Checking in from sunny, hot Los Angeles, at the corner of Peak and Fomo. Let’s see what Phish has up their sleeves tonight, besides the strawberry donut surprise. [But first: three cheers to this concept that the band cooked up with their pals at the estimable Federal Donuts. It’s been the catalyst for a lot of top notch Phish nerdery, conjecture, and fun. Well done!]
The a capella “Strawberry Fields Forever” that kicks off this unusual show is a lovely opening flourish, with each band member taking a verse, and gamely punching through the Saturday crowd’s semi-drunken appreciation. There’s a dramatic beat before the final “... forever” that baits the crowd much like the pause in “Divided Sky,” and then the strawberry theme carries forward into “Halley’s Comet” as the band takes their places.
In celebration of Phish's 13-show run at Madison Square Garden, the Mockingbird Foundation will announce 13 unsolicited "miracle grants" supporting music programs across the country. Each board member identified their favorite Phish show, and we found a worthy music education program nearby, part of the Foundation's long-standing Tour Grants program. We're presenting these 13 special grants chronologically, based on the dates of those favorited shows. We did #1; here's #2...
While every New Year's Eve show is special, 12/31/93 at the Worcester Centrum was one for the ages. The stage was decorated like a giant aquarium and the midnight gag saw the band in scuba gear being lowered from the rafters and climbing into a giant clam. The night also featured the first ever "Down With Disease" jam (with footage later used for their one and only made-for-MTV music video) and what many consider to be the best "Harry Hood" ever played. We're celebrating that night with a $1,500 grant to the nearby South High Community School, where instruction in the band program emphasizes not only musical execucation but also literacy ("in order to be informed, well-rounded listeners of many genres") and passion.
Tonights recap is coming to you from couch tour; if that makes you angry I suggest you look for other, more important things to be angry about. Follow me on Twitter if you want to yell at me: @mielcarz
I started this summer in a weird place with Phish – even though the Baker’s Dozen residency was a new and novel concept for the band, for some reason I had low expectations that they would do anything truly groundbreaking. Of course, Phish exists to defy expectations. The first five shows of tour featured no repeats, and four of the five had jams of longer than 20 minutes, one of them a long wished-for bustout of an epic “Mr. Completely.” Only the most jaded fan could listen to the tour so far and not be salivating about what was to come in the next 13 shows. Building on the Baker’s Dozen theme and highlighting the uniqueness of the run, the band announced that there would be a different donut for each show served to early arrivers. Prior to lights, speculation was running rampant in the Phish universe - would there be no repeats all tour? None in the 13 MSG shows? One repeat? One song they play every night? Special guests? Trolling Billy Joel? Like they say in the song (that will only be played once during the run, Icculus willing), the only rule is it begins!
In celebration of Phish's 13-show run at Madison Square Garden (which begins tonight), the Mockingbird Foundation will announce 13 unsolicited "miracle grants" supporting music programs across the country. Each board member identified their favorite Phish show, and we found a worthy music education program nearby, part of the Foundation's long-standing Tour Grants program. We're presenting these 13 special grants chronologically, based on the dates of those favorited shows.
I've reviewed the 2/20/93 Roxy show many times, many places. There have been many great Phish shows, great for all sorts of reasons. But none has been, or is likely ever to be, as turn-twisting and constantly unexpected as that one. The setlist conveys some of the turns, and the show notes and song notes help understand some of the returns. I could say the obvious: You had to be there. But the telling moment involved fellow .Net friend Matt Laurence (who designed that beanie'd fish logo you see all over Phish.net).
In case you missed it, Kelly Morris of THE MORE VIDEO fame was recently interviewed by Tom Marshall on his Under the Scales podcast. I enjoyed the podcast and wanted to learn a bit more from Kelly about what she was up to this summer.
Located at the peak of the University of Pittsburgh’s main campus, the Petersen Events Center is beautiful. Built upon a 90-foot sloped site (which once deterred pedestrian traffic through the heart of campus), this one-time geographical impediment is now utilized to both great aesthetic and practical effect. An impressive five-story, all-glass lobby fronts the building and opens upon the school, functioning both as a great meeting space and central link, bridging the lower and upper portions of the university, while casting an extended, enchanted sort of effect about the school’s incredibly cramped and ultra urban grounds.
Soundcheck: Home, Come Together (this soundcheck is possibly incomplete)
[Recap of last night's show is courtesy of Matt Burnham, user @therealburnham.]
It's not a stretch to say that the expectations coming into the Summer of 2017 were a bit mixed. Once the Baker's Dozen shows and the tour were announced, the ruminations immediately began that playing 13 shows in one venue would throw everything off. That the shows leading up to the MSG run would be warm-ups. Tours in 3.0 have had a bit of a lag in getting on track. And although the band can usually find that high gear eventually, sometimes it can take some time to get there. Thankfully, the Northerly Run showed that that they were ready for the challenge. And although those shows were not perfect (and what shows really are?), the highlights seen in the "Everything's Right," "No Men in No Man's Land," "Simple," "Scents and Subtle Sounds," and "Carini" at the very least showed that the band was up for the challenge, and ready to try to hit the ground running.
ENCORE: The Squirming Coil
Welcome to the 283rd edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the third of five in July. Happy tour! The winner will receive an MP3 download code courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. To win, be the first person to identify the song and date of each of the three mystery clips. The three clips are connected by a theme, but the theme needn't be part of the correct answer – but it should help you get there. Each person gets one guess to start – if no one guesses correctly, I will post a hint on Tuesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET, after which each person gets one more guess before the correct answer is revealed on Wednesday around 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Answer: For the second time in three weeks, newcomer @ThirdSound has taken down the MJM post-hint, taking three codes home in the process. Once again, he quickly deciphered the (admittedly straightforward) hint, which contained a photo of a traffic light with an illuminated yellow right turn arrow (as mentioned in the comments, I actually reflected a left turn arrow photo... because I'm ridiculous). The idea was that a yellow light is the last thing you see before you have to stop (which is when one becomes a "Slave to the Traffic Light"), and the arrow represents a 'segue' (->): all three clips segue fully into -> "Slave": 8/21/15 NMINML (-> Slave), 7/4/99 Ghost (-> Slave), and 8/9/11 CDT (-> Slave). Unless there is too much other blog activity, we'll be back Monday for MJM284.
Soundcheck: Petrichor, Sugar Shack, I Always Wanted It This Way, Crazy Sometimes. Shade. Heavy Rotation, Mercury
Regular readers of this site may have noticed that the admins did not post a “Best of 2016” this year, as we did the last three years. Delicate flowers that we are, 2016 took a lot out of us. For starters, it wasn’t 2015. That may be an unfair comparison, with 2015 being the consensus best year of 3.0, but it’s also the nature of the space-time continuum. So, fine, point conceded: it may be unfair to be critical of any series of shows for not standing up to the band’s most recent high water mark. But Summer 2016 paled in comparison to 2012-14, too. In fact, many of us viewed it as the most lackluster tour since the band’s first post-breakup tour in June 2009.
Fortunately, as lackluster as the summer was, the Dick’s run proved to be a turning point (if you squint a little, you could see the seeds for the turning point start with the west coast run). In fact, a group of us began ranking the 2016 shows and two things jumped out. First, summer really was that underwhelming. There were 45 shows in 2016. Only one show from among the first 25 so much as threatened to make it into the top 10 (7/15/16). The other top 10 contenders came exclusively from the last 20 shows of the year. But -- there’s always a but -- here’s the thing: those 20 shows produce a damn respectable top 10 shows. As good as 2015? Um, no. But when you consider they came from a 20 show stretch, you realize that Phish actually ended the year in quite strong fashion.
The Mockingbird Foundation has announced unsolicited grants totaling $12,000 to support music education programs in cities where Phish will perform this summer. They were selected by members of the Phish.net forum community, led by board member Johnny Demeter, recently identified as Director of Outreach.
The eight $1,500 "miracle grants" - supporting two music programs in each of four cities - are part of a long-standing Mockingbird effort to help bring music from the Phish community to the local community, and are one of many ways fans contribute to the areas in which the band performs. The eight recipients include a wide array of settings, genres, and populations served - and are listed here in order of Phish's tour dates (provided parenthetically):
Rock Bottom Brewery (1 West Grand Ave.) is celebrating Phish's tour-opening shows in Chicago this weekend with a fundraiser for The Mockingbird Foundation. On Thursday, July 13th, they are tapping a keg of an ale that they brewed for the weekend, called "Sample." It is being sold in jars, which will be available for purchase. For every "Sample" in a jar consumed over the weekend, Rock Bottom will donate fifty cents to Mockingbird, but they'll also donate $1 to Mockingbird for every jar sold. There will be music at the tapping party, from 6-8 p.m., specifically, Jon Sabal and Mark Hague from Helping Phriendly Orchestra (and other bands, inc. Hack and Wheeze and Mr. Blotto). Please support this fundraiser if you can. For more information, see the June 22 announcement.
Phish changed its ticket code download policy. Codes on tickets are now redeemable for a free stream of the show using the LivePhish mobile app, as well as a discounted MP3 or other format copy of the show (available from the website), whereas previously, the code entitled you to a free MP3 download of the show from LivePhish. (Free MP3 downloads are still available using any pre-2017 ticket codes.)
A portion of LivePhish revenue supports The Mockingbird Foundation, and has since the beginning of LivePhish. Mockingbird volunteers operate and manage this site. Your support of the band and LivePhish therefore indirectly supports Phish.net, and we are very grateful for it.
LivePhish deserves our continued support. Thank you.
Since Phish will begin the Summer tour at Chicago's Northerly Island Pavilion the weekend of July 14 with three shows, Rock Bottom Brewery (1 West Grand Ave.) is celebrating with a fundraiser for The Mockingbird Foundation.
They are brewing a special ale for the weekend, called "Sample," which will be sold :::wait for it::: in a jar. "Sample" is "a hoppy red ale brewed with copious amounts of Simcoe, Citra and Columbus hops for that pungent, heady hop aroma." It should therefore taste very good both before, and after, you hear "Sample in a Jar" at a show. It will be sold for $7, and will be served in a jar that you can buy for $3 (while supplies last). The jars were very popular at the previous fundraisers years ago (also held when Phish played Northerly), so we expect they'll sell out.
For every "Sample" consumed over the weekend, Rock Bottom will donate fifty cents to Mockingbird, but they'll donate $1 to Mockingbird for every jar sold. So, in other words, if you buy a "Sample AND a Jar," $1.50 of your $10 will go to Mockingbird, and support the funding of music education programs. Rock Bottom will also have some "Phish-inspired" live music on their roof on Thursday, July 13, and will have the "Sample" tapping party that day as well. This promotion thus runs from Thursday through Sunday the 16th. The rooftop will be open (and serving food) until 10:30pm, and last call on the roof is at 11:30pm. But the restaurant will be open post-show on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with full menu until midnight and a late night menu until 1am, with last call at 1:30am. [Editor's note: I was there years ago after 1am post-show, and the place was full of fans.] The brewer, Raybird, and Kyle (an AGM) may be around if you show up at Rock Bottom, passing out Mockingbird information. PLEASE THANK THEM if you see them, as this is a very cool thing for them to do. (And you may see Kyle at a show as well, as he's a fan!) So, please, support this fundraiser if you can, and if you can't, at least tell your wook friends going to the shows to support it as well.
THANK YOU ROCK BOTTOM!
The WaterWheel Foundation has announced two benefit celebrations at MSG before the shows on Saturday, July 22, 2017, and Saturday, August 5, 2017.
Tickets for the shows go on sale tomorrow, Thursday, May 25, at noon eastern, HERE.
The first benefit celebration on July 22 will raise funds for four charities, each one chosen by a band member. The second benefit celebration, on August 5, is in honor of the 20th anniversaries of both The WaterWheel Foundation and The Mockingbird Foundation. It will raise funds for Mockingbird, whose volunteers operate Phish.net. The Mockingbird Foundation is once again enormously grateful to The WaterWheel Foundation and Phish for this honor!
If you have never been to a WaterWheel pre-show benefit at Madison Square Garden, here's some of what you can expect for the price of admission:
(1) being surrounded pre-show by generous, friendly people in what is basically MSG's VIP lounge;
(2) food and a full bar;
(3) a Pollock poster (edition of 300), and it's particularly cool that he's doing a diptych, with one poster for each of the two benefit events;
(4) early entrance into the venue;
(5) raffle or auction of certain items, including autographed memorabilia from Phish's Archives;
(6) access to the lounge where the event takes place, and its clean, spacious bathrooms, during setbreak;
(7) a specialty chocolate bar, created and donated by Asher's Chocolates, that I guarantee to be delicious (or you can give me the part you do not eat).
Note that YOU MUST ALREADY BE A TICKET-HOLDER FOR THE PHISH CONCERT ON THE EVENING THAT YOU ATTEND THE BENEFIT PRE-SHOW EVENT in order to get in to the pre-show event. You must PRESENT THAT TICKET in order to get into the pre-show benefit event.
Please support these events if you can! By supporting them, and also LivePhish, you support both Mockingbird and Phish.net. Thank you!
July 22, 2017
17 hours ago
Madison Square Garden
 Phish debut; a cappella.
 Phish debut.
 With Trey on Marimba Lumina.
Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.
This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $1,000,000 to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.