Hey nerds! When tour dates dropped this Spring, a chime of disappointment rang through my chest with the realization that my favorite band wouldn’t be coming within 1,200 miles of my home in California. A collective shrug inevitably felt by most of my west coast brethren. Yeah, yeah, we did get eighteen amazing shows between the summer and fall of ’21 (an embarrassment of riches really), but as a card-carrying member of hardcore phans, it’s in our very nature to be disappointed at least part of the time.
Traveling for Phish is certainly nothing new for me. The older I get and the more I become comfortable in my professional life, travelling becomes part of the fun, checking off bucket list venues as if on some imaginary bingo card. But also, I’m from the Midwest, so as I scrolled through the dates, my eyes were immediately drawn to this middle weekend in August at the behemoth that is Alpine Valley. A venue that’s imprinted on the DNA of any Phish kid living in the middle of the country. Also, I could use this as an opportunity for a phamily reunion of sorts with all my homies from the great North. In addition, I happen to love lakes, brats, cheese curds and swill beer, so win-win. Of course, I bought the ticket and made the pilgrimage to this sprawling Midwestern Phish mecca. I have a bit of a storied history with this venue, many of which would be inappropriate to mention on this fine forum, so unfortunately you’ll have to wait for my tell-all book for all the dirty details. Needless to say, I’ve seen many, many shows at this place throughout the years.
[We would like to thank Doug Kaplan, user @MrDougDoug (Twitter: @hausumountain, IG: @hausumountain) for recapping last night's show. -Ed.]
What’s up wooks, custies, spinners, and spunions? It’s your boy @MrDougDoug, here to share the heady scoop on Phish’s 22nd ever show at Alpine Valley, on the day of our Lord Icculus, August 13th, 2022.
Today we’re going to focus on the notion of between-ness and liminality in the Phish experience. So we aren’t focusing on what was before, or what will be after, but that undecided, undefined space in the middle . Some of the most important rituals in the life cycle – like a wedding or graduation – celebrate the passage from what was known into the unknown and can serve as essential touchpoints, unforgettable times, moments in a box.
Conversely, some of the most mundane elements of life brim with this feeling of liminality: a doctor’s office waiting room or a train station are equally marked by their between-ness, but on a less world-altering "from-where-you-were-to-where-you’re-going"-sort-of-vibe. A liminal space brims with potential energy as one moves from what was before into what could possibly be. To exist in this sort of space in the present could be disorienting, or even a little bit frightening, like standing on the edge of a cliff. But being open to this sort of zone can provide life-altering and life-afirming experiences when you lean into embracing the unknown.
Soundcheck: Broken Heart Attack (this soundcheck is likely incomplete)
[We would like to thank Rob Mitchum for recapping last night's show. Rob is a science and music writer in Oak Park, IL. He tweets about Phish @phishcrit, other stuff @robmitchum, and has undertaken the Sisyphean task of writing about every Phish show on its 25-year anniversary, which will take him until at least 2047…and counting. Thank you Rob! -Ed.]
When Twin Peaks came back for a miracle third season in 2017, it succeeded where many other TV show reboots failed. It reunited beloved characters, but didn’t offer up the simple comfort of familiarity. Everyone looked older – an obvious fact, but not one that television usually admits. While some characters were still stuck in their former patterns and roles, others were different in ways both surprising and frustrating. A slew of new characters were introduced, expanding the show’s world in ways that weren’t always clear. There was no easy retracing of steps, and that tension, combined with the emotional weight of a story that had been living in viewer’s heads for 25 years, made for an experience unlike any other.
ENCORE: Blaze On
Soundcheck: Petrichor (soundcheck possibly incomplete)
Welcome to Canada y’all. Been a while. Has it? Time sure feels messy these days, and this band just keeps on plugging away blowing our minds, despite it all. In any case, I feel like there’s a lot of ways to set the context for last night’s show in Toronto. We could call back to the band’s recent history at the venue in 2019 (a show which I thought was unfairly maligned), or whether or not they’d bust out "Misty Mountain Hop," which they debuted here in 1999. And then there’s the context of this unique tour, which has at times been brilliant and, at other moments, felt like maybe the momentum of their revived post-Covid identity has been waning a bit, Trey especially. I said to a new friend before the show that, really, the biggest knock on 2022 is that it’s sitting right next to 2021 -- a year in which the band performed to a level they really had no business reaching this late in the game. So what would this tour’s Canadian stop add to the story? Would it be a throwaway gig between AC and Alpine, or a can’t-miss, out of the way gem? Where do we stand? Let’s find out…
It’s early Monday morning. I’m sitting in a Bed & Breakfast in nearby Absecon, NJ, collecting my thoughts on the show that ended only a few hours ago, and on the greater tour at large. Feelings of gratitude, splendor, wonder etc. are all running amok through my head.
AC3 was my ninth show of this inspired tour. It’s no secret that the last two years have been an absolute joy for us Phish fans. Seemingly all the rules of set-listing are out the window, the band’s jamming is at an extremely high level, and everything just feels fresh. I’ve walked into every show I've seen this tour not knowing what to expect as the band has delivered twists and turns and major highlights nightly. After a revelatory, improvisation-laden Friday night and Saturday night party, the band was poised to deliver a top-to-bottom “complete” run in Atlantic City.
Did it finish in strong fashion? Were the Sunday Show™ vibes in full effect? Would we see Satan on the beach, trying to catch a ray?
Philly. Bethel. Hartford. Jones Beach. Raleigh. MPP. Blossom! AC night one! This tour has been incredibly consistent, with few dips and many many peaks. The tour is picking up steam, and AC1 showed that they have no intention of slowing down. Relentless is the one word that comes to mind. The ballads are few and far between, most perfectly placed, the jams continue to evolve and show no signs of stalling out. And on the jams—they've finally optimized the synthesizer toys between Trey, Mike and Page, and Trey has perfected his tone, which is pushing them to innovate. They're pushing each other, and instead of a basic pattern that relies on building bliss peaks, we're getting noise rock, ambient space jazz, a mix of good and evil—new, different sounds. What every Phish fan is looking for.
But it can't possibly last, can it? Fishman, fueled by an experimental jet propulsion technology, must need a tune up at some point. Trey's shoes must need to be replaced. Does Mike have enough neon outfits? Page's sandwich supply must be dwindling. Like helicopter parents, fans are constantly pushing Phish to do more, to keep it up, to continue to deliver. But like my colleague Megan wrote, "It’s their own fault though, they keep delivering so we keep expecting it."
Soundcheck: Clear Your Mind, Family On The Beach Song
A warm breeze blew down the famed Atlantic City boardwalk (did you know? It was first opened in 1870, and is the oldest boardwalk in America and is the longest boardwalk in the world), pushing salty air into the faces of thousands of phans as they waited to enter the sand to hear Phish for the first of three shows on the beach. *As the esteemed reviewer of last year’s AC night 1 show, I will refer you to that entry for more AC trivia.
Now in its second year, Phish’s three-night stand in Atlantic City is the only option for folks unable or unwilling to go to Riviera Maya (Mexico) to dip their toes into the ocean while jamming to our favorite foursome. The hotels have, unfortunately, caught on to the cash cow that the phandom brings to local communities, and prices for rooms now reflect that suckling of the teat. Does that deter us? Of course not - in the same way that accepting gifts from strangers at Phish is welcomed but actively rebuked when back in reality.
[Phish.net thanks Chris Vetoulis for writing this recap. -Ed.]
Living in this tube, we are safe. We are free. Our escape begins before the first notes are played. From the time our last moment of responsibility ends, our eyes suddenly open and we gaze in a world of fantasy, where our imaginations expand beyond the constraints of our day-to-day. The feelings weren’t forgotten, and an overwhelming sense of gratitude flows in as we realize we have the chance to do this once again.
[We would like to thank Aaron Presuhn (@presuhn) for volunteering to recap last night's show and agreeing to recap it even though, last minute, he wasn't able to attend the show. -Ed.]
Cuya-WHOA-ga. Yeah, it’s cheesy. I don’t care. I like cheese and that title amuses me. Accept it and move on. I LOVE Blossom. It’s been one of my favorite venues since my first show there in 2010, and the only show I haven’t seen there since is 2015. It’s also the 19th anniversary of my first festival, IT.
But alas, I’m not there tonight. So this review is from the comfort of my couch. Lights off, volume loud, and (relatively. kinda. ehh maybe not) sober. The crowd energy, friend reactions, venue ambiance…none of those impressions are there. And I’m kinda pissed about it. But such is life. The perfect confluence of f**kery conspired to prevent my attendance tonight, and it sucks. Oh well. Here are my thoughts.
In celebration of Phish’s 34 shows this spring and summer, The Mockingbird Foundation has announced that it is sending an unsolicited $1,000 Tour Grant to a music program near each venue at which Phish performs. The grants are part of a long-standing effort to help bring music from the Phish community to the local communities that Phish touches.
These are the 21st round of unsolicited Tour Grants awarded, an effort that now totals over $200,000, which is 9.0% of all disbursements made by the Foundation. Continuing the celebration, additional Tour Grants will be announced through the end of the summer. The recipients announced thus far are:
Phish debuted “The Final Hurrah” on Halloween, as the sixth song on a made-up album by an invented Scandinavian rock band, with glowing squares dangling over the audience while Page sang "I am in a square, dangling in mid-air." That could be the setup for something awesome, terrible, or just weird - and "The Final Hurrah" has some of each....
The all-volunteer Mockingbird Foundation has announced fourteen (14) new grants totaling $109,850. They were selected from among 883 initial applicants, and winnowed through a highly competitive, two-tiered review process, Mockingbird's 27th round of competitive grantmaking since 1996.
The winning grants include schools, community centers, and nonprofits in ten states, providing a diverse range of support to a variety of programs serving a number of different target populations. These grants were made possible by generous giving from Phish, WaterWheel, and thousands of Phish fans like yourself, and bring the fan-run nonprofit's historical giving to 549 grants totaling $2,093,507.40.
Registration is now open for the Seventh Annual Runaway Open charity golf tournament for Phish fans, to be held in Denver 9/3/22 (the morning between the first 2 and second 2 shows of the upcoming Labor Day's run at Dick's.) We'll have to up 120 players this time, with a shotgun start at 8:30, coffee and a group photo to get you started, on-course contests, raffles at the clubhouse, lunch and gift bags included, and more TBA.
Every previous year has sold out, and built a waiting list that we couldn't satisfy, so please register early. To encourage that, we're honoring our past pricing of a $150 donation per player until Memorial Day. From May 30 to August 20, the donatoin request jumps a bit to $165; and for the final two weeks before the event, late registration will be $180.
We're also inviting a range of sponsorship opportunities, including item donations for the gift bags, sponsored team names, sponsored hole signs, sponsored foursomes, and if anyone knows a business interested in the visibility, event sponsorship ("Presented by..." on all collateral and future promo.)
The Mockingbird Foundation has announced an unsolicited $1,000 tour grant to Sunset Park High School in Brooklyn, in celebration of Phish's ongoing four-show run at Madison Square Garden. This is the only NYU Partnership high school in Brooklyn. Of the students, 92% are minority and 85% are economically disadvantaged. It's also right down the street from a mass shooting that happened less than two weeks ago.
Depending on your occupation, avocation, or academic background, odds are good that writing about math and numbers is not a focus. A career counselor might’ve probed your algebraic aptitudes and sure, if you checked the right boxes, you might find yourself in the role of a unit forecaster, a number-crunching investigative journalist covering exchange rates or commodity futures, or maybe even a bohemian poet/numerologist. The insurance and finance industries also have a place for the number-focused thinker in the occupational role of actuary. An actuary leverages math and statistics to derive a financial value from the measurement of risk and uncertainty....
Phish.net 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.
The Mockingbird Foundation is a non-profit organization founded by Phish fans in 1996 to generate charitable proceeds from the Phish community.
And since we're entirely volunteer – with no office, salaries, or paid staff – administrative costs are less than 2% of revenues! So far, we've distributed over $2 million to support music education for children – hundreds of grants in all 50 states, with more on the way.