glowstick war

Glowstick Wars and You

In the spirit of tour starting in just a week (!), I wanted to stoke the excitement with discussion on something that is fundamental to the Phish concert experience – glowstick wars.

glowstick war


In Phish 1.0 and 2.0 glowstick wars were the norm in the songs listed below and others that pushed the jam envelope. Entire sections of venues got into the battle throughout sections of songs. Fans in the pavilion fired back at the lawn. Glowsticks rained down from the rafters at MSG and Nassau and UIC onto fans on the floor. They went on for two, three, five even 10 minutes. Take a look back at some great glowstick wars – and great jams.

You Enjoy Myself (12.31.99)

Harry Hood (12.18.99)

Run Like an Antelope (4.3.98)

Note Trey watching the war at 2:40

Piper (2.16.03)

Ghost (8.3.03)

This has IT.


This is not to say there haven’t been tastes of glowstick wars erupting at shows, but the spirit of the glowstick in Phish 3.0 appears to be more embodied by the individual freakouts in songs like Fluffhead, Suzy, YEM, 2001 and even Loving Cup (10.31.09) rather than prolonged wars. Some wars standout, even during PYITE from Bonnaroo 2009 and part of Sand from MSG ’10.

Suzy (6.19.10)

At in SPAC 2010, fans got into the act in the spirit of the past and present for this war.

2001 (7.2.11)


With tour around the corner, and people stocking up on supplies, who knows what we can expect in glowstick celebrations – or from the band musically in fact. Perhaps an extended glowstick war at the start of a jam in one of the sections presented above will help to extend the jamming as well. Fans longing for the slow build to start Piper or Mike’s Song to really return to excellence may be surprised. And if it doesn’t work, at least we had fun in the process. Let’s give ‘em both a try and see where it takes us. It can’t hurt, right?

Of course, don’t forget Trey’s take:

And Now for a PSA…

Most importantly, no matter how you choose to throw your glowsticks this summer, please remember to not throw them at the band, anywhere near the band or anywhere near the soundboard, the tapers and CK5. That doesn’t do anyone any good. Thanks.

If you have a favorite glowstick war memory from any Phish era, let us know!

Finally. many thanks to everyone across YouTube for posting great videos.