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DMB vs. Phish - Who is better?

Phish and the Dave Matthews Band will likely be forever linked in terms of jam bands from the 90’s, despite their varied mainstream appeal.

Before the DMB achieved commercial success, though, the two bands shared a friendship.  Did you know that Phish, who rarely has opening acts at their live shows, allowed the Dave and his crew to open on three occasions in 1994? The shows, were in Dave’s hometown of Virginia and allowed the two bands to play to each other’s fan bases. And on each occasion where the DMB opened for Phish, fans were treated to long amazing  jams involving both bands. Trey has sat in at several DMB performances, including 1/26/95, 2/24/95 and 5/19/01. Members of both bands also shared the stage as part of the Ritz Power Jam on 2/5/93.

 

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So why is there such a stark difference between the two fan bases?  Why do fans hate one or the other with a passion?

I’m not entirely sure, but there is obviously a riff with the two fan-bases is there.

Firstly Phish. sometimes Phish tends to jam out way too long and the songs are kind of thrown together with cheesy lyrics. Not saying this is bad, but if you are looking for deep meaningful songs with relatable lyrics, Phish leaves a lot to be desired.

Musically, they are solid and amazing. Their talent is through the roof. The jams take you on a wild roller-coaster of emotions. There are ups and downs, but the fans go along for the ride. Fans are typically categorized to be more on the hippie grill cheese grilling side.

Best Jam worthy songs include: The divided sky, Simple, Limb by limb, Stash, Walls of the cave

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Now Dave Matthews Band. Their jams are very tight and their songs tend to be a bit more poppy with stronger lyrics. That isn’t to say all of their songs are like that, in fact, there are plenty of songs that have cheesy lyrics and repeat the theme love over and over.. Also, there seems to be a love/hate theme with Dave’s voice. Fans are considered to be frat-jerks for some reason, although not sure where that really originated because I know plenty of fans that are not even close to be in a frat.

Best Jam worthy songs include: 41, Seek up, Dancing Nancies, Lie in our Graves.

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I may fall under the rare category that likes both. There is room for both and certainly talent with both.

What do you think?
 

 


3 comments

  • There has always been a lot of hate for DMB in the hardcore Jam scene (like the die hards of Phish WSP, Dead &Co,SCI ect which are all bands I listened to also) My opinion its cause DMB’s arrangements and tightness of the band, not doing 2-3 20+min improv jam, DMB’s deep lyrics references(which most people don’t understand his lyrical style)many things and sometimes the
    band evencrossed over to mainstream, DMB’s tour is not set up and is too pricey to(up and quit you job and ‘just be free") & follow the band. They are disliked also become they have made more money than any “current Jam Band” ever has. The music DMB and Dave and Tim play is not just a song it is a feeling thats euphoric that allows us to escape our problems, stress, and enjoy the unreplacable high and euphoria. Since my show #1 on 12/27/95 at the Omni I knew I just found something special. The Original 5 Dave, Carter, LeRoi, Stephan and BT. change and brought ungodly joy to this person’s life at a time when I have

    Thank you DMB just for being and staying DMB.

    Jeremy
  • If it weren’t for DMB Phish would get a TON more hate than they do (which is next to none). DMB is a shield for them. I like both but honestly I prefer acoustic guitar to electric and Matthews’ singing can give me chills. Phish is a true jamband. If that’s your thing that’s your thing.

    JoeyFantony
  • Truth is, as a Dave fan, I don’t mind Phish’s music. What gets exhaustive is listening to their fans tell me how “Epic” every show is, and how “You just don’t get it dude”… Like, it’s so ironic how these wannabe, left over Dead fans, loooove to preach about acceptance, love, etc, but can never see the irony of saying things like “That band (enter ANY, cuz’ if it ain’t Phish) sucks. Or, my personal favorite is when the same group whose probably never sniffed a higher education, wants to tell you all about Phish’s Musical Educational accolades… Like, now school is cool… hahaha. Liberal Haters is all….

    Josh Wallace

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