Phish Song Rankings As Of Magnaball

I’ll get to the song rankings in a moment but I’d like to share my plans for the next few posts here at the old Lazy Blog.  Basically, Magnaball was a great, great experience and I don’t think one post can sum up everything.  I don’t know how many posts, but I’m guessing more than one.

Oh, and you might have noticed that the percentages have slowly been disappearing.  I’ve been eliminating them slowly as each song has been played.  Basically, the percentages aren’t correct at this point.  When the tour is over I’ll go to ZZYZX and share the list with the proper percentages again.

As far as the songs go, well they keep on going don’t they? Part of the fun of Phish I would say.  Over the weekend 11 of the Top 20 were played, including the top three.  Of note, Weekepaug hit 450 and Stash joined the 400 club.

Further afield, Fuego broke into the top 200 over the weekend.  It might not seem like much, but it is pretty amazing that such a young song has moved up so quickly.  One of the fun things about looking at the placings of the songs is seeing what the band has been into over the years.  While the Top 20 is predominantly a list of the older material, building up numbers during the heavy touring years of the 1990s, many parts of the list reflect what was once a staple of the band, only to fade.  Who knows where Blaze On will wind up? But it’s great to watch.  Speaking of that Top 20, here is the list post-ball:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 572
2    Possum – 502
3    Mike’s Song – 481
4    Bouncing Around the Room – 450
4    Golgi Apparatus – 450
4    Weekapaug Groove – 450 450th time played!  
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 436
8    David Bowie – 435
9    Cavern – 434
10   Run Like an Antelope – 429
11   Suzy Greenberg – 411
12   Divided Sky – 402
13   Stash – 400 400th time played
14   Runaway Jim – 371 (24%)
14   Reba – 371
16   Harry Hood – 352
17   The Squirming Coil – 345 (22%)
17   Tweezer – 345
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 330 (21%)

Phish Song Rankings: Merriweather

The Big Kahuna made an appearance over the weekend in Maryland as YEM, the number one song added to its total, pushing it to 571.  I wouldn’t be surprised if during MagnaBall we see another one.  I know this is going out on a limb, but we’ll also see the 450th Weekepaug Groove as well in Watkins Glen.  I was starting to wonder if Golgi Apparatus was in semi-retirement for this tour, but it has pushed through to the number 4 spot with its own 450th play.

Outside of the Top Twenty, a couple of points of interest.  First, the Simple played on Saturday was the 150th time the song was played, good enough for 61st place.  There was a time, especially when the staple segue out of Mike’s was Simple, that I would have bet Simple would become a Top 25 song.  It really has slowed in recent years but I still love the Vegas 96 Simple above many, many songs.

The second fun fact from the weekend was the 90th play of Backward Down the Number Line.  BDtNL is now in sole possession of 100th place.  While it would need 100 additional plays to reach the Top 50 it is still impressive that it has risen so fast since 2009.

Looking over the set lists from this tour, it makes me very excited for what is to come at MagnaBall.  The breakouts and rarities have been coming fast and furious and though they don’t cause much change in the place where songs are in the standings, I’m as big a geek as anyone.  While my personal white whale won’t make an appearance over the weekend (My Sweet One) I can’t wait to see what shows up.  I feel really good about our chances of catching a Harpua or an Icculus, maybe both.

If I have a chance (I doubt it though) I might make a few predictions about MagnaBall. Until then, here is the Top 20 before the big weekend!

1   You Enjoy Myself – 571

2    Possum – 501

3    Mike’s Song – 480

4    Bouncing Around the Room – 450

4    Golgi Apparatus – 450 450th time played!

6    Weekapaug Groove – 449  

7    Chalk Dust Torture – 435

7    David Bowie – 435

9    Cavern – 434

10   Run Like an Antelope – 428

11   Suzy Greenberg – 411

12   Divided Sky – 401 (26%)

13   Stash – 399

14   Runaway Jim – 371 (24%)

15   Reba – 370

16   Harry Hood – 351

17   The Squirming Coil – 345 (22%)

18   Tweezer – 344

19   Foam – 341 (22%)

20   I Am Hydrogen – 329 (21%)

Phish Song Rankings: Some Moving and Shaking

I love Llama as an opener. I think I’ve seen three to open a set or a show and it just gets a body going, know what I mean? So I need to get a copy of this funky Llama and see what exactly is what.  Even so, it was the 300th time Llama has been played and moved it up to a tie for 25th place, sharing the spot with AC/DC Bag.

Within the Top Ten, there was quite a bit of shaking up.  Chalk Dust Torture took over the 7th spot and Weekapaug moved into a tie with Golgi Apparatus.  I figure if Golgi hasn’t been played by MagnaBall, we will definitely see it make an appearance in Upstate New York.

Taking over sole possession of fourth place is Bouncing Around the Room with a remarkable 450 times played.  Bouncing might not be a favorite by the hard-core fan, but at some point it must be accepted.  There are only three songs played more often than Bouncing.  The band likes the song I doubt it will be going anywhere.  Here’s the Top Twenty as of Raleigh:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 570 (37%)
2    Possum – 500
3    Mike’s Song – 480
4    Bouncing Around the Room – 450 450th time played, 4th place
5    Golgi Apparatus – 449
5    Weekapaug Groove – 449 tied for 5th
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 435
8    David Bowie – 434
8    Cavern – 434
10   Run Like an Antelope – 427
11   Suzy Greenberg – 411
12   Divided Sky – 401 (26%)
13   Stash – 398
14   Runaway Jim – 371 (24%)
15   Reba – 370
16   Harry Hood – 351
17   The Squirming Coil – 345 (22%)
18   Tweezer – 343
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 329 (21%)

Phish Song Rankings: What Mann Hath Wrought

A couple of shows at the Mann Center in Philadelphia of course added numbers to the list and after the weekend a couple of points of interest.  The biggest news is AC/DC Bag reaching 300 plays.  It has an outside shot at gaining the Top 20 as I see Foam and I Am Hydrogen eventually falling out.  There are, however, some staples ahead of AC/DC that will make that jump difficult.  My guess is Sparkle will be the newest Top 20 song in a couple of tours.

Within the Top 20, the biggest news is the tie for 7th has returned.  Chalk Dust, Bowie and Cavern are all at 434.  YEM of course still holds the top spot and Possum hasn’t moved from 500 plays.

Further a field, but giving us some insight into what songs are the new staples, Backwards Down the Number Line has broken into the Top 100 with 89 plays.  Considering that BDTNL didn’t debut until the 2009 return of the band, that is quite impressive.  I’m also a little surprised that such a new song with so many plays hasn’t brought more complaints.  If people are sick of BDTNL, they aren’t too vocal.

One of my favorite things about this project is watching the new songs leap frog 5, 10, even 15 places with each play.  No Men In No Man’s Land and Blaze On are already up to ~315.  My counting may be off a bit down the list.  I’ll be going over the standings with a fine toothed comb after tour.  Anyway, here’s the Top 20 after the Mann:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 570 (37%)
2    Possum – 500
3    Mike’s Song – 479
4    Golgi Apparatus – 449 (29%)
4    Bouncing Around the Room – 449 (29%)
6    Weekapaug Groove – 448
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 434
7    David Bowie – 434 back in a tie for 7th
7    Cavern – 434 back in tie for 7th
10   Run Like an Antelope – 427
11   Suzy Greenberg – 410 (26%)
12   Divided Sky – 401 (26%)
13   Stash – 398
14   Runaway Jim – 371 (24%)
15   Reba – 369 (24%)
16   Harry Hood – 351
17   The Squirming Coil – 345 (22%)
18   Tweezer – 343
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 329 (21%)

Phish Song Rankings: Post-Alpine

I’ll write more about Alpine a little later in the week, but as far as the numbers go a few interesting bits.  The most impressive number to come out of the weekend is that Possum has reached 500 plays.  For a band that doesn’t repeat set lists from show to show, that really is something, a lot of shows at the very least.  An interesting perspective on that number, consider that after Alpine, Mike’s Son has been played 479 times.  At the earliest, if Mike’s was played at the next 21 shows, given that the number of dates is relatively similar, It wouldn’t be until mid summer 2016 that Mike’s would reach 500. And we know that won’t happen, so it may very well be 2018 or later before this happens again.

As far as the rest of the top 20 is concerned, not much has changed even though six songs from the list were played.  And while there were a lot of bust outs on the second night, as far as great changes within the standings, nothing moved that far along.  I do like that Colonel Forbin and Mockingbird are attached at the hip.  So many pairings that we see actually have been played independently of each other.  Looking at the songs that really got the crowd swooning, they are pretty much in that sweet spot of being played enough, say over 20 times, for even a more casual, yet into, fan to know the song.  Debuts and new songs are rare only by their newness. As I get more into this and these numbers, the amount of songs tried and pretty much abandoned is pretty staggering.  This doesn’t even include the Halloween songs played once and never again, but Phish compositions that just didn’t click with the band for some reason.

After Alpine and bust out central, I’m not sure what to expect as the band moves to the east coast and the home base, let along the festival at Watkins Glen.  As last night proved, however, Phish is still full of surprises.  Your Top 20 as of 8.9.2015:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 570 (37%)
2    Possum – 500 the big 500!
3    Mike’s Song – 479
4    Golgi Apparatus – 449 (29%)
4    Bouncing Around the Room – 449 (29%)
6    Weekapaug Groove – 448
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 434
8    David Bowie – 433 (28%)
8    Cavern – 433 (28%)
10   Run Like an Antelope – 427
11   Suzy Greenberg – 410 (26%)
12   Divided Sky – 401 (26%)
13   Stash – 397 (26%)
14   Runaway Jim – 371 (24%)
15   Reba – 369 (24%)
16   Harry Hood – 350
17   The Squirming Coil – 345 (22%)
18   Tweezer – 343
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 329 (21%)

Phish Song Standings: And So It Goes

Blossom didn’t really alter very much in the standings. Harry Hood reached 350 plays and Chalk Dust Torture moved into sole possession of seventh place.  That pretty much wraps up the top 20.  Ghost continues to climb and in a couple more years I wouldn’t be surprised if it reaches the top 50.

Speaking of the top 50, probably unnoticed by many is the 38th placed song, My Sweet One.  It isn’t a song I would think most people seek out, won’t make or break a show, except maybe for me.  As of this tour I have been to 52 shows spanning 20 years. I have never seen a MSO.  According to ZZYZX it is the most common song not to be played in that many shows.  It has become my unlikely white whale.  As this tour winds its way across the country, I was getting more and more excited that I would finally get a My Sweet One. And then, right out of the box, second song at Blossom.  What adds to the sting this time is that Blossom was my younger days venue.  In high school I saw the Kinks there, Roger Waters, Bob Seeger and Phish’s first appearance in 1995. It is one of the best outdoor venues you’ll ever see.

What’s more, for the first time in a long time I’m going on the road to see Phish this year.  In addition to the home shows at Alpine, I’m headed to Magna Ball.  If ever I was going to get a My Sweet One, this was the year. Alas, my watch continues.  After the Alpine weekend, I’ll update the standings.  Here’s the Top Twenty after Blossom:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 570
2    Possum – 499
3    Mike’s Song – 478
4    Golgi Apparatus – 449
4    Bouncing Around the Room – 449
6    Weekapaug Groove – 447
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 434 (sole possession of seventh)
8    David Bowie – 433
8    Cavern – 433
10   Run Like an Antelope – 426
11   Suzy Greenberg – 410
12   Divided Sky – 401
13   Stash – 397
14   Runaway Jim – 371
15   Reba – 368
16   Harry Hood – 350 (hits 350!)
17   The Squirming Coil – 345
18   Tweezer – 342
19   Foam – 341
20   I Am Hydrogen – 329

Phish Song Ranking: This Is Going To Be Harder Than I Thought

I’m Back from the UK (with a side trip to Paris!) As I mentioned, we left right when tour started, so this fun project got put on hold.  I was all ready to take a look at the list and see what has moved and where, and all of that fun stuff when right off the bat, I saw I missed 13th place in my listing. oh boy. Even more, I didn’t quite think through what this was going to be like, basically going through the rankings after every show adding and seeing what has moved. It is a little more tedious than I thought, but still fun.

At the beginning of Summer 2015 the top twenty looked like this:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 568 (37%)
2    Possum – 496 (32%)
3    Mike’s Song – 475 (31%)
4    Golgi Apparatus – 449 (29%)
5    Bouncing Around the Room – 447 (29%)
6    Weekapaug Groove – 444 (29%)
7    David Bowie – 432 (28%)
8    Cavern – 431 (28%)
9    Chalk Dust Torture – 430 (28%)
10   Run Like an Antelope – 424 (27%)
11   Suzy Greenberg – 409 (26%)
12   Divided Sky – 399 (26%)
13   Stash – 395 (26%)
14   Runaway Jim – 370 (24%)
15   Reba – 366 (24%)
16   Harry Hood – 346 (22%)
17   The Squirming Coil – 344 (22%)
18   Foam – 341 (22%)
19   Tweezer – 339 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 328 (21%)

As of Kansas City:

1.You Enjoy Myself – 570 (37%)
2. Possum – 499 (32%)
3. Mike’s Song – 478 (31%)
4. Bouncing Around the Room – 449 (29%)
4. Golgi Apparatus – 449 (29%)
6. Weekapaug Groove – 447 (29%)
7. Cavern – 433 (28%)
7. Chalk Dust Torture – 433 (28%)
7. David Bowie – 433 (28%)
10. Run Like an Antelope – 426 (27%)
11. Suzy Greenberg – 410 (26%)
12. Divided Sky – 401 (26%)
13. Stash – 397 (26%)
14. Runaway Jim – 371 (24%)
15. Reba – 368 (24%)
16. Harry Hood – 349 (22%)
17. The Squirming Coil – 345 (22%)
18. Foam – 341 (22%)
18. Tweezer – 341 (22%)
20. I Am Hydrogen – 329 (21%)

YEM, the Cy Young of these songs, inched further ahead, but will soon have company as a 500 play song the next time possum is played.  Considering these are the big kahunas of the Phish catalog, not a big surprise that these songs all saw some play during the tour, save two. Golgi is now in a dead heat with Bouncing for the fourth spot and Tweezer has pulled even with Foam for 18th. A new wrinkle to watch is the log jam at 7.

Looking at the rest of the Top 100, Ghost is the most interesting move, going up to 68th place, highlighting it’s presence as a jam vehicle.  Birds of a Feather reached 100 plays.  Notable absences thus far have been AC/DC Bag, Split Open and Melt and I was surprised that Rocky Top wasn’t played in Nashville.

I’d love to get into more numbers, but A) I got to get to Alpine Valley and B) I really need to double check my placements. I get cross-eyed after awhile. Next post: What Cleveland wrought and then the Weekend in Wisconsin.