Author Topic: Can we talk about Phish?  (Read 31127 times)

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Offline razorsedge

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Can we talk about Phish?
« on: July 01, 2010, 02:42:27 PM »
I've been a long time fan of phish but have just recently had the opportunity to see them live.  let me tell you, my enthusiasm for the band has just sky rocketed.  These guys are really fantastic musicians.  The biggest thing that has sucked me in, aside from just how good the music is, is their determination to never play the same show twice.  It encourages a huge amount of research about each song, its history and how longs it been played.

anyway, i've been diving into the collection of recommended shows from each year since '86, it's incredibly cool to listen to everything through the years.  Also, something that has only struck me since listening to their older material is how proggy many of their jams get.  many songs have pretty intense sections that really should only be described as prog. 

also, phis.net is incredible.  beyond just having every set list and detailed song history, they've compiled all of that information into a really accesible format.  what i mean is, say i saw a concert and they played Reba; maybe i want to know how many shows its been since they played it, done.  maybe i want to know what songs most commonly are played before and after that song, done.  maybe i want to know how many shows they've played this song at, done.  it's absolutely crazy how much information is so well organized and easily accessible.

The two shows i saw totally bumped DT  out of the top spot for live performances i've seen.  (actually, LTE at BB kings occupies the top spot mainly due to how small the venu was)  there is such an incredible vibe before and during the show.  one of the cool things i've discovered is the glow stick war that occurs every night.  a lot of the audience is very familiar with all the songs so when the band is coming out of an intense jam or a fast pace and break into a climax or resolution or trey just bends a note and sustains for half a minute everyone throws a handful of glow sticks in the air.  it. is. awesome.  like a few hundred little fireworks going off.  then everyone collects whatever lands near them and does it again at the next appropriate section. 

any other fans? cool experiences? plans to see them this summer? 

tl;dr: i'm really excited about phish and think they're really cool.       

keys and gates. That's some fantasy shit right there.

Offline sirbradford117

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 03:23:01 PM »
I have been listening to Phish since March 2009, right after news of their reunion hit the Internet.  Since then I've listened to 100 or so shows and have been enamored not only by the band and their playing, but the jam-band ethos.  Listening to Phish makes me think about the fact that most bands perfect ONE setlist and perform it flawlessly each night.  How awesome is it that bands call sets on the fly and consistently reinvent themselves with every single concert?  "Jam music" is the perfect combination of a multitude of genres together with the "jazz," improvisational mindset... I even have thoughts of calling it the "ultimate progressive music."

(OK, off my soapbox.  I fancy myself an amateur scholar sometimes...)

I don't know if I'd call their jams proggy, but lots of their older compositions certainly are.  "You Enjoy Myself," "David Bowie," "Divided Sky," "Guyute," etc. Their jams have the potential to reach places VERY far-removed from the song they started with.

I love to listen to individual shows while analyzing the peaks and valleys each set reaches.  Even if they happen to have a crappy set, it will have definite highlight points with songs that led up to a peak (increasing momentum) and a few songs to cool it down.

Phish.net is an incredible source for information, as is the now out-of-date Phish Companion (2nd ed published in 2004 shortly before the "break-up").  Keep reading... you will NEVER run out of things to learn!!

Oh, and I'm going to see them for two nights in Indianapolis (August 12/13).

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Offline rumborak

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 03:28:47 PM »
I heard "Fluffhead" the other day in a friend's car, and I thought that was a really cool tune.

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Online ReaperKK

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 03:35:11 PM »
My old roommate used to listen to Phish. The only time I really ever sat down and listened to them was when I took some shrooms with him. I think I'll give them a listen sober sometime soon.

Offline sirbradford117

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 03:47:30 PM »
My old roommate used to listen to Phish. The only time I really ever sat down and listened to them was when I took some shrooms with him. I think I'll give them a listen sober sometime soon.

There is plenty for a prog fan to appreciate while sober.  I am always sober when listening.
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2010, 05:34:24 AM »
I've always had an appreciation for Phish, but have never delved too deeply into their actual discography.  But I do own their newest, Joy, which I love to pieces.  Is it reminiscent of their older studio efforts?  I understand that their true strength is their live performance.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #6 on: July 03, 2010, 09:52:54 AM »
Their true strength is in their live performance.  Pick up the DVD "Phish It".  Ignore the main disc (which is a documentary about the "Phish Festival" known as "It") and go directly to the second disc, which is "Bonus Footage".  It's all concert footage, and A+ quality throughout.  I watch two or three tracks in a row, and I have to stop for a while because my mind is so blown.  I've never seen any other band do what they can do live.

The Greatful Dead were long known for not just jamming for ten, 20, 30 or more minutes, but doing so with an amazing combination of spontaneity, tightness, and looseness all at once.  Nearly impossible to describe.  Phish take that and go a notch further IMO.  They're not just tight, theyre fucking tight.  The four of them have been together so long that their connection on stage is almost telepathic.

Offline Gadough

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2010, 04:20:41 AM »
Aren't they considered to be the modern day Grateful Dead? I dunno, I remember reading that somewhere.
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Offline sirbradford117

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2010, 04:57:45 AM »
I've always had an appreciation for Phish, but have never delved too deeply into their actual discography.  But I do own their newest, Joy, which I love to pieces.  Is it reminiscent of their older studio efforts?  I understand that their true strength is their live performance.

Joy is solid... I dig most of those new songs.  The oldest albums are either more progressive and technical or more playful, showing their sense of humor.  Get a hold of Junta for some solid prog or A Picture of Nectar for some fun. 

Slightly later albums are more mature, and mix composition with ballads and straight rock songs... like Joy.  Personal favorite: Farmhouse.

But again, you should really care less about the studio albums.  It's all about the live shows.  I think a pretty good starting point is the commercially-released recording of New Year's Eve 1995, or the compilation A Live One.

Hef and anybody else who is interested, grab a live record and give it a listen.  See what you think and then we can talk more specifics!
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Offline hefdaddy42

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2010, 07:56:12 AM »
I've heard some of A Live One.  A roommate from college had it.

I need to get that.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2010, 10:57:01 PM »
My Phish experience started with A Live One, which turned out to be an excellent starting point.  I picked up Junta not long after, and I was totally hooked.  There is still some improv on the early studio albums, which were basically attempts to capture in the studio what they were used to doing live.  Eventually I got all the studio and "regular" live albums.  I didn't feel the need to get all 30 or whatever live albums from the LivePhish series, but I do have some of them, and they're great.

In other words, I still haven't found a bad Phish album.

Offline YtsePhish

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2010, 12:55:45 PM »
Yes, let's talk about Phish!
 Here's the setlist from their 4th of July show:

Set 1: The Star Spangled Banner, Punch You In the Eye, Colonel Forbin's Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird, Camel Walk, Ocelot, Heavy Things, My Friend, My Friend > Lawn Boy, David Bowie, Gotta Jibboo

Set 2: Down with Disease > Piper > Ghost > Waste, Julius > Mike's Song > Tela, Harpua > Killing in the Name[1] > Harpua > Weekapaug Groove

Encore: First Tube

That's right a first time RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE cover for them!

Here's a great resource to download some great shows: livephish.com

If you're looking for some straight forward prog rock era Phish, check out any show before 1994
If you're looking for crazy all out experimentation, check out any show 1994-1995
If you're looking for crazy jamming that brings a heavy funky and trance element, check out 1997-1998

Now in 2010, I think Phish is doing absolutely fabulous. They are not jamming as much as they used to. But that's OK because they are playing tighter than their first comeback. I'd rather have a short jam that is right on point than a noodling 20+ minute jam that goes nowhere. This is a great year to see Phish. And they are absolutely nailing their complex compositions (i.e. Fluffhead)

Offline YtsePhish

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2010, 02:14:16 PM »
And yep, start with A Live One
Next if you feel like dipping into some crazy funk jamming go download 11/17/97 from livephish.com
There's lots of good stuff from their recent tour to check out to.

If you want any show recommendations let me know!

I'll be hitting up the Alpine shows in second leg of summer tour.

Offline razorsedge

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2010, 04:34:59 PM »
I've heard some of A Live One.  A roommate from college had it.

I need to get that.

A Live One  is a great jumping off point.  i find the studio albums to be largely unnecessary; to a large extent they're not written as cohesive albums nor are the songs written for recording or the studio environment, so you don't lose much, if anything, from simply discovering songs from live shows.  i would recommend looking at at least one pre-90s concert, 2 or 3 shows between '90 and '95 and 2 or 3 between '95 and 2000.  that would cover a lot; just look at set lists before you download a show and try to get a large cross section of songs. 

if you really enjoy what you hear look at the halloween and new years shows they did in the 90's which were always special. i think either new years '94 or '95 was named a top ten concert of the decade by Rolling Stone, if you put any faith in that.    the new years show on 12 31 99 was also on the epic side.  9 hours of music including a 6 hour 3rd set from midnight to sun up. 


collecting shows is really quite addictive, i find.  it started with just checking out shows "of note" and has just snowballed because i want to discover that one version of stash that will blow my mind all over again.

keys and gates. That's some fantasy shit right there.

Offline sirbradford117

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2010, 07:42:19 PM »
In response to the last 2 posts... 11/17/97 is indeed one for the ages.

And 12/31/95 is the New Year's show that was named one of the best ever.
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Offline Orbert

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #15 on: July 05, 2010, 09:50:51 PM »
Phish newbies shouldn't get the wrong idea, though.  I think the studio albums are very good.  It's not like they're totally unnecessary.  Phish really comes to life on stage, but the studio albums do have some cool stuff.

Offline razorsedge

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #16 on: July 05, 2010, 11:05:54 PM »
oh, also; they covered "killing in the name of" on july 4th.  for a metal fan who loves jam bands this is like the grail. 

keys and gates. That's some fantasy shit right there.

Offline sirbradford117

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #17 on: July 06, 2010, 05:58:21 PM »
oh, also; they covered "killing in the name of" on july 4th.  for a metal fan who loves jam bands this is like the grail. 

... and my personal fave cover from summer tour so far, Led Zeppelin's "The Rover."
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Offline bout to crash

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #18 on: July 11, 2010, 08:21:13 AM »
Ohh, I'd like to hear both of those.

I'm not a huge Phish fan but I do like them a lot; they're a lot of fun and great musicians... and sometimes completely ridiculous, which I also like. My friend/coworker made me a live CD last summer and I played the shit out of it. Tony used to be really into them and then got back into them recently so I have been hearing them a lot.

One thing about seeing them live, though: he just went for the first time in MA on this tour, and although he loved their performance, he really didn't want anything to do with the scene. It was just one big drug binge, apparently, and a lot of the people were really obnoxious.
Oh Jackie, always jumping to the most homoerotic possibility.

Offline razorsedge

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #19 on: July 12, 2010, 11:02:21 PM »
Ohh, I'd like to hear both of those.

I'm not a huge Phish fan but I do like them a lot; they're a lot of fun and great musicians... and sometimes completely ridiculous, which I also like. My friend/coworker made me a live CD last summer and I played the shit out of it. Tony used to be really into them and then got back into them recently so I have been hearing them a lot.

One thing about seeing them live, though: he just went for the first time in MA on this tour, and although he loved their performance, he really didn't want anything to do with the scene. It was just one big drug binge, apparently, and a lot of the people were really obnoxious.

"lot life" as they call it can be a huge turn off to a lot of people.  i found it pretty welcoming, truthfully, but i was with a friend who had made all but one show before i saw them with her, so i had an in.  i think the thing that is most telling though, is the prices of everything on shakedown street.  2 for $5 on dogfish head beer? $4 falafel? most of these people are making just enough to pay for tickets and transportation.  not a scene i could ever really enter, but it was certainly a nice visit.   

keys and gates. That's some fantasy shit right there.

Offline sirbradford117

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #20 on: July 13, 2010, 06:02:49 AM »
I didn't really experience the lot at my first show.  Walked through for a while and had a few folks ask me for hard pharmaceuticals.  This summer I'll be attending with a few veteran friends and I'm looking forward to a bit more comfortable experience, even though I won't be indulging in any substances.  I'm just there for the music!
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Offline bout to crash

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #21 on: July 15, 2010, 03:13:14 PM »
Yeah, so was he, but all of these drugged-up people were trying to dance with him and putting 3-D glasses on him and shit :lol.. he also got dosed with a cookie by our friend's uncle. 
Oh Jackie, always jumping to the most homoerotic possibility.

Offline sirbradford117

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #22 on: August 11, 2010, 01:16:20 PM »
Bump.

Going to see them at Deer Creek (near Indianapolis) on Thursday and Friday!  Anybody near the area care to grab a ticket and meet up?
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Offline YtsePhish

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #23 on: August 11, 2010, 08:18:53 PM »
Have fun at Deer Creek. Those will be some aweseome shows, but I hope they don't top the two Alpine Valley shows that I'm going to Saturday and Sunday! ;)

Offline razorsedge

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #24 on: August 12, 2010, 12:07:24 AM »
Have fun at Deer Creek. Those will be some aweseome shows, but I hope they don't top the two Alpine Valley shows that I'm going to Saturday and Sunday! ;)

or the two tour closers im seeing next week!

keys and gates. That's some fantasy shit right there.

Offline sirbradford117

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #25 on: August 12, 2010, 08:17:14 AM »
Have fun at Deer Creek. Those will be some aweseome shows, but I hope they don't top the two Alpine Valley shows that I'm going to Saturday and Sunday! ;)

Yeah man, you've got some great tunes coming up in the rotation that they probably won't play in Noblesville.  Have fun!!
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Offline bout to crash

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #26 on: August 12, 2010, 03:20:24 PM »
Might end up at Jones Beach... got an interesting phone call from Tony last night- "Do you wanna hang out with Jay, Ramsey, and an old hippy in a wheelchair at a Phish concert next week?" :lol
Oh Jackie, always jumping to the most homoerotic possibility.

Offline BRGM

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #27 on: August 12, 2010, 03:58:38 PM »
I think we should talk about Tjicken instead









:neverusethis:

Offline ScioPath

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #28 on: August 12, 2010, 04:02:11 PM »
ahahahaha ahahaha ahaha what?

Offline BRGM

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #29 on: August 12, 2010, 04:44:58 PM »
1111 post cong!! and well, you're to young to understand


:neverusethis: Your brain's freaking older than me -.-  I mean wiser

Offline YtsePhish

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #30 on: August 17, 2010, 09:25:28 PM »
Jones Beach is looking hot tonight. Let's hear the Deer Creek reviews! I saw both Alpine shows and they were the best shows I had seen from Phish since 2000 probably. The Down With Disease > What's The Use on 8/14 was pure bliss. My mind = blown

Offline Birch Boy

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #31 on: August 17, 2010, 09:33:27 PM »
Might end up at Jones Beach... got an interesting phone call from Tony last night- "Do you wanna hang out with Jay, Ramsey, and an old hippy in a wheelchair at a Phish concert next week?" :lol
Old hippies = WIN

Offline Elsydeon

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #32 on: August 17, 2010, 09:38:16 PM »
One of my coworkers is really into phish. I don't think i ever really listened to them

Offline Orbert

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #33 on: August 17, 2010, 10:31:32 PM »
Listen to Junta and A Live One.  Your life will never be the same.

Offline Elsydeon

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Re: Can we talk about Phish?
« Reply #34 on: August 17, 2010, 10:35:15 PM »
Listen to Junta and A Live One.  Your life will never be the same.
Alright I'm going to listen to both tomorrow at work