- by Ghost Llama -
On July 15th, 2016 the greatest Phish song ever written was unleashed to an unsuspecting crowd at the Gorge amphitheatre. After Lawn Boy, Trey says to Fishman, “after admiring your drumming, how about admiring your songwriting prowess?” Trey then lets the audience know Fishman has written “the greatest song ever written.” Fish disagrees but says “it’s possibly the truest thing ever written.”
“Oh what could it be?”
This song is so great that only 13 audiences have been able to handle its majestic nature. Clocking in under two minutes it’s easy to listen to each version. I have found it best to take on this half hour playlist in a certain order. When you have your ass handed to you, play every version in order from great to greatest.
1) July 15, 2016
The beginning is the best place to start. Since this song cannot be contained in a studio, this version offers the best way to hear the song clearly. Note the har-har at the end.
2) July 23, 2016
Know that you are familiar with the lyrics, join in with the two versions offered in the first set and stay for the only Ass Handed Reprise played so far. These songs showcase the future potential this song has. Notice the har-har moved to after the first verse. The song is evolving rapidly already.
3) September 2, 2016
This version has a joke in the beginning and then a swing version of the song. More evolution!! It’s at Dick’s too so bonus for that.
4) October 15, 2016
This back to basics straight forward version serves a reminder that this song is so rad it doesn’t need a gimmick. They only add it on for us the fans to show their love.
5) October 22, 2016
A Mike’s Groove sandwiched Ass Handed; I’ll have seconds please.
6) October 24, 2016
This one comes after Fuck Your Face and that makes me giggle. It also reminds me of when you get so mad at someone you mix up your words. For example, calling someone a face ass instead of an assface.
7) October 31, 2016
You can bet your ass this Halloween Vegas version is aces.
8) December 31, 2016
Taking place right in the middle of Piper, this is the only time Ass Handed appears in a second set. This version does not disappoint. Fish sings the beginning differently and the end is a scorcher before going back into Piper.
9) July 28, 2017
OMG, BAKER’S DOZEN VERSION. That puts this version in automatic cruise control for cool. Like they covered Chocolate Rain before this and Chocolate Night was the sweetest of the run.
10) December 30, 2017
Four verses, different singing, and a sing-along. The crowd’s ass was handed a treasure.
11) July 18, 2018
Officially a sing-along now. If you have forgotten the lyrics, this version will reteach them to you.
12) December 31, 2018
Trey states “This is my favorite Phish song.” Fish reteaches the lyrics then we jam out to the truth.
13) June 25, 2019
Trey introduces Fish as a local politician and Fishman gives us backstage look at being a local politician. They too get their asses handed to them every meeting. Then the truth of living in 2019 is rocked upon us in ravenous form.