Sunday 09/02/2012 by phishnet

DICK'S IN A BOX: DICK'S 2 RECAP

by Martin Acaster (@Doctor_Smarty)

Like most people, I spent the bulk of the day on Saturday wondering how in any way the experience of the previous night could be surpassed. During the face-fucking of the Friday night show I was blissfully unaware that I was getting pranked. Certainly the setlist sequencing seemed odd, jams of unusual duration were emerging from the stage and splattering each of my sensory orifices with heaping dollops of creamy goo, but I did not know that Phish was sending me a coded message. If I was any kind of historian, I may actually have reviewed what happened last year at Dick’s before venturing out here. I’m not, so I didn’t, and the subliminal message was completely obscured by the music that it evoked. Obviously first night of Dick’s means there will be a gimmick show. But what would night two hold this year? Very likely just an average great Phish show. There had to be a let down.

Unlike the rest of you I was faced with the added burden of knowing that I would have to sit down and compile a recap of the show. Whatever Phish came up with, it was my turn to share the deep thoughts it evoked in me. Considering the masterful job done by Mr. Bertolet in distilling the essence of the first Dicking I knew I would at least have to attempt to bring my “A” game. I wasn’t sure I was up to the challenge. In fact, I was feeling a great deal of performance anxiety. As I sat and pondered these things gazing westward toward the Front Range, I felt I shared a moment with the band. Anything short of the previous night’s orgiastic bacchanalia, as expressed in my own words would just be disappointing for us all.

By the time I had tackled a bottomless mimosa brunch, restocked the beer cooler, taken a dip in the pool, and had my private moment of re-listening to the glorious jams of the previous night, word filtered in from the second day reinforcements that tonight was indeed going to be different. We were all going to do it again but we were going to try out a strange new position of intimacy. For night two, instead of going down deep on Page side to drop my rage stain from the full facial, I along with a group of very dear old friends, was going to be getting my night two Dicking in a box. A luxury box that is. There it was, the theme of the weekend emerged from the sweat-soaked undershorts of my brainstem, and magically crystallized before me. First night we got it in the face, night two was going to be in the box, night three was obviously going to be all about taking it in the Asse (Fest).

Being initially unsure that the luxury box thing was a reality, we made plans to get down on the floor again, sent out the requisite coordinates to others I desperately wanted to spend some quality time with getting down and dirty, and then as ALWAYS seems to be the case when you are at the show, everything changed and changed fast. Rather than trying to maintain critical mass and defend our dancing space in front of the of the board, we were getting the VIP upgrade courtesy of the brothers lime tree. We were spirited away to the magical land that lies between being here at the show and being at home on the couch. A private luxury suite is the transitory space between the comfort of home and the incredibly thrilling experience of being in the moment that is generating the magic. Dick’s in a box was going to be the love tunnel that could unite those of us here with those of you out there. I had a fridge stocked with the beers of my choice, a comfy spot to chill on the couch with my core group of friends, yet the typically virtual was instead actual. I was there in the moment feeling the crackling electricity of thousands of humans all desperately wanting the same thing, but there was none of the struggle to get it done. At that moment, I once again realized I was sharing a moment with the band. I instantly recalled what Trey had said during the KCBO interview. The backstage area had become an insane place. The crowd had spilled through into the band’s space. Faced with that turmoil, things had gotten lost, and people and performance had suffered. Clearing the teeming masses from the equation, having the time to relax and catch up with dear old friends in a truly intimate, relaxed and comfortable setting elevated the whole experience to a previously unattainable level. I think it showed in the music.

So about that. You actually want to know what I thought about the show. Naturally we sat around all day talking about what we would be getting that night. Since it was the middle member of the three peckered mountain goat, it was assuredly going to be “Tweezer” night, that was a lock. There were calls for “Number Line,” “Golden Age,” “Weekapaug,” “Silent.” We all had something we wanted to hear. Basically it became Phish juke box night. Everybody ultimately got what they wanted. Following a “Jibboo” tease, “Antelope” lurched out of the gate with a scalding pace. When was the last time they opened a show with this song? Because I am the dot-net geek, I was immediately grilled for an answer. I flailed and guessed ‘09. I had it backwards down the number line obviously because it hadn’t happened since 1990. I attempted a recovery from my communication breakdown, but working the electronic device I needed to access the data had become problematic by that point. So I just shrugged my way out of the question and into the freezer.

I held high hopes, considering the space “Carini” and “Undermind” had explored the previous night, that a first set “Tweezer” wasn’t going to be a wasted effort. It certainly didn’t rise to the levels of other recent versions but that is largely irrelevant. I love “Tweezer” and could hear it every night and be happy. It just doesn’t get old. This one got spooky, veered towards having a crab jammed in my shoe mouth, before devolving into an ultraviolet space filled with some hypertrophic digital untz. The “Fluffhead” that followed generated numerous glow-stick ejaculations and the floor of the arena transformed into a glistening pool of undulating neon. It may suck getting pelted in the back of the neck with a phosphorescent tube, but it looks cool as hell from on high. The “Roses Are Free” that followed provided my first moment of deep reflection. The flag at half staff behind the stage was a constant reminder of the world outside. My thoughts veered from the losses the nearby community of Aurora had suffered, to things that have changed in my personal life during the last year, to the break-up of the band of Boognish, the innumerable wars and other atrocities raging around the globe, to my friends in New Orleans that still were without power. It left me with a sense that it was time for a change. A new direction was going to be necessary to get us all out of this mess. Do something... or I will. With the appearance of “Funky Bitch” and the thick and crunchy “Moma” that followed I was pulled out of the well to dance with the fine funky females that surrounded me. “Circus” did not bring me down. “Theme,” as it always does, took me down to the place where the grass is green and the girls are pretty. “Theme” on this night really captured the essence of my surroundings. Safe in my box, I had no doubt who was my friend. I ended the first frame in the same state as the set closer, with a blank space where my mind should be.

Setbreak. This would ordinarily be the time to make the grueling slog out of the pit, stand in line waiting my turn to excavate the crystalline urine from my swollen bladder, quickly grab another overpriced beer and force my way back to my place of origin. Instead I sauntered a few steps back into the sweet suite, grabbed another beer from the fridge, took a leisurely stroll down the hall to an uncontested urinal, shared some deep conversation with my nearest and dearest and settled into the easy chair to await the second half. All the comforts of home. Getting Dicked in the box was turning out to be incredibly warm and comfortable.

Golden Age” fulfilled another pre-show request for the ladies and all was good. With the arrival of “Captain Fuckerpants” I revisited my recently abandoned life as a liveaboard sailor, successfully navigated the mental shoals that song had the potential to regurgitate, and cascaded over the falls into a lotus blossom of ambrosial auricularly. It seemed I had been saying it to myself a lot in the past 36 hours about a number of the tunes I had heard; but this was the best goddamn version of “Caspian” I could recall. “Light” of course was the jam of the night. To borrow a phrase from my gracious host, the Dick’s “Light” was the musical equivalent of discharging a high voltage electrical current through an extra-large bowl of chocolate pudding. The remainder of the set would then be the icing on this belgian truffle soufflé. “Boogie On” I could see coming. A “Mike’s” > “No Quarter” > “Weekapaug” at that point was truly flabbergasting. It took me back to the Vegas ‘97 Freakapaug. That show was the first step on the path that had led me to the box these fifteen years later. So much had been shared with the people that surrounded me. Ups, downs, all arounds. We have all grown older, but we have not in anyway grown colder.

Then it was over, time to head outside, flag a weasel for a ride, and head on down to the central part of town. We missed last call by a few minutes, shared some more laughs, explored dreams and aspirations of the future both immediate and long term then drifted off into a pixellated slumber of neon chrome and the white noise of the air conditioner. The night had been completely devoid of schtick and gimmickry. The toys had stayed under the bed. It was wholesome, relaxed, and familiar. This was the band that I had fallen in love with all those many years ago. I couldn’t wait to take it from behind on Sunday.

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Comments

, comment by bertoletdown
bertoletdown I am hardly fit to carry your jock strap, or contest your urinal.

Mightily rendered.
, comment by ColForbin
ColForbin I know I "work" here so this will sound like I am a fluffer, but I have to say, the quality of the recaps for these shows has been as amazing as the music. Great work, whoever is on for tonight has a tough act to follow! (as does the band for that matter!)
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu No one writes about Phish better than you, Marty.
, comment by makisupaman
makisupaman "Hypertrophic digital untz" is a phrase not used nearly enough. What an experience it must have been to have your Dick's in a box, I can only imagine. Thanks for sharing this with someone too bogged down by grad school work (as an historian, incidentally) to even watch the webcast. My phone buzzing constantly with texts from friends in Denver only added salt to my wounds...
, comment by waxbanks
waxbanks See, I could do without the endless sitewide XY-overdosed puerility, myself.

Fine writeup otherwise though! Hell of a show it looks like.
, comment by fly_phishn
fly_phishn Wow that review was really really bad. Less about you, more about the music.

Sad thing is, I'm all for reviews from people who actually went to the shows, not this watch from home junk. But you pretty much embody the reason why .net doesn't use people at the show-- they think their show experience is as important as the music. It is for you, just not for me.

Less talky, more recappy. Thanks.
, comment by phootyjon
phootyjon Thank you all reviewers for your efforts. Exceptional work.
, comment by waxbanks
waxbanks @fly_phishn said:
Wow that review was really really bad. Less about you, more about the music.
For what it's worth, I'd rather read a burst of heartfelt madness or foolishness than cold analysis, most days, and I enjoyed this recap more than the recent round of penis puns led me to expect. Ideally this site would be a forum for awesome, inspired writing about phish. Sometimes that's theory; sometimes autobiography. As long as it's got a beat...
, comment by PhishMarketStew
PhishMarketStew 2 sentences about a 20+ min light and dozens about a skybox? I think fly-phishin makes a damn good point.
, comment by waxbanks
waxbanks If the recappers were providing deep insight I'd be with you 100%, @harryherring -- but how many writers here or anywhere else online are gonna tell you more than the music will? They played a 23-minute Light -- fucking hear it!! :)
, comment by Dressed_In_Gray
Dressed_In_Gray "First night we got it in the face, night two was going to be in the box, night three was obviously going to be all about taking it in the Asse (Fest)."

After reading this line, I knew I would finish reading the review.

Great review, many laughs.
, comment by thedudeabides
thedudeabides Its nice to hear you had a box seat...and a box seat...and a box seat...but how was the music? Oh well, I'm going back for a listen myself anyway. Thanks for the effort though, wish I was there. In a box seat.
, comment by dpwilljr
dpwilljr A great deal about you and your night in the Box...but not too much about the show.
, comment by Live_Eels
Live_Eels This was more of a self-serving diary entry than anything else. An awful review of a show that everybody couldnt wait to read about.
, comment by 46Dizzle
46Dizzle " Less talky, more recappy. Thanks. "
" A great deal about you and your night in the Box...but not too much about the show. "
" Its nice to hear you had a box seat... but how was the music? "
" Less about you, more about the music "

I concur !!... would rather not read endless superlatives and stretched thin wordy metaphors, and details about your brunch, box, bladder, buddies, etc....

More about what The Boys are doing!!
, comment by CooGarn
CooGarn Have to agree with what you said at the beginning... the first night's performance and subsequent review were fantastic and certainly hard acts to follow. Unfortunately, your review failed to match up with last night's excellent performance. Like the others have said, it's cool that you had your own fun experience, but what about the music? You recapped your night, not THE night ;) Either way, the fellas are on point and having fun putting on some killer shows, and this last stand in Denver is a solid finish to an awesome summer no matter how you look at it (or experience it).
, comment by Gumbo72203
Gumbo72203 wait so what was the music like?
, comment by dipped
dipped When it's more than just great musicians playing great music, it tends to become self-important.
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM Don't let them get ya down marty. Anyone could take a quick look at the song timings on livephish and know its worth the dload. It's those borderline shows that need the cold analysis. First they bitch if you're not there or you're not fluffing. Then they bitch if you do a semi-biographical, a being-there review. I honestly can't tell anymore what the hell the people on here want.

Did we really need an in-depth review on the 23 minute light? I mean, yes of course that would be awesome, but does anyone actually expect that? I wrote a god-awful long review purely based on the music as it matched with the song timings and I think it takes the record for clunkiest on the site and definitely the longest. Call it like you see em. And maybe review some more ghosts...
, comment by kungkungkung
kungkungkung I will never understand how phish.net people.decide what is and isn't a good review. I would pay phish.net to let me say my 2 cents instead of hearing somebody talk about their night. We are talking about the music, not about your experience in the VIP section. I'm glad you had fun and I'm happy you wrote a recap, but good lord phish.net people, good job choosing a bad review of an amazing show to showcase online. Please contact me. Myself and so many other people can write better reviews than somebody in the VIP section using big words and some ubscure vocabulary. If phish.net wants their reviews to be taken more seriously, somebody needs to be regulating what they put online.
, comment by kungkungkung
kungkungkung Yeah people. God forbid phish.net posts up the good reviews. "Do we really need an in depth review of the 23-minute light."? Yes. It would be better than hearing about "how awesome" the show was. Yes we are all here to have fun. Yes we all want to have fantastic experiences. But really? The music man. The music. It hurts phish's image nowadays when you post a review that's way too long and way too descriptive of a single persons' "experience" brah. They are professionals now. I want to talk about what they are doing musically, and anything straying from that can be posted on phantasytour. Phish.net has been posting whoever writes the longest review for the last few years now, and I think we can all agree they should be better than that. Maybe I'll write a longer message next time so phish.net will think its good enough to post.
, comment by kyphishhead
kyphishhead Soo how was youre VIP box experience? Remind me again did the box come with its own fridge? Guess the music was just an after thought as was clearly displayed in this 20 min dribble.. Not to beat a dead horse but that was just a plain silly attempt. Come on bro.
, comment by brrmont
brrmont kungkungkung wrote: "We are talking about the music, not about your experience in the VIP section".

It seems to me this collective "we" of which you speak have plenty of venues to write about the music from your perspective, including on this here site, which is even gracious enough to compile statistics of each person's contributions, including your dozen or so comments from the past few days, Mr. kungx3.

(Speaking of, hi there; longtime reader, first time contributor. I believe I am now entitled to a trophy of some sort, yes?)

And others have posted similar sentiments about the value of one man's experience versus the quixotic search for some kind of collective, objective experience. I have as much of an appetite as the next guy for, say, Charlie Dirksen's masterful explications of You Enjoy Myself, but it doesn't mean that I can't appreciate an outside-the-box (Dick's in a box!) review of Phish's 1,400-somethingth show. Phish.net seems to be one of the more egalitarian sites out there when it comes to reviews. Hell, Pitchfork doesn't even have comments enabled for its reviews, and some of their best reviews are practically devoid of any mention of what the album under review actually contains, in a traditional sense, anyway.

Of course, I'll steal a Dirksen-ism, just this once, for my first post: two cents.
, comment by dipped
dipped "Rather than trying to maintain critical mass and defend our dancing space in front of the of the board..."

You against us, huh?
, comment by goatsticks
goatsticks jesus, take it easy on the lyrical references...
, comment by easywind111
easywind111 .net should let @meatballs do some recaps.
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM @kungkungkung said:
Yeah people. God forbid phish.net posts up the good reviews. "Do we really need an in depth review of the 23-minute light."? Yes. It would be better than hearing about "how awesome" the show was. Yes we are all here to have fun. Yes we all want to have fantastic experiences. But really? The music man. The music. It hurts phish's image nowadays when you post a review that's way too long and way too descriptive of a single persons' "experience" brah. They are professionals now. I want to talk about what they are doing musically, and anything straying from that can be posted on phantasytour. Phish.net has been posting whoever writes the longest review for the last few years now, and I think we can all agree they should be better than that. Maybe I'll write a longer message next time so phish.net will think its good enough to post.
I knew what I said would be unpopular, but I have a pretty stalwart record of calling out people who demand that the reviewer be there or that "their" show was the best ever show. I was just pointing out the irony that there seems to be no way to win if you bother to take the time and review something. Instead of "do we really need a review of a 23 min light?" I should have said "should we expect a review of the 23 min light?" because these recaps have never given more than a few cursory sentences to the centerpiece jam. Oh wait, I did say that.

Maybe I'm just salty that the post I took the most amount of time on, 3 hours listening along with the show, was not received better (Dick's night one). But it is literally exactly the kind of review you are calling for and the only kind of review that I would make. It was the polar opposite of this review, and still did not succeed in giving the people what they want (if the voting tells you anything). And I realized that it was mighty hubristic of me to expect people to love everything that comes out of my mind and onto the board.

So how does this relate to your post? Well the mere fact that you said that you would pay phish.net to let them post your reviews as featured pretty much sums it up for me. In the literary/academic world this is known as self-publishing and anything that comes out of it is kind of a joke because it couldn't make the cut in the real world of publishing.

Also, phish.net has not been publishing whoever writes the longest review. I'm not sure where you got this idea, but you can clearly tell who the contributors are by going under the "Navigator" tab and seeing everyone who has posted to the blog. They are generally people who help put the website together and are longtime contributors going back to the "old review" section. Martin Acaster has reviewed just about every Ghost of 1.0. "Icculus" is Charlie Dirksen who has written more reviews of jams than everyone else put together.

So it all comes down to recognition. We all want recognition. I wanted recognition for that mammoth review that took me forever to create. Clearly you want recognition. But you can't just hop on the board and talk about how great your reviews would be, put your money where your mouth is and freaking write one then.

It reminds me of a quick talk I had with Dirksen about a year back. I was urging him to review new jam material because I thought there was a definite lack of that on the new site compared to the old. He said to go ahead and write your own, man. Nothing is stopping you but you seem to want the official accreditation of seeing your name in lights up there at the top. Gotta work for it first.
, comment by metawhy
metawhy Great review!

Some people in the peanut gallery need to stop drinking that Haterade.
, comment by kungkungkung
kungkungkung Sorry. We aren't here to get in verbal fights with each other. I was really drunk on that Haterade last night. Sorry Marty. Who am I to say what is or isn't a good review. Nobody. My deepest apologies, and keep 'em comin'.
, comment by kungkungkung
kungkungkung And I write lots of reviews under different auspices, so I can assure you I am not trying to "see my name in lights up there at the top". If somebody wanted their name out there, getting a post on a phish board probably isn't the best way to do that. But respect to you guys, especially Marty for taking the time to write that out. And I was unintentionally trolling on that Haterade in my first post, so again, sorry man.
, comment by PhishMarketStew
PhishMarketStew I really liked that long as hell review you did Albany YEM and while it may have been a bit too surgical it was far far better than most of the recaps.
One day the good people at .Net say that it's objectivity that wins the race and the next day we get the most self serving subjective review possible.
I suppose it really doesn't matter though, the best pieces on Phish, the music and the experience, are found in the show reviews, usually later down the road.
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM Thanks @PhishMarketStew My attempt at a Dirksen. And it forced me to really listen which is an end in itself.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten @kungkungkung said:
I would pay phish.net to let me say my 2 cents instead of hearing somebody talk about their night.
You don't have to pay anybody, you can go right here and do it yourself.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten ^though it appears I'm late to the party and you already have.
, comment by kungkungkung
kungkungkung I did apologize for the unnecessary dribble of hate I posted (not sober) in my first review at like 5am. And I repect AlbanyYEM and Marty's hating back at me. We are all phriends here. I will say that assuming I am a noob and that my first show was Dicks and that this is the first time I've read or maybe just written reviews because I change my board name a lot and have no statistics is simply that, an assumption. I don't know who you are either. But we (that includes you 2) all know what we're watching. And we're gonna keep going to shows as long as they keep pumping out magic like this.
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman Yet another meta filled comments section. I don't even know why we invite comments. For the most part they are needless hot air taking shots at the individuals who take their own personal time to provide something creative. You're fucking welcome.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon I was there this weekend it was amazing. I blocked out the crowd several times by shutting my eyes. That way I could really listen to the music with my ears unfiltered by the lights and crowd's enthusiasm. I hit 9 shows on this tour including the AC run and these 3 shows were by far the best I saw in 2012. The band loves playing there and I think this year even topped last year's Dick's run. Personally I thank the guys that write reviews. Whether you agree with it or not, the reviews can give one perspective or can give you a different way of thinking about the show if it is contrarian to your view. Everyone has an opinion and the reviews are just that, what his opinon was of the show. I thank the guys that take their own time to write a review. If you don't agree with it, write the next one and submit it. This weekend was insane and wonderful all at the same time. By the way, while chillin in the lot a motorcycle cop stopped by our car and while he made me nervous as hell, he did say that Phish has signed a 5 year contract to play at Dick's every Labor Day weekend. Pretty cool...3 more years of this fun. Tough being back on East Coast time, but very much worth it.
, comment by pzerbo
pzerbo Folks, let's face it: the comments on show recaps have long-since jumped the shark. Write a positive, borderline fluffing recap; get slammed. Write a luke-warm recap; get slammed. Write a review from the couch; get slammed. Write about a personal experience from the show; get slammed. It starts with a particular someone who lurks in his parent's basement, just waiting, refresh, refresh... there it is! My moment! Slam the recap and the writer! Wow, that must be a an awesome moment in that person's otherwise dreadful, friend-less life. Good job. Now it's a trend. Awesome.

We know the criticism is coming. BFD. We keep it up, because among the 10K-20K views that a recap typically receives, there are at most a few dozen that feel the need to slam our efforts. The silent majority keeps coming back, so we'll keep at it. I think I can fairly speak for the group that maintains this site and offers recaps in one sense and in one sense only: we love Phish. We love Phish enough to take the time to offer what we hope is quality content. A few folks clearly don't like this content, but come back, day after day, to tell us how much we suck. To those who enjoy our content, we are thrilled to continue to offer our humble thoughts. To those who think we suck: GFY, brah, GFY. The irony, of course, is that people who want x, y, or z to be done differently offer no actual meaningful content of their own, but rather just slam the work of others.

For those who want "other people to recap" I'll cheerfully remind everyone that there are plenty of opportunities for user participation on this site. You have the forum to write, literally, whatever you want, within the bounds of our very liberal terms of service. All users are welcome to offer their own reviews in the show review section. All users are welcome to offer constructive thoughts in the blog comments; that so many of you chose to "go meta" and criticize others instead of talking about the music... well, we can't change that. Only you can change that.

Go ahead, now slam me, I can take it. /rant
, comment by Doctor_Smarty
Doctor_Smarty Thanks to all for the comments. You have all grasped the spirit of my recap quite well. TO ME...Phish is all about the subjective experience. I don't actually give a fuck what anybody else thinks about a given show, a song within that show, a particular jam within a song, or individual notes flubbed or otherwise within that particular jam. It is my feeling that YOU should care about as much as what I think about the music as I do about what you think about it. TO ME....EVERY SHOW is MUST HEAR...at least once. I am incapable of objectivity when it comes to Phish. I love almost all of it. There are a few songs I'd rather punch myself in the nuts than listen to...but for the most part everything else is great. You have ears...you should listen to the show and decide for YOURSELF what is good. Do you go into a restaurant and ask the bus boy what you should eat? Do you go into Target and ask the janitor if those pants make your ass look fat? The recaps are BLOG posts. If you have spent any time cruising the internets you should know that A BLOG is subjective by nature. I am not a gearhead so I can't tell you what effects Trey and Mike are using or even what keyboard Page is tinkling on. I am not a music theorist so I can't tell you where the flaws lie in which progression. I am not a stats geek so I find no merit in describing the length of songs or the number of shows/years it has been since it was last played. I am an amateur volunteer writer about one of the most phenomenal musical performers that has ever existed. When it is good...it is very good...when they play shows like the last three it is a religious experience. I am an experientialist. I can tell you about how it felt. You can love my recap...you can hate my recap...either way I have done my job as a writer...because you felt something too.
, comment by standingonthemoon
standingonthemoon Well said my friend, well said!!!!!!! I just feel lucky we are still getting shows to review. I remember a time when I didn't think they would ever come back. It was August of 2004 and I was taking the ferry back from Camden to Penn's Landing and a random guy beside me said he had been to 30 shows and wanted to make it 35 and I said "dude, that's never going to happen, even if you go to Coventry since Camden was the last show of regular tour. I think about that guy now and I know he has his 35 shows and then some. We are all very lucky to still be able to do this. As for people that slam the reviews, let it go man, there are more important things to worry about in this world. I've seen some shows that weren't my favorite, and I've been to a lot of shows overall, but never have I felt cheated...just lucky. I hope everyone has a good offseason and I can't wait for more shows to be able to review. Take care everyone!!!
, comment by waxbanks
waxbanks @pzerbo said:
Folks, let's face it: the comments on show recaps have long-since jumped the shark. Write a positive, borderline fluffing recap; get slammed. Write a luke-warm recap; get slammed. Write a review from the couch; get slammed. Write about a personal experience from the show; get slammed.
!!UNMODERATED COMMENT THREAD IS UNMODERATED!!

1) So close comments on the recaps and stifle your urge to talk about it.

2) 'Lots of people follow links to our recaps and say nothing' is not the same as 'lots of people like exactly what we're doing.'

3) 99% of users here don't write/edit prose for a living. Nonexpert readers tend to know that they don't like something but tend not to express precisely, or even accurately, what they don't like. This recap really doesn't say much about the show at all -- most readers expect recaps to, y'know, recap what happened onstage. It's silly to say 'Don't talk about your private bullshit, talk in detail about something you were too intoxicated to accurately perceive much less describe in retrospect,' but that's the nearest complaint to hand. Can't blame someone for not liking your (site's) stuff.

That said, lack of civility is lack of civility (and you know from lack of civility, @pzerbo).

To repeat a suggestion: stop pretending the next-day recaps are musical analysis of any kind, and just provide Awesome Writing About Phish in whatever form, which would make room for whatever kind of thing this kind of thing is.

That'd at least make comments in the 'You guys are ungrateful children' vein less likely; they can't get any less useful or appreciated.
, comment by mudshark77
mudshark77 Let me tell you what Dr. Smarty is packin' right here, all right. We got 4:11 Positrac outback, 750 double pumper, Edelbrock intake, bored over 30, 11 to 1 pop-up pistons, turbo-jet 390 horsepower. We're talkin' some fuckin' muscle.
, comment by nichobert
nichobert There is really only two ways you can attempt to truly review an excellent jam.

1) Get technical and alienate 95% of your audience

2) Launch into some Pseudo-Gonzo hyperbolic bullshit that really doesn't tell the reader anything except for "Look at me, I can say 'The Jam Got Louder!' by going "Like a goddamned storm surge cresting the levies, the masses below the high water line were inundated with ten thousand tons of dead dogs and 2x4s with rusty crooked nails, a grotesque Creole MeeMaw turning her milky eye on you so knowing as the angry gelatinous avalanche disintegrated her bones while simultaneously absorbing them into the collective. Great Scots! Is Trey Locutus of the Borg? Page perhaps quotes Walls Of The Cave. Is this resistance futile? A million crystalline nanofilaments exploded from the diarrhea deluge ensnaring the entire audience in a cybernetic web- one tightening and bright lines of crimson blood criss-cross every slack-jawed layabout- two tightenings and the sea of trust fund children are torn asunder in a sickening eruption of chunks of flabby flesh slapping against each other like that MeeMaw striving with all her strength to just kill PeePaw with one last taste of her gritty jelly roll and spare him the heartbreak of seeing the Old Liquor Store dragged beneath the waves- MeeMaw's eye stares at you. It's the entire sky. The stars are swallowed up in her iris. Trey teases Crosseyed to great effect. The stars blink out one by one to be replaced by starving one legged badgers, slowly dragging themselves in a sad lopsided circle, leaving a trail of bloody shit and shameful semen as they stupidly grasp for one last shred of pleasure in this world. The whole crowd is choking on the oily water. Somebody coughs up a fish. Somebody coughs up a crab. Somebody is coughed up by a reconstituted biokinetic gator with a jaunty eye patch and a stunning command of French. Trey starts up Backwards Down The Number Line"
, comment by nichobert
nichobert I guess there is a middle ground.

But I can't even fathom being angry because somebody wrote a piece about a show and it wasn't the fucking GENRE that you expected.

Boo-Hoo. If you haven't realized by now that Phish.Net is into several different veins of recaps, I don't know what to tell you.

Write your own review. If it's good, history will sing your praises. If you're bad, you'll be one of these idiots apologizing for liking Free and swearing up and down that you're not a Backstreet Boys fan and you really sold weed on lot man.
, comment by TheEmu
TheEmu @waxbanks said:

To repeat a suggestion: stop pretending the next-day recaps are musical analysis of any kind, and just provide Awesome Writing About Phish in whatever form, which would make room for whatever kind of thing this kind of thing is.
I can see that you wouldn't consider Marty's recap to be musical analysis of any kind (not that I think that's a bad thing, they don't all have to be strictly about the music) but you're saying that none of the recaps provide musical analysis of any kind?
, comment by Doctor_Smarty
Doctor_Smarty Somebody sign Nichobert up for the next recap...that meemaw shit is killer!!!
, comment by ericwyman
ericwyman @waxbanks said:


To repeat a suggestion: stop pretending the next-day recaps are musical analysis of any kind, and just provide Awesome Writing About Phish in whatever form, which would make room for whatever kind of thing this kind of thing is.

That'd at least make comments in the 'You guys are ungrateful children' vein less likely; they can't get any less useful or appreciated.
This blog post was successful in accomplishing both of the comments highlighted in bold. I'm confused. Maybe it wasn't awesome enough.
, comment by MrJones
MrJones 'meh.
, comment by fluff_hen
fluff_hen @pzerbo said:
Folks, let's face it: the comments on show recaps have long-since jumped the shark. Write a positive, borderline fluffing recap; get slammed. Write a luke-warm recap; get slammed. Write a review from the couch; get slammed. Write about a personal experience from the show; get slammed. It starts with a particular someone who lurks in his parent's basement, just waiting, refresh, refresh... there it is! My moment! Slam the recap and the writer! Wow, that must be a an awesome moment in that person's otherwise dreadful, friend-less life. Good job. Now it's a trend. Awesome.

We know the criticism is coming. BFD. We keep it up, because among the 10K-20K views that a recap typically receives, there are at most a few dozen that feel the need to slam our efforts. The silent majority keeps coming back, so we'll keep at it. I think I can fairly speak for the group that maintains this site and offers recaps in one sense and in one sense only: we love Phish. We love Phish enough to take the time to offer what we hope is quality content. A few folks clearly don't like this content, but come back, day after day, to tell us how much we suck. To those who enjoy our content, we are thrilled to continue to offer our humble thoughts. To those who think we suck: GFY, brah, GFY. The irony, of course, is that people who want x, y, or z to be done differently offer no actual meaningful content of their own, but rather just slam the work of others.
I can certainly understand the admins' frustration, so would like to first off thank all the writers for the extensive time and effort they put in to write the recaps. They are often very educational to me as a newer fan, and I usually enjoy the jaded-but-still-positive take on the shows, versus parsing among the superlatives w/ Mr. Miner (whom I also enjoy).

However, this particular review deserves the criticism it's getting. It really read more like a gloat over the writer's box seats (who cares?) than a show experience. I was at the show so I know what it was like, but still it was frustrating not to get more of a sense of what the reviewer thought of the music.
, comment by PhishMarketStew
PhishMarketStew @nichobert said, " If you haven't realized by now that Phish.Net is into several different veins of recaps, I don't know what to tell you."

This is something that would be worth remembering before reading the recaps. Myself included.

@ericwyman said, "Yet another meta filled comments section."

The main beef with the recap is that is the epitome of "meta", in that is far more self-referential in it's content than it is concerned with the music at hand. Why you seem so extremely pissed off about the fact that it's being treated the way it is is something I don't understand. You talk about the moderators and recappers as if they were some breed of martyrs that are sacrificing themselves and their "own personal time to bring us something creative".
If you view it as such a fucking chore then open it up for people who aren't moderators to volunteer recaps because I can tell you their are plenty of people who wouldn't view it the way you do.
, comment by kipmat
kipmat Those who were rubbed the wrong way (no pun intended) by the recap should consider that the author has been writing in this style for a long time. As someone who read marty's "Ghost" reviews back in the day, this recap was exactly what I was expecting. The author's prose style is not my all-time favorite, but for my five minutes of reading, the recap served its purpose and was entertaining as well.
, comment by iseeashley
iseeashley taters gonna tate. I love the review and could not agree more about the show. It was more than amazing. I heard every song I wanted to hear and they played better than I could have ever imagined! I cannot wait to see what Phish planned for us in the future! See you all at the Garden =)
, comment by The_Hemlock_Muppet
The_Hemlock_Muppet The REAL focus of this review should be the 24 minute LIGHT. This jam was ridiculous. A new un-charted blubber funk, somewhat disjointed that went into a somewhere over the rainbow mellow segment then to
Rock glory then to a
Hard Core POWER FUNK segment that culminated in the epiphany of the Fall 1997 sound (hard to control the energy at this point), a least briefly before Rock glory returned and eased in to a slow funk ending busting out the "Pusher Man" rift.....I'm sure everyone caught the pusher man ending right?
This Light jam was phish in a box....best new song in years....wish I could have made this tour....Peace!
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