Five Reasons Phish Is Better Now Than Ever

We shall all be Phishheads forever.
We shall all be Phishheads forever.
Peter Yang

It's great to be a Phan during the golden age of Phish. There is just a certain power and richness to the music, the band, and the community right now.

Some of us saw the band at frat houses in the '80s, made it to 350 shows between '93 and '98, and/or tasted the cheesecake at Big Cypress. Others among us will be attending our first shows when Trey Anastasio and the band play their New Year's Run in Miami.

Regardless, the golden age referred to above is equally accessible to all. It has everything to do with the way you relate to the legendary days of yore and the glorious Phish of now.

See also: Review & Photos: Phish's New Year's Run 2015 in Miami/em>

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On the one hand, the past is completely irrelevant, because Phish is an improvisational jam band that's always playing in the present. Surrendering to the flow means living note to note and remaining ever-curious, rather than passing judgment. On the other hand, history can enrich the experience of the current moment. By reflecting on the band's miraculous rise throughout the '80s and '90s, its peak at Big Cypress in '99, the muddy death in Coventry in 2004, and the luminous rebirth in Hampton in 2009, one can more fully appreciate the celebratory and meaningful quality of Phish 3.0.

It could have ended tragically. Instead, Phish emerged from the darkness and entered its third cycle of being. Here are a few reasons why the band is better now than ever.

1. "Backwards Down the Numberline"

The history is long, and the familiarity is deep. We've all been through a lot together -- the band members and the community. Longevity breeds gratitude and just the right kind of sadness. So some of the notes you'll hear in Miami will be sweeter than they could be if they weren't so well-seasoned by time. Listen for these heady vibes in "Backwards Down the Numberline," the 3.0 theme song.

See also: Phish's New Year's Run 2015 in Miami: Five Best Afterparties

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