Phix: Celebrating the Music of Phish

After the Giambiriffic Yankee game ended last night, a few of us headed over to the Lion’s Den on Sullivan St. for an evening with popular rock band Phish cover band Phix. Now, unlike the Dark Star Orchestra, a band I’ve praised on here and elsewhere to no end, these guys don’t play a Phish show from start to finish. They actually don’t have a marketable gimmick at all, other than they’re a talented bunch of musicians playing Phish songs.

Headier-than-thou pricks like to bash these guys and say “They’re not Phish.” And you know what? They’re not. They even admit that on their website — “Phix is not Phish. Obviously, it would be impossible for a tribute band to capture the unique, quirky personality of this band that has been so important to so many people, including ourselves.

This band, plain and simple, is a good group of musicians playing unbelievable music in a bar for the price of a couple beers. This band provides a locus for like-minded people to get together and bob their heads uncontrollably and shuffle their feet incessantly and listen to some fresh takes on their favorite live music of all time. Oh, and this band also provides a place to go with a 20-1 dude-to-chick ratio. If you’re a girl looking for a 16-25-year-old guy with good taste in music, check out Phix the next time they hit your town.


I’d like to see them incorporate some sort of gimmick into their act, though. To me and many others, it’s not nearly enough to just get up there and play Phish tunes. And just minutes after I said that to my buddy, and how I thought they needed to play with the setlists more, with weird segues Phish would never perform, they busted out a rockin’ and clever Tube > Punch You in the Eye > Tube.

They followed that up shortly thereafter with a Harry Hood set closer, and they nailed that jam. Usually they do a great job with the composed sections and butcher the jams, but on Hood, the opposite held true. The most authentic part of the show, I think, was the part when Crafty Lefty FakeTrey botched the lyrics to Lizards. That was dead-on-balls accurate (see Keswick ’92, among others).

I left at setbreak, which came at midnight, because I need to be awake and alert at 6 am. But I’m sure they played until the wee hours, putting on a solid three-hour show filled with all your favorites. I just don’t get the hate for these guys. Sure, they may be a little too talented to be just playing someone else’s songs for a living, and that’s frustrating to watch. And they’re not nearly as good as Phish, but then again, nobody is as good as the greatest rock ‘n roll foursome in history.

People need to lower their expectations and head to the bar for some great tunes at a reasonable price. If not, you’re really just cheating yourselves out of a good time.

18 COMMENTS

  1. That make 2 of us Ace, as you know, I don’t get it either. Of course they’re not Phish…duh!!

    I will be lucky enough to catch these guys at The Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale mid-Oct – I’ve streamed a couple of their shows and I must say, the musicianship is there, the sound is decent…

    They also let fans e-mail a phantasy setlist you want to hear at the show you’ll be attending and from what I gather, they actually pick one and play it…It’s on their website -check it out..Cool stuff…

  2. That make 2 of us Ace, as you know, I don’t get it either. Of course they’re not Phish…duh!!

    I will be lucky enough to catch these guys at The Culture Room in Ft. Lauderdale mid-Oct – I’ve streamed a couple of their shows and I must say, the musicianship is there, the sound is decent…

    They also let fans e-mail a phantasy setlist you want to hear at the show you’ll be attending and from what I gather, they actually pick one and play it…It’s on their website -check it out..Cool stuff…

  3. Have fun at that show, Scotty…I mean, what can be better than going to a bar and hearing Phish tunes live?! People love DSO but Phix sucks? Don’t make sense, brotha.

  4. Have fun at that show, Scotty…I mean, what can be better than going to a bar and hearing Phish tunes live?! People love DSO but Phix sucks? Don’t make sense, brotha.

  5. They sound better than me playing Phish tunes on my Squire in my living room, that much I know!!!

  6. They sound better than me playing Phish tunes on my Squire in my living room, that much I know!!!

  7. I think when people say “Phix sucks” they really mean that they’re not all that into tribute/nostalgia acts in general. I don’t care for tribute bands, but I would never express that opinion by saying they suck. I just don’t buy tickets. I’m sure Phix can understand that.

    I opted to see Benevento/Russo Duo at the Bowery last night and I was really impressed. So many bands try to do the live electronic thing (by which I mean looping and tweaking to achieve sonic textures, not necessarily playing house beats), but since there are only two of them they have the space to do it better than anyone else I’ve seen. Their communication is astounding, and they have some great tunes. It gets a bit repetitive sometimes, but when Russo hits a groove, they really take off. The dude/chick ratio seemed an even spread, too ;).

  8. I think when people say “Phix sucks” they really mean that they’re not all that into tribute/nostalgia acts in general. I don’t care for tribute bands, but I would never express that opinion by saying they suck. I just don’t buy tickets. I’m sure Phix can understand that.

    I opted to see Benevento/Russo Duo at the Bowery last night and I was really impressed. So many bands try to do the live electronic thing (by which I mean looping and tweaking to achieve sonic textures, not necessarily playing house beats), but since there are only two of them they have the space to do it better than anyone else I’ve seen. Their communication is astounding, and they have some great tunes. It gets a bit repetitive sometimes, but when Russo hits a groove, they really take off. The dude/chick ratio seemed an even spread, too ;).

  9. I was there too, Zaptor…I’ll try to throw a quick review up today.

    And yeah, I couldn’t agree more about your Phix viewpoints. Don’t hate, just don’t go!

  10. I was there too, Zaptor…I’ll try to throw a quick review up today.

    And yeah, I couldn’t agree more about your Phix viewpoints. Don’t hate, just don’t go!

  11. These guys are great musicians. Speaking from a musician’s point of view..(I am the rythm guitar/vocalist in August West, NH Dead Cover band) these guys are having the time of thier lives…blabber about ‘Phix sucks’ is alot of jelouysy from bedroom musicians and wookies who still resent the phab phour quiting for good.

  12. These guys are great musicians. Speaking from a musician’s point of view..(I am the rythm guitar/vocalist in August West, NH Dead Cover band) these guys are having the time of thier lives…blabber about ‘Phix sucks’ is alot of jelouysy from bedroom musicians and wookies who still resent the phab phour quiting for good.

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