The Phish & Bern Report: July 14, 2017

Phish prepares for their summer schedule and releases Live Bait Vol. 13; Bernie keeps busy decrying Trumpcare and endorses a candidate for Maryland governor.


After a quick sprint of full-production rehearsals at BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Phish gets ready to kick off their Summer 2017 tour tonight in Chicago. The quartet from Vermont has a three-night stand at Northerly Island this weekend, before a Tuesday night stop in Dayton, OH, and then a show in Pittsburg the following evening.

It’s hard not to imagine these first 5 shows as warm-up calisthenics for the much-anticipated Baker’s Dozen residency at Madison Square Garden, beginning July 21st. Breaking with 30 years of tradition, Phish will stay put for the bulk of their summer tour with an unprecedented run of 13 shows at a single venue.

Trey has expressed his excitement as to what musical possibilities may open up after an extended run of shows in one place, as the band begins to feel more comfortable and loose. It’s safe to say, fans are equally excited to see what will transpire within those hallowed halls of the Garden.

True to a different tradition, LivePhish just released a free download compilation of excellent past performances from this summer’s host of venues. Unsurprisingly, there’s a whole lot of MSG on there, but, in honor of the tour opening at Northerly Island, Live Bait Vol. 13 also includes the longest ever exploration out of “The Wedge,” from Phish’s 7/20/14 show in the Windy City.

Watch the video below. The jam moves into Type II improvisation just shy of the 6-minute mark, and, before long, the guys groove into something like “Paradise City” for an anthemic peak.


Jane Sanders has been in the news more than usual lately as there are minor developments in an investigation concerning the alleged mismanagement of funds while she headed the now-shuttered Burlington College. Documents have been requested, and the Sanders have enlisted a lawyer. Not much more is known at this point.

Read past the headlines with a keen eye for substantial details when following this story. Both the Right and the Left are chomping at the bit to discredit Sanders. This story is the best they have so far, so expect them to milk it for everything it’s worth.

Otherwise, Bernie continues in his mission of fighting for an America that works for everyone, not just the wealthy and the incorporated. Yesterday, he appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” to discuss the GOP’s newest healthcare bill and their appallingly cruel budget priorities.

Later, Bernie could be spotted on the Senate floor (or through Facebook live) denouncing the particulars of the healthcare bill and how it is being constructed and vetted. The bill’s vetting process has left many unanswered questions. And the answers that have been provided — more for the wealthy and less for everyone else — are not satisfactory in the least.

As tireless as ever, Bernie also managed to announce a major endorsement for Ben Jealous in Maryland’s upcoming gubernatorial race.

Keep it up, Bernie! You can keep tabs on Bernie’s and Phish’s summer adventures on Twitter @phishnbern.