Coming out of the canceled Curveball festival, speculating the plan for the first show of Dick’s has been a hobby for many. They would do rare songs to appease those who missed the festival! The show would spell something with the setlist! [Insert tweeter's/forum member’s/random guy who had seen a few shows' favorite song that they’ve never seen] would be played of course… twice! Others tempered speculation saying that Phish would just play a normal show, and people had to keep their hopes in check for the “Harpua” opener or for the mysterious ball that was the centerpiece of the artwork to somehow appear in Commerce City.
Somehow both groups were wrong. Phish didn’t play anything unusual. Every song had been played already on Summer 2018. Outside of “Cavern,” (somehow not performed since the way distant past of 7/28/18) every song had even been played in one of the 8 previous shows in August. However, despite playing a night where the building blocks were standard, they somehow still manage to confound any normal expectation.
[Thanks to Brian Crossen, @TypeIIIJPD, for sharing his thoughts on the recent Curveball cancellation and some optimism for what lies ahead - ed.]
As I sit here a few scant days after returning from the Festival That Wasn’t™ (Curventry, Covenball, Lemonadewheel, The Great Wasn’t, Knuckleball, No Ball… whatever you want to call it we sure know how to coin a phrase, huh?) the full weight of what we missed out on continues to weigh on me. The stage was set for another fantastic weekend of music as Phish came in humming after a solid summer tour and the entire community was poised to practically explode with anticipatory excitement at the prospect of another weekend at Watkins Glen. Alas, what we ended up with was decidedly NOT that as many others have documented over the past week. But this post is not about that. Instead, my focus is on looking forward while also reflecting back in an effort to offer perspective on what our long history with this wonderful band can provide at this time.
I, like many many others, am a survivor of both Phish festival weather-related failures. And when I call Coventry a “failure” I mean that personally as much as anything. Without rehashing my own ‘tragic’ tale of woe in never getting close enough to even attempt to walk in to that festival let’s just say that the experience definitely altered my relationship with Phish for several years. Here some fourteen years later we find ourselves in a similar position where the choice to be made is whether to allow this experience to send us back down those dark paths or to go another direction. In the immediate moments after learning of the Curveball cancellation I was transported back to that car on I-91 as Mike came on the Bunny to give us that fateful news, turning some fans into thru-hikers and others such as myself into dejected folks wandering around New England to try to find some other form of closure for the whole thing (spoiler alert: there was no good closure to be found anywhere).
Welcome to the 340th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the last and most difficult 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 the three mystery clips, which are connected by a theme that 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, a hint will be posted. After the hint, everyone gets one more guess before Wednesday at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Answer: Congrats to @lostboy01 on his second MJM win, absolutely shredding this week's 'difficult' puzzle by identifying the 5/24/88 "Run Like an Antelope," the 6/21/88 "Whipping Post," and the 7/12/88 "Sneakin' Sally through the Alley" vocal jam. If you've ever wondered what Burlington sounded like in 1988, this MJM's for you! Stay tuned for an easier take on the contest for MJM341 on Tuesday, after the
Labor Day Dick's holiday. Safe travels!
We're an optimistic bunch. That's a good thing, as most of us were able to salvage the weekend. However, we've gone way too far the other way. It's almost become a competition to see who can be the most "glass half full" about the event, to the point where I'm expecting a think piece explaining how this was actually the best Phish festival ever because it was so relaxing, and we actually had plenty of time to talk and hang out!
And while that's fine for those who believe it, I'm feeling like it's putting pressure on others to buy into that. Don't do it.
[Some words from Andrew Sinclair, user @aisincl, who was supposed to recap Curveball's third show for this blog. -Ed.]
Of course it is cloudy, windy and rainy on this Sunday morning. Of course Junior’s Donuts in Margate City, NJ would be serving Coconut, Red Velvet and Twist donuts on yet another 2018 weekend interrupted by Mother Nature.
Emotions are a very interesting thing. I credit Pixar for taking a real risk by tackling emotions when it created Inside Out. We got to know Anger, Sadness, Joy, Disgust and Fear and their involvement in our minds and lives. This weekend certainly brought out all of these characters for some 40,000+ of us. As I did some digging on emotions for this piece, I became focused on the “deriving from one's circumstances, mood, or relationships with others.” This entire weekend, last few years of Phandom and total relationship with The Phish from Vermont can be summed up by the bit on relationships with others.
Welcome to the 339th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the third of August. The winner will receive a 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 three mystery clips, which are connected by a theme that 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, a hint will be posted. After the hint, everyone gets one more guess before Wednesday at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Hint: After Curveball was canceled, I considered rescheduling this week's MJM.
Answer: And then there were 20! With his 7th win since MJM215 (March 2016), @TwiceBitten enters the MJM Hall of Fame as the twentieth MJM Emeritus – after years of playing along, he knew there was no trap in this week's hint and quickly identified the three "make-up" jams from shows or sets that were rescheduled due to forces beyond the band's control: the 7/22/13 "Down with Disease" (making up for the 7/9/13 show that was canceled due to flooding that closed routes to the venue), the 7/20/13 "Golden Age" (with an extra set announced day-of to make up for the storm that cut the second set short the night before), and the 3/16/91 "You Enjoy Myself" (there was supposed to be a show in Breckenridge on 3/14/91 and another in Vail on 3/16/91, but they had to cancel and reschedule and ended up playing Breckenridge 3/16/91 instead). Boy am I glad this sort of stuff doesn't happen anymore! fuck.
@TwiceBitten wins his 7th LivePhish code, which he'll probably give away, and I will be faxing him some papers regarding his other prizes, which include a 5 minute shopping spree with Trey at a Manhattan boutique men's clothing store, a copy of the Curveball secret set rehearsal videos from the spaceship behind the barn, and a crispy iPhone recording of the 8 hours-a-day FTW rehearsals Trey played with members of JRAD (which Scott Metzger mentioned on the most recent episode of Under the Scales). @TwiceBitten now holds the record for most clips identified in wins by any MJMer in history with 23. In fact, the MJM Emeriti have won 44% of the MJMs all time, and have identified more than half the 600+ jams used in those contests. It's as staggering as it is interesting – it sure seems like just when I think we've run out of savants, another steps up and runs the table. Who's next? Stay tuned for MJM340 on Monday, when we turn back the clock a bit and ramp up the difficulty.
I walked off the airplane in Buffalo Thursday afternoon but my feet still hadn’t touched the ground. I floated through the terminal, down an escalator. I passed a stranger, no, a fan, there are no strangers in our little world, going up the escalator.
“See you at the Ball!” he said, and shot me two thumbs up.
“Can’t wait!” I exclaimed. Feet still hadn’t touched the ground.
From the stairs to the left of me, another fan chimes in, “Festival’s canceled, dude.”
“No it isn’t,” I replied.
“It really is though. Because of the flooding.”
“No, it isn’t,” my feet were losing altitude, “and don’t joke around about this stuff.“
An incredible amount of time, effort, and passion was invested building an experience for Phish's planned Curveball festival this weekend, before it was cancelled. Fan Adam Dyda was on site to capture the eerie, almost Scott Haefner-like quality of the unpopulated environment, and we're honored to be able to share some of his pictures here (17 total), to honor those who worked so hard to make Curveball what it was meant to be.
This is a game for 2-10 Phish fans, designed to be played on tour – whether passing hours in the lot or in line, meeting new friends at a forum meetup, or post-show fun at a hotel or campground. It’s ideally suited for relaxed banter among casual fans, and could be a great way to help share your particular interests in Phishtory. It’s also well suited for cut-throat “I know this band sooooooooo much better than you” gauntlet throwdowns (once you’re sick of arguing about whether the most recent show was historically uberepic or only subprime millennial epic), if your crew swings that way.
You’ll need some sort of tokens – coins, poker chips, pencils, Pepperidge Farm baked snack crackers… or maybe Phanart pins, if you want to put your artwork where your mouth is. (Put ‘em in the game, and let ‘em fight it out.) Each player starts with five. These are your “goldfish” and, unlike Jimmy (RIP Poster Nutbag), you do want a goldfish. Every single one of them.
Beyond the Pond is a bi-weekly podcast in which Brian Brinkman (@sufferingjuke) and David Goldstein (@daveg924) use the music of Phish as a gateway to introduce the listener to many other bands, the vast majority of which are not jambands. An episode generally begins with a deep dive into a designated portion of Phish improvisation, and then can spin off to any variety of musical themes and other acts, the overarching purpose being introducing the listener to as many new and different bands as possible.
[The following is courtesy of Ryan Harrell. THANK YOU RYAN! -Ed.]
About a year ago, I was enjoying one of the Live Bait releases and began thinking about the somewhat disembodied nature of this series, in which live performances from different years and eras are removed from their context and assembled in a way that simulates a long live set. This effectively presents a broad range of Phish’s archives, for which we are all grateful, but it necessarily loses any sense of the chronology or historical context of a given song in doing so.
Also around this time, I noticed .net users on the forum discussing years and eras of the band underserved by official releases of full shows. As I recall, 1999 and 2000 were particularly high on that list, and I began wondering how much soundboard-quality audio from these years existed in a form let than a full show, but at least one song. Far from simply being a nerdy thought exercise, which it definitely was, I also realized how awesome a playlist from a particular year or tour would be with this data collected and compiled chronologically. Okay, so it still sounds nerdy.
As fans, I think we sometimes underestimate the vast number of variables that have to align to create a great Phish show. Probably more so now, when everyone is older, travel and logistics are more complicated, the setup is so much more intense, and more.
Welcome to the 338th edition of Phish.Net's Mystery Jam Monday, the second of August. The winner will receive THREE MP3 download codes courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net (and @johnnyd, who threw his double code victory back into the pot last week). To win, be the first person to identify the songs and dates of the two mystery clips, which are connected by a theme that 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, a hint will be posted. After the hint, everyone gets one more guess before Wednesday at 10 AM PT / 1 PM ET. Good luck!
Answer: Congrats to @Hamphish on crossing the halfway mark to MJM Emeritus status with his fourth win (and second this summer)! As some may have noticed, he typo'd in his first response, which he quickly corrected before anyone else had posted. While he did technically submit a second guess, after discussing with my fellow MJM crew members, @HarborSeal (who technically submitted the first correct answer), and @Hamphish himself, I have decided that @Hamphish is the genuine winner, taking two of the three codes home, while @HarborSeal will be rewarded the third code for being technically correct first. While I am super reluctant to deviate from the letter of the law, the spirit of the rules was not breached in this case: @Hamphish clearly meant to answer with the 12/31/98 "Mike's Song" and the 7/26/17 "Carini" – there was no "Mike's Song" played on 12/31/99, he stated the correct and super specific theme (jams from the two shows during which Phish played "1999"), and he corrected himself before anyone else came it to swoop the prize. Let this be a reminder to folks to double check your work before submitting, as next time we might not have so extra codes built up to dole out! Off to
[Recap is courtesy of user @SmilerControl, Brandy Davis. -Ed.]
Phish returned to Columbia, Maryland, last night for a traditional Saturday/Sunday two-night run at Merriweather Post Pavillion, a celebrated venue that the band started headlining 20 years ago (1998-08-08, well worth a nostalgic listen). MPP has made some significant changes in the three years since Phish last visited. Most are improvements, including a raised pavilion roof for better sight lines from the lawn, and a renovated parking infrastructure that made getting in and out a bit easier. Many fans are saddened, however, by the trading-in of field and forest for a more corporate-park vibe. Tailgating was still on, though, even in the new “Lot 2” parking garage that’s only a short walk from the gate. Despite its corporate feel, the venue seems to have done much to accommodate the Phish community and our shenanigans, and even named one of their new streets “Divided Sky Drive” in the band’s honor.
[Thanks to Josh Martin (@JSAUCE) for recapping Raleigh for the blog. -Ed.]
Greetings, everyone. Jsauce, of the Gorge 2 review, here to give you the lowdown on last night's proceedings in Raleigh.
When Phish goes on tour, I pay a lot of attention and I’m sure there are many, many people besides myself who’ve listened to every note of this tour this far. We care. That’s great. An inevitable consequence of caring is that people are going to disagree. That’s also great. That’s how lively debate happens. However, I can’t help but get a little down when I read the comments section underneath the .net reviews. Maybe it’s always been this way and I just never noticed, but it seems as though it’s gotten way more, you know, PERSONAL all of a sudden. Go back and read the comments on the review of 8/5. Half the people seem to think it was one of the heaters of the tour (my votes would be for 7/20 or 8/3) while the other half seem to think the show was flub city bordering on unprofessional. Am I wrong for thinking that opinions seem to be skewing to one direction or the other in a way they didn’t before? Maybe so, maybe not. More on that later.
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