Aloha Friday Motivation | A "Good" Phishing Email | POST:071423

Happy Aloha Friday!

Summer is upon us and with it comes those summer staples; unavoidable things like record heat, mosquitoes, humidity, lightning storms, those annoyances that wreak havoc on us. But there is the trade-off…BBQs, Pool Days, Beach Days, that enormous inflatable narwhal sprinkler (yes I have one and a unicorn, taboot), and Summer Concerts. This week marked the official start to Phish’s summer tour, which kicked off on the 11th in Huntsville Alabama.

For many, the word phish conjures images of deviant social engineers bombarding the inboxes of unsuspecting recipients with unassuming emails hoping to trick them into clicking malicious links and stealing their precious sensitive data...or worse, launching ransomware across an organizational network in search of a quick pay-day. But for others, Phish is a shining example of the American Dream, a band that has somehow defied convention, for over 4 decades, of what it means to be in the music industry.  Leaning almost exclusively on their live concerts as a vehicle for them to grow as group, in the early days, Phish allowed tapers to patch into the soundboard to record their shows and trade tapes amongst other phans and beyond. This word of mouth spread across college campuses and beyond and allowed the band to fly under the radar on their way to become one of the top grossing touring acts of all time.

The key to their success, in my eyes, the symbiotic relationship between the band and the audience. Phish defied all norms of the music industry, formulating a unique set list every show, allowing for the audience to enjoy multiple nights or even an entire tour and never see the same act twice. In 1995 the band participated in Band v. Audience Chess games played out one move per show over the course of the tour. Throughout the 90’s Phish would randomly play a “Big Ball Jam” where four enormous beach balls would be cast into the audience, one representing each member, and the band would play based on the movements of the ball. Phish has a secret language within their music that Trey explained to the audience in 1992. From NYEs Gags to their immersive festivals to their sense of humor and not taking themselves to seriously…the band has amassed a following as well as picked up a few naysaying stragglers as sometime phans along the way. To put it in another perspective, Metallica’s James Hetfield, when he heard about Phish’s Baker’s Dozen run at MSG (13 shows, 237 distinct songs without a repeat) said, “that would be a nightmare [for us] wouldn’t it?”

If you are not a believer, and believe youme, there are plenty of haters…let’s go back to the data, cause the data don’t lie. Their stats are impressive (I suggest clicking that link…tehehe) but let me rail some off here:

  • Concerts played: 1,798
  • Unique Songs Played: 959
  • Repeated Setlists: None Zero Zilch
  • Longest Set played: Big Cypress 7.5 hours from midnight NYE to sunup New Year’s Day 2000
  • Longest Jam from a Song:  Runaway Jim – 59 Minutes

Lastly, a huge thank you to that random group of 20 somethings who, in 1993, complimented a, then, 12-year old me on my Grateful Dead shirt at that New Haven Raven’s minor league baseball Game and then subsequently told me to check out a band called Phish!  

And here is a curated list of tracks to get you in that summer mood, shake off the heat, and boogie on! Enjoy!

Phish | Ghost | MSG NYE 2010 (at about 8 minutes on this is some of the best music I have ever seen them play live) 

Phish | Crosseyed and Painless (Talking Heads Cover) | MSG 1.11.11

Phish | Reba | Randall's Island NY 7-13-14

Phish | Harpua with Second City Troop | Chicago IL 7-21-13 (if you want to see Phish and Comedy intersect like a bolt of lightning, this is it)

Phish | Tweezer | Auburn Hills 11-22-97  

Phish | Tube | MSG 12-29-97

Phish | Moma Dance -> Free | Brooklyn NY 6-17-04


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