I realized yesterday, that I probably haven't listened to Phish in a month. That is, actively listening, thinking about Phish's music. Then I got to thinking… have I listened to Phish this year? Have I distanced myself from the music purposefully? Do I not like Phish anymore? I mean, shit, I don't think I'm gonna go to any shows this summer. And I'm kinda ok with that. So what gives?
Blog Entries by "ericwyman"
Some days you get just end up neck deep in it. I knew I was in for trouble when I woke up incredibly hungry and willingly broke my morning breakfast routine and schedule for immediate satisfaction. Fast forward to lunch and a (luckily) damage-free fender bender at the Traffic Circle Satan himself would apologize for and I'm writing off today. Arriving back at my desk, I need to take the edge off, so in go the headphones. Now normally, I'd search for a show to listen to, but inevitably a random show will only add to the day's frustration. That's it! I'm opening Spotify and putting on A Live One.
And then everything changed...
In case you missed it, Phish.net user @LawnMemo has taken on the sizeable task of reviewing each and every ghost, in order, at his new project site "The Daily Ghost". Clearly a man who believes in showing this endeavour the utmost attention, Myke reached out to Brad Sands for some additional info on the unofficial first performance of "Ghost" at his house on June 6, 1997. Brad had this to add about how that gig came about...
Before the band was to head off to Europe they decided to
play a warmup “show” on the back porch at my house
where Pete Carini lived also. There was probably about 100
people there, (probably about 20 dogs) and most decided to
camp overnight. The band actually played 2 sets that night,
both of them being the same set. The tape that circulates is
the second of these 2 sets.
You'll also want to check out the full review for a nice cautionary tale from Brad on the dangers of actually having Phish play your backyard.
On September 4, 2011, Phish played a show in Commerce City, CO at Dick's Sporting Goods Park. The final show of their summer tour was immediately lauded by fans for its outstanding merits. It was simply, a great show. But a very tiny event on that evening lead to a yearlong battle where friendships were tested as two sides of a heated argument began. Did Phish tease The Modern Lovers "Roadrunner" during a jam in "Piper?"
During the show there were numerous tweets leaving the venue alluding to this connection. In the following days, the Phish.net working group team debated the merits of this claim in a manner likened only to hyenas fighting over fresh kill. On one side, the defense, a group of individuals who argued that the similarity of the jam so obviously harkened back to the main riff in "Roadrunner" that it would be foolish to ignore the similarity in riff. On the other side, the prosecution, who surmised that the two pieces of music were in no way similar when you compared the melody and rhythm. According to my gmail archive, I have no less than 58 threads containing the term roadrunner. That basically amounts to someone bringing it up more than once a week. Needless to say, it was kind of a big deal, and even when someone brought it up as a joke, it really wasn't a joke.
Fast forward to this weekend in San Francisco. Several people tweeted about and directly emailed the setlist team about a Mumford and Sons tease in Sunday night's "Crosseyed and Painless". Like salt in an unhealed wound the Dick's "Piper" came charging back in, this time with the prosecution presenting the audio included above as evidence. And after much deliberation, under the cover of darkness, the "Roadrunner" tease was removed.
So why was it removed? In simple terms, because the majority of people in the discussion felt that it didn't belong. That's not to say that it doesn't exist (it doesn't but you can believe whatever you choose) but rather that we're not willing to put it in print. Hundreds if not thousands of potential teases are out there, but as outsiders we will never be able to measure the intent of the band. In most cases of these obscure teases, I believe that the band has simply played something in the moment that is resoundingly similar to another piece of music, by accident. There are certainly numerous teases listed in the setlist file that fall into this category as well. From an editorial sense all we can do is review people's "ideas" and the rate them based on a comparison with the original cited material. Sometimes it's obvious, most times it's not. The other problem is that once someone plants the seed in your head, the brain is conditioned to expect it and often times leads you to hearing something that may not be there.
But in the end, the activity is pretty fun and many people enjoy it. That's not going to change. This is one of those special little wrinkles that make Phish so fabulous. We spent a year (collectively) arguing one tiny little point, so insignificant that 99% of people never knew it existed, smarter individuals might say this is a symptom of insanity. So, goodbye Roadrunner tease, you had a great run. Don't let the door hit you as you leave.
We take a decent amount of heat, here at "Ye Olde Phish Blog," for our unbridled honesty when it comes to providing opinions on a night's worth of music. Our detractors usually are most offended by our inability to see the forest for the trees and levy spurs usually beginning and ending with some form of "fuck you jaded vet." But here's the thing. Rarely, if ever, do I feel our opinions venture into the unfair or unwarranted categories. Nearly every criticism you'll read comes from this place of undying love and the hope that someday we'll all have that personal pinnacle of a show experience eclipsed. It's greed, plain and simple. Before the popularity of twitter and blogging, the tapers took all this shit. The most stalworth of reviewers, they saw the most shows and had the greatest of opinions. These days tapers don't even get spoken of (which is a shame...go download an AUD of this show right now) and bloggers take all the heat. Putting your opinion out there for everyone to consume is dangerous and not for the meek.
But a funny thing happened at the beach/water-treatment-plant last night. Phish played the show that everyone who ever made some bullshit claim about how they picked the wrong song or fucked up the composed part has been waiting for. They played a near perfect show. Period.
With the conclusion of Phish’s midwest swing, the heat will certainly be spoken about for years to come. In more than one way, even. As temperatures grew towards the century mark, so did the band’s own brand of fire.
When the band hit the stage on Sunday evening the typical tradition of discussing what to play first commenced, with the island infused rhythms of Bob Marley’s “Soul Shakedown Party” setting stage for the evening. Important to note though was what Trey and Mike both fiddled with during the preamble. If you listen back to the Live Phish recording, at 0:23 you can clearly hear Trey begin playing “Chalk Dust Torture Reprise” with Mike following suit. Definitely a fun trivia fact (h/t @zzyzx) and something to throw on to the rarities wish list. Speaking of rarities, for the fourth show in a row, another track off the Velvet Underground’s Loaded found its way into the set. Driven by Fish’s vocal stylings the country rock number "Lonesome Cowboy Bill" is highlighted by a fancy bit of guitar work from Trey, that begs for even more exploration. But the majority of the first set is marked not by high improvisation, rather with the outstanding technical play that has become much more prevalent over the recent week as the set bounces between styles that are masterfully executed.
Thursday night Phish took the stage at Madison Square Garden for the second of four shows to close out 2011. After a first night where most people had very warm reviews, the second night seems to be a bit more puzzling. After a series of passionate emails among staff here at Phish.net last night fits somewhere comfortably between "amazing" and "frustrating." I mean, we certainly used both words with great frequency but upon further review it's hard to pick which end of the level has more weight. I can probably name more "good" moments than "bad" but for some reason I'm left feeling a bit conflicted. Why is that?
The submissions have been tallied and we are pleased to announce the results of our Super Mystery Jam!
This was a very tall order using some obscure tracks so everyone who answered really had to put in some work. In all the entries were TWO people who got the Mystery Jam 100% correct...
Congratulations to @RabeldyNugs and @pauly7917 who identified all 5 songs and all 5 dates
Split Open and Melt - 1994/06/21
Tweezer - 1992/12/12
David Bowie - 1994/12/02
Antelope - 1994/05/16
- Weekapaug - 1993/03/27
Amazing ears on these users. They have a special gift.
More information including the random draw winner after the jump
Sunday, November 23, 1997
After the truly amazing show in Hampton on the 22nd, my friends and I spent the night on Coliseum Drive and then did what it seems like most people I encounter did: we drove home. In my case, it was north back to UConn. The correct move was to drive south. Throw caution to the wind, turn a short pre-thanksgiving week at school into an extended vacation. We fucked up. Seriously, screw you conscience. We missed a great show, the three or four times we stopped for Waffle House and Denny’s is hardly a consolation now.
[Over the next three days we’ll look back on each of the shows included in the new Hampton/Winston-Salem ‘97 box set on the respective 14th anniversaries. Next up: Saturday, November 22, 1997, Hampton Coliseum.]
Saturday, November 22, 1997
Following Friday’s show, we had an interesting evening at the Days Inn. Our string of rooms were on the ground floor and opened to the parking lot. We settled into our spaces, enjoying a few late night beers and having a bit of fun. I remember it was when I found a spot to rest my head that some sketchy tour kid approached Tim who was hanging outside the door. The kid spied a cooler of our beer and was very interested in acquiring one. One in particular, the much sought after “Dank Sammy Smith.” Now remember we have a keg of Long Trail in our trunk, beer supply was not an issue, but Tim was dead set against this kid getting what he wanted. When met with resistance the kid resorted to a little trade proposal in the form of microdots. Now, I’m pretty sure he had a roll of those sugar dot candies because there was no amount he was unwilling to part with. The beer, however, was not for trade. We all began to stir from our rooms just to see what these things were or were not worth. Needless to say no transaction was completed, but at one point I think we could have procured an actual automobile with what he seemed to be offering. To this day, we laugh about The Microdot Exchange on Coliseum Drive.
We spent our day relaxing, definitely with a trip to Waffle House. Those poor waitresses, they definitely weren’t prepared for that morning. The Waffle House was more Halfway House than anything else. But there’s just something so endearing about hearing exasperation in a southern accent. We made our way back to the lot and prepared for showtime.