[Giveaway] Double combo ! Ventura + Star Lake

by Yome NetSan 14. June 2013

The new Phish live CD boxset called Ventura came earlier thanks to Phish Inc. and it is ready to go to YOUR house !

But it might come with a friend : Star Lake 98 dvd !

For a chance to win, comment this post with the answer of this question : "Where did Phish tour during summers 1997 and 1998 for the last time to date ?"

You can Tweet this to maximize your chance :

Giveaway of the new #Phish 6 CD boxset Ventura on http://www.bouncingaroundeuroom.eu @YomeNetSan

Don't forget to include the link to your tweet in your comment.

The winner will be randomly choosen among comments and tweets made between now and Friday 21th June 13:00 (France time). If the winner wants only one of the two prices or if he choose to let someone else win, I'll pick up a second winner for the remaining prize !

This contest is open to european residents only.

All new 6-CD box set featuring two complete live shows, recorded July 30, 1997 and July 20, 1998 at Ventura County Fairgrounds in Ventura, California, a general admission dirt racetrack between the Pacific Coast Highway and Surfers Point Park. Bits of the each show's Soundchecks are included at the end of both shows.

The new box set was fully remixed from the band's multitrack masters and mastered for release. July 30, 1997 was Phish's first Ventura stop since Trey learned to surf nearby in 1993. The show featured a number of must-hear performances including a bass-driven, syncopated "Wolfman's Brother" > "Chalk Dust Torture", a deep and spacey "Stash" and "Character Zero" in Set I. A "Free" > "David Bowie" > "Cities" > "David Bowie" combination dominated the show's second half with some of the summer's biggest jams. 

On July 20, 1998 Phish again encountered Ventura's breezy oceanside. Ventura '98 was characterized by some new songs and some bustouts. The first set included a "Bathtub Gin" opener, a new arrangement of "Water In The Sky", the swinging funk of "The Moma Dance" and a "Split Open And Melt" Set I closer. Set II exploded with a bass-and-drums-fueled "Drowned" > "Makisupa Policeman" pairing that utilized Page's synth stylings to seamlessly blend rock and reggae. "Maze" led to a perfectly placed "Sea And Sand". 

[Giveaway Results] Star Lake 98 DVD

by Yome NetSan 7. December 2012

Last week, I launch a simple contest to win 2 Phish dvd Star Lake 98.

The answer to the question was quite simple : The summer tour 98 was nicknammed "Summer of covers" because the band played a brand new and unique cover each night.

You were 4 to post the correct answer in the comments here. 2 more dvd were given on my french website Gamusik with the exact same question but there was no answer at all ! So instead of choosing 2 winners among the 4 who entered here, I declare everyone's a winner ! So Robert, Dan, Maui and Marko, you'll get an email from me soon.

Meanwhile, I watched the concert last sunday and it was a pleasure to seen my 3 years old son dancing to the music ! But I must admit he was better impressed by the cover art of the boxset. He thought the bridges was for trains and he tried to put the disc in the player on his own... The disc ended stuck really deep inside the player and I had to open it completely to get it back ! Hopefully the dvd wasn't broken and he really enjoyed the menu with the cars on the bridges !

Oh yeah, the show is great with a 35 minutes Runaway Jim and a marvelous Reba ! The video quality is better than you would expect from a VHS source and it's really band focused with very few full stage view.

I hope you winners will enjoy this dvd !

 

[Unboxing and Giveaway] Star Lake 98 listening party

by Yome NetSan 30. November 2012

The new Phish dvd release is in the house ! Star Lake 98 came earlier than my regular order thanks to Beth from Phish Inc.

I'll have what might be the first listening party in Europe this weekend at home !

And like it's now an habit, I have 2 of them to give here and 2 more on my other French music and gaming webiste Gamusik.

Feel free to enter on both !

For a chance to win, comment this post with the answer of this question : "How was nicknamed the Phish Summer tour 1998 and why ?"

You can Tweet this to maximize your chance :

Unboxing and Giveaway of the new #Phish dvd Star Lake 98 on http://www.bouncingaroundeuroom.eu @YomeNetSan

Don't forget to include the link to your tweet in your comment.

The winner will be randomly choosen among comments and tweets made between now and Friday 7th December 13:00 (France time). This contest is open to european residents only.

On August 11, 1998 Phish played at Star Lake Amphitheatre in Burgettstown, Pennsylvania. This was their second visit to Star Lake of seven to-date starting in 1997 and including 2003, 2009 and 2012 shows previously released at LivePhish.com.

The Star Lake 98 show was the 20th of summer to showcase the loose, experimental vibe of a tour that began in Europe and jumped to the United States enroute to the summer’s ending Lemonwheel festival. The introduction of a never-before-played cover each night earned the tour the nickname “summer of covers” from fans and Star Lake’s contribution was a Trench Town Rock opener. Star Lake also saw the return of Time Loves A Hero which was played for the first time in a decade and segued out of a sultry Wolfman’s Brother. Julius, an extended Fee outro (during which hip Pittsburghians clapped along on the 2 and 4) and deep renditions of Maze and Reba set the stage for set II. The second set featured a super-swinging, ethereal Runaway Jim that foreshadowed 2011’s Storage Jam and an unusual pairing of Meat > Limb By Limb. Local flavor of the Commonwealth was provided by Bittersweet Motel (the title of the Phish documentary recorded during Europe ’98 dates) and Wilson, King of Prussia.

Star Lake 98 is the only full show available as video from summer 1998. The 2-DVD set was created from archival VHS videotapes of the 3-camera lawn screen feed. The audio was mixed from multi-track masters in stereo PCM and 5.1 surround. It will be released on DVD and digital audio download December 11 on JEMP Records.

Phish's Archivist, Kevin Shapiro

[vimeo:53625082]

Live in Utica Contest Results

by Yome NetSan 7. June 2011

Here are the results for last week contest which consisted of answering a bunch of Phish related questions. The price was the new double DVD/CD Live in Utica. You'll find bellow the correct answers (green) along with some pieces of detail and the name of the winner.

  1. Which of these songs has never been covered by Phish ?
  2. Which of these songs is covered by Phish a cappela ?
  3. When Phish cover these songs ("Purple Rain", "Love You", "Sexual Healing", "Gettin' Jiggy With It", "Bike" ), which instrument does the drummer use in his solo ? 
  4. Which of these video games has the same name of a Phish cover song ?
  5. Ben Harper, k's Choice, Franz Ferdinand, Alanis Morissette and Phish both have played (at least once) a song having the same name, but which one of these ?
    • "Walk Away"
      Cover for Phish, original song for Ben Harper, k's Choice, Alanis Morissette and Franz Ferdinand
    • "Sexual Healing"
      Ben Harper has also covered this song as presented in his live album "Live From Mars"
    • "Something"
      Covered by k's Choice during their 2000 tour, as a tribute to George Harrison
    • "Take Me Out"
      Name for a Mike Gordon and Franz Ferdinand song
    • "Hand In My Pocket"
      A song by Alanis Morissette covered by Mike Gordon's solo band
  6. What is special about those two shows (speaking of "reprise", the french word for "cover") : 6/18/10 and 6/19/10
    • "Tweezer Reprise"
      In Ted's words : Hartford had the double Tweezer Reprise (back to back Tweezer Reprises in the encore), and the very next night at SPAC they opened and closed the show with Tweezer Reprise! Classic Phishiness!
  7. From which Michael Jackson album come the songs teased during the 2001 jam on the first anniversary of his death ?
    • "Thriller"
      In Ted's words : I was able to turn a Parisian friend onto Phish by playing him that 2001!
  8. Which of these albums have never been covered in its entirely by Phish as a "musical costume" on Halloween ? 
    • "Quadrophenia"
      31th October 1995
    • "The Dark Side of the Moon"
      In Ted's words : In '98 everybody thought they were going to do "Dark Side" in Vegas for Halloween, but they did "Loaded" by the Velvet Underground instead. A couple of days later, on 11/2/98 in Salt Lake City, Utah, the arena was only half full. In the second set, out of nowhere Phish played a "Harpua" that went into a full rendition of Dark Side of the Moon! Craziness!
    • "Loaded"
      31th October 1996
    • "Exile on Main St."
      31th October 2009
    • "Waiting for Columbus"
      31th October 2010

 

The winner is Ted, a reader living in Grenoble, France. He sent me very detailed answers for every question and was radomly picked.

You can still watch several excepts from the DVD (almost all set 1) along with other HD video from current tour on the Vimeo Phish page.
LivePhish.com also provide two great live compilations to download here : Live Bait Volume 3 and Live Bait Volume 4.

[Contest] Win a Live In Utica double DVD/CD !

by Yome NetSan 24. May 2011

I have the new double DVD/CD from Phish, Live in Utica, to offer to the winner a this little contest. The combo is released today in the USA.

All you have to do is answer the following question by using the contact page (don't answer in the comments). I'll pick up  the winner at random in answers I'll got here and on Gamusik. Answers has to be sent before the may 31th 23h59 (french time). Don't hesitate to sens partial or multiple answers. I'll trim them to the last one. This contest id open to european residents only.

Questions are about songs Phish have (or ahaven't) covered. Maybe you'll learn funny things about the best band in the world, who know ? Don't be affraid, there's nothing complicated and don't forget that Google is your friend...

  1. Which of these songs has never been covered by Phish ?
    • "Waterloo" (ABBA)
    • "Sabotage" (Beastie Boys)
    • "99 Problems" (Jay-Z)
    • "Gettin' Jiggy With It" (Will Smith)
    • "I Kissed a Girl" (Katy Perry)
    • "Mmm Bop" (Hanson)
  2. Which of these songs is covered by Phish a cappela ?
    • "Bohemian Rhapsody" (Queen)
    • "Free Bird" (Lynyrd Skynyrd)
    • "Auld Lang Syne" (Traditional)
    • "The Great Gig In The Sky" (Pink Floyd)
    • "Big Pimpin'" (Jay-Z)
  3. When Phish cover these songs, which instrument does the drummer use in his solo ?
    • "Purple Rain" (Prince)
    • "Love You" (Syd Barrett)
    • "Sexual Healing" (Marvin Gaye)
    • "Gettin' Jiggy With It" (Will Smith)
    • "Bike" (Pink Floyd)
  4. Which of these video games has the same name of a Phish cover song ?
    • Portal
    • Gran Turismo
    • Spore
    • Haunted Castle
    • Wipeout
  5. Ben Harper, k's Choice, Franz Ferdinand, Alanis Morissette and Phish both have played (at least once) a song having the same name, but which one of these  ?
    • "Walk Away"
    • "Sexual Healing"
    • "Something"
    • "Take Me Out"
    • "Hand In My Pocket"
  6. What is special about those two shows (speaking of "reprise", the french word for "cover") :
  7. From which Michael Jackson album come the songs teased during the 2001 jam on the first anniversary of his death ?
    • Off the wall
    • Thriller
    • Bad
    • Dangerous
    • Invisible
  8. Which of these albums have never been covered in its entirely by Phish as a "musical costume" on Halloween ? 
    • "Quadrophenia" (The Who)
    • "The Dark Side of the Moon" (Pink Floyd)
    • "Loaded" (The Velvet Underground)
    • "Exile on Main St." (The Rolling Stones)
    • "Waiting for Columbus" (Little Feat)

 

So send me your answers with the contact page and good luck !

 

Guyutica is gonna get you !

by Yome NetSan 12. May 2011

On the 20th October last year, in Utica, Phish played one of my favorite show in years.

Starting great with a rare Vulture, the night went out when Guyute arrived : every song that followed contained an ugly pig reference ! The second set was a segue festival (listen to a crazy Split > Mercy > Piper > Split > Slave bellow) and a jam heaven.

[mp3:2011/5/Guyutica/20101020ph_d2t07_Melt-Mercy-Piper-Slave_edit.mp3]
http://www.mediafire.com/?7ry3kimcy7gbvr4

The only thing that I'm waiting more than this DVD is a BluRay version...

The 2 CD / 2 DVD boxset will be released on the may 24.

 

 

On October 20, 2010 Phish played their first ever show in Utica in the heart of the Mohawk Valley. Utica Memorial Auditorium is a hockey arena with a capacity of about 5,700 and a design very similar to another round room and favorite Empire State Phish venue, Madison Square Garden. Utica was the smallest venue on Phish's fall tour and the atmosphere was charged with electricity - the music was swinging, inspired and transcendent with a crowd that rose to the occasion. One clever fan even went so far as to craft a "Guyutica" sign that no doubt helped shape the night’s events. A new camera mounted at the front-of-house position accentuated the light show in a way never before featured on a live, indoor Phish DVD. Set one was bookended by a soul sandwich, opening with "My Soul" and closing with "Run Like An Antelope" ("set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul"). "Vultures" and a funky "Wolfman's Brother" > "Cities" with local references brought the show to an early fever pitch. The music seemed to play the band as intricate, full-band improvisation intertwined the songs of set one throughout an absurdly creative sequence of "Guyute", "David Bowie" and "Wilson”. The show's theme song "Guyute" bloomed again repeatedly during "Saw It Again" and "Run Like An Antelope", both of which oozed with exquisite detail fueled by a fully mind-melded band and audience. Set two built on the momentum of a stellar first set, opening the door with a patient, jazzy "Sand" > "Theme From The Bottom" and diving headlong through it with an explosive combination of "Split Open And Melt" > "Have Mercy" > "Piper" > "Split Open And Melt" > "Slave To The Traffic Light" that nearly blew the roof off the Utica Aud. By the time “Birds Of A Feather” re-appeared during “Piper”, it could accurately be described as Uticular. In keeping with its series of interrelated themes, nearly optimum flow and an overall magical glow, Utica also showcased some relative rarities from The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday such as "McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters" and "Tela". The nearly three hours of music on the Utica box set was recorded with 64 channels of digital multi-track and beautifully mixed and mastered, appearing on the DVD's in 5.1 Dolby surround and full-resolution, uncompressed PCM stereo. The video was shot with 8 cameras (16:9 widescreen), recorded and post-edited in High Definition. Combining a stellar performance with gorgeous improvisation and a healthy sense of adventure, Utica makes it clear that the band is back and playing for keeps.

Exclusive news : a Phish video game !

by Yome NetSan 29. March 2011

Part of my job as a web developper is that the company I work for/in change after each project. This way, I get to know different people and way to work depending of the size of the company. That’s why I work in a city 150 km from my house since november 2010.
One of my new co-worker has lived in Los Angeles for several years and still have many friends in the US. After asking her if she had someone who can get my the 3 limited editon vinyls from Phish and Mike Gordon released for the Record Store Day, she came back to me with some incredible news.
When she lived there, she actually befriended someone who recently moved to Massachusetts to work at Harmonix, Rock Band video games creators. This person was so surprised to know that a guy in France love Phish so much he ask half the planet to get 3 discs from Los Angeles, he when pretty talky about a current project in his company :
Rock Band : Phish !

I’ll try to get more informations about this in the following days because all that I know is that the game is planned to be released simultaneously with a very anticipated DVD/BluRay boxset from a very very famous show...

End of a 7 years story...

by Yome NetSan 11. November 2010

The story I'm talking about is the one I was in with Dry Goods, Phish's online store.

My first order was made 7 years ago, on Halloween 2003, for the Las Vegas 2000 dvd. My last order was on september 22th 2010.

I received the package yesterday and I let you see how well it was made.

For a 148$ order, even if I used a 1$ International shipping coupon (the code is GUILL3433, feel free to use it, it works once by account but you can create several of them), it's very poorly protected, right ?

So here are my last 2 messages to my contact at Music Today.

 

From Yome NetSan
To J.W. <xxx@musictoday.com>
10th November 2010

Hi,

Any news for me ?
Which items have been shipped and which haven't ?

Thanks

Guillaume

 

From Yome NetSan
To J.W. <xxx@musictoday.com>
Cc bettyfrost@phish.com, phish@redlightmanagement.com, ambrosia@redlightmanagement.com
11th November 2010

Hi,

I finally got my answer yesterday with the parcel I received.

So the only missing item is the signed drawing, simply noted as "canceled" in the invoice. Glade I pre-ordered...
I pre-ordered on september 22th Moss CD and Coral Sky DVD which were to be released on october 19th. My order whould have been shipped by that date but it was actually shipped on october 18th, after I wrote 2 emails to the customer service and you. So what I wonder is this : If my order have been packed to be shipped on the announced date, would I have got the pre-order bonus ?

But when my order finally arrived, I was surprised to see how my items was packed in the box. When I write "packed", I should write "throwed in". They were put in the box without order and with almost no protection. As the parcel was way too large for what it contained, the items were moving all over the place inside it. Moreover, to Moss vinyl was in the middle, lying half in the rolled poster, half on the bottom of the box... with 2 heavy guitar tab books ON IT where they could have been put flat on the bottom ! Have a look at the attached file, I've just remove 1 paper "protection" which can be seen in the bottom of the picture.

Thanksfully, nothing was heavily damaged. The vinyl and a book have a fold corner and the plastic of the Coral Sky dvd a small crack but nothing unusual for a Dry Goods order... I feel lucky with that when I see how the things were put in the package...

To make things clear : I've never received a package made with less care, ever. And i've been heavily ordering things on Internet for several years, from several websites and from several country. Even with the worst eBay seller i've deal with, my items were better packed.
And I won't mention again delays and shipping fees.

Meanwhile, I received the refund for the Moss CD. I thank you for that.

Usually, I'm not the type of guy who complains for nothing. But my emails to Dry Goods and you since last year were the only one I sent for a problem with an Internet order for 3 years. And that's 2 Dry Goods orders, 2 problems.

But in the end of the day, as I told you last week, my decision is settled. I won't ever made an order from Dry Goods while Music Today is in charge.
I'll order the new DVD from Amazon and get the bonus CD from eBay. I will be quicker, cheaper and I'm more likely to get the pre-order bonus.

Thanks for reading.

Guillaume
France

 

New DVD from Phish along with new disappointment from Dry Goods...

by Yome NetSan 5. November 2010

So Phish has officially anounced what we heard about several days ago, the double DVD/CD bundle of this summer's Alpine Valley shows. The pre-order from Dry Goods comes with an excusive CD of past shows at this venue.

But although these shows are great (listen to, download and share some tracks bellow) and the bonus CD a great gift, I won't order it, at least from Dry Goods.

Down with Disease > What's the Use
[mp3:2010/11/alpine_valley/20100814ph_d2t02-03_Down_With_Disease-Whats_The_Use_edit.mp3]

Dirt
[mp3:2010/11/alpine_valley/20100814ph_d2t06_Dirt_edit.mp3]

Bug
[mp3:2010/11/alpine_valley/20100814ph_d2t09_Bug_edit.mp3]

 

Yes, after last year's Joy Box fiasco, I hoped Music Today would have made some improvements in the way they treat their customers but I was wrong.
In september, the guy I was in contact with last year gave me a 1$ internatinal shipping code. I've used it the best I could with a 148$ order that included the Coral Sky DVD+CDMoss CD+Vinyl and some other items that are "heavy", at least for the shipping fees, like playing cards and tablature books.

As I'm writing this, my order placed on the 22th september is "partialy" somewhere between USA and France. Yes, the order status on the Dry Goods site has been changed from "In process" to "Partial Ship" after I asked the customer service why it was shipped several weeks after the Coral Sky and Moss release.

But just like last year, I had to ask Music Today's Account Manager directly to have an answer. I leave you with our correspondance.

 

From Yome NetSan
To Phish Dry Goods <customerservice@phish.com>
22th October 2010

Hi,

I placed an order on 22th september that included Pre-order for Coral Sky and Moss (order number is 26200383).
Both items are now released for several days but my order status on the Dry Goods web site is still "in progress".
I'd like to know when it will be shipped ?

I'm sad to see that, after last year's Joy Box fiasco (ordered on 11th august 2009 and received on 27th january 2010, see here), international shippings are still very slow...

I do hope you will answer me, not like last year where I had to contact J. W. directly...

Thanks.

 

From Yome NetSan
To Phish Dry Goods <customerservice@phish.com>
Cc J.W. <xxx@musictoday.com>
27th October 2010

Hello,

I got no answer from your about the delay of my order.
I checked this morning and every item seems to be available on the site except for the Joey Arkenstat CD (PHCD12). If that's the reason of the delay , the least thing you could do is keeping me updated and response to my query.

I hope this order won't take as much time to be delivered as last year's because I will move to a new house next month !

 

From Dry Goods Store
To Yome NetSan
28th October 2010

Recently you requested assistance from our email support center. Below is a summary of your request and our response.

Response (Sherry) 10/28/2010 04:56 PM

Hello,

Our records indicate that your order shipped on 10/28/10. International orders ship via IMEX Bulk. We are not provided individual tracking numbers. Regardless of delivery location and due to recent border restrictions, International delivery can sometimes take up to 24 business days. IMEX delivers to your local mail carrier who then delivers to the address provided with your order. If you do not receive your order by the 24th business day, please check with your local post office as they may be holding your order. If you are unable to locate your order, please verify with us your correct shipping address and we will investigate your delivery issue.

If you have any further questions or concerns, feel free to contact us.

Sincerely,

 

From Yome NetSan
To Phish Dry Goods <customerservice@phish.com>
Cc J.W. <xxx@musictoday.com>
29th October 2010

Hi,

Thanks for your answer but I can't help but find "strange" that my order finally shipped after my 2 emails...

Moreover, when I see at the order status of the Dry Goods web site, I read "partial ship".

What item has not been shipped and when will it be ?

I'd like to have a specific answer on this instead of your "ready to sent" message (I've received this exact same answer several times last year when I was waiting for another order from you).

 

From Yome NetSan
To Phish Dry Goods <customerservice@phish.com>
Cc J.W. <xxx@musictoday.com>
Cc Betty Frost <bettyfrost@phish.com>
4th November 2010

Hi again,

Is that too much to ask for an answer for my question from a "customer service" ?

I'll isolate the question for a more easy read :

       What item has not been shipped and when will it be ?

 

 

From J.W. <xxx@musictoday.com>
From Yome NetSan

4th November 2010

Hi G –

Sorry for the lack of reply on this from our CS team.

I should have a resolution for you today. Just confirming a few refund amounts...

Thanks,

 

From J.W. <xxx@musictoday.com>
From Yome NetSan

4th November 2010

Sorry to say that we had a shortage on the bonus cards (signed by Mike) that were to be included with each order of Moss, and the inventory on those cards was zeroed out when your order was due to be packed.

I’ve refunded you the amount of the Moss CD ($12) since the signed card was likely a big factor in your decision to pre-order from us. I’m sorry about the shortage, and I am sure it’s disappointing. We had requested a second batch of cards from management when the shortage was noticed, but we were told there would be no more. That said, I am going to explain that you are one of the customers affected by the Joy Box issue. It is unlikely that we will get more, but perhaps they will find a way to help make this right with some other item.

I’ll let you know what I find out.

Thanks,

 

From Yome NetSan
To J.W. <xxx@musictoday.com>
4th November 2010

Whaw... I didn't expect that...

Indeed, I order my Phish items from Dry Goods because of the exclusive pre-order bonus. Indeed, it's very disappointing, but I can understand that Mike Gordon has better to do than sign a new batch of cards ;)

So that's the reason why my order is noted as "Partial ship" on the website ?
What about the Joey Arkenstat CD (PHCD12) that I ordered but appears to be sold out on the Dry Goods site ? I asked CS with this question but got no answer.
Before I placed my last order, I also asked CS 2 questions about the last Mike Gordon Live CD (who isn't in Dry Goods no more but is available from livephish.com) and when would the second leg of summer tour 2010 (August) will be available on CD on Dry Goods. Needless to say, I got no answer.
I finally ordered the MG CD from livephish.com on the 9th oct. and I received it on the 20th.
Just a reminder, I placed my order on Dry Goods on the 22th sept. and still waiting for it...

I'm sorry to bother you with such things but writing to is the only way I found to have answers to my messages. How do you other customers do ?
I got no news of why my order has been delayed, I got no "reel" answer to my message to the CS and my order "magicaly" got shipped the day the CS finally answered... with a "ready-to-be-sent" that almost sounds like "yeah it's shipped from some days, you should have seen it for the site !".
I'm sad to see that these problems haven't been solved since last year. "Communication is the key", that's what we agreed about at the end but nothing has changed...

Alphine Valley 2010, the new DVD/CD from Phish has been officially announced today. Once again, an exclusive bonus CD is given with each order. What would make me pre-order it right away just one month ago have no effect on me right now. I guess I'll go order this item from Amazon and get the bonus CD from eBay. Even it wouldn't be easy to find it, it would be less worries than waiting for it to be shipped from Dry Goods... And I don't speak about the shipping fees (even if I thank you for the 1$ shipping code you sent me, that's the order I'm waiting and I use the opportunity of this code to make a almost 150$ order).

So, I hope you'll come back to me with some good news about the "Partial ship" soon.

Thanks for reading.

 

The Virtual Band

by Yome NetSan 23. March 2010

I heard this expression when livephish.com released the Headphone Jam during de 2004/2009 break. The idea was that Phish would become a virtual band, not performing live but gathering on some occasion to record hour long free form jam. They would still be "broken up" but still playing in a way. I thought it was a good alternative at a time when reunion wasn't even hoped.

But from my point of view, Phish has always been a virtual band. I discovered them in 1997 with a studio album dating back from 1988. As i've never heard about them, I thought they were disbanded for long. Then I became aware that they were still playing lot of shows and starts following them on the Internet.

My computer has always been, and still is, my only link with the band. Browsing several websites and blogs about the band and fans, downloading audience or soundboard recordings of almost every show, watching, at first very poor and then very good quality, videos is a everyday occupation.
I remember watching songs' name appearing in setlists. At one time, some where only names as I haven't listened to them yet. I discovered Mike's Song, for example, with Slip Stitch and Pass.

Internet is also the almost exclusive way to buy Phish related material, although I managed in 1999 and 2000 to buy somes albums at my local store in France. This was possible, I think, because the band toured sporadicly in Europe and Japan from 97 to 2000, so their releases were better distributed outside the US. So I bought a lot of Phish albums, live releases, boxsets, dvds, books, goodies, promo cds. All of that gave me a rather complete view of the band, their music and their career, but in a virtual way. There hasn't been any physical connexion because everything went thought the computer.

Oh wait, There's one ! I managed to buy the Green Sparow, Mike Gordon's last studio album, with a signed booklet. The signed booklet was added to the package along with a regular sealed CD. I understand that it's a lot easier for every one (including Mike) to have a pill of single booklets signed without having to open a cd, pull out the booklet, sign it, pull back it inside and then send it.

Phish is the only active band that have a big impact on me that I've never seen live in concert. In fact, Phish is the artist entity that had the most impact on me for my whole life. Bigger than Michael Jackson back in the 90's, who is the artist that woke up my musical tastes (and I got to see him live in Lausanne, Switzerland in 1997).
The only other band for which I would travel the globe to see live is Pink Floyd. Another dream that I will never live for obvious reasons.

I felt very broken in 2004 when I knew about the break up, again by checking my emails. I cried when I read the news and I cried again on august 16th morning when I woke up and read the setlist and reports on the Internet.
I feel almost as broken up since I took the decision last week not to go to the USA this summer. I always fear that a break up (or worst) can happen any time and that I will never see them, althought the musical and health situation for the band is very different now than in 2004. I'd never listened to the Las Vegas 2004 run since this week, and I'm glade to enjoy the music I heared in 2009.
By the way, 2009 is the only year during which I listened to every single show played by Phish, at worst 2 days after it was played. In 2004, I listened to all of the summer tour but out of order and in the following month, without regularity. I started in January to listen to every 2002/2003 shows and even if it's not 1994 or 1998, I'm enjoying it very much.

By the way, what if all that music was fake ?

I thought about it from the very beginning when I didn't really know the songs and where to find shows. I happened to download concerts from other band (Cousin Fungus, String Cheese IncidentDave Matthews Band, Greateful Dead, or other jam bands) without noticing at first it wasn't Phish. I even end up burning CDs and labelling CDs as Phish by mistake. At the end of the day, I was still enjoying all this new music, whatever the band was playing.
The idea came then that, even if Phish wasn't really playing this music, I wouldn't care as long as I'm enjoying what I listen to. I mean Phish's music could be computer generated, the band could fake playing on stage (like lips-synch with instruments), all of their improvised moment could be writen in advance. Sure I'd be pissed to have been fooled but, man the music is fucking good ! That's why I enjoy live DJ sets like Daft Punk's Alive 2007. Everything is written and planed but the music is fun.

That's what's important after all : music.
Phish can still be a virtual band playing (or faking) in a far away country, I don't care as long as I can listen every day of my life to new music from them.




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