If you’re a jam band fan, today, July 31st, 2018, marks the five year anniversary of one of the most iconic Phish moments in the modern era: The Tahoe Tweezer. On July 31st, 2013 – the 30th year of Phish, if you will – the boys broke into a 36-minute jamming tour de force. While marathon improvisational opuses like this were a hallmark of the band in the ’90s (1.0, if you will), the Tahoe Tweezer reaffirmed everything great about Phish as a musical organism: Breakaway jams. Moments of sweeping melodic ecstasy. Wild rhythms. 36 minutes of sonic chemistry, lapped up happily by a Teva-clad audience surrendering to the flow.
I had the Tahoe Tweezer heavily on my mind today, throwing it on repeat over and over again. At one point, I had it on two speakers in two different rooms in my house, so I could listen to it with a bit of an echo-y delay effect. Five years later, as a single composition, it represents everything great about the spirit of Phish and the thrill of chasing their legendary jams around the country. I’ve spent the last two weeks chasing Phish shows up and down the West Coast, catching eight of the nine shows in 12 days, from Tahoe to The Gorge to SF to my home base in LA. It’s been quite a sensory adventure, filled with amazing friends and family both old and new. If you ever get a chance to see your favorite band in the Harvey’s Amphitheater in Stateline, Nevada — really just the back of a casino parking lot on the South shore of Lake Tahoe, surrounded by Jeffrey and Ponderosa pines – do it.
But the big news in the Phish world today isn’t the anniversary of a moment’s end that still feels winds, it’s the announcement of a new Phish-only Sirius XM channel. After YEARS of popular demand, starting August 3rd, Phish will “take over” Sirius XM’s JamOn channel (channel 29) to broadcast two-and-a-half weeks of Phish, leading up to the band’s 11th festival – Curveball in Watkins Glen. FINALLY… 24/7 PHISH IN THE CAR.
SiriusXM had previously put out a call for questions from listeners for guitarist Trey Anastasio. Phish Radio launches at 12 p.m. ET this Friday with “Ask Trey” featuring Anastasio’s in-depth responses to some of those questions. Then, on Friday night, Phish Radio will air a live broadcast of the foursome’s performance at the Verizon Amphitheatre in Alpharetta, Georgia. Look for Phish Radio to air music from throughout the band’s career including live cuts, studio tracks, unreleased demos, songs from the group’s influences and exclusive commentary from members of the quartet.
“We’re excited to team up with SiriusXM to give Phish fans what they’ve been asking for: more Phish!” said Phish drummer Jon Fishman. “We are very excited to join forces with Phish, who have cultivated one of the most dedicated and passionate fan bases in music history,” said Steve Blatter, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Music Programming for SiriusXM. “This limited-run channel will showcase not only the band’s extensive library of music, but also many of their most remarkable and iconic live performances.”
Things appear to get interesting in the Ask Trey segment. Towards the end of the teaser, Ari Finkerton asks Trey a divisive question amongst the Phish fan base. “To woo or not to woo?” It’s particularly apropos considering the heavy prominence of fan WOOING in the Tahoe Tweezer five years ago. Since then, it’s drawn some ire from the *very serious* members of the Phish fan base.
As Phish tour heads east, woo away, fellow fans. And don’t let anyone ever try to stop you. It’s your show too.