1. We Regret To Inform You That There Is A Solution To End Secondary Market Phish Tickets

    October 3, 2019 by RobertPalmerPlore

    It’s upon us again. The melts, the tears, the butthurt of being shut out by Phish Tickets By Mail while waiting for the letdown of a brutal LiveTicketNationMaster on-sale for the upcoming Phish shows at that place where the Knicks pretend to play basketball. We are already seeing the social media outrage from fans over tickets for purchase on Stubhub and other third party sites. Many are still furious over platinum tickets in the pavilion this past summer. Easy and fair access to Phish tickets is broken (especially for high profile runs) and something needs to change. Where no podcast or jam blog will ever slice the nipple that feeds them to question or call this bullshit out we here at The Phunion (a not for profit organization) want you to be happy and we are here to give you and Phish the solution to this problem.

    Stop us if you have heard this before. What if we told you there was a band who has spent decades playing sold out shows in massive venues in front of a rabid fan base? What if we told you their albums kinda suck but their live shows are an intense experience? What if we told you that their fans travel to see multiple shows despite the same set list every night while also spending upwards of an hour in line to buy merch? What if we told you that unlike Phish and the Grateful Dead this act easily sells out arenas and stadiums on six continents AND sometimes their lead vocalist literally flies the entire band and crew in an airplane around the World? What if we also told you that they care so much about their fans that they have found a way to keep tickets out of the hands of scalpers and in the hands of fans for face value?

    You read that right. During their 2017 world tour Iron Maiden managed to keep 95% of tickets off of third party sites and get them directly into the hands of their #RealFans. A reliable source who has asked us to remain anonymous has informed us that for their 35+ date Legacy of the Beast 2019 North American tour the band has managed to keep an estimated 98% of tickets off third party sites. The cold hard facts are that Iron Maiden is a far more successful band than Phish and they have used their power to protect fans who spend their hard earned money to see them live. So why is Phish not doing the same for us?

    (photo credit: unknown)

    Phish could very easily implement this system but their are two major obstacles. Profits and entitlement.

    We have zero knowledge of any deals between Phish and the massive ticket conglomerates that Pearl Jam so bravely fought in the 1990’s and Metallica was recently reported to profit off of. What we do know is that the extremely fair Phish Ticket By Mail system from the 1.0 era has been replaced by a glorified fan pre-sale where mediocre tickets are easily obtained for that random Tuesday night at a corporate amphitheater yet often denied for a high profile gig like New Year’s at MSG.

    Where many in our community take to social media after being rejected shocked that “phans” are scalping tickets moments after they get the confirmation email; the simple fact is scalpers are smart enough to use Phish Tickets By Mail to their advantage. We also live in a world where some Phish fans are happy to not embrace the face using sites like Cash or Trade and pay top dollar for tickets. Phish Tickets By Mail is a once great idea that no longer works as we enter the third decade of the 21st century. So what can Phish and their management do to make sure all fans can get into the show at a fair price you ask? Abolish the out of date Phish Tickets By Mail operation and copy the Iron Maiden game plan which features one on-sale date and time.

    When Iron Maiden tickets go on sale yes you will still need to wait in an obnoxious waiting room and there will be 2,000 people in line in front of you. But when your turn comes up the rules (unlike The Black Keys a few weeks back) are very clear that the tickets are electronic, you will need a smart phone with the LiveTicketNationMaster app to get in, and the barcode of the ticket will refresh every 90 seconds. No print outs or screen caps are allowed. Let’s say you buy four tickets, you will only be able to transfer three of them since your guests will need them on their phones. As far as those transfers go, you’re only allowed to transfer the tickets on the day of show and each ticket can only be transferred once. Phish could easily do this for shows like Halloween or New Year’s and where it would be sad to see ticket trees vanish; this could also put an end to fans buying tickets for shows they have zero desire to attend looking to trade them for higher profile shows.

    It is proven this system scalps scalpers. However is it ideal for our community? What happens to someone who buys tickets for a show months in advance but for whatever reason they can’t make it and thus want to move their tickets? There is something magical about deciding last minute to fly to a new state and see Phish a few days before the show, does this help or hurt that last minute spontaneous choice? Is LiveTicketNationMaster set up to allow the sale of tickets at face value via their resale site? Will nugs.net be able to provide your free stream post show with this complex system? No matter how you feel about stubbing a pal down a barcode that regenerates very much complicates people moving around the venue especially when wrist bands are required. Would you be willing to loan your phone out for 5-10 minutes to stub down a friend?

    There is a lot of money to be made off Phish. As we understand it, the band at the start of 3.0 for their own health has taken a very hands off approach and allow management to make major business decisions and we fully respect them focusing on their art. Many in this community have a platform and a voice to push for this change but will they? If a band the size of Iron Maiden can successfully eliminate scalping, Phish could also protect their fans and do the exact same thing. If you are as sick as we are over scalped tickets and platinum seats than it is time you Run To The Hills and SCREAAAM. Hit up Fishman on Facebook. Send a tweet to Mike encouraging him to look into this system. Next time you run into Trey at the juice bar in NYC ask him about this. Challenge the podcasts and the satellite radio DJ’s and the bloggers to discuss this. Contact Red Light Management and demand fair access to tickets.

    Or just bitch on social media the next time this happens, sometimes it is so much easier to complain.

  2. An Open Letter To Phish and Kevin Shapiro To Help Those In Need With Official 5/16/95 Release

    May 15, 2019 by RobertPalmerPlore

    Dear Phish and Kevin,

    One of the strongest lyrics of the 3.0 era is There Must Be Something More Than This as we all vibrate with love and light in this crazy world of 2019. In an era of chaos and social media all of us have strong opinions and no matter how you feel about important issues we are all hurting. This is why you don’t need us to tell you that states Phish often visit and have thrown down historic shows such as Alabama, Ohio, and Georgia are oppressing women in ways Wilson could never imagine in his foul domain. This is why we are asking you as well as anyone who has ever laughed from one of our silly social media posts to lend a hand and help our fellow citizens.

    We fully understand that parts of this conversation divides families and communities. Where The Phunion supports a woman and her right to choose we also are grateful for options like adoption which has blessed us with one of the most underrated drummers of the past three decades. Regardless of personal opinions, we can all agree that the laws these states are passing go beyond this debate and attack women for things out of their control. In Ohio, an 11 year old girl was raped and she is currently being forced to have her baby because of oppressive and unfair laws. Where men get off the hook for their part of impregnating their partners, women in Georgia will face up to 99 years in jail or death if they cross state lines to end a pregnancy. With every member of Phish having a daughter, if a woman locked up for 99 years in jail for her choice is not terrifying enough Georgia could charge any woman who has a miscarriage. Let that sink in. Your baby dies through no fault of your own and you could face jail time as a result. This is wrong and as a community we need to make sure no women ever goes to jail after losing her unborn child. This is why we are asking you to join us in support of those who are being oppressed by unjust and unfair laws.

    To quote Sheldon Mopes from Death To Smoochy – you can’t change the world but you can make a dent. This is why we are calling on you to help make a dent for women across America. On May 16th 1995 you joined forces with Jennifer Trynin & Emergency Broadcast Network as well as Gloria Steinem to help victims of a family planning clinic shooting. A one set show, we here at The Phunion beg that you release the SBD of this night from nearly 24 years ago with the proceeds going towards a charity that you feel supports and lends a hand to women standing up for their rights.

    Much like we have supported your past releases for Japan and Vermont, once this post goes live, we plan to donate $50 to Rainn in honor of not only that brave 11 year old girl in Ohio placed in an unimaginable situation, but all the women and children who are victims of rape and incest. Regardless of your choice to go ahead and release this to help women across the nation, we ask any fans of Phish/The Phunion to Rise Up/Come Together and donate whatever they can to any of these fine organizations.

    National Organization of Women
    Planned Parenthood

    In creating this open letter we have also learned that many small clinics across America could use support. We encourage anyone who reads this to help support a local Women’s clinic if they feel so in their heart.

    In the event anyone out there knows of another organization we are not aware of who can help fight for the good cause – please reach out via our Twitter of email us at thephunion@gmail.com.

    With Love,

    The Phunion

    P.S. Special thanks to the several members of this community who helped us with this letter. We appreciate all your stories and insight in crafting this the right way.

  3. Recap: Curveball For Cleveland Clinic Children Clinic Strikes Out The Sadness

    August 18, 2018 by RobertPalmerPlore

    If you had told us three weeks ago that our insane idea to help some sick kids in Cleveland would be a far bigger success than the 11th Phish festival Curveball; chances are we would have laughed and called you another word that starts with the letter c. However, just shy of a week after announcing our campaign on JEMP Radio here we are overwhelmed by not only your generosity but the fact that our favorite band was forced to cancel their three day party due to a lack of clean water. So in the event you are feeling blue, here are a few of the highlights of our first (and without a doubt not the last) attempt to give back some of the love you make us feel every time you laugh at a tweet.

    As far as we can tell, Twitter user @kmmccorm didn’t even follow us last Sunday, yet he sent the clinic 47 copies of I Love You To The Moon and Back, completing the grand total of 50 that the clinic needed.

    The Quiz Daddy himself Scott Rogowsky gave the drive a heady 6pm shoutout during HQ Trivia. We were never so happy to be eliminated that night on a silly Kardashian question.

    Slight negative. We got next to no response on our Facebook page. We were offered to promote it but we would rather give that money to kids over that massive twat waffle Zuckerberg.

    We also had a type II Zito Curveball thrown our way that left our jaw on the ground much like Matt Holliday in game 5 of the 2012 NLCS. Twitter user @ErieGreenDeep held a raffle. For every $25 spent you had a chance to win a limited edition Baker’s Dozen poster. The winner (besides the Children of Cleveland) ended up being @kmmccorm. Talk about some serious Karma on a Soul Planet!

    Big thanks (and sorry I am sure we will forget a few folks) to the likes of YEMBlog, Phish Net, Brian from Downpour, Julia, and the pride of Cleveland – @stecks7.

    A few more stats for you:

    With a hefty price tag of $36.99 our community fulfilled the request for 10 washable watercolor paint sets with 16 colors per pack. With this set featuring 36 sets of 16 colors, we were able to donate over 300 watercolor kits.

    We went 10 for 10 on bead stress balls.

    We went 50 for 50 on a personal favorite of mine, Guess How Much I Love You.

    6 copies of Pie Face Showdown ended up in Cleveland this week. We apologize in advance for the mess.

    Plenty of other toys, books, teething items, DVD’s, and art supplies found their way to these children as well, all thanks to your generosity. We here at The Phunion simply can’t thank you enough for your generosity over this past week. Where we still encourage anyone who feels the urge to help to do so by clicking this link to the Clinic’s Amazon Wish List, we would like to leave you with a message from Cathy who works for Cleveland Clinic Children and was extremely helpful in setting this drive up with us.

  4. Curveball For Cleveland Clinic Children Campaign

    August 12, 2018 by RobertPalmerPlore

    2018 is a strange time to be alive. Donald Trump is President, Nazis show up at Phish concerts, and the Buffalo Bills played a football game in January. It is also a tough time to be alive for a lot of people out there. This is why we here at the Phunion decided to add to the strangeness of this bizarre year and actually do something that’s not offensive to jamband fans and/or D-list celebrities. We are proud to announce the Curveball for Cleveland Clinic Children Campaign.

    Where many of our jokes fail (who remembers Phunion Roast II?), we somehow have over 10,000 #RealFans on Twitter and Facebook (shout out to the 1,200 people who follow us on Instagram). Apparently some of our jokes must be halfway decent for us to have organically grown to those numbers over the past few years. At risk of sounding cliché, we are truly blessed to get giggles form many of you on a daily basis. This is why we are asking for your help to bring some much-needed smiles to some non jamband fans as our community gears up for the latest greatest Phish festival.

    You don’t need us to explain how difficult it is to have or be a young child who is sick; it’s far more depressing than Velvet Sea from Coventry. Where we may poke fun at some of the cheesy lyrics in 3.0 Phish classics like More and Soul Planet, the fact is many can use some love and light and we wanna see you help some sick kids on a Soul Planet.

    The clinic has set up an Amazon page with hundreds of books, toys, DVD’s, art supplies etc. If you look closely, some of the requested items have multiple quantities requested so if you want to buy 46 Munchkin Twisty Figure 8 Teeter’s you absolutely can. With dozens of items under $10 you can make a difference and still be able to afford a $14 beer at Curveball. If you are an Amazon Prime member shipping is free so you have NO excuse not to help these young children who are struggling.

    You can view the Cleveland Children Clinic wishlist by clicking here.

    Per the request of the clinic, please include your name and address as part of the note with your present. Per request of us, please let them know this present is with love and light from the Phish community.

    Again, we thank you for allowing us to be the obnoxious and offensive jack asses who still brag about being voted class clown Senior Year in High School. Let’s hope we cover the Cleveland Clinic Children with love and Amazon Prime packages the same way Phish fans cover concert venues with glowsticks.

  5. Victim Or The Crime: Dead and Company’s John Mayer Robbed in Beverly Hills

    August 11, 2018 by RobertPalmerPlore

    Steal Your Case, Steal Your Case, you got robbed and it’s a disgrace.

    John Mayer, the handsome front man of Dead and Company was the victim of not only a broken window (not to be confused with a Brokedown Palace) but had $100,000 to $200,000 of goods stolen from his home. In addition to musical equipment, TMZ reports that Mayer had a bunch of watches stolen as well.

    How Mayer makes sure to not blow past curfew at Lockn without his watches will be interesting, but safe to assume he will once again need to reunite with everyone not named Phil next summer to get some of that Live Nation cash.

  6. Make The Jam Scene Great Again: 15 Things We Hope President Donald Trump Accomplishes While In Office

    January 20, 2017 by RobertPalmerPlore

    With Donald Trump set to become President later today, we believe him when he claims he will make America Great Again. We also believe that part of making America great again is making our jam band scene great again (something that Obama failed miserably at). Here are the things we here at The Phunion would love to see Ivanka’s Daddy to do during his four years in Washington D.C.

    Take the xylophone away from moe.

    Teach Trey Anastasio how to properly play Access Me

    Force Umphrey’s McGee to perform no less than 200 shows a year.

    Build a wall around Bonnaroo to keep U2, RHCP and Lorde out. Make Coachella pay for it.

    Disco Biscuits, Particle and Lotus battle to the death. Only one can survive.

    Place Phil Lesh in a protective bubble so he doesn’t die. Then mock Gregg Allman for not getting one.

    Deport Bob Ezrin

    Revitalize the Rust Belt that voted him into office by opening Brooklyn Bowl venues in Milwaukee, Erie, Grand Rapids, and Columbus.

    Appoint the Spin Doctors as surgeons general.

    Stimulate the tattoo laser removal industry by sending Mihali from Twiddle their way.

    Cut taxes for bands who allow Warren Haynes to sit in.

    Replace Obamacare with GoldLikeJoelCare.

    Verify Michael Kang’s birth certificate.

    Appoint former WSP drummer Todd Nance as the head of the ATF Bureau.

    Bring reader comments back to Live For Live Music.

  7. Lotta Fans: The Phunion Announces First Ever Celebrity Death Pool For 2017

    December 20, 2016 by RobertPalmerPlore

    deathWe get it, you fucking hate 2016. You hate Trump, you hate the fact that Cleveland won a major sports championship, and you hate how gross the water tastes in Flint, Michigan. But most of all, you hate when your heroes die. From Bowie to Zsa Zsa, Prince to the MILF from The Brady Bunch, the Grim Reaper was a real nasty son of a bitch this year. But face it everyone, with more and more celebrities reaching their golden years, chances are 2017 isn’t going to be much better. That’s why we here at The Phunion are putting together our first annual Celebrity Death Pool.

    The categories are as follows:

    • Actor/Actress
    • Athlete
    • Musician
    • Under 50
    • World/Political Leader
    • 3 Wild Cards

    The rules are simple. We have five pre-determined categories and three wildcard spots. In the wildcard, you are free to pick anyone, however you must stick to the guidelines for the other five categories. The pre-determined categories are worth five points and the wildcards are worth three. To enter, you must have a valid Twitter account, as we will use that as your name on our nifty Google Doc for tracking purposes.

    Email thephunion@gmail.com with your Twitter handle and votes in the categories below, no later than 9pm PST on 12/30. In the event someone dies on New Year’s Eve, it must be past 12:00 am in the Time Zone the celebrity is in for this to count.

    The individual(s) with the most points at the end of 2017 win bragging rights for 2018.

    Best of luck to everyone! But really, what kind of sick fuck wishes death upon someone?


  8. Phish Announce Spring 2017 Canadian Tour Dates

    November 9, 2016 by RobertPalmerPlore

    With a majority of their fan base now moving north because American liberals were dumb enough to think Clinton could actually beat Trump for President; Phish has announced dates for their first full-fledged Canadian tour. Sponsored by local favourite Tim Horton’s, the trek will feature 13 dates from coast to coast. Here is where you can catch the band that was smart enough to back Bernie Sanders knowing that Clinton would get her Ass Handed to her by a gross man who want’s to grab you by the Poster Nutbag.


    Phish Spring 2017 Canadian Tour Dates

    3/16/17 Save-On Food-Memorial Centre/Victoria, BC
    3/17/17 Prospera Place/Kelowna, BC
    3/18/17 Prospera Place/Kelowna, BC
    3/19/17 Takhini Arena/Whitehorse, YT
    3/21/17 Multiplex/Yellowknife, NT
    3/24/17 Rogers Place/Edmonton, AB
    3/25/17 Brandt Cenrte/Regina, SK
    3/26/17 MTS Centre/Winnipeg, MB
    3/28/17 Air Canada Centre/Toronto, ON
    03/29/17 Canadian Tire Centre/Ottawa, ON
    03/31/17 Centre Bell/Montreal, QC
    04/01/17 Centre Vidéotron,/Quebec City, QC
    04/04/17 Mile One Centre/St. Johhn’s Newfoundland

    Phish tickets by Canada Post are on sale now. General on-sale begins 11/18/16 eh.

  9. Thank You! An Open Letter To Dean Ween

    September 30, 2016 by RobertPalmerPlore

    Dear Deaner,

    As someone who first witnessed the glory of the Boognish in person on a (not so) hot August night in San Francisco where Queens of the Stone Age were far too fucking stoned and there was actual pussy eaten during the L.M.L.Y.P encore; I wanted to take a moment to say thank you for your much needed words about your Lockn experience.

    (Photo Credit: Ansel Adams)

    Clearly Phish is one of our favorite bands here at the Phunion. The music is top notch, the energy when they play is something from another dimension, and most of the time the community is pretty fucking spectacular. That being said, the community takes itself far too serious and to be blunt tend to be a bunch of fucking pussies. Your dual performances on Lockn proved that by the way these closed minded twat waffles melted faster than a Popsicle in the hot late August Virginia sunshine.

    When Phish plays a song like Fuck Your Face, fans rejoice. Yet these same fans can’t hang over something as innocent as worrying over a pony coughing up snot in the drive way. In a summer where Phish bust outs were few and far between, your band blessed the crowd with the magic of How High Can You Fly>Beacon Light and the crowd looked at you as if you had just shown a dog a card trick. As if that was not worse enough, the fact that you kicked the ever living shit out of Trey Anastasio upon the six stringed fret board during a fantabulous version of A Tear For Eddie should have put the fans of Phish in the palm of your hand. Sadly it did the exact opposite. Unable to acknowledge the fact you kicked the living shit out of the ginger Jedi, the massive crowd of pussies quickly retreated to their tents for the evening.

    Over both nights of Lockn, you blessed ungrateful Phish fans with deep cuts and classic Ween. Much like Phish you covered numerous genres of music, the only difference being you actually sound like a country band or a reggae band or a punk rock band while Phish always sounds like Phish. The lack of appreciation by many for your band screams volumes about just how closed minded Phish fans can be. Yet that’s not the reason we are thanking you today. We are here to pay thanks for the awesome post upon your recently revived AskDeaner blog.

    In a now deleted post (why Deaner, why?), you spoke the truth. You went out to kick the shit out of Phish and you did just that. Drop the fucking banner on the battleship, Mission Accomplished. Phish fans simply can’t handle that fact. They will call you sloppy and yet forgive the Down With Disease train wreck. What’s even better is how you have trolled them through the entire Lockn experience. From the photo of you posing with Trey’s guitar after your second Lockn set to the recent blog post every single fucking Phish fan is once again talking about Ween. Will it move more units of White Pepper? Probably not, but you have managed to rile up a closed minded fan base filled with people who will drop thousands of dollars to see Jon, Mike, Page, and Trey play in Mexico, yet fail to grasp the beauty of Bananas and Blow. Hell Trey begged for you guys to get back together and many Phish fans still fail to grasp the magic of Ween. Way to make these fans look like the assholes they truly are.


    So thank you Dean Ween. Any true fan of music can find something to appreciate within the diverse catalog of Ween. Fans of both bands marvel in how you have managed to self-promote the joys of the Boognish among the pussies who claim your shows are too sloppy or offensive. #RealJournalists have turned your words into news to generate ad clicks on an otherwise slow Friday. From Twitter to Facebook, cries of Ween suck flood social media from fans who had never even heard of TV on the Radio before the night Anastasio made them famous in Albany. Everyone is talking about Ween on Trey’s birthday and it’s a glorious fucking thing that we are sure Trey is loving.

    So thank you for telling it like it is and thank you for putting those closed minded Phish fans in their fucking place. You sir are a fucking genius. Henry Rollins knows what’s up and so do we. We here at the Phunion salute you and can’t wait to paint Hollywood brown with you in less than two weeks. We also invite butthurt Phish fans to explain why Ween sucks in the comments below. They will try, but they will fucking fail because deep down inside they know that Phish had their Ass Handed to them by Ween at Lockn.

    Best Regards and fuck Olive Garden (sorry Virgil).


    The Insane Frat Bros. Known As The Phunion

  10. Album Essay: Haters Miss the Boat as Phish Taps into the Zeitgeist for a Modern Day Masterpiece

    September 28, 2016 by TreyAntipasta

    By Agent Stardog

    Greetings phriends and galactic citizens. Your phriendly neighborhood Stardog was so offended by the Phunion’s trashing of “Big Boat” that I was moved to write this response. This is not to say I have no appreciation for the Phunion’s brand of ribald jamrock humor, heck that’s why I know these phreaks in the first place. But the Phunion has gone too far this time! While other Phishy critiquers had generated low expectations with their gripes, I found the album to be a moving listening experience that kept getting deeper with each track, similar to how a great live set by the band can function. By the end, I could only conclude that Phish had defied expectations once again by delivering a great album full of heart and soul (not to mention some hot jams).


    “Big Boat” holds together with the kind of thematic cohesion and sonic diversity that we look for in a great Phish show. It also features Vermont’s finest wearing their hearts on their sleeves. Getting a handle on that is what seems to be something which a certain cynical segment of the Phish Nation is sadly unable to abide. This misguided labeling of “Dad Rock” suggests a distaste for music with a sentimental flavor, yet Phish has long been a band that causes our souls to ignite precisely because of their ability to tap into deep emotional territory (in addition to the transcendent jams). It seems like some phans might be happier on Widespread Panic tour, because they want Phish to be dark and dirty all the time (WSP’s forte). Yet these are mostly the same phans that ironically hate on WSP! This does not compute.

    Phish has always been a multi-dimensional band and “Big Boat” is triumphant testimony to that sonic depth, as well as an emotionally bold and timely declaration of where the scene is at in this foul year of our lord 2016. Let’s take a chronological look at the album so we can see how it builds and comes together in sequence as a great album should. “Friends” is a high energy rocker to kick it off and while some phans will quibble with the vocal delivery, this is a soul-stirring message from Phish’s political ambassador Jon Fishman. The lyrics basically describe a “first contact” scenario with our E.T. neighbors that lead to a transcendent evolutionary moment with humanity joining the galactic community. What an inspiring theme for a Phish song!

    “Breath and Burning” is no B-side but rather an infectiously laid back feel good groove that recalls the upbeat mood of fan favorites like “Ya Mar” and “Soul Shakedown Party.” The horns are a great addition that lend a “Blues Brothers”-style rhythm and blues vibe and who doesn’t love the Blues Brothers? I’d say Phish are on a mission from God here, but they worship their own religion and “Big Boat” is full of spiritual sentiment from the Helping Friendly Book. “Home” might sound like a typical Page song at first, but then the band gets rolling into a smoking jam with Trey tearing it up over a crisp snare beat that recalls Bob Ezrin’s great work with KISS on their classic “Destroyer” album. Phans want jams, well here you go!

    “Blaze On” was an instant classic anthem for the Phish Nation upon its debut in the summer of 2015 and the band really captures the song’s free-spirited sentiment with a vibrant performance here. Anyone who can’t dig these lyrics is just a curmudgeon. “Tide Turns” has an upbeat optimistic vibe that feels downright comforting during this turbulent and contentious political season. The horns once again lend a great boost and the uplifting groove conjures some of the spirit of the Jerry Garcia Band. “Things People Do” is written by Page but sounds like classic Mike, with a wry outlook that recalls his endearing delivery on “My Mind’s Got a Mind of It’s Own” (and wherever did that great song disappear to?) The song serves as a fitting prelude to “Waking Up Dead,” with vintage high strangeness that we all know and love from Mike. This song gets jammy, has atmospheric backing vocals, trippy synths from Page and a Beatle-esque bridge. It all adds up to a very Phishy slice of psychedelia.

    “Running Out of Time” is no TAB reject, but rather a heartfelt tune from Trey that seems like it’s coming from the same character featured in “Driver,” some 20 years later. Anyone entering middle age like Trey and the band are should be able to relate. It might seem a bit sappy in the beginning but then the tale unfolds with endearing charm. When the band kicks in, it’s a bouncy feel good melodic groove. It’s also ripe for further jamming.

    The most mind-boggling, shark-jumping aspect of the Phunion’s review was the completely insane assertion that “No Men in No Man’s Land” has “overstayed its welcome. Talk about cognitive dissonance upon reading that crazy talk because NMINML is not only an instant classic Phish song, it’s one of the best rock songs of the 21st century by anybody. Biting the Dead’s mid-’70s rendition of “Dancing in the Streets” for a funky jam with lyrics that conjure vibes of a modern day “Throwing Stones” is pure artistic brilliance. This song became a prime Phish jam vehicle in just its second ever performance (at the epic 7/25/16 Day Out of Time show in LA) and taps into the modern zeitgeist so well. Far from having overstayed its welcome, the song is poised to pump up Phish shows for the conceivable future. This version smokes and in fact features one of the hotter jams that Phish has ever recorded on a studio album. The horns add further energy again and with three tracks featuring horns, one could wonder if a live horn section might be waiting in the wings for fall tour.

    “Miss You” is arguably the weak link of the album if there is one, although it clearly comes from the heart. It’s at least better than “Joy,” although not as endearing as “Show of Life.” Then just when you think the album could be about to tail off, Phish flips the script again with a dope ass electronica jam on “I Always Wanted It This Way.” Perhaps the vocals could have been recorded with more clarity but this Page tune suggests an ingenious blend of ‘70s power pop, ‘80s new wave synth rock and the late ‘90s/early 2000s trance dance jamtronica from the second wave of younger jambands that were influenced by Phish (SCI, Bisco, STS9, etc). You want jams? This song has Sirius jam potential and should soon be a fan favorite.

    “More” also has great jam potential with Trey really opening up his soul to speak for our entire counterculture generation. Is he not speaking for all of us when he sings of “pulsating with love and light in a world gone mad” and urgently feeling that there must be something more to life on Earth than just the corrupt rat race of Wilson’s foul domain? It’s another timely anthem for the Phish Nation that pulses with vibrant melodic goodness, with a sweet jam that could really hit some righteous heights on tour.

    Seeing “Petrichor” conclude this album instead of “Mercury” was a curveball, as it didn’t scream Phish jam vehicle when Trey played it at his orchestra shows. But what a transformation with the quartet dynamic. Is this not the type of intricate composed prog-rock jam that phans have been clamoring for? The song really takes a sonic journey and the jam that follows the “clouds will open/rain came down” section is pure Phishy goodness at its finest. 13 songs for the band’s 13th studio album is no coincidence either, the Mayan galactic prime number in action, and in the year that Phish finally made it to the Mayan Riviera taboot taboot.

    You have to tip your hat to the band for following their hearts and turning out a soul-baring album that really holds together as a thematic statement when they know their persnickety fanbase is going to be skeptical of new material in general. In the end, it seems like that certain cynical segment of the Phish Nation that wants to categorize this album as “dad rock” has some emotional issues to deal with. “Big Boat” is a vibrant reflection of the times we live in, delivered with superb musicianship, courageous soul-baring emotion, voice of a counterculture generation sentiment, and oh yeah, at least a handful of dope ass jam vehicles too. What more could #RealFans want from their favorite band?