Philly. Bethel. Hartford. Jones Beach. Raleigh. MPP. Blossom! AC night one! This tour has been incredibly consistent, with few dips and many many peaks. The tour is picking up steam, and AC1 showed that they have no intention of slowing down. Relentless is the one word that comes to mind. The ballads are few and far between, most perfectly placed, the jams continue to evolve and show no signs of stalling out. And on the jams—they've finally optimized the synthesizer toys between Trey, Mike and Page, and Trey has perfected his tone, which is pushing them to innovate. They're pushing each other, and instead of a basic pattern that relies on building bliss peaks, we're getting noise rock, ambient space jazz, a mix of good and evil—new, different sounds. What every Phish fan is looking for.
But it can't possibly last, can it? Fishman, fueled by an experimental jet propulsion technology, must need a tune up at some point. Trey's shoes must need to be replaced. Does Mike have enough neon outfits? Page's sandwich supply must be dwindling. Like helicopter parents, fans are constantly pushing Phish to do more, to keep it up, to continue to deliver. But like my colleague Megan wrote, "It’s their own fault though, they keep delivering so we keep expecting it."
A warm breeze blew down the famed Atlantic City boardwalk (did you know? It was first opened in 1870, and is the oldest boardwalk in America and is the longest boardwalk in the world), pushing salty air into the faces of thousands of phans as they waited to enter the sand to hear Phish for the first of three shows on the beach. *As the esteemed reviewer of last year’s AC night 1 show, I will refer you to that entry for more AC trivia.
Now in its second year, Phish’s three-night stand in Atlantic City is the only option for folks unable or unwilling to go to Riviera Maya (Mexico) to dip their toes into the ocean while jamming to our favorite foursome. The hotels have, unfortunately, caught on to the cash cow that the phandom brings to local communities, and prices for rooms now reflect that suckling of the teat. Does that deter us? Of course not - in the same way that accepting gifts from strangers at Phish is welcomed but actively rebuked when back in reality.
[Phish.net thanks Chris Vetoulis for writing this recap. -Ed.]
Living in this tube, we are safe. We are free. Our escape begins before the first notes are played. From the time our last moment of responsibility ends, our eyes suddenly open and we gaze in a world of fantasy, where our imaginations expand beyond the constraints of our day-to-day. The feelings weren’t forgotten, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude flows in as we realize we have the chance to do this once again.
[We would like to thank Aaron Presuhn (@presuhn) for volunteering to recap last night's show and agreeing to recap it even though, last minute, he wasn't able to attend the show. -Ed.]
Cuya-WHOA-ga. Yeah, it’s cheesy. I don’t care. I like cheese and that title amuses me. Accept it and move on. I LOVE Blossom. It’s been one of my favorite venues since my first show there in 2010, and the only show I haven’t seen there since is 2015. It’s also the 19th anniversary of my first festival, IT.
But alas, I’m not there tonight. So this review is from the comfort of my couch. Lights off, volume loud, and (relatively. kinda. ehh maybe not) sober. The crowd energy, friend reactions, venue ambiance…none of those impressions are there. And I’m kinda pissed about it. But such is life. The perfect confluence of f**kery conspired to prevent my attendance tonight, and it sucks. Oh well. Here are my thoughts.
In celebration of Phish’s 34 shows this spring and summer, The Mockingbird Foundation has announced that it is sending an unsolicited $1,000 Tour Grant to a music program near each venue at which Phish performs. The grants are part of a long-standing effort to help bring music from the Phish community to the local communities that Phish touches.
These are the 21st round of unsolicited Tour Grants awarded, an effort that now totals over $200,000, which is 9.0% of all disbursements made by the Foundation. Continuing the celebration, additional Tour Grants will be announced through the end of the summer. The recipients announced thus far are:
TLDR: A rocking show with a party of a first set and great chops throughout. A perfect start with a 14 minute "A Wave of Hope." Fun but straightforward jams in "AC/DC Bag" and "Back on the Train". "Mull" gets very interesting, "Foam" is beautifully executed, and the "Ghost" really goes some spooky places and finally gives the first set the peak it's been asking for. Second set has all the meat in the third quarter's "Tweezer" > "Wingsuit" > "Tweezer" > "Birds of a Feather" segment which is well worth a good listen. "Joy" cools things down for a beautifully played "Taste" and a powerful "What's the Use?". "The Howling" > "Say It To Me S.A.N.T.O.S." are a nice combo to end the set. Fine but unremarkable 3-song encore.
Clouds fill the sky and turn down the heat in Columbia, MD as expectations for typical Sunday show greatness at Merriweather Post Pavillion fill the parking garages and the largest shakedown I've ever seen at this venue. No one is going to let a little rain dampen this day! It comes and goes lightly all afternoon and throughout the show (lawn girl here) but never gets too much to handle. A welcome change from the sweltering heat of weekend shows prior. I have brought my 16 month old on this weekend ride (don't judge me, she did great!), and this kept me bound to the top of the hill with all the other little ragers for the first set. Sight lines are a little better up there now with the newly raised roof, and the sound is definitely at a lower volume but still nice and clear. Little B enjoyed a few songs and then fell asleep somewhere in the middle of first set, leaving me a little more free for note taking and absorbing the music.
[We would like thank Michael Ayers, user @yhgtbfkm, for recapping last night's show. -Ed.]
I’ve mentioned before that one of my favorite aspects of Phish shows (aside from the music) is the people watching. Outside of the usual cast of characters you might happen to run into, one thing that’s always interested me is the groups of friends that attend shows together. I can’t recall which year at Dick’s it was, but one year in front of me were a group of 8-10 folks all wearing matching t-shirts with their names and the number of shows they had attended (I assumed) on the back. I remember thinking how cool that was, to have a group of friends like that. I grew up in a small town in the Midwest, so I didn’t know anyone who liked Phish as much as I did. I knew people who knew who they were, but most everyone else was into either nu metal or country. That is, until I met [Redacted] (who asked to not be named as he’s embarrassed to be my friend and, quite frankly, I can’t blame him).
We met back when I was in college. We were both members of a peer-to-peer music sharing service called Soulseek where you could share your music collection with others and download what they had. After downloading the Phish shows that he had that I didn’t and vice versa, we exchanged messages and the rest, as they say, is history.
We arrived together, friends since we were six, 28 years since our first show at Walnut Creek.
The moist heat smacked us in the face like a used spa towel, but once we strolled through the dusty lot to arrive at the venue, we were home. Even the stairs to the lawn provoked memories that we endeavored to locate throughout the years.
This was a show that required some recognition. Suzy’s 225th show, Kersten’s kids’ first show, our fifth Walnut Creek show together, friends and family scattered across the audience---hard to find on the packed lawn)---running into random people and finding out they're from our tiny home town in rural North Carolina. Of course, conversation quickly drifted to the memorable 1997 show, when the deluge turned the lawn into a mudpit, Kersten’s parents were at their first show, and her brother was featured prominently on the jumbotron as he danced, shirtless and wild.
We live in a world where I have seen/heard easily 100 shows live from home and this was another. I personally have never been to Jones Beach, so this review will not be about the vibes or the lovely breezes, or any interstellar interactions. I’m sure the (insert classic Long Island food item) tasted extra sweet/savory and the beverages were flowing like the nearby Carmen’s River.
We start the night with "Mike’s Song," which is noteworthy mostly because what follows is the longest jam of the night instead of opting for a more traditional "Mike’s Groove" segment. Wolfie finds a chill funk groove with a bit of swing from Fishman as Trey starts to layer some effects into his tone. He pulls back to a cleaner tone and Page finds some energy on the baby grand, extra mustard seemingly emanating from his shirt. When Page switches to the organ, the band turns a corner through a heavier, more evil zone. The jam heads into a "Sigma Oasis" feel and then continues evolving. Page begins to add some sonic textures that hint at a spacey take-off point but instead we find ourselves in "Ya Mar."
[This recap is courtesy of Tom Volk, phishnet user tvolkl, blanksnpostage on Twitter. -Ed.]
So here we are at long last: off to arguably their best start to a tour in a good long while, Phish arrive at Jones Beach for the first time since 2013. It’s a venue fraught with a so-so reputation amongst fans that also has a sneakily long history with the band, dating back to the summer of 1992 as the fourth stop on the original H.O.R.D.E tour.
To understand where I am coming from with Jones Beach, you have to understand first that this place is essentially a vortex for me and my family. Legend has it my grandfather drove down the newly paved Wantagh parkway in August of 1929 to swim at and explore the newly created state park days before its official opening. In the early 70s, my parents met there while working summer jobs in college. My dad worked at the Zach’s Bay concession stand, a scant 100 yards from the entrance to the theatre, where he served ice cream everyday at lunch to a pleasantly drunken Guy Lombardo.
It’s where I saw my first Phish show in 1994, where beforehand I met Mike Gordon in the parking lot where he politely chatted with a small group of us in the southeast corner of the parking lot and chastised my friend for smoking a cigarette at too young an age. “Young smoker, huh?” peering down from his bike before he sped off. So for me, this venue is inescapable and my attachment to it is irrational. You’d only understand if you grew up on the south shore, amongst the mosquitos, strip malls, salt breezes and suburban congestion and then piled my family history on top of that. So, if you’re looking for complaints about the traffic, that fact the main concourse has all the ambiance of a third rate state fair food court, the looming NY State Troopers, or that the incessant ocean breeze destroys the sound you’ve come to the wrong place. Simply, I am a homer.
“Hartford is a sacred place, magical things happen here,” whispers a hippie girl as she hands me a red solo cup of what appears to be pond water. We’re standing under a violent sun in suffocating heat, surrounded in every direction by rubble and stickered-up vehicles. She continues: “This is a potent frog extract that will aid in the decalcification of your third eye.” I’m so thirsty that I ignore the last statement, plugging my nose and chugging it down as a hot breeze envelopes us with dust. The Hartford police usher us toward the venue and we head in.
[Phish.net thanks Noah Eckstein, freelance journalist, for this recap. His work has been featured in The Guardian, The Daily News, PBS, Variety, and DoubleBlind Magazine. He also assistant produced and co-wrote the first two seasons of Osiris Media’s podcast Undermine. Twitter: @NoahEckstein. Phish.net: @SOLARGARLICAFICIONADO. -Ed.]
Dairy cattle have given their bodies to supply humanity with labor, leather and beef for 2,000 years. And, let’s not forget about milk. Without which, the classic Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food ice cream would be, well, it wouldn’t be.
On July 23, 2022, the sacrifices of past, present, and future dairy cows and their revered spirits were honored with auditory splendor, a cosmic “thank you” from the band and from the crowd.
The Guernsey cattle that were the reason Max Yasgur had a farm in the first place were memorialized on Saturday night, their collective sacrifice and memory honored by Mr. Jon Fishman, (aka Moby Dick, Dick, Dick) who sampled their fabled utterance, the good ol’ classic “moo” throughout a rocking show that concluded an epic two night run at the Bethel Woods Arts Center.
[Phish.net thanks volunteer recapper Brad Strode (user @c_wallob) for this recap. -Ed.]
Hello everyone. Long time reader, first time recapper here. I’ve always enjoyed reading these recaps for every show, and I’m thrilled to be able to help out on Summer Tour 2022.
Bethel Woods Music Center for the Arts (corporate sponsorship hopefully not pending) in many ways is not so different from your typical summer shed; the parking lots are expansive and mostly devoid of shade, there is a single entrance point with sometimes long security lines, and the amphitheater itself is a standard pavilion & lawn, with an unremarkable roof covering those lucky enough to have reserved seats close to the band. With all that said, Bethel Woods Music Center is nothing like the typical summer stop on Phish tour. The fields and forests surrounding the venue are steeped in nostalgia.
For today's recap, please hop over to JamBase for a full rundown from RJ Bee of Osiris Media and HF Pod.
[Thank you to Nick Williams (user @TwiceBitten) for recapping last night's show. -Ed.]
Phish, the band, what can you say? An American original: full of the awe, spectacle and big top excitement of P.T. Barnum’s circus; as majestic as the Rocky Mountains and as thick as New England’s forests; as powerful as the magic that existed in this land before the white man came, and sometimes as dark and sinister as the evil that those settlers brought with them (well maybe only on a headful). So what does such a band do after playing a show up in Bangor that seems to be unanimously regarded as IT? They had options: Phish could have tried for a repeat, stretching another jam past 30 minutes; they could have relied on a bunch of bust outs to keep the fans satisfied; they could have phoned it in even.
As the years have gone on, Phish has largely moved out of the shadow of the Grateful Dead and into their rightful place as the elder statesmen and torchbearers for a spark that was ignited almost 60 years ago in a series of rented halls around the Bay Area. While the Dead largely settled into a standardized show format less than halfway through their career, Phish has always been keen on freshening-up the flow of shows from night-to-night, tour-to-tour, era-to-era. Still, much as there are only 12 notes in western music, there are only so many types of Phish shows (not counting more subtle variations within each format).
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 over $2 million to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.