Phish paid tribute to Genesis last night at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony. The all-star event took place at New York’s Waldorf-Astoria hotel, paying tribute to the Rock Hall’s Class of 2010: ABBA, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff, The Hollies, The Stooges, David Geffen, Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Ellie Greenwich & Jeff Barry, Jesse Stone, Mort Shuman and Otis Blackwell.
The members of Phish—dressed in suits for the occasion—opened the show with a cover of “Watcher of the Skies,” a song from Genesis’ acclaimed 1972 album Foxtrot. Trey Anastasio then officially inducted the group into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with a few heartfelt words: “Every musical rule and boundary was questioned and broken,” he said. “It’s impossible to overstate what impact this band and musical philosophy had on me as a young musician. I’m forever in their debt.” He went onto say that the band was “rebellious, restless and constantly striving for something more.” Phish then returned the stage for another Genesis song, “No Reply at All,” from 1981’s Abacab. If “Watcher of the Skies” nodded to Genesis’ first Peter Gabriel period than the group’s second selection was a clear reference to Genesis’ later, Phil Collins-led period. Though Gabriel did not show up for the induction, Genesis bassist/guitarist Mike Rutherford said, “He has a very legitimate and genuine excuse. He’s actually starting a tour.”
The night featured a number of other unique collaborations and tributes: both Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder and Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong sat in with the Stooges, while Maroon 5’s Adam Levine and Jesse Carmichael performed with the Hollies. Train’s Pat Monahan also joined the veteran band for “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress,” oddly enough the first song Phish played live at its first show in 1983.