Three Things That Should Go (But Won’t)

3.8.09 Hampton (J.Mordaunt)

3.8.09 Hampton (J.Mordaunt)

With the first Phish tour in five years about to explode in only a month, there are many facets of the experience we will be reacquainted with after an extended absence.  From navigating the summer lot to scheming for your perfect show location, a whole new realm of critical thinking will be reopened.  We will be confronted by traffic jams, bathroom lines, and maps every day for the first time in quite a while, and security guards will be factors in our lives again as we engage in our secret mission seeking the ultimate- those frozen moments where thoughts go blank and we forget who and where we are- utterly engulfed by the psychedelic monstrosity of Phish.

Yet on our mission, and while reacquainting ourselves with the flow of tour, we will inevitably be confronted by some of the same boneheaded trends of shows past.  And as we enter this summer, the most anticipated tour in memory, here are a few of those in-show behaviors that would be better off left behind.

3.7.09 Hampton (J.Mordaunt)

3.7.09 Hampton (J.Mordaunt)

Clapping: There is nothing more absurd than when the band enters a slammin’ dance groove and half the pavilion starts clapping to the beat.  It may be subconscious, or it may be a meager attempt at getting involved, but if I had the ability to make one thing vanish, it just might be the constant clapping.  Not surprisingly, the band often gets annoyed by this trend as well, intentionally jamming in another direction, leaving the clappers wondering where their downbeat went.

Throwing Glowsticks: If Trey hadn’t said how cool these things looked during The Great Went, would things be different now?  What used to be reserved for rolled-out raver kids became mainstream in the Phish scene’s later years, posing annoyances and safety hazards for the band and audience alike.  There is nothing like being blissed out, eyes closed, in the middle of a “Hood” jam and getting slammed in the skull with a glowstick; poetry in motion.  Although those glowrings don’t hurt as much when they come crashing down, get ’em outta here too.  What’s the point again?

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Talking Loudly: One of the most annoying things possible at a show is when your two or three neighbors, who clearly don’t care about Phish, are yapping away over beers like they are at a crowded college bar.  Sure, it’s loud in there, but it’s a huge rock concert- it’s supposed to be!  Yet some people insist on conversing like it is their last living moment together on earth- in your ear.  A completely obnoxious behavior, you wonder how people like that get their hands on Phish tickets these days.  I’m all for talking- but let’s catch up after the show.  During the show, shut it.

But, alas, with 20,000 person concerts, I don’t really expect any of these things to come to a halt, but if I had my ‘druthers, they would vanish from the universe of a Phish show.  But the overarching beauty here is that we have a Phish universe again, and no number of clappers, glowstick throwers, or obnoxious conversationalists can take that away.



9.21.99 Pima Co. Fairgrounds, Tucson, AZ < LINK

9.21.99 Pima Co. Fairgrounds, Tucson, AZ < TORRENT LINK

1999-09-21gnIn an open fairgrounds in the desert, Phish played the most random venue of Fall ’99, and played it well.  The band assembled a creative second set, combining some diverse songs and improv in “Carini > Bug,” and “Vultures > Limb,” the cover “Will It Go Round in Circles,” and a monstrous “Antelope” to close.  This one is not so widely known, but even the first set brings some heat with “Split” and “Drowned.”  Plus, a virtually aunheard of “Reba” encore.  It’s hard to call this show underrated, because nobody ever talks about it; it’s more like unrated.  Check it out.

I: Poor Heart, Sample in a Jar, Split Open and Melt, Drowned, I Didn’t Know, Get Back on the Train, Birds of a Feather, Theme from the Bottom, Golgi Apparatus

II: Carini > Bug, Strange Design, Vultures* > Limb by Limb, Will It Go Round In Circles, Dirt, Run Like an Antelope

E: Reba*, Bold as Love


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233 Responses to “Three Things That Should Go (But Won’t)”

  1. Al Says:

    I think there is the point: Large groups of people can be annoying.
    Just as there is a taper section, we should think about:
    1) a glowstick-war section
    2) a baloon section,
    3) a sound proof clapping section surrounded by glass,
    4) an “elbow” section for the 19 year olds….

    any more sections to offer?

  2. boulderjosh Says:

    I actually thought about making a shirt with 2 hands clapping and a big circle with a slash through it = NO CLAPPING.

    @ Mike – “…needs to be saved for composed rhythmic sections…” I trust you’re referring to the permissible response during Stash.

    Clapping is the worst. Picture yourself getting down to a sick 15 minute 2001 intro only to have every asshole in the venue clapping away. I can’t stand it. Just listen to the YEM from Hampton – Mike was getting loose, dropping bombs and all the douche bags were clapping along taking “sharing in the groove”.
    Attention clappers – please refrain from sharing in the groove.

    @ A_glide – I hear ya, I get a kick out of that guy every time too.
    Just my rant.

  3. Mugician Says:

    How about a “grove the fuck out” section?

  4. Brimley Says:

    One thing i really can’t stand…The guy who walks by you from 10 yards away and he stinks so bad that it almost chokes you out…Come on man, it’s cool that you’re out on tour but try to take a shower at least every other day so those of us who are clean won’t pass out from your foul stench….

  5. Mugician Says:

    Or are you talking specifically about sections for annoying ones?

  6. msbjivein Says:

    The Cigar smoking section! OUTSIDE!

  7. JerZ Says:

    I love the smell of dirty hippie- I went a whole summer tour without showering and thought I smelled like Roses

  8. msbjivein Says:

    @Brim, I was riding my bike behind a stinky hippy the other day. I was at least 20ft behind dude and was getting choked by his BO. I had to speed past dude as fast as possible.

  9. Jay Says:

    Nothing kills a buzz quicker than having a wook walk up and stand next to or in front of you with incredibly bad B.O. Or, as Sienfeld said, B.B.O. (Beyond B.O.)

  10. Brimley Says:

    I’m not trying to offend anyone with the “foul stench” comment, but to me it seems as if some people think that they are more of a hippy if they don’t shower…It doesn’t make you less of a hippy to shower…all i’m saying is that you are doing most people a disservice by not showering…

  11. Jay Says:

    People who get tickets up close (say first 10 rows) and want to sit down for the show. Actually, this applies to anyone who want to sit down during the show and get annoyed when you don’t sit down.

  12. Pencilneck Says:

    How about the cats at an outdoor show who put down a square kilometer of towel or whatever, and thereby stake their claim to all that space! Unlees you got like 13 tickets to show me, I’m annexing my bit. sheesh. Seeing these fools lose their minds when a pee train starts goin’ by is the greatest.

  13. msbjivein Says:

    What about the Tweeker that’s shitting himself the whole show. God that’s the worst buzz kill ever. All I need is one wiff and I’m out I don’t care how good the spot is. Nasty!

  14. PlethoraOfPinatas Says:

    Brim –
    Offend away please! Nothing worse than a stinky wook bumping into you all night, then begging for change after the show to help bail their stinky friend out of jail (this happened to me at Hartford 2000)

  15. msbjivein Says:

    Oh yeah. The people who piss in the Lawn. WTF people! That really bugs me.

  16. JerZ Says:

    Anyone remember the urine log at the great went? I am usually tweeked by people peeing places where they shouldn’t, but I thought it was hilarious when people just turned that downed telephone pole into a bathroom- to the point where there were chicks squatting on the urine log

  17. Jay Says:

    people who leave a shit load of trash at their campsite/parking spot when they leave.

  18. Icculus Says:


  19. PlethoraOfPinatas Says:

    I’m listening to I Didn’t Know from Worcester ’97… the clapping almost ruins it, but the crowd couldn’t keep it going and got distracted when they brought out the vacuum.

    Sick opener The Curtain > YEM > I Didn’t Know!

  20. Jay Says:

    people who feel like doing a two-step dance with their S.O. in a crowded area of the floor.

  21. bhizzle Says:

    Pencilneck – word on the blanket bullshit..what’s next? fuckin picknik basket….hey boo boo

    This post today is making me laugh. I forgot some of the things being posted that irk me, but makes me laugh now remembering about them.

  22. msbjivein Says:

    What about the dude whistling @ Hampton during STASH. Everytime I listen back I can’t help but be annoyed.

  23. Al Says:

    I don’t know, but I like clapping – good practice for the Phish summer tour 2024. Gout section!!!

  24. Al Says:

    Does anyone know, why Fenway still ISN’T up for pre-order at LIVEPHISH, but all others are?

  25. msbjivein Says:

    Maybe they’re going to stream it live! Would they put it up if they plan on streaming??

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