Phish fans have become part of the show in a number of ways, some solicited by the band and others of their own accord:
Language Signals: The most obvious example of audience participation solicited by the band is the "secret language" of musical cues. On 12-31-92, the band augmented these with additional cues; later, the audience responded with it's own flyers.
Clapping: The band encourages clapping, in particular rhythms, along with "Mound". (Although that's reportedly to help Fishman get and keep "the beat", Orko pointed out (12/13/97) that "he changes the rhythm around the beat, so what the audience is doing is keeping the beat around which he does drum-acrobatics"). During the evolution of "Stash" a five-beat riff by Fishman was originally mimicked by audience members, then supplanted by a four-beat clap by the audience; this sounds to many like two claps on A Live One, and so many only clap twice here now. Clapping during other songs happens, some feel too frequently -- sometimes they (esp. Trey) play along with it and seem to enjoy it, but other times it clearly causes tension with Phish's intense compositions and their changing rhythms. (For instance, clapping works better in "Dog Stole Things" than in "Character Zero", although clapping during the former conceals the groovy lyrics.) But they're certainly not (or at least haven't always been) anti-clapping, as Trey told Guitar Player magazine (vol 28 no 9), "There's a song we did last night, Stash, where the audience does this clapping thing. They just started doing it one night and it worked its way into the song. The audience wrote it. No matter where we go, our audience knows to do that." Thanks also to Brandon Greenberg
Swaying/Waving Arms: The audience typically sways arms, held high, in time to the last chorus of "Contact", which the band used to lead the audience in doing.
Singing along: As at concerts by many acts, singing aloud with songs at Phish concerts is generally frowned upon by other fans -- it not only interferes with hearing the band and distracts from the show itself, but in some cases might get picked up by mics and alter the show for hundreds or thousands of people who'll hear it later on tape.
Flyers: Taking the band's lead with their 12/31/92 flyer, a few attempts have been made to surprise the band with en masse activity.
"Those things developed from a general desire to merge with the audience as much as possible. It know that a lot of times I find myself , if a set's been going on for a while, that I might suddenly feel, 'Too much', we've gotta make some really organic connection again, at which point -- one thing that's rarely been planned out is those a capella things, when we go out front -- and that, to me, is usually just a time to get the bearings straight again, let the ears rest, and -- 'cuase when I'm standing out there, I can really make eye contact with people, see who's out there in the audience and what not.""
-- Trey Anastasio, 12/10/94 interview with Steve Silberman"
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