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Phish – 'Live Bait Vol. 17'

(Photo Credit - LivePhish Twitter)

I’m trying to complete a lot today. Being an ADHD-driven multitasker, I chose to listen to Phish’s Live Bait Vol. 17 while writing an article about gardening.

Damn! After listening to Kasvot Vӓxt: í rokk (Live), I wrote that sometimes I get excited about a band that I have loved many times before. This is another of those times. Maybe it is my mood; it could be that I want to see some live music very badly, or who knows, perhaps this particular release is something that is up there with other greats. I have no idea when it will happen, but if music hits just right, there’s perfection in it.

I’m not going to sit here and say that this is a perfect release. There are probably people out there that have every one of these shows already. “Runaway Jim,” at 32:37, might be a little too long for some people. (I’ve been going through a Runaway kick, so I love it.) Or, they just don’t understand Phish. I don’t know. I could try to come up with more reasons people hate on Phish, but I am not. I love the songs chosen for this Live Bait, and I love the versions. Check out the “Split Open and Melt.” It’s an old one from ’94, one I’ve probably heard before. But again, DAMN!!! Hearing a version like this gets me excited to see them in Hershey and/or Atlantic City.

A couple of other things that I love about this collection is that it comes in at over three hours, it spans twenty years, and it’s free. Yes! It’s free at

The only questionable comment I have relates to who I think this Phish Bait is for. This is not the collection to turn a newbie into a Phan. Not someone who isn’t used to jam bands or the concept of songs longer than a few minutes. This Bait is for someone like me who is debating going to a show. It’s for someone who knows Phish and wants to know more. However, don’t be afraid to put it on in the background. Those who don’t know will be like, “Is this the same song?”

After a smile and a snicker, “Yep.”

Eye rolls, sighs, and negative comments don’t affect me. I wear my Phan Badge with pride. Shit, I went to grad school at Goddard because three-quarters of Phish went there. And their music plays in the background of a lot of fiction. Which reminds me, in my next book, the main character and his lifelong best friend go on tour. So, I guess I need to go to a show and do a little research. Thanks, Live Bait Vol. 17. I just needed a little incentive.

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