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Phish at Lakeview Amp: Exploring the fandom behind America's No. 1 jam band



SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Before writing any live performance overview, I Attempt To spend one or two days learning the headliner.

Most Often, that helps me take note the band’s performance in the context of their occupation. Tonight, Phish will take the stage on the Lakeview Amphitheater, and learning their history has been anything else however normal.

Phish is not only a band, It Can Be a cultural icon. Fandom runs so deep that attending a convey for the first time seems like entering into a brand new country with its own customs, history and language.

I Have been to simply one Phish express, at CMAC in 2014. I spent the day prior to this looking up live performances, on account that I’d be attending with a man (and longtime “phan”) I hoped to provoke.

The videos left me totally bewildered. Some lyrics seemed, to start with, like they’d been spit out of a random word generator. I attended the concert skeptically and left with as many questions as I had when I arrived. Nonetheless dazed from the attractive light express through Chris Kuroda, I determined I had a fun time, but felt a bit excluded from the intricacies of this tribal gathering.

Everybody’s cheering suddenly in the course of an 11-minute jam — what did I omit? Is the drummer wearing a dress? Who’s Cactus? Wait, there are two units? I Wanted to be in on the jokes. I Wanted to get it.

On my quest, I’ve had stone chilly sober lovers discuss my ear off about the 2011 show at Watkins Glen. I’ve had others merely smile and say, “Right Here, take successful of this.”

Final month, I approached that very same die-laborious fan who brought me to my first exhibit, requesting assist. I wanted to more, to raised understand this world. He shook his head, “There Is a lot to study, so little time.”

He replied with a web site (phish.internet) and an enormous e-book (“The Phish Associate: A Guide to the Band and Their Song, 2nd model”).

“I’ll will let you borrow it in case you take excellent care of it,” he mentioned. It’s 898 pages long.

Studying it felt like falling down a rabbit gap of Phish set lists, songs and traditions. There was once even a word list of terms. That commenced what’s now a four-week education of Studying and looking at previous concerts. For the prior month, my dreams were inundated with possums, meatsticks and Captain Riker.

I studied for this convey, and although I Nonetheless don’t feel ready enough to write down a traditional evaluation, There May Be a lot I’m Hoping to look and listen to. While drummer Jon Fishman frequently wears a muumuu with donuts, he is worn a new frock this summer season with outlines of Bernie Sanders’ head.

Will he wear it tonight? Will I get just right have a look at the Marimba Lumina? Will Fish play a vacuum cleaner? Will they play “Fluffhead?” I wish to hear “Fluffhead.” Will they play “Personality Zero?” Does Matt Mulcahy are aware of it seems like a tune about him?

Oh God. That Is the way it starts, is not it?

For anyone seeing Phish for the primary time tonight, recognize you are stepping right into a tradition a long way larger than you, deeper than most band fanbases. Admittedly, I’m attempting too hard to “get it.” It’s not probably the most natural solution to boost a brand new band obsession, however Right Here we are. Counting down the hours.


Tonight, Lakeview Amp parking rather a lot open at Three p.m. The Main gate opens at 6 p.m. and the exhibit starts at 7:30 p.m. Strollers and small wagons will likely be allowed for households. See the amphitheater’s Phish Tip Sheet for extra information on guidelines and what you can deliver.

Centro will run shuttles from the Downtown Transfer Station situated at Salina Boulevard and East Adams Street, beginning at 5:30 p.m. They run each 20 minutes and cost $Four for the spherical-go back and forth. Free parking at the Oncenter parking space might be on hand for these taking shuttles, have your tickets ready upon arrival.

Katrina Tulloch writes Music and culture tales for Syracuse.com and The Submit-Standard. Contact her: Electronic Mail Twitter Facebook



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