This track is without a doubt one of my favorite openers of all time! “Dogs Stole Things” was smack dab in the middle of the first set on 11-21-98 and was a part of the live Phish Album, Hampton Comes Alive.

Debuted along with the “97 batch” of more than a dozen new songs, “Dogs Stole Things” was twice walked around the block at the summer tour warm-up on 6/6/97, and then made its public debut on 6/13/97 in Dublin, Ireland.

A likeable, shuffling tune, “Dogs” doesn’t represent anything pivotal in Phish’s songwriting or performance history, so many fans have unfairly labeled it as a “throwaway” tune. While it doesn’t exactly break new ground musically or lyrically, “Dogs Stole Things” is a nice breather tune for the band, showcasing some nice tickling from Page and restrained but loose backup from Trey, Mike, and Fish. The song ostensibly chronicles the habits of pets that steal the dreams of their human owners; what it is really about is anyone’s guess; your interpretation works as well as any other.

“Dogs Stole Things” was in heavy rotation in 1997, having been performed a solid twenty times that year, and it remained in semi-regular rotation until the hiatus. Only appearing twice in 2003, “Dogs Stole Things” has yet to make a post-breakup appearance. Performances do not vary substantially among versions and the song is never likely to be employed as vehicle for improvisation. Representative versions can be found on several official releases including the Island Tourset (4/3/98), Hampton Comes Alive (11/21/98), and Live Phish 06 (11/27/98), as well as in otherwise solid shows including 9/11/99, and 7/12/03. Acoustic versions can be found by Trey from his solo performances on 2/15/99, 5/4/99, and 5/7/99, and by Trey and Tom Marshall on Trampled by Lambs and Pecked by the Dove.

Hampton Comes Alive is a six-disc live album by the American rock band Phish, released on November 23, 1999, by Elektra Records. It is the band’s third live album and the first time complete live Phish concerts were released in their entirety (though fan recordings of most Phish shows are widely circulated). Hampton Comes Alive consists of two full concerts recorded on November 20 and 21, 1998, at the Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. The album title is a play on Peter Frampton's classic live album Frampton Comes Alive!.

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Saturday, 11/21/1998
Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA

Set 1: Wilson > BBFCFMBig Black Furry Creature from Mars[1], Lawn Boy, DividedDivided Sky, Cry Baby Cry > Boogie OnBoogie On Reggae Woman > NICU, Dogs Stole Things, Nellie Kane, Foam, Velvet SeaWading in the Velvet Sea, Guyute, Bold As Love

Set 2: Sabotage > Mike’sMike’s Song > Simple > WedgeThe Wedge > MangoThe Mango Song > Free -> Ha Ha Ha -> Free, WeekapaugWeekapaug Groove

Encore: Tubthumping[2]

[1] “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It” quote from Fish.
[2] Phish debut; Tom Marshall on vocals and Carl Gerhard on trumpet; “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It” quotes from Fish and Trey.

Notes: Fishman chimed in with quotes of “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It” during BBFCFM and Tubthumping. This show featured the breakouts of Cry Baby Cry (first since June 16, 1995, or 277 shows) and Nellie Kane (first since December 8, 1994, or 292 shows). Tubthumping, a Phish debut, featured Tom Marshall on lead vocals and Carl Gerhard on trumpet and had the official recording’s intro playing over the P.A. before Phish started to play. Trey called Fish “Sammy… Sammy Hagar The Horrible” toward the end of the song before also quoting “Gettin’ Jiggy Wit’ It.” This show was released as part of the Hampton Comes Alive boxed set.

This show was part of the “1998 Fall Tour.”