A Live One


Photo Credit: Amy Boyd at Sense & Color Photography 

By, Charles Scott

Conceived at the University of Vermont in the early 80s by four college kids, Phish has since ascended to unimaginable greatness. With a sound that encapsulates a blend of genres ranging from barbershop quartet to psychedelic rock, the band continues to shower jams over its cult-like following of “Phans” across the globe.

One of those places used to be Texas, but save for a set in 2010 at the Austin City Limits music festival; they haven’t been back since the late 90s.

Phish-heads living in Texas have since needed an outlet—a way to satisfy their fix.

Now there’s something treading through the water that does just that.

Meet A Live One, the only alternative option for Texas music fans that want to experience the magic of Phish without leaving the Lone Star State. A Live One is comprised of four Phish-heads. Their goal is simple: celebrate the music Phish has created over the past three decades by recreating it. Their show is the closest you’re going to get to the real thing unless you’re willing to travel. Based out of Austin, A Live One now frequents three or more venues across Texas each month.

“We’re just celebrating the music with you guys. We don’t even feel like a cover band,” says Michael Boyd, the band’s bass player. “We want to feel it just as badly as you guys do. And Texas [just] doesn’t have it [anymore].”

Josh Pearson is on guitar. He’s admired Trey Anastasio, the real guitarist of Phish, his entire musical career and has studied Anastasio’s technique extensively.

“It totally shapes me as a guitar player,” he said. “It’s a joy to be able to play the music that’s been such an inspiration to me for so long.”

When A Live One debuted in 2011, they had no clue they’d be packing out the historic Granada Theatre in Dallas less than two years later.

“We usually cap out at about 150 people,” Boyd said during an interview after playing the Granada on a recent Friday evening, “[but] to see 600 people there, [that was amazing].”

In the beginning, Boyd says, the band had no expectations of even coming close to that many people. Some members like Dan McGreevy, who plays drums, have day jobs, and so originally their schedule was limited to shows for friends and bars. But with such an apparent desire for the sounds of Phish in Texas, that’s changing.

According to Pearson, A Live One is now committed to 3-day runs across the state on the last weekend of each month.

On February 1, Dallas caught day two of one of those runs at The Granada Theatre.

But the last thing he wants to do is come off as egotistical: “We’re no where near the real thing,” he said in a humble tone, seeming to reflect his undying respect for Phish.

“[But] if you close your eyes for a minute you might catch that moment of bliss” that you’d get at a real show.

Bottom line: If you love Phish, have 10 dollars in your wallet, and don’t want to deal with the stresses, hassles and cost of leaving the state to see the real thing, then go catch A Live One.


Upcoming shows:

March 1 Sundown at Granada (Following Yonder Mountain String Band at the Granada Theater) 3520 Greenville Ave. Dallas, TX 75206

March 3 Head for the Hills Festival 3876 Medina Highway Kerrville, TX 78021

March 8 One-2-One w/ Forgotten Space 1509 South Lamar Blvd #600 Austin, TX 78704


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