Permalink for Comment #1341769536 by Alumni

, comment by Alumni
Alumni Phish is different things to different people. To folks of my generation and mindset, yes, Phish is absolutely a nostalgia act, though I don't give that quite the negative connotation that others do.

Phish just played a 15-minute Sally that was really pretty cool, and broke out of the usual song structure. Did I write that today? Nope. August 2009, following a Gorge run that also gave us a Bathtub Gin that (IMO) was better than any that have followed. (There was a pretty good one this tour, pre-SPAC, though I'm spacing on the details.)

Anyway, the subject is change vs evolution: I can think of changes since 09 (tightening the rotation for Fall 09, focusing on rock). In 2010, changes were sponsored by digitech. These days, Trey is playing guitar less with his foot.

Throughout it all, though, I've seen no real evidence of evolution. I'm curious to know what gives you that impression. Trey still does some things well and, on the flip side, he's still fundamentally limited, and that hasn't changed a whole lot since 09. That is, he doesn't have that touch. He can pick lightly (plinko) and he can rawk, but when he tries for something in-between, it usually doesn't go so well. That missing touch is one reason why the band can't recreate their old crescendos even when they try (though in some cases, such as Piper, they've pretty much stopped trying).

So, yeah, it's fundamentally an exercise in nostalgia for many of us oldsters. But the thing is, time keeps moving on. There's a new generation now. Maybe they care about the music that hooked me, maybe they don't. Based on my impressions, Phish 3.0 is playing to their audience. Complainers like me notwithstanding, I bet that the majority of the folks who go to Phish shows these days are getting exactly what they want - lots of songs that they wanted to hear, and pretty pretty lights.

That's why I don't think change is in the air. Phish may not have the most conventional business model, but that doesn't mean they aren't good at business.


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