3 Years of 3.0

Today marks the three year anniversary of Phish’s triumphant 3/06/09 Hampton, VA reunion show. The opening notes of Fluffhead rang out, shocking the arena and making an affirming statement to the phan base of “We’re back”. For those in attendance including yours truly, this is a musical moment and event that has few, if any, parallels. That evening, we all felt the feeling we’d forgot, and remembered the joy and magic that is the live Phish experience.

                              Hampton Fluffhead jam

Over the past three years, Phish has grown and matured, albeit with some bumps in the road. 2009 saw a regaining of musical chops and the initial integration of Joy material into the repetoire. In 2010, the band had settled in and began to loosen up by extending some jams, adding new covers and originals, and creating some memorable gimmick shows like Guyutica and MPP II’s Saw It Again fest. While 2011 saw repetitive song selection and lack of new material, there were musical highs last year that were not nearly matched in 09′ or 10′. Superball, UIC, and Dick’s were top-notch Phish  – shows that had phans in resounding agreement that ‘They’re back’. Unfortunately, this 3 year story ends with a lackluster MSG 2011 run that faltered likely due to lack of practice and no warmup shows. 

Dick’s Roggae, Ghost->Guy Forget masterpeice

What’s in store for 2012? It’s hard to say, but I think the fanbase is demanding a couple of things: new material, practice, and extended jams. This is the year that the Phish 3.0 story can take off and continue to thrive, or could begin to stagnate. Here’s to hoping it’s a magical year full of the highest highs and fewer lows. Regardless, we can all rejoice that, despite your opinion on 3.0, the band that got away is back, and we can all feel good about that.


  1. So if The NYE run was affected by ‘lack of practice” and “no warm up shows” then why was the first night easily the consensus pick as the best show of the run? Afraid the rushed quality and lack of jams on NYE was due at least as much to the changed musical sensibility of Trey since the return of 3.0, not simply due to lack of practice.

    • ststeven123 Said:

      I think night 1 was carried by the energy and adrenaline of being back, which led to standout jams. I wouldn’t say night 1 was really any more flub-free than other nights, it just had some top notch exploration. That said, I hear what you’re saying and do agree that Trey’s setlist choices and aversion to jamming the other few nights could definitely be partially atribbuted to some changes in his style.

  2. fred153 Said:

    “but I think the fanbase is demanding a couple of things: new material, practice, and extended jams.”

    This is the problem with the nOOb phish fan of today; The self absorbed product of the Internet era who thinks he — and he alone — is fully within his rights to DEMAND any fucking thing of a band as deep and entrenched as Phish is. Can’t you just let a complex band of middle age men, with priorities and preferences so very different from most of its nOOb fanbase, be what they are going to be in the here and now of their life today? Stop this naive and shortsighted fantasy that what any particular person with a website and an opinion matters one iota to those to whom you simply cannot possibly begin to relate. Enough. Live and let live man. You are not as important as you seem to think you are. Its all those fucking last place ribbons you were given as children. Please go away.

    • ststeven123 Said:

      Saying someone is demanding something is not the same as saying they have a right to demand it. We all know Phish will do what they want, but that’s not to say we can’t have hopes and expectations for the year. You seem pretty angry about nothing… Thanks for reading.

  3. fred153 Said:

    In other words, we DONT need another Mr Miner…

  4. Danny Said:

    so…I will attend my 100th Phish show sometime in 2012 most certainly… I do not post, I read some posts form time to time and usually skip over the hate blogs. I enjoy a compelling argument about phish and appreciate the passion even when I disagree with the opinion.
    I have listened extensively to the Phish catalogue. My first show was Tucson 1992…which would be cool accept I missed so many fantastic shows while I was in college in Boulder that I can hardly brag about accidentally seeing the band for the first time in 1992.
    I listen to so much Phish it is embarrassing. My children tease me. It’s sad.

    So here is my point, I have listened to every era extensively. Each are remarkable. Even the horrendous demise had its moments in 04. Nothing would have been cooler and more amazing than watching them before I saw them….yes noobs in 92’ I was still late! However. Phish 3.0 is the golden age of Phish . It is by far the most consitent in terms of technical mastery…they seldom botch anything anymore and they can take almost any song in their catalogue on crazy rides
    ( listen to Roggae 8.5.11 from the Gorge comes to mind as an example)…I would love if the boys only played two 90-minute songs for a first and second set every night with a nice half hour encore. I love it when they go long experiment and blow my mind…they have done that in 3.0….way more than I thought a sober Phish band ever would or could HOWEVER
    that isn’t a reality we will have to settle for an unreal band that has NEVER played the same show twice and can still amaze.

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