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Attendance Bias

Author: Brian Weinstein

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Attendance Bias is a podcast for fans to tell a story about an especially meaningful Phish show.
131 Episodes
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. Every once in a while, Phish acknowledges their musical inspirations in interviews, by playing cover songs, or in some very rare cases, playing a certain band’s style within Phish’s own original songs and also acknowledge something that’s going on outside the insular world of the show. When they blend it all together successfully, we all win and go home happy.This was the case on June 25, 2010 at Camden–the first anniversary of the death of pop icon Michael Jackson– when the band started up 2001 right in the middle of the 2nd set and infused several  teases of Michael Jackson’s songs into a spectacular version of 2001.Today, Scott Marks–member of and the mockingbird foundation–returns to the podcast to break down that jam, as well as the larger picture: phish in the summer of 2010, separating the art from the artist, and crowd reactions to unexpected twists and turns. So let’s  join Scott to talk about “2001” from June 25, 2010 in Camden.The Mockingbird FoundationNeighbor
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. A few months ago, I arranged an episode with a guest who wanted to talk about Phish’s performance of “Free” from August 2, 2022 at the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. After trying to set up a recording date and time with the guest, things eventually fell through. I was left with a great jam and a boatload of notes with no one to talk to about it.I put out a call on Phish Twitter and got such a response! It seemed like everybody wanted to talk about this jam, and I can see why. Luckily, we were able to arrange two guests for this fantastic jam: one returning guest–Mike Lowe, who was previously on Attendance Bias to discuss the all-time version of “Fluffhead” from Alpine Valley ‘99, and a brand-new guest: Mercedes from Phish Twitter, or you may know her better as ZzBenz. Either way, it was a perfect way to blend the familiar with the new to go over what several people referred to as the 2022 Jam of the Year.Moving through several sections, Phish took the second set opener and took the audience on a musical journey that felt like it was composed and spontaneous at the same time. But I don’t want to spoil it. Let’s join Mercedes and Mike to talk about Summer 2022, planetarium music, and Hansen, as we discuss “Free” from August 2, 2022 at Blossom.
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. It’s not unusual for musical theater to pop up as a conversation topic on this podcast–after all, despite their down to earth appearances, Phish is a very theatrical band. But today’s guest may be the first professional musician who has played percussion and drums in Broadway level pit bands! Today’s guest is Ashley Baier, and as a fan of drums, theater, and of course Phish, I am thrilled to welcome her to Attendance Bias For today’s episode, Ashley chose to discuss the Phish show played on July 4, 2012 at the Jones Beach Amphitheater. In the summer of 2012, Phish seemed to make an effort to play as many individual songs as possible over the course of a tour. This show, with its bustouts over the holiday made for a very fun, if somewhat unoriginal show.But it wasn’t the music that convinced Ashley to pick this show; it’s the plethora of stories before, after, and during this Independence Day Phish show. So let’s join Ashley Baier to talk about Stephen Sondheim, spotting Trey on the upper west side, and whether or not 2012 counts as “Old School Phish” as we discuss July 4, 2012 at Jones Beach.
12/29/97 @ MSG w/Dave Lutz

12/29/97 @ MSG w/Dave Lutz


Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. Today’s guest is Collin Stangle, from Brooklyn, New York. Collin is a longtime listener of Attendance Bias and he simply reached out to me on Twitter to ask if he could come on the show, and here we are. It was as simple as that! For today’s episode, Collin chose to discuss a major highlight from the early part of the Baker’s Dozen: “Down with Disease” from July 22, 2017 at Madison Square GardenI’ve mentioned a number of times that the most commonly chosen era of Phish jams discussed on this show is the summer of 1999. I haven’t done an exact count, but the Baker’s Dozen might be second. Even with our breakdowns of the run on this show, and the Undermine podcast’s in-dept analysis of the record-breaking run, there is something intangibly unique about the band’s idiosyncratic residency at Madison Square Garden, 5 years ago. For Collin, it was even more unique because it was his first show, followed quickly by several more during the run. In today’s discussion, Collin explains the universally exciting feeling we all got from our first show, and then we blend that experience with figuring out the bits and pieces of the most impressive Phish experience of this century.So let’s join Colin to talk about donuts, crowd reactions, and sneaking snacks into a show as we discuss “Down with Disease” from July 22, 2017 at Madison Square Garden. 
Festival 8 w/ Todd M

Festival 8 w/ Todd M


Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. Today’s guest is Todd M, who chose one of the last remaining Phish festivals not yet discussed on this podcast: the underrepresented and possibly underappreciated Festival 8, from October 30 to November 1, 2009 in Indio California. Like most festivals covered on Attendance Bias, it would be the longest episode ever if we covered every song from a three day festival, so Todd chose highlights from each set from that weekend.Although 2009 doesn’t garner much discussion among the Phish fanbase, Festival 8 had a lot going for it: it was a festival, obviously, which is notable in itself, but it also was the first festival in 3.0, it was on the west coast, it was during Halloween, and it even contained a scheduled morning acoustic set. It felt like Phish knew about all of high-profile fun stuff that us fans love about the band and stuffed most of it into one weekend. On top of that, of course, is the music.Todd fleshes out what it was like to be at such an event, where all of these favorite Phish checklist items intersected at once. He also tells us about midwest roadtrips, street names at the festival, and the best versions of Suzy Greenberg ever.Just a note: around halfway through today’s interview, the cord on my microphone jarred loose and the audio quality on my end isn’t as good for the 2nd half. It’s easy to get used to, but I hope it doesn’t bother you as much as it bothers me. Cheers, and enjoy today’s episode with Todd.
7/30/03 @ Camden w/ Mike K

7/30/03 @ Camden w/ Mike K


Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. Today’s guest is Michael K, who chose to discuss Phish’s show from July 30, 2003 at what was then the Tweeter Center in Camden.The end of July 2003 was, at least in my opinion, the pinnacle of the 2.0 era. The band had the February tour to get reacquainted with the road, and the longer summer tour hit all of the familiar and favorite venues. By the time they reached the end of July, 2003, the band and the fans were on the precipice of the ultimate expression of the Phish experience: the IT festival. But before IT, the band had a lot to say through their instruments, and today’s show said a lot through lots of rarities, off-beat covers, and the long-sought after four song second set.Michael is a longtime listener of Attendance Bias, and you’ll hear him explain how a combination of listening to the podcast and his love for the Velvet Underground led him to get in touch to share his love for this show in Camden. So enough from me; let’s join Mike to talk about bootleg tshirts, the Velvet Underground, and Fishman’s China cymbal, as we discuss Phish’s show from July 30, 2003 at the Tweeter Center in Camden, NJ.
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. The phrase “attendance bias” typically means that you enjoy a show, or find it special, to a degree that might be irrational compared to a more objective assessment. But today’s guest took the term and expanded its meaning a bit. He chose a show that was extremely meaningful to him in a way that no other guest thus far has approached. It is not a stretch to say that today’s guest tonally broke new ground for the podcast. All that said, today’s guest is the host of the Brokedown Podcast, co-host of the Helping Friendly Podcast, and musician, Jonathan Hart. If you’ve listened to the excellent Helping Friendly Podcast, then you’ve heard Jonathan’s voice alongside his co-hosts RJB, Brian Brinkman, and Megan Glionna, who have all appeared here on attendance bias. While RJ, Brian, Megan, and virtually all Attendance Bias guests have chosen shows or performances that thrilled or impressed them, Jonathan bucked the trend and picked a show from Phish’s lowest point: August 9, 2004 at the Hampton Coliseum. As you’ll hear us discuss extensively, Jonathan chose not to attend Coventry, so at the time, this Hampton show was presumably the last time he would ever see Phish. With expectations and emotions at an all-time high, it wasn’t so great when the band didn’t deliver. So while Jonathan has attendance bias toward this show, it’s not for the usual reasons.  So let’s join Jonathan to talk about August 2004, why the band loves Hampton so much, and the meaning behind Crowd Control as we discuss Phish’s show from August 9, 2004 at the Hampton Coliseum.
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. When Attendance Bias was first getting off the ground about two years ago, it seemed like every guest chose a show or a jam from the summer of 1999. Even though I didn’t see any shows from that tour, it seemed that within a few weeks, I became an expert on that time and place of Phish history. Then, as more and more guests came on the podcast, we ventured all throughout Phish history, and summer ‘99 took a back seat. But today’s guest is here to bring us back to our roots. That guest is Jenn Moore, who you may have previously heard on the Helping Friendly Podcast. Jenn chose to discuss set 1 of July 25, 1999 at Deer Creek. Surely, there is a virtually unlimited supply of special moments from Deer Creek, but Jenn chose this set for many sentimental reasons that you’re about to hear, but also because this set, with its bustouts, rarities, new material for the time, community vibe and goofiness, sticks out in her showgoing life. So let’s join Jenn to talk about New York hippie towns, traveling through the midwest, and being a budding hippie in law school, as we discuss Phish’s first set from July 25, 1999 at Deer Creek.
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. In the film Almost Famous, which I’m guessing is a favorite among many Phish fans, there’s a scene toward the very beginning where the hero’s older sister leaves home and secretly donates her extensive record collection to her younger brother. He sorts through them, settling on The Who’s Tommy and plays “Sparks.” That scene is the literal transition from the character being an immature young wallflower, into a young man with solid musical tastes and a sure sense of what he was put on earth to do. While today’s guest is not Cameron Crowe, that scene from my favorite movie came to mind more than once as we spoke. Today’s guest is AJ Masko, and he chose to speak about Phish’s performance of Down With Disease into While My Guitar Gently Weeps from July 15, 2000 at the Polaris Amphitheater. AJ was not exactly brand new to Phish, but he was still in his honeymoon period where every new discovery from the band takes you back to your classic rock phase that you cherished and loved for so many years. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, then don’t worry; you’ll still be able to appreciate today’s conversation.On top of that, AJ also captures the feeling of late-1.0; the layered ambient music, the exploding population of the scene, the dangers at the edges, and the post-Cypress glow of the entire Phish experience. Even though we didn’t see many of the same shows or tours, AJ and I had similar Phish feelings around the time of Y2K, and this conversation was a true pleasure.So let’s join AJ to talk about 11-minute jams, the need for more late 1.0 soundboards, and godlike ferris wheels, as we discuss  Down with Disease into While My Guitar Gently Weeps from July 15, 2000 at The Polaris Amphitheater.
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. Although it’s arguably  the most important year of Phish’s career, not many Attendance Bias guests pick shows or jams from 2009. It’s understandable–2009 isn’t exactly overflowing with standout jams from Phish’s entire catalogue, but this podcast is about what’s special to the guest; not necessarily the most mind blowing music out there. However, today’s guest–Lindsay Hope–chose a show that has it all: August 7, 2009 at The Gorge.Any Phish show at The Gorge is special by its very nature. But in 2009, it felt like all of us who were into the band in 1.0 or 2.0, were getting a second chance to experience everything we’ve always wanted to do with Phish. Even though the music wasn’t always mind blowing, there were dozens of special experiences, and Lindsay had to face her share of obstacles to make her dream of seeing Phish at the Gorge come true.So let’s join Lindsay to talk about the Denver police department, Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, and windy condoms, as we discuss Phish’s show from August 7, 2009 at The Gorge.
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. Today’s guest is Derek Hartley of Portland, Maine. Derek chose to speak about July 26, 2017, better known as Powdered Night of the Baker’s Dozen at Madison Square Garden. Two nights of Phish’s landmark residency have already been covered on Attendance Bias, so I initially wasn’t sure what else could be said, but immediately after emailing with Derek, I was brought back to the absolute splendor that was Powdered night. Since it was played, I’ve considered it to be the best night of the Baker’s Dozen, musically speaking, and this was a great opportunity to hear someone else’s view of it, to dig a bit deeper into what made it such a successful night. Derek is originally from northern Maine, and since he got into Phish right at the end of 2.0, he didn’t have much opportunity to see the band live. But he and his wife took a fortuitous trip to New York City in the summer of 2017 to make up for lost time, and hit what was arguably the best three consecutive nights of the dozen. So let’s join Derek to talk about calling songs during the dozen, Raspberry Beret, and the best beers in Maine as we discuss Phish’s performance from July, 26 2017 at Madison Square Garden.
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. Today’s guest is Chris from the Phish Just Jams website and app. We all love Phish songs, but sometimes you just want to get straight to the jams, and that’s what Chris, and his brother Brian, created: a database that allows fans to do just that.  In addition to Just Jams, Chris is here to talk about the second set of an out-of-nowhere, or in the middle of nowhere, show: November 16, 1996 at the Civic Auditorium in Omaha, Nebraska. 1996 has taken a little bit of a beating on this podcast and in general when it comes to Phish. We’ll get into it deeper, but myself and many guests have referred to 1996 as an “off year” or an “in between year” when it comes to Phish’s development. I’ve certainly realized the folly in that description, and according to Chris, it this type of show that caused that type of generalization in the first place. While the 2nd set is everything anyone could ever want in a Phish show, the first set is nothing remarkable. So in a time when it wasn’t so easy to just pick and choose which part of a show you wanted to hear, anyone listening to this first set may incorrectly assume that there’s nothing special about the show in general. That’s one reason that we are reviewing just the second set of this 1996 show in Omaha.  So let’s join Chris to talk about Trey’s percussion setup, standing up during Kung, and turkey legs as we discuss the second set of Phish’s performance from November 16, 1996 at the Omaha Civic Auditorium.
Hi everybody and welcome to this week’s episode of Attendance Bias. I am your host, Brian Weinstein. We have a very special guest for today’s episode. For the most part, Attendance Bias is focused on fans of the band, and each fan tells his or her story. But once in a long while, a person directly associated with the band will come on the podcast to talk about their history with Phish and to break down a special show or jam. Tom Marshall has been on the pod, Sue Drew who was the band’s A&R rep at Elektra Records told her story, and today’s guest ranks right up there in his ability to tell about his Phish experience from the inside out. And today’s guest is member of the Giant Country Horns and current trumpet player for Roomful of Blues, Carl “Gears” Gerhard. Carl chose to tell about his gig with Phish at Arrowhead Ranch, NY, on July 21, 1991.If you got into Phish at a time when tape collecting was still part of the experience, there is no doubt that this gig came across your radar at some point. The second of two shows, this fan favorite was the midway point of the July 1991 horn tour, and you could tell that the band–the full band–was feeling it, full throttle. Aside from the music, though, a main goal of this podcast is to help the listener feel as though he or she is right there with the guest, feeling and experiencing the show that’s being discussed. What makes today’s episode special is that Carl is able to get us backstage and onstage with Phish as he tells us about the conversations and decisions that led to the horn tour, and what it felt like to collaborate with Phish and the other members of the Giant Country Horns. More important than anything, though, is that Carl was extremely generous with his time and his words, welcoming us into the world that was Phish tour in the early 90s.So let’s join Carl to talk about Tony Bennett, life in the Navy, and 48 hour marathon rehearsals, as we discuss Phish's show from 7/21/91 at Arrowhead Ranch.
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