What Phish Sounds Like to People That Don’t Like Phish

I had to pause this video I was laughing so hard.

(via @YEMblog)

This Video Went Viral

Even Bassnectar tweeted about it once.

Buzzfeed wrote about it.

“Do people still like Phish? I’m too old to really know, unfortunately. But this is exactly what they actually sound like.” [Buzzfeed]

It blew up on Reddit and even got linked to on Laughing Squid. Crazy.


  1. how many other bands regularly have their own festivals with paying audiences to the order of 10,000? how many other bands completely pack stadium after stadium, performing completely different setlists at every show? how many other bands can pull off the extremely complicated theory and improvisation involved in phish tunes, meanwhile maintaining a lighthearted attitude and brilliant sense of humor? i could keep going but i’ll stop there.

    everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but phish head or not, these guys can run circles around every band mentioned in the comment section, and they’ve taken a style that doesn’t sell and that’s not endorsed by the dipsh*t devil-c*ck-sucking music industry and SOLD THE LIVING HELL OUT OF IT. sooo… if you’re a professional music critic, or you can sustain the same kind of status and success, criticize away. otherwise your opinion is just another disposable comment in the comments section. sad but true!

    by the way, i too took music theory in college as a music major. and my professors all acknowledged the superb musicianship of this band. true story bro

    • “a style that doesnt sell”?? Guess you never heard of The Grateful Dead? Yeah phish pretty much jumped on that wagon after Jerry Garcia died and have been riding the money train of the Deadheads children ever since.

  2. All the music you like sucks. My music is the best… If you haven’t figured out why, I’ll help you… Intelligence????!!!ONE???!!!

  3. This is truly funny but most Phish fans & electronic fans ride on the same bus. And that’s because all they ever talk about is Phish or EDM, both of which I find to be very annoying. Sigh!!! There’s a world of music out there people. Don’t limit yourself to one band or genre. It’s OK to poke fun, but really only when you are well versed. I’ve drifted from my very Phishy friends because that’s all they listen to or all they go to see. Conversation gets boring. Sad…

  4. You either get it or you don’t, but don’t go judging until you’ve been to a show. I know many people (myself included) who have changed their minds about Phish because of their first show… Now they’re die hard fans. And if you think that they don’t play a variety of songs, think again. They do have favorites, but I have been to 19 shows so far and every single one has been vastly different, even in a run of three days of shows. I enjoy other music, and I can understand how people don’t like Phish. But this band brings a lot of people together and the more you hate on it, the more powerful we feel.

    Happy trolling, kids.

    • funny I did change my mind about phish after I saw them. thought they were so-so before I saw them and completely disliked them after. not sure if it was the band, the fans, the stupid trampolines, or a combo of all of it. just seemed like a loud, obnoxious, plastic version trying to be a Dead show.

  5. You know, when someone doesn’t like the same things I like, I generally just shrug it off. I would think that fans of a seemingly tolerant and down-to-earth band like Phish would be more accepting of other people’s preferences, but I stand corrected after perusing these comments. Taste in music (or any other form of art for that matter) has absolutely no correlation to intelligence. None. Smart people can easily get a kick out of some good old mindless entertainment, and less-than-smart people can also appreciate even the most complex and thought-provoking songs/movies/paintings etc, even if they may not fully appreciate all the stuff going on behind the scenes and simply take it at face value. If you’re gonna go through life thinking everyone who likes what you like is an intelligent and worthwhile person, you’re in for some surprises. Have you never met someone at a show that you didn’t like, even though they have the same taste in music as you? If so, you haven’t been to enough shows. If someone can’t do simple arithmetic, they might be kinda dumb. If someone doesn’t like Phish, then they just don’t like Phish. If you can’t just live with that and let them have their own opinion, you’re only making yourself look like an elitist prick, which is exceptionally ironic given the fact that Phish seem about as far from elitists as musicians get. I always thought they were about happiness and harmony, but those concepts appear to be lost on many people who claim to be devoted fans of theirs. Just chill and let people like what they like. It’s what Phish would want. Or are YOU the one who really “doesn’t get it”?
    And to everybody trying to one-up each other with their extensive knowledge of music theory, I have two words for you: Jimi Hendrix. Entirely self-taught, no knowledge of music theory whatsoever, considered one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Put that in your pipe and smoke it. =P

  6. in your opinion you’re right, so I won’t argue. is/was this an actual performance??? if so, quirky and sort of funny, but not good at all (in my opinion).they are lucky to have become so successful…

  7. First of all, this video is a fake… OBVIOUSLY.

    Many of you are posting wrong music theory…

    There is a fifth chord in EVERY key. Its root is the fifth note in the key, then stacked in thirds.

    The v (five) chord of a minor key is a minor chord. If you use a major V chord in a minor key then you’re using a harmonic, melodic, or a foreign/alternate version of minor. But the natural/relative minor has the same flats/sharps as its relative major key… therefore the five chord of the natural minor key is the same the third chord of the relative major key… which is a minor chord.

    A chord with only root and fifth notes is commonly known as a power chord or a power 5 chord… having nothing to do with being a fifth chord in a key because every chord in any key can be a power 5 chord (even a diminished chord with a flat fifth)

    Phish is obviously loved by millions because they have mad talent… like it or not, they can destroy the talents of almost every single major pop recording artist on their instruments… literally taking them to school (they actually teach music professors and have degrees in this s***). But a lot of their music is very wack (technical term) and even I, as a fan of their talents and overall vibe, do not like even half of it. But I absolutely love some of it… the same way that you only love some (not all) of most bands. Phish is skilled as f***. That is a fact.

    I have an honors degree in music theory from Berklee College of Music… you can trust my theory.

    It’s hilarious that people get pissed off and chime in with all their uneducated wisdom but they don’t know the difference between “your” and “you’re” and how to spell “intelligence”. Calm down, people, it’s just music.

      • I’m just calling out a bunch of people who are being jerks while they are using incorrect information. And I specifically said that my opinion does not matter. I only added my music degree comment so that my notes on music theory can be trusted over all these other incorrect postings. None of it was ego based.
        But yours was.

  8. Normally I would refer to something bad, but comparable to something some what good as “The Poor Man’s ….” Phish is the “Staving Homeless Vagrant’s” Dave Matthews Band… same talent as a garage band that got to play at the state fair because 3 other bands got food poisoning… there is a reason why drug abuse is so prevalent at Phish shows…

  9. Music is an art of expression, like a conversation of sorts. Unfortunately, this conversation has degraded into a battle of wills and EGO. I think these guys are great players and i respect that. However, the song structure and vocals just don’t speak to me, personally but that doesn’t change their greatness, one iota …. As many times as i’ve tried in the past to turn friends on to great musicians ( Rush, Hendrix, Miles, Parliament / Funkadelic, King Crimson, etc. ) i have gotten that same reply, it doesn’t speak to them. It doesn’t mean that they are all idiots because they don’t “get it”, nor does it make the bands i enjoy “suck” ~ You don’t need anyone’s validation to like what you like. At the same time, You did not create this music, you appreciate it … please get off your high horses. The ability to intellectualize deep music should give you a greater understanding and insight into life on a larger scale, so when you’re done patting yourself on the back for an “appreciation” , i hope you can rap this around your head … that every point of view, every mind, every person is as valid as you are…. if you cannot achieve that, you are missing THE ENTIRE POINT, and falling way short of your own bloated self image ~

  10. to those who think that not liking Phish alludes to lack of intellegence,, imagine this..In a past life Frank Zappa tied you up and ripped your toenails out whilst blasting the entire recordings of the Dead doing drums/space.. I think thats what happened to me.. because I was born to dislike them..

  11. There’s a lot of people here talking themselves too seriously. I could totally see how Phish might sound like this to the uninitiated and it has nothing to do with intelligence. Its an acquired taste like beer.

  12. I like Dream Theater and Dave Matthews band, but not Phish. Where do I fit in your intelligence argument? hahaha p.s. I also play guitar and drums and sing.

  13. This thread just proves that the majority of phish fans are douches. “Look at how smart I am for taking a fist full of drugs and listening to some dudes playing mediocre music for 5 hours.” And you have to be surrounded by a bunch of stinky, sweaty hippies? Oh how original, no thanks

  14. should have made the video 28 minutes long…maybe when the phans angrily bailed on your video for being way too long and self indulgently boring the point might have had a better chance at getting through. lol

  15. Everything on paper says I should like Phish, I’ve listened to the Dead for 30 years and enjoy other Jambands and other genres of improvisational music. There is obviously a ton on talent in Phish. I respect them but something just doesnt do it for me; It’s like there is no feeling in it (and I’ve tried to like them on a few occasions, seeing them a couple of times and listening to reccomended shows).

    And Trey gets that goofy expression on his face that makes me want to smack him.

    The worst thing about Phish is the fanbase – LIGHTEN THE F**K UP GUYS (and before you get on my case about Deadheads, I stopped seeing the Dead and all Dead related projects between ’89 and 2000 because the scene became a mess, and only a handful of times sine then).

    If you want something even funnier than this for both Phans and non fans-
    soundfusemag (DOT) com/2014/05/20/sense-of-humor-rankings-for-jamband-fans/

  16. Wow, these comments are amazing. First of all Gminor?? dorian, natural, phrygian? You guys are arguing about nothing, without the mode who knows what the 5th in the key is. Relatively the 5th of G is D.
    Enough music nerd ish. I love Phish pre 2000 mainly for the elaborate compositions with fuging melodies and odd time signatures. Not the lyrical content…lol. Also Trey used to burn the crap out of that guitar before the drugs ruined him (or rehab).
    You don’t have to b intelligent to like them or hate them although they do offer some high level musical expressions mixed in with boring 3 chord wanna be pop songs. So there is something for the low brow and the high…pun intended. But one man’s oyster is another mans terd. so to each there own. Us phish phans only hate on them because they set the bar so high in the early-mid 90s and haven’t been able to reach those heights since.

  17. I can’t stand Phish. I love The Grateful Dead. Neither are a reflection of what any other fan may feel about these two bands. As far as live jams, it takes talent, sure, and also takes a forgiving audience. Now, I’ve composed 20+ minute music, and dislike the 3 minute song format, but making something long just for the sake of making it long, it’s not enough reason. Experimental musicians can get away with anything, but doing it live takes a certain amount of guts.

  18. Actually, reading the diatribe in the comments while the audio from this noodles in the background completely strips any intelligent discourse of it’s face value. Kind of gives it a Forrest Gump theme.

  19. Going to college and playing hackey-sack while getting stoned doesn’t make you “smart”.
    Neither does listening to a band…any band.
    Most of you claiming to be so intelligent are unaware of even the most basic of grammatical and spelling rules…things we were all taught in 3rd grade.
    Besides that, you claim that because someone has different taste than your own, that they can’t understand the band, or the music.
    This is false.
    I understand that different types of people get together and form different types of bands, because diversity is a good thing.
    I understand that music is one of many creative outlets that inspire and revitalize humanity, and help the world be a more enjoyable place to live.
    That doesn’t mean I have to like all of it….and neither do you.
    So, form your opinions, let others form theirs, and stop being so thick-headed and condescending and acting like the bands YOU love are the only bands that are worthwhile, or that you and your fellow fanboys are the only ones who “understand”.

    This video is hilarious, as all the “_____ Shreds” videos have been.
    It doesn’t matter if they poke fun at music I like and respect or not…it’s still fun.
    Either enjoy it or don’t, but your lack of enjoyment does not dictate anything to me, or anyone else.
    Get a f***ing clue.

  20. lol..so funny. I kinda wish they did sound like this..then I wouldn’t spend thousands of dollars a year abandoning my wife and children to see them.

  21. I did not know of this phish musical group before but I enjoyed this video very much and find them to be quite talented. I especially like the very modern dress the drummer wears.

  22. The comments section of any article is pure poison. I’ve never experienced before the internet came around so many people spewing such vitriol at strangers.

  23. So they take out half the music, and alter the voice and …then people say it is why they don’t like it. This isn’t at all what Phish sounds like, just some mean joke.

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