Runaway Gin Announce 2022 Fall Tour Dates and New Concept, “Makisupa Police, Man”: Interview

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Runaway Gin – A Tribute to Phish announces new dates and a new concept as they head into Fall Tour 2022. While the band has always stuck to performing songs written and covered by Phish, they have decided that it’s time to branch out, and have introduced a new concept called “Makisupa Police, Man”.

This means that they will start working in the music of Sting and the Police into their Phish cover sets, making for a unique combination. The new concept is sure to be a catalyst for sonic exploration as the band heads from Greenville, SC all the way up to the famed Nectar’s of Burlington, VT.

Check out what Dr. Andy Greenberg has to say about the new concept and dates below! Tickets and information available at http://www.atributetophish.com/tour.

Where are you heading this fall, and where are you super excited about?

AG: We are headed to Greenville, SC, Asheville, NC, Murfreesboro, TN, Charleston, SC, Columbia, SC, Atlanta, GA, High Point, NC, Baltimore, MD, New York, NY, Burlington, VT, Roanoke, VA, Raleigh, NC, Richmond, VA, and Charlotte, NC.

AG: While I am very very excited to play on all of these stages on our tour, I am super excited to travel back to Burlington to play at Nectar’s! As I’m sure you know this is a legendary venue in Phish lore and as it was one of the earliest venues they played and was essentially their home venue for years between 1987 and 1989.  We have been talking about playing there for many many years and it’s going to be awesome to feel that residual magic and history.

The band unveiled “Makisupa Police, Man” as a new concept, what is it? 

AG: Starting September 24th at the Pour House we are essentially going to be interweaving the music of the Police and Sting with Phish. We will use these new songs as jam vehicles and also come up with Mashups and segues to connect the two catalogs. This is a new turn for us because up to this point we have only played songs written by Phish and songs Phish has covered.

Where did this idea come from? 

AG: During our ‘Just the Covers’ show after Phish in May we debuted ‘Strawberry Letter 23’ and jammed it out for about 30 minutes. I remember the feeling of dropping into that jam and feeling more free than usual, perhaps because I hadn’t really heard the song opened up extensively. I knew that this was a significant feeling and that there was something to be derived from it but it wasn’t until it marinated for a bit that I figured where it was leading.

AG: I was at Commodore which is an awesome venue in downtown Charleston listening to Sean Bing lead a group of amazing musicians and he looked at me and started spontaneously mashing up the ‘Ghost’ beat with ‘Walking on the Moon’. It made me realize perhaps we were limiting ourselves by having exclusively Phish material in our repertoire. Eventually that memory found the Strawberry Letter memory and something started growing.

AG: Sean is a very very talented vocalist and I had been looking for a way to showcase his vocals more and he crushes Sting vocals so it was a logical path. We had even talked before he joined Runaway Gin about forming a Sting cover band called ‘Stung’. All these ideas and revelations combined to cause me to search for a name and it came instantly. 

It’s been a little over a year since this lineup debuted, what are the best things this lineup brings to the music of Phish?

AG: In my estimation, we are bringing a new twist to some of these tunes. I have always been very opinionated that everyone should play as close as possible to the actual parts that Phish plays in this project. While that strategy has served us well over the years this lineup has shown me that there are new things that can be done in some of these songs which breathes new lines into them. A perfect example of this is the way Sean sometimes vacillates between following the guitar motif and the bassline on ‘First Tube’. We were in rehearsal one day and he started doing it and we all burst out laughing. It was so jarring and radical. We quickly all agreed that this was a good thing!

A lot of Runaway Gin shows have had a lower song count. Is there anything done in rehearsal that helps you all lock into these long improv segments?

AG: We don’t spend a whole lot of time in rehearsals practicing jamming per se but we do talk about jamming a good bit to each other and we all definitely think about it all the time. When we are playing I don’t know that we are consciously trying to make the jams long but rather we are just very open to each other’s musical ideas and we are all listening very intently. None of it is planned and that’s what makes it such a potent meditation like escape for us. We later just open up and let them do what they want.

Did any of the band get to see Phish for the first time when they came to Charleston? How was their first show?

AG: Tim came with me to his first show May 31st and Sean came on June 1st. Jen has seen many shows but she came on the 31st also. I really loved both of the shows! We were inspired to add ‘Knuckle Bone Broth Avenue’ ‘Foam’ and ‘Meat’ specifically but I completely loved seeing Tim and Sean ‘get it’ after studying this music for almost a year. It was definitely a magical feeling for me and I have noticed differences in both of their playing since this show. When we played the afterparty after Tim’s first show it was as if he was glowing from all that energy. It blew me away to hear how it had inspired him.

Are you excited for any Phish shows this summer? 

AG: I just moved into a new place and have been dealing with that so I haven’t been able to see as many shows this year as I normally do unfortunately. I am really looking forward to the ones I will see though: Raleigh and Denver! Phish is on fire right now and I feel like they are only going to crystallize even further by the time I get to a show!

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