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gentlemonkey

My controversial Phish theory..

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Interesting topic.

The notion that Phish is putting out a poor sounding show in house just doesn't make sense to me. (Although whoever it was that

mentioned about not playing cover songs because of the livephish downloads might be onto something....who knows).

Worcester was my first show since Shoreline and 30th overall. I was in great spirits for the show, but really the sound did me in. Mind you, this was my first (and last) show from 'behind the stage'. [Page side]

I just couldn't hear anything but Trey's guitar and a little Page/Fishman. I heard very very little Mike in the mix (which is what does it for me...I'm lost without Mike). Which really affected what I thought of the show until I heard the show via a friends copy yesterday.

Listening back I thought it was quite good. Mike is just playing the craziest stuff, and they really show alot of promise. (I mean, it's silly to expect them to be back at the level they attained over the last few years before the break....it'll take a little time just for the boyz to get there individual chops back, then they will really shine with some group improv. I totally expect great things in the next year or so.

They seem to be enjoying themselves. Which

was what I thought the break was supposed to be about. I really thought the crowd was very positive. Seemed like alot of first timers

(maybe it was the area- but who can complain when I brought my little sister and her bf to their first show, eh).

So maybe the one thing I'd like to point out that I havent heard anyone else mention is that (and this goes for pretty much all of my Phish shows that I've seen), the sound has always a bit limp in the first set. I've always noticed a bump in the clarity and volume in the second set. I've also been very lucky in that I've had great seats to many shows (Worcester would be the exception).

YEM opener, yes. Oh yes. Phish is back, baby!

Stamos

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Just had to mention one quick not because someone else did the dead/phish comparison....

Yes the sound got better as the show went on. 1st set in cinci was quiet. The discussion I had with everyone I asked about the show so far durring set break was "the sound is shit"

Now maybe the excuse is they were trying to get it right. But get real. These aren't new venues. These are venues they've played many many times. They should know what they're doing. The dead made almost all venues sound good. They spent hours and hours and millions of dollars to make sure that it sounded great no matter where in the place you were.

There is no excuse for shitty sound on a sold out tour with expensive tickets.

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gentlemonkey: one thing I know for sure is that I didn't hear the Cinci shows until I got home and downloaded them...definitely the weakest volume and mix I've heard at a Phish show. I was like a kilometer away at Cypress and there was no mistaking Lifeboy for Piper like I did in Cinci (I also thought they were playing a 'new' version of Boogie On until I heard the recordings.) Maybe Languedoc just forgot how to do arena sound. I mean, everyone there was losing their shit like all was perfect.

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Are we not being a bit hard on a soundguy thats received some serious beatings over drug money? [smile]

The sound at large Dead shows was good to terrible. Highgate , Giants, Rich, RFK, Soldier Field, yikes!!!!!! ( but all you had to do was walk around till you found a sweet spot). But overall those place had some bad sound. Phish is definately the king of large crowd sound (though Clifford ball had some issues but they got better with practice).

The Dead at arenas and small venues always seemed to sound good.

In all seriousness I do agree, you shouldnt have to put up with bad sound when you're shelling out large cash for tix but I think the topic of the thread is about whether or not its a conspiracy.

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And drugs, lets not forget how easy it is to get drugs at the large venues...............

And sweet drugs at that, but you have to walk around 'til you find them.

Hmm, the more I look at this, the more conspiracy I see..........

How come I have to walk for miles to find good drugs (and sometimes, none) at smaller venues, but not at large shows?

AND, how come in a small venue, I dont have to walk that far to find the good sound, but at large venues, my legs can get tired "searching for the sound?"

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quote:

Originally posted by dave-O:

Since every show is being officially released, so does that mean Phish needs permission to perform any covers? Does that influence the set list on any given night?

As far as I know, permission is not required, but royalties must be paid - definitely on the sold recording, not so sure about the performance itself.

Brian.

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I agree Momack, the sound was low 1st set cinci. But the more i thought about it and tried to remember, i think it very well could have been turned up but we just couldn't hear it because of all the crazy screamers. People screamed through the entire wilson to my recollection. Felt like it got turned up in the 2nd though.

Phisherman, boring and uninspired? I don't know what you are comparing the recent tour to, but it will be very hard to match the intensity at BOTH cinci shows. I refer to these because they are the only ones i caught, but even the setlists in worcester and nausau are so great i just don't see the boring and uninspired part. OUr expectations have gotten to large. TAB in the spring would be great though. Bring on Cyro!!

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By boring and uninspired I mean it seems that they are just going through the motions, maybe they are trying to figure each other out once again. I guess what I mean is prior the the haitius songs and or jams seemed to flow better, after listening to a few shows from this tour things seem choppy in some parts. Dont get me wrong I am a HUGE Phish fan and have a couple hundred CD's chocked full of Phish, I just think they are capable of so much more than what they are showing now. Maybe some of it is being rusty or maybe it will never get to be as good as it was. All I know is I would have rather they stayed on the haitius, I enjoy TAB and Mike and Leo shows much more than the current Phish Shows.

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Hey all! I gotta say, from where me and my buddy sat for the first bit of the Saturday Cinci show (about 3/4 back on the stage left side, and about 25 rows away from the back of the arena) it sounded like hell. Once we moved up to standing room about 100 feet from the stage, the sound was excellent, and we hung out there for the rest of the show. Thank god too, I would have killed myself if I'd missed Page's intro to Walls of The Cave, or any of the other more subtle moments of that show that were totally lost at the back of the room.

We were talking about it on the set break, and it seems like Phish don't have the re-enforcement "delayed" speakers that arena bands usually carry - the delay applied to these type of speakers is so that it matches the delay of the natural sound reaching you at the back of the room - a slightly tricky thing to do, but standard fair for any half-way decent sound engineer with the right gear and enough time. For big outdoor venues these kind of systems are an absolute must, but you can theoretically take or leave them for an arena show depending on how loud you want to be. Apparently, Phish don't want to be very loud indoors. Dave Matthews indoor shows have the same problem, the show I saw a few years ago at Corel was the WORST sounding major concert I'd ever been to. Bands like Rush and Springsteen sound amazing in similar venues. Seems like the jambands could learn a thing or two about how to put on arena shows from the acts that have been doing it well for years.

My two-cents, anyway!

Peace,

Mr. M.

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delay towers aren't normally used in stadium shows - the problem is most sports arenas aren't built to handle concerts....a big debate went on about the Molson centre in Montreal because of this-it's a sports arena designed with sound/concerts in mind, and many sports fans complained as the hockey games there sound too tame-this is due to the low amount of reflections.

If I could actually count the number of brutal sounding concerts that happened in steel sheds...like every single one at the Krap-hauz or anyone remember Varsity arena? christ!!

Anyways, every venue is different, the sound system and setup doesn't travel with the band, it'll be a pro company that is in that town-the band says where they are playing, specs their demands for the show, and the sound company takes it from there...

I figure if they can suspend all the speakers and lighting etc from the ceiling, why can't they bring in some big heavy baffles/blankets to kill the reflections? i can't be the first to think of this...

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Hey Tungsten!

quote:

delay towers aren't normally used in stadium shows...

True, although I've been to ones that did have them. I was actually thinking more about big outdoor festivals, someone brought up one of the Phish ones (Big Cypress?) and saying it had sounded louder from a distance than the arenas - I'm betting they'd have had towers for that.

quote:

If I could actually count the number of brutal sounding concerts that happened in steel sheds...like every single one at the Krap-hauz or anyone remember Varsity arena? christ!!

No kidding - I saw Blues Traveler at Varsity, argh... [Mad]

quote:

I figure if they can suspend all the speakers and lighting etc from the ceiling, why can't they bring in some big heavy baffles/blankets to kill the reflections? i can't be the first to think of this..

They used to do this at Skydome - I think they called it the "Skytent". Saw the SRV/Jeff Beck show in that format just before Stevie died, sounded amazing. [big Grin] Saw the Stones there around the same time without the tent, sounded like my head was in a gawddamn bucket... [Razz]

- M.

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I have a thought....

How did gentlemonkey know this theory was going to be controversial when he started the topic...????

hmmm...did he know something we don't...???

My guess is that he was in on it from the start. I'm assuming there was some sort of fallout with the Phish camp, presumably a clash with Fishman, and boom, we have gentlemonkey revealing all!!!

You see, to find the truth, sometimes you just have to dig a little deeper. [Wink]

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quote:

Originally posted by Mr. Musicface:

Saw the SRV/Jeff Beck show in that format just before Stevie died, sounded
amazing
.
[big Grin]

What, were we separated (musically) at birth? I was at that triple-header (Jeff Healey, Jeff Beck, SRV, in that order, with Beck and SRV coming out for the "Goin' Down" encore), too; IIRC, it was November '89. I loved it. That was the Beck / Bozzio / Hymas ("Guitar Shop" album; the first CD I ever bought) trio, and it was a killer.

(I then went to Kingston that weekend for the Queen's Engineering Science Formal, at which I saw Messenjah, and ended up buying a guitar [the gold sunburst Ibanez some have seen me play around Ottawa]. Also saw Steve Morse at the Diamond on the Monday after that weekend.)

Aloha,

Brad

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quote:

What, were we separated (musically) at birth?

Wow, seems like eh Brad? Guess you can take the boy out of Scarborough...

Yeh, that was a great bill. It's funny, 'cus I remember saying at the time something like: "Yeh, it'll be great to see Stevie, but I'm really excited to see Beck 'cus he hardly ever tours. Stevie, well if we miss him this time we could always catch him next year."

Who knew, eh? [Frown]

Peace dude,

- M.

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Originally posted by dave-O:

1. The sound quality is definitely dependent on where you are sitting/standing.

2. FOB taper bust-up.

I doubt they'll be many FOB recordings circulating in the future, and if so, it will be with stealth mics (i.e. poorer quality).

Alright...I have to say something about this one:

Agreed, sound is most definitely dependent on where you're standing, and more importantly, what drugs you're on [Wink] Cinci first night I was just off to the side from mike, and it sounded amazing. Second night, I was in the taper's section, it sounded alright, but relatively shitty compared to the night before. The levels were definitely lower than usual and phish isn't as loud as it used to be, but much clearer as a result.

Regarding FOB taping, no matter how tight the security in whichever venue, it will NEVER stop hardcore FOB tapers from pulling off a stealth recording. Also, stealth mics are NOT poorer quality - in fact, some of the best mics out there today are the perfect size for stealthing. It just sucks to stand there and not even be able to nod your head as trey busts into destiny unbound. I've seen FOB copies of almost every show this tour, though some FOBers will never put their name on their recording or even admit to pulling it off for fear of being 'banned' from phish (they are obviously very paranoid).

Not sure what I think of this conspiracy theory, but i can definitely say I noticed a 'quieter phish' througout both sets, never noticed an increase for set 2. Though it will never stop me from taping a phish show, if the sound isn't that hot, i'd use my audience recordings to mix a matrix with the sbds - the best of both worlds!

Matrices definitely sound better than either auds or sbds IMHO... you sure can't hear the crowd sing bathtub gin on the sbds!

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At nassau i remember commenting on how the volume was low during the first song, and my show buddies agreed, then at some point i think it was turned up which went unnoticed to us all as we were adjusting to the fact that phish had stolen our brains again.

dancingbear [Eek!]

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funny, i was thinking the same at Chicago...i didn't notice so much at Cinci, i think i was too friggin happy to actually get in...

anyways, I remember the sound at the Allstate in Sept 2000 being brutal-worst I'd heard since Tinley park 97....

My thinking was they had turned it down to counteract the bad sound-the sound was decent, better than i had remembered, but it was pretty quiet... strange....

any of the usual phish boards/pages note the same thing or are we just a bunch of volume sensitive canucks?

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First Mr. Monkey, I like your theory. I don't know if it's right, but it's plausable, and I'll tell you why I think so...

Because since I first heard of the download thing, I thought of the covers thing. The deal (in Canada, I'm confident it's comparable elsewhere) is that to perform a cover song on a release, you have to pay the owner of the song 7.2 cents per unit sold, per song. 50 years after the owner dies the song becomes public domain (Hank Williams died January 1st, 1953, so next year all his stuff becomes public domain and his grandkids will have to get jobs). Anyways, I wondered if Phish was gonna limit their covers to save the cash. Seems like they are. Now, I'm not talking about big money here; I'm sure the overhead on offering downloads is pretty low (especially compared to creating and MARKETING a hard copy cd), leaving Phish with the lions share of the cash. Can they spare 7.2 cents per copy sold? Apparently not. Which means they're either greedy bastards, or they've just collectively decided not to do covers anymore (hey, they could do some old Robert Johnson for free!). Too bad too, I betcha a band like Ween could use a cheque or two.

I guess my bottom lines are 1) I'll believe anything about Phish, and 2) I don't really care.

And Sloth, your equations I think are misleading, in that they are gross figures, and not net figures. I know niether of us knows the net figures, but despite the high cost of hard drive space for making fast downloads available, a tour costs a hell of a lot of money, such that looking at the gross figures are virtually meaningless.

A final ps: Guess who's lobbying to extend the period required for public domain to 70 years? Disney. Turns out Mickey Mouse becomes public domain in 2008 or so.

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Damn'it Todd I was just going to crash out and then I read your ramble and just had to keep going.

quote:

Anyways, I wondered if Phish was gonna limit their covers to save the cash. Seems like they are

Did i miss something?

Here's a quickie list of covers played since comeback (i probably missed some)......

Rock and Roll

Boogie on Reggae Woman

Soul Shakedown Party

Frankenstein

Golden Lady

Loving Cup

Cities

Corinne Corrina

Life on Mars?

Cover of the Rolling Stone

these dont really count.......

Carolina

Also Sprach Zarathustra

Ya Mar

plus the BBKing stuff........

Everyday I Have the Blues

The Thrill is gone

Rock Me Baby

Thats a fair amount of covers considering they also worked in a shitload of new songs in the 16 shows they've been back.

Sorry they didnt do your fav Ween cover, but if you come downstairs and give me a dollar a day from now until summer tour I promise Phish will bust out a "Roses" for you and Ween can reap the rewards of the massive internet coffer. (then again if you dont they're still gonna play one cuz there's no conspiracy [smile] )

And cmon when the gross is 20X as much its worthy of comparison (and we're guessing on the internet gross). I think everyone on this board is smart of enough to know that overhead on a tour is alot higher than running a page of downloads.

Fuck Disney, Ive always hated Mickey Mouse (even as a child)

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Not gonna get in on the specifics here, but I will say I had little problems with the sound both nights Cincinnati. Like most concerts, for me anyaway, they started off shaky and then my ears adjusted and it was fine.

I thought they sounded just fine.

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