Wednesday 04/06/2016 by Lemuria


Sick of delegate counts on the proverbial road to 1600 Pennsylvania? Here’s some relief: a state-by-state analysis of the 1600* public Phish performances in the U.S.

The graphic below plots each state as a bubble, at the intersection of the first and last dates Phish played there. The larger the bubble, the more shows Phish has played in that state. (A legend is included in the lower left of the graphic.)

These bubbles appear in several distinct clumps: The large bubbles in the upper left are places Phish started and has performed the most. To the right of that, a group of varying sizes represent states first visited in the band’s early expansion, from 1989 to 1991, and still played recently. Finally, the sparse group of smaller bubbles in the lower middle-to-right represent sporadic stops from 1990-1995 that haven’t been visited in a number of years.

States Bubble chart

An upward sloping trend, where that third group was higher (i.e. had been played more recently) than the first, would show that Phish was adding new states and shedding old ones. But while they’ve added new states, they aren’t shedding old ones: Though Vermont hasn’t been played in several years, every state played before 1989 has also been played since 2009..

Contrarily, a downward sloping trend, where the first and third groups predominated, would indicate that the band was simply sticking to its origins. Instead, that second group appears: The bulk of the states added from 1989 through 1991 have been played in the most recent year.

The overall trend of the 45 represented states is still slightly downward (indicated by the red dotted line, a simple linear regression of those 45 data points). But take into account all 1600* shows (as the green dashed line does), and the trend is simply forward and steady: Beyond a small number of outliers (such as Oklahoma, not played until 16 years after Nevada, and not shown here at all), Phish has typically expanded their itinerary while continuing to visit most states.

* We're aware of 1823 dates at some point associated with a Phish performance (not counting side projects or guest appearances, which we group as sideshows). Of those, 9 didn't happen (6 cancelled, 3 postponed), and 45 more were either erroneous (e.g. 10/12/88 was actually 12/10/88 set I) or aberrant (e.g. there was no 12/25/88 show, planned or performed). Set aside 16 private events, 13 soundchecks, 14 television appearances, 8 radio shows, 6 sporting events, 3 award events, and 8 miscellaneous events (such as a post-show bluegrass jam in a parking lot), and we’re left with 1701 legit, public, mostly ticketed, "counts for stats purposes" show dates - of which 101 are outside the U.S. (that graph comes later) and 1600 within.

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, comment by Bob_Loblaw
Bob_Loblaw Great Stuff!
, comment by bill__the__butcher
bill__the__butcher Phish are truly an American band, only about 6% of shows outside of the US wow

I wish they'd come up to Canada more
, comment by DaleCooper
DaleCooper Very cool. Seeing NM down at the bottom both makes me sad and hopeful. We're due Jerry!
, comment by Hendrix_Phishinfloyd
Hendrix_Phishinfloyd Texas Loves Phish. Texas Deserves More Phish.
, comment by paulj
paulj Bubble-licious.
, comment by dscott
dscott Cool graph! I guess this leaves Alaska, Hawaii, Wyoming, and the two Dakotae as the 5 remaining Phish-naive states.
, comment by philanthropist
philanthropist Love this graphic!
Where have they played in Arkansas? I don't see it on the list of venues?
, comment by akjed
akjed This chart screams, "Come to Alaska!"
, comment by SimpleMike
SimpleMike Interesting to see. Did you explore what happened inbetween the first and last more than just the show counts? MD has such a long span but so few shows. What's up with those states?
, comment by dscott
dscott @philanthropist said:
Love this graphic!
Where have they played in Arkansas? I don't see it on the list of venues?
You're right! No Arkansas, either. The map counts DC as a state.
, comment by Midcoaster
Midcoaster 1st Minnesota since 2000? Wow. Intriguing tour opener for 2016. In 2017, they ought to do a run of the Canadian Maritimes to warm up: New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI, Newfoundland and Cape Breton. Shake it up.
, comment by Lemuria
Lemuria @SimpleMike said:
Interesting to see. Did you explore what happened inbetween the first and last more than just the show counts? MD has such a long span but so few shows. What's up with those states?
Oh, yes! There's a lot more data visualization OTW...
, comment by Your_Trip_Is_Short
Your_Trip_Is_Short Thank you for loving Colorado. We don't get to travel as much for shows as we used to so we are blessed with the amount of love you show this state. Thank you, thank you, thank you!
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