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NoobSkool Lesson One: Phish Show Do's And Don'ts

Posted 4 months ago by Icculus - 48 comments Link: http://phi.sh/b/53a5c1a9

IT is an exciting time! With Summer tour about to begin, one can't help but wonder what Phish will bless us with this time around.

Will this tour's shows feature original set openers and encores, e.g., a set-opening "Fuego" or "Devotion to a Dream" or "Leprechaun?" Or a set-closing "Tweezer -> Waiting All Night" or "555" or "Leprechaun?" Or a 25-minute "Halfway to the Moon -> Leprechaun-> Halfway to the Moon" encore? Will Phish jam-out versions of songs that ne'er have been jammed-out before, like a 10-minute "Sample" or "Lifeboy?" Will we bear witness to improvisation that attains the titanic peaks of the Tahoe "Tweezer"? Will the shows this Summer bliss us out with bust-outs, and will we merrily sing their praises for weeks, even months, to come?

Or will Great Woods open on July 1 with versions of "Chalk Dust Torture" and "Wilson" so plebeian, and so meh, that All Hope Will Be Lost, and living while young and still having fun seem pathetically ironic, and you spill beer on yourself and others as you grab your head, collapse and sob inconsolably?

Who knows, but it's entertaining to think about, and will be far more entertaining to soon experience. And, frankly, I cannot be more grateful that in my 25th year of seeing this band, they're continuing to play well enough and passionately enough that it's worth the time and coin to hear every note, be it LIVE, be it on COUCH, or be it by DOWNLOAD.

And it's in this gracious, and readicculus, spirit that I offer the following list of show-going "Do's and Don'ts" for your consideration, whether you're about to attend your first, your tenth, or your whateverth show:

DO:

  • APPLAUD for the opener, at least while the band gets on stage, and then for the first measure or two of "AC/DC Bag;"
  • CLAP during "Mound" and "Stash" (only at the appropriate times);
  • RUN to the bathroom ideally on the first note, but at least within the first two measures, of "Alaska;"
  • WHISTLE along with Trey during "Guyute;"
  • DANCE without hitting anyone around you (unless your name is "Greg Phelps," in which case you get a free pass for being a rail-riding-flailing antelope for an embarrassingly-long time);
  • SHOUT-OUT the name of a song within its first measure, and smile broadly and wide-eyed at those around you, so they can admire how awesome and clever you are;
  • SCREAM at the top of your lungs during the dramatically-ascending chords in the measure before "BOY!" during "YEM;"
  • STFU during the jam segments of jamming songs, especially "Reba" god damn it;
  • SMILE as much as possible, even during your sixtieth version of "Cavern" or "Rift" (think of how Fish LOVES "Rift"!), and be kind to and considerate of your fellow fans, unless they're drunk, deaf, noob fratboys who blow smoke in the faces of those around them and whose favorite song is "Picture of Nectar" (scorn them-- with extreme prejudice).

DON'T:

  • THROW glowsticks anywhere near the band members, unless you are a jackass;
  • CUT in front of other fans in a bathroom, poster, merch, beer, or other line (unless you want bad karma, and eternal damnation);
  • SCREAM during the quiet acapella tunes, or the serene parts of songs like "Hood" and "Slave;"
  • VOMIT on your fellow fans or anything they own (at least have the decency to vomit on yourself and your friends first);
  • SPILL a fellow fan's beer without immediately apologizing and offering to buy him or her a new one;
  • YELL "Hood" back at the band after Trey sings "Harry" (this asinine practice was started at Red Rocks in '96 in part thanks to yours truly, and I will never forgive myself...or its creator, Darius Zelkha);
  • CRASH the stage, especially if you're a naked man, unless you want everyone to think you're mentally ill;
  • RUN to the bathroom after the first few measures of "Alaska" (you missed your chance, and will just get in everyone's way, and the bathroom line will be too long by the time you get there, loser);
  • POP balloons willfully and with malice, you god damn sociopath;
  • PUSH your way through other fans in an effort to collect and hoard glowsticks (a classic, albeit hilarious, Noob-Wook maneuver);
  • SHOUT-OUT the name of a song that Phish just began playing if someone else beat you to it, UNLESS it is the first time it's been played in 50 or more shows, in which case don't stop shouting-out the song's name until one of your friends grabs you and shakes you and slaps you across the face;
  • YELL the name of a song as it begins when it's an obvious song that everyone around you knows, like "YEM," even during Trey's 1-2,1-2-3-4 count off, noob;
  • SIT or STAND or DANCE in the aisle, unless you're highly skilled at considerately avoiding getting-in-the-way-of your fellow fans, especially those carrying $16 beers;
  • SAY condescending, douchebaggy things that your fellow fans around you can hear, including (in addition to the above remarks) "You are why I don't go to shows anymore," "3.0 is so 3.0," "I miss versions of 'Mike's Song' that are worth hearing more than once," "I can't believe I paid for this shit," "Everything was better pre-hiatus," and "Set was good, but there wasn't the feeling that you had a good chance of catching 'IT,' or that 'IT' could happen at any moment."

Next time, when NoobSkool continues, you'll learn how to identify a "Below Average-Great Show," and how to best articulate to your friends why they're deaf and suck at the Phish.

Future NoobSkool Lessons May Include:

  1. Proper, And Grossly Improper, Showgoing Attire
  2. How To, And How Not To, Use The Bathroom At A Show, Including How To Find It When You're Blind-Drunk
  3. The Differences Between Bowie's Hi-Hat Intro And Maze's Hi-Hat Intro
  4. When To, And When Not To, Applaud After A Painfully-Ordinary Version Of A Song
  5. Communication With Wooks
  6. Finding Your Seat When You're So High You Can't Read Your Ticket, Assuming You Still Even Have Your Ticket, Holy Shit Where's My Ticket
  7. Getting Arrested, And Avoiding Life In Prison
  8. Was That Set Average-Great, Merely Solid, Or Something Else Entirely
  9. How To Carry Four Beers, Several Sausages, Three Waters, A Poster, And Your Ticket Stub (In Order To Show The Aisle Nazi To Let You Get To Your Rightful Seat) At The Same Time, Without Spilling A Beer Or Soiling Your Poster
  10. How To Differentiate Type 2 From Type 1 Jamming, And Vice Versa
  11. Advanced Communication With Wooks
  12. Drug Etiquette, Including What Not To Do With The Joint You Were Just Passed
  13. How To Politely Tell Your Neighbors To STFU During The Jam Segment
  14. Best Places To Pass Out At A Show
  15. Telepathic Communication With Wooks
  16. Recovering From The Ripcord (In Twelve Steps)
  17. Cash Or Trade? Know The Market!
  18. Navigating Shakedown: A Survey Of Merch Options And Prices
  19. The Art Of Dancing Without Touching Anyone Around You Like An Inconsiderate Asshat
  20. To PT Or Not To PT
  21. Ways To Enjoy Yourself During "Wading In The Velvet Sea"
  22. Hotels: Checking In Through Checking Out, With Tips On How Not To Lose Money, Friends
  23. Sitting In Someone Else's Awesome Seat And Getting Away With It
  24. The Seven Types Of Fan, Including Their Diet, Size, Habitat, And Range
  25. A Survey Of North American PhanArt From The 20th Century Through The Present (With Co-Instructor Pete Mason)
  26. Babysitting Your Friends When They're Dosed Beyond All Comprehension
  27. Over-The-Counter Medications That You Should Never Tour Without
  28. Glowstick Handling, Avoiding
  29. Where To Find Your Lost Backpack
  30. Tips For The Designated Driver
  31. Calling Whales: Using Your Pitch Shifter To Make A Jam Sound Atrocious When You Don't Want To Play The Beautiful Melody That Almost Everyone Really Would Prefer To Hear You Play
  32. Lot Food: Steals And Deals
  33. Touring With Diarrhea
  34. Touring With An Asshole
  35. Touring With No Money
  36. Touring With An Asshole With No Money And Diarrhea
  37. "Fuego:" Great Album, or Greatest Album?
  38. ...[see Comments below]

Comments

mintberrycrunch Reply
mintberrycrunch 19. the art of dancing without touching anyone around you like an inconsiderate asshat

just say sorry and i have no worries
Score: 1
PennPhan Reply
"WHISTLE along with Trey during "Guyute;""

You're mean. I've yet to see a Guyute. :-(
Score: 2
NigelTufnel Reply
NigelTufnel Should have added "Woo" to the DON'T section
Score: 13
Choda Reply
Choda Thank you for admitting to that HOOD shout. I hate it. Have always hated it. Have never heard a live Hood without it.

Thank god the sitting during the divided sky pause didn't take hold.
Score: 0
SlavePhan Reply
SlavePhan 39: Stream'd: how to properly set up Mozilla's pop-up blocker to thoroughly enjoy Couch tour.
Score: 2
jwp86 Reply
:9. How not to stub down so many people into one row that no one can even move
Score: 3
PhreeDomRider Reply
PhreeDomRider 15. Telepathic Communication With Wooks

Score: 1
Ohfee Reply
Ohfee #more fee
Score: 0
forbin1 Reply
forbin1 So signs are still ok?
Score: 3
phunkytime Reply
phunkytime 60:Your Use Of Capitalization In Future Lessons Is Impressive

Good write up, definitely getting me excited for tour, I can feel it in the legs. Just lookin for a juicy piece of "Meat" and yes if it comes on i will yell it in excessive excitement until my friend slaps me in the face
Score: 1
Fluffyfluffyhead Reply
Fluffyfluffyhead #13
c'mon people, do we have to spell it out for you?
Shut The Fuck Up

Score: 0
treyfaces Reply
treyfaces Signs are the worst...always in sight lines. i wish people would trust the band to perform a selection of songs they seem fit for each individual show. I'd rather hear what the band wants to play rather than the one obscure song you've been chasing. really.
Score: 1
toophishy Reply
toophishy For number 21, are there any?
Score: 0
dscott Reply
@toophishy said:
For number 21, are there any?
Yes! The top-secret, elusive skill for enjoying said song is: "Be a person who doesn't suck." Anyone can do it! Some just need more practice than others.

As for #31, 7/5/13 has been on repeat play in my car all weekend, and it has been laughing at that nonsense!
Score: 0
dscott Reply
P.S. #28 - Sometimes you handle the glowstick, and sometimes the glowstick handles you. The trick is to surrender to the glow!

Score: 1
chronicintel Reply
#26, I have already offered these services to my best friend and fellow .netter for Chicago Sunday, should be a great night. I am expecting to have his handprint imprinted on my forearm for roughly a week afterwords
Score: 0
JargonX Reply
JargonX But seriously, #3 on that list... What's the difference?
Score: 0
deBebbler Reply
deBebbler This is a long overdue post. I can't believe I didn't submit something similar earlier.

Well, I guess I can believe it, as I am lazy. Nice post OP.
Score: 0
kipmat Reply
kipmat The Glowstick Hoarders
practice space outside Bakersfield, CA - 6/21/14

Count Off*, Type 1-Type Woo, Nugs For Your T-Shirt** > Balls 'n the Hood***, Naked Abandon, Le Leland# -> Get on the Golfcart, You Spill My Beer I Dose Yours -> Drum Circle -> Brown Eyed Girl jam## -> YSMBIDY, Africa###, Pick up the 'Sticks#### -> Naked Abandon reprise

* botched and re-started
** with Six-Up teases
*** chant & vocal jam featured members of Broheim
# Aaron flubbed the composed section, leading to an extended funk jam
## sung by Mickey, lyrics changed in reference to his dog "Spunion"
### Toto cover (first time played), by request, abandoned after 1 verse and 2 choruses
#### with Josh on Shop-Vac (cleaning up incense ashes)
Score: 5
FACTSAREUSELESS Reply
SAY condescending, douchebaggy things that your fellow fans around you can hear, including (in addition to the above remarks) "You are why I don't go to shows anymore," "3.0 is so 3.0," "I miss versions of 'Mike's Song' that are worth hearing more than once," "I can't believe I paid for this shit," "Everything was better pre-hiatus," and "Set was good, but there wasn't the feeling that you had a good chance of catching 'IT,' or that 'IT' could happen at any moment."

Great point.
Best yet......don't blog this shit either as it really doesn't play well in either environment.

BTW I'd rather hear Alaska than most of the Fuego album, so I'll enjoy the elbow room in the venue when it happens.
Score: 0
slickstad Reply
DON'T:
LITTER..noob
Score: 3
senorpabst Reply
If yelling HOOD isn't acceptable why is yelling Wilson allowable?
Score: 0
Ravinus Reply
While I could agree with most of the points, it still comes off as condescending. And, to plug yourself with the Red Rocks Hood was totally douchebaggery. Maybe that's the joke in this post? Let people have fun and enjoy themselves. It's basic manners you're looking for, but to expect someone to know how YOU want them to act at a phish show is pompous.
Score: 1
2ndSetSnobsSuck Reply
Please do not ever "woo" during the stop and start section of Vultures. That happened to us in Worcester and it was horrible.
Score: 5
mustard_tiger Reply
mustard_tiger ^^^ ugh I know. My first vultures too. Bummer. Still really enjoyed it.

Also enjoyed reading this regardless of any subtle dbaggery. We're all dbags in sheep's clothing.
Score: 1
tweezer Phish.net Staff Reply
tweezer One more for the "Do" list: Always bring your sense of humor when reading and commenting on the phish.net blog.
Score: 10
Doctor_Smarty Phish.net Staff Reply
Doctor_Smarty #42 - Drunk tackling drills
Score: 2
phan83 Reply
phan83 I am definitely OK with putting the 'woo' to bed, despite what it may read in my profile description.

But 'hood'? Not so sure...

Might as well join in if everyone else is going to do it.

Read the book? What book? Where? Ohh you mean THAT book...

Ohhh...
Score: 0
fluff_hen Reply
fluff_hen Thank you for not picking on the WOO @Icculus! I was cringing waiting for it, but no! We are free to WOO!
Score: 0
YoureAHosemaster Reply
@JargonX said:
But seriously, #3 on that list... What's the difference?

Open hat on Bowie, closed hat on Maze. Also, on Maze there is never any variation on the beat being played on the hat.
Score: 2
sethadam1 Phish.net Staff Reply
sethadam1 What the fuuuuuu? I love that song A Picture of Nectar!
Score: 2
TheEmu Phish.net Staff Reply
TheEmu I was able to recognize this as humor because he spelled School with a k.

Brilliant!
Score: 5
PhanArt Reply
PhanArt "A Survey Of North American PhanArt From The 20th Century Through The Present (With Co-Instructor Pete Mason)"

#honored
Score: 1
leucadiaMike Reply
How 'bout.......

DO: Offer a stranger to partake in a bowl! Especially if the head next to you really, obvioulsy, needs it! (The karma will come back stronger, trust!!)
Score: 0
Fooshnik Reply
Fooshnik Confession - I vomited on fellow phans at Red Rocks 96 during Harry Hood

seemingly without incident or recourse.

learned my lesson - please accept my apologies :)

Score: 0
mmbyem Reply
#29 How to not forget or remember to pick up your backpack you had to stash outside the gate!

Had no idea on Hood Distastes or IT's origin. Think I'll be chanting with the n00bs on this one?
and Glowstick throwers, especially those in HOOD..don't blow your load too early!

Have fun I know I will!
Score: 0
2ndSetSnobsSuck Reply
Also please save the yelling/cheering at the top of your lungs for the END of the song. Not to be confused with the awesome face-melting peak of the jam DURING the song. At MSG this past run I actually witnessed a fellow fan politely ask a aisle-standing two-beer-holding "fan" to please keep it down. It went over well and actually worked. After the seatless fan went to the bathroom the guy who was a couple rows up from me said he felt a little guilty, but I assured him, he did us all a favor. I thanked him profusely and told him I was about to do the same thing. When dealing with the beer crowd, you for sure have to put on the kid gloves, for they are offended quite easily.
Score: 2
IWasTheWalrus Reply
100) How about oldskools telling the younger crowd how much better it was "back in the day". Blah blah blah...

Ok brah, for one, nobody cares how hard to raged it back in 96.
Two, I am just thankful that I am getting the opportunity to see them now than never. Stop hating. Welcome all phans.
Score: 0
TheEmu Phish.net Staff Reply
TheEmu @IWasTheWalrus said:
100) How about oldskools telling the younger crowd how much better it was "back in the day". Blah blah blah...

Ok brah, for one, nobody cares how hard to raged it back in 96.
Two, I am just thankful that I am getting the opportunity to see them now than never. Stop hating. Welcome all phans.
'96 sucked.
Score: 2
J_D_G Phish.net Staff Reply
J_D_G This post is hilarious. Thank you @icculus

Someone asked why it's "OK" to chant in Wilson but not Hood. Excellent question! As with a lot of the crowd participation stuff, I think a lot of people's cut off is: things that existed when they started seeing shows are good, things that started later are irredeemable n00bish and awful. There are some who have a stick-up about the clap in Stash, which I find baffling—perhaps because that clap was firmly ensconced when I started seeing the band, and seems as legit as could be.

But on a matter of taste, the Hood chant has just seemed stupid and antithetical to the mood of the song to many of us who saw it develop and watched in horror as it took on. I mean, in that song, as my friend Glide once put it, do you really want to be thrusting your fist in the air and shouting? It always felt like something that some fans forced onto the song, more than a decade into its existence, and I've never seen a glimmer of indication from any band member that they're into it whatsoever.

Compare that with the Wilson chant...check out the well-circulated video from 12/30/94, where Trey is clearly delighted by the chant and egging the crowd on. In interviews around A Live One (which used that version) he also said he had the chant turned up as loud in the mix as would make sense.

BUT, if we use that standard, what about the dreaded WOO? Trey clearly has been egging those on, and many of us feel casual WOOing is the end of civilization. Why? Because when it happened at Tahoe (an event I was not present for, btw), it was a miraculous, spontaneous, in-the-moment event that was a special, shared experience marking a uniquely special jam. Throwing them in all over the place (such as in composed versions of songs like Reba!) just dilutes that and makes it a joke.

So in the end, is it all a matter of taste? I think so. And while some of the "rules" in this post are actually taken seriously as proper etiquette—things like talking during the music—I do hope we all understand that even the most intensely held view about something like the Hood chant or WOOing really just comes down to personal taste.
Whereas with Wilson, loo
Score: 3
thinktankted Reply
thinktankted Yeah, I don't get the all h8 for Alaska...a lot of phans don't seem to like KDF either...are they too lyrically accessible or something?
Score: 0
FreeGhost82 Reply
@NigelTufnel said:
Should have added "Woo" to the DON'T section
. The band started it....

I would LOVE to see a follow up for esp #1, 12, 17, 18, 23, 24 (there's 7?) , 27, and 35!
Score: 0
FreeGhost82 Reply
@forbin1 said:
So signs are still ok?
We need a rule on this one.
Score: 0
Soultrain Reply
Hahahaha Charlie!!! Great post. :) laughed my ass off.
Score: 0
pumaa7 Reply
pumaa7 STFU during the jam segments of jamming songs, especially "Reba" god damn it

-please
Score: 0
lysergic Reply
lysergic Color me noobish but I love the "Hood" reply. It is fun and harmless and unites the crowd. It's not a fist pump, it's simple call and response interaction. It is one element of what I love about Phish shows: the connection between audience and band.
Score: 0

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