Music is my life. When I was asked to write this article about what I am listening to, I wasn't sure where to start, so I thought I would start at the beginning.
As long as I can remember, my mom has always had music playing. Whether it was at home, in the car or in the yard, there always was music playing. When I was in middle school, I was into hard rock big time.
I had long hair, wore band T-shirts and loved my skateboard. The first song I fell in love with was "Thunderstruck" by AC/DC. Remember that one? It was at this time that I took my first guitar lesson.
My repertoire included "Iron Man" by Black Sabbath, "Smoke on the Water" by Deep Purple, and of course, "Stairway to Heaven" by Led Zeppelin. As I fell in love with my guitar, I started turning toward the guitar gods as my favorite music. Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour and Carlos Santana were among my heroes.
In seventh grade, my older hippie-ish cousin who was a student at the University of Vermont introduced me to a jam band called Phish. I never heard of them but appeased her by listening to a few songs - it wasn't my cup of tea.
For the next three years, I continued to widen my musical horizons. My taste ranged from The Doors to Dave Matthews Band. My mom took me to my first concert, which was Blue Oyster Cult. I love seeing music performed live and wanted to experience more "live acts." While scoping out more music, I stumbled onto Phish.com, and that was all she wrote.
Phish became an obsession for me. I simply could not get enough of them. With four books read and four days worth of their music on my iPod, they never fail to impress me.
For those of you who aren't familiar, Phish is a four-piece jam band led by Trey Anastasio on lead guitar. Mike Gordon is the bass player and he is the reason why I picked up the bass. His approach to playing is more of a lead instrument than the typical bass player. Page McConnell is one of the most gifted piano players that I have ever heard. Without him, their sound would not be complete. Last but not least, John Fishman is the drummer. Wearing a polka dot moo-moo dress at every concert, he is the final ingredient.
Phish focuses on improvisation and making every concert a unique experience. The group's collection of songs range from deep funk to hard rock to hip hop, jazz, bluegrass and 30-minute jams. I have been to three of the band's concerts and view each of them as some of the greatest nights of my life.
Phish has played more than 1,100 shows from 1985 to the present. The band is all about the live performance versus the studio recordings. That is why I love Phish: The music is for the fans. Every night is a different setlist with no song being performed the same way twice. The members of the band are planning a new summer tour and I am trying to catch a few shows.
To wrap it up, Phish will always be a part of my life. I am, however, always open to new music. Right now, some of my favorite music comes from the funk sounds of The Meters to the new wave sounds of the Talking Heads, and yes, even rap. I saw Lil Wayne two weeks ago and The Disco Biscuits on New Year's Eve. As I said before, music is my life.