ONE WEEK LEFT!!! What I Want Phish to do This Year

With most of us having our driving/riding/traveling/lodging plans taken care of by now, we can sit back and really think what we want to see happen next week and on through the rest of summer.  2009 Phish, as said over and over since, provided the back bone to go into 2010–some people complained about the lack of jams/improv (including me)–we must remember that Phish knows that they didn’t jam like they used to.  They know that they played more conservatively than any of us.  They played the way they did for a reason–I’m not worried at all about Phish in the jam department–I do have some wishes, though.  This is what I want to see Phish do this summer.

Second Set Openers: Phish need to change up what they open their second sets with this year.  Last year, Phish opened the second set with Rock ‘n Roll six times, Down With Disease five times and Drowned three times.  Phish needs to take songs like Wolfman’s Brother and Bathtub Gin out of the first set  slots and throw them into the second set.  The crowd would go nuts for a 2nd set Wolfman’s Brother opener–our memories would immediately look back to some of the monsters from the late 90’s.  The pattern shows from last year that they like to do a lot of their jamming in the first song of the second set, if they played Wolfman’s or Gin in this slot, it would give them a worthy excuse to expand the song past the 10-12 minute mark that seemed par of the course for those songs last year.  Peaches would be a great second set opener, AC/DC Bag, Gumbo–all sorts of options.

Staples Back in Rotation:  Us fans really miss some oldies but goodies from Phish.  The first piece that comes to mind is The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony.  Played only once last year and only 3 times in Phish’s post hiatus career, Phish has seemed to drop this song for the most part.  Oh Kee Pa is such a great lead up to songs like Suzy Greenburg and AC/DC Bag–just the sound of it puts excitement through the crowd.  I think one of the most surprising things they did was when they did Oh Kee Pa>You Enjoy Myself during 1998’s island tour.  No one expected Oh Ke Pa to lead into something like that.  Bring back that old fun, Phish!  

Fan Participation: Phish used to love doing fan participation activities, whether it were the Big Ball Jams of the early 90’s, the chess matches of 1995 or Phish’s secret language.  I think Phish should definitly bring back the secret language–if not that, something new for sure.  

The New and the Old:  Continue expanding the boundaries of the new jams songs–Light, Backwards Down the Number Line, hopefully Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan too.  At the same time bring back the jams that have gone away–Hally’s Comet, Wolfman’s Brother, 2001, Bathtub Gin, etc.  Or, even reinvent an old Phish song into an unusual jam song like they did with Chalk Dust Torture in 2003.  When they came out at Hampton in 2003, I remember being blown away with that newfound way of playing the song.  Get Back on the Train also found itself treading the waters of eerie improvisation on 2/28/03 and in Miami in 2009–they could really blow this song up if they wanted to.

More Bustouts: Life on Mars? would be great.  Demand?  There are tons of songs that they could still bust out that would get the crowd crazy.  I have no doubt they will do this, though–last year they didn’t seem to have a problem busting out Destiny Unbound, Curtis Lowe, Tela, Colonial Forbins>Famous Mockingbird, Soul Shakedown Party, Paul & Silas, Cool it Down–you all know what I’m talking about

I feel like I am more excited than ever to see Phish than I was even last year.  Probably because I know this year is going to bring the heat.  Last year I wasn’t sure what to expect.  One week from right now I will be in the sprawling hot asphalt parking lot of Toyota Park and I can’t imagine anything else making me happier.