Here at Ben & Jerry’s, one of our favorite traditions – besides the occasional Vermonster – is seeing Phish rock out in the summertime. This year, we had the opportunity to join the band, WaterWheel Foundation, and HeadCount to give out some free Phish Food and register voters.
And we had a blast along the way! Here are our 12 (highly subjective) favorite moments from this summer’s tour.
Item number 1
The Ridiculous Generosity of Phish Fans
Sure, a miracle in the lot pre-show is one way Phish fans give back. But on this summer's tour the band’s supporters went above and beyond, donating more than $40,000 to Larkin Street Youth Services to “help good kids get off the street for good” in a single pre-show celebration at Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. At stops across the country, fans gave back to groups as diverse as the Conservation Law Foundation and the Mansfield Food Pantry through WaterWheel Foundation.
Item number 2
Making Democracy a party
Emma Goldman might have been speaking for all Phish fans when she said, “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution.” The passionate people we met while on tour with HeadCount know that participating in our democracy is the surest way to create the world we want to live in. And the more than 900 new voters and 2,900 people who pledged to vote made it a party by doing just that!
Item number 3
Dear Prudence, Saint Paul 6/22/16
We love this classic Beatles tune. This was only the second time they have played this jam since the famous 1994 Halloween show in Glens Falls, NY and we loved every minute of it.
Item number 4
Space Oddity, Wrigley Field, Chicago 6/24/16
To close their first appearance at a sold-out Wrigley Field, Phish paid tribute to David Bowie with an a cappella version of his classic “Space Oddity.” Their version is playful, heartfelt, and a touch haunting. And following it up with “Run Like an Antelope” to close the show was a homerun.
Item number 5
Llama, Philadelphia 6/29/16
A funked-out, slowed-down version of this Phish classic was a surprising and fun treat in the first set. This is why we love Phish – they take a song they’ve been playing for decades and totally change it up, much to the delight of the crowd.
Slow funky llama for president 2016 pic.twitter.com/OhLrQ7on3B— azn (@andreanusinov) June 30, 2016
Item number 6
Sand > Carini > Chalk Dust Torture, Saratoga Springs 7/1/16
Phish opened the second set on their first night in Saratoga Springs, NY with three strong jams. Check out Chalk Dust Torture here:
Item number 7
Ghost > Light, Mansfield 7/8/16
While this show was plagued by some technical issues, the first two songs of the second set were un-rocking-believable.
Item number 8
Phish has not played a bad—or even average—show in Hartford in over 20 years. This summer’s visit was no exception. Ending the first set with the epic, “You Enjoy Myself” and playing the rare Gamehendge favorites “Tela” and “Lizards”, the band ensured that everyone walked away happy.
Item number 9
Phish always thinks of the details. And that includes an always-fresh ticket design, thanks to designer Nate Duval.
I had the great pleasure of working with my pals @phish this summer, in creating FOURTEEN different illustrations for their unique, special, PTBM ticketing program. I'll probably post all 14 together later in the summer, by here they are shown in magnet form, as they were sold at their respective shows in the merch booths. #phish #illustration #handdrawntype #handdrawn #goodtype #psychedelic
Item number 10
Second Set, The Gorge Amphitheater 7/15/16
This high-energy set opened with the Talking Heads classic “Crosseyed and Painless” and ended with a driving “Cavern.”
Item number 11
Chula Vista 7/23/16
Phish brought the main part of the summer tour to a rousing close in southern California. The energy and fun levels were high from the beginning. They teased songs like “California Love” and “Streets of Cairo” and played a hilarious new song, “Ass Handed”, over the course of the evening, including lyrics from the song over the music of “Tweezer Reprise”. But it wasn’t all new shenanigans: “Tube” was a deep jam we all enjoyed.
Item number 12
Most importantly, the guys in the band are still having a great time. It was clear just watching them interact with each other onstage that the magic is still alive. As fans, we love that they can bring us something new, exciting, and most importantly, fun, day in and day out. Thank you, Phish!
And the fun is not over yet. Phish plays two nights at the Lockn’ Festival later this month and three nights at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Denver over Labor Day weekend before continuing the magic with a fall tour.
Picking favorites for an entire Phish tour is a challenge, the above list is what the crew here and some of our friends were the most moved by. What were your favorite moments? Share them with us in the comments below!