TicketShit

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 30, 2009 by Mr.Miner
3.6.09 (J. Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J. Kravitz)

Something’s got to give in this discouraging state of affairs.  Phish tickets have gotten nearly impossible to acquire on actual on-sale dates, and there is no solution in sight.  In a nutshell, this sucks, and many fans are being left ticketless. This weekend, we witnessed the death of online Phish ticket sales, and discovered the only way to score a decent ticket is to be the first in line at an outlet- sometimes.  Although I had most of my tickets, I tried to score tickets for every on-sale this weekend to fill in the gaps and grab tickets and hook up friends in need.  Not interested in buying lawns, I was able to score a whopping two Gorge tickets out of seven on-sales.

This isn’t coming from a place of bitterness-I have my tickets, and for that I am blessed- just one of utter dismay and empathy for those who had similar experiences.  I tried all weekend long to score a decent stub and met with fail after fail after fail- and I consider myself pretty savvy with the ticket thing.  After my multiple experiences this weekend, I thank my lucky stars for having so many friends looking out for one another, because without such a network I’d be out of luck right now.  Yet not everyone has such a network, and these on-sales are their only real chance of getting tickets, and herein is my point.

Page and Trey (J.Kravitz)

Page and Trey (J.Kravitz)

Let me narrate this weekend’s bumpy road, and I bet that some of it sounds quite familiar.  Red Rocks- not a chance.  I never even saw the screen after I selected two four-day passes.  Next day- I tried for Darien while a friend stuck out on Merriweather.  I was never able to access a screen to actually select tickets- not sure why.  Maybe I refreshed one too many times, but I was never let back in, even after restarting my computer- though obviously nothing was left at that point.  There is nothing on Live Nation’s site about refreshing screens.

SPAC- nothing.  I am thrown into a waiting room from which I never emerge. Once I decided to bite the bullet and refresh the screen, tickets were gone.  Live Nation’s server seemed to be jamming every single time, and even when I did get by the captcha in under fifteen seconds, there was always an error message waiting on the next screen.

blockbuster_video_storeMeanwhile, I heard of a friend’s success at their local Blockbuster, and decided that for Shoreline, that would be my plan.  But first the Gorge was going on sale.  Completely defeated and ready to toss my computer out the window, I would attempt Gorge tickets as a mere formality.  But less than an hour before they dropped, a friend stopped by and suggested we look at places to go in the city.  We hopped in her car and sped down to a little Ticketmaster outlet within a store in the Mission.  Upon arrival, there were about nine people there and about a half an hour to go.  I figured we were screwed but decided to wait and be told formally.  In conversation, I learned that eight or nine people had scored four-day passes for Red Rocks there the previous day. Hmmm, I thought, we are going back to the old-school.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

While waiting in line, I realized that our technology has finally outdone itself.  With so many people trying to score tickets against insurmountable odds created by ticket bots, hacker software, and scalpers, online ticket sales for Phish shows are officially dead.  Sure, there will always be stories of the people who were lucky enough to get them- but that’s what it is, pure luck.  Sure, you can strategize until the cows come home, but with zero barriers to entry, when thousands of people all hit the button simultaneously, whoever gets pulled into the system is quite random.  Online ticketing is far too accessible- you can sit in your underwear with your bong and click the mouse, or try order tickets when you should be working.  Back in the day, you’d have to go to a Ticketmaster outlet- it took a lot more effort.  Online on-sales have become no better than another lottery at this point, so we are left to trade and scalp; it’s a bad scene.

As the guy at the outlet furiously ran credit cards and printed tickets, the two-day passes sold out, as expected, with the person before us.  We did manage to score two individual tickets, and now she’s in.  That’s my success story.  But it wasn’t supposed to be the main story- that was coming Sunday with Shoreline.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

I tried for Hartford and landed in another waiting room, then all that was available was lawn- all within about thirty seconds.  Really?!  I got into the system in the first thirty seconds and all that was left were lawn seats- something was going on here.  Unless you got right in at the moment the tickets went on sale, your chances at a pavilion seat were slim to none.  Sure we can all get stubbed down, but it’s all about having your own ticket in your own pocket.

Yet for Sunday I had scouted my plan.  I located a random Blockbuster an hour outside the city, and was heading there early- very early.  Waking up at 7:07, I hopped in my car by 7:30 and was in the desolate parking lot of Blockbuster at 8:30 am- alone!  I had done it, I had accomplished my goal- I was first at an outlet.  I smoked a joint solo just to celebrate my forthcoming pair of 100 level tickets, and sat on the curb with the Sunday Times- blowing up my solo lot scene.  I spoke with the manager, and he was on board with the mission, so I relaxed and enjoyed the morning sunshine for 3 1/2 hours.  About an hour into my personal sit-in, a second guy rolled up, and we shot the shit as we gloated about our situation.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

I checked in with the manager again, telling him about the high demand, the scalpers, and the incredibly time-sensitive nature of his forthcoming task.  He was down, he would do all he could to make sure we were hooked.  Beautiful- or so we thought.

Finally, it was five to twelve, and tickets were about to drop.  As I watched him navigate the computer, I realized how slow he was at each movement and began to fear that his lack of speed would be our doom- but I was first- I knew I would at least get my two.  12:00 hits!  He pulls up two pavilions but has no idea what button to press to try and acquire the tickets.  After about twenty seconds of searching he finally found the “add to cart” button, which I thought was strange for a corporate outlet.  A cart?  Anyhow, as he entered the order, his computer came back with an error message!?  What the fuck?!  I came here to avoid error messages!  And so he started the process from the beginning again, and I knew I was sunk.  By the time he pulled ANY ticket, it was 12:10 and it was a lawn, which we let a third guy have who came up at the eleventh hour.

Fishman (J.Kravitz)

Fishman (J.Kravitz)

I was momentarily livid.  It was so obvious that Live Nation sent their guy to install their computer at Blockbuster, dropped off an instruction manual and left.  The guy confessed to being “very new at this” having only sold twenty tickets ever, and no offense, but it showed- he was totally unprepared for the task at hand.  If I was behind the terminal, I’m confident we would have all walked out with pavilions, but alas, what could we do- he was the guy that worked there.  To make a long story short- first in line, 3 1/2 hour wait, no tickets.  Nice.

What to do now?  I have no idea.  With internet on sales as random as the lottery, outlets’ efficiency subject to staff competence, and a phone system in which we get hung up on, we are left with very little control over our own destiny to score Phish tickets.  It’s reached the point of absurdity, and I have yet to hear a legitimate solution.  This whole paperless ticket trend wouldn’t work for Phish, as you wouldn’t be able to trade or buy tickets for friends unless you were actually going in the door with them.  Though by subverting scalpers, everyone just might be able to get tickets again.

Ironically, part of the problem is the relatively low price of Phish’s tickets.  With a $50 face value, they are sold at a fraction of the cost of any major act like Bruce Springsteen, The Dead, or U2.  Knowing the profit margin available on Phish tickets, scalpers, like vultures, flock to them using ticket bots and mark them up 400-500%.  If that’s their business, how can you blame them?  The incredibly high demand for Phish tickets far outstrips the supply for any given show, driving the true market value of a Phish ticket far above $50.  With such a high demand, they are able to make ridiculous profits on Phish.  In trying to keep it cheap for the fans, the irony is that fans aren’t getting the tickets; it’s a total mess.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

So we are left to our networks of friends, trading boards, and scalpers- not always feasible options for everybody.  I am a firm believer that if you go to just about any show and try hard enough, you will always find one.  But it shouldn’t have to be like that; it shouldn’t be so damn hard for to get a ticket to see our favorite band.  But with the band members taken out of business decisions this time around, we are left with Coran Capshaw and corporation Phi$h running the show, and, honestly, they seem like they couldn’t care less.  Sure, they put anti-scalping messages on Phish’s ticket site- but do they actually do anything? Not so far.

ticketsnow-ticketmasterBruce has done something, Trent Reznor has said something, Eddie Vedder pioneered the anti-corporate ticket movement, and Metallica, AC/DC, and Tom Waits have tried paperless tickets requiring credit card and ID for entry.  Yet nothing but silence has come from camp Phish as TicketsNow continues to hawk all their summer shows at absurdly high prices.  It seems clear that Phi$h Inc. likes the hype and these sky-rocketing prices in the secondary market, as the demand to see Phish will only increase with every fan shut out.  In the end, with the millions rolling in, no one cares who is getting the tickets or how they are doing it, this much is plainly obvious.

This is 2009, folks- we can pull up our friend’s entire music libraries on our phones from across the country, we can zap messages to people around the globe instantaneously and locate anything with pinpoint accuracy via hand-held GPS devices, but somehow we can’t figure out an effective system to get tickets in the hands of real fans.  The real question remains, does anyone really want to?

***

To correlate some numbers to this debacle, check out “The Economics of Phish Tickets,” thanks to Posterus Nutbagus!  Here is an explanation of the spread sheet.

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PHISH THOUGHTS TICKET EXCHANGE:

2889100254_8494a287a8Speaking of tickets, The Phish Thoughts Ticket Exchange has been updated for all the new shows!  We have opened up the board to the public- no longer will you need to email for an invite.  Please respect the board, as this is a community resource to get around the secondary ticket market.  Please respect the board and post carefully to make sure you are putting your info in the right place. Please read the instructions on the board before posting.  There is a permanent link to the board on the upper right of the home page.  If you make a successful deal through the board, please send an email with “Great Success!” as the subject line with the details of the deal in the text so we can track transactions.  If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, please email mrminer@phishthoughts.com!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

redrocks_right6.11.94 Red Rocks SBD < LINK

I am re-posting this classic SBD for the sake of completing our ride through Red Rocks history.  We conclude with a straight up classic- certainly one of the best ever in Morrison.  Enjoy the blistering show from start to finish, as we dream of the end of July.

I: Wilson, Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself, Rift, Down With Disease, It’s Ice, Tela, Stash

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Run Like an Antelope, Fluffhead, Scent of a Mule, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, Maze, Contact > Frankenstein

E: Suzy Greenberg

Last “Frankenstein”07-26-91.

Weekend Nuggets: The Gorge ’97

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on March 28, 2009 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOADS OF THE WEEKEND:

The Gorge

The Gorge

As the upcoming Gorge shows sold out yesterday, this weekend we will travel back in time to the summer of 1997 and Phish’s first visit to the venue.  Pulling into central Washington at the beginning of August, Phish was midway through their summer of deep funk and this translated beautifully to the open air beauty of The Gorge. The first night was darker and dancy, wile the second was celebratory and triumphant.  After this initial visit, Phish felt right at home at the best venue of the west coast.

8.2.97 The Gorge, George, Washington < LINK

8.2.97 The Gorge, George, Washington < TORRENT LINK

I: Theme From the Bottom, Ginseng Sullivan, Ghost, Dogs Stole Things, The Divided Sky, Wolfman’s Brother, Water in the Sky, Split Open and Melt

II: Down With Disease > Tweezer > Down with Disease > Johnny B. Goode, Sparkle, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Loving Cup, Tweezer Reprise

E: Harry Hood*

*Trey asks Chris [Kuroda] to turn the stage lights off; band jams in darkness to the stars.

Source: Schoeps CCM4>Sonosax>SV-MD1 (FOB)

phish-out-west-97-thumb***

8.3.97 The Gorge < LINK

8.3.97 The Gorge < TORRENT LINK

I: Bathtub Gin > Foam > Samson Variation, Dirt, Vultures, My Mind’s Got a Mind of Its Own, Twist, Jesus Just Left Chicago, Limb By Limb, Character Zero

II: Julius, Simple, Fluffhead, Lifeboy, Taste, Hello My Baby, Frankenstein

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Slave to the Traffic Light

Source: Schoeps MK5 (FOB)

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PHISH THOUGHTS TICKET EXCHANGE:

2889100254_8494a287a8The Phish Thoughts Ticket Exchange has been updated for all the new shows!  We have opend up the board to the public- no longer will you need to email for a invite.  Please respect the board as this is a community resource to get aroud the sceondary ticket market.  Please respect the board and post carefully to make sure you are putting your info in the right place.  Any questions, please email mrminer@phishthoughts.com!

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VIDEO OF THE WEEKEND:

“Gumbo” 7.17.98, The Gorge

March Madness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on March 27, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

As the NCAA tournament takes peak form this weekend in the rounds of sixteen and eight, a different type of March Madness has swarmed the Phish community in the form on ticket on-sales.  After the near-impossible Red Rocks mission, fans look to have more success against the weaker seeded shows this weekend.  Big match-ups against both Ticketmaster and Live Nation headline today’s slate. The host venues of these battles will be The Gorge, Merriweather, Darien, and SPAC.  The fans look to give it 110% in their quest for paper glory.  After today the first nine tickets of late summer will have come and gone, and only Shoreline and Hartford will remain.  On a raucous Friday in March, the madness is most definitely in the air.

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

“Madness” is a word often used loosely to describe Phish music.  Honing in on this idea of “musical madness,” I compiled eight Phish jams that embody this word.  A friend on mine recently posted on Facebook “The Best Five Albums to Listen to After a Phish Show,”  and yesterday, another buddy retorted, “What are the best albums to listen to while frantically trying to score Phish tickets via public sale?”  Well here is my response.

Hampton (P.Washburn)

Hampton (P.Washburn)

The music should match the mania, and these eight selections fit the theme of the day.  In honor of March Madness- both ticket and basketball- I have collected an “Elite Eight” jams that are the musical definition of madness; allow them to color your weekend in any way you please. The download link is above the track listing.  Good luck today!  I’ll always take any extra pavilions off your hands.  Just drop me a line!

MINER’S PICKS: MARCH MADNESS < LINK

MINER’S PICKS: MARCH MADNESS < TORRENT LINK

***

“Bathtub Gin” 11.23.97, Winston Salem, NC

This one is a beast that dominates the second set that could be better than its legendary Hampton predecessors.

“Simple” 11.29.98, Worcester, MA

Hampton (P.Washburn)

Hampton (P.Washburn)

I’ve written about this one before- a masterful, tour-ending  piece of psychedelic sorcery.

“David Bowie” 10.27.95, Kalamazoo, MI

A dark and monstrous “Bowie” from Fall ’95, one high point for the song.

“Split Open and Melt” 12.1.94, Salem, OR

A dark-horse jam in the first set that illustrates ’94 Phish going for the jugular.

3.8.09 (Unknown)

3.8.09 (Unknown)

“Tweezer” 12.2.95, New Haven, CT

A “Tweezer” like none other- fifteen minutes of the most seething music you’ll ever hear.

“Maze” 10.18.96, Pittsburgh, PA

A highlight of this dark-horse ’96 show, this “Maze” gets way out there in a hurry.

“Stash11.12.94, Kent, OH

Dark and terrorizing, like “Stash’s” should be, this version characterizes the depths to which ’94 Phish plunged to in no time at all.

12.7.95 “Mike’s > Weekapaug,” Niagara Falls, NY

One of the best “Grooves” out there, each half boast stand out jamming- though the “Mike’s” takes the cake.

(Note: This is not meant to be a definitive list of “the” eight craziest jams.  ever- just eight pieces of madness.)
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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.20.93 Red Rocks SBD < LINK

Phsh @ Red Rocks (Coventry Blog)

Phsh @ Red Rocks (Coventry Blog)

Since we are going through the history of Red Rocks, here is the legendary first show the band ever played there, smack dab in the middle of August ’93.  This is a re-post, but it fits the season.  New readers- enjoy!

I: The Divided Sky, Harpua, Poor Heart, Maze, Bouncing Around the Room, It’s Ice, The Wedge, Ginseng Sullivan, Rift, Run Like an Antelope

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Slave to the Traffic Light, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, My Friend My Friend-> Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself > Purple Rain*> HYHU, Cavern

E: The Mango Song, Freebird

*With Mimi Fishman (Fish’s mom) on vacuum.

***
3337964888_60568796891

Hampton Space – Photo: Jeff Kravitz / insidecelebpics.com


Straight Across

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 26, 2009 by Mr.Miner

Equilibrium: a state of balance between opposing forces or actions.

In "Line" at Hampton (J. Kravitz)

In "Line" at Hampton (J. Kravitz)

Equilibrium is the state that Phish attains when things are flowing subconsciously- in from the universe and out through their instruments.  It is this state that is sought every time the band steps on stage; sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t- but the ride of discovery is half the fun.  Phish has utilized different techniques throughout their career in a constant attempt to achieve this musical balance.  From their famous “Fill in the ‘Hey” hole” jamming exercise to their collegiate Oh Kee Pah Ceremonies; from “the Blob” that formed Billy Breathes to their collaborative funk grooves, Phish has continually strove to reach a musical equilibrium.

3.8.09 (Unknown)

3.8.09 (Unknown)

One of Phish’s techniques used to achieve this balance throughout most of their career was their “four across” stage set up- Fish and Page turned in slightly and looking at each other.  Absent from 1999 to 2004, the band came out at Hampton in their original stage set up- the one we grew up with.  This was clearly an intentional return to the band’s on-stage roots, and the decision carries a certain significance and symbolism.  Set up as four equal parts, all next to, and able to see, each other’s eyes, the “old” Phish was back.  As the band reconnects with many of their early musical habits in 2009, the switch to the old-school lineup aligns perfectly with this rejuvenation.

3.6.09 (Unknown)

3.6.09 (Unknown)

At the first show of 1999- June 30th at Bonner Springs- the band took the stage, for the first time in their career, in a new arrangement.  Fish was placed on a riser behind the band- the conventional spot for a drummer.  Mike was brought front and center, while Trey was bumped to stage left.  Quite disorienting at first, the band remained with this set up all the way through 2000.  Mike’s prominence in the music, and a physically-tighter rhythm section were going theories as to why the switch was made at this time.

When the band came back from their hiatus, there was another on-stage shape shift.  Trey returned to his place in the middle of the band, able to better communicate with everyone, and Mike assumed his former spot on stage left.  Meanwhile, Fish remained behind the other members in the same position.  The band carried this arrangement throughout the 2.0 era, and it seemed like the “line” was forever gone.

Fast forward five years- we enter The Mothership.  Re-acclimating ourselves to the foreign, yet familiar, surroundings, when glancing up at the stage, we are struck by the “line” again!  Initiating the old-school vibe before a note was even played, Phish was returning to their roots.  The stage looked normal again, and when the band came out with “Fluffhead,” everything seemed to be falling into place.  This was the band we knew!

"Contact" (J.Kravitz)

"Contact" (J.Kravitz)

Phish has always been a musical phenomenon- four equal cogs that, when working together, equal far more than the sum of their parts.  Musical balance is key to this transcendence; absorbing the ideas of all four band members equally- questing for that moment.  With their return to the original stage set up, the balance of Phish’s music is once again physically manifested.  Lined up as peers, each member is an equal part of the greatest whole on earth.  The band’s original arrangement will likely trigger their original stage dynamic and style of communication.  We began to observe this already at Hampton.  As Phish continues to forge a new musical path, they will do so with revitalized energy, a dedication to practice, and an enhanced physical balance.  With this recipe, the result will be an aural equilibrium that will provide many an adventure in IT.

***

3361128558_ac96397072

Hampton – Photo: Jeff Kravitz (insidecelebpics)

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

phish-red-rocks-946.10.1994 Red Rocks < LINK

6.10.1994 Red Rocks < TORRENT LINK

Everyone knows about the stellar 6.11.94 Red Rocks show with the great FM SBDs that have circulated over the years.  This show was the night before.  A classic second set was anchored by the epic beautiful combination of “Curtain > Tweezer > Lifeboy,” and capped with a vintage ’94 “Hood.”  “Demand > Bowie” added some beef to the openeing frame.

I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Sample in a Jar, Nellie Cane, Demand > David Bowie, Lizards, Cavern, Julius

II: Axilla [Part II], The Curtain > Tweezer > Lifeboy, Sparkle, Possum, HYHU > I Wanna Be Like You > HYHU, Harry Hood, Tweezer Reprise

E: Sleeping Monkey > Rocky Top


Source: Nuemann TLM 170i>DAT [Set 1: Sub-cariods; Set 2: Cariods)


“Times Turns Elastic” Revisited

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 25, 2009 by Mr.Miner
10.27.08 (M.Copeland)

10.27.08 Nashville (M.Copeland)

As many of you have heard, Trey will be releasing his orchestral collaboration with Don Hart, “Time Turns Elastic,” as an album on May 21st through his own Rubber Jungle Records.  A press-release from Red Light Management, reprinted yesterday on Glide, detailed the evolutionary process of the piece, and added the shining nugget of info that “Time Turns Elastic” will “come full circle when Phish performs it on the band’s upcoming summer tour, interpreting the piece as an epic rock song.”  Interestingly enough, that was the intention all along Trey explained.  “I was living in upstate New York when I started writing this little tune that just kept growing.  I initially thought it would be a Phish song, but after I sent a demo of it to Don, it just grew organically into an orchestral piece.”  Now we are talking!

10.27.08 Dress Rehearsal (M.Copeland)

10.27.08 Dress Rehearsal (M.Copeland)

Before summer tour starts in earnest, Trey will perform the east coast debut of “Time Turns Elastic” on May 21st with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.  This special evening focuses more on Trey, and less on the orchestra, than the Nashville unveiling in September where the orchestra played an opening set.  The rest of the show will be comprised of “classic Phish songs and solo Anastasio compositions.”  This will surely be a night to remember, but let’s now turn to the Phish.

When hearing this multi-faceted piece in Nashville, and then again when the acoustic demo surfaced, its potential as a Phish song struck me immediately.  With rich lyrical symbolism, powerful melodic themes, and an ethereal reflection on life- it seemed like a perfect fit for Phish.  Talk about a multi-part compositional epic- it’s been a while since we have seen something of this complexity and magnitude emerge from Trey.  Along with the band’s host of new songs, and forthcoming album, this summer looks to be full steam ahead, with little concern for the rear view mirror.

3.7.09 (M.Walters)

3.7.09 (M.Walters)

Knowing that Phish will be tackling such a challenging piece brings great hope for their future endeavors.  Placed in the context of their renewed commitment to composition, practice and being a well-oiled machine, the addition of “Time Turns Elastic” to their repertoire is wholly fitting.  While its complexity is congruent with their musical mission, the piece’s lyrical sensibility seems distinctly appropriate- time is what we make of it.  And as Phish-time now bends backwards and moves forwards at the same time, this piece is the ideal soundtrack.  Mature in feel and meaning, this will be  a latter-day Phish triumph once integrated into shows.  As we all prepare to return to life as we’ve love it, one of the lyrics resonates as particularly poignant:

And when it’s time the landslide
will free what froze inside
While all around the rocks collide
You finally see the lines
That point toward the light that never dies.

3.8.09 (P.Lucks)

3.8.09 (P.Lucks)

As we discover our initial late-summer ticket fate, moving back towards that undying light, one can only imagine the version of Phish we will see playing come Red Rocks, The Gorge, and SPAC- the possibilities are mind-blowing.  Off to a running start in Hampton, the band has infused the entire community with a child-like excitement for what is to come only two plus months away.  As events continue to unfold, the hype for the future will continue to grow until exploding at Jones Beach on June 4th.  And, hey, that’s only a mere 72 days away!

Listen to “Time Turns Elastic” Acoustic Demo now! < LINK (Roll over link, click play)

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RUMOR MILL:  FENWAY ANYWAY?

fenwayparkThis article from Boston Music Spotlight on March 23rd, continues to speculate about a Fenway opener on May 31st, right after Dave Matthews takes over Red Sox Nation for two nights.  They also mention the god-awful rumor of a Texas festival- let’s keep our fingers crossed on that one.  As anyone can tell you, Phish tour and Texas is like oil and water- despite the great music the band has produced in The Lone Star State.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.7.96 Red Rocks < LINK

8.7.96 Red Rocks < TORRENT LINK

Phish 1996 (J.Richter)

Phish 1996 (J.Richter)

As we all lament or celebrate our Red Rocks situation today, on Phish Thoughts, we finish our cruise through the band’s 1996 four-night stand. Final night highlights are strewn throughout the second set, including a smoking “Runaway Jim” and a memorable “Colonel Forbin’s” narrative about the indigenous iguanas.  We can now only wait to see what the next four nights at Red Rocks have in store for us!

I: Punch You in the Eye, Sparkle, Stash, Ya Mar, Gumbo, Taste, Lawn Boy, 99 Years*, Ode to a Dream*, Doin’ My Time*

II: Runaway Jim**, Free, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Famous Mockingbird, Possum, Life on Mars?, You Enjoy Myself, Hello My Baby

E: Bouncing Around the Room, Golgi Apparatus

*First time played; with Tim O’Brien on mandolin, bouzouki, and lead vocals. O’Brian is a former member of Hot Rize  ***With “Gypsy Queen” jam

Source: Schoeps64V > Oade > 250 > DAP1 > D(1)

A Ghost Encounter

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 24, 2009 by Mr.Miner
3.7.08 (D.Pecoraro)

3.7.08 (D.Pecoraro)

Phish jams provide so much more than mere music- they are experiences.  When the “Tweezer” lick or “Mike’s” riff drops, that adrenaline we feel isn’t due to the audio stimuli we are about to receive, but rather the all-encompassing life experience we are about to notch into our belt.  The experience of a Phish jam moves beyond “listening” into the realm of “living.”  These jams bring us inspiration, fear, introspection, catharsis, and revelation- this is the fabric of life.  This contributes to the humor when parents or non-Phishies ask us why we would want to attend four straight shows.  Always a difficult question to answer to those who haven’t experienced IT, we often find ourselves stuck- or talking for ten minutes- trying to explain.  It all comes down to the live experience- experience- those moments where nothing else matters; this was one of those moments.

It was Saturday night in Hampton, and Phish had just finished their best segment of music to that point.  “Rock and Roll > Limb” gave us an initial taste of 3.0′s improv.  After a ripping ride, one might have predicted a more mellow song waiting in the wings- but there wasn’t.  Lurking right around the corner was one of those experiences.

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3.7.09 (D.Pecoraro)

As the peak of “Limb” ended, many needing a quick breather, but Phish would not allow it, easing their way into the opening grooves of “Ghost.”  Simply hearing this beginning after a five year absence, and knowing all the crazy rides the song had taken us on, was enough to send our energy directly through the roof.  Echoes of yesteryear came flooding into the Coliseum, hearkening back to the colossal Hampton “Ghost” of 1997.  As soon as the rhythmic patterns started oozing from the stage, that feeling returned.  That eager anticipation you feel when you couldn’t be more excited for the moment- we were about to live a “Ghost” jam for the first time in half a decade- and my brain was overdosing with adrenaline.

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Without any noodling, Trey got right down to business, offering edgy, uncompressed lines over a methodical groove.  Soon the band joined the improvisation, crafting a communicative pattern around a three-note phrase by Trey.  Following the beginning of the jam, the music opened up quite a bit more, allowing space for Mike, Page, and Trey to play shorter, staccato melodies that fit in and around each other like an intricate jigsaw puzzle.  With no one member overpowering this segment of music, the band’s collaborative effort stood out- especially with their new live mix.

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Hampton (D.Pecoraro)

Coming to a natural transition, the band shifted back into a more traditional “Ghost” story, with Trey playing sustained wails over the band’s soundscape rather than focusing on dance rhythms.  The music began to ascend- chasing Trey’s emotive offerings, and before we knew it, the band latched onto his melodic geyser, following his lead into one of the most spiritual releases of the weekend.  This was the first time that Trey stopped thinking and just played what was in his heart- and it was so, so obvious.  The previously calculative Jedi had lost himself in his music, inviting us to come along, rediscovering the unbridled joy in the organic peak of a beautiful Phish jam.

3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

"AC/ DC Bag" 3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

The emotions evoked within myself, as I’m sure many others, were awing.  There we were again- merged with the band in the middle of IT- dancing our hearts out because nothing else mattered.  It was a powerful moment; rediscovering the experience of Phish as the band grew more comfortable on stage once again.  Soon after the climactic peak, the band slid down the jam’s denouement and right into “Piper.”  This “Ghost” authoritatively completed the message whose delivery had started with “Rock and Roll > Limb”- Phish’s emotional improv was back.  While much of the first three sets carried the vibe of a recital, it was this second set that announced the band’s creative return.  And it wasn’t until “Ghost” that we caught a glimpse into the soul of the band that will inspire us through the next part of our lives.

LISTEN TO 3.7′s “GHOST” NOW! < LINK (Roll over link and press play)

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“The Mothership” – Photo: Dave Pecoraro

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.6.96 Red Rocks < LINK

8.6.96 Red Rocks < TORRENT LINK

8.4.96 (J.Richter)

8.4.96 Red Rocks (J.Richter)

Moving right along, here we have night three of 1996′s famed stint at Red Rocks.  If you are following along, we will go though every show the band has played at the legendary venue this week. The no-brainer highlights of this show are the first set-ending “Antelope” and a sublime “Tweezer” that is one of my personal favorites.  Look for the gorgeous “Hood” that concluded the night’s jamming.  This one is a keeper.

I: Makisupa Policeman, Rift*, Suzy Greenberg, Simple, Theme From the Bottom, Lizards, Dinner and a Movie, Horn, Run Like An Antelope

II: The Curtainb> Tweezer**, Prince Caspian, A Day in the Life, Big Black Furry Creature From Mars, Purple Rain, Harry Hood#, Tweezer Reprise

E: Johnny B. Goode

*Contained “This is Red Rocks, This is the Edge” (referring to U2′s live album “Under a Blood Red Sky”), by Trey. **With “Norwegian Wood” jam. #First appearance of the “Hood!” chant after the band sings “Harry,” which was initiated by flyers passed out at the show.

Source: FOB > DFC/9th row > Sonic Studios Dsm6′/Pa6lc3s (w/60khz bass rolloff) > D7 @48k > Clone

Taper: J.P.

The Sound Of Phish

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on March 23, 2009 by Mr.Miner
"Divided Sky" 3.6.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

"Divided Sky" 3.6.09 (J. DiGiuseppe)

Hampton wasn’t just a new chapter for the band and the audience, it also represented a transition in front of house sound engineers for the first time since 1986.  Paul Languedoc had held down the soundboard at Phish shows for nearly two decades, and had become an institution in the Phish scene.  Like all institutions, legends were built around him- not just his mixing- but his individually hand-made guitars.  While many guitar players switch axes many times throughout a show, you’ll never see Trey ditch his trusty Languedoc- it’s the sound dreams are made of.  Versatile and beautiful, Trey’s guitar tone, while encompassing many variables, all starts with the Languedoc.  Mike also used a Languedoc-crafted bass until 1997, when he switched over to his Modulus, boasting a fuller sound for the band’s groove-heavy era.

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

But as an everyday member of the band, Languedoc was the sound guy.  As Paul has retired from the road, Hampton was our first taste of Phish without his oft revered mix.  And to be honest, I think it was better.  Back in the day, friends and I wondered why Languedoc was so consistently praised for his live mix; in short, we didn’t believe the hype.  If there was one thing Paul made sure of- you could always hear Trey at the top of the mix.  (And this is coming from a Trey lover to the end.)  While Mike and Page offered just as much musically, they were always turned noticeably down, and it often became humorous.

In fact, it wasn’t just us that noticed this; fans began to take notice on large scale.  In early 1997 a “social protest movement” grew within the Phish community- PLM or “People For a Louder Mike.”  It took an organized cadre of tapers and  hippies with a catchy slogan for Languedoc to amend a clear shortcoming!  Finally, Gordeaux got brought to an acceptable place of prominence in the live mix.  Coinciding with his switch to the Modulus, all of a sudden Mike was dropping bombs that enveloped the room- and it was the best.

"Sanity" 3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

"Sanity" 3.8.09 (J.DiGiuseppe)

Then you had Page.  It has become a virtual consensus among fans that he was at the top of his game in Hampton, leading jams and creating engaging melodic themes all weekend long.  And I completely agree with this.  While Trey was self-admittedly a bit tentative over the weekend, The Chairman stepped up throughout the shows, earning MVP for the comeback run on many a message board thread.

While there is no doubt that he was shredding, I now pose the question, “Was part of Page’s prominence in Hampton partially because we, literally, heard him better?”  Taking nothing away from his playing, I sincerely believe this factored into why he stood out so much.  Our ears had been trained- for years- by listening to a relatively unbalanced, guitar-heavy, live mix; one in which Page was most easily lost.  Hence, with a more balanced mix, Page would naturally stand out.

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

In addition, Languedoc’s mixes weren’t the most dynamic- meaning he wasn’t always responding to what was going on stage.  If someone steps up to lead a jam, they should be pushed up ever so slightly in the mix, in order to complement the natural contour of the music.  While potentially inaudible in one instance, over an entire show of  “dynamic” mixing, the music will “pop” much more.  To be fair, Languedoc had a very good mix, but he definitely had his taste of how it should sound.  Once he achieved that sound, he became somewhat of a creature of habit with the knobs.  I know this may sound blasphemous to some fans out there, but it is certainly not meant in any inflammatory way.  Paul did a great job for a long time, but had a propensity to settle in with the room sounding a certain way.  Ultimately, Languedoc’s true passion seems to lie in his custom guitars, where he has chosen to focus his work from here on out.

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

3.6.09 (W.Rogell)

I have no idea who did the live mix for Hampton, but I do know that it sounded amazing and far more balanced.  Yes, they was the first shows back, it had been a while- but after seeing hundreds of shows, it was something that jumped out each night.  And the best illustration of this new-found balance was how crystal clear Page sounded all weekend long.  In a band of such uniquely talented musicians, all should be treated equal, with necessary adjustments made on the fly.  At Hampton, this four-part equilibrium was closely approached- maybe moreso than ever.  Call me crazy, but I it noticed on all three nights.

This is in no way meant to bash Languedoc- he always had it sounding spot-on in all types of rooms for nearly twenty years- but his affinity for big guitar often compromised Page’s contributions.  I’m not even sure if the person who mixed Hampton is a permanent hire – but it’s fascinating how someone stepped in for their first time ever and had the mix sounding so vibrant.  It’s interesting what a fresh pair of ears with no preconceptions can do.

Do you Agree?  Disagree?  I’d love to hear your opinions in Comments!

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“The Return” – 3.6.09 – Photo: Wendy Rogell

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

8.5.96 Red Rocks < LINK

8.5.96 Red Rocks < TORRENT LINK

8.5.96 @ Red Rocks (J.Richter)

8.5.96 @ Red Rocks (J.Richter)

Continuing on our tour through Red Rocks history, today we have the second night from Phish’s four-night stand in 1996.  Look out for monster bookends of set two in “2001 > Disease” and a heavy “Mike’s Groove.”

I: Wilson, Poor Heart, Guelah Papyrus, The Divided Sky, Wolfman’s Brother, Foam, If I Could, Julius, The Squirming Coil

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra >  Down With Disease, It’s Ice, Halley’s Comet > Somewhere Over the Rainbow**, Waste^, Talk^#, Train Song^, Strange Design^, Amazing Grace, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

E: Cavern

**Page, solo on Theremin. ^Page on a smaller piano, Trey on acoustic guitar, Mike on acoustic bass, and Fishman on a smaller drum set (the “acoustic mini-stage”).  #First time played.

Source: FOB > DFC/9th row > Sonic Studios Dsm6′/Pa6lc3s (w/60khz bass rolloff) > D7 @48k > Clone

Taper: J.P.

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