, attached to 2014-10-21

Review by imdano

imdano Phish30sux,

I appreciate where you are coming from and want to give you some love. While I do happen to think quite highly of several of the jams you disparage (Randalls CDT in particular), I too grow tired of the apologists. From a shear economic perspective, there is no excuse for disjointed shows full of miscues. We have made this band rich over the years, to the point where they can play as much or as little as they choose, wherever they choose, and still count on a packed house. $60 a ticket may not be as much as U2 or the Stones commands, but that is real money nonetheless. They have all the time in the world to practice and be sharp (none of the four have any other jobs, right?). I don't think tha,t just because they have been playing for thirty years, Phish is somehow entitled to not work hard for their devoted audience.

It can be a really interesting inner conflict when you are compelled to keep going back to shows, again and again, even when you feel that it is no longer special. Its certainly not what it used to be, thats indisputable. I felt that way in '09, '10, '11, and most of '12. I think that the last few tours have had some tremendous highs. I guess my point is that you have to find a way to reconcile yourself with reality; the band members are in their 40s/50s, and are not the hungry, audacious, bad-ass musicians they were in 93. If you can find enough to celebrate in the longevity and durability they display when they get out on the road now, hopefully the moments of magic, while admittedly more sporadic than in years past, will be enough to make it worth your $60. Thats how I view it. Its a lot like Jeter in his final season; he couldn't play like he used to, no doubt, but his years of hard work earned the nation's respect, and there were still enough of the occasional flashes of greatness to make it worth it. Phish is quite similar in that regard.

On the other hand, if you really can't reconcile yourself to that truth, and leave every show dissapointed at the lack of variety and invention, then perhaps it is time to hang up the spurs, as it were. I still applaud you for speaking your mind on this topic.


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