Earlier in quarantine, Phish announced their archival video series “Dinner And A Movie”. The short hand concept: airing a full show in its entirety for free beginning each Tuesday evening at 8:30 ET via the bands Facebook page. The band will then select a non-profit doing important work right now and all donations made that day via The Water Wheel Foundation will be donated to the cause chosen. Alongside the show would be a recipe provided by the band or one of it’s individual members for fans to cook for their enjoyment with the band emphasizing that there is no need to go to the grocery store to get any more materials and encouraging fans to get creative.
On this week’s Dinner And A Movie, Phish aired July 25, 2017, Jam-filled-Night of the infamous Bakers Dozen run at The Garden. This week’s recipe was Page’s tuna fish sandwich. For years among Phans there have been jokes and memes about how Page loves sandwiches. When phish posted the announcement for this week’s episode they included a note from Page. The note was hilarious. He said he didn’t know where the whole sandwich thing started, but yes he does indeed love sandwiches. This was awesome because not only do they hear our jokes, but they joke back with us. Even if no one can be together, we can still all laugh together, and celebrate music together. This is why Phish is so special.
One neat thing about “Dinner and a Movie” and this new virtual community experience is the video chats. We love being able to video chat a whole group of friends. We can all play the show, dance in our homes, virtually dance together! After all “we’re all in this together!”. Virtual life will never compete with the real thing but we appreciate the band we love giving us the next best thing. The extension of the music is this community. The Phish community is a very real entity with its own beating heart. Together that collective heart raised $10,000 and it was donated to Volunteers in Medicine America, a charity founded by Pages father, Jack McConnell. Even in dark times, Phish never stops delivering the light.
Back to the movie. This was a very special show. The Bakers Dozen was a musical adventure like no other. With each night offering a different donut flavor and a different surprise. We could only speculate as to songs and references but everyone knew that the Jam night was going to be special. Jam being what Phish does best. It was perfect.
They open the show with Sample in a Jar, a great opener. Jam comes in jars! Next is “Lawn Boy”, Yes, that “Lawn Boy” but this time Page brings out the keytar. Watching them, you can see the exact moment where the jam begins. Page holds down that one key, and it’s like an explosion of energy. It was like instantly we were propelled into this deep jam. The jam went so many places, and it just kept going. It kept building and peaking. People really questioned “is this still lawn boy?” Even crazier, it still was “Lawn Boy”! Next was an awesome “My friend, My friend” with no Myfe ending. An eleven minute “Stash” came next, and a rocking “Bathtub Gin” to close. A five song first set. Set two opened with “Fuego” and went into Thread. This was the second time they played Thread. It was awesome to watch it live because Phish just released a studio recording of it on their new album Sigma Oasis.
On our video chat with friends I jokingly picked up a roll of thread and danced around with it, and friends on the chat joined in. Silly things you can only do at virtual shows! After that they went into an incredible “Crosseyed and Painless”. This would be the longest jam of the night at 34 minutes! Another epic jam like Lawn Boy, this surely was jam night! “Makisupa Policeman” was next, and a much needed change of pace, we all needed to take a breath! As the jam was slower we wondered where it would go next. It went a place no one could’ve ever imagined. They debut “End of Session”. “End of Session” was released on Story of The Ghost, in 1998. Now it’s being debuted in 2017. In that moment time stopped. Such a beautiful song, it’s unbelievable that they didn’t debut it for nineteen years. Next they went into “Tuesday”, this is a Trey Anastasio Band (TAB) song and only the second time Phish had played it. Into “Cavern” to close the set. Encore starts with a rocking “Julius”, and then back into “Lawn Boy” to close it out.
It was amazing we could all relive the experience of that show together virtually, it was exactly what we needed. We will see you next week for Dinner and a Movie.