My Tribute to Phish

A Great Moment in Music

crowd at festival

    I dedicate this site to Phish Phans and music lovers alike. After 20 years of touring the band has finally decided to call the quits. Notorious for their vast underground following and live performances, which always include impromptu jams and various stage antics, the band has often been compared to the likes of the Grateful Dead. To an outsider, this comparison may ring true. The Phan base can often be spotted wearing traditional hippie garb with a couple of modern additions, like cell phones and MP3 players. Musically, both bands rely on improvisation during live shows to enrapture their audience. However, despite the loss of the late, great Jerry Garcia the remaining members of the Dead are still touring. When does a band know when to stop?

    My opinion: the Dead should’ve stopped when Garcia passed away. This is why Phish has ultimately decided to stop touring. They don’t want to be seen as a nostalgia act another 20 years down the line. Take for instance, The Band. They knew when to stop. They went out with a huge bang too. Director Martin Scorsese filmed the band’s last concert, “The Last Waltz,” featuring appearances by Van Morrison, Neil Young, Muddy Waters, Lawrence Ferlenghetti, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan and other rock legends. Phish went out with a bang too–a 2-day festival in their hometown of Coventry, Vermont. It was a celebration of years and years of experimenting and defining an entirely new genre of music while giving birth to several other “jam bands” along the way.

    But you have to remember that musicians need to evolve. Phish went through several changes in their career and it no longer embodies the luster they had early on , but they know that and respect it and have decided to leave their mark in music at the climax of the “jam.” And to all the veggie burrito venders and smelly hippies, who have slaved away over tofu and hemp strings j ust to earn enough money to see the next show I say, “let it go.” That’s right, “let it go.” It’s just music, “man.” As a Phan myself, I will miss it too–which is why I give to you my tribute to Phish: a great moment in music.

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