I’m sure some would wonder why I love that band Phish, which are known as a hippy acid rock jam band. I know most Phish fans do drugs and drink, but I don’t need to do any of that stuff to enjoy their music. Do I enjoy their songwriting skills? Yes, they write pretty good stuff in the studio…but what I’m most impressed about with this band is the way they play their live shows. I’ve seen so much live music over the years. In today’s music, no live performer out there can perform live better than Phish can, period.
They are not really seen as a studio band. They are seen as a live band. That’s what people are used to seeing Phish as. So many people compare Phish to the Grateful Dead, but I disagree. They don’t sound like each other at all. What I admire about Phish’s live playing is that they know how to control an audience. Their instruments speak to their audience. They can have the power to control an audience how they please just by playing on stage. Trey’s magical guitar leads blaring out in far away places, just makes you want to dance to them. A band like Phish they can get on stage and play as long as they want, all night if they wanted to. They would jam on every song for like 30 or 40 minutes each, and after the gig, they act like it was an easy thing to do and it was nothing.
When ever I go to a Phish show, they make you feel like it’s your second home. They really make you feel part of the band. The band shows that they do it for the fans and not for themselves. Them coming back is not about ego and money at all. They came back ’cause their fans wanted them back. A band like Phish, you don’t even have to know their songs well by heart just to see them live, just go there and enjoy the show. Just for the enjoyment of feeling like home with the band. You’re looking at future, Rock n’ Roll Hall of Famers here.
Phish is indeed, the greatest live performers on this planet. Trey Anastasio may not be a trained vocalist, he may not be that great of a singer, true, but in jam band music, you don’t even need to sing good. They just did it. Just sang with no musical training. In jam band music, fans don’t really worry about the vocals anyways. They just want to hear some long guitar jams. That’s what jam band is all about.
Phish will be playing two nights of SPAC in Saratoga Springs this Summer, and I’m thinking of going to both of them. Probably will. If I go, I’ll probably get lawn tickets, not inside.