With the cancellation of camping at Dick’s 2019, and an initial announcement that vending would not be allowed, there was uncertainty about whether the Dick’s lots would live up to their reputation as some of the finest in the land. While there was no official “Shakedown Alley,” there were plenty of people peddling their wares on the first night. Unsurprisingly, that meant there was a solid flea market popping off by night two.
We drove to the venue about 4 PM and entered the parking lots with zero delays. We parked the car and hit the pavement to sling some of my hand-painted sunglasses (shameless plug for Instagram @nice_shades). There was much more of a central Shakedown area, but still nothing like previous years, so we roamed around instead of posting up. We managed to stop by the phish.net “Official Meat-Up” hosted by @DaleCooper just in time to hug some friends and get in the group pic. My girlfriend Esther (who went to her first show Friday) was not going to be in the picture but at the last minute she was joyously invited to partake by a bunch of people she’d just met. We even said her name as we took the pic. Welcome to the family, babe.
As the sun faded into the mountains in the West, there was something electric in the air. After a couple hours of sweating bullets, and tired of chasing shade, we decided to head into the venue about 6:30. It had been a hot day with highs in the triple digits by some accounts, and sometimes that is enough to drain the energy from the crowd, if not the band as well. This was not to be one of those nights.
[we'd like to thank Josh Cohron, @cohron1, for recapping last night's show - ed.]
A lot of Phish thinking these days seems to revolve around, “What’s next?”
Since the end of the final notes of the THANK YOU Encore at Dick’s in 2015, questions arose about how the band could possibly top 2015’s Summer Tour. Would, or even could, this era of Phish ever reach the heights of that almost-universally-loved tour? An up-and-down 2016, which probably relied too heavily on Big Boat material, was followed by the signature run of this era: The Baker’s Dozen.
The same, natural questions were had by fans of Phish after the Dozen ended: Where does the band go from here? The first thing they did was play a monster show Friday night at Dick’s.
[Take the Bait is spirited deliberation centered around the hyperbole of Phish’s music and fandom, passionately exuded via the written words of phish.net contributors @FunkyCFunkyDo and @n00b100. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of phish.net, The Mockingbird Foundation, or any fan… but we're pretty sure we’re right. Probably.]
Funky: We're back, baby! ::crickets chirping:: Er, uh... ::looks at keyboard:: ...is this thing on? Ahem. Dick's is just a day away and Alpine 3 is sitting atop Mt Icculus, basking in all of its own glory. Rightfully. Deservedly. Sexily. Wait wait wait… you mean to tell me that there was a whole summer tour this year (says, in unison, everyone in the Western Time Zone and those who’ve only heard the words “Alpine" and "Three” 500 times)? Like, multiple shows that didn't happen at Alpine on a Sunday in July?? I mean, were they good shows? Or...
[Thanks again to longtime blog contributor, @paulj - ed.]
Over its long career, Phish have played over 1,500 shows in hundreds of different venues, yet there is a relatively short list of venues that are on nearly every fan’s must visit list. Madison Square Garden, Hampton, and the Gorge have been special Phish venues since the 1.0 era. During 3.0, it’s pretty clear that the MGM and Dick’s offer experiences that are likely to reward any fan making the effort.
Most of these bucket list venues offer something much more than a Phish show: MSG and MGM are suffused with the craziness of NYC and Las Vegas, respectively, and the Gorge is home to…the GORGE.
But Dick’s Sporting Goods Park? Seriously? A soccer stadium located atop a Superfund site in an industrial area adjacent to an oil refinery—which is also a Superfund site? (They don’t call it Commerce City for nothing.)
Welcome to the 385th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the last of August. 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 songs and dates of both mystery clips, which were suggested by MJM Hall of Famers @justino and @PhreePhish. The clips are connected by a theme, but the theme needn't be part of the correct answer. Each person gets one guess to start – if no one answers correctly in the first 24 hours, I'll post a hint. After the hint, everyone gets one more guess before Wednesday at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Hint: this picture
Answer: Congrats to first-time winner @Coleman_, who saw right through the nutty hint to track down the two jams from the Nutter Center in Dayton: 7/18/17 "Wombat," and the 11/30/95 "Tweezer." I had considered a hint about only one of the songs being named after an animal, but figured with the "Llama"-esque jamming in the "Tweezer," too many folks might be thrown for a loop. Come back TUESDAY for a one clip wonder in the wake of Dick's; if you're going, have fun!
ICYMI: Given the discovery that some black-tailed prairie dogs in and around Commerce City, Colorado, and in and around Dick's Sporting Goods Park, are still infested with bubonic-plague-carrying fleas, PHISH has announced that overnight camping near Dick's has been cancelled. In addition, given that it typically sets-up near the venue on a dirt plain, our beloved "Shakedown Alley, the traditional Phish tailgating spot, has also been shut down," and thus both wook and non-wook vending will be on asphalt at Dick's this year. When asked for comment, forty-four-year-old Phish fan Marco Esquandolas said, "The boys open Dick's with the first-ever 'Plague-Carrying-Fleas Harpua,' or I will never forigve them. Well, at least not until the Leprechaun bust-out."
In other news, there is a fall tour, and even though it's really a winter tour and not a fall tour, everyone is still invited and expected to attend... especially West Coast fans who not only feel slighted, but also aren't going to Dick's given the possible plague outbreak.
Welcome to the 384th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday! This is technically the first MJM of August, but because we're more than halfway through the month already we'll split the difference and aim for a difficulty level of "medium rich." 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 songs and dates of both mystery clips. The clips are connected by a theme, but the theme needn't be part of the correct answer. Each person gets one guess to start – if no one answers correctly in the first 24 hours, I'll post a hint. After the hint, everyone gets one more guess before Wednesday at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Hint: No one knew it at the time, but @justino dropped an extremely juicy hint in the comments just six minutes into the contest.
Answer: It took him six years to go from one win to two, but this time it only took @garcia17 two weeks to get his next win, his third overall. This week's MJM, which dropped on my birthday (it went a lot better than my birthday trip to New York last year), featured two jams from shows featuring "Happy Birthday to You": the breathtaking 12/31/15 "Blaze On," and the gnarled first-time back 3/8/09 "Twist." Come by Monday for a pair of tough clips from the MJM Emeritus crew for MJM385.
It's been fifteen years since the shows at Coventry, billed to be Phish's last shows. Long-time fan Chris Pepino of True Form Pictures created a documentary film about Coventry and Phish fans traveling to it, We Enjoy Yourself, in 2004. It screened at the New Jersey Film Festival back in 2009, even winning Best Documentary at the festival that year. The complete film is now streaming live for free at weenjoyyourself.com.
If you've never listened to the music of Coventry, don't be shy.Those who attended the shows that weekend will never forget them; and this post partly explains why, and why there are a lot of good reasons to listen to the shows, warts and all.
Welcome to the 383rd edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the final and most difficult of July. 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 songs and dates of both mystery clips. The clips are connected by a theme, but the theme needn't be part of the correct answer. Each person gets one guess to start – if no one answers correctly in the first 24 hours, I'll post a hint. After the hint, everyone gets one more guess before Wednesday at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Note: Special thanks to fellow MJM Emeritus @schvice for the tip on one of the clips. Also, while the theme is straightforward, I can't emphasize enough how difficult this MJM is.
Hint: “Oh, what a night” - though these jams were played on two different nights in the early ‘90s.
Answer: Congrats to @twoms on winning their first MJM, solving one of the more difficult puzzles in recent memory! This week, they used the hint and personal experience to identify the 7/24/93 "Weekapaug Groove" and 11/23/92 "Weekapaug Groove." As mentioned in the comments, the hint referred to the history of the song's lyrics, which came about in the back of a van while listening to "Oh, What a Night." The MJM will take the next couple weeks off, returning in mid-August for MJM384.
Welcome to the 382nd edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the first since June! Thanks for your patience during our brief break, and we hope you enjoyed Summer Tour, 2019. How 'bout Alpine3? 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 songs and dates of the two mystery clips. The clips are connected by a theme, but the theme needn't be part of the correct answer. Each person gets one guess to start – if no one answers correctly in the first 24 hours, I'll post a hint. After the hint, everyone gets one more guess before Wednesday at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Answer: Congrats to @garcia17 on nailing a huge MJM bustout win, claiming his second win overall and first since MJM154, six years ago next week. This week, he quickly identified the two big jams that didn't occur during the regularly scheduled shows at The Clifford Ball: the 8/15/96 soundcheck and the 8/17/96 "Flatbed Jam." MJM383 will drop Monday.
[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.
[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.
[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.
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.
[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.
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