Permalink for Comment #1313392364 by nichobert

, comment by nichobert
nichobert I'm still glad that I tuned out after October 2000 and didn't really tune back in until 2009.
On the surface, that feels like a weird thing to say- because the music they were playing in 2003 & 2004 is much more attuned to my personal tastes than what they're mostly playing now. It still stings that I gave up on Phish's music before an era which, in retrospect, feels much more like a continuation of the 97-2000 sound than I assumed long ago.
On the other hand, I can enjoy this music in a vaccuum that I wouldn't have been able to if I'd cared as much in 03-04 as I did during the 1.0 & 3.0 eras. I just don't have that foreboding melancholy edging my memories of these shows and it makes for an interesting situation where I can appreciate the music so much more by -not- witnessing it in person.

The baggage that some people have in regards to the 2.0 era is completely understandable, but some people push it to the point where they say that 03-04 was musically worthless or feel like the band should have stopped after Big Cypress.

The songs got worse- certainly- but it's a shame that people's memories of Coventry's music tend to focus on the Velvet Sea & Glide instead of the astonishingly cathartic Split Open & Melt -> Ghost segment which featured several stellar thematic segments. I like that someone felt closure during that great jam instead of just tossing their hands up in the air and walking away during Glide.

I hope for everyone's sake that you all reach a point in your lives where you can appreciate the 2.0 era on it's own musical terms without everything associated with it.

I feel like it still casts a shadow over Phish, as the widespread aversion to and/or outright hostility towards the 2.0 era can feel like a condemnation of an improv-heavy Phish at times. They were routinely tearing into jams that were as groovy as Phish 2000 but breaking out of those forms and taking them in new places. After all the bad press I'd read, I expected it to be more repetitive than 99-00 instead of less, and I certainly didn't expect to find so many jams which cohesively moved through multiple suites of improv showcasing a wide variety of styles. Sure, they butchered the tougher compositions on a routine basis- but anyone who had been paying attention realized that crisp compositions had been a rarity for 7 years up until that point.

I'm not saying it doesn't matter, or suggesting that the compositions were on par with 97-00 or anything, but anyone looking for the most pristine versions of songs will probably be digging through some extremely old tapes at this point.

For those who like the "anything goes" nature of 97's improv mixed with the ambient soundscapes of 98 & the hard charging groove machine of Phish2k- 2003 & 2004 often mold some of the best aspects of those sounds into something which sounds intriguingly modern and forward thinking. If you're a Stevie Ray Vaughn fan who also happens to own every Phish show before 1996, it might not be for you. If you're the kind of person drawn to Tortoise's blend of creative melody, syncopated rhythms and gauzy analouge textures, it might be your favorite Phish you've ever heard. 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.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal | DMCA

© 1990-2024  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by Linode