Friday 07/19/2019 by Parker Harrington (tmwsiy)

RUBY WAVES

In an improvisational masterclass, Phish amazed the crowd on 7/14/19 with not only the definitive version of the song to date, but one of the most breathtaking and stunning performances since the band reunited in 2009. While some “best versions” of Phish songs enjoy the “where-performed/song” nomenclature among fans like “Tahoe Tweezer”, “Went Gin”, “Boise Bag” or “Fukuoka Twist”, time will tell but it is entirely possible this epic Sunday night performance in Alpine Valley will simply be remembered as “The Ruby Waves”.    But how did the band get there?   Like many songs in the live Phish repertoire, “Ruby Waves” started out in one of Trey Anastastio’s side projects. Some Trey songs have been quick to leap into the Phish catalog after being performed by Trey first - like “Sand” and “First Tube” which took the circuitous route from “8 Foot Flourescent Tubes” to “TAB” and then to Phish the very following year from the initial debut. Likewise, “Ruby Waves” had another pit-stop with “Ghosts of the Forest” after its debut with Trey Anastasio Band. However, this time it was not such a quick jump to Phish, as the song debuted eleven years earlier on 10/19/08 at the Higher Ground in Burlington, Vermont. Sandwiched between “Windora Bug” and “Moesha” late in the second set, “Ruby Waves” sounded like a quintessential Anastasio song destined for the Phish treatment; syrupy lyrics with a seemingly obvious launching point for a jam vehicle. That launch pad would have to wait for ignition for over a decade as Trey and Phish had much on their minds and this one either consciously or unconsciously slipped through the cracks. You see, Phish had just announced their long-rumored and awaited reunion a couple weeks earlier at the beginning of the month. The band had a slew of new material they were working on that debuted throughout 2009 and “Ruby Waves” would just have to wait its turn.    After eleven years since its debut with TAB, “Ruby Waves” saw the light of day again as the only non-original song to be performed by Trey’s “Ghosts of the Forest” project and likewise, on the self-titled album. On the static setlist, “Ruby Waves” was performed at all nine shows and placed deep into the setlist between “Stumble into Flight” and “Shadows Thrown By Fire” and made its Ghosts debut at the Portland, Maine show on 4/04/19.   Not many fans likely recognized “Ruby Waves” at the Ghosts of the Forest shows given its one-and-done nature from TAB and from an unremarkable show that did not really circulate much on “tape”. Nevertheless, it was certainly one of the Ghosts songs many fans felt like was destined for Phish.   Sure enough, fans hoping for a “Ruby Waves” Phish debut did not need to wait very long. At the fifth show into the 2019 Summer Tour the song popped up in the middle of the first set. While certainly not used as a “jam vehicle”, it showed glimpses of what would come with some playful licks by Trey and a meandering, breezy and “open ended” feel after the main chorus, and before returning to the song proper in the compact sub ten-minute rendition.    In signs of good things to come, the song immediately jumped to the second set for its next performance at Merriweather on 6/23/19. This version flashed more brilliance than the debut and included a small dollop of extended jamming…. tacking on several more minutes and showcasing some full band improv. Likewise, the next two versions were also smack dab in the heart of the second set in an area of the setlist typically known for extended jams. The version at Mohegan Sun on 7/10/19, while not notable in length, enjoyed the band fully returning to the song after a pretty slick segue out of “Piper”. Thus, the table was set quite nicely for the Summer Tour concluding performance at Alpine. It had made its debut eleven years prior with TAB, run around the block in the studio and nine sets of Ghosts Of The Forest, made it’s JV team debut in the first set earlier in the summer, got promoted to Varsity for three shows in the second set and was now primed to not only be on Varsity, but also the star of the team.   While the first two weekend shows at Alpine were nothing out of the ordinary for the band, the ultimate show of the summer was already becoming a standout of the tour. The first set on 7/14/19 featured several bustouts: “The Landlady” (first since 7/10/16, or 122 shows), “Olivia's Pool” (11/17/97, or 692 shows), “The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday” and “Avenu Malkenu” (08/21/15, or 147 shows), and “Strange Design” (7/8/16, or 124 shows). It also was highlighted by an extremely rare performance of “Good Times, Bad Times” in the first set and the very rare, “Spock’s Brain”. Yet all of that might easily be forgotten after “Ruby Waves” obliterated any notion that Summer 2019 wouldn’t have an all-time memorable jam.   The 38 minute behemoth in Alpine was quite literally one for the record books. It crashed easily into the Top Ten longest songs Phish has ever performed (seventh longest) and even eclipsed the instant-legendary “Tahoe Tweezer” from 2013. Not only was it the longest jam since the band reunited in 2009, it was also the longest song in nearly sixteen years dating back to the “46 Days” from the IT Festival. However, without exhilarating & thrilling music, length does not much matter. Thankfully, “The Ruby Waves” had a plethora of components fans often look for in tour-defining, year-defining and era-defining jams.    The multiple sections of the “Ruby Waves” jam that weaved and modulated through at least a half-dozen key changes, included parts that were expertly driven by each band member. Almost hypnotically, the tempo and direction turned on dimes and was a primary example of how well this band listens to each other and responds accordingly. How is it possible that a band can so effortlessly switch from dark, spacey, synthy psychedelic jams to blissful hose jamming to ferocious peaks, to calm, subtle, patient and intricate playing, and then swirl it all around and go to similarly deep places but in an entirely different context and through a different path? Literally every time the jam seemed to start calming down, it was taken to new and unexpected places without skipping a beat and with nary a wasted note.    While it was easy to not have “Ruby Waves” on a fan’s radar even after the Ghosts of the Forest tour, it is now unlikely to slip into oblivion and obscurity after the Alpine show. The song certainly seems destined for a bright future with Phish and will not likely take a backseat again for another eleven years like it did after its TAB debut....

Friday 07/19/2019 by Parker Harrington (tmwsiy)

STRAWBERRY LETTER 23

In the Garden, I see West purple shower, bells and tea Orange birds and river cousins dressed in green

The second verse of guitar prodigy Shuggie Otis’, 1970’s classic “Strawberry Letter 23” was quite fitting on the night of its Phish debut on 7/22/17. Indeed, we were in the Garden; Madison Square Garden, at the very beginning of the insta-legendary Baker’s Dozen run. The donut motif had been known since the tour was announced and long before the first notes were played the evening before on “Coconut” night. But what hadn’t been known was how deftly Phish would weave songs pertaining to the night’s donut flavor into the setlists. The band had already given a nod to the strawberry theme by kicking off the night with an acapella take on “Strawberry Fields Forever”. As Phish often did during the Baker’s Dozen, they pulled some unexpected songs out of their hats. On this night it came after a particularly fiery “Down with Disease” which opened the second set and looked like it would go unfinished. ...

Thursday 07/18/2019 by phishnet

"I AM YOU AND WE ARE HERE": A REVIEW OF BETWEEN ME AND MY MIND

[Thank you user @Waxbanks, Wally Holland, for offering your thoughts on Between Me and My Mind, the documentary about Trey. Wally is the author of A Live One, a book in the 33 1/3 series by Bloomsbury about Phish's double-live album of the same name. As always, the thoughts expressed by guest authors on this blog are not necessarily shared by any of the many volunteers on Phish.net. -Ed.]

The documentary film Between Me and My Mind is conventionally structured: Trey Anastasio begins initial work on his "longform" solo project Ghosts of the Forest at The Barn while planning and prepping for the Baker’s Dozen and NYE 2017 with the other members of Phish; along the way we see him in staged 1-on-1 conversations with his wife, daughters, mother, and father. It’s an ordinary slice-of-working-life story about a recently sober 50something looking back on his life and finding inspiration to move ahead with more personal work. For Phish/Trey fans, and for anyone moved by tales of gifted people entering their autumn years, it will offer intense if familiar pleasures.

It being about Trey, though, it’ll also be a little strange.

And infectiously joyful. And idiosyncratically beautiful.

There is no release without tension.

© 2017 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2017 Phish (Rene Huemer)

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Monday 07/15/2019 by howard_roark

ALPINE3 RECAP: "IN A WORLD GONE MAD"

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

[This recap is courtesy of Brian Brinkman user @howard_roark (@sufferingjuke / @_beyondthepond on Twitter). While the opinions expressed by a recapper on this site are not necessarily shared by any volunteer who works on phish.net, Brian is a volunteer on phish.net, so there's that. -Ed.]

Some Phish shows make you laugh. Some make you dance. Some make you rock out. Some make you think. Some freak you out. But the really rare and special kinds of shows leave you dumbfounded and speechless. Laughing incoherently, amazed at whatever it was you just witnessed, wearing a shit-eating grin, and incapable of putting into words what you and 30,000 others just experienced. Sunday night, July 14, 2019, was one of those rare & special Phish shows where everyone in the venue, and those following at home, all felt let in on a secret joke the band has been telling for 36 years. Bustouts, rarities, hi-jinks, lectures, and the longest jam of 3.0. It was a kitchen sink kind of a show and one that will surely be discussed with the best of the era, up there with 8/31/12 and 7/25/17.

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Sunday 07/14/2019 by phishnet

ALPINE2 RECAP: BIG FUN ON BROWN TARP

[We would like to thank Doug Kaplan user @MrDougDoug (@hausumountain on Twitter) for recapping last night's Alpine show. Please note that the opinions expressed by a recapper on this site are not necessarily shared by any volunteer who works on phish.net. -Ed.]

Well here we are again, team. Another night at Alpine Valley: a venue that whenever I return to it, it feels like the venue’s farewell run. Surprisingly and delightfully, things have been roughly 42069% smoother than the last several runs I’ve attended, and it seems to me like the venue’s star may be rising again. Who knows y’all, maybe LiveNation finally sympathized with us, after all of the complaint emails after Bon Iver destroyed the galaxy? It’s certainly much more preferable for me when the band plays a hometown show in Chicago proper, but hey… renting a lake house with eleven of your best buds in the world is a pretty excellent way to spend a weekend.

© 2019 Phish Rene Huemer
© 2019 Phish Rene Huemer

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Saturday 07/13/2019 by FunkyCFunkyDo

ALPINE1 RECAP: IGNITION

Alpine.

In the “real world,” alpine holds a different meaning: mountain slopes, evergreens; otherwise peaceful, placid, serene - much like the drive through waving, rolling corn fields and green cow pastures that leads into the venue. But in our world, the other real world, Alpine means something a bit different; fire, energy, the summit, not the slopes. The final three shows of summer tour have led us here, to the fire, to the summit – to Alpine.

© Phish 2019 - Rene Huemer
© Phish 2019 - Rene Huemer

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Friday 07/12/2019 by Lemuria

Phish Fans Fund East Troy Music

ImageThe all-volunteer, fan-run Mockingbird Foundation is once again celebrating Phish tour by making unsolicited Tour Grants supporting a music program near each of the venues at which the band will perform. This series of Tour Grants covers all of the U.S. locations Phish will play during the band's 2019 Summer Tour.

In honor of Phish's upcoming shows at Alpine Valley, July 12th and 13th, the Mockingbird Foundation is sending a check for $1500 to support music education through the East Troy MS/HS Choir Program in East Troy, WI.

This is Mockingbird's 4th grant in Wisconsin, and our 413th grant overall. The Foundation has now disbursed $159,500 in Tour Grants, 10% of its more than $1.4M in grants covering all 50 states. Watch for news posts here at Phish.net, or the evolving press release at mbird.org, for news on other "miracle" tour grants this summer. And please consider making a contribution, to help us give back to the communities we've touched.

Thursday 07/11/2019 by phishnet

MOHEGAN2 RECAP: LOVE WILL CARRY US THROUGH

[Thank you Brad Krompf (@bradkrompf) for recapping last night's show at the Mohegan Sun. Please note that the opinions expressed by a recapper for a show on this blog are not necessarily those of any volunteer who works on Phish.net. We are all fans with varying opinions, just like you. -Ed]

It was about 7:30pm and we found ourselves in a ridiculously long line of relaxed people, coming in from a long day at the pool, gambling, or a number of other similarly incredible ways to spend a random Wednesday. I’m not certain if Mohegan N1 had an overwhelming amount of flow, but the entire “weekend” (which is what it felt like) had enough overflow to make up for it. Perhaps that overflow would spill into the arena tonight. Proudly donning my Hartford Whalers t-shirt, I was more patient waddling through the security line than I would’ve guessed. We had good friends around us, and despite growing up in Connecticut for my entire childhood, last night was the first time in at least 15 years I had slept there.

We got past security around 8:10 and ran when we heard the opening notes of “Buried Alive.” Without question the Phish from Vermont came to party and so did the crowd.

© 2019 Scott Harris
© 2019 Scott Harris

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Wednesday 07/10/2019 by bl002e

MOHEGAN1 RECAP: "AND THE WORLD IS FULL OF ENERGY"

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

[Thank you @bl002e (Brian Levine) for recapping last night's show in Uncasville, CT. Please note that the opinions expressed by a recapper for a show on this blog are not necessarily those of any volunteer who works on Phish.net. We are all fans with varying opinions, just like you. -Ed]

The core of any game you’ll find in a casino is mathematics. Every card or die is given a numerical value. Vital to any winning strategy is knowing the percentages of probability. Personally, I’m not much of a gambler. However, as a big fan and participant of the maths, here’s a fun fact for my fellow numberphiles: last night marked the first time in exactly three years that Phish played a show in the Nutmeg State, continuing their 2010s trend of only playing Connecticut in years divisible by three (2010, 2013, 2016, 2019; three is indeed everywhere.) Moreover, it had been over 19 years since a CT venue made its debut; the following year saw the grand opening of Mohegan Sun Arena, our host for last night’s Phish show.

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Wednesday 07/10/2019 by Lemuria

Phish Fans Fund Mohegan Music

The all-volunteer, fan-run Mockingbird Foundation is once again celebrating Phish tour by making unsolicited Tour Grants supporting a music program near each of the venues at which the band will perform. This series of Tour Grants covers all of the U.S. locations Phish will play during the band's 2019 Summer Tour.

In honor of Phish's ongoing shows at Mohegan Sun, July 9th and 10th, the Mockingbird Foundation is sending a check for $1500 to support music education within and about the native Mohegan Community through the Mohegan Community Cultural Outreach program in Uncasville, CT.

This is Mockingbird's 9th grant in Connecticut, and our 412th grant overall. The Foundation has now disbursed $158,000 in Tour Grants, 10% of its more than $1.4M in grants covering all 50 states. Watch for news posts here at Phish.net, or the evolving press release at mbird.org, for news on other "miracle" tour grants this summer. And please consider making a contribution, to help us give back to the communities we've touched.

Tuesday 07/09/2019 by Lemuria

Phish Fans Fund Montville Music

ImageThe all-volunteer, fan-run Mockingbird Foundation is once again celebrating Phish tour by making unsolicited Tour Grants supporting a music program near each of the venues at which the band will perform. This series of Tour Grants covers all of the U.S. locations Phish will play during the band's 2019 Summer Tour.

In honor of Phish's upcoming shows at Mohegan Sun, July 9th and 10th, the Mockingbird Foundation is sending a check for $1500 to support music education through the Leonard J. Tyl Middle School Band in Montville, CT.

This is Mockingbird's 7th grant in Connecticut, and our 411th grant overall. The Foundation has now disbursed $156,500 in Tour Grants, 10% of its more than $1.4M in grants covering all 50 states. Watch for news posts here at Phish.net, or the evolving press release at mbird.org, for news on other "miracle" tour grants this summer. And please consider making a contribution, to help us give back to the communities we've touched.

Sunday 07/07/2019 by phishnet

FENWAY2 RECAP: "SKY BALLS AND SOX-SCRAPERS"

© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)
© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)

[Thank you @aisincl (Andrew Sinclair) for recapping last night's show in Boston, MA. Please note that the opinions expressed by a recapper for a show on this blog are not necessarily those of any volunteer who works on Phish.net. We are all fans with varying opinions, just like you. -Ed]

Seems that Most Events Aren’t Planned. Tonight once again reminded us to Surrender to the Flow, as the Phish from Vermont played an absolute heater of a show, in a unique environment (39,000 capacity shrine to Baseball) and with some unique meteorological ingredients.

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Saturday 07/06/2019 by phishnet

FENWAY1 RECAP: "IT'S SO STUPENDOUS"

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

[Thank you @jmart (Josh Martin) for recapping last night's show in Boston, MA -Ed.]

Greetings, everyone.

It’s your old pal Marty. First thing's first: I've been instructed to be explicit about the fact that this is a couch tour recap, so, you know, Caveat Emptor, etc. Onward.

When last we spoke, I was busy drooling over that Charlotte 6/21 show. Guess what? I’ve listened to the whole thing at least three times since then and to my ear it still stands up as the show of the tour and “Runaway Jim” the jam of the tour. More on those distinctions in a second.

After Charlotte we were treated to six solid shows from Merriweather, Bangor, and Camden, each with its own individual moments (the "Simple" from the first night of Bangor1 and the "Mercury" from Camden1 definitely belong in the conversation of notable jams.) Reports from the run at Camden varied wildly, with some folks saying the second night was a true heater to others saying it was one of the worst Phish shows in years. As with all things, the truth is probably somewhere in between.

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Saturday 07/06/2019 by phishnet

SPAC2 RECAP: "DANCING TO THAT FINE FINE MUSIC"

© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)
© 2019 Phish (Rene Huemer)

[Thank you @KatMama (Kat Griffin) and @jackl (Jack Lebowitz) for recapping last night's show in Saratoga Springs, NY -Ed.]

Back at SPAC for night two and the last show of the 2019 summer tour run in Saratoga Springs. Weather pretty much the same as the previous night, high 80ºs, hazy sun, if a bit more humid and less breezy than Tuesday. Unlike night one, we got into the venue about an hour or so earlier so we could check out SPAC’s continually improving food and beverage selections (the former cheerless fenced‑in, dirt‑grounded “beer garden” quarantine zone being thankfully but a bad memory) and hang out in the picnic area at the back of the lawn to sit down, eat, drink and hang a while with some other random newfound tour friends.

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Friday 07/05/2019 by Lemuria

Phish Fans Fund Boston Music

ImageThe all-volunteer, fan-run Mockingbird Foundation is once again celebrating Phish tour by making unsolicited Tour Grants supporting a music program near each of the venues at which the band will perform. This series of Tour Grants covers all of the U.S. locations Phish will play during the band's 2019 Summer Tour.

In honor of Phish's upcoming shows at Fenway Park, July 5th and 6th, the Mockingbird Foundation is sending a check for $1500 to support music education through the Berklee Institute for Arts Education and Special Needs in Boston, MA.

This is Mockingbird's 24th grant in Massachusetts, and our 410th grant overall. The Foundation has now disbursed $155,000 in Tour Grants, 10% of its more than $1.4M in grants covering all 50 states. Watch for news posts here at Phish.net, or the evolving press release at mbird.org, for news on other "miracle" tour grants this summer. And please consider making a contribution, to help us give back to the communities we've touched.

Wednesday 07/03/2019 by phishnet

SPAC1 RECAP: "WE WILL ROCK YOU!"

© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)
© 2019 Phish (Jake Silco)

[Thank you @KatMama (Kat Griffin) and @jackl (Jack Lebowitz) for recapping last night's show in Saratoga Springs, NY -Ed.]

With the exception of MSG (60 shows) and Dick’s (27 shows), SPAC (22 shows) is Phish’s most played venue (other than Burlington’s Nectar’s and The Front, neither played since 1991). Kat and I have been to 21 SPAC shows, missing only the first, 7/27/1992, when Phish did a short set opening for Santana. That was before we first got on the Phish bus in the spring and summer of the following year. Last night’s show was our 122nd show, give or take, since 1993.

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