We’re Going Back to Jazzfest!

4.26.96 - The Fairgrounds - New Orleans

4.26.96 – The Fairgrounds – New Orleans

Yesterday, out of nowhere, Phish announced their return to the greatest festival in the land—The New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival—exactly 18 years to the date that they played the Fairgrounds on April 26, 1996. Between then and now, however, Phish has been absent from the annual gathering due to the unruly element that their fans brought to the site. With nearly two decades since their visit, however, the band—and their fans—are being invited back! And with the announcement of a Spring date in the South, fans’ heads are already spinning with the possibilities of what might going on around that date.

urlPhish all but ignored the South last year, stopping only in Alpharetta for a mid-week two-night stand. Additionally, no 3.0 festival date has been a standalone affair, as Austin City Limits kicked off Fall 2010, Outside Lands was in the middle of Summer 2011, and both appearances at Bonnaroo took place in the amidst summer tour. Putting these factors together, along with the already swirling rumor of two-dates in Austin following Jazzfest, we just might be looking at our first Spring tour since 1994! The Mike Gordon Band tours until April 6th, giving the guys enough time to hit the Barn, brush up on things and fly south for Spring!

12.28.12 (J.Silco)

12.28.12 (J.Silco)

Regardless of what dates, if any, are booked before or after this weekend, there are limitless possibilities in New Orleans, alone. Anyone who’s been to Jazzfest knows that the day time Fairground shows comprise only a fraction of the story. Jazzfest goes on 24 hours a day, with musicians performing club shows and sit-ins until the wee hours of the morning. With all four members of Phish in the Bayou, one can bet that they will pop up with musicians all over town. Back in 1996, when the Allman Brothers were the bigger headliner of the festival, they also played an independent, arena gig at Lakefront Arena, a slot that seems perfect for Phish to slide right into. One way or the other, one can be sure that the main stage at the fairgrounds won’t be the only stage that the members of Phish grace throughout the weekend.

Few expected to wake up in the middle of January to news of the next Phish date, but lo and behold, the community has been abuzz all day long discussing plans, booking hotels and getting excited for New Orleans!  The glow of the holiday run had yet to wear off and here we are talking about Phish in the Bayou and beyond. The next thirty years are off to quite a start!



imgres-1Check out the most recent Type II Cast as host Steve Olker, Brian Bavosa, and I break down and discuss each night of the MSG run, with audio clips and anecdotes along the way.

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671 Responses to “We’re Going Back to Jazzfest!”

  1. bob dylan Says:

    yarmouth road is great. finally spinning the sound cloud one. way to go mike.

  2. Calpain Says:

    I work in a hospital currently @ren. Grad school for health care related field then fellowship. Considering army/navy to cover cost due to mounds of student loan debt.

    Seems like NYC would be ideal for your skill set but if you’re not happy then relocation might be what you need. ‘The city’ can be rough have friends in finance and I duno how their livers are still functional. Stress/partying takes a toll.

  3. tela's_muff Says:

    purchased (yes, with money! turning over new leaf this year) first new release of 2014. Blank Realm – Grassed Inn. very exciting record, for sure give it a strong rec.

  4. vapebraham Says:

    nice call, bob d. love the studio yarmouth, better than any live phish version.

  5. lumpyhead Says:

    bit late on this convo but Ren – move to CO

  6. Kevin Says:

    btb – Welcome to Cleveland!

  7. ren Says:

    Good ole’ healthcare. Growing industry there…hope O’Bummer didn’t screw that up for ya.

    The only thing I really enjoy about NY at this point is the ability to earn a decent living financially and that my core group of friends and family are here. When you are younger decisions seem so black and white…cut and dry. I feel like it just gets grayer as I mature…less willing to take risks…more on the line. Still no kids yet so at least I don’t have to factor that. No dog either which is really getting to me. Want one so bad…but we’d never be around to see it.

  8. Stoney Case Says:

    nice tela’s. on spotify.

  9. ren Says:

    That seems to be the general consensus Lumpy. Clearly would have good peeps to welcome me there

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    this one is gonna be long. consider yourself forewarned…

    I’ve been diving deep into individual songs lately (BECAUSE REASONS, OKAY) and last night I took on the three versions of Ain’t Love Funny (amongst others but that’s not for now. this is long enough already).


    The debut in Prague arrives out of an extended Horn (clearly, it was set up and coming) and is sparse, well played, and about as true to the original as you could hope for in a phish cover before the outro leads to the segue into LxL. The crowd is respectful and receives it well even though most surely don’t know what it is (I wouldn’t have had I been there). Kind of an interesting group of segued tunes when you think of it thematically, honestly, especially if you include the whole set. (more on this topic below…)

    The Paradiso version eleven days later comes this time out of a patient LxL dissolve, taking longer to emerge and then becoming a very tender take on the tune (Mike’s laser beams not withstanding). Page is more active on this one and clearly the whole band feels more comfortable with the tune this go around. They would follow it up with Saw It Again, a tune with a very different ethos altogether.

    And then for the final appearance, this time stateside, we have the version that filled the hydrogen role in the Mike’s Groove at Alpine 8.9.97. The song is played as well as the other two versions but something is lost without the intimacy of those European rooms. The monstrous shed that is Alpine just doesn’t work for this song somehow and maybe it isn’t right in the HydroHole anyway. Either way, it comes off kinda flat here after a swirling maelstrom of a Mike’s breaks down into a loop jam and they once again work a perfect segue into Ain’t Love Funny (which then has a nice segue into Simple – a transition you can almost hear coming out of Mike’s before Trey strums the line for ALF). the crowd simply doesn’t connect with it as happens across the pond, but that makes sense to me based on set and setting.

    And from there we have yet to hear it again 😐

    so about that thematic set from 6.20.97. You probably [read: SHOULD] already know this show, but maybe you haven’t spun it in a while. So go ahead and cue up your favorite copy or just get it going on phishtracks. I’ll wait.

    ok, ready?

    so here’s what we have for the first set:

    Taste>Jam->Cities->Horn->Ain’t Love Funny->LxL->I Don’t Care>Antelope

    Looks great on paper, right? It is. And the second set is purty darn nice too if you like big Bowies, gooey Ghosts, and tweaked Twists. The playing of the first set is top shelf Phish and it has been lauded as such by people who “wax” poetic more than I. But look a little deeper at what they played in that first set. Work with me here.

    Taste is a song about freedom and trying to figure your shit out on your own without all of the stuff clouding your vision of the path.

    The jam is a bit of a nervous journey along that road before we get to Cities, a song about deciding where to lay your hat and make your way. And this is a version to hear, what with the big time funk chops on display here.

    Then we get Horn, a song about a dude down on love (maybe unsure of his path) just going through the motions of a relationship and this bleeds into the debut of Ain’t Love Funny.

    So now we have a common thing in relationships where one day you are feeling down and then you notice all the things you love about him/her/it and you realize how rare that is to have, hence “Ain’t Love Funny”.

    And this bleeds to Limb by Limb which is another song about a person dealing with challenges in a relationship (polyrhythmically, no less) and struggling to decide on the “right” course of action.

    So what does he do? screams “I DON’T CARE!!”, of course. Honestly, I really like this two-timer of a song and wish it would come back, if only for the outro jam that they did on this the last version of it they ever played. This is some angry ass Phish right here.

    And then for the exclamation point to it all our protagonist goes and gets all crazy with a frenetic Antelope closer, totally setting free once more. Not sure how the change of the Marco line to “The Jersey Drunk” fits into my theory here but we’ll just slip that under the proverbial rug.


    Ain’t Love Funny is tender as fuck and you should also go spin 06.20.97 I cuz is is straight cash money, yo

  11. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    that lastrewind posts has me listening to 2011 phish- shit is good. don’t sleep on 6/3/2011.

  12. tela's_muff Says:

    ren – job market very strong here in CO. i have connections i could seek out if you needed. not sure if they would match up with what you’re looking for, but i could try. Brahlorado yo. fly out first weekend of Feb and join the local BB Ski weekend. we’ll take care of ya.

  13. vapebraham Says:

    i love ain’t love funny. the 7.1.97 version is $$$ in a $$$ show.

  14. tela's_muff Says:

    ^has to be longest and most in-depth analysis of Aint Love Funny in history of musicology. well done.

  15. Stoney Case Says:

    foundation work passed city inspection! HalleluJah! wow, one less week of heartburn coming my way.

  16. Stoney Case Says:

    whoa wait, BB Ski Weekend?

  17. ren Says:

    Thanks Telas! You were certainly one of the people I was thinking of when I wrote that last post.

    T3- Don’t think that post was specifically meant for me but I know what my listening homework is tonight.

    I’m feeling that good energy from all of you. Gonna ratchet up a few gears on my to do/bucket list. Life is short and needs to be lived…THE RIGHT WAY!

  18. stapes Says:

    Nicely done T3

  19. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    stapes and tela’s- are you guys thinking about going to winter wonder grass in avon?

  20. jtran Says:

    good read t3

    will now spin that show shortly

  21. vapebraham Says:

    just had a nip of coffee. that flavor plus kind has to be one of the nicest taste combos known to man.

  22. stapes Says:

    Heady- as of now no, but that lineup looks real nice.

  23. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    Nice Greensky interview citing PH influences for those interested.


  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    as I do all of the work for the ÜAÜ I am finding more and more of this sort of thing. I have actually resisted posting a lot of these that have crossed my mind.

    I have to tell you that I realized your search crossed my mind as I was writing that. less about the relationship aspect and more for the search/city/freedom piece. phish has a way of working to fit what we need it to sometimes. as one example, I would have to dig for it, but I had a lengthy post after one of the JB ’10 shows where I was awoken to some things by what happened that night.

  25. stapes Says:

    “phish has a way of working to fit what we need it to sometimes”

    Spot on!!!

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