Red Light is shooting itself in the foot by overscheduling the northeast and ignoring its fanbase in the south and west ... If I had to pick one first-set closer to see at every show, I would choose "David Bowie" ... Let's be honest, gang, the majority of the bustout covers during summer '98 were not well rehearsed ... My favorite guest appearance at a Phish show would have to be Baby Gramps on 8/26/93 ... Fishman played better in the suit ... The art for sale in the lots, particularly the beadwork, has never been better ...
The narrations in "Forbin/Mockingbird" are always great, but for my money, nothing beats the narration during "Icculus."
I was never comfortable with the rape imagery in "Jennifer Dances" ... Maybe I'm crazy, but Vladimir Putin is a man I would trust to chaperone my daughter ... Pound for pound, no Phish song has delivered as consistently across all eras as "Bathtub Gin" ... Speaking of "Bathtub Gin," although I concede the Ventura "Gin" was a tremendous show opener, the Riverport "Gin" a week later was without question the best show opener of all time ... Riverport Ampitheater was the St. Louis-area venue where they arrested Axl Rose for assaulting a security guard ... "Waste" is a horrible lyric, but "Friday" is perhaps the single worst lyric in the history of music ... Personally, I never clap during "Stash." I find it demeaning ... The best thing Phish ever did was losing showboat percussionist Marc Daubert ...
Many Americans first grew to love Phish through the novel Run Like an Antelope ... Have you noticed that, in horror films, where there's a hippie character, he generally dies? ... Mike Gordon has tremendous calves ... I cannot be held responsible for my actions if I hear another "Loving Cup" encore ... I am fairly certain the cheesesteak I enjoyed after the third show at Bethel Woods contained neither cheese nor steak ...
Somebody needs to tell the kids sucking balloons after shows, it's just not smart, gang ... The most courteous staff I have ever dealt with at any venue were the fine people at Alpine Valley Music Center in East Troy, Wisconsin ... If you go behind the 200 section Fishman side in Alpharetta, they have a dog track with all the amenities ... The people who feel "Tweezer" peaked in 1994 and 1995 are wrong; I believe "Tweezer" has yet to peak ... The men's basketball team at Goddard College is shockingly bad ... I'm concerned that keyboard player Page McConnell is going bald.
Larry King is a retired broadcasting legend who lives in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area. He has seen 133 Phish shows since his first show at the Pickle Barrel in Killington, VT on 2/7/91. His favorite jam is the GSAC Drowned -> Rock & Roll, just like yours should be. He enjoys smoked whitefish with capers and regular, vigorous prostate massage.
This recap was a collaboration between @pzerbo and @lumpblockclod.
Phish closed out yet another successful tour at the UIC Pavilion tonight that has seen visits to an outstanding and diverse set of venues and witnessed a solid dose of innovative and thrilling jams. From the awe-inspiring natural majesty of the Gorge, to the shining spectacle of Phish under CK’s light’s at the Hollywood Bowl, to the blissfully peculiar hybrid of Vegas and Telluride that was Tahoe, and the history-drenched over-sized party of Outside Lands in Golden Gate Park, the tour remarkably gained yet more steam as it went indoors to conclude in Chicago. The quality of performances in Chi-town have caused even the most JadedVet™ to stand and applaud, with gloriously extended improvisation (“Waves” -> “Undermind” on 8/15 and “Down with Disease” on 8/16), debuts (“Babylon Baby”), rarities (“Let it Loose”), extended encores on both of the first two nights and all-around solid play. Heading into the final show of the leg, expectations ran high and, as always, anything was possible. Let’s dim the lights.
Some people hold specific venues in high regard because of past performances. I think it's fair to say that UIC Pavilion is one of those venues. A quaint and decidedly log-jammed sweat lodge is just the kind of place that good Phish shows happen. After two nights here, it should be safe to assume that the public's hopes and dreams for this run are being met.
In an absolutely entertaining evening, Phish put together a show that was light on run-of-the-mill repeats, heavy on a mix of songs you haven't heard in a while, and jams you won't soon forget.
Two new Trey shows have just been added. Announced on Trey's and Phish's facebook pages, TAB will now also be playing at the Thomas Wolfe Auditorium in Asheville, NC on October 6 and the House of Blues in Myrtle Beach, SC the following night. There will be a pre-sale beginning Friday at 10 AM (EDT) at http://treytickets.rlc.net .
Perhaps inspired by the nearby ‘L’ train, Phish opened the first of three nights at the relatively intimate UIC Pavilion with a solid version of “Back on the Train.” A standard version of “Rift” followed. Keeping with recent custom, the song-oriented first set continued with a jaunty “Guelah Papyrus” and the more infrequently played “Scent of a Mule.” “Jesus Just Left Chicago” arrived as expected to satisfy the local crowd and as usual Page brought his best Texas hillbilly. Up to this point, the set mostly comes off as workman-like: solid and fun, driving straight down the middle of the fairway.
One of Phish.net's most prolific reviewers, W H @waxbanks, has written an insightful piece on his blog (blog.waxbanks.net) comparing the music of the Grateful Dead to that of Phish. He sees them as polar opposites with Phish's music being built around order (or structure) and the Dead's being built around disorder.
With his permission, we are re-blogging his piece on the Phish.net site. p.s. If you're a Dead fan, you may well be interested in his recent piece on tribute bands, particularly Furthur, and I found my self shaking my head in agreement with @waxbank's take on Obama taboot. Good stuff!
Without further ado:
"The home state of Phish's improvisatory music is order (or structure). They depart productively from it, and play against it, entering states of tense, nervewracking disorder. But they always want to resolve, to cohere. Their improvisatory structures (like the two chords of the 'Bowie' jam, with their many modal suggestions) are centers of gravity; that's why they can swing wildly away from them and return surefooted, time after time. Their improvisations are famously architectural and coherent, as are Trey Anastasio's unique full-band written arrangements. The flip side of this strength-in-order is that their experiments in purely Free jamming have rarely been wholly successful, though they've gotten much better at it over the last ~30 years. And for a long time they were afraid to be emotionally wild, preferring intellectual experimentation - at some cost to the overall musical vibe."
If it's Monday, it must be time for another Mystery Jam. As usual, we will be playing for an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. The rules haven't changed: you need to correctly identify the song and the date to win. Post your guess in the comments. One guess per person per day (with the second “day” starting after I post the hint). The hint will come on Tuesday and the answer will be posted on Wednesday. Good luck...
Tuesday Hint: Oops.
Wednesday Answer: Congrats to RebeldyNugs for ID'ing the 8/15/93 "Stash." I believe that is Rebeldy's League leading 6th MJ victory. The Blog bows in awe. See everyone Monday with #64...
Phish's festival in Coventry, Vermont, took place seven years ago. The shows were billed as Phish's final shows. They were enormously emotional for a host of reasons, particularly because many fans were turned away, and others had to hike miles upon miles simply to reach the grievously muddy grounds. Several years ago, during the "breakup," and a few years after Coventry, I wrote an essay about the positive aspects of the shows at Coventry. I did so because I felt I owed it both to Phish, and to myself, to find a way to view Coventry in a positive light. If you care to read part of what I wrote back then, and perhaps to rethink Coventry yourself ...