What an amazing summer for Phish. Building on the momentum gained in 2009, the band came out in force for what will truly be a memorable summer for years to come. Interestingly, Leg 1 and Leg 2 were like distant cousins rather than soul brothers. They could not have been more different and we thought it would be interesting to re-survey the masses to get their opinions on the second leg, the overall tour and some other assorted questions. Over 600 responses were received. This time, though, all questions were optional, so in some cases the responses do not always add up to the total amount of survey responses. Without further ado, here are the results:
Best Venue, Leg Two
In the vote that was clearly in the bank before any responses were received, Telluride takes the cake with over 40% of the vote. The Greek and Alpine of course garnered quite a few votes as well. Perhaps the only surprising aspect of the survey was that over 40 people felt that Jones Beach was the best venue and that it was only a handful of votes away from Deer Creek.
Best Lot Scene
Telluride nearly came up with another victory in this category but fell a few votes short of Deer Creek. The other three venues were each around 10% of the vote.
READ ON for more results from our Phish Summer Tour Survey…
Wow! Runaway victory for Mike with more than 50% of the vote. Hard to remember a single show where Mike was not dropping some deep grooves and helping to set the tone for the set. Sadly, often times when it seemed like Mike was continuing to ramp up and keep a song going, it was cut short by Trey. That being said, certainly plenty of people felt like Trey was the MVP. Fish deservedly got quite a few votes as well. If there had been another category for most improved, it’s hard to believe Kuroda would not have won that one. And I imagine that most of the votes that he did get, were based on the fact that his repertoire and bag-of-tricks continues to expand. Space ships indeed.
Sounds from Trey’s ‘Ocelot’ Guitar
Most lopsided responses of all the questions. Thanks Paul! Trey’s new guitar sounds sweet according to three-quarters of the fans. A scant few miss the old axe (11), and about 100 don’t hear any difference. Twenty-two were not aware that Trey was using a new guitar while 38 people didn’t feel that ‘better’, ‘worse’, ‘same’, ‘no difference’, or ‘didn’t know’ could possibly adequately answer how they feel about the subject.
What would really be interesting here is some further testing as it is hard to know if the new guitar is acting as a placebo effect. Likewise, how Trey is playing it also changes the tone, sound and listener experience as well. Some audio players, such as Foobar, have ABX testing capabilities. It would be interesting to compare a handful of riffs and see if truly the new guitar can be identified blindly. (Look out for this in a coming Hidden Track article!)
Must Read Tour Blog
The omnipresent and singularly focused on Phish blog, Mr. Miner’s Phish Thoughts, is the go-to blog for diving into a tour for 30% of respondents followed not too far behind by YEMBlog. The hilarity of Coventry Music, the insights from Dog Gone Blog, and the postings of Oh Kee Pah Blog also earned each of those terrific blog sites quite a few votes as well. 20% of the respondents could not quite put their finger on just one and felt like ‘feeding the obsession’ required a thorough read from all of the posted sites.
Other blogs with votes: Concert Confessions (many votes; author’s note: Had never read or heard about this one, and I have to say, it has some really great content!), tmwsiy’s twitter feed (probably a joke, but thanks, that was funny!), I Don’t Read Any Blogs (ten votes or so), Jamtopia, Hidden Track (Many votes…LOL, of course!), “I make up my own mind on how shows are” or “I don’t need blogs to tell me what to think” (yeah, no shit sherlock), This Week on Lot, Where the Fuck is PhanArt Here?, Phorg Board (no idea what that is), Phish Posters
Overall Grade for Summer
75% of fans thought Summer Tour was well above average and grading it in the A-/B+ category or better. Statistically meaningless responses for anything below a B. One bitter soul, thought the tour deserved an F.
After this summer tour, I expect _______________ in the Fall.
Has 2009 and the 2010 Summer Tour laid the groundwork for deeper exploration, dark jams and more improvisation in the Fall? 273 people think all the pieces are now in place for more jamming and improvisation out of the band. Time will tell, but if we get a little mix of all the responses: improv, more new covers and originals and continued evolution of Trey’s sound, it should be quite a great Fall for the fans.
Best Official Tour Poster, Leg 2
No clear favorite here and no clear loser either. As with most art, tastes vary widely and one man’s trash is surely another man’s treasure. Although Pollock did squeak out a narrow overall victory, his ‘Urn’ was the least well received of all the official posters.
Thoughts on Merit Badges
Well tons of people thought they were cool but were never able to buy them. I wonder why?…Not!!!!. Roughly an equal amount of fans though could have cared less if the merch booths were stocked with patches or not and thought they were “not cool at all”. Over 100 people still have no clue what we are talking about while the smallest group of respondents not only thought they were cool but were actually able to get their hands on them.
New Original Most Disappointingly Omitted from Leg Two
They say absence makes the heart grow fonder. Liquid Time is clearly the tune that fans are itching to hear but all the other choices each earned quite a few votes as well. Even Dr. Gabel, which received very little love after its debut, got close to 100 votes. It will be interesting to see if we are finally able to hear Liquid Time or Burn that Bridge in anything other than a soundcheck this coming fall.
Most Excited About This Fall Show
In another category of ’no surprise here’, Atlantic City and Halloween are clearly on the radar screens of many fans. The remaining votes were sprinkled amongst what are likely hometown shows, and coming in second in the poll: Phish Hates the West Coast.
Favorite Leg Two Show
Alpine 1 with the hands-down victory for favorite Leg 2 show. Likely the band could have simply played Down with Disease -> What’s the Use? > Scent of a Mule, Mike’s Song > Dirt > Sneakin’ Sally through the Alley > Weekapaug Groove as the entire show and it still would have received many votes. It was that good!
As was the case during Leg 1, when the presumptive pre-tour favorites garnered close to 0% of the vote, there were some similar results this time around. Greek 1 (0%, 3 votes), Telluride 1 (2%, 11 votes) and Telluride 2 (4%, 27 votes) were the shows that resonated with the fewest amount of fans. Goes to show, and Phish has proved it time and time again: you never know when to expect a killer show and there are always surprises!
Bustout that was Most Exciting Leg 2
Unlike Leg 1 when there were close to six million candidates, Leg 2 brought a scant few choices. Mighty Quinn pleased the most, with Walls of the Cave not too far behind.
Most Surprising Aspect of Leg 2
Jones Beach jumper and Lack of Covers surprised the most fans. Yet, all the other choices shocked the brain of many the fan as well.
Where do You Get Your Audio From?
In perhaps a potentially controversial category, it is good to see that LivePhish is clearly the avenue that most of the respondents get their audio from legally. Yet at the same time, there are lots of other alternatives, legal and not, that fans take advantage of.
Although Phish’s recently updated Audio policy, prohibits streaming, it is tough to imagine that it can easily or effectively be enforced. It is also hard to imagine that it was only a year ago that people were singing the praises of PhishTube (Headlamp Derek FTW!) and other primitive streaming efforts that involved not much more than a cell phone and a built-in shitty microphone. Contrast that to the efforts of both Kansasori and Taper420 and it is like comparing a 1950′s tube television with a 72″ Plasma: Night and Day! Both the aforementioned streaming teams earned the thanks and respect of many fans over the summer.
Best Unofficial Video
Thankfully, Phish has been providing a slew of awesome videos from recent shows. It even looks like they are taking suggestions from the Twitterati. But for those occasions when you can’t find what you are looking for from Phish.com, HarpuaFSD, MKdevo and Silverchair97 have some truly incredible videos. Check them out if you haven’t!
Would You Pay for a Stream?
Did Phish update the audio policy specifically calling out steaming in an effort to curtail that practice in advance of their own official effort? We can hope! Clearly, most fans would pay for a stream and many more if the quality was high. Only about 10% of the respondents would never pay or use it as an alternative to venturing out to see the live show. So what’s the hang-up Phish? You have the market in the palm of your hand ready to give the masses what they want!
My One Wish
In what was supposed to be a tongue-in-cheek answer to get a few votes, “Option for Not Lawn” stuck a raw nerve with fans. West Coast shows, variety, and official streams rounded out the wish list.
Cover to Return in the Fall
Instant Karma and Killing in the Name are the most desired covers to re-visit set-lists in the Fall. The rest of the covers were relatively equally spread. (Note: I am the Walrus was inadvertently omitted from the poll until someone pointed it out…it was added but a little late, perhaps that may have received a few more votes if it was there the entire time)
Most Humorous Moment
Try to explain the Tweezer Reprise thing to a non-fan. I did several times and failed to convey the humor/awesomeness as it is just tough to describe. We got it though and lapped it up like a thirsty dog at the water bowl.
Gotta admit: We have a pretty cool band we enjoy. Who else does what they do? The killer covers, the epic shows, the awesome venues, SBDs an hour after the show, obliging request signs, etc. etc. But most fans just want to thank the band for an overall kick ass summer tour. Well deserved!
Overall Best Show of Summer
Top Two Shows: One from Leg 1 and One from Leg 2. Both incredible shows and ones that will be listened to for years to come.
All I Want for Christmas…
Hell, with the way we have been treated to some truly magical breakouts, it may not be impossible to think we’ll hear Prep School Hippie or Lushington some time in the near future.
Which Leg would you listen to if you could only choose one?
Leg 2 takes the cake, though many chose Leg 1. Doesn’t seem like either is a bad answer on this question as there were incredible moments and overall shows from both halves of the summer.
Best Jam Leg 2
Winner: Disease > What’s the Use (Alpine) (Huge winner) ph2010-08-14_mk4v_s2t03
Other High Vote Getters: Cites (Greek), Light (Greek), Simple (Greek), Mike’s (JB), Number Line (JB)
Most Memorable Moment of Summer
Jumper, Telluride, general awesomeness, ‘they’re back!’, magic again seem to be common themes.
Here’s all the responses: LINK
Kevin, release this: