Show me your roots!
Curious about what path everyone took to get here (Spafford). For me I started seeing Phish and Disco Biscuits in 2000 and haven't looked back. More recently been catching UM and JRAD but definitely cought the Spafford bug. Seems like they are gaining fans from many different types of styles...so tell me...where'd you come from?
Started seeing Phish in the glorious 2.0 days. I used to do video and photos for local bands at the Sail Inn. Did some photos for Spafford in 2013 and they've let me stick around ever since.
Started seeing Phish in 93...while still traveling to see the Grateful Dead...since have opened my ears to a few younger bands and enjoyed some of them (Moe. ,Umphs, Biscuits, etc) but Spafford honestly makes me feel like the old days of Phish in small rooms killing it night after night...and me begging my fellow Deadheads to come along! This band has taken a spot in my soul that I didn't even know was there....honestly? I didn't think I had room for 1 more but here I am! I am putting a lot of energy into exposing them to as many people as I can and feedback has been great...I really do hope that this tour is a positive experience for them and that they are prepared to take it to the next level because I think they are knocking on that door and I'm here to help kick that fucker down!
I started out with the Phish and was later introduced to the world of the Grateful Dead...post Jerry (regretfully never got to see them) My homie Obi Juan opened my ears to a whole world of jam music and I consumed as much as I could through the late 90's and early 00's. Life got in the way of going to see live music for several years, but in '05 I found Dopapod and through them, and the video's of MkDevo...I found a brand new world of young, amazing bands. I kept seeing a name, over and over in the small print of different fests and this year noticed that Spafford was opening a bunch of dates for UM. I went down the rabbit hole and watched every video I could find and went through everything they had up on SoundCloud. I was completely hooked. To my absolute dismay...I found out the day that they were playing Nectars...and it was sold out! I actually contemplated making the drive to see if I could find a stray ticket or hustle my way in, but it just wasn't in the cards.
In 6 days Spafford will be back in Burlington at Higher Ground and I will be there for my first show. It feels weird writing that because I have spent so many hours listening to them it is hard to fathom that I have yet to see them live.
I know that got a bit long winded, but that will happen when a S'nerd gets talking aboot SPAFFORD!
Dove in head first into exploring so many bands (that I still enjoy to this day) around 2000-2002. Luckily had great friends that steered me in the right direction. First jamband-esque show was SCI, then there were many shows... Umphrey's, Les Claypool collaborations, some YMSB and a few fests (including the inaugural Bonnaroo in 2002) early on those first few years to fuel the fire to explore all the different avenues I could in music enjoyment.
As my love for Grateful Dead, Phish, Keller Williams & Umphrey's blossomed by listening over and over to cd's and shows I also couldn't get enough of going to local concerts anytime something "good" came through. Lived near Cincinnati at the time, so that wasn't too hard. I would say Umphrey's, any Les Claypool concoction, various Grateful Dead member collaborations (from Ratdog, Lesh and Friends, The Other Ones, The Dead, 7 Walkers, Further...........) and Keller Williams are probably my most seen shows...probably in fairly equal parts.
Fast forward I have stuck to much the same, add in some newer names, or new discoveries of older bands here and there. Up until last few years I continued to go to as many live shows and festivals I could.
My boyfriend introduced Spafford to me early this year. Unfortunately work and life have been getting in the way the past few years for me to see much live music... kinda the same for him I think... but we both love music and especially the kind that just makes ya happy!
I remember the first few times I listened thinking how much Spafford reminded me in certain ways of a quasi meld between Phish and Umphrey's but still with their own spin. So, now luckily we both have a new band to jam to, and a great reason to get out to a show!
i, like many others, started out with Phish in 1995 by hearing A Live One.. The rest was Phishtory..
After that i got into the grateful dead (Love me some 1977 and early 70's dead).. I kinda started veering away from phish during 2.0.. didnt like the direction they were heading (please see Coventry).. during that time i started to listen to other bands like UM, WSP, and SCI.. none of them really tickled my fance the way Phish did.. so i took a break from the scene..
In 2010 i saw something about phish online.. listened to some of their "newer" shows and was back on the jamband train again..
in 2012 i really started diggin UM as well.. in 2014 i gave WSP another chance and dug them too..
Fast forward to Feb 2017.. I got a ticket to see UM at the filmore in detroit.. i hear that a band named Spafford was opening for them..
I had NEVER even heard of Spafford prior to that announcement.. but i started to hear things on the UM forums about people should really check them out.. So i hit up nugs dot net.. and low and behold there were some shows available to download.. I immediately listened to everything that was available.. i was definitely diggiin what I was hearing..
fast forward to my first live experience.. I knew I would like them from what i heard already.. but man o man did they blow me away.. i went to a concert to see UM.. and left wishing spafford played 2 sets.. not one.. and I've been hooked ever since..
so there u have it... my road to Spaff-a-dise.. :)
@Jayson1974 Good stuff! Can't wait to rage with you at Blind Pig!
Grew up a Rock/Alternative junkie in the 90's/early 2000's (didn't we all?). I had a passing knowledge of the "Mount Rushmore" jam bands like GD, Allman Brothers Band, Pink Floyd, etc, but wasn't officially introduced to the jam scene until my first Umphrey's McGee show @ The Canopy Club in Urbana, IL on 11/13/2008. I called my buddy the day before to bail on the trip but promptly changed my mind after he answered the phone with "You better not be calling me to bail". Going turned out to be one of the best decisions of my life. I distinctly recall turning to said buddy during Jake's 40's theme solo to end set 1, and all I could say was "I get it now". Oh man did I get it.
Flash forward to now and my resume includes dozens of festivals, 65 (or more now?) Umphrey's shows, several Grateful Dead (or some variation) shows (oh man those Fare Thee Well shows tear), SCI, Phish, JBT, Yonder, GSBG, and SO many more. But over the years NOBODY has captured me like that first Umphrey's show did. My heart was stolen (and face melted) at that first show.
Lately I've been big on the Tauk/Aqueous/Spafford movements that have been going on... with Spafford ruling them all in my world over the last year now.
Honestly... In my 9 years around the jam scene NO BAND has captured my ears, and HEART, in the way Umphrey's has. I've given many the opportunity but they just don't capture me the same way...until now!
Yes... I've actually found more Spafford tickling my ear holes more than even Umphrey's. I just can't get enough. I wasn't even aware of Spafford until they opened for Umph and it's been love ever since. By the end of my first year knowing Spafford I will have seen them 5 times live and consumed every live show I can on SPAFFNERDS.COM! The community growing around this band is arguably just as special as the music the band is putting out, and I LOVE IT!!
Cheers to many more dance parties in the future you beautiful NERDS!!
@SociableJimmy awesome story! Thanks for sharing! Can't wait to rage with you!
While Umphrey's turned me onto Spafford, it was my biological mother and father that brought me into the scene - quite literally in utero at some 87 Dead shows on the West Coast. They were in college at Santa Clara and in no position to raise a kid so they put me up for adoption and my parents picked me up shortly after from Colorado Springs.
We ended up returning to Detroit in the late 90s, where my parents were raised and where I first stumbled across Phish. It was at a friend's birthday party in middle school - she had four siblings attend boarding school in Vermont and they were phans so somehow Phish VHSs started playing and next thing you know we were all bouncin' around the room turning her basement into a farmhouse.
High school brought moe. & Umphrey's into my life and during my senior year, a good friend turned me on and tuned me into STS9. Caught a sick show of theirs at St. Andrew's Hall in Detroit and a few months later I found myself at Lollapalooza catching Umphrey's to this day on I think the biggest stage they've played and the Biscuits on a side stage a mere 24 hours later. I managed to get to an STS9 show in Chicago my freshmen year, but life got in the way shortly after and it wouldn't be until Summer Camp 2007 until I caught another show.
Summer Camp turned into Bonnaroo which turned into All Good and then a return to Lollapalooza, where STS9 capped off an amazing night with Daft Punk headlining a few hours prior. Some friends and I decided to make plans to see STS9's 10th Anniversary show (10/3/07) and on the ride home we ended up extending plans to get to Milwaukee and to Madison for the tour closer. Two weeks later I'd see the Biscuits in Chicago and Urbana, and the next month I caught six Umphrey's shows around the Midwest, including at the Ann Arbor Borders.
At this point the slope was slipping and I closed out the year with the Umphrey's New Years run. 2008 was the first year I went hard on tour, seeing shows in six different countries, and somehow managed to graduate a year and a half early, skipping my final final's week in the process so I could swing the second Carribean Holidaze. It was at that Holidaze I caught my 5th, 6th, and 7th Biscuits shows and 2009 took me on Biscuits tour (supplemented heavily by Mantis tour with Umphrey's.)
I moved back to Colorado in May 2009 and lasted less than half the year before I went on tour again and then made a second return to Colorado, this one lasting just shy of six months. Decided to move to Austin in the fall of 2010 and haven't looked back since. I moved to Portland in 2012 and while it has been a lot harder to see shows living in Texas and Oregon the last seven years, I've still managed to go on tour a decent amount. The next state I see Umphrey's in will be my 42nd, but it is getting harder and harder to catch shows in new states (last new one being Rhode Island in February 2016.)
I only missed a handful of Umphrey's shows between Halloween and the Spafford tour, so that is why you find me here now. Richmond was a milestone show for me (if you put on the recording, you can audibly hear me lose my shit when they go into my request that night, The Fuzz) and I got there early to get up front. Spafford was one of the better openers I'd seen so made a point to get there at doors again the next night. They didn't open Penn's Peak, but after that show I found myself booking a hotel 45 minutes away from our AirBnB we stayed at, recouped from the three night run, and instead of heading to Brooklyn to spend the off days, I found myself on the road to Philadelphia for Spafford on a Tuesday night.
After checking into my room, I made the ten minute walk to the MIlkbar only to find out the show was sold out. Some other heads and I figured out that they would do one in one out eventually, so we waited and although I had to listen to part of the shows on the stairs up, I made it in and had a blast. There was no doubt I was going to Asbury Park the next night. Met a lot more people there and reaffirmed I made the right call. The rest, they say, or really, I am saying, is a blur. I think I woke up in San Diego three weeks into March. I haven't caught them since then but I find myself unexpectedly in Michigan this week so that should change this weekend. If not, I'll catch the lucky ones in the PacNW next month.
TL;DR - Heady genetics and friends got me into this shit. Umphrey's finished it.
Oh, good lord. Gonna' date myself now…
Been so fortunate to see numerous bands "break" into the big time. HS and early college it was R.E.M. playing small venues believe it or not, U2 the arenas. Late 80's, fell in love with the Dead. '89 Greensboro shows were my first, needless to say, I was hooked. Followed them around, when I was not on Dead tour, DMB, Blues Traveler, WSP and Spin Doctors where heating up the local club scene. Also started hanging out with Leftover Salmon coming through NC for the first time(s), festivals, Merl Fest, etc… Toured a lot with the Dead before Brent died and Jerry kept declining. Saw some epic Dead though - Warlocks at Hampton '89, JerryWeather '89, etc… 1992, dead- head friends put Picture of Nectar on the CD and I was like, "holy shit, who are these guys???". Phish destroys Ziggy's bar in Winston Salem, NC which I miss due to being out of town. All my homies were like, "Dead who??". Saw first Phish show in Summer 1992 at Floodzone - Richmond, VA. After that, I was immediately off of Dead tour and on Phish tour. Loved seeing them work on Rift and Hoist material live. Can you imagine your first, real "Maze"? So, saw so many good, early shows culminating in Phish Hampton '98. Got to go backstage on Sat. at Hampton shows and again at Merriweather I think the next year (ref. Meatstick).
So, loved on the Phish through a lot of good and rough times. Enjoyed so many other good bands in between - Leftover, String Cheese ('99-2000 were pure fire), Moe. , Jatoba, and early WSP. Would have to say, my post Phish hiatus fix was Raq. Love me some Raq, still worth checking out.
Then I hit the ditch. Been looking for something all over satellite, FM, local record store. Heard Spafford on XM Radio nugs.net weekly show and the rest is history for me! Spafford kicks ass and as a frustrated/aspiring musician, they have so much going on - wicked hooks (Brian), killer bass (Jordan) , massive rhythm section (Cam) and of course Red on the Ivory. Spafford bootstraps their deep funk right into your boogie bone, you are helpless to not like these guys!