In celebration of Phish's 13-show run at Madison Square Garden, the Mockingbird Foundation is announcing 13 unsolicited "miracle grants" supporting music programs across the country. Each board member identified their favorite Phish show, and we found a worthy music education program nearby, part of the Foundation's long-standing Tour Grants program. We're presenting these 13 special grants chronologically, based on the dates of those favorited shows. Board member Peter Skewes-Cox picked the 8/19/12 show in San Francisco, CA:
Phish came to San Francisco for the first of four (and counting?) three night runs at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in 2012. The only other time any members of Phish had played BGCA previously was more than a decade prior, when my friends and I hopped the BART to Civic Center to get our Trey fix during the hiatus (12/31/02 wasn't announced until later that summer). [side note on 5/24/02: check out that Mr. C.] When the 2012 run was announced, I was beyond ecstatic; not just because I'd be seeing my first multinight run back in my hometown (and the band's first three night run in The City since Warfield '94), but because the third night was my birthday. Talk about total convergence of all things amazing: Phish playing a show 10 minutes from home on my birthday! What could top that?? It'd have to be something pretty epic...
[The penultimate recap of the Baker’s Dozen is brought to you by one of Canada’s finest, Andrew Rose / @andrewrose]
“Only at the largest concert in the world can you get away with playing a song like that.” A younger Trey Anastasio jokingly offered these remarks on the last day of the last millennium, following a 25-minute, love-supreme-laden “Split Open and Melt -> Catapult.” To this day I’m still not sure if he meant the brief “Catapult” proper, or the miraculous jam over which its handful of absurd lyrics were laid. But no matter, both were true and still are. The irony of course being that such a big stage would be the last place you could attempt such a thing. The show in Big Cypress was the biggest concert in the world that night, and the fact that this silly band from Vermont was able to pull that off, and on its own terms, yielding music and spectacle at once absurd, but also a pinnacle of collective improvisation, was quite the achievement. Eighteen years and a standard dozen donuts later, is it safe to say Phish is about to wrap up a cohesive offering that more than matches it? That in its sheer scope surpasses it? Could we repurpose that cheeky line of Trey’s for 2017, the middle finger to the haters and doubters, and say “only at the largest string of concerts in the world can you get away with not repeating a single song like that.” I don’t think there’s another band in the world right now that could do two nights at Madison Square Garden and not repeat a song, let alone thirteen. (And I haven’t even touched on how consistently great these shows have been, by just about any metric.) So before I recap the band’s penultimate offering, and as we get ready for the finale, I’d like to take a step back and offer a deep acknowledging bow to this latest achievement. This sure has been fun. Am I right?
Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.
This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed just about $1,500,000 to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.