Tag Archives: Phish

Fourth Lockn’ Festival as Hot as the Weather

Fourth Lockn’ Festival as Hot as the Weather
Oak Ridge Farm, Arrington, VA
August 25-28, 2016
Photographer/Writer: Mark Robbins

The 4th installment of the Lockn’ Festival at Oak Ridge Farm in Arrington, VA proved to be a sizzling hot weekend. Not only was the music a blistering blur from well known to not so well known bands but the temperature held in the high 90s all 4 days (actually 1 night and 3 days) with the only relief given by the mist machines placed throughout the festival grounds. The festival, started by Peter Shapiro and Dave Frey, not only offers the best jam bands, as well as other genres, but also the best in local farm to table eats and craft beers and wine. New this year was a raised main stage which had a rotating center so when one band was finished with a set the center would rotate with the next band already in place.



Thursday night’s lineup kicked off with Vulfpeck, a funk band who had a great time on stage with Jack Stratton constantly running back and forth between turns on the keyboard. Antwaun Stanley, billed as a”special guest” has a powerful voice that filled the festival grounds and would be at home singing R&B, funk or gospel.


Umphrey’s McGee’s music was only surpassed by it’s outstanding light show. This band was the VIP for the weekend playing non-stop glory. It’s genre hopping, time and key changes may be off-putting to some but Umphrey’s McGee was non stop glory.


Finishing the night was Ween. Known for their unusually goofy lyrics, distortion and abrasiveness they more than lived up to their reputation. This is not a jam band and they don’t try to be.



Friday was the first full day of music with Phish, Ween, Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band, Charles Bradley and the Extraordinaires, White Denim, Vulfpeck, Turkuaz and Moogatu.


Phish played two 2 hour sets Friday and Sunday nights. It’s hard to believe this band has been killing it for some 33 years now. With a set list that included “555”, “Ghost”, “Punch You in the Eye”, “Wing Suit” and much much more from the Phish song book the highlight was an a cappella cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity”. Those who paid for super VIP tickets were treated to a private show by Anders Osborne between Phish sets.


Charles Bradley survived a difficult childhood and early adulthood to finally getting the praise he deserves. Strongly influenced by James Brown, Bradley is a true showman and has the soul and R&B chops to go with it. Whatever emotion he is feeling, joyfulness or sadness, the audience feels it as deeply. Bradley is one of those performers who has to be seen live to really appreciate how great he is. Turkuaz is big band funk. This nine piece band would have raised the roof if there was a roof to be raised. White Denim has been around since 2008. From their opening song, “Real Deal Momma” the band kept a soulful vibe going throughout their entire set.



My Morning Jacket, Tedeschi Trucks Band, Hard Working Americans, Galactic with Lee Oskar, Twiddle, Moon Taxi, DJ Williams Project, Phil Lesh and Friends.

My Morning Jacket is not only a great indie band but Saturday night they put on an outstanding Rock and Roll Show. Front man Jim James is an unstoppable force backed by an equally dynamite band. Originals mixed in with covers, a particularly moving “What the World Need Now” (Burt Bacharach and Hal David), made their set one of the more memorable of the weekend.


Tedeschi Trucks Band is all that needs to be said. From the rapid fire guitar of Derek Trucks to the sublime voice of Susan Tedeschi as well as a great band, this is as good as it gets. Their cover of “Bitches Brew” was so smokin’ that Miles Davis even smiled.


Hard Working Americans is a Neo Southern super rock band. “Mission Accomplished” should have been their closer instead of opener because when their set was over, judging from the crowds reaction, it was mission accomplished. With Todd Snider in front with vocals, dancing, and mugging for the crowd, the rest of Hard Working Americans cook with such intensity flames should be covering the stage. This band’s pedigree is second to none with Dave Schools (Widespread Panic), Neal Casal (Chris Robinson Brotherhood), Chad Staehly (Great American Taxi), and Duane Trucks (King Lincoln).


Galactic is the quintessential New Orleans funk band. With Stanton Moore on drums this band can do no wrong. Together for 20 years,Stanton Moore Ben Ellman, Robert Mercurio, Jeff Raines and Rich Vogel have visited every genre of music and conquered them all. For their Lockin’ set special guest harp player Lee Oskar, founder of War, joined them for “Slipping Into Darkness”, “Like a Rolling Stone” and a few others. Add vocalist Erica Falls to the mix and an extended set (Brandi Carlile could not appear due to illness) and there were a lot of happy campers.
Phil Lesh has a lot of good friends. With members of the Dead, Phish (John Fishman, Page McConnell, Anders Osborne, Joe Russo) and The Infamous Stringdusters, this group could have had their own festival. Getting a late start, travel problems for Lesh then a blown amp, the fans patiently waited as the new rotating stage turned to the opening strains of “Scarlet Begonias”. Through a set of Dead covers and an extended jam, Phil Lesh and Friends were welcomed back anytime.



Phish, Gary Clark, Jr., Phil Lesh and Friends, Chris Robinson Brotherhood, The Wailers, Twiddle, Doobie Decible System, The Dharma Initiative, Keller Williams’ Grateful Gospel

Keller Williams has a good time and so does everyone else who is there to hear him. Dressed in a dark suit, white shirt, white tie, and no shoes, Williams comes to preach. “Palm Sunday”, “Who Was John”, “St Stephen”, “Sampson and Delilah” and more made this set a must hear for the weekend. Performed on the much smaller Blue Ridge Bowl Stage and earlier than the normal starting time (10 AM) it was still wall to wall people (if there were walls) who knew this was not a set to miss. Williams was backed by his three piece band and 4 singers who preached to the heavens.


Phil Lesh’s friends today were Chris Robinson Brotherhood (who had their own set) and Gary Clark, Jr.. Sunday’s show went off without a hitch with more Dead covers and Gary Clark, Jr. showing his blues licks on “Good Morning, School Girl” and “Wang Dang Doodle”. Lesh and friends, no matter who they are, can do no wrong.


Gary Clark, Jr. is not as famous as he should be. His style encompass fuzz rock, blues, r&b, hip-hop, soul and even a little jazz. His crackling “Bright Lights” set the tone for the rest of his rock blues appearance.

Trey Anastasio announces new solo album and TAB tour

trey bandPhish frontman Trey Anastasio has announced the release of his long awaited new album. PAPER WHEELS – the multi-talented singer/musician/composer’s first new solo album in three years – arrives October 30th via Rubber Jungle/ATO Records.
PAPER WHEELS will be offered as a deluxe limited edition that will include 180 gram 45 RPM 2x LP splatter vinyl and a die cut gatefold package with six unique sleeves. Only 4,000 of these special packages will be manufactured. A preorder is now available at Anastasio’s official web store,treyanastasio.shop.musictoday.com.
Produced by Anastasio and longtime collaborator Bryce Goggin, PAPER WHEELS was recorded last year at The Barn, the Phish founding guitarist’s Vermont farmhouse-turned-rehearsal space/recording studio. Anastasio and the members of Trey Anastasio Band (TAB) developed the material on stage while touring and at soundcheck on the tour leading up to the sessions, allowing them to track the album in just under a week. Taking a cue from the energetic immediacy of classic Stax Studio recording sessions, TAB worked fast and loose, playing together live in The Barn and wrapping up tracks after one or two takes. Written and co-written by Anastasio alongside frequent lyric partners Tom Marshall and Steve “The Dude of Life” Pollak, songs like the funk-driven “Bounce” and the elegiac “Invisible Knife” (written solely by Anastasio) are among the legendarily diverse artist’s most infectious and inventive, alive with creative vigor, robust musicianship, and true soul power (see the complete tracklisting below).
PAPER WHEELS features the classic TAB line up of drummer Russ Lawton, bassist Tony Markellis, and keyboardist Ray Paczkowski, augmented by a full horn section (including trombonist/vocalist Natalie Cressman, multi-instrumentalist James Casey, and longtime TAB trumpeter/vocalist Jennifer Hartswick). The album was mixed by 8x GRAMMY® Award-winning sound engineer Elliot Scheiner (Van Morrison, Steely Dan, Derek & The Dominos).
Anastasio’s 10th solo album and follow-up to 2012’s acclaimed TRAVELERPAPER WHEELS has been heralded in recent months by a series of new song premieres launched via his website featuring cover art shrouded in code, showcasing such tracks as “Bounce,” “Speak To Me,” and “Never.””Bounce” and “Never” were both originally featured on a limited edition 7″ single, released exclusively for Record Store Day 2015.
paperTrey Anastasio Band will celebrate the release of PAPER WHEELS with a headline tour set to embark October 16th and then continue through November 13th (see confirmed itinerary below). Highlights include a previously announced sold-out two-night stand at Las Vegas, NV’s Brooklyn Bowl slated for Halloween weekend, October 30th and 31st, as well as a two-night stand at Brooklyn, NY’s Kings Theater, which are the only east coast dates of the tour, and a two-night stand in Denver, CO at the Fillmore Auditorium. Tickets for all shows will be available through a real-time presale beginning Thursday, August 27th at noon eastern and ending Wednesday, September 2nd at 5pm eastern at treytickets.shop.ticketstoday.com.  Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Thursday, September 3rd. Please visit trey.com for specific sale dates and times.

Trey Anastasio Band Fall Tour dates below:


16 & 17 – Brooklyn, NY – Kings Theatre

30 & 31 – Las Vegas, NV – Brooklyn Bowl



1 – San Diego, CA – House of Blues

4 – Los Angeles, CA – The Wiltern

6 & 7 – Oakland, CA – Fox Theater

9 – Portland, OR – Crystal Ballroom

10 – Seattle, WA – Showbox SODO

12 – Salt Lake City, UT – The Depot

13 – 14 – Denver, CO – Fillmore Auditorium

Phish to return to Miami for NYE run

Phish has confirmed that they will be playing at American Airlines Arena in Miami for New Years Eve.  The band will play a four-night run, December 31 – January 3.

These shows will mark the first time that the band has performed in Miami since they last rang in the New Year there in 2009. The ticket lottery request period is currently underway and is set to wrap up on Sunday, September 28 at 11:59pm ET.


Into The Matrix With Mike Gordon

Mike Gordon

March 9, 2014

The Barrymore Theater

Madison, WI


(Photos from 3/6/14 at the Orange Peel, Asheville, NC)



Gordon 2Velvet curtains adorned the stage, creating a lush backdrop behind the guitar and bass rigs, the drum set, and the full percussion and keyboard stations. They were maybe eight feet tall, like massive shojis, layered around the drummer’s lifted kit.


The show was called for 7:30, but it was a Sunday night and a few minutes past showtime, the room was virtually empty, save a few fans in Phish t-shirts and dreadlocks milling by the stage. The lights went down around ten minutes to eight, and some serious group-think intuition kicked in: the room was suddenly packed.


Phish bassist Mike Gordon has been touring with this group, or some incantation of it, since 2008. Joining him on stage are Scott Murawski on guitar, Todd Isler on drums, Tom Cleary on keys and Craig Myers on both organic and electronic percussion.


Mike came came onto the stage looking very European, his hair quaffed appearing almost windswept to one side, zippered jacket and a flowy scarf. He offered a sudden shout into the mic and Isler laid down a beat that quickly transitioned into “Babylon Baby”, a funky song with elements of country and calypso and transitions that sounded like something out of the Umphrey’s McGee playbook.


Then the band launched into “Traveled Too Far” and immediately the set took on a life of its own. Smoke started billowing from behind the curtains, brought to life by swirling lights and electric movement. As the jam grew, the lights followed, and suddenly Gordon 3Mike’s bass and Murawski’s guitar began glowing in the dark. But they weren’t glowing in the dark, so much as they were alight with neon colors. The instruments began pulsating and changing as the song progressed. They were green, red, blue, yellow, like a disco ball was devouring a beach ball and trying to pass it, right there on stage.


In the middle of the jam, the band cut out and Mike launched into a gospel, bluegrass a cappella track that started with the observation that “Some people drink champagne under the stars.” It was easy to imagine why Mike’s mood took him there; the ceiling of the Barrymore Theater glows with little, flickering stars.


Gordon 4


Murawski launched the band into the dirty blues “Cruel World”, taking lead vocals on the first of several songs of the evening. Murawski is an amazing guitar player; at times reminiscent of Kimock, at other times Herring, but a musical personality that is all his own. It is easy to see why Mike would be so comfortable playing alongside him. He readily dips his toe in the diminished sounds of Anastasio, but has a brightness deep within him that pushes its way out on every track.

His guitar solo led to a raging keyboard solo from Cleary that quickly moved into a screaming organ solo, over which the band jumped seamlessly into a Cuban groove that dissipated as quickly as it had begun, as the band made way for Myers, who pounded away on his djembe, before leading the band back into the blues riff and the final verse of the song.


The band played “Meat”, their first of two Phish songs of the evening. It was a strange rendition, the playing solid, but the sound seeming to be coming through strange and intentionally-over-programmed filters. It sounded like an AI re-creation of a fan favorite, programmed to binary and then unpacked back into its beloved shape. During the vocal breakdowns of the chorus, Mike Gordon 5sounded like he was singing through an oil drum, Murawski through a tin can. At this point in the evening, Cleary had made the switch from hand drums and tambourines to drum machines and beats. They played with the noise of the evening while the light show captivated. This was no Phish light show, wowing with lasers and strobes, it was very much its own creation: Mike’s Matrix perhaps? The light show ensconced the stage in ways that were more The Flaming Lips than Phish. As the music pulsated, the room shook. As the band grooved, the staged danced. The curtains came alive, and flowed along with the crowd.


Mike put down his bass and announced he had never played a bouzouki in public before. He quickly amended to admit that he had hardly ever played one at all. But that didn’t stop him from leading the band through “Pretend” on the quirky eight-stringed instrument. Murawski took over the low-end for the song on the U-Bass, replete with an epic solo on the tiny instrument.


Mike then made a joke that not only was this his first time playing the bouzouki, but it was his first time in a sensory deprivation chamber. And it was true, the light show, quirky dancing of the band and the constant array of unexpected surprises, both visual and aural, seemed like something that could have existed in a trippier, less angst-filled version of A Clockwork Orange. The band finished out the set with “Spock’s Brain,” “Andelman’s Yard” and “Tiny, Little World.”


The second set opened with the introspective funk song, “Paint,” then followed with “Face,” another one off of the new album. The crowd got their first slap bass solo of the night, before the lights brought everyone back into Mike’s special Matrix. The band played “Peel” and throughout, the sound grew and morphed, introducing elements of gypsy, prog rock, reggae and more than a few moments that could best be described as something off the soundtrack of a circus that has clearly fallen off its meds.


Cleary introduced “Twists and Bends,” a quirky, “Poor Heart” meets-NOLA love song to his 1990 Honda Accord. Murawski led the band through Al Green’s “Rhymes,” a song that is darker in content than its groove is ready to admit.Gordon 1


The band closed out the set with “Hap-Nappy,” which broke open in the middle with a monster jam, lights literally raining down on the stage. They took huge breaks, each member of this massive ensemble getting the chance to shine. The band jumped up and down, the guitars glowed, all of the evening’s previous light tricks seemed to spaz and seizure, entering and exiting the mix almost without rhyme or reason. They peaked the jam, then pushed through and peaked it again. When the tight ending finally hit, the crowd took a moment to regain themselves, but just a moment, before crying out for more.


The encore was only one song, but it was a good one. They closed the night with “Cities,” by Talking Heads. Then the five of them came to center stage, took a much deserved bow and disappeared into the curtains, the fog and the magic of Mike’s Matrix.


Follow Josh on twitter @jlemonsk

Phish Summer Tour Announced

Honest Tune Magazine - Phish - Wantagh NY Jones Beach - July 3 2012 -

Phish will kick off its 2014 Summer Tour on July 1 at XFINITY Center in Mansfield, MA and celebrate the Fourth of July with a three-night stand at Saratoga Performing Arts Center in Saratoga Springs, NY (July 3-5). There will be numerous waterside dates – including the band’s first shows on New York City’s Randall’s Island (July 11-13) and at The Amphitheater at the Wharf in Orange Beach, AL (August 1) and a return to Northerly Island (July 18-20), with its stunning view of the Chicago skyline.

For the fourth consecutive year, Phish will wrap up its summer outing with a trio of Labor Day weekend shows at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO (8/29-8/31). No additional east coast dates will be announced this summer or fall.

An online ticket request period for the tour is currently underway at http://tickets.phish.com and will end on Sunday, March 23 at 11:59PM ET. Tickets will go on sale to the general public beginning Thursday, March 27. For complete ticketing details or to view the official Summer Tour 2014 announcement video, click here.



7/1 XFINITY Center, Mansfield, MA
7/3 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
7/4 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
7/5 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
7/8 The Mann, Philadelphia, PA
7/9 The Mann, Philadelphia, PA
7/11 Randall’s Island, New York, NY
7/12 Randall’s Island, New York, NY
7/13 Randall’s Island, New York, NY
7/15 CMAC, Canandaigua, NY
7/16 DTE Energy Music Theatre, Clarkston, MI
7/18 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, Chicago, IL
7/19 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, Chicago, IL
7/20 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion on Northerly Island, Chicago, IL
7/25 PNC Music Pavilion, Charlotte, NC
7/26 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
7/27 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD
7/29 nTelos Wireless Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA
7/30 nTelos Wireless Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA
8/1 The Amphitheater at the Wharf, Orange Beach, AL
8/2 Oak Mountain Amphitheatre, Birmingham, AL
8/3 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre at Encore Park, Alpharetta, GA
8/29 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
8/30 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
8/31 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO

Phish to offer webcast of Hampton run

For their three night run at the Hampton Coliseum, October 18-20, Phish will offer live webcasts at LivePhish.com.

Fans can tune in on their large screen TVs via HDMI-equipped PCs or Macs, Apple TV via AirPlay, as well as on Android devices and iOS platforms (iPad, iPhone).

Pre-Order the 3 Night Hampton Webcast pass for $39.99 now at LivePhish.com. You may also purchase individual night webcasts for $14.99.

To pre-order, click here.

Phish, Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre 7/16/13

Phish to return to MSG for New Year’s Eve run

Phish will return to Madison Square Garden for a four show New Year’s Eve run to ring in the new year.  The band has played 27 shows to date at MSG. As with last year the floor at these four Madison Square Garden shows will be general admission.


Tickets go sale October 12.


Currently there is an onsale ticketing request period at tickets.phish.com/ that will run until October 7.



12/28 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

12/29 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

12/30 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY

12/31 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY



Phish, Alpharetta, GA @ Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre 7/16/13

Phish, 7/16/13

Verizon Wireless Amphitheater
Alpharetta, GA
July 16, 2013

Set I:  Kill Devil Falls, Mound > Bathtub Gin, Army of One, Rift, Horn > Possum, Pebbles and Marbles, Ocelot > Cavern > Run Like an Antelope

Set II:  Rock and Roll > Heartbreaker > Makisupa Policeman > Chalk Dust Torture > Wilson > Tweezer > Silent in the Morning > Birds of a Feather, Joy > Harry Hood > Character Zero

Encore:  A Day in the Life > Tweezer Reprise

Click on the thumbnail(s) to view photos from the show by Brad Kuntz…

Phish release 5/3/93 show to benefit Hurricane Sandy relief effort

Phish - Sandy Relief

Phish has dug deep into their archives and announced the release of Phish: 5/3/93 State Theatre, New Brunswick NJ to help with the Hurricane Sandy relief effort.  The show is being issued as a download through LivePhish.com.  All proceeds from the download will go to help the victims of Hurricane Sandy.



Hurricane Sandy slammed into the East Coast creating what meteorologists called “Frankenstorm” as the hurricane combined forces with a Nor’easter. The result was devastating for coastal areas from the Southeast and Mid- Atlantic to New England and reached as far inland as the Appalachian Mountains and parts of the Midwest and Canada. Storm surge, high winds and power outages that lasted weeks after the storm contributed to loss of life and unprecedented property losses. The coasts of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Rhode Island were permanently redrawn as the Atlantic reclaimed some of America’s favorite beaches. Hailing from New Jersey, New York State and Massachusetts respectively, the members of Phish have responded by donating this release from their archives to help support victims of Superstorm Sandy.


5/3/93 Tracklisting:
CD 1/3        
Set I:
1. Buried Alive > (3:01)
2. Rift (5:59)
3. Weigh > (4:58)
4. Chalk Dust Torture (6:05)
5. Esther > (9:04)
6. Split Open And Melt (9:37)
7. Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > (5:26)
8. Fly Famous Mockingbird > (2:48)
9. Vibration Of Life > (0:53)
10. Fly Famous Mockingbird > (12:24)
11. Possum (10:22)
12. Lawn Boy > (2:43)
13. Cavern (4:18)
CD 2/3     
Set II:
1. AC/DC Bag > (7:32)
2. The Curtain > (5:59)
3. Tweezer > (10:18)
4. Manteca >   (2:04)
5. Tweezer >   (4:40)
6. Contact >   (6:03)
7. It’s Ice >  (7:29)
8. McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters >     (9:26)
9. Runaway Jim (7:27)
10. Big Ball Jam >   (2:06)
11. Hold Your Head Up >   (1:26)
12. Love You (7:07)
13. Hold Your Head Up (1:15)
CD 3/3 
Set II continued:
1. My Sweet One > (1:59)
2. Tweezer Reprise (3:48)
3. Memories (1:39)
4. Amazing Grace (1:54)
5. Highway To Hell (3:41)