A few weeks back, we celebrated the 10th Anniversary of Phish’s Spring 1998 “Island Tour” with a four-way mega-post and a CD giveaway in conjunction with the folks at Phish Dry Goods. Since then, we have received some thoughtful and entertaining comments and posted an encore write-up to feature some great video footage from those shows.
After careful consideration, we’ve now got our three winners of the the Island Tour CD giveaway…
Our 1st runner-up is Travis, who will receive both of the Long Island shows and a Phish Tiki sticker. Here’s what Travis had to say:
The moment that stood out to me about the whole Island run was the “Carini’s gonna getcha” chant. The thing is, the guy who Carini was going to “get” was about a foot in front of me. He was a little out of it, but smiling like the butcher’s dog the whole show. We talked to him a little bit, just normal show chatter. Then at one point he just declared “ok I’m doing it” and heaved himself up on the stage!
He had no shirt on, just some furry Muppets backpack and some corduroy pants. He ran around in a couple of lazy circles, grinning and waving to the crowd, dodged being tackled on stage, and then leapt back into the crowd, mosh-pit style. We all caught him, and lowered him back to the ground. As the “Carini’s gonna getcha” chant really picked up on stage, we were all clapping him on the back, and I remember leaning in to tell him that “now he was really part of the show.”
And he was. It’s been 10 years and I can still picture him running around on that stage.
Our 2nd runner-up is Larson, who will receive both of the Rhode Island shows and a Phish Tiki sticker. Larson posted two solid comments:
What was so special about a Phish show for me is exemplified in the Providence “Birds.” Going to a Phish show, especially in the days before the major label contract, meant that not only would you see and hear a different show each night, but most of that show would be NEW. New songs, new tempos to old songs, new arrangements. “Birds” was hitting an audience and in a sense the band for the first time. The same way Maze hit me the first time I heard it, and on and on and on. You can hear the arrangement is quite diffrent than what ends up on the record. Can you imagine any other band doing this on much of its set on a NIGHTLY basis?! That’s why I loved them, and I suspect why many loved them, as well.
Reading the above comments, including my own, reminded me of a story. There was a sculptor who, upon completion of a piece, was unsatisfied with the result. He smashed the sculpture to pieces, being sure to crush the part that bore his signature to dust. He didn’t want his audience to ever know this piece was his creation. Phish, to their immense credit, did exactly the opposite. They would not only share their creations as they were being created, but often times, I believe, take into account the reaction of their audience when determining the finished piece. They were not only comfortable enough to allow this vulnerability, I think they welcomed it. In return, we as an audience were let into their world, their artistic process a little. In an early newsletter mailed to fans, the band asked for suggestions- “Are we playing Lizards too fast?”, etc… and this open door to its audience, this appreciation of we had to say about our favorite band made an impact on them, just as they did on us. The Island Tour is further evidence that this wonderful work-in-progress known as Phish was in full operation, and we as audience were just as priviledged then as we were before and after to be a part of it.
And our Grand Prize goes to Kevin R Hollo, who will receive all four shows of Island Tour and — just for the hell of it — a Phish Tiki Sticker. Here’s what Kev wrote:
it’s funny, when i was younger, and reading up on this band i loved so darn much, these super dorky white guys used to talk about playing along with this old funk band called the meters. they would say, “we could never play as slow as those guys, we always speed up.”
that was in the early 90s, and little did any of us know that something would happen, something to do with communication, ease, comfort, skill, all that shit combined with a healthy dose of weird vermont backcountry goofdick to give us some of the funkyest playing this side of africa.
when i listen to things like the funk jam, and others (i was privvy to a few in my day, and am partial to the one out of isabella from detroit in the fall of 97) like it, i’m struck by how slow everything is, how far back all four band members are sitting in the pocket. like wearing the same pants. the same weird fucking rolled up pants.
If you guys can shoot us an email with your mailing addresses, we’ll get those discs shipped off to you.
We’d like to say a big ole “THANK YOU” to our friends at Phish Dry Goods for helping out with the goods, and we also want to thank all of you Phish Friday commenters and readers out there. This was fun, maybe we’ll do it again someday. Cheers!