Getting into the Dead has been a slow build for me, but my face has officially been stolen this week as I am getting through the 2017 Long Strange Trip docuseries and listening along through the eras.
I chose this thread title because it was the first Dead song (from Live /Dead) that really hooked me to seek out other versions; but I also think its the song Gizz have come closest to touching on with the similar resolving descending vocal melody in Lonely Steel Sheet Flyer. Hopefully that changes as they even out their jams more.
I’m not quite at the stage of having favourite complete shows yet, but I am enjoying diving into the differences from before and after the 1975 hiatus.
Favourite song other than Dark Star so far is The Other One, and getting more and more familiar with St. Stephen, Sugar Magnolia, China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider etc as I go.
I’ve only just discovered the absolutely pristine Scarlet Begonias > Fire On The Mountain from Cornell 5/8/77, so much still to come that I’m looking forward to.
lol did we just make the same typo? Yeah I’ve read that its considered the best/one of. As much as I love listening to 2-3 hours of uninterrupted music, I’m recently finding that more difficult to find time for so I’m breaking things up a bit.
@AlteredBeef perhaps one day. I’ve tried a few things now and it isn’t really clicking, and I suspect it may not until I tire of discovering new things with the Dead.
Their connections to the scene surrounding them (eg. the acid tests) is what fascinates me; while it seems Phish don’t really have that, more like Phish exist in a space carved out by the Grateful Dead.
I think that there’s a significant overlap in the fanbases and that’s where this perception comes from. A major reason for that overlap IMO is that Jerry died right when Phish was really starting to get big. Suddenly all these people needed a new band to follow and here’s a perfect landing spot (and whether that was a good or bad thing is a major point of contention among the Phish fanbase btw).
But as far as the music goes, while it’s accurate to say that both the Grateful Dead and Phish play psychedelic, improvisational rock music, that’s really about the extent of the similarity. Phish has much more in common musically with Frank Zappa, or Steely Dan, or Talking Heads, or Yes, than they do with the Grateful Dead. I’ve been known to say that Grateful Dead jams are like floating on a cloud but Phish jams are like riding a roller coaster. Obviously that’s an oversimplification but it illustrates how big I see the difference between them being.
So what I really want to say is that I can dig being focused on other things, but I do hope you find the thing that makes it click for you someday. Phish’s music is a world unto itself, and it’s a lot of fun.
Been a huge Dead fan since I was 12 years old, and definitely went to my first first Phish show in 95 at 16 years old hoping to find a similar vibe, and became a massive Phish fan.
Musically Gizz is its own beast, but their spirit and whimsical, comedic, light hearted attitude and penchant for creating unique live performances certainly remind me of both bands. Same with the connection to their audiences.