With the race for the presidency on the line, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ latest announcement has astonished all of the political pundits. The Democratic hopeful recently revealed that he was suspending his campaign, with plans to follow Phish on tour.You can read the brief announcement from Sanders’ camp below:While this presidential campaign is important for America, I have decided to put this political jargon aside and enjoy a series of concerts performed by the group Phish. Lyrics like ‘surrender to the flow’ and ‘sharing in the Weekapaug groove’ have made me realize that life is too short for politics, and best spent enjoying great music. Once Fishman said that he would put me on the VIP guest list for any summer date that I wanted to attend, the choice was clear. I hope he comes through with the pav tickets. Sanders had recently praised Phish in a press conference, following a performance by Phish drummer Jon Fishman at a Sanders campaign rally. Considering that both Sanders and Phish can trace their roots back to Vermont, and Bernie’s wife Jane Sanders recently spoke about liking the band, the Sanders-Phish pairing seems all but natural to those who follow the band.We reached out to Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio for comment, and he replied, “I knew our music had an effect on people, but for Bernie to put his campaign on hold to catch our summer tour is a whole new level of dedication. Wow.”While Anastasio seemed impressed by the news, Fishman showed some disappointment when learning about Sanders’ decision. “I was secretly hoping that Sanders would name me his running mate. We even scheduled our tour to end a couple of days before the DNC,” said Fishman, referring to the Democratic National Convention scheduled for July 25-28. “I don’t think I could wear the dress in the White House, though,” he added.A Sanders-Fishman ballot would surely have secured the Phish vote, but perhaps little else…[Image via Aux.TV/April Fools!]
Load remaining images Umphrey’s McGee saved the best for last, as the third and final night of the Minneapolis run yesterday, April 30th, showed UM at their superlative form. The second set is what dreams are made of, and the unplanned double encore was the best way possible to end the run.“Gents” into “1348” got the night started off. As metal as the song is, “1348” actually had a more psychedelic jam that was a harbinger of what the rest of the show would be, especially the second set. The first set continued with excellent musicianship, delivering fun renditions of “The Bottom Half,” “Hurt Bird Bath” and more.“JaJunk” opened the second set, which included a small jam where Ryan Stasik laid down a funky bass line that eventually lead to the ending, with Joel Cummins pounding the keys and the guitarists shredding. Brendan Bayliss even covered Jake Cinninger’s eyes, as the latter rocked his solo at the end of the song.The “Nemo” segment was phenomenal as it contained a “Sweetness,” as well as a rocking version of Led Zeppelin’s “Dancing Days.” Bayliss thanked the crowd, before launching into “Dump City.” At one point, this version got so psychedelic that it more resembled a Grateful Dead “Space” than a rock show. The band zoned out with a bunch of weird noises and sounds, with percussionist Andy Farag going wild on his kit during this free-for-all. They eventually brought it back to the ending of the song for what was a wild ride of a “Dump City.”Next up was a slower moment with “in The Kitchen,” filled with quality improv throughout. They finished the set with a monster version of Talking Heads’ “Making Flippy Floppy,” with Cummins leading some great synth licks and featuring Cinninger and Stasik with their own keyboard contributions.They encored with an unusually placed “2nd Self” which segued into “The Floor,” both of which were rocking. That was supposed to be the end of the night, as a bow and a wave were given from the members of Umphrey’s. The crowd applauded. The band members left the stage. The crowd applauded. The house lights started turning on. The crowd continued applauding, louder. At some point, the screaming and yelling turned into a full-fledged Umphrey’s chant that seemed to last forever. Finally, they turned all the lights off and the place went pitch black. It was deafening. Umphrey’s could no longer deny us, and returned to the stage for a rare double encore. The Minneapolis Umphreaks willed the band back on to the stage. Kudos.Umphrey’s delivered a “Triple Wide” that contained a “Cigarette Cables” middle section. It was truly worthy of the double encore. Thank you for a real good time, Umphrey’s McGee.Check out the All Things Umphrey’s setlist and a full gallery from Ojeda Photography below:Setlist: Umphrey’s McGee at First Avenue, Minneapolis, MN – 4/30/16Set One: Gents > 1348, Andy’s Last Beer, The Bottom Half, Liquid > Thin Air, We’re Going to War > Hurt Bird BathSet Two: JaJunk, Nemo > Sweetness > Dancing Days > Nemo, Dump City, In the Kitchen, Making Flippy FloppyEncore: 2nd Self > The FloorEncore 2: The Triple Wide > Cigarette Cables > The Triple Wide
In the wake of Prince’s passing, a number of interesting elements of the musician’s life have been turned over for a closer look. Things like his mysterious vault and Paisley Park mansion have come under the public eye, and the origin of one of Prince’s most intriguing aspects, his one-of-a-kind symbol, has come to light.In a new Wired article, graphic designer Mitch Monson talks about the many design elements of the symbol. “He really wanted to see this feminine quality to [the symbol], and have this mix of male and female,” Monson said. “He saw those elements being important, and being integrated.” The symbol borrows heavily from the ancient male and female images.There’s also an interesting imbalance to the symbol in its various curves, which were intentionally designed. “It was supposed to be that way; he didn’t want it to be perfect.” The imperfections of the icon are meant to symbolize the imperfections of the human body. Asymmetry in the left spiral and right crossbar are add to the symbol’s mystique.Finally, people have intuited the Christian cross element, which is especially prominent in the bottom of the symbol. Some believe that the symbol’s dichotomy between man and woman fuel a second dichotomy between sex and religion.Of course, the symbol itself stemmed from a legal dispute with Warner Brothers, when Prince changed his name to the unpronounce-able symbol in an attempt to control his own music. With most things that Prince did, there was also a grandiose plan involved. Guitars, set designs, album covers and more utilized the symbol in future years. In the end, there’s a reason it’s been called the Love Symbol. It’s all about love.
File this one under “ridiculous, yet awesome”. Today, Mexican fast food giant Chipotle released a new animated promotional video called “A Love Story”, which features a cover of the 90s hit “I Want It That Way”. The Backstreet Boys classic is performed by an impressive duo in Jim James from My Morning Jacket and Brittany Howard of the Alabama Shakes, who turn the song into a an acoustic ballad that acts as the suggestive backing track for the story of the video.Check out the cover and animated video below, courtesy of Chipotle’s YouTube channel
Non-partisan, non-profit organization HeadCount has announced “HeadCount Convention Jams“, which will take place at both the Republican and Democratic National Conventions in Cleveland, OH, and Philadelphia, PA, respectively. The invitation-only events have announced some solid musical acts to perform, including Grace Potter, Dawes, and Moon Taxi.On July 18th in Cleveland, Nashville, TN-based Moon Taxi will perform a headlining set at the Republican National Convention, while Vermont’s Grace Potter and L.A.’s Dawes will perform the following week as the Democratic National Convention kicks off in Philly. The latter sets will take place late-night at the Electric Factory.“The Convention Jams are meant to celebrate how music promotes voting and civic participation,” said HeadCount co-chairman Marc Brownstein of the Philadelphia-based rock band The Disco Biscuits. “I’m very excited to host Grace and Dawes in my home town, and show Convention attendees on both sides of the aisle that we really know how to throw a party.”Hosts for the Philadelphia event include Sens. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and Patrick Leahy, D-Vt. – representing the home states of the featured performers – as well as Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., Reps. Steny Hoyer, D-Md., Linda Sanchez, D-Calif. and Peter Welch D-Vt. are also hosts.For the Convention Jam in Cleveland, Reps Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. and Mike McCaul, R-Texas will serve as an Congressional Hosts.The events are not open to the public, but HeadCount’s volunteers from around the U.S. will all be invited to attend. They have already registered over 30,000 voters this year at more than 700 concerts.
Dave Matthews Band hit Tampa, FL last night as part of their 25th anniversary tour, surprising fans with a plethora of throwbacks, a tour debut, and plenty of staple tunes. The night dove straight into “Lie in Our Graves,” which was the first of six songs to be performed from the 1996 Crash album. The band also surprised fans with a tour debut of “Black and Blue Bird”, a song that was welcomed to the mix last spring of 2015. From the crowd-pleasing “Crash Into Me,’ to the jam-heavy “Big Eyed Fish” > “Bismarck” and “Proudest Monkey” > “Satellite” segments, Dave’s Florida run is bringing more than just the heat. Enjoy these fan-shot videos from the scorcher below!#41Funny The Way It IsTomorrow, the band heads to Perfect Vodka Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, FL.Dave Matthews Band @ MIDFLORIDA Credit Union Amphitheatre, Tampa, FL:Lie in Our Graves, Crash into Me, Belly Belly Nice, Black and Blue Bird, Crush, Big Eyed Fish > Bismarck, Proudest Monkey > Satellite, Say Goodbye, #41, Tripping Billies, Digging a Ditch, Funny the Way It Is, Corn Bread > Lie In Our Graves reprise, Stay (Wasting Time)Encore: Granny > Pantala Naga Pampa > Rapunzel[Setlist via DMBAlmanac]
The Frank Zappa family has been through quite a bit of late, and the tensions between the Zappa children don’t appear to be easing any time soon. In fact, with financial troubles plaguing the Zappa Family Trust, both Ahmet and Diva Zappa have announced the sale of numerous items from the family’s archives.According to the LA Times, the auction will take place on November 4th, and feature memorabilia and gear that was stored in the family’s Laurel Canyon home. Hundreds of items are set to be auctioned, including exotic and rare antiques that the Zappas collected while traveling the world, in addition to specific items used by Frank Zappa during his music making.“There are a lot of things that he would spend a lot of money on, but then he’d take it a step further and have it professionally modified,” said Darien Julien, who will be organizing the auction with his Julien’s Auctions company. “It would be unlike anything else anybody else has. Some of them were crude, but it made the sound or did what he wanted — and we kept it exactly as he built them.”Naturally, the other two siblings – Dweezil and Moon – are not in support of this venture. “I do not agree with the auction,” said Moon Zappa during a conversation in the spring. “I don’t want my childhood photos and my baby teeth and my Christmas ornaments and the furniture I grew up with sold to the public. That’s weird.” Dweezil has also commented that he doesn’t want Frank’s guitars being sold, as he feels they belong to him. However, the auction house has yet to release an itemized list, and there’s no guarantee that these items will be sold.The press release lists the following items: exotic furnishings, fine antiques, salvaged architectural pieces, unique collectibles and whimsical items that appealed to their panache for colorful and non-conformist eye, a Venetian gilt metal chandelier, an Italian Baroque console table, and a carved gilt wood bookcase. Contemporary fine art including a still life by John Alexander, a nail relief sculpture by Robert Harley, and a large painting by Ashley Laurence titled ‘Angel Pig’ (painting name given by Gail Zappa) are also included in the auction.For more specific information about the auction, you can head here.[H/T JamBase]
As Neil Young continues to dip into his extensive catalog during live performances with Promise Of The Real, it’s no surprise that the legendary guitarist wants to bring some of that music back into the limelight. With vinyl records more popular than ever, Young has announced the re-release of four albums on the audiophile-friendly media.The four albums include Time Fades Away (1973), On The Beach (1974), Tonight’s The Night (1975) and Zuma (1975). While the albums were reissued as a box set in 2014, this marks their first re-release as individual records. The four albums will be due out on September 6th! Highlights from the four releases include sit-ins from all three members of Crosby Stills and Nash, as well as both Levon Helm and Rick Danko from The Band.All four albums in this collection hit the top 40 charts, but eventually faded from the record store shelves. For any Neil Young fan and vinyl collector, this release must be calling your name.[Via Ultimate Classic Rock]
Stay tuned over the coming days for more Phishmas! ‘Tis the season!On the sixth day of Phishmas, a Phish phan played for me… six Walls a-Cavin’ (12/31/02)Five Song Second Set (12/29/97)Four Light Year Jams (12/29/98)Three Phishy Decades (12/31/13)Two Sitting Legends (10/22/96) and The Gamehendge Time Factory (12/31/95)!If you’re attending the run, there are plenty of things to do in between shows. For fans of the jam, head to any of these concerts in the area for a guaranteed good time!12/28: Aqueous + Mungion @ DROM (Phish After-Party) – tickets12/30: Phan Art w/ Formula 5 @ American Beauty (Phish Pre-Party) – FREE SHOW12/30-31: Spafford & Magic Beans @ American Beauty (Phish After-Party) – tickets In 7 short days, Phish will settle in at Madison Square Garden for their traditional end-of-the-year run. Phish is no stranger to the Garden, having now played the famed venue in the heart of New York City 35 times over the course of their career. From their MSG debut in 1994 to their most recent appearances at the very beginning of 2016, the storied room has played host to some of the most treasured shows in the band’s history. As we inch closer to this year’s New Year’s Run, we will be bringing you our 12 Days Of Phishmas series, highlighting a different milestone MSG Phish show each day until we all head back to the Garden on the 28th. It wasn’t easy narrowing 35 down to 12, but we think you’ll be pleased with these classics from the Phish catalog. Enjoy! On the sixth day of Phishmas, we look at the band’s lone performance at Madison Square Garden during the “2.0” era of their career. After announcing their first hiatus at the end of 2000, the band announced that their return to the public eye would fall on New Year’s Eve of 2002. While fans tend to overlook the shows played during the early 2000’s, there’s truly something to be said about, not only making a triumphant return, but making it at Madison Square Garden, with three new songs in tow.The music in the Garden certainly enhanced the mood, as tracks like the “Welcome Back Kotter” theme, “The Boys Are Back In Town” and more greeted fans through the PA system. The music built up the anticipation, and the band’s appearance on stage set the crowd into an uproar. The band, meanwhile, responded with a show-opening “Piper” to hit the ground running. All systems go, Phish was back and ready to rage.Watch a short video compilation highlighting Phish’s return to the stage, below.The first set continued with classics from the catalog, like the ugly pig “Guyute” and upbeat numbers like “NICU” and “Horn.” Perhaps the biggest moment from the first set came during “Wilson,” when the band introduced “Tom Hanks” on stage in reference to his recent appearance in the movie Castaway, and his volleyball of the same name. While major media outlets hilariously reported that Hanks had appeared on stage with Phish, the man in question was none other than Steve McConnell, brother to Phish’s Page McConnell. Hilarious!The set continued with the first “Mound” since 1996, followed by the ballad “The Squirming Coil” and a jammed out rendition of “David Bowie” which featured references to the musical theme of “Dave’s Energy Guide.” After the short break, Phish would return with their debut version of the song “Waves,” treating fans to the first new Phish song in years. They kept the music flowing by segueing into “Divided Sky”, and kept the set upbeat with a number of classics from their catalog.Set three featured more new music, as the band debuted their new snowy tune “Seven Below” just a few minutes before midnight. As the song played, a giant disco ball lowered from the MSG scoreboard, and dancers clad in all white descended onto the stage, and subsequently into the crowd. The snowy New Year’s celebration was capped by the release of white snow-like soap and balloons, showering the crowd in a sea of snow before playing the traditional “Auld Lang Syne.”The night was far from over, however, as the band segued into a mean “Runaway Jim” to give the jam fans some loving. Interestingly, the band brought “Jim” into a cover of Little Feat’s “Time Loves A Hero”, and kept things fun with performances of “Taste” and “Strange Design” to wind down the third set. Finally, Phish made their third song debut of the night, playing the new original song “Walls Of The Cave” to close out the third set.After “Wading In The Velvet Sea,” Phish left the stage, with fans feeling stronger than ever about the band’s return. While the “2.0 era” would only last until 2004, those feelings of triumphant return have certainly carried over to the current time, where Phish is as healthy and happy as they’ve ever been. 12/31/02 remains a testament to the reunion of Phish, and with three new songs in the mix, serves as one of their most memorable at Madison Square Garden.Listen to the full audio via fromtheaquarium, and check out the Phish.net setlist below.Phish | Madison Square Garden | New York, NY | 12/31/2002Set 1: Piper, Guyute, NICU, Horn, Wilson, Mound, The Squirming Coil > David BowieSet 2: Waves > Divided Sky, Lawn Boy, Carini, Rift, Harry Hood > Character ZeroSet 3: Sample in a Jar, Seven Below > Auld Lang Syne > Runaway Jim -> Time Loves a Hero, Taste, Strange Design, Walls of the Cave ENCORE: Wading in the Velvet Sea Castaway intro and “Tom Hanks” guest appearance. Debut.Phish returned from their hiatus with their first public show since October 7, 2000. The pre-show music alluded to the end of the hiatus with such songs as the theme from Welcome Back Kotter, Feels Like the First Time, Back in the Saddle Again, Reunited, and The Boys are Back in Town. The final selection was Foreplay/Long Time, during which time the band took the stage. Piper included a Low Rider tease. Prior to Wilson, a scene from the Tom Hanks movie Cast Away was played in the arena (referring to Hanks’ character searching for his volleyball/companion named Wilson). Trey subsequently introduced Hanks to sing the final lyric. Major news media reported the Hanks appearance, but the guest singer was actually Page’s brother, Steve McConnell. Mound was played for the first time since November 19, 1996 (276 shows). Bowie included a DEG tease. This show included the debuts of Waves, Seven Below and Walls of the Cave. Appropriately, Seven Below began about seven minutes before midnight. During the song, the crew lowered a disco ball from the scoreboard and created a “snowfall” on stage. Dancers dressed in white as snow creatures took the stage and circled the band before dispersing into the crowd. Some of the dancers ascended ladders and donned stilts to become snow angels. At midnight, white balloons and confetti were dropped on the crowd. A dwarf remained on each front corner of the stage, popping balloons, while the snow angels continued to dance. Runaway Jim contained a Weekapaug tease from Page. Time Loves a Hero was last played August 11, 1998 (or 151 shows). Walls included a San-Ho-Zay tease from Trey. The evening was capped with perfect post-show music: Let’s Stay Together. Unfinished. Antelope-esque jamming. James Bond Theme tease from Mike.
Lettuce will return to the famed Red Rocks Amphitheatre on May 13th, bringing along an impressive billing of musicians and supporting acts for the Morrison, CO performance. Dubbed Rage Rocks, the show will see Lettuce welcome special guests Cyril Neville, George Porter Jr. and Ghostface Killah, with a number of great bands as well. Performances from Turkuaz, The Russ Liquid Test, and J Rocc of The Beat Junkies are all participating in the Rage Rocks celebration.A limited supply of pre-sale tickets can be found here, as well as more information about the event. To get excited, check out the band’s hype video below![Cover photo via Jeremy Scott]