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Bethel3 Recap

Posted 4 years ago by lumpblockclod - 32 comments Link: http://phi.sh/b/4de3aae2

NOTE: This is hopefully the beginning of a regular Phish.Net feature where one of our esteemed bloggers will post a short paragraph or two containing their take on the previous night's show. We encourage further discussion and interaction in the comments section.

If Bethel2’s first set was a welcome departure from the 3.0 norm, Bethel3 was more of the same. The set wasn’t offensive or bad in any way; it was just unremarkable save for relative rarities like “Timber” and “Curtis Loew.” One minor outlier was the “OKP” > “Suzy,” which was especially feisty for a non-jammed out version. Unfortunately, the second set followed suit. The highlight was the “Simple” that went outside the box for a bit but did not match the beauty of the 1/1/11 version (never mind 8/6/10). The “Slave” closer was quite enjoyable – as “Slave” closers usually are – but was not enough to make up for the largely lackluster show. 3.0/10.

Comments

Halden Reply
3 seems a little harsh. The show was indeed standard 3.0 fare but was well played and energetic. I would give it a 5.
Score: 1
Kurtzboy Reply
Kurtzboy I know this is the second time in a row that I've objected to your rating, but I think a 3 is too harsh. 3 feels like it should be saved for shows that have almost nothing good in them (I think of Vegas 04). Personally, I'd give the show a 4.5. It had really good playing despite the lack of jamming. And, Timber through Twenty Years Later was really enjoyable IMO.
Score: 1
lumpblockclod Phish.net Staff Reply
lumpblockclod @Kurtzboy said:
I know this is the second time in a row that I've objected to your rating, but I think a 3 is too harsh. 3 feels like it should be saved for shows that have almost nothing good in them (I think of Vegas 04). Personally, I'd give the show a 4.5. It had really good playing despite the lack of jamming. And, Timber through Twenty Years Later was really enjoyable IMO.
But if Vegas 04 is a 3, what would be a 1? If there are 10's, there should be 1's too, no? IMO this was a squarely below average show.
Score: 3
barefootbob Reply
barefootbob Although, I can't agree that this show is sub-par; it definitely was the worst of the three shows of Phish '11 Tour. I would also like to add that this show followed what may be one of the best shows Phish had done 3.0. Let's home this is just them working out the kinks.
Score: 0
RabeldyNugs Reply
RabeldyNugs @lumpblockclod said:
@Kurtzboy said:
I know this is the second time in a row that I've objected to your rating, but I think a 3 is too harsh. 3 feels like it should be saved for shows that have almost nothing good in them (I think of Vegas 04). Personally, I'd give the show a 4.5. It had really good playing despite the lack of jamming. And, Timber through Twenty Years Later was really enjoyable IMO.
But if Vegas 04 is a 3, what would be a 1? If there are 10's, there should be 1's too, no? IMO this was a squarely below average show.
LBC said it just right.
Score: 2
ScottyB Phish.net Staff Reply
ScottyB Calling this show a 5 would be an insult to truly average shows
Score: 3
drobert420 Reply
This show was average, which gives it a 5 rating from me. The playing was decent, the song selection was what I would call safe (except the rare few first set tunes (ie. Timber, OKP)) and the second set was a cookie cut of many 3.0 shows before it. That said, to some it may have been the perfect show. Just not many vets.

Bethel 2 > Bethel 1 > Bethel 3.
Score: 0
Doopes Reply
Doopes I don't know where all of you were... I've been going to shows since 95 (binghamton NY) and I loved this show! It had tons of good songs, Rift, Timber, The Suzy was hot (yes not too long, but hot), The Antelope was sick, I've heard better but how can any antelope ever be bad??(maybe 04?) The 2nd set was amazing, Mikes Weekapaug combos are always awesome!!! Meatstick is great cuz it's fun to see Trey and Mike have so much fun up there!!! Fluffhead (i shouldn't have to say anything else) 2001 was great to hear, always is, and the ENCORE WAS AWESOME!!! Loving Cup is a great song to end a great weekend, and then to bust out a Tweeprize, yes it was a prize, outta nowhere is just sick... Sounds like you are a lil overly critical!! Next time worry about having some fun man!! Cuz I did :)
Score: 1
DBNick Reply
I think 3.0 is wayyy low. Out of the three nights, I had the most fun at this show. Night two may have been more interesting, but three was just a blast!
Score: 1
mgouker Reply
mgouker Lots of extreme opinions here, but rating today's band against the band that played in those days doesn't make much sense. I'm not saying this because I thought that Phish 1.0 is a better band than Phish 2.0 or Phish 3.0 or any other combination. I am saying that each show is a unique experience and while I can see the sense in ranking it against shows on the same tour, I think it's almost comical to say a show from Summer 2011 is better than Fall 1995 for example - they just sound really different to me. For what it's worth, I think a lot of people's memories of Phish 1.0 are distorted over the years. Personally, I think everyone in the band is a better musician than they were in the 90s heyday. Oh well.
Score: 4
cwell Reply
agreed. fluffhead was epic. @Doopes said:
I don't know where all of you were... I've been going to shows since 95 (binghamton NY) and I loved this show! It had tons of good songs, Rift, Timber, The Suzy was hot (yes not too long, but hot), The Antelope was sick, I've heard better but how can any antelope ever be bad??(maybe 04?) The 2nd set was amazing, Mikes Weekapaug combos are always awesome!!! Meatstick is great cuz it's fun to see Trey and Mike have so much fun up there!!! Fluffhead (i shouldn't have to say anything else) 2001 was great to hear, always is, and the ENCORE WAS AWESOME!!! Loving Cup is a great song to end a great weekend, and then to bust out a Tweeprize, yes it was a prize, outta nowhere is just sick... Sounds like you are a lil overly critical!! Next time worry about having some fun man!! Cuz I did :)
Score: 0
sushigradepanda Reply
sushigradepanda agreed that a 3 rating is rough. safe song selection? sure, especially for the first set. that said, the Mike's -> Simple was great, as was 2001-> Light -> Slave to close the 2nd frame. add in the Curtis Loew (my 1st in 20+ years of seeing Phish), and you get at least a 6, IMO. if this show had come in '09 or '10, I would bet taht some of you "3 Guys" would be singing high praises for this show.
Score: 0
phunkytime Reply
phunkytime A 3 must mean this was a bad show. Looking at the setlist, it doesn't even look remotely bad. I had a ton of fun at this show and so many other people did also. I think this is very critical and Phish put on a great run at bethel. Great start to the year and no complaints from over here. Some people wanna hear different songs and I respect your opinions but this show was amazing from my spot on the lawn. Above avg in my opinion and no way this was worse than n1.
Score: 0
wattznext Reply
wattznext A 3 would put this show squarely between average (5) and total shit not worth hearing (1). Is that really what this show sounded like to you?
Score: 0
curleyfrei Reply
curleyfrei Wow... Set II of Sunday was actually my favorite set of the whole weekend! REALLY surprised to hear this!
Score: 0
lumpblockclod Phish.net Staff Reply
lumpblockclod @wattznext said:
A 3 would put this show squarely between average (5) and total shit not worth hearing (1). Is that really what this show sounded like to you?
Or, put another way, it was a squarely below average Phish show and roughly 70% of Phish shows are more interesting (IMO, of course). Yes, that's how it sounded to me. And, FWIW, even below average Phish shows can be a lot of fun...
Score: 2
Euclid Reply
Euclid This was a life changing show for a lot of people. You guys need to get over the whole 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 bullshit. What if their last show was Coventry?! All of you would be on the Further wagon while begging no one in particular that Phish would reunite. They aren't playing so you can say this is X.0. I think I'm going to stop reading .net for a while. You give this show a 3/10??? Were you even there??? These guys are too good for your ears, sorry. This has made me sad, there are too many phans that are too critical and they pretty much ruin their enjoyment by trying to categorize a show while it's happening. Also as an artist: we don't play music for you, even if you are convinced that's the only reason we play. It's nit for you, just remember that.
Score: 2
jimithin9 Reply
jimithin9 i think people are misinterpreting lump as complaining.

there is just simply an order to everything. its all relative. Technically, if you were being true to the scale, 50% would be 5 and under. HALF!

like out of 50 shows, 25 would be 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. which seems negative, but its just being a more accurate scale of comparison so everythings not 9 and 10s. (which they all are in our hearts, but not always in our ears)
Score: 0
Icculus Phish.net Staff Reply
Icculus I realize a lot of folks are finding the ratings of the recent shows tough to swallow, but here's the history. I apologize if you know it already, but several of the Comments to the capsule reviews of the Bethel shows have surprised me.

A long time ago on Rec.Music.Phish, a fan Scott Jordan proposed a show-rating-scale whereby a 5/10 rating would be a typically great, average-great, Phish show. Phish shows are basically always fun and "life changing" shows, after all, as @Euclid has noted above. But for obsessive fans who try to listen to every note Phish plays (or has played), the Scott Jordan Concert Review Poll Scale (aka SJCRPS) became an easy way to communicate -- to other knowledgeable fans -- what one's opinion of a particular show boiled down to.

A 3/10 Phish show isn't a bad Phish show. Let me repeat that. A 3/10 show IS NOT A BAD PHISH SHOW. Phish shows tend not to be "bad" of course. Such a show is just squarely below average, MUSICALLY SPEAKING, as far as those who listen to a lot of Phish are concerned. You don't have to agree, and indeed, I hope and encourage you to disagree in a thoughtful way, explaining why you think a particular show is closer to "average-great" (5/10) for example. But as @Lumpblockclod has noted, if 5/10 is average, you figure there should be a lot of 2's and 3's for every 8, 9, 10. And that's the thinking behind this rating scale.

Fwiw, I can't think of a single Phish show I'd give a "1" rating to, but I can think of a couple 10's. (Anyone who questions the majesty of Big Cypress is an asshat, btw. A royal f'ing asshat. It's a spectacular event in the history of rock music, not just Phish.) But there are a lot of shows that are still "fun" and "well-played" Phish shows that nevertheless have no top versions of tunes, and those are shows that deserve ratings in the 2-4 range, imo. I mean if you can't recommend that someone hear any version of any particular song from a show, that's not an "average-great" Phish show. Phish *routinely* plays a show with at least one stunning, "top" version of SOMETHING. They are an AMAZING BAND in this sense.

Also, IMO people who attend Phish shows tend to OVERRATE the music of those shows, not underrate it. Every Phish show has great lights and is enjoyable to attend, even if someone knocks a full $8 beer right out of your hand, or burns a hole through one of your favorite lot tshirts with their f'ing cig. It's the MUSIC that translates to "tape." Yes, there's an awesome authenticity to being at a show and basing your opinion about it on everything you experience at it. Of course. Duh. No question that that's critical and important. Period. But the non-musical elements of Phish shows tend to be remarkably similar show-to-show, whereas this isn't necessarily the case (and fortunately so) with respect to the improvisation in Phish's songs that improvise.

All this said is that you should take the ratings "worth a grain of salt" if you don't find them useful. But those of us who listen to EVERYTHING, and do so critically, will continue to find the SJCRPS useful and will continue to use it. My two cents.
Score: 4
Euclid Reply
Euclid I'm sorry you feel you have to do that @Icculus. A rating system such as that is of no use to anyone that loves the band. The rating system is for those who can't remember why they love Phish. It's a reminder for you guys you know what I mean. I don't care how much you say you love the band Phish, your comment reads as a publication critic trying to categorize a band that should not be categorized so the uninterested masses can put a number on the set/show and have a reason to not enjoy it.

I feel the days of categorizing Phish shows is at an end. I'm sure a couple of you will continue but no matter what number you give Phish, it's negative. Your completely missing the point of being a phan. You say you listen to every note, but it's obvious you are only hearing it. You're not listening because tire too busy thinking what it should/could be. Like I said, this makes me sad. I will keep an eye on this thread until it dies, then I'm out.

Look at the tour dates/locations. It's obvious the band is tired of our infatuation. It's become harder and harder to follow them. I honestly believe they don't want us to because we are unable to enjoy the shows as they want us to.

At every show I want to hear certain songs, but whatever songs are chosen by Phish, it ends up being exactly what I wanted to hear. You should get back to that vibe people.
Score: 0
Icculus Phish.net Staff Reply
Icculus Hey @Euclid, you're entitled to your opinion, and guess what? I am sure you aren't alone and that opinion was expressed a long time ago on RMP, too.

But the rating system has been around since the mid-1990s and has been in use by a lot of fans since. If it doesn't matter to you, great. Don't use it. I'm sorry it makes you sad. I am not sad. I love Phish! I enjoy their shows! I spend a lot of volunteer hours on this website's content because I love Phish. What have you done for the community lately? Do you really think that "the band is tired of [the] infatuation" of fans? That doesn't seem fair to them at all. It seems to me that they continue to appreciate the love of their fans. They certainly don't need to keep playing for us at all.

Fwiw, I envy you that "whatever songs are chosen by Phish, it ends up being exactly what I wanted to hear." That's a wonderful sentiment! You can be "sad" that I haven't found that to be true since 1994, but please don't accuse me of "not listening" or imply that I'm less of a fan than you. I love Phish's music in my way, you love their music in your way.
Score: 2
J_D_G Phish.net Staff Reply
J_D_G I agree with the fivers---this seems like a textbook "average" 3.0 show. I don't think a second set with a Mike's Groove, Fluffhead and Slave (not to mention 2001> Light) is below average. Yes, a standard(ly enjoyable Timber and a Suzy with two or three outrageous minutes is slim pickins', but at least there's *something* in the first set worth re-listening to.

And *any* time Ripcord Trey holds off to allow at least two or three minutes of Type II, I applaud, even if (on first listen, from 7 rows back) the Simple wasn't particularly successful. Cannot find fault with a Type II jam that failed to cohere, since it's so rare for them to give it a shot in 3.0.

Score: 1
ColForbin Phish.net Staff Reply
ColForbin @Icculus said:
A long time ago on Rec.Music.Phish, a fan Scott Jordan proposed a show-rating-scale whereby a 5/10 rating would be a typically great, average-great, Phish show. Phish shows are basically always fun and "life changing" shows, after all, as @Euclid has noted above. But for obsessive fans who try to listen to every note Phish plays (or has played), the Scott Jordan Concert Review Poll Scale (aka SJCRPS) became an easy way to communicate -- to other knowledgeable fans -- what one's opinion of a particular show boiled down to.
For those interested in the history, here are the final results from the 1995 SJCRP. The rating system is explained quite clearly by Scott Jordan himself. Interestingly, the Dog Log (12/11) show beat 12/31:

http://bit.ly/liXEou

And here is a thread soliciting scores in 1996 in which people raise some of the same objections to the rating system that have been raised in this thread:

http://bit.ly/mzH1tV

So clearly this is a well-worn argument. Perhaps @lumpblockclod could have included a disclaimer that 5 is an average excellent Phish show, and that 3 is still a very good rock concert that was probably a blast to attend and fun on tape.
Score: 2
waxbanks Reply
waxbanks Lessee here: a first-set 46D > 20YL with a strange improvised bridge, roaring Timber, superb Simple, intense Light, and a gratifying Tweeprise to close not the show but the entire Bethel run...the problem isn't that the number is 'incorrect,' it's that it's meaningless.
Score: 1
mgouker Reply
mgouker Ok, let's subscribe to the silly then. With this data:

http://bit.ly/liXEou

Cal Expo is the lowest ranked at:

9/27 Cal Expo 4.2 7 1.5

Assuming there is merit in comparing shows from different eras (which I would argue against). Do you *really* believe that this show is less entertaining than that show? I do not, FWIW. The 3rd night of Bethel is a typically solid Phish 3.0 show and blows 9/27/95 out of the water. ;=)
Score: 1
mgouker Reply
mgouker Actually on that scale (of those 95 shows), I would put this around 6 - and not 5.
Score: 0
mgouker Reply
mgouker Second night of Bethel is definitely my favorite of the bunch, even though I liked the Waves, Caspian et cetera from the first night. Good stuff all around.
Score: 1
lumpblockclod Phish.net Staff Reply
lumpblockclod @mgouker said:
Ok, let's subscribe to the silly then. With this data:

http://bit.ly/liXEou

Cal Expo is the lowest ranked at:

9/27 Cal Expo 4.2 7 1.5

Assuming there is merit in comparing shows from different eras (which I would argue against). Do you *really* believe that this show is less entertaining than that show? I do not, FWIW. The 3rd night of Bethel is a typically solid Phish 3.0 show and blows 9/27/95 out of the water. ;=)
Well, I think the take away there is that on a mass-scale, the SJ model didn't work. The "worst" show got a 4.2. If we're rating On a scale from 4-9, Bethel3 was a solid 5.5. Everybody happy now? ;-)
Score: 0
Icculus Phish.net Staff Reply
Icculus @mgouker said:
Cal Expo is the lowest ranked at:
9/27 Cal Expo 4.2 7 1.5
Assuming there is merit in comparing shows from different eras (which I would argue against). Do you *really* believe that this show is less entertaining than that show? I do not, FWIW. The 3rd night of Bethel is a typically solid Phish 3.0 show and blows 9/27/95 out of the water. ;=)
Wait wait wait WAIT, Michael. First, the number has little to do with how "entertaining" a show is. A crappy show musically might still be enormously entertaining overall. Every Phish show is "entertaining" to me -- that is why I listen to all of them. The point of the rating/number is simply for those who appreciate the rating to have some sense of the reviewer's take on the show. If you don't agree with its use, then don't use it.

I was at the Cal Expo show in 1995 and it was one of the weakest Phish shows I've ever attended. Or heard. Based on what I've heard of the Bethel shows, each is more musically superior overall to that Cal Expo show. Is it fair to compare them? Well, they're Phish shows after all. Comparing Phish shows from various eras with eachother makes at least some sense to me, and I enjoy doing it and will continue to do it. I also sincerely believe that if one analyzes, say, every version of Mike's Groove, Tweezer and YEM ever performed, s/he will see that it makes sense to compare versions across time, if only to see not only how the improvisation changes from time to time -- but also how similar it may be. The 6/7/09 Camden Tweezer could fit right in to 1992-1994, for example. It's very "old school" sounding.

In any event, maybe I am misinterpreting you. Bottom line is that if someone thinks the rating is crap, then disregard it. There will ALWAYS be fans who disagree with any rating. There will ALWAYS be fans who view the show they just saw as better than "average-great." A lot of people just don't want to hear that anyone thinks the show they just saw was "typical" or "average" for a Phish show or, God forbid, below-average (GASP).

Of course, in an age when obtaining copies of shows to listen to is far, far easier for fans than it was when the rating system was created, it's utility is reasonably questioned. Some fans used to use ratings as a guide to whether they should marshall their resources to send blanks and return postage to obtain a copy. But I still find the rating system worth using, and entertaining, if only to inspire people to chime in thoughtfully about the music.
Score: 0
mgouker Reply
mgouker Actually, I'm not sure we are even arguing. In fact, your 2nd paragraph makes my case. I agree with you about the Cal Expo show and think its rating compared to what was given to the 3rd night of Bethel (the Japanese lyrics are worth +.5 by themselves) is readicculus. But then again, I think comparing the two of them already is silly, so I am being drawn into what I don't really want to do.

Hey, we were both at the show in San Francisco the year later. I thought that show was also somewhat below par. I'm sure that a lot of people would disagree - maybe you too? - but compared to many of the shows from that tour that I saw (Atlanta, Gainesville, West Palm, and even Arco Arena) it didn't measure up. Was it bad? Not a bit. Much better than an icepick in the forehead (a true 1). Much better than many shows I've seen of other bands, but a Phish show carries Great Expectations and they went unfulfilled that night (for me at least). I think this is also what happened to the third night of Bethel. People were hoping for a lot more and they got a standard show with a ripping Fluffhead, a well-played Slave that brings tears to the eyes of even dead people, and they came away disappointed. We got a Fluffhead in San Francisco too. I am so fucking spoiled it's nuts. What other band could do this?
Score: 0
mgouker Reply
mgouker Thus spoke Icculus:

But I still find the rating system worth using, and entertaining, if only to inspire people to chime in thoughtfully about the music.

....

^ This. Exactly.

I think the ratings are silly but they do generate discussion. :-)
Score: 1
GnarnianRanger Reply
GnarnianRanger @waxbanks said:
Lessee here: a first-set 46D > 20YL with a strange improvised bridge, roaring Timber, superb Simple, intense Light, and a gratifying Tweeprise to close not the show but the entire Bethel run...the problem isn't that the number is 'incorrect,' it's that it's meaningless.
I'm with you. Plenty of highlights including those you mentioned plus solid versions of Curtis Lowe (a first for me) and Meatstick. IMO the sickness that was OKP> Suzy was enough to elevate this to an above-average ranking. Might be my favorite Suzy jam ever. If there's a better one out there please point me to it.
Score: 0

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