What a roller-coaster ride Fall 2014 has been so far! As many of you noted in your comments to my Eugene precap, the tour opener was (NOT) all about my high expectations and I completely assumed the role of Sisyphus pushing that particular boulder to the top of my stack of preconceived notions for the always portentous first night. Unlike the band on such evenings, I was not a bag of nerves, I was at home at the Matt Knight Arena in the warm embrace of friends old and new. As expected, and much like that exhilarating rush of the first plummet over the edge of the log flume, the Eugene show was fantastic, made a big splash, and got the seat of my pants wet. No, they didn’t play everything I had forecasted, and I didn’t in truth expect them to do that. I expected a great show and that is exactly what we got. Couldn’t be happier with the song selection and still can’t get “Plasma” out of my head.
Photo by @ebyron
Gordon Biersch Brewery Restaurant on Paradise Road in Las Vegas will be raising funds to benefit The Mockingbird Foundation, the non-profit whose volunteers help run this site, from October 30 through November 2, about two miles from the MGM Grand where Phish is playing three shows on 10/31, 11/1 and 11/2. Gordon Biersch has brewed a special beer dubbed the "Dubbel Sample in a Jar," which is a "complex, malty ale with hints of spice and licorice, and a balancing hoppiness on the finish," that will be served in a mason jar with the Gordon Biersch and Mockingbird Foundation logos on it.
Soundcheck: Let Me Lie, Beauty of My Dreams, Party Time
Set 1: Soul Shakedown Party, The Wedge, Undermind, Horn > Ya Mar, Jesus Just Left Chicago, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Winterqueen > My Friend, My Friend, Split Open and Melt, Walls of the Cave
Set 2: Drowned > Theme From the Bottom -> Steam > Waves > Twenty Years Later > Scent of a Mule, Also Sprach Zarathustra > Mike's Song > Runaway Jim > Weekapaug Groove
Encore: The Horse > Silent in the Morning > Run Like an Antelope
Notes: This show was webcast via LivePhish. Scent of a Mule featured Fish on Marimba Lumina and Mike playing his fight bell with drumsticks. Weekapaug contained Runaway Jim and 2001 teases. Antelope contained Soul Shakedown quotes and teases.
Walk the narrow streets of Amsterdam, and it is hard to travel very far before seeing some tribute to Bob Marley
. Given the obvious admiration members of Phish have demonstrated toward Bob Marley it was no great surprise for them to debut a Marley cover during their second ever visit to Amsterdam. “Soul Shakedown Party” opened Phish’s appearance at Amsterdam’s historic Paradiso
. After one more appearance on 2/20/97
in Milan, Italy, the song then went back into mothballs, gone and seemingly forgotten before even one performance on American soil....
Before we get into the play-by-play of Tuesday night’s show, a quick editorial comment. You can say what you want about factors that would drive attendance at these shows down: a smaller fan base on the West Coast, a Tuesday night gig, and the difficulties of getting through Los Angeles traffic for a 6pm start. Phish should be able to fill a 4,500 seat venue, regardless. Instead, under-face tickets were said to be plentiful, and as of this writing you can score great seats for tonight’s “sold-out performance” on Ticketmaster. Of course I’m not breaking any news here, but the culture of ticket speculation is obviously out of hand and keeping away fans who would otherwise attend if the process were more straightforward. But enough of that. On with the Phish.
What a beautiful venue! From my seat on the couch (well, recliner) 2,500 miles away, the Santa Barbara Bowl looked warm and intimate, and I would have loved to have been there to score some of those last minute seats. On top of a smoldering orange sunset and the beckoning wonder of the Pacific Ocean, the band continues to play with a joyful synergy that makes the current era one of my favorites in Phish history. For those of you fortunate enough to have been there last night, my meager words will doubtless be but a distorted reflection of the experience. But I’m going to write them anyway.
© Phish From the Road
by David “Zzyzx” Steinberg
Part 1: A Brief History of Being a Phish Fan in Seattle
In the early 90s, I was living in southern New Mexico attending graduate school. The conservative town was a bad fit for me, so I was looking for an escape. The chilly mist of the Pacific Northwest seemed to be about as far of an escape from the fiery Mesilla Valley desert, so cars were loaded, apartments were found, and jobs were located. If there was one thing I was worried about, it was not the lack of Phish. The year before I moved, Phish played two northwest runs. 1995 had one in October. We were able to give thanks in 1996 with a Tofurkey Eve Key Arena show. No, we weren’t receiving the dozens of shows that a New Yorker gets, but it wasn’t bad at all for being tucked away in the northwest corner of the country.
I’ve quite deservedly earned the reputation of someone who complains a lot about the lack of Phish shows in Oregon. Going beyond my typical “Phish last played Oregon in 1999” whine, allow me to provide you some perspective as to why exactly this fact is so particularly unfathomable whilst pre-capping the band’s triumphant return to the Beaver State and their first annual visit to the Matthew Knight Arena. You read that right… this is a PRECAP of the Eugene show.
Because there are a limited number of us in the Pacific Northwest, there is no official webcast that will allow one of my east coast colleagues to do a couch tour recap, and there is a high likelihood that I will be unable to go to the show tonight, rage Eugene afterwards, drive to Seattle for the next show at the Key Arena, AND write a recap… I am going to provide a forecast for tonight’s gig based on a historical analysis of what came before. We can discuss your displeasure for this approach and/or how chillingly accurate (I am not crazy) my prognostication was in the comments below. But first… let’s get back to that whole perspective on the lack of Phish in the Pacific Northwest thing I mentioned above.
Matthew Knight Arena
The summer 1997 Europe tour
was the spawning ground of the Phishy funk, which was the mind-eating great white shark that ate the remainder of the 90s. During 1997, “Ghost” epitomized the constantly evolving psychotronic-aquadisco sound of the next millennium that appears to have arrived a few years early (or is it 20 years too late?). The ultrasound of the then unborn “Ghost” can be heard in the segue from “Wolfman’s Brother
” to “Jesus Just Left Chicago
” on the album Slip, Stitch, and Pass
With a great burden weighing on our hearts, we would like to share that our community lost two beautiful people when Larry and Denise Bressler were slain in their Pasadena, CA, home yesterday. While the circumstances are gruesome and not entirely known, we do know that Larry and Denise had taken in a family member who had fallen on hard times and was trying to right his course. This kind of generosity and kindness surprised no one who knew them, but it cost them an unthinkable price.
The pubescent faces of many prairies of the American west are inflicted with a curious pimple-like geomorphic feature called Mima Mounds
. The origin of these mounds, which are typically about seven feet high and several dozen feet across, is a hotly contested issue. Explanations for their existence range from the burrows of giant prehistoric pocket gophers to seismically coalesced piles of loose surface sediments. These mounds are fairly uniform in size and shape and few if any are markedly different from their pimply peers. The same can be said for the Phish song “Mound,” though any relationship between the song and the Mima Mound is purely coincidental. “Mound” was written by Mike Gordon as a brain-freeing exercise. The result of this exercise is arguably the most poetic of his compositions, telling the tale of an old man suffering the grand rewind of his life as he faces death and his own burial mound....
The name with which this blistering rocker ultimately became adorned is a misnomer on two counts. Apparently “First Tube” owes its title to the belief that it was the first song Trey performed with the 8-Foot Fluorescent Tubes
at Higher Ground
. If the version released on Farmhouse
is any indication of the original composition of the tune, then it was in fact preceded at the Higher Ground show by a brief instrumental prelude. Furthermore, the 8-Foot Fluorescent Tubes version actually featured lyrics of a sort – lyrics, which further compound the misidentification of the song. Following some introductory banshee
-like wails from Heloise Williams
(formerly of viperHouse), the phrase “Free Thought” is repeated incessantly over the wailing combo of Anastasio, Lawton
, and Markellis
. “Free Thought” (a.k.a. “Mozambique
") being the title of another TAB
song that also ultimately made it into the Phish repertoire....
With the announcement of Phish's return to Miami for this year's NYE run -- which will mark the fourth time they have celebrated the New Year in the Sunshine State (third time in Miami) -- we thought we'd ask you about your favorite Florida Phish show. While there are some obvious front runners (one brought to mind by the recent leak of a certain video . . . ), there are other contenders that shouldn't be hastily overlooked. So share with us your thoughts. Participate. Rank.
"What's the Use?", the majestic gravitational centerpiece of The Siket Disc
, is a lush soaring spacescape of digital effects and electronic loops set to an ominously dark and ponderous bass line. It echoes the crush of the singularity of matter and energy at the core of a gently spiraling galaxy of reason as viewed by a hesitant psychonaut during those first hesitant steps across the icy surface of Jupiter’
s moon Europa
. With the sound of orbiting gravity drive craft whirring overhead the psychonaut chips through the thick layer of ice revealing an ocean of liquid oxygen beneath the surface. The sight of the fluorescent glow-Phish hurtling through the roiling mass of thick air beneath the icy crust inspires pure joy and longing in the heart of all who see them. After taking one last look at the galaxy of reason spiraling overhead the psychonaut leaps once more into the icy abyss of infinite love and greets the inherent death of self with a smile....
Whether you occupy the corner office on the upper floor of your corporate tower, a windowless cubicle in the tomb-like tilt-up at the downtrodden end of the industrial park, the cashier's station at the local supermarket, or a stage in front of thousands of adoring fans... you probably have grown weary of your place in our wage slave society at one time or another. This is not where/what/who we planned to be when we grew up. Somewhere along the path to our personal "American Dream" the plan has become faulty. We feel trapped, uninspired, bereft of joy, empty, and alone. However, thanks to the wonders of the Internets, e-mail, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, we no longer have to suffer alone. With a few keystrokes we can share our pain with everybody. Such a situation is the origin of "Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan." ...
[Editor's Note: The staff here at phish.net was batting around the abundant merits of this summer's marquee jams, and thought we'd share our thoughts with you. Click through and read about the Randall's "Chalk Dust," the Dick's "Simple," and lots, lots more. This overview is not meant to be comprehensive; if your favorite jam isn't listed, it wasn't a slight. By all means please feel free to discuss your favorites in the comments. These jams are meticulously and painstakingly ranked... by date, ascending. -CB]
“Harry Hood” – 7/1/14, Mansfield, MA (Parker Harrington)
Tour openers are what Christmas mornings used to be for me as a kid: Tons of anticipation that builds, and builds. Regardless of what gifts Santa left under the tree, you were always around family and loved ones and the day provided fantastic memories. I’ve seen several dozen Phish tour openers over the years and they’ve been packed with epic jams, monster versions of classics, top shelf moments of the entire tour and plenty of Phish debuts. Of course, a shift in style or a glimpse into the future is often evident after long breaks and the advent of a new tour as well.
Walking into Great Woods, in Mansfield, MA on July 1st it was fun thinking about all the shows I had seen there as well as trying to guess what type of opener it would be? Shaking off the rust is always part of it but I think, that too, is part of the fun. But would there be more debuts? With the Fuego tunes looming for heavy rotation, that was unlikely. So I was indeed hoping for a tour highlight or two and a masterful take on a Phish classic staple. The only question left in my mind was just which song would it be?
"Simple" was first written and recorded by Mike Gordon
in a four-track medium in the Doo-wop
style and introduced to the band during the studio sessions for Hoist
. This version reflected the country and bluegrass writing style of many previous Gordon compositions. The song was left off of the album and the band showed hesitation in performing it live....
Page sings this sprightly little ditty, which was played eight times in fall 1989
, only to subsequently disappear from the Phish universe. It reflects the band’s jazzier leanings back in the Burlington days. The lyrics tell a story which, if not a straight transcription of a dream, is in any case dreamlike. The first-person narrator recounts his experiences running though a field, falling into a hole, and experiencing a harrowing plunge into the depths of the crevice. He somehow escapes, though it is only a momentary reprieve before he repeats his mistake, perhaps in the midst of an impenetrable cycle. The song’s name was apparently undetermined as late as 10/26/89, when Trey told the audience to “call it what you will,” followed by the joke that it was indeed called “What You Will.”...
Trey's band will play a show at the Brooklyn Bowl on August 17 that
will be taped by PBS for the series, "Front and
Center." Tickets go on sale on August 8 at 10:00 a.m.
eastern. For more information, go
The Mockingbird Foundation and Phish.net are pleased and excited to be
hosting our 3rd annual meet-up during the Saratoga Performing Arts
We have reserved the Orenda
Pavilion in Saratoga Springs State Park for Saturday, July 5. This
pavilion is conveniently located adjacent to the main venue lot (The East
Lot) off Route 50. Check out this Map - the pin for
"Geyser Loop Road" is the Orenda lot and pavilion.
Attendees can either enter the park (fee is $8 per car) and navigate
to the pavilion, or park in the main lots, and walk a short path which runs
perpindicular from the back of the East Lot to the paved Orenda parking
lot, and will be marked with a sign.
We should have
coals going from early afternoon through doors, so bring something to
grill, and there is plenty of room for all sorts of entertainment and
recreation. More complete details about the facilities, etc., are
available in the forum
Please stop by and say hi to some old
friends and new, or make an afternoon of it! (And grab a fuego-mas
commemorative laminate/nametag while you're at