September, 2011

  1. Following SuperBall IX, Festival 8 Downgraded to AA+

    September 28, 2011 by TreyAntipasta

    In a move that sent shockwaves through the Phish community, Festival 8 was downgraded from a rating of AAA to AA+, following the tremendous performance of Phish at SuperBall IX. The major rating agencies, including Standard and Poors as well as Moody’s all agreed that the music played at SuperBall IX was so impressive that it warranted not only a rating of AAA but also a downgrade of the most recent Phish festival, Festival 8.

    “Well, I don’t know if I should be elated or upset,” opined Trey Anastasio, guitarist for Phish. “On the one hand, its great to see that SuperBall IX got a AAA rating but to have your last festival downgraded as a result, thats just a headscratcher. Was SuperBall so good it could affect the past? Whoa. I gotta sit down,” remarked Trey as he took a seat and stared blankly out the window for 10 minutes.

    When presented with the findings, some Phish fans called foul but a few were able to look at the big picture and offer their opinion. “I was at Festival 8 and yeah, it was amazing, from the Stones set, the Burble and the acoustic set, but if you’re gonna compare the two, SuperBall smokes Fest 8 like a bag of headies,” noted longtime Phish fan Mark Kelley. “Maybe it was so intense that it made the last fest look worse by comparison. I can get behind that man. Really, I can.”

    The downgrade does little to effect the economic pull of Phish, which has already released a 3D movie of the festival set in the Coachella Valley of California and has little marketing planned for Festival 8. “SuperBall stands to benefit in a great manner as being the upper echilon of Phish festivals in the 21st century,” said Louis Criscione, head analyst at Moody’s and Phish fan since 1987. “Having seen The Went, The Wheel, IT and all the other festivals, there is no question in my mind this festival deserves a AAA rating. They went above and beyond throughout the festival. There wasn’t a dull moment.” Criscione continued “And shit man, the Storage Jam? Un-fucking-real. Best Sleeping Monkey ever!”

    Criscione was fast to point out that SuperBall IX would benefit from the rating two-fold. “First, the band can charge what they want on all merchandise from SuperBall IX, whatever is leftover that is. Second, they can’t take their time planning their next move for a festival. If they return to Watkins Glen, they’ll be expected to put on a show just as good, if not better than SuperBall. The fans will want it and expect it. We’ll expect it, because the bar is now set high.”

    At press time, there was no comment from The Burble.

  2. Brendan Bayliss Takes Leave of Absence from Umphrey’s McGee; Returns to Notre Dame to Play Football

    September 16, 2011 by TreyAntipasta

    South Bend, Indiana

    Returning to his alma mater at an hour of greatest need, Umphrey’s McGee guitarist, singer and founder Brendan Bayliss opted to forgo his continued path to rock stardom at least temporarily so that he could play quarterback for The Fighting Irish of Notre Dame.

    With two years of eligibility left and a cannon that would surprise many Umphreaks and Irish alumni as well, Bayliss held a brief press conference to confirm that he would be taking a leave of absence from Umphrey’s McGee, at least temporatily, while he fills in at quarterback for Notre Dame, which has suffered greatly since Bayliss graduated in 1998.

    “Look, we’re 1-2 and even the win against Michigan State wasn’t fulfilling. I’m doing what I have to do, as a proud alumni, as a great quarterback and as someone who knows how to win,” said Bayliss to an enthusiastic crowd outside The Store in Chicago. Wearing the Notre Dame jersey of Joe Montana, Bayliss evoked an image of a leader on the field, commanding the Irish down the field in victory. There was not a dry eye or panty in the house.

    Bayliss’ senior year of high school netted a spectacular season

    • 264 Passing Yards Per Game
    • 13.7 Points Per Game
    • 3502 Passing Yards
    • 28 Passing TD
    • Qb Rating 121.1
    • Rushing Yards 1348

    Early scouting reports note that Bayliss’s quarterbacking skills are great, with over 3500 yards in his senior year of high school. He threw for 28 touchdowns and ran for 12 more. In workouts, scouts notes that he could evade defenders, a skill likely gained after years of dodging adoring female fans during and after shows. “Even though he hasn’t played in a competitive game in over 13 years, what I saw in practice the other day puts all doubt out of my mind,” observed scout Charlie Dixon. “I rode on the tour bus with the guy for four days and he was spending hours practicing bullet passes down the middle corridor of the bus, perfecting his throw (to a solid receiver in Ryan Stasik, a fellow alumni) and getting in quick games in the parking lot before he took the stage each night. I tell you, this kid is ready.”

    Even Bayliss’ band mates are supportive of the idea. Bassist Ryan Stasik as well as keyboard/piano player Joel Cummins each were supportive of his move from frontman for Umphrey’s McGee to quarterback for their shared alma mater. “I’ve always felt Bayliss could be quarterback based on all our mid-tour pick up games. We continually smoke moe. at Summercamp each year with him behind center and we are undefeated against Cornmeal and the Kansas City Chiefs. I am proud to take a few months off knowing he’ll be leading Notre Dame to victory,” shared an enthusiastic Cummins. “We are wrapping up the ‘Death by Stereo’ tour shortly and we will be back in Chicago in no time. Brendan is taking off the Saturday show at the Norva and we’re clearing the schedule till the end of the season. He said he’d do double duty between the band and Notre Dame, but we can wing it as a five piece till the end of the season, and likely next year as well. He has two years of eligibility left after all.”

    A gleeful Stasik chimed in “And guess who gets to sing finally? That’s right, I’m taking over Bayliss’ vocals till he returns. Best silver lining to this whole thing.”

    Fans are mixed on the idea, wondering why Bayliss is forgoing tour this fall when there is a new album to promote and potentially a conflict with New Years Eve in St. Louis if Notre Dame makes it to a bowl game on the 30th or 31st of December. Many fans on The Bort, a popular Umphrey’s McGee fan forum, expressed dismay because they had given up on Notre Dame years ago, like most of the country. Jeremy O’Malley, longtime Umphrey’s fan and frequenter of The Bort shared his thoughts. “I don’t see how he can rescue that sinking ship. He’s not playing special teams and defense too is he? Cause they need more than just a quarterback that shreds. Fuck it, I love Bayliss and Umphrey’s, I’ll support him. Go Irish!”

    Fans from The Bort have already been suggesting names for play calls, including Blue Echo, Ocean Billy, 2×2 (2 receivers on each side), Conduit (creating a seam up the middle), Divisions (to split the defenders), Gulf Stream (when playing the SEC), and Push the Pig (QB sneak). If recommendations are taken, fans of both Umphrey’s McGee and Notre Dame will have all audibles now referred to as ‘Jimmy Stewart.’

    Head coach Brian Kelly said in a statement, “If Bayliss can throw as good as he can shred, then we’re looking like champions again.”

  3. After 7 long years, Phish finally decides to clean up the mess they left in Vermont

    September 8, 2011 by pages mistress

    After the hurricane Irene disaster left parts of Vermont in shambles causing many residents and business owners to be left with nothing, the home state heroes Phish are putting on a benefit concert to aid the Vermont relief fund. The concert also serves as relief for fans of the Vermont jamband who are still recovering from the Coventry, VT festival back in August of 2004. One anonymous phish fan said “It’s great that Phish has stepped up to help their fans recover from the Coventry festival while at the same time help the state of Vermont in such tragic times.”

    The Coventry disaster is known by many Phish fans as “The worst concert ever.” This not only includes the 1,000 plus shows phish has played over their career but includes every concert by all artists throughout music history. These are harsh words when you include the likes of the Rolling Stones Altamont concert,Woodstock 99 and the ensuing riots, as well as every String Cheese Incident concert ever.

    Yet Phish now has their opportunity to right the ship that was Coventry. While that boat is still stuck in the mud from that fateful weekend trip back in 2004, Phish fans believe in their hearts they can. “They’ve been killing it this last tour and Trey is playing like he did in 98’: a lot of great bustouts and jams. While they will never be as good a pre 1998 it shouldn’t be hard to put on a better show than 2004.” said a local resident and fan.

    Many Phish fans may even return to the spot known as the worst concert ever, to reminisce about the tragedy of Coventry. One heartbroken fan said “I may go to Coventry while I come up to Vermont for the benefit concert but I have mixed emotions about it. While I’m happy to have this concert to make up for the concert in Coventry I also lost many good sandals to the mud that weekend. You can’t bring those sandals back ever. Even with a benefit concert in Vermont.” Some may try to look for the famous memorial rhombus left behind at theCoventry site to mark the date of the festival that was claimed to be Phish’s last concert but Town officials warn fans to not seek it out. Unfortunately, reports from 2004 show that the memorial was buried in mud before the concert ended and it has yet to be recovered.

    While this concert might never make up for the mess left in Coventry, many fans are hoping to find solace in the upcoming benefit concert. The trek may be long and arduous physically and emotionally to come back to Vermont for a concert put on by the band Phish but the reward for some fans could be a great concert. It may also ease the mind of many fans still troubled by the Coventry festival.

    Of course not all fans are happy about the benefit concert as Jon Horningston from California states “Why no west coast love? We always get left out.”

  4. Al Schnier’s Toupee Fooling No One

    September 5, 2011 by TreyAntipasta

    Fans at moe.down XII were not fooled when guitarist Al Schnier stepped on stage Friday night wearing a toupee. Bald since his mid-20s, Schnier was greeted with feigned applause as they noticed the rug attached to his head.


    Many in the crowd could not tell if it was a joke or not but Al didn’t let on that he was goofing on the crowd. Instead, he casually ran his fingers through the fake hair, scratched his head and brushed the hair out of his eyes, even when there was no hair to be moved.

    “Seriously, Al is bald and NOW he wants to cover it up? Come on Al, we know you’re bald, we all do. Just sport the dome and quit kidding around,” noted moe. fan Lindsey Hakk. “This is just sad.”

    During a rambunctious Lazurus, the toupee became unglued in the back and flopped around as Al jammed out the ending. Acting like nothing was out of the norm, he simple brushed the hair back from his eyes and reminded the crowd to pick up a piece of trash on the way out of the concert field, following a 35 minute session of announcements, messages and milestones that fans had given him to read.

    Backstage Saturday afternoon, Al was still wearing the toupee. Conversations with fans resulted in Al skirting the issue and mentioning how great moe.down was. He continued to wear the hairpiece throughout the weekend, treating the postiche as though he had not been bald all these years.

    Meanwhile, Chuck spent late Saturday night with adoring fans worshiping him as Satan.