Who’s playing?

A roundup of some of the Phish after-parties Tuesday and Wednesday:


10 p.m.: Garcia Birthday Band; $10; Silver Moon Brewing, 24 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend; www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1771818.

10 p.m.: World’s Finest; $5; The Astro Lounge, 939 NW Bond St., Bend; www.redlightpro.com.

10: 30 p.m.: The Polyrhythmics; advance tickets sold out; Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Drive, Bend; www.volcanictheatrepub.com or 541-323-1881.

11: 30 p.m.: Blue Lotus with DJ Byrne; $18 in advance, $20 at the door; Tower Theatre, 835 NW Wall St., Bend; www.towertheatre.org or 541-317-0700.


10 p.m.: Garcia Birthday Band; $10; Silver Moon Brewing, 24 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend; www.brownpapertickets.com/event/1771823.

10 p.m.: The Rod DeGeorge Trio; $5 at the door; The Annex, 51 NW Greenwood Ave., Bend; www.redlightpro.com.

10: 30 p.m.: Yak Attack; $15; Volcanic Theatre Pub, 70 SW Century Drive, Bend; www.volcanictheatrepub.com or 541-323-1881.

Ben Bloom is a big fan of the after-party. The guitarist for Seattle-based instrumental funk octet Polyrhythmics has been on both sides of the after-party experience. Bloom spent “the better part of 25 years” traveling the country, following Burlington, Vermont, jam band Phish on tour and attending the late-night shows that followed the main show in the cities the band played in.

“I got turned on to a lot of bands just by going to after-shows,” Bloom said recently from his home in Seattle. “What’s really cool and unique about it is you have this sort of craft culture of really die-hard music fans all over the country and the world.”

Bloom and the Polythrythmics have also been the performers at Phish after-parties across the West Coast over the years. They’ll once again put on their after-party hats for a late show at Volcanic Theatre Pub on Tuesday night, after the first show of Phish’s two-night stand at Les Schwab Amphitheater, which continues Wednesday.

“All the people there (at after-parties) have something in common to start with, so there’s this kind of kinetic energy. It’s this private party, everyone has a private connection — everyone there are Phish fans, but hopefully, everyone are music fans,” Bloom said. “There may be certain characteristics that are stereotypical to those fans, and maybe those people become Polyrhythmics fans, and come to our shows when Phish isn’t playing, too.”

The Polyrhythmics’ show is one of a handful of Phish after-parties planned for Tuesday and Wednesday night. Included in the roundup are Eugene’s Blue Lotus, playing the Tower Theatre on Tuesday night with DJ Byrne; Portland’s World’s Finest, also playing Tuesday night at Astro Lounge; and Portland’s Yak Attack performing Wednesday night at Volcanic. Grateful Dead tribute group Garcia Birthday Band is slated to perform at Silver Moon Brewery for after-parties following both Phish shows.

The Phish shows themselves were a long-time coming to Bend, and sold out within three minutes of being announced, according to Les Schwab Amphitheater Director Marney Smith. The quartet, who formed in 1983 at the University of Vermont and whose rabid fan following and live reputation have brought about comparisons to the Grateful Dead (Phish guitarist Trey Anastasio stood in for Jerry Garcia at the Dead’s recent farewell shows in San Francisco), almost played the amphitheater last year, and had been rumored to perform in previous years as well.

“In past years, our phones would start ringing off the hook with people who had heard Phish rumors,” Smith said. “We had to tell everybody that no, we’re not talking to Phish.”

The after-parties cater to concert-goers who aren’t quite ready to end their nights after the main event. They can also offer fans who were unable to snag a ticket a chance to join the party, though even the after-parties run the risk of selling out. Presale tickets for the Polyrythmics are already sold out, with only about 20 or 30 set to be released the night of the show, according to Gabe Johnson, who is promoting both Volcanic shows through his company Parallel 44 Presents.

Johnson, who also represents Blue Lotus and World’s Finest through his booking agency In the Pocket Artists, said after-parties are a jam band phenomenon due in large part to the fans. It helps that many of these fans are also tied in to the music industry and are booking these shows — Johnson included.

“Jam band fans are passionate about music, live music and passionate about supporting it and chasing it wherever they can,” Johnson said. “Ironically, a lot of the higher-ups in the live music industry are Phish fans. ... It’s incredible what extent high-powered people in the industry now that are my age, early 40s, started out their careers in a lot of different ways, but started out as Phish heads by nature, and were part of a lot of the early fan base of Phish, Northeastern kids. I’m from Philadelphia, and my girlfriend went to college there. ... I saw (Phish) play at her college and fell in love, and that’s a story that’s common among many of us in our age group.”

John Davis of Red Light Productions, which booked World’s Finest at the Astro Lounge, said the double-header shows are a big reason for the large number of after-parties booked in Bend for those two nights.

“I think more so why we’re probably seeing a lot of people do it is because Phish is playing two shows back-to-back,” Davis said. “And kind of like the culture around Phish, the demographic around these people, they want to keep going, they want more stuff to do, more music to go listen to. Back-to-back both shows for Phish, I’m sure just that alone, that amount of people, would be enough to keep a lot of the live music venues busy.”

The bands booked at these shows are able to take advantage of the situation. Brandelyn Rose, lead singer, songwriter and rhythm guitarist for Blue Lotus, said one of her band’s first gigs was performing in the parking lot of the Gorge Amphitheatre in George, Washington, after Phish performed.

“We played in the night until 4 in the morning for about 2,000 Phish fans and got quite a following from that,” Rose said. “We did the Gorge again and got a huge crowd. Those fans tend to follow us; we have a large Phish and Grateful Dead fan base that has been really kind of pushing us, so it made sense that we would at least play an after-party.”

The show is also an album release party for the band, coinciding with the release of its fifth CD in as many years, “Across the Canyon.” The album combines five studio cuts with three live tracks recorded at various times during the band’s tours last year. Unlike the band’s previous studio album, 2013’s “A Thousand Other Things,” the studio songs on “Across the Canyon” showcase the band’s extended jamming skills.

“We did the studio album previously because we needed to have tracks that were radio friendly,” Rose said. “We had a big uptick in press last year about our band, and all these radio stations were starting to request tracks. We’d give them a track and they’d say, ‘We can’t play this; it’s 12 minutes long.’ It forced us to kind of do something in the studio format, but what we realized is, while fans enjoyed the studio songs, the feedback we got was that people really wanted those jams intact in there.”

Polyrhythmics are also preparing to drop a new album in November, their third: “Octagon.” The album title is a reference to the band’s eight members.

“The music on this record is definitely the most evolved sort of collection of music that we’ve written so far,” Bloom said. “I think it sort of represents a lot of our past experiences in studio recording, a lot of things we’ve learned making the last couple records and how to capture our specific band in the studio.”

The band treats its studio work and its live show as two separate entities, Bloom said. Live, the band’s primary goal is to get the audience dancing, using lockstep rhythms and cyclical patterns in its music to create a “trance.”

“We embrace the idea that there’s multiple players involved with the live performance, not just the band, but the crowd, the people dancing, smiling, or maybe a frown on somebody else’s face,” Bloom said. “Since we’ve started to embrace that, our live show has become a little bit more experimental and extended; the vibe of the show is really dependent on the crowd and the room we’re in.”

— Reporter: 541-617-7814, bmcelhiney@bendbulletin.com