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.