15 Years of Phish by the Numbers

My First Stub (not really, but it could have been)

12/28/11 will mark the 15th anniversary of my first Phish show on 12/28/96. I can talk a lot about what it has meant to me to see Phish, some of the magical (and not-so magical) moments I’ve had at shows, but I thought it would be interesting to share with you what it really looks like to have seen so many shows over all these years (thanks to ZZXYZ for his wonderful Phish Stats page).

Here is a rundown of the 86 Phish shows I have seen since my first on 12/28/96:

I have seen Phish play 300 unique songs (37% of all songs Phish has played at least once).

I’ve seen Phish play 1743 songs in total.

My top 10 seen are:

  1. -Down With Disease – 28 (32%)
  2. -Chalk Dust Torture – 26 (30%)
  3. -Character Zero – 26 (30%)
  4. -YEM – 25 (29%)
  5. -Possum – 24 (27%)
  6. -David Bowie – 23 (26%)
  7. -Mike’s Song – 23% (26)
  8. -Weekapaug Groove – 23 (26%)
  9. -Bouncing Around the Room – 22 (25%)
  10. -Run Like an Antelope – 22 (25%)


The year I saw the most shows was 1999 (29), while the year I saw the least (since my first) was 2004 with 0 (good for me!). I also crushed it in 2009 with 15.

I’ve seen 4 shows on 12/31, but only 1 show on the anniversary of my first show 12/28 and 0 shows on 12/29 (hoping to change that this year).

Phish 1997

My top 3 states are New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania and my top 3 cities are New York, Camden, and Philadelphia, but my top 3 venues are Camden, MSG, and Deer Creek (if you add the shows I’ve seen at the Spectrum to the shows I’ve seen at the Wachovia Center it would equal the amount I’ve seen at MSG).

I have an almost even distribution between pre-hiatus (51%) and post-hiatus shows (49%). However, if you break it into the 1.0, 2.0, 3.0 eras it comes to 51% 1.0, 16% 2.0, and 33% 3.0.

I have been more likely to see a PYITE (9 times) to open a show than a Chalk Dust (8 times).

Down with Disease has been played to open a second set twice as many times (12) as the next song, Birds of a Feather (6) and Mike’s Song (6). YEM has also been nearly twice as likely to close a set (13) than Character Zero (7).

Aside from seeing Tweezer Reprise in the encore slot (18), I have a very even distribution of songs on the encore slot: Loving Cup (6), Character Zero (5), Good Times Bad Times (5), Hood (4), ADITL (4), Bouncin’ (4), Contact (4), First Tube (4), and Suzy (4).

I have seen a 3 set show 10 times, and each time I have been to a 3 set show a different song has opened the set and closed the set.

Great Went Poster

The most common song I have never seen is the Landlady (which really doesn’t count). If you start the tally from my first year, Sweet Adeline comes out on top, followed by Peaches and Life on Mars? (Peaches is the one I really want to see. Life on Mars? I could do without). I’ve also never seen a Sanity. Interestingly enough, Golden Age makes my top 10, but it only has a 1/3 chance of not being seen in 86 shows.

I’ve seen every performance of My Left Toe (5), and since my first year I have seen 2/3 Icculus’ that have been played, 2/3 Mantecas, 2/4 Alumni Blues’, 3/5 Round Rooms, and 6/11 20 Years Later.

I saw Johnny B. Goode at my first show, but have not seen it since (it hasn’t been played since) for a gap of 85 shows. Its been 76 shows since my last Tela

That, my friends, is 15 years of Phish broken down by the numbers. But for a more personal touch, here is my list of the Top 5 shows I’ve seen (in no particular order):

    • -The Great Went
    • -4/3/98
    • -Big Cypress
    • -7/25/99
    • -2/28/03


May the next 15 years of Phish be as fantastic as the first 15 have been.