phish song. It made it's public debut by Mike and Trey at the Rothbury Music Festival in Michigan on 7/6/08, just as rumors of a Phish reunion were beginning to build steam. The country-rocker saw regular duty in Trey's "Classic TAB" tour later that year, sparking speculation that it would surface as a Phish tune. The speculation was laid to rest when Phish debuted "Alaska" in Asheville, NC, on the first leg of its 2009 summer tour.

Watch Alaska on YouTube Phish, "Alaska" – 6/17/10, Hartford, CT

"Alaska" is narrated from the point of view of a man whose love has left him, and whose home holds diminishing appeal. Afflicted with a serious traveling jones, he unburdens himself of his worldly possessions and lights out for the Land of the Midnight Sun, hoping to make the best of his solitude and perhaps see a moose or two. His free spirit is rewarded when he finds a new love. [En route, there are puns.]

Though unmistakably Phishy to the core, "Alaska" invites comparisons to the Grateful DeadThe Band, and other mainstays of Americana who proved themselves capable of lending gravitas and single-barrel whiskey dimension to otherwise simple ditties. The spiffy studio take on "Alaska" on Party Time ices its status as yet another bona fide Phish tune borne from Trey's extracurricular pursuits.

Watch Alaska on YouTube Trey Anastasio & Conan O’Brien Band, "Alaska" – 6/7/10, Upper Darby, PA

After the TAB performance of “Alaska” at New York’s Roseland Ballroom on 10/16/08 – just a few months after the world got to know Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, Trey quipped, "The song came first." Then on 12/28/10 during Phish’s gig in Worcester, MA Trey supplemented the performance of “Alaska” with a small talking doll that offered Sarah Palin quotes.

Thus far, "Alaska" hasn't ventured too far into the wild, jam-wise – the improvisational sections have stayed relatively grounded in bluesy guitar solos – but it's ripe with potential. See the Gorge version from 8/8/09 for a glimpse into this promising song's frontier. 

On 6/7/10 in Upper Darby, PA, Trey joined Conan O'Brien's band to deliver what perhaps the most unique reading of "Alaska" to date, with horn parts that lend the tune a second line flavor that works a whole lot better than you might guess.  

By far the most infamous version of “Alaska” is the “Third Set Alaska” which formed the core of an awkward, less-than-thrilling final frame at the 12/31/11 New Year’s Eve gig at MSG. “Alaska” has however dotted the setlist of many shows on the more positive end of the spectrum, including: 8/1/09 Red Rocks; 8/17/11 UIC Pavilion; 8/31/12 Dick’s (“Fuck Your Face”); and 7/9/14 at The Mann in Philly. 

Watch Alaska on YouTube Phish, "Alaska" –12/31/11, New York, NY

Albums: Party Time, TAB at the TAB, Alpine Valley


© Who Is She? Music, Inc. (BMI)

I always had to tell her to relax
I always had to tell her to relax
I always had to tell her to relax
And a cat can slip indoors, through multitudes of cracks
But it's funny what they'll do
'Cause cracks lead outside too
When I asked her where she's going she said "Far away from you"

Stuck here on my own now
Digging down deep
I don't understand it
But I ain't losing sleep
I'm not gonna lay down
I'll head north out of town
I don't know but I think I'll go and try dog mushing with an eskimo

In Alaska, Alaska, I think I'll try Alaska
Somewhere she could wait for me
I'll catch up just wait and see
Idaho, Nebraska, I don't know, Alaska
I think I'll try, I think I'll try Alaska

I sold my old piano for the rent
I loaded up on bug spray
I found my daddy's tent
And now I'm in high gear
Doing forty-five
Humming a tune
I won't see the moon till sometime in July

I guess I could have flown or took a train
But you won't see a moose if you're sitting on a plane
And now there's no more road
But I got a light load
And if she isn't in Alaska
I'll stay and pan for gold

In Alaska, Alaska, I think I'll try Alaska
Somewhere she could wait for me
I'll catch up just wait and see
Idaho, Nebraska, I don't know, Alaska
I think I'll try, I think I'll try Alaska

Just when I thought I'd end up alone
Big ol' 'Laskan mama, come walkin' down the road

Alaska, Alaska, I'll stay right here in Alaska
All settled down and having fun
Here in the land of the midnight sun
Is it time to call the pastor?
I don't know, I'll ask her
I'll stay right here, I'll stay right here

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