As a Phish fan that is not attending any of the NYE YEMSG shows this year, I have every reason to look forward to 2014 as the next big thing. Coming off of a fall tour that exceeded expectations, pushed the envelope, and has the band poised for a huge NYE run (plus with a new album on the way) the future hasn't been this bright for The Phish in a long time it seems. But when looking forward constantly (and always looking forward to the next big thing) you can sometimes lose sight of the past and what the band has done. So, on the thirtieth anniversary of Phish, it seems like a good time to look back and try to offer a retrospective of sorts and hopefully in a way that hasn't been done before.
One of my favorite sports blog posts is when a writer goes through and selects, for each jersey number, who the best player is that wore it. So the writer needs to decide to try to rank jersey number 32, they would have to decide between Magic Johnson, Marcus Allen, Karl Malone, Jim Brown, Sandy Koufax, etc. What a choice! Magic was one of the greatest basketball players ever but Jim Brown was the best (in my opinion) running back to play in the NFL. And Koufax's peak over six years was unrivaled in any sport. To relate this to Phish, I wanted to go through the number of times each song is played (since there's 20 days or so before things change again) and try to identify the best and greatest Phish songs for each quantity of songs played. Now clearly some of the songs have been played a unique number of times, and thus are default winners. That list is included here:
So these songs are out. This will leave 70 values left that have at least two songs matching so we'll break those up into some other blog posts. Obviously, once it gets down to less than 30 or so that's where things will get real interesting as the number of 2.0 and 3.0 songs escalate. First post of 20 songs coming shortly.