One can’t begin to discuss even the cursory history of Phish without mentioning the role of tapers and the taping community. After every show and tour, hundreds of padded envelopes criss-crossed the country and helped spread the gospel of Phish in a fashion similiar to the way bits & bytes travel the Internet now. From one to one trades, to complex trading trees, to blanks & postage offers, to taping parties, Phish tapes were constantly circulating. At the root of every chain and the beginning of every trade, was a taper who selflessley put recording the shows above all else.
Initially, it was with baited breath that people waited to receive tapes to even find out what was played last week. Likewise, with the arrival of a fresh batch of tapes it was an opportunity to hear a debut, to hear what all the buzz from a particular show was about or to hear a new cover torn to shreds the first time. As time went by, and set-lists become disseminated quicker through the internet, tapes were no longer needed to know what was played but rather as the first opportunity to listen to the magic that was happening elsewhere in the country. Though tapes have long since been replaced with digital, setlists are instantly updated live-time at current.phish.net or m.phish.net, LivePhish has the show available for download within an hour of the show ending, and you can stream the show as you leave the parking lot from the Phish app, there still exists an incredibly energized and dedicated taping community.
some of the taper rigs from Mansfield, MA 'Great Woods' Picture credit: Parker Harrington
Monday? Time for the Mystery Jam. As usual, we will be playing for an MP3 download courtesy of our friends at LivePhish.com / Nugs.Net. The rules haven't changed: you need to correctly identify the song and the date to win. Post your guess in the comments. One guess per person per day (with the second “day” starting after I post the hint). The hint will come on Tuesday and the answer will be posted on Wednesday. Good luck...
Tuesday Hint: Choda is probably closest.
Wednesday Answer: In a bit of near-Instant Karma, Pauly7917 is our winner, correctly identifying the 9/20/00 "It's Ice." Nice work, Pauly! Be honest though, how long many times did you check your entry before hitting "submit"? The Blog should point out, however, that while it may be a bit misleading to call this a hint-aided victory (since there wasn't much of a hint), the MJ did stand tall for over 24 hours which seems like the Blog's best showing in months. See you all next Monday.
MP3 Downloads Courtesy of LivePhish.com
IT is not always easy to review a Phish tour. You are not going to please everyone all of the time, or perhaps even most of the time. The stronger your opinions, the hotter the heat. And “capsule reviews” of shows rarely do them the justice that they deserve. Even weak Phish shows -- or “below average” as compared with other Phish shows -- are still great rock concerts, involving a super vibe, excellent musicianship, and sensational lights and sound, particularly on this tour, which featured new, and amazing, light and sound systems. We have a blast at Phish shows. Period. That’s why we bother to attend them, at significant expense, often on multiple nights on any given tour. And, thankfully, Phish’s Summer tour ain’t over yet.
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