By Lindsay Slater
Published October 11, 2008
Well, well, well. After four years and a ton of rumors, my favorite
band in the universe is finally back together.
Phish is by far my favorite band, and I have my good friend, Mutt, to
thank for introducing me to their music.
Phish, which was never considered to be "mainstream" music (they were
never consistently on any type of music chart), had the biggest
following since the Grateful Dead, to which they are often related
because of their cult-like following.
I've had the pleasure of seeing them live, and it's an experience
that I hope some of my friends, who haven't gotten to see them yet,
get to do this time around.
It is an absolute act of Congress to get tickets to their shows as
they pulled in a crowd of close to 200,000 people for their last show
at Coventry in 2004. Crowds of 200,000 for one band is astounding.
A typical Phish experience starts with the lot, a tailgating event of
sorts. People are cooking food, some of the best you'll ever have and
often called "lot food." People are selling various things like
shirts, stickers, necklaces, etc., most of which are usually made by
the seller and drum circles. People blaring Phish from their stereos
just hanging out and relaxing away from the stresses of the routine 9-5.
The show, itself, is incredible. The knowledge and ability of the
members of this band (Trey, Mike, Page, and Fishman) are unsurpassed,
in my opinion.
They are considered a jam band and rightfully so. You'll be
hard-pressed to find a song less than eight minutes in their repertoire.
But it's good music. One thing that I have always loved is the sound
of Trey's guitar. It's like slicing butter with a hot knife. Smooth.
They have a lot of crowd participation during their shows. They have,
in past tours, played a chess game with the crowd where in one show,
the band would make a move and the next show the crowd would make a
move. Don't quote me on this, but I believe the band won.
One tour they did a puzzle with the crowd. At every show, they would
hand down a puzzle piece down to the audience and they would pass it
back and the piece would be added until the puzzle was finished at
the end of the tour.
They've thrown macaroni and cheese dinners to the crowd, they have
mini trampolines, and Fishman, the drummer, plays a vacuum cleaner.
Yeah, that's what I thought at first, too.
Hopefully, I will be off to Hampton, Va. come March 2009.
There is no better feeling than knowing that you're in the car on
your way to a Phish show.
Oh, how I've missed the excitement of that feeling.
It's definitely one of the greatest feelings and has been missing
from my world.
If you come to visit me and my pole is missing…
I've gone Phishing.
Lindsay Slater may be reached at lslater(at)times-journal.com