Reader’s Picks: Ryan Baird

12.31.2012, MSG (Jesse Herzog)

12.31.2012, MSG (Jesse Herzog)

“This One Goes to Eleven—My First Eleven Shows” by Ryan Baird

Ghost > Halley’s > Tweezer” 11.24.98 II, New Haven, CT

After being shut out at my first phish show 4/4/98, getting arrested days before the Lemonwheel, and missing the first set of this show due to traffic on I-95, I was not off to a good start to my phish show career. This second set trifecta was just what I needed to be hooked for life.



Gumbo” 11.28.98 I, Worcester, MA

For the first night of the tour finale [the night before] I found myself in a familiar place, on the outside looking in. Things were not looking good for this noob, but once again, these first notes I heard [on night two] reaffirmed that I was in the right place.



Bathtub Gin” 11.29.98 II, Worcester, MA

$$$, I got IT for the first time.



Foreplay/Longtime” 7.12.99 I, Mansfield, MA

I was beginning to understand that Phish could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, with a bit of humor, and completely nail it. This was my first outdoor show, I was front row, and the place exploded for this one.



Tube > Boogie On” 7.17.99 I, Volney, NY

My first festi of any type, and I was in way over my head. Completely broke after about five minutes of being on lot, but happy as I could ever be. There’s nothing that compares to the vibe of a Phish festival, and this opening sequence set the tone for the weekend.



Runaway Jim” 7.18.99 II, Volney, NY

“It was so hot!” was the understatement of the year. I can remember the start of this set, and thinking that I can’t believe that they’re going to play another set after this one. Festivals are sometimes overwhelming and after my first one, I was happy to have made it out alive.



Walk Away > Rocky Top” 12.7.99 E, Portland, ME

I honestly do not remember seeing the CCCC “Halley’s.” This might be one of the best jams that I was in attendance for but have no recollection of. And since it gets so much love around here, I don’t need to restate the obvious. However, I do remember the encore, which I thought was bitchin’!



The Lizards” 12.8.99 II, Portland, ME

After hearing Trey’s thesis and listening to Great Woods ’94 a few times that fall, I had greater appreciation for the epic tale. This was my first real trip to Gamehenge that I can remember to this day. I think that Trey’s solo might be my favorite piece of composed phish.



Sand” 12.13.99 II, Providence, RI

After hearing it for the first time live a week earlier in Portland, I was hooked. “Sand” has remained my favorite song since December of 1999. This version is pure fire, and foreshadowed what was to happen at my next show/festi.



Light Up or Leave Me Alone” 12.30.99 I, Big Cypress, FL

“Water in the Sky” got everyone’s attention and “Light Up” set the place on fire. This special event needs the Shapiro treatment, asap. The swamp is one of my most cherished memories, every aspect, especially the amount of music they packed into two days.



After Midnight Reprise” 12.31.99 II, Big Cypress, FL

The birth of my children, getting married to an amazing woman, and “After Midnight.” There are special moments in life, but as far as Phish goes this one can’t be beat. The vibe circulating within my friends, the crowd, everyone in the Everglades was pure bliss. Phish was sending a clear message, and I was pickin’ up what they were puttin’ down!

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385 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Ryan Baird”

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  1. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Nice list Ryan. You aren’t kidding about getting off to a rough start in your Phish career…

  2. BNCB Says:

    Ryan. Perseverance! I did those fall tours. Wonder if we met. Was always vending on lot.

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Very well composed and a fun trip through your shows
    Good stuff

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Should we tell Snow there is new post or let him continue to bitch about the schedule on the last one? I think I know the answer….

  5. bobby weird Says:

    60 dead shows n 85 phish n only got shut out once: firstnight hampton ’09. (Sat n sun tho). Def was looser and easier back in the day tho. Innocent times. Bribed n snuck into shows many times whn otherwise would have been shut out. Those days r mostly long gone. Nice list n stories to go with it.

  6. BNCB Says:


  7. tzara's Says:

    Prince, bitches!

    Wearing my Dead shirt underneath, to try and channel more guitar solos.


  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Shooting going down at MIT now.. WTF?

  9. gavinsdad Says:

    Fishman is dirty dirtman on this SPAC 04 piper. Totally locked.

  10. ae Says:

    haven’t poked around here in ages.

    baby expected any day.

    got out last night for greensky at bb kings. excellent stuff.

    hi everyone.

  11. RoosterPizza Says:


    Gone from late may till August 20th. I would love to get hood down to Holmdel, but no shows for me till dick’s.

  12. phoammhead Says:

    caught brit floyd this eve . . . those guys nailin’ it… very enjoyable. went spur of the moment. bek was working…ushering at the show. she arranged a $5 student tic. ended up getting free tic outside venue. then, spent $50 on liquor drinks. money well spent.

    cool story and piks, Ryan

  13. halcyon Says:

    Shit is going down in Cambridge adn Watertown right now…..reports of officer shot, explosions, and hand grenades

    Know our BB bretheren Joe is in that area. Hope you are safe Joe.

  14. kayatosh Says:

    boss list, ryan.

    1:40 AM back from the Greensky show. just ate some food. sweet potato spears dipped in ginger miso dressing. and some sort of fowl burger segment. $$$

    greensky is a great band; modern day troubadors. spoke w/ anders (decked in a flyers t and casual sport coat) at halftime and some lady proclaimed him the best in the band, right on the heels of my commenting that they were a true band w/ no part being greater than the sum. anders on the dobro drop steel does bring the sustain and the disco groove element, which is essential. bruiser (sings like dylan. $$$ moustache) and paul are also mvps, and the bassist hold it down tough.

    Mama Tried (heartfelt, accurate) was a standout as was Money for Nothing, which was marred by some sound issues. and we got the obligatory Atlantic City. during an instrumental called Tarpolgy, anders took charge and laid down some $$$ Sand (yes phish sand) teases.

    was feelin IT. gdrop slice , ghee, and late day vapes helped. draft beer tasted off. went w/ sierra nevadas. a decent pale ale.

    and there were yappers out oin force. startling at times how loud the din became, but greensky shut them up at times.

  15. kayatosh Says:

    j’s rolled w/ shake burn hot and dry.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Good day for a bicycle ride.

  17. MiA Says:

    Nice list.

    A day in the life…

  18. voopa Says:

    Nice picks, should be a good respite after all the news. Woostah Gin!

    Off to the airport to get mrs. v to DC; at least I’ll be in & out of work early today.

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Woke up to this crazy news…totally intense stuff. Time for some coffee.

    I’ve come to the realization that twitter has become the new , mostly accurate source of news these days. The cable news networks are like a bunch of monkeys trying to fuck a football.

    Wife and all three kids just left ofr the airport. On my own until late Sunday night.. I love my family, but I’ve been looking forward to this respite for a while…

  20. MiA Says:

    Palmer is over there in his underwear and socks dancing around to Bob Seger.

    Nice write ups and choices.

  21. Plord Says:

    A happy Bicycle Day to all who observe.

    More shit in the news ugh.

  22. jerseyjim Says:

    thx for the 11!

    “I was beginning to understand that Phish could do whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, with a bit of humor, and completely nail it”


  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    pretty much Mia, pretty much…

    New Kurt Vile been on in a constant loop last few days. Love his sound.

    Saw that The War on Drugs are working on a new album as we speak. Excited for that as well.

    Feels like this Boston thing is about to come to a head. No way they take this kid alive.

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    this guy appears to be twittering from the apartment adjacent to where it is all going down right now

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Fucking White hat..

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