Phish Song Rankings As of Riviera Maya 2017

A nice way to end the season. Three shows in a tropical paradise. I haven’t listened to the Helping Friendly Podcast and their recap of the shows, but outside of that not a lot of buzz about the shows otherwise. These Maya shows are like the NFL Pro Bowl, or at least when the Pro Bowl was in Hawaii. It’s a nice trip for everyone, but it’s not the most intense moment of any given tour year, at least thus far. I also saw rumors floating around that sales were a bit slow this time around so it will be interesting to see if this adventure continues. Maybe they’ll switch it up. Do a cruise one year, a resort the next, a break the next to give us a chance to save up for the next big winter event.

As far as the shows and what was played, a good mix of old and new, with a little more weight being thrown toward older material by the look of things. Thinking about it, I need to readjust what is “old” and “new” in my thinking. Pre and post break up seems like a good, if arbitrary divider.

Of note there was a little moving and shaking in the rankings. Funky Bitch held strong to the top fifty with it’s 200th time played. Rocky Top will be joining the 200 times played with any extended tour. The other 200 hundred club, the 200th ranking got another member with A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing.

And so we are to the end of another Phish year. Sure the calendar rolled over from 2016 to 2017, but this really feels like the end until the next big announcement. I’m not thrilled about the residency idea, but more on that later. I mentioned a post or two ago that I’d love a full blown fall tour, and that might be happening, so good with the bad. Anyway, I’ve got a some deep diving to do on the song rankings and I’ll do an inventory post here as soon as I’m able. Until then, some jam posts will be coming out and just your general pining for news of what is going to happen in 2017! Here is your top twenty:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 578
2    Possum – 516
3    Mike’s Song – 491
4   Weekapaug Groove – 460
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 458
6    Golgi Apparatus – 455
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 453
8    Cavern – 441
8   Run Like an Antelope – 441
8   David Bowie – 441

11   Suzy Greenberg – 418
12   Stash – 410
12   Divided Sky – 410
14   Reba – 374
14   Runaway Jim – 374
16   Harry Hood – 367
17   Tweezer – 357
18   The Squirming Coil – 348
19   Foam – 344
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

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Phish Song Rankings New Year’s Eve 2016

I had plans to couch tour at least one of the NYE shows, but it just didn’t work itself out. There were some fantastic bust outs at the shows and I’m particularly sorry I missed the first Peaches in a long time. I am glad team Phish posted a video from the Petrichor performance. I have trouble calling it a gag because it was no joke! I found it particularly moving and it added to the depth of the song. Kind of like Time Turns Elastic, I think when I see Petrichor live it will be kind of meh. But this version is worth remembering. It was also great to hear horns again. I think every special occasion show should have some horns. Festivals, Mexico, Dicks, New Year’s, at least one show with horns. They just add so much to the sound.

As far as rankings go, bust outs don’t move the needle much really. Take my personal fave, Peaches En Regalia. It has now been played all of 82 times, moving up a spot to 118, not that big. Don’t Bogart That Joint? 2 times played works it into a 75-way tie for 432nd place. Fun to see and hear I’m sure, but on this list, just another song moving from the bottom to the not-so bottom.

I won’t call it a year until Mexico, though I know the calendar has changed. I am interested to see if the high-placed ties remain in place, namely David Bowie and Antelope at number 9 and Stash and Divided Sky at 12th. Also I’m most interested to see if we get a Reba. It hasn’t been played since Chula Vista this summer. That is a pretty long break. I’m sure Phish Stats has a way to see if this is the longest Reba drought, but even so an entire Fall tour and no Reba? Odd. See you after Mexico. Your Top Twenty:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 578
2    Possum – 515
3    Mike’s Song – 491
4   Weekapaug Groove – 460
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 458
6    Golgi Apparatus – 454
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 452
8    Cavern – 441
9   David Bowie – 440
9   Run Like an Antelope – 440
 
11   Suzy Greenberg – 418
12   Stash – 410
12   Divided Sky – 410
14   Reba – 374
14   Runaway Jim – 374
16   Harry Hood – 366
17   Tweezer – 356
18   The Squirming Coil – 348
19   Foam – 344
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings Vegas Fall 2016

Talk about under the wire! I wanted to be caught up through fall before the New Year’s Eve run got started and here I am, about an hour or so before showtime! By all accounts Vegas was a great run of shows, capped off with a brilliant Halloween costume of Ziggy Stardust. Of all of the Halloween shows, my favorite is still Quadrophenia is still my favorite. Not only because I was there but of all of the records covered, that was one of the most significant to my own personal rock and roll history. David Bowie falls under those artists that I wish I would have gotten into more, but I pretty satisfied with the greatest hits version of their respective cannons. Even so, it was an inspired choice and I don’t think anyone was disappointed.

As far as the rankings go, some interesting moves and shakes. The fall ended with a three way tie at the eighth spot, and it leaves me to wonder if any one of those songs will break ahead. If I had to choose I’d say Antelope would be the one.

In a bit of the rarified air, a bit of big news, Rocky Top fell out of the top 50. I would expect it to continue to fall, perhaps even during NYE. Also an expected fall, Love You slipped out of the Top 100. Again, it will probably continue to sink, especially with such common songs like Carini, 46 Days and First Tube nipping at Love You’s heels.

What seemed to be a rarity, What’s the Use? has made it into the Top 200, so not as rare as I perhaps thought. Also not particularly rare of late are a pair of songs making it to twenty individual plays are No Men In No Mans Land and Shine A Light. And finally a couple of newer songs crack the top 300 Breath and Burning and The Dogs.

Well I made it! If you are on your way to your first of four NYE shows be safe and have fun. Your Top 20!

1   You Enjoy Myself – 577
2    Possum – 514
3    Mike’s Song – 491
4   Weekapaug Groove – 460
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 458
6    Golgi Apparatus – 454
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 451
8    David Bowie – 440
8    Cavern – 440
8   Run Like an Antelope – 440

11   Suzy Greenberg – 417
12   Divided Sky – 409
12   Stash – 409
14   Reba – 374
14   Runaway Jim – 374
16   Harry Hood – 366
17   Tweezer – 355
18   The Squirming Coil – 348
19   Foam – 342
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings as of Grand Prairie Fall 2016

Another two night stop on the Fall tour. As much as I pine for a throwback style fall tour with indoor venues and cold winter nights, these two night stops through the more clement weather is a vicarious way to extend the summer to those of us fighting off the cold. Though that is about impossible right now here at Kaufmak Central, negative digits abound the last few days.  After listening to the Helping Friendly Podcast reflect on December 1997, I can’t help but think of those great shows and wish for a chance to see something similar.

It might not be as far off as all of that though. The rumor mill seems to be under the impression that Fishman is in need of shoulder surgery and it could impact Summer 2017. Perhaps making way for a killer Fall 2017? A twenty year anniversary of sort of 1997 and Phish Destroying America? Though, I don’t think they could book the college campuses of yore, nor do I think large arenas like Auburn Hills are in the offing anymore. I think those days are gone for good. But maybe smaller venues, say of the 1994 vintage. Slightly larger than theaters, but not professional basketball arenas either. I must admit, a return to the UIC Pavilion (yes, ironic, college and basketball, but not the United Center and more of a Chicago venue than say, State College PA) would be fantastic.

But that is conjecture and very wishful thinking on my part. In the here and almost now, Phish played a couple of shows in Texas and judging by the reviews, especially night two, not the best shows of tour. I won’t be joining in those debates, just the numbers for now. The most interesting number is 100. That is how many times Backward Down the Number Line has been played. It is, if memory serves, the first post breakup song to hit that mark. It also gives me another note to investigate in the winter/spring project after this year’s Mexico sets. Stay tuned.

Of note from these two shows is that Breath and Burning has moved up into the top 300, pretty quick for such a new song. Two stalwarts of Phish, Chalk Dust Torture and Poor Heart reached milestones 450 and 300 times played respectively.  That three-way tie I mentioned last time? Yeah, it’s over as David Bowie moved up to sole possession of eighth place. Next up: Vegas and a lot of new songs. For now, your Top 20:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 577
2    Possum – 513
3    Mike’s Song – 491
4   Weekapaug Groove – 460
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 457
6    Golgi Apparatus – 453
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 450 450 times played!
8    David Bowie – 440
9    Cavern – 439
9   Run Like an Antelope – 439

 

11   Suzy Greenberg – 416
12   Divided Sky – 409
13   Stash – 408
14   Reba – 374
14   Runaway Jim – 374
16   Harry Hood – 365
17   Tweezer – 354
18   The Squirming Coil – 347
19   Foam – 342
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings as of Alpharetta Fall 2016

Trying to beat the rush toward the New Year’s Eve run and I still have Vegas coming up! I’ve also come up with a silly idea as it comes to Phish, yet another one. You know. like my idea of reviewing 52 jams in 52 weeks. Might try to recommit to that in 2017, we’ll see.

Anyway, the new idea comes on the heels of seeing the Grateful Dead book out by Dave Browne. You may know that I’m a historian, like for reals with a Ph. D. and everything. In my heart, that’s where I’m at, not in the administrative wing where I currently reside. And while I have a lot of ideas and places I’d like to research, I’d really like to add to the Phish community in some way as well. What that looks like right now, I’m not quite sure. I think it starts with a lit review, like every other project that I’ve done. We’ll see from there.

As far as the stop in Georgia is concerned, not a lot of earth-shattering news. That’s part of the fun of this project though, isn’t it? Seeing the pace of change, sometimes slowly and how things move on the ranking chart from show to to show. One of those interesting nuggets is that for the first time in a long time, there is a three-way tie in the top ten. David Bowie, Cavern and Run Like An Antelope are all tied for 8th with 439 times played. I’m sure by the time I get to Vegas it will sort itself out, but a bit of fun nonetheless.

Moving down the rankings but in rarefied air of the top 25 is AC/DC Bag with its 306 times played, opening a 3 times played gap between itself and Maze. Making its way back to the Top 50 is one of those songs I love live, Funky Bitch, but I can take or leave on re-listens. It has always puzzled me why some songs work in the moment, but just don’t make me want to listen to much after that. Your Top 20 after Alpharetta:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 577
2    Possum – 513
3    Mike’s Song – 491
4   Weekapaug Groove – 460
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 457
6    Golgi Apparatus – 453
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 449
8    David Bowie – 439
8    Cavern – 439
8   Run Like an Antelope – 439A three-way at the top!
 
11   Suzy Greenberg – 416
12   Divided Sky – 408
12   Stash – 408
14   Reba – 374
14   Runaway Jim – 374
16   Harry Hood – 365
17   Tweezer – 354
18   The Squirming Coil – 347
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings As Of Nashville Fall 2016

A bit of a quick take this time around, what with the Thanksgiving holiday and all. But I got the counting done on the Nashville shows and wanted to post the update sooner rather than later. I’m trying to be a busier writer these days. I know, I know I’ve said such things before, but well, my existential crisis over writing and such things seems to be lifting a bit. The realization being, I really like writing. The medium doesn’t mean a great deal, though online seems to be the medium of the moment. As I’ve milled around a bit though, thinking about career and such things, it’s pretty apparent, writing, teaching and learning are my sweet spots. We’ll see where this goes.

As far as where Phish went while visiting the country music capital of the world, not a lot of surprises or landmarks reached, except for one really big surprise on the first night in Nashville. That surprise being Bob Weir sitting in during much of the second set. For me and my Bobby tastes, they couldn’t have picked better songs, Samson and Delilah and Playin in the Band are two of my favorite Bob Weir tunes. Throw in an Estimated Prophet and I would have probably fainted. It was very cool that Bobby played on some of the Phish songs as well and I can’t wait to hear his version of Miss You. Age has given Bobby a certain depth to his voice that I always thought was lacking when he was younger. (written like a stereotypical Jerry fan, I know.)

A couple of things of note occurred from Jacksonville through Nashville. Lawn Boy was played for the 200th time. The Wedge reached the Top 100 and Breath and Burning broke into the Top 300. Though it doesn’t take much, two songs, Petrichor and Waking Up Dead rose to the Top 400. Sure it only takes 3 plays at this point to make it to that number, but considering how many songs haven’t even made it that far it’s still an interesting note. Running Out of Time made its debut. Your Top 20 remains unchanged:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 577
2    Possum – 512
3    Mike’s Song – 490
4   Weekapaug Groove – 459
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 457
6    Golgi Apparatus – 453
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 449
8    David Bowie – 439
8    Cavern – 439
10   Run Like an Antelope – 438
11   Suzy Greenberg – 416
12   Divided Sky – 408
13   Stash – 407
14   Reba – 374
15   Runaway Jim – 373
16   Harry Hood – 365
17   Tweezer – 354
18   The Squirming Coil – 347
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings As Of North Charleston Fall 2016

Fall tour! There was a time when those words meant so much more. More shows and more travel, at least for me. Fall tours weren’t just continuations/opportunities to hit areas of the country that the band hadn’t hit in any given year. For instance, I saw my first show in the summer of 1994. I saw my next three shows that same fall, all in Michigan, all within an hour or so from my home base in East Lansing, one even in East Lansing.

After the first hiatus, fall tours were a little less of a full blown tour, but more like the iteration we have now. Also, the fall tours of the 1990s had more of a college presence. As the 2000s dawned, especially 3.0 and beyond, Phish just isn’t a college band any more. When I was introduced to Phish, I was in grad school, so I was lucky to still be on a campus. Now the market is more or less the general population and really devoted fans. The urgency to get into younger markets just isn’t there. I need to take some stats courses and run some surveys at Phish shows to see a better demographic look at the audience, but I digress.

Back on point, Fall tour got started in October in North Charleston, SC and the biggest news was the debut of new material from Big Boat. I still haven’t heard the new material. To be honest, I usually get a new album right away, listen to it for a spell and then pretty much forget I have it. The only reason I know I bought Fuego is because I have a bitchin framed print of the album cover in my office. Anyway in the opening run, four songs from the album made their first appearance. As I continue to through the fall, I’ll keep an eye on who takes the lead from the new stable.

Other interesting tidbits: No Man In No Man’s Land pushed into the Top 250 and Funky Bitch fell out of the Top 50. With four debuts and when you think about it, a lot of output over the past few years, only two songs from the Top 20 were played in North Charleston. If this shows nothing else, despite the audience skewing older, Phish is a long way from being a nostalgia act. Your Top 20:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 577
2    Possum – 512
3    Mike’s Song – 489
4   Weekapaug Groove – 458
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 456
6    Golgi Apparatus – 453
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 448
8    David Bowie – 439
9    Cavern – 438
10   Run Like an Antelope – 437

11   Suzy Greenberg – 415
12   Divided Sky – 408
13   Stash – 406
14   Reba – 374
15   Runaway Jim – 373
16   Harry Hood – 364
17   Tweezer – 353
18   The Squirming Coil – 347
19   Foam – 341 (22%)
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335