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Steep has not been seen in 123 Phish shows.
It was last played: 2021-08-28.
It was played at 1.65% of live shows.
It has been performed live 33 time(s).

Music/Lyrics: Anastasio/Marshall/Gordon/McConnell/Fishman

Vocals: Trey (lead), Fish, Page (backing)

Debut: 1996-10-16

Historian: Dan Purcell ((sausagemahoney)

In early 1996, Phish went into the studio in Woodstock, NY to record its follow-up to Hoist. In an attempt to distance itself from Hoist’s L.A.-infected studio sheen, the band instead crafted a dense, layered improvisational swirl of music that eventually became known as "The Blob." Phish eventually rejected "The Blob" as too unfocused and meandering, but saved one small part of it for inclusion on Billy Breathes

That small slice of The Blob is “Steep,” a rhythmic and melodic variation on the album’s preceding track, “Swept Away.” Where “Swept Away” is gentle and lilting, “Steep” is creepy; "Swept Away" is sung in three-part harmony, while "Steep"'s vocals are stated, not sung. In contrast to “Swept Away”'s effortless glide,“ Steep” jerks along in an unsettling, stop-and-start rhythm before ending with a tidal rush of bass effects that falls away into the album-closing arena-rock resolution of “Prince Caspian.” The live versions of the song take it a step further: they end with a blood-curdling scream, a 180-degree pivot away from the bucolic vibe of “Swept Away.” 

As on Billy Breathes, “Steep” has always followed “Swept Away” when performed in concert. Phish frequently used the pairing as a second-set breather in the fall of 1996 and the spring of 1997, but the tandem has not appeared much since.

Albums: Billy Breathes, Live Phish 15


© Who Is She? Music, Inc. (BMI)

Much ado is all I see
In fact it is surrounding me
The seething crowd intrudes all day
'Til finally I'm swept away

Although I thought my roots were deep
I sank them into hillsides steep
And riverbanks that soon erode
Near canyons that have overflowed

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