Phish and the Grateful Dead are similar in many ways. They play shows several hours long – they are a Jam Band of some stature – they have a “cult” following – they are virtuoso players in their own right – they rarely play in Europe. Of course, I understand the reasons for the latter but it’s still a bug.
Matters are somewhat different today, though, than the Deadhead days before the web. In our previous Eurohead existence we would scour our neighbourhood for a hip newsagent who might stock Rolling Stone once in a while or Relix magazine. We’d browse setlists with envy and then try to search out a Fellow Head to trade a taped show, always making sure to stay in touch and trade again.
(Deadheads and Jamfans owe a lot to Charlie Miller.)
Ah, those nostalgic days before the web.
How things have changed. If only I could timeshift and move The Dead of the 70’s into today. “ You wouldn’t have to play in Europe guys, I’d watch you on the web,” I’d say, “I’ll download the show. No problem.”
I think it has been a largely fallow year for me for gigs to see. The artistes I like seem to have stayed away from these shores. But never fear, the web is here, and I have been enjoying a summer diet of some excellent Phish shows from their latest tour.
Without a Garcia to follow I have long been an admirer of Trey Anastasio’s lyrical and fluid playing. But I’m not going to linger on who does what – Phish are a great band. (Here in the UK I often have to explain who Phish are – see first paragraph. It begins – “I’ve been watching Phish. Heard of them ?” – Fish of Marillion, I thought he was dead. –“ No. The US band – Phish – P H I S H.” I swear it goes like this every time.)
So far I have bought 3 shows from the tour and may yet get more. So, to recommend you try Phish if you haven’t before. This is from their 6th July show (there are several of these shows up on the web now) and if your broadband feed is fast enough start just around 19 minutes in. I love “Funky Bitch”. It’s just great fun. Enjoy your Phish supper.