The Era of Good Feelings

6.20.2012 – Portsmouth, VA (Michael Stein)

This summer, if one thing was evident from Worcester to Denver, Phish felt great. Filled with joy, their positive emotions permeated their music all summer long, redefining the meaning of “Bliss Phish.” Where improvisational segments once turned towards the dark and ominous in such pieces as “Tweezer,” “Ghost,” and “Rock and Roll,” this summer,the band veered for the light in almost every instance. Thus, Summer 2012—especially Leg Two—was largely defined by these uplifting, melody-anchored escapades.

The Long Beach “Ghost,” KC’s “Tweezer,” Alabama’s “Rock and Roll,” Charlotte’s “Tweezer,” Dick’s “Undermind,” “Chalk Dust,” “Light,” and “Sand” head the top of this tour’s bliss jam class, and herein lie many of tour’s most magical moments. The joy and light that lives within every one of us recognizes these similar vibrations released by the band, resulting in truly heart-opening experiences. While I’m all about dark Phish jams, more often it is a bliss jam that connects one to the infinite. Why are so many people still reeling from Denver’s tour closing three-night finale? One reason is because so many of Dick’s jams elevated to this place of communal reverie, creating experiences more powerful and inspiring than normally outstanding Phish jams. The band was tapped into IT, creating more than music in the Rockies. They were harnessing universal messages from beyond everyday comprehension and channeling them through their instruments. Finally stepping out of the way, the guys were conduits in Denver,  as Trey often talked about in the mid-‘90s, allowing life’s energy and sounds to flow through them. And that made all the difference.

8.19.2012 San Francisco, CA (Michael Stein)

Most of the issues fans have pointed out in this era—rocky transitions, odd song selection, ripcorded jams, fizzling sets—have, arguably, come from the band overthinking things and not letting IT flow. On this past tour, however, that problem vanished in the air, as Phish glided through a fortnight of dreams. When thoughts cease, the false self dissipates and truth arises, and throughout Leg Two—specifically in Colorado, we experienced the truth.

6.19.12 – Portsmouth, VA (M.Stein)

At so many junctures during Leg Two, where Trey used to bail, he persevered, breaking down improvisational walls that once constrained him. And with the cooperation of his ready-to-jam bandmates, the guys formed excursions that shot arrows through our hearts all tour long. Phish’s good feelings didn’t only effect open jamming, but was infused into each “Harry Hood,” “Ocelot,” “Maze,” and even “Golgi Apparatus” that they played. The band was in the moment all tour long, and every second felt as important as the one before.

Music reflects the people and environment from which it is created, and with Phish and their fans teeming with joy all season long, everything clicked on Leg Two, resulting in a wake of euphoric music. As the band criss-crossed the nation with an absurd quickness, each night they were able to slow everything down, and take it one measure at a time. This commitment to improvisational patience combined with the gratitude, celebration, and appreciation that wafted through the air at every show, created a magical mixture that pointed the band towards catharsis more often than not. When it comes down to IT, music is all about feeling, and throughout Leg Two, things had never felt better.

6.20.12 (Michael Stein)


Jam of the Day:

Tweezer” 8.22 II, Kansas City, MO

One of my favorite bliss jams from summer.



6.19.2012 (Michael Stein)

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977 Responses to “The Era of Good Feelings”

  1. MiA Says:

    There usually is no good or bad. Well, if you’re 95-100, you’re probably a complete sociopath, and if you’re 0-5, you’re probably a sociopath too.

  2. MiA Says:

    BW, it’s just another personality test of the hundreds that are out there. If you look on the site, there are many others.

    That said, I think generally if you are around high Machiavellian people, and you are low Machiavellian, you will find yourself at great distrust of them.

    But it is an interesting way of “sizing” someone up a little. We all do this naturally I think. I generally distrust people who look a little too calculating.

    Although calculating can be a very successful attribute also for some people. And very necessary at times.

    I do think that most of the “bad” people in the world, are probably quite a bit loose with their ethics, or rationalize their behaviours. So these are the type of people that feel like polluting the streams, while probably not good, if there is no law against that, and they are providing jobs, that this is acceptable behaviour.

    The original people who came across the US looking for gold in Sutters Mill in California during the gold rush, who were so interested in finding gold, that they destroyed streams, cut down forests, and did whatever was necessary to find gold.

  3. MiA Says:

    I don’t know why I typed those last two paragraphs. Ignore those.

  4. Jtran Says:


    “people who do not belive in the goodness of the world”

    As the great Robear said, “love life, loathe people”

  5. albert walker Says:

    Love herbs
    Fuck the fed

  6. Gavinsdad Says:

    But don’t be a herb

  7. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    @aw – what would happen if the fed didnt exist and inflation or deflation went out of control in one particular direction?

    i ask because you sound passitonate but i know you are educated, and i have a friend who’s all “fuck te fed” all the time but when we got into a legitimate conversation about specifics, he had NO IDEA what he was talking about, and essentially ended the conversation with “i dont know”

  8. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    re-reading my post i want to emphasize – you are in the industry. this was a kid. he was passionate because he found something to hate, not because he did any research. i am asking because i legitimately don’t know myself, not because i disagree with you.

  9. bobby weird Says:

    MiA couldn’t agree more. I selected very few “strongly” agree/disagree choices, but did strongly agree with the one asking if highly successful people are more likely to act immorally or illegally. recent financial sector news (past few years) is all one needs to know that is unfortunately all too true.

    cool stuff. i remember taking a similar test as a roommate match-up process starting college.

  10. Gavinsdad Says:

    People love crazy making. I prefer to have fun or to chill.

    Working on that as all the responsibility stuff falls between those two poles.

  11. Phishm0610 Says:

    I want to expand on that thought, but feel like the words will come out wrong. Here goes.
    Love of one’s self provides an ability to love others. We all make mistakes. The ability to learn from mistakes is key to self forgiveness. To be able to recognize mistakes as mistakes and to not repeat them is key. At least that has worked for me.
    In turn I also see many people that hate on people because it appears they don’t like themselves. I can only relate what I see and feel.
    Getting a little personal for my taste here, but I have found a way to learn from all the mistakes I’ve made, recognize them, and not repeat them. I’m human and still make mistakes all the time. It’s what I do after a mistake that makes me learn. I want to learn everyday, not just how to survive in this crazy world, but to also love those around me. I could go on and on, but in the end these are phishm’d thoughts. OK done. Love is key to life, friendship and trust. Without them you have nothing.

  12. MiA Says:

    I’ve come around on the Fed actually. I mean, right now, they saved us from being financially destroyed in 2009 by the banks. They did this buy giving International Banks US Taxpayer money so they would not be insolvent. They are currently holding interest rates artificially low, so the banks can borrow from them at near 0% interest risk free, and buy Federal Govt Debt at 3%. They might be the only people in the world that can absolutely be guaranteed to make 3% a year.

    They are going to destroy the value of our currency by just creating money out of thin air and making $100 seem like nothing.

    But if you’re millions in debt, that a million dollars buys a cup of coffee is great.

    If you’ve worked your whole life to have a million dollars, and you can’t buy a cup of coffee after it, then you’re fucked.

    People on fixed incomes, are fucked. Price of Gas goes to $12/gallon, and food suddenly becomes 80% of their monthly budget.

    The Fed wants you to be a Debt Slave.

  13. MiA Says:

    Phishm, that was a very cogent post. Well done. I think the words came out right.

    Some of the other ones … not so sure. You’re on a good track.

  14. MiA Says:

    by, not buy.

  15. Phishm0610 Says:

    I’m a quick learner MiA. Just need to learn when to step away from the computer. Nobody wants to hear me slur my words through my fingers. Especially me.

  16. MiA Says:

    The Fed’s ability to create money, has allowed the US Congress to spend money they won’t and never will have based on the very real promise of higher taxes on the US Taxpayer.

    On things it maybe shouldn’t. It’s just $14T or $15T or 20T, I mean, who cares. It’s just a trillion here or there.

    Once the people who truly “buy” those bonds/debt from us, decide that they will no longer loan us money at 0%, then we have interest rates increase. When that happens, the $20T of debt at 5% interest becomes a huge interest payment. It takes up more and more of the budget that has to be focused out of social programs or whatever, and spent on … interest.

    We don’t want to be Greece. We just don’t want to lose control of our financial destiny.

  17. MiA Says:


    Thursday night football. Later folks.

  18. albert walker Says:

    They have no idea what they’re doin man. It just creates distortions. You know what rallied today. Gold oil and metals. Anything inflationary

    I’m sure they can create inflation. Just don’t trust Ben he can stop it once it starts.

    Devaluing the dollar to lessen your debt load and increase export dollars is a crime.

    Genie is out of the bottle now but never should have left the gold standard.

    Look what greenspans policies did to inflate the housing bubble. Ivy league hack douches hustling us they know what they’re doin.

  19. Phishm0610 Says:

    MiA – You know a lot about the financial sector of this country. Any ideas how to improve it? I’m way out of my field with the fed talk, but enjoy the good insight.

  20. bobby weird Says:

    @aw, i take it you’re of the chicago school of economics? milton friedman and all that?

  21. fat bastard Says:

    Its a boy! Born last night David Wright Bengert! everyone is doing great! couldn’t be happier. the era of good feelings indeed!

  22. Phishm0610 Says:

    or aw for that matter. Different viewpoints about the same issues facing this country is fascinating to me. I need to keep up more on current events. Mabye catch the news every now and then. It just bums me out. and honestly, I have created a work life for myself that causes me to rely on myself. Work from home, good pay, love what I do. Then again, inflation is kicking my ass.

  23. Phishm0610 Says:

    congrats fb. Awesome news. Is this your first?

  24. PigSong Says:


    Interesting fed thoughts MiA. I don’t know shit, but your delivery was on point.


  25. William H. Bonney Says:

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