Back in early June, a Phish.net forum thread appeared with a few YouTube videos that had been uploaded from the exterior of Worcester’s DCU Center where Phish would kick off their 2012 Summer Tour the following evening. A prescient user noted:
Come Labor Day Monday, when the tour has ended, we’ll look back on this night, when we were so eager and anxious that watching a video of a rusty door with muffled sound resonating through it was exciting, and it will feel like it was so much longer ago than it was.
And all those summer memories that haven’t happened yet will flash through our minds.
This is a special night.
Summer is about to begin.
Indeed, it seems like ages ago that Phish took that stage and opened the tour with Buried Alive and closed the second set with a Buried Alive Reprise after ripping through an incredible second set with outstanding versions of Carini, Ghost, Boogie On Reggae Woman and If I Could, among others. Using the first Worcester show as a stepping stone for the entire summer, the band was seemingly on a mission and many fans were thrilled to be part of it. Fun was had indeed!
We’ve done a handful of surveys in the past to gauge fan sentiment on a variety of topics after a tour and it is always insightful to look at the results. Thanks very much for everyone that responded – we were able to get over 1,500 participants.
[Tour Opener in Worcester by Parker Harrington]
Thinking about Summer 2012, Leg II, was this the single best tour since the Hampton reunion in 2009?
A whopping 82% of fans felt that Leg 2′s tour set the high water mark for Phish tours in the so-called 3.0 era. For the fans that answered “NO” (that is wasn’t the single best tour since return), the following tours got votes as being as good or better than Leg 2. It is worth noting that just over 10% of respondents felt that the First Leg was just as good as the Second.
2009 Reunion 8
2009 Early Summer 6
2009 Late Summer 9
2009 Fall 18
2009 NYE Run 12
2010 Early Summer 20
2010 Late Summer 25
2010 Fall 81
2010 NYE Run 32
2011 Early Summer 28
2011 Late Summer 45
2011 NYE Run 2
2012 Early Summer Run 159
Should Late Summer 2012 Tour be in consideration as one of the best tours ever?
This question was definitely not asking if this past tour was the best ever. Simply, how good was it? Was it good enough to be considered among the best tours of all time? Clearly, a good amount of fans hold this tour in pretty high regards considering all the historic shows that the band has had.
What was the best show of this past tour?
|Bill Graham 3||228||15%|
|Chaifetz, St. Louis||64||4%|
|Oak Mountain, AL||21||1%|
|Bill Graham 2||14||1%|
|Bill Graham 1||8||1%|
|Starlight, Kansas City||8||1%|
The three nights of the Dick’s Run and the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium finale constitute nearly 90% of all the votes with Dick’s 1 clearly leading the pack at 650 votes and 43%. Lowest vote getter was Aaron’s in Atlanta that could only muster up 1 solitary vote. Others that only garnered a few votes were Bill Graham 1 (8), Starlight (8), Bill Graham 2 (14) and the Zoo in OKC (5).
Which “Bust Out” over 100 Shows were you the happiest to hear again?
|Emotional Rescue – Dick’s||300||20%|
|Skin it Back – Jones Beach||220||15%|
|Sweet Jane – Deer Creek||151||10%|
|Psycho Killer – SPAC||147||10%|
|La Grange – SPAC||127||8%|
|Shafty – Bonnaroo||108||7%|
|Shaggy Dog – Riverbend||61||4%|
|Avenu Malkenu – Jones Beach||66||4%|
|Purple Rain – Jones Beach||53||4%|
|Happiness Warm Gun – JB||51||3%|
|Bittersweet Motel – Jones Beach||40||3%|
|Dog Log – nTelos||48||3%|
|Old Home Place – Deer Creek||35||2%|
|Cracklin’ Rosie – SPAC||36||2%|
|Blister in the Sun – SPAC||32||2%|
|Head Held High – Jones Beach||13||1%|
Most of the bust-outs got a modest amount of votes at a minimum. Hopefully you heard a couple of your old favorites that hadn’t been played in the last 100 shows. Emotional Rescue made the biggest impact followed by classics Skin it Back, Sweet Jane and Psycho Killer.
Which of the previous bust-outs do you think might return to at least semi-regular rotation?
|Skin it Back||512||35%|
|Old Home Place||196||13%|
|Head Held High||47||3%|
|Happiness Is a Warm Gun||40||3%|
|Blister in the Sun||13||1%|
Who knows if any of these bust-outs might appear with more regularity? Time will tell. But considering Skin It Back was the only bust out to appear a second time this summer, it’s no surprise it garnered the most votes.
Considering the amount of shows that were webcast this summer, how do you feel about the quantity?
|Way Too Few- They All Should be Webcast||350||23%|
|Phish shows should not be webcast at all||26||2%|
Even though 40% of shows were webcast [Bonnaroo, nTelos 1 & 2, Jones Beach 1 & 2, Oak Mountain, Bill Graham 1, 2, 3, and Dick's 1, 2, 3] only 12% of respondents felt that it was too many. That also includes 2% that felt that Phish shows shouldn’t be webcast at all.
Does the fact that a show is being webcast change your experience at the show if you are attending?
Only 77 people (5%) have their experience changed, for the better or worse, if the show they are attending is webcast. I am assuming that the bulk of the 77 votes were cast as a “negative” effect, but who knows, maybe some enjoy the fact that the cameras are rolling.
How Many Webcasts Did You Watch?
Looks like the good folks at LivePhish & nugs.net had quite a massive haul this summer with the amount of webcasts purchased. Over half the respondents saw three or more and 25% watched five or more.
Does a webcast effect the band’s performance?
|NO. Definitely not||28%|
Seemed to be quite a bit of conversation and controversy about this earlier in the summer. It turned out to be much-a-do about nothing as it is nearly impossible to predict much of anything with Phish or to assign reasons as to why things happen.
Was one of the shows you saw this summer your first Phish show?
There’s no question that the number of “YES” responses is skewed lower than what was the actual number of first time attendees this summer as new fans likely wouldn’t come across this survey as easily as existing fans. Yet it is worthwhile wondering if Phish is still resonating on college campuses and bringing in new fans at the rate that they’ve been able to since 2009.
How many shows did you see this summer?
Wow! Nearly 50% of fans saw five or more shows and over 10% attended more than 11! I have to think there is no other band that can draw so many people from coast to coast and North to South.
Phish ticket pricing?
Three-quarters of fans think the price of ducats are either a “good value” or “about right”. Only one in five thinks that ticket prices are too expensive. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that 2013 doesn’t usher in any increases.
Were you shut-out of any shows?
92% of you got tickets to every show that you wished to go to while the other 8% were unable to get tickets.
How did you enjoy the variety of venues played this summer in comparison to previous summers? (Smaller venues, indoors, new locations, non-traditional, etc?)
|Loved the venues this summer||758||50%|
|Liked the venues this summer||694||46%|
|Disliked the venues this summer||30||2%|
With nearly 100% of respondents either “liking” or “loving” the venues that were played this summer, Phish and their booking agent get high marks on their venue booking.
Would you prefer Phish play some more smaller, more intimate venues even if it meant harder to get tickets and potentially being shut out?
|Yes- Most definitely! It’s worth the extra effort.||798||53%|
|No- They should play venues that can accommodate everybody||437||29%|
Interesting result here with such a high percentage reporting that the thrill of a smaller venue outweighs the hassle of ticketing and even potentially watching or listening from home.
Favorite moments from Dick’s?
|Chalkdust -> Emotional Rescue||480||33%|
|Mike’s -> No Quarter||369||26%|
|Down with Disease||40||3%|
So many highlights from this run of three standout shows. Not much more to say about them other than they are all must-listens.
Favorite Show Opener?
|First Tube, Dick’s 1||314||21%|
|Skin It Back, Jones Beach 1||292||19%|
|Antelope, Dick’s 2||273||18%|
|Buried Alive, Worcester||194||13%|
|Alumni -> Letter -> Alumni, Jones Beach 2||71||5%|
|Soul Shakedown Party, Apline 2||69||5%|
|Punch You In The Eye, St Louis||60||4%|
|Mike’s Groove, AC2||36||2%|
|Crowd Control, BG3||33||2%|
|Birdwatcher, Deer Creek||17||1%|
|Suzy, Long Beach||15||1%|
|Crowd Control, Deer Creek 2||11||1%|
|My Soul, Alpine 1||4||0%|
This was one of the closest “races” in our survey as the First Tube from the Fuck Your Face show won with 21% while the Skin It Back bust out from Jones Beach and the rare Run Like An Antelope opener from the second night of Dick’s were right behind at 19% and 18% respectively. Also worth noting is how many Leg I openers made a strong showing including Worcester’s Buried Alive which opened the tour.
If you could pick just one…which would it be? Full blown festival at end of summer or a New Year’s Eve run?
Twice as many fans would prefer to see a full-blown festival vs. the traditional New Year’s Run. If Phish blows it out at this year’s NYE Run, it will be interesting to see how the results change considering the lukewarm reaction to the last holiday run.
Favorite “Birthday” song performance of the tour?
|Lizards’s 300th at Dick’s||594||39%|
|Run Like an Antelope’s 400th at Dick’s||442||29%|
|Chalkdust’s 400th at Atlanta||306||20%|
|Moma Dance’s 100th at Charlotte||96||6%|
A handful of fan favorites hit some pretty big milestones this summer and interestingly, each one seemed to have a “little extra mustard”.
Favorite segue of the summer?
|Dick’s Sand -> Ghost||774||53%|
|BGCA’s Light -> Sally -> Crosseyed and Painless Reprise||569||39%|
|SPAC’s Tube -> Psycho Killer -> Tube||294||20%|
|AC’s Light -> Manteca -> Light||238||16%|
|Worcester’s Sand -> Nellie Kane||192||13%|
|AC’s Birds of a Feather -> Back on the Train||164||11%|
|St. Louis’ Chalkdust -> Frankie Says -> Undermind||146||10%|
|Alpine’s Golden Age -> 2001||134||9%|
|Burgettstown’s Weekapaug -> Seven Below||110||8%|
|Jones Beach’s Sand -> Golden Age||101||7%|
|SPAC’s Disease -> Blister in the Sun||65||4%|
This survey is almost like the 1998 Academy Awards when Titanic put a whooping on the other contenders as the Dick’s Run nearly swept every category including this one. An unbelievable 53%, more than half of respondents, picked the transition from Sand -> Ghost from the tour finale as the best segue of the summer. The amazing Light -> Sally -> Crosseyed Reprise segment from the final night of the San Francisco Run wasn’t too far behind at 39%. Worcester’s interesting and well played Sand -> Nellie Kane rounded out the Top Five.
Thoughts on the official tour posters?
Who is your favorite artist that you would like to see get an official print?
While AJ Masthay led the pack with nearly 1/3 of all votes, clearly there’s plenty of great artists that fans would love to see get a chance at the coveted “official print”.
I have to say, this one surprised me a bit. Nearly 90% of fans either “love them” or don’t care one way or the other. I would have figured the “Hate ‘Em” crowd would have been a little bigger but then again: if many more fans hated them, they probably would have disappeared long ago.
By and large, JB’s appearance at Long Beach was considered either “fun” or went unnoticed by a gross majority of fans. A small percentage (8%) felt that the resulting press coverage and chatter took away from the Phish experience.
Plan on seeing Trey band in the fall?
57% (857 people) plan on seeing Trey this fall. An interesting follow up question for those answering “No” would have been, “Why Not?” Geography, expense, no interest, etc.?
See you at the NYE run?
For those answering YES…see you there! For those answering NO, hope you can enjoy some of the webcasts. In either event, you can be certain Hidden Track will be covering it all for you.
Three Words to describe your thoughts on Phish right now. [click to enlarge]
Wow. We sure got a ton of great comments – about 1/3 of you were gracious enough to leave comments on the tour, Phish in general, ticketing, webcasts, Hidden Track coverage and future expectations and hopes for the band. Space constraints precludes them from being posted here but please follow THIS LINK to read ALL the comments that were left. (Note – in an effort to eliminate blank rows from the Google Doc, the comments were sorted alphabetically)
Did any of the survey results surprise you? What did you find the most interesting? Any other thoughts you wished you had left?
- Previous Phish Surveys: Summer 201o Leg One, Summer 2010 Leg Two, Fall 2010 and Summer 2011 (Leg One)