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Phishin’ With Ryan Dempsey: The Always Sunny Gang Makes Frends At Festival 8

Phish’s Baker’s Dozen run is quickly approaching. As is tradition for summer tour, there will be an enormous amount of talent surrounding the entertainment with pre- and post-shows galore. Phish’s thirteen nights at Madison Square Garden will be no different, as Live For Live Music plans to take over New York City with over a dozen shows of our own.

L4LM’s Official Guide To Phish Baker’s Dozen Late Nights

As the shenanigans approach, we’ll be discussing Phish with a number of artists who will be in town performing some of these late-night shows. So far, we interviewed Craig Brodhead from TurkuazMatisyahuRyan Jalbert from The MotetJake Goldberg and Chris Houser from The Werks, and Brock Butler and Matt McDonald of Perpetual Groove. In the fifth installment of our “Phishin’ With” series, keyboardist Ryan Dempsey discusses his relationship with the band Phish ahead of Twiddle’s three night run at Irving Plaza in NYC (tickets available here).

Twiddle Announces Brandon “Taz” Niederauer, Giant Country Horns, And More For NYC Run

Dempsey was surprised by fellow keys master Page McConnell at Twiddle’s inaugural Tumble Down in August 2016, when the Phish member emerged during the second set, joining Twiddle for a rendition of their original song “When It Rains It Pours.” Reacting to the unexpected sit-in, Dempsey told Live For Live Music: “Phish has been such a huge part of my life both musically and personally over the years. So to not only get to play their music while Page is listening but then to realize he’s about to walk onstage and sit down behind the keys… Yeah. I’m still smiling.” Read our newest interview with Dempsey below, and get excited for Twiddle’s three-night run during the Baker’s Dozen!


Live For Live Music: Tell us about your first Phish concert experience.

Ryan Dempsey: When they got back together in 2009, we all went together and saw them at Great Woods in Mansfield, MA. I remember being so excited to hear how they would sound after being apart for so long. And even more excited that I was getting to see them again after thinking they were done for good.

L4LM: How would you describe the music of Phish?

RD: My words will fall short. Never has a band been more inspirational to me personally, to many of my friends, and to bands that I know. Their creativity is unmatched and continues to surprise me.

L4LM: How many Phish shows have you seen?

RD: I’m not sure of the exact number but definitely over 50.

L4LM: Do you have a favorite show, or most memorable experience?

RD: One of my favorite moments was at a NYE show at Madison Square Garden during the “silent jam” in Divided Sky. There are not many bands who can make 50,000 people go that crazy over no sounds happening on stage. I remember tears went down my eyes because the energy was so powerful.

I also had a great show experience with my fiancé after getting engaged at LOCKN’. Pete Shapiro gifted us Phish Guest passes and we got to view the show from the side stage with Phil Lesh. They played so many songs that are favorites of ours. We also got to meet the guys and they are all just genuinely nice and gracious people.

L4LM: What are two of your favorite Phish songs?

RD: Reba and Fluffhead

L4LM: What’s the wildest thing you’ve ever seen at a Phish show?

RD: This isn’t wild in the way you’d expect but I ran into the cast of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia at Festival 8 and they helped one of my buddies get into his Green Man suit. He didn’t even know it was them until after the fact when he turned around so it was great to see his reaction.

If you’re heading to New York for Phish’s 13-night Baker’s Dozen run at Madison Square Garden, don’t miss all the incredible late night shows going on in the City during the run! Check out Our Official Guide To Baker’s Dozen Late-Nights  for all the info.

Live For Live Music Phish Baker’s Dozen Run Late-Night Shows

July 21 – The Werks @ American Beauty (tix)
July 21 – The Motet @ BB King Blues Club (tix)
July 20, 21, & 22 – Twiddle @ Irving Plaza (tix) *
July 22 – The Werks @ American Beauty (tix)
July 22 – Circles Around The Sun @ Gramercy Theatre (SOLD OUT)
July 23 – Circles Around The Sun (early brunch show) @ Brooklyn Bowl (tix)
July 25 – Turkuaz at Irving Plaza (tix) *
July 28 – Dopapod @ Gramercy Theater (tix) *
July 28 – James Brown Dance Party  – 2 Shows @ Highline Ballroom (early tix/late tix) *
July 29 – Dopapod @ Gramercy Theater (tix) *
July 29 – Perpetual Groove @ BB King Blues Club (tix)
Aug 2 – Matisyahu @ The Cutting Room (tix) *
Aug 3 – Greensky Bluegrass w/ Marco Benevento @ Ford Amphitheatre At Coney Island Boardwalk (tix) **
Aug 4 –  “Kraz & Taz” – Eric Krasno Band w/ Brandon “Taz” Niederauer Band @ The Cutting Room (tix)
Aug 5 –  Spafford @ BB King Blues Club (SOLD OUT)

* (L4LM & CEG Presents)

**(L4LM & Live Nation Presents)