Phish Song Rankings: The End of Another Summer Dick’s 2017

And just like that, another summer is finished. I know the calendar still gives us a couple of more weeks, but with Labor Day the hard turn toward fall is well underway. As has been the custom in these circles, Labor Day means a weekend in Colorado and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

There is a lot that goes into making a venue special, the location, the vibe at any given show and most significantly, the past. Dick’s holds a very high place in the pantheon of Phish venues. The early gags definitely helped to propel that, along with the closing of the summer tour.

Knowing that the weekend is going to be one big Phish celebration must add to the vibe at the venue. I hope before it’s all said and done I get a chance to catch a Dick’s run. But other than those non-venue related elements, I don’t see what makes Dick’s so special. I’ve seen Phish in stadiums and it’s…ok? Last year pretty much convinced me that other than Phish, I won’t be going to Wrigley Field for another concert. Ditto for Toyota Park, also here in Chicago. The sound and space was better at Toyota, but I’m not making the trek out to Bridgeview for many other acts.

Maybe Dick’s is like the Grand Canyon, you have to visit it to really get it. Like I said, I hope I get the chance. Phish has a way of stopping traditions before they become too traditional. It is something I appreciate in the abstract about the band, but in practice I sometimes get disappointed. (i.e. the end of Halloween costumes, Fall and Winter indoor tours, the Doniac Schvice) But as someone once told me when I was bitching about some Phish change, “Phish is all about change and exploration. Enjoy it.” I’m trying.

The glacial change to the Phish Song Rankings has been, as always fun to watch during this tour. I’m not sure how I’ll pull it off, or even where, but when there is a change in the Top Twenty, I want to celebrate. Changes in the Top Fifty and Top One Hundred are more imminent, and we can see the preferences and logistics of the band coming to the fore. Character Zero is now in that Top 50 and Carini and 46 Days will be moving into the century club as the Big Ball Jam continues to slide. As far as milestones for individual performances, there wasn’t much from Dick’s this time around. As a fun little note, Suzy Greenberg hit 420. heh. get it? OK, I’ll stop now.  I hope to have some other material out before New Year’s but until then, here’s the Top Twenty:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 579
2    Possum – 519
3    Mike’s Song – 493
4    Weekapaug Groove – 462
5    Bouncing Around the Room – 460
6    Golgi Apparatus – 457
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 456
8    Cavern – 444
8    Run Like an Antelope – 444
10   David Bowie – 442

 

11   Suzy Greenberg – 420!
12   Stash – 412
12   Divided Sky – 412
14   Runaway Jim – 376
14   Reba – 376
16   Harry Hood – 370
17   Tweezer – 358
18   The Squirming Coil – 350
19   Foam – 345
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

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Phish Song Rankings: The Rest of the Baker’s Dozen “What Hath God Wrought?”

What else can be said? I’m late to the game about the Baker’s Dozen, I know. I tend to be late to most games when you get down to it. It’s probably why I’d make a pretty shitty reporter. No time to digest, or better said, digest and respond quickly. Just not my style.*

*of course my style isn’t the way to get ahead of the game in a writing career. Not a lot of people are waiting to hear from a middle-aged sort of academic.

And after the Baker’s Dozen, there was a lot to digest. Oy. I’m sure you’ve seen the numbers, 26 sets, 237 songs, no repeats. If you’ve made this Phishy blog part of your reading, you’ve probably seen all the other little nuggets too, about bust outs, rarities, song lengths and all of that wonderful minutia.

But the numbers I look at don’t get into all of that. The 30 minute Lawn Boy is the same as every other Lawn Boy on the big list. A bust out of a song not played for years, just adds one more to the tally. It’s pretty likely we won’t hear those songs for a while, back to the non-circulating section of the library.

I was going to break up the Baker’s Dozen like the band did, the weekends as separate posts, the week day shows as their own thing, but it was after the Tuesday “Jam-filled” show that I just…couldn’t. I bought the show and I just wanted to enjoy it, all of it. For the remaining shows, I just wanted to listen when I could, speculate what would be played for each theme, and just geek out more generally with all things Phish.

The rankings, as you might imagine, didn’t change much, considering in 13 shows nothing was repeated. Kind of like the little league version of a Phish run, everybody got an at bat. Still some songs hit milestones and some movement still occurred, especially in the farther reaches of the list.

I know it might seem like more (and after my long awaited audit, it might be) but Character Zero hit 200 performances during the run. Silent In the Morning hit 175 and Buried Alive reached 150. Guyute reached 125, tying it with Famous Mocking Bird and Colonel Forbin. I’m not sure why those songs being bunched together pleases me, but it does.

Three songs moved into the Top 200, Ha Ha Ha, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing and Meat. As the years and tours roll by (here’s to many more) some fan favorites will be tumbling out of the Top 200, notably Purple Rain. I loved when Fishman came out for that.

It may be hard to believe, but Ass-Handed has already been played 9 times. I’m sure of the sell-by date on this one, but I don’t see it making much more progress. Another prediction, the Top 400 will soon be up for a major reshuffle as there are 36 songs tied for 399th. Once that tie gets broken and another song moves up, the rest tumble to 401 and falling.

I doubt Phish will do another residency and I kind of hope they don’t. This was amazing, special and, I hope, solitary. Sometimes we don’t need a sequel. Sometimes it’s just great to sit back, and wonder “did it not seem real?”

Baker’s Dozen last 10 shows Summer  2017

 

1   You Enjoy Myself – 579
2    Possum – 518
3    Mike’s Song – 492
4   Weekapaug Groove – 461
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 460
6    Golgi Apparatus – 457
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 455
8    Cavern – 443
8   Run Like an Antelope – 443
10   David Bowie – 442
 

11   Suzy Greenberg – 419
12   Stash – 412
12   Divided Sky – 412
14   Runaway Jim – 376
14   Reba – 375
16   Harry Hood – 369
17   Tweezer – 358
18   The Squirming Coil – 350
19   Foam – 345
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings: Baker’s Dozen 1-3

These shows are coming fast and furious! I know I’m behind a bit, but I’ll catch up. What is amazing is in real time, six shows in and no repeats. I’m pretty sure they are going the distance.

But back to the first weekend of the residency. We are getting some great debuts and as soon as the theme approach to all of the dates, guessing what is coming is half the fun. In the first three shows, five debuts. Over the course of the shows, I’ll keep a tab on this.

As far as milestones met, The Squirming Coil reached 350 performances. Other than that, as far as numbers go, nothing really of note happened. What’s more, without any repeat performances of material, any one song making a significant move is pretty slim. On the flip side of that is the fact that the “heavy” rotation songs will likely only get one play so some songs that don’t normally get stretched out will be getting the jam treatment (no foreshadowing here 🙂

The Top Twenty remains unchanged:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 578
2    Possum – 517
3    Mike’s Song – 491
4   Weekapaug Groove – 460
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 459
6    Golgi Apparatus – 456
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 454
8   Run Like an Antelope – 442
8    Cavern – 442
10   David Bowie – 441

11   Suzy Greenberg – 419
12   Stash – 411
12   Divided Sky – 411
14   Runaway Jim – 375
14   Reba – 375
16   Harry Hood – 368
17   Tweezer – 358
18   The Squirming Coil – 350 Woot! 350!
19   Foam – 345
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings: As of Pittsburgh Summer 2017

Yeah, I’m behind a little bit, I know the main entree is donuts and I’ll get there soon, never fear. Writing on the weekends has become much more of a chore than it ever was. Between housework, getting kids ready for camp, other commitments, plopping down and writing a blog or two and a podcast script just is a hill I’m not ready to climb.

The last two shows before the residency offered some great stuff. The internet is all a buzz about the second set from Dayton and I’ve seen nothing but positives about Pittsburgh as well. These five warm-up shows toward New York have demonstrated that the band is ready to get it going during the Baker’s Dozen.

On the numbers side of things, Runaway Jim reached 375 performances. There’s still a ways to go before 400, but it might happen sooner rather than later. Rocky Top hit 200 performances and secured a spot in the Top 50 as well. Punch You In The Eye reached 150 and Halley’s Comet 125. Those are a couple of pretty old songs and yet they’ve only been played 275 times collectively. It just further demonstrates the diversity of Phish’s playlists and evolution. In just these two shows, Phish debuted three songs. Between new songs and new covers, why rely on old standards? As an audience, we’ve demonstrated pretty thoroughly that we like the shock of the new. I’ve got a feeling before it’s all over, the Baker’s Dozen will substantially add to the ever growing list of songs Phish has played. We’ll see. The Top Twenty:

1   You Enjoy Myself – 578
2    Possum – 517
3    Mike’s Song – 491
4   Weekapaug Groove – 460
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 459
6    Golgi Apparatus – 456
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 454
8   Run Like an Antelope – 442
8    Cavern – 442
10   David Bowie – 441
11   Suzy Greenberg – 418
12   Stash – 411
12   Divided Sky – 411
14   Runaway Jim – 375 375 plays!
15   Reba – 374
16   Harry Hood – 368
17   Tweezer – 357
18   The Squirming Coil – 349
19   Foam – 344
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

Phish Song Rankings As of Chicago Summer 2017

So, for the first time since 1994, not counting the hiatus and breakup, I won’t be attending a Phish show. This year’s family vacation coincided with the Northerly Island run and I can’t pull off a run in New York. There was some thought to trying to get to Dayton, but that was just a workday fantasy. I suppose an off chance at New Year’s Eve, but a trip to Miami in late December isn’t realistic either.

It’s a weird sensation. I mean it’s just a band after all. But after watching Long Strange Trip (three stars if I’m being generous) and hearing from Deadheads and their relationship with the band, I get it. It’s more than a concert for me. It’s a gathering. It’s spiritual. Yeah, I know how corny and hippy-dippy that reads, but I don’t care. The music, the atmosphere, the journey, even if it’s just across town, all reset my soul in a profound way.

As ironic as it might sound, Phish is very tied into my sobriety. I got sober in 1991, first Phish show in 1994. I’ve never been to a show intoxicated. That was never the draw. If it is for you, part of your experience, that’s cool too, just not mine. Phish has always meant a happiness, a freedom that I didn’t allow myself when drinking. Every show is a reminder and touchstone of that. The gatherings, the ceremonies are going on without me this year and it feels weird and hollow.*

*I should note that I am not sorry to go on family vacation to another spiritual place, the Oregon Coast. The ocean replenishes me too, just in a different way. Family before Phamily, always.

I also wanted to give a shout out to a new organization or awareness group or solidarity group, not sure the best way to classify it. Groove Safe is a group on twitter, @groovesafe, that is raising awareness, and aiming to prevent unwanted touching and sexual assaults at concerts. As a completely unaware white dude, I was shocked to hear how prevalent this is at shows, including Phish shows. Groping and worse shouldn’t come with the price of admission.

I had big plans for the off season, doing a thorough audit of my rankings against ZZYZX’s page, look at the highest ranking song by album and the like. Oh well, no such luck. Other things. Maybe I’ll get to it after the Baker’s Dozen.

As for Chicago, a minor shake up in the top ten, with the eighth place tie being broken up a bit, David Bowie slipping to 10th all alone. I’ll be interested to see how much play Bowie gets now that David Bowie has passed away. It always felt like a weird tongue in cheek tribute and just seems potentially weird. We’ll see.

Theme From the Bottom reached 150 plays, keeping its place as the second most played song from Billy Breathes. Winterqueen reached the Top 250 with 17 performances. Your Pet Cat broke into the Top 300 with 9 performances. It’s really cool that the Thrilling Chilling songs are still getting played. They could have easily become a one-off kind of thing. I’m glad we’ve got to see them outside of the Halloween performance. There were six new songs debuted. Let the speculation begin on which will be on a new album and which will be the next Spock’s Brain.

Your Current Top Twenty

1   You Enjoy Myself – 578
2    Possum – 517
3    Mike’s Song – 491
4   Weekapaug Groove – 460
5   Bouncing Around the Room – 459
6    Golgi Apparatus – 456
7    Chalk Dust Torture – 453
8   Run Like an Antelope – 442
8    Cavern – 442
10   David Bowie – 441

 

11   Suzy Greenberg – 418
12   Stash – 411
12   Divided Sky – 410
14   Reba – 374
14   Runaway Jim – 374
16   Harry Hood – 368
17   Tweezer – 357
18   The Squirming Coil – 348
19   Foam – 345
20   I Am Hydrogen – 335

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

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