Type Your Phish Thoughts

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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby booztravlr » Thu Aug 16, 2018 3:39 pm

Let me just say that I'm glad others are enjoying these shows so please don't misinterpret my comments as being a jaded fan. This is a message board so not everything is going to be praise; critiquing and slandering are two different things. I'm not trying to spread negativity or anything, just commenting on my opinion of what I've heard.

With that being said, feel free to give me a run down of your top songs from this tour so I can make sure to listen to them again.

El Bastarde wrote:I've listened to a lot of songs from every show

But not the whole shows...


No, mainly because I don't feel like only listening to Phish for a month straight but also because I have yet to find a song on Big Boat that I enjoy listening to. Plus, some of the older songs are more routine now so unless I haven't heard it in a while I'm likely skipping over a straight forward Poor Heart, All of these Dreams, Back on the Train, Wedge, etc. I've always enjoyed the exploratory side of phish so I lean towards the lengthier songs when choosing what to listen to. The straight forward stuff, Phish isn't as consistent as they once were. I'll get my fix from Zappa, Miles Davis or James Brown if I want to hear what a tight practicing band can do on stage. But that's what's so great about Phish, to each their own!

El Bastarde wrote:I with I could say the same for this current summer tour. Overall, I'm not impressed. I've listened to a lot of songs from every show (up to 10-Aug right now, but I skipped both Camden shows) and there aren't many standouts, and I'm referring to both songs and shows

Sometimes I think that I'm just listening to different shows from some people. I don't get where this comes from. And, no standouts? Georgia night 1 was one of the better shows I've heard in years. I give up even trying to figure out the negativity.


You didn't copy it over but I did say Gorge night 3 was my favorite so far. I'll give GA night 1 another listen. The jams in Ghost and Carini seemed very similar to me upon my first time through but maybe I was just distracted by work when they were playing.

y0n wrote:^People are judging the tour in the shadow of BD. That’s the simplest explanation I can think of.


Baker's Dozen? If so, I guess that could be part of it but I honestly didn't think of it that way. I really don't like trying to compare current Phish to past Phish because I know they're not going to be the same, and that goes for all bands. I honestly only listen to Phish when they're on tour. Occasionally, I'll throw on an lp or an older show but beyond that I don't like to be stuck in one band/genre all the time as it gets boring. Baker's Dozen was surely another high point in their career and I'm very sad it happened at a time in my life where I couldn't attend any of the shows. If I was active in social media I would have taken the heads up about 'Jam Filled' and made the trip to nyc for that one.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby GratefulPhish » Thu Aug 16, 2018 4:35 pm

I think it's pretty simple, they have more 3.0 songs in the arsenal at this point, three albums worth. The vast majority of the songs they've written in this era don't really fit the original mold of Phish, and so for me it's easy to look at the setlists alone and say there's no way that's as good as Fall 2013 for example. I know I know, they can take any song and jam but they rarely do with most of the new songs, and there is still the actual song part that you have to digest in order to get there no matter what.

That said, I haven't listen to much of this tour outside of what I attended. A couple of my favorite 3.0 tours are Fall '13 and Summer '15, a lot of people are saying Alpharetta was the best run of this tour and honestly the peaks of those shows might be as good, but they don't hold a candle to the consistency of '13 and '15 imho.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby Harpua » Thu Aug 16, 2018 7:46 pm

booztravlr wrote:I honestly only listen to Phish when they're on tour. Occasionally, I'll throw on an lp or an older show but beyond that I don't like to be stuck in one band/genre all the time as it gets boring.


When they are on tour, they make up about 50% of what I listen to; when they aren't, it is less than 10%.

GratefulPhish wrote:I think it's pretty simple, they have more 3.0 songs in the arsenal at this point, three albums worth. The vast majority of the songs they've written in this era don't really fit the original mold of Phish, and so for me it's easy to look at the setlists alone and say there's no way that's as good as Fall 2013 for example. I know I know, they can take any song and jam but they rarely do with most of the new songs, and there is still the actual song part that you have to digest in order to get there no matter what.


Maybe I'm overthinking this, and the real problem is that I am not a big fan of a lot of the Fuego / Big Boat stuff, but I keep thinking about Fone's shared energy comment from the MPP 1 thread.

If the band actually does feed of the energy of the crowd - which isn't provable & could just be some bullshit that Phish feeds the fans to make them feel like they are an integral part of the experience, and aren't just spectators - then it stands to reason that playing some of these new songs actually decreases the quality of the show beyond paper.

When they play certain songs (Breath and Burning, Tide Turns, The Line, Miss You, Wingsuit...most of Mike's new songs to name a few), the crowd clears out, they start chatting among themselves, and the room's dynamic shifts. Sometimes they recover the audience's attention pretty quickly with an old favorite or a fiery jam, but if they string a few of these songs together ( MPP 1, Del Valle) the room stays deflated, and there is less energy being sent to the band. I'll bring flowcharts next time, but in the meantime it would look something like this:
Unpopular Song, Another Unpopular Song-> Crowd Loses Interest / No Crowd Energy For Phish To Feed On -> Uninspired Play -> Crowd Loses Interest, Character Zero.


But it could be as simple as "Phish is old and the weather sucked" or even simpler "I don't like Fuego / Big Boat." I would assume it is the latter If I was the only one who felt this tour has been inconsistent.

GratefulPhish wrote:That said, I haven't listen to much of this tour outside of what I attended. A couple of my favorite 3.0 tours are Fall '13 and Summer '15, a lot of people are saying Alpharetta was the best run of this tour and honestly the peaks of those shows might be as good, but they don't hold a candle to the consistency of '13 and '15 imho.


Phish and I were taking a break in Fall 2013, but I think the best shows of 2018 are comparable to the best shows of summer 2015, but the average shows of 2018, aren't as good as the average shows of 2015.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby hosemasterflex » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:29 am

I appreciate this conversation!

I think it's weird how much further from the original template their songcraft has ventured. I mean, I've personally been stressing about how different things got after like 1993, ... for like the last 25 years!!

But they've brought the departure to a new level with the quasi-Christian-rock style writing we've seen from Trey since his recovery. 3.0 has songs that make the 2.0 material I used to squawk at entirely okie dokie.

Excellent points about the new stuff. Personally, I think Fuego & Big Boat run hot & cold. They have really strong moments in my view (Fuego, 555, Halfway to the Moon, Waiting All Night, No Men, Miss You, Friends which they don't even play, Blaze On I guess), and then soooo much of the rest is just, against the grain of all that drew me in to begin with.

Ah shit ended ^that with a preposition.

And ^this last sentence literally ends with preposition, I'm all kinds of fail here.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby SirChompsAlot » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:21 am

I've got some thoughts on "new" Phish, but I might be too drunk to articulate them right now. It's definitely different, but I like a lot of it. It might have a lot to do with my general taste in music (I mean look at my username). I'll try to better explain it in the AM. We'll see how that goes ;)
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby booztravlr » Fri Aug 17, 2018 3:32 pm

booztravlr wrote:...Watkins Glen is being bombarded with so much rain right now it's reached the 'State of Emergency' level. I'm just east of Syracuse and it's been monsoon-like here all day. Hopefully this passes and doesn't cause too much damage before people start arriving on Thursday...


Damn, really wish I was wrong about this on Tuesday. Extremely unfortunate they had to cancel Curveball.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby delayloop » Fri Aug 17, 2018 4:40 pm

Harpua wrote:
If the band actually does feed of the energy of the crowd - which isn't provable & could just be some bullshit that Phish feeds the fans to make them feel like they are an integral part of the experience, and aren't just spectators - then it stands to reason that playing some of these new songs actually decreases the quality of the show beyond paper.

Unpopular Song, Another Unpopular Song-> Crowd Loses Interest / No Crowd Energy For Phish To Feed On -> Uninspired Play -> Crowd Loses Interest, Character Zero.


This is really fascinating to me because anytime you play live, you're getting something from the crowd. Maybe the mentality of the band is "we have an accepting audience and we think they'll enjoy these tunes if they give them a chance." I'd rather believe that than Trey is up there only concerning himself with what he wants.

I will say this: I think it's time for the band to consider bagging the whole "no set list" thing. It was in an interview where Trey or Mike said that often they'll rehearse a tune backstage and play it at some point during the show, but will also call a tune they haven't rehearsed and it ends up being sloppy. They performed shows for years with well thought-out set lists and many of those are our favorites. With so many songs, returning to this model would really solidify things again.

Am I the only one that's just not concerned anymore with "the crowd doesn't know what is going to happen and neither does the band"? It's kind of like applying the feeling of "love at first sight" you had when you were 15 to dating as an adult. Serendipitous, sure, but really not effective.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby Harpua » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:01 pm

delayloop wrote:Maybe the mentality of the band is "we have an accepting audience and we think they'll enjoy these tunes if they give them a chance." I'd rather believe that than Trey is up there only concerning himself with what he wants.


I'm sure it is initially the former, but after playing a song that isn't well received so many times, it becomes, "We're gonna play The Line now. Like it or lump it."
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby delayloop » Fri Aug 17, 2018 6:31 pm

Harpua wrote:
I'm sure it is initially the former, but after playing a song that isn't we received so many times, it becomes, "We're gonna play The Line now. Like it or lump it."


Agreed. I've tried a time or two to really get into songs like that live, but when you're already not feeling it, it's especially hard to feel it when you see so many people uninterested.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby fone » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:14 pm

Great discussion.

I've never heard as much audience chatter during slow or low energy songs as I have over the past 5-7 years. It's like people come expecting to hear certain songs, and when they don't get them, they chatter with their friends. And these are not just the kids in the audience. It's the old timers, the 35 to 50 crowd mostly.

It's a shame because how can new songs become great songs if the band gets a "bored feedback" from the audience. I would imagine in their hay day, everyone devoured everything they played.

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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby El Bastarde » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:24 pm

And these are not just the kids in the audience. It's the old timers, the 35 to 50 crowd mostly.

I really think that, for some older folks, they just stop being interested in any new music. They just want to hear the old hits and don't even bother with the new albums as there's always the perception that the newer stuff is worse. I've seen some jaded folks out there almost bragging about how they haven't heard anything new.

So I think the chatter isn't just them not liking the newer songs...it's because they don't even know them.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby delayloop » Fri Aug 17, 2018 7:45 pm

El Bastarde wrote:And these are not just the kids in the audience. It's the old timers, the 35 to 50 crowd mostly.
I've seen some jaded folks out there almost bragging about how they haven't heard anything new.


I have a friend who saw tons of shows in the late 90's. His first was the Great Went. We've watched a few streams and a new song will pop up and he'll say "What's this? Cool tune!" "Yeah it's from Fuego." "Oh I don't really like their new albums."

Wait, what?
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby hosemasterflex » Fri Aug 17, 2018 8:12 pm

Probably a combo of all of these things. But I do think some of the songwriting has taken a turn that doesn't suit Phish fans' tastes sometimes. The Line and Devotion To A Dream are both songs like this for me, also More and Tide Turns. I think ANY song can yield a great jam if the band sets its mind to it, but as someone said earlier in the thread, a song you don't like is still the same song, no matter how good the jam gets. I'm learning to be a little more accepting of this kind of material, but realistically that's a weird way to enjoy music, ... trying hard to accept it.

Personally I keep hoping for more of a return to form, once they get this kinda stuff out of their system. I really really dig some of the 3.0 songs, and stuff like Thread shows promise.

I'm listening to the 8/10/18 show, which is up on YouTube ... Thread is new to me, and I was excited that this song sounded more like a Phish song than a lot of their new songs. By the way that's a great show! Maybe they'll never get as tight and smooth as the 90s (prepping setlists sounds like a good idea to me) ... but this is really good. Check out the YEM, so nicely rendered. And an interesting vocal jam too! Of course that Runaway Antelope is fun.

Is it me or is Mike waaaay more audible lately?? I'd been frustrated that I couldn't hear much Mike, but he's cranking in this 8/10 show.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby marley » Fri Aug 17, 2018 10:44 pm

delayloop wrote:I think it's time for the band to consider bagging the whole "no set list" thing. It was in an interview where Trey or Mike said that often they'll rehearse a tune backstage and play it at some point during the show, but will also call a tune they haven't rehearsed and it ends up being sloppy. They performed shows for years with well thought-out set lists and many of those are our favorites. With so many songs, returning to this model would really solidify things again.



To me, it's not a matter of new vs. old songs, or setlists. They need to practice more. It's what made them great in the first place. I don't think it's asking much for musicians to be in top form for a show or a tour. It'd be similar to a baseball team skipping spring training and showing up on Opening Day expecting to win.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby Harpua » Mon Aug 20, 2018 1:25 pm

It is kinda weird that "warm-up" shows are just an accepted part of Phish tour. It's not like the first shows of the tour are at a discounted price, like a preseason game. I don't know if they have any restrictions on practicing, but they do have internal rules that prevent them from discussing shows, criticizing / praising each other, and playing more than 50 shows per year.

I can't even imagine how many learning / growing opportunities they are missing by not being able to discuss the shows and give constructive criticism. I'm not saying I want it to go back to the way it was when Trey would admonish the others for screwing up while on the stage (Red Rocks 1996, Portland 1998), but I'd love it if Mike was allowed to say to Trey, "Hey man, you have to learn how to play my songs;" "Let's not play Silent in the morning again until you have it down;" or "Let's not play Pigtail again, until we have rehearsed it."
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby themomadans » Mon Aug 20, 2018 3:09 pm

Didn't fans hate on songs like DWD and Fast Enough for You when they first came out? Seems like fans of anything will always have something to shit on, no?

Saturday Merriweather (where the first set was almost all 3.0 songs) reminded me a lot of 3rd set of 12/31/16. Personally, I think it takes a lot of balls to go on stage and play stuff ( which perhaps you know may be divisive) simply because you have faith in it and enjoy it. It's like the band saying "This is what Phish is now".

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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby delayloop » Mon Aug 20, 2018 8:08 pm

Harpua wrote:It is kinda weird that "warm-up" shows are just an accepted part of Phish tour. It's not like the first shows of the tour are at a discounted price, like a preseason game. I don't know if they have any restrictions on practicing, but they do have internal rules that prevent them from discussing shows, criticizing / praising each other, and playing more than 50 shows per year.

I can't even imagine how many learning / growing opportunities they are missing by not being able to discuss the shows and give constructive criticism. I'm not saying I want it to go back to the way it was when Trey would admonish the others for screwing up while on the stage (Red Rocks 1996, Portland 1998), but I'd love it if Mike was allowed to say to Trey, "Hey man, you have to learn how to play my songs;" "Let's not play Silent in the morning again until you have it down;" or "Let's not play Pigtail again, until we have rehearsed it."


100% agree. I think the rehearsal time has been diminished because of Trey's and Mike's touring schedules, and they know their primary focus is for the four of them to have fun with Phish. Mike is trying to really make his band a reliable band, whereas Trey just wants to play live all. the. time. It's fascinating to me that Page and Fish don't play out when they're not touring with Phish.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby Harpua » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:15 pm

Less than a week to go. If they don't do Gamehendge I'm gonna be so disappointed.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby fone » Tue Aug 28, 2018 1:28 pm

^^Good observations.

It is obvious enough that as four accomplished musicians, they can appear together as Phish and make a pretty decent go of it, hitting some pretty hot strides together without the need to practice on a regular basis. But even Trey, who performs the most out of the four of them, is flubbing a lot more of the composed guitar parts of the earlier songs. They are pretty intricate compositions and require a dexterity that is lost if not played often or practiced regularly.

But they always seem to counterbalance what they lose from lack of practice in jamming that they are still able to make work for them as singularly unique more than any band. Like the gambler reinforced by the occasional win, I'll continue to seek them out for those moments of jamming nirvana that is Phish. Yes, I miss the exactitude of the compositions, but I can live with that.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby hosemasterflex » Wed Aug 29, 2018 4:49 pm

^check out how perfectly Trey renders YEM at Raleigh. I think that whole show is on YouTube.

I say this not to counter your point, (which btw is on point!!), but rather as consolation. Sometimes they still nail these things. Not like the 90s of course, but it's sure better than it was 2.0, and even early 3.0, IMO.

In fact I admit, I hoped the Curveball cancellation would inspire a sharper game in general from them. But truthfully I believe it's pretty good for where they are, comparable to so many other bands at similar career points.

Still, some nights you wonder if he's actively avoiding practicin' this shit. :lol:
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby y0n » Wed Aug 29, 2018 9:00 pm

I think its quite likely they don’t practice the older material *that* much. They spend their time on other creative endeavors. I’m totally okay with that. I’m there largely for the jams anyway, and I think those have been particularly special this year.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby ErrandWolfe » Thu Sep 06, 2018 6:11 am

Thank you Phish!

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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby El Bastarde » Fri Sep 07, 2018 5:42 pm

Streamed all three nights. Day 3 was maybe a more "above average" show but the first two nights were phenomenal. I was so bummed I couldn't be there but glad I could still listen. Hope you guys had a ball and hopefully I'll not break something next year.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby hosemasterflex » Mon Sep 10, 2018 2:52 am

Sounds like you made the most of it^

I just realized my hopes of completing my LivePhish 1-20 collection aren't looking all that good ... I just realized that for the ones I do have, the paper inserts are still inside the evil plastic goo monsters ... I pulled 'em all out today to find them all damaged to different degrees. Honestly not too big of a deal because the inserts weren't great, and all my discs have been safe for years ... but it just doesn't bode well for existing used copies. I read today that the discs get totally ruined over time; that the goo eats right thru and destroys the audio.

I'll find out when I get #6 in the mail this week. Taking a chance, but it was only like $11 plus shipping or something.
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Re: Type Your Phish Thoughts

Postby El Bastarde » Thu Sep 13, 2018 1:23 pm

I pulled 'em all out today to find them all damaged to different degrees.

I'm kind of glad now...I keep all my CDs in multiple disc cases and put the actual CD cases in boxes. So all my Live Phish albums have been safely removed from potential danger for a while now. Thank goodness. (Though half of them are burned copies that I made from my friend's originals...). I guess I could check the cases to see if they're damaged but it seems like a chore to find them.
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