Vocals: Mike (9/26/99); Fish (10/31/09, 12/5/09)
Original Artist: The Rolling Stones
Original Album: Exile on Main St (1972)
Historian: Phil Nazzaro
Last Update: 2012-06-25
"Sweet Virginia" is the second song from The Stones classic album Exile on Main St that Phish has covered (“Loving Cup” being the first). This song’s first appearance in Phish’s repertoire came as a show opener in New Orleans on 9/26/99. Perhaps the decision to play “Sweet Virginia” owes to the fact that Phish hadn’t been welcome in New Orleans since their appearance at JazzFest in ‘96. As at least one longtime Stones fan interprets it, Mick Jagger wrote the lyrics as homage all the “rock star activities” his band got away with during their previous tours of the United States.
The Rolling Stones, "Sweet Virginia" – 7/19/95, London, England
The second appearance did not come for another 10 years. The band whipped the song out again as a Fishman-interpreted vehicle during the Exile on Main St Halloween costume on 10/31/09 and then reprised the tune on 12/5/09, appropriately in Charlottesville, VA. Since then the sing seems to have become somewhat of an annual event, what with appearances on 9/2/2011 and 6/24/12.
Phish, "Sweet Virginia" – 10/31/09, Indio, CA