Phish | Alpine Valley Music Theatre | Rock, Pop, Etc | Chicago Reader

Phish Recommended Soundboard

When: June 20-21, 7 p.m. and Sun., June 21, 7 p.m. 2009

A few years ago I decided to try to figure out Phish, motivated primarily by an anthropological fascination with the subculture that’s evolved around the band—Phish freaks are very nearly monotheistic in their fandom. Simple curiosity was involved too; in part because I dropped out of college shortly after I started, I’d never really been exposed to Phish’s music. At the time I worked with a Phish maniac, who set me up with a stack of live bootlegs, including the 2004 Brooklyn set where Jay-Z showed up and the band backed him on a few of his tracks. What I learned from those recordings is that Phish are monstrously talented, creative, and open eared—in other words, they deserve most of the good things you can say about a band—and that actually liking the music they play is probably a genetic thing. —Miles Raymer

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