Visualizing the Best Phish Tours Of 3.0

This isn't very scientific, or even very conclusive, but if you've ever suspected that Phish was getting better since their return from their breakup, here are some numbers and a visual, to support your theory.  Based on ratings cultivated from's user-submitted review database, the trend line does appear to be markedly moving up since the return... but surprisingly (considering conventional wisdom says otherwise), 2013 doesn't appear to represent a higher peak than last year's tours.

Reader and member Eric Stewart (aka @ekstewie) put together this little analysis over in the forum and was kind enough to tip me off.  See below for a few of his thoughts and methodology, but consult his post for full background.

Screen Shot 2013-09-17 at 11.51.31 AM

Eric says...

If you think .net ratings are for the birds, then this thread is not for you. Know that part of me agrees with you.

This post simply takes the min, median, mean, and max as well as shows the % of shows with a 4.2+ and a 4.5+ rating for 3.0 tours. 4.2 and 4.5 are totally arbitrary but felt right to me.

The quick summary: Depending on what metric you prefer a case could be made for either of the 2012 tours, 2013, or fall 2011 as the highest rated ("best") tours of 3.0. Breaking news: recent tours have been great...I know, I know.

The highest rated show of 2013 compares similarly to all tours’ highest rated shows starting in 2011. The percentage of 4.2+ and 4.5+ shows was incredible for both legs of 2012 (over 45% and over 20% respectively!), quite good in 2013 (29%, 11%) and fall tour 2011. The median rating for fall 2011, both legs of 2012, and 2013 was over 4.08. The highest average show rating was for leg 1 2012 and is 4.15 with 2013 right behind at 4.09. In some respects (4.2+ %), fall tour 2010 is arguably in closer company with 2011-2013 tours than pre-fall 2010 tours; however it is the last 3.0 tour with both sub 3.9 average and median ratings. Full data below.

Here's to rising trend lines through the rest of 2013 and beyond!

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