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. PB Says:

    I don’t think people are all that focused on these things, Minor just makes a solid observation that these are things we will deal with once again.
    I, for one, have learned to block these things out during a show. Close eyes, spin, listen, and move away from talkers whenever possible.

    Unfortunately, I just can’t bring myself to wear a helmet so that I can actually enjoy Harry Hood again. Damn, I miss grooving to that jam.

  2. bhizzle Says:

    Yes, Minor does state “(but won’t)”

  3. Jay Says:

    @PB – were not focused on these things. Just an opportunity to rant and laugh. Kinda in a “Back in Black segment of The Daily Show” way.

  4. AbePhroman Says:

    I’m pro-glowsticks. They look cool on acid.

  5. Mr. Completely Says:

    glowsticks seem from above while dosed: awesome
    glowsticks experienced bouncing off your dome while dosed: much less awesome

    all a matter of perspective I suppose

    I learned the talkers trick from an old FOB crew I ran blocker duty for a time or two – you simply dose or stone them into silence – akin to SOAMs suggestion.

  6. EL Duderino Says:

    That’s real good advice Mr. Completely! That’ll work almost every time 🙂

  7. hippieslayer Says:

    Also, the singing along outloud has to STOP! Nothing I MEAN NOTHING is more annoying than trying to hear the band over the roar of hundreds of thousands of shitty voices blaring the (usually wrong) lyrics to a song. Please dont DMB Phish….I always used to be amazed at how focused the crowd used to be (early to mid ninetys) and how during some amazing jams you could hear a pin drop. Not so much anymore. LETS MAKE THIS DUMB TREND STOP!

  8. msbjivein Says:


  9. voopa Says:

    Just don’t draw attention to yourself at a show. We’re not there to see you or your glowsticks, or hear your clapping or talking. It wrecks the tapes too. Nothing like a flying glowstick hitting mics blowing your speakers or making your amp short.

  10. snigglebeach Says:

    I agree on the clapping and talking.

    Despite the inherent danger, a good glowstick war is pretty cool.

    It’s the randomly thrown glowsticks that hurt people and almost cause fights. I have had a “juice head” turn around and try and start a fight cause he thought i just punched him in the back of the head.

    But when someone up front sends an entire case of glow sticks up at the right point of a killer jam that just helps kick the room into overdrive. I wish people would be smart enough not throw them toward the stage. a lot of room elsewhere to chuck them.

    During the all out war, everyone knows to be alert, but some people hurl them for no reason, sometimes before the sun is down. why??

  11. msbjivein Says:

    Don’t forget the $100,000 FOH Console that glowsticks bounce off of all the time. They used to have a crew of people around FOH just to swat down glowsticks. Not to mention Kuroda’s rig also around $100,000 or so. It’s not just the stage that gets shit fucked up. I’ve seen it rain on Paul and Chris mutiple times and they just shake their heads in disgrace. It’s not that cool. I can’t imagine the money they spend on replacing gear every show.

  12. A_Glide Says:

    “…sometimes before the sun is down.”

    I just got real excited because I’m not that far away from seeing the boys play out under the stars again!

  13. guyforget Says:

    Here is my take, and pardon me if this was mentioned previously, but i just got my read on want to make this comment. As for the clapping, i don’t really ever that being a factor at shows, maybe i just have tuned it out?? Glowsticks are the worst fucking things ever invented. As i mentioned earlier, my buddy got lit up in the back of his ear at Oswego and probably needed stitches, but that wasn’t an option. Now, as for the talkiing; as the designer drugs increased on the scene, so did the talking. No explanation needed. Hopefully, if we are ridding the scene of that shit this summer, the chit chat will subside too. The inflow of new phans who don’t know the “etiquette” of the show scene might add to the unnecessary talking as well. Final thought, the worst is people trying to call the next song or singing in my ear. Phirst timers, don’t do either. Just shut up and enjoy, and when you want to tell your buddy something or that you’re pumped for what’s going on, just look at him/her, smile, an nod your head!!

  14. guyforget Says:

    and don’t puke or piss on anybody!!! 🙂

  15. Jay Says:

    maybe we can start a new trend during Hood. Call it glowstick peace where we all wear glowrings up and down our arms and we all raise our arms in the air and wave them back and forth. We can get Chris to kill the lights and it’s just us in a kumbya kinda moment. What do you think? We can pass out flyers along withthe glowrings.

  16. hooks Says:

    one thing that kinda gets me is the guy who gets in front of you in an already crowded GA section, or maybe right behind you, and takes more than a reasonable share of space to dance/move around, and keeps bumping into you and stuff, being obnoxious. just move to less crammed area if you need to boogie THAT much. common sense and consideration, two things you can’t expect everybody to have

  17. hooks Says:

    or when youre in a real tight spot, and somebody squeezing though decides to stop and stand right in front of your face instead of continuing to a somewhat more reasonable spot which you know is a few feet away somewhere. obviously, it’s part of the beauty of GA for people to be packed in, but hell try to be considerate. the whole thing constantly ebbs and flows with available space.

  18. Dave Says:

    Funny when the topic of discussion is about what sucks at a show there is like 5 times as many comments than when Miner right about transcendant jamming or ragging shows.

  19. msbjivein Says:

    @Jay, Great Idea! The only thing is you know some people will throw the glow rings. It’s better than a stick hitting you in the face. The flyer would be key in explaining why you should not throw glow sticks.

    Isn’t Kuroda’s light show enough Damn!

  20. guyforget Says:

    Dave, that is funny. Makes sense though, because we all agree with Miner on those topics, and they usually veer off in a different direction anyway. Topics such as these, we get to each vent our own pet peeves. Good reading though!!

  21. hooks Says:

    i’ll lovingly take the little bad with the lot of good at a live phish concert this summer, and hopefully won’t allow myself to notice it!

  22. Jay Says:

    Is there such as thing as nerf balls glow? Glownerfs?

  23. SOAM Says:

    Most things don’t bother me because a couple shitheads ain’t gonna f with my gig-on top of the fact that everyday I spend at work with a pack of toolbags so I’m use to my fellow man letting me down-bottom line-some people suck-period-just the way it is, the nice thing about shows is the guy next to you is usually totally cool-kind like a mirror of your self-just wants tp phreak it.dig

  24. hooks Says:

    amen on that

  25. camman Says:


    i gotta say the only thing i want on thios to happen at the show im at is the glowstick war, simply cause i’ve never seen one. i jsut want to see and be in one 😉 maybe my noobness showing just a bit,… 😛

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