The Phish 2015 Headers: An Explanation

I recently got a message from somebody stating ” I love the setlists, but the header makes no sense!”  They were upset that I drew mountain for the Kansas City show, everyone knowing that Kansas has no mountains.  I was kind of excited, because this was the first time I’d received a comment regarding my headers.  I’d consider these my favorite part of creating my illustrated setlists, since each one is different, and carries a significance about the show.  When I started doing the setlists in 2014, most were an illustration based on the venue itself.  They were inked drawings that were colored digitally, and I was never a fan of them (I’ve had no formal Photoshop training, so it’s been a learning process).  When I was sketching out ideas for this year’s setlists, one of my main goals was to avoid digital as much as possible. My second concern was what the theme would be.  I didn’t want to do the same thing as last year, since I figured they would play venues they’d played in 2014.  Right before summer tour started, I had done a commissioned piece that consisted of illustrations of the whole Gamehendge saga, including all the other songs that have been confirmed to be related to TMWSIY, or took place in Gamehendge (at least according to the internet).  Having sketched (and drawn)  all these songs, it seemed fitting to use this as the basis of 2015’s summer tour.  I used all the songs from TMWSIY, as well as a couple songs that are Gamehendge related.  The last couple shows are based on songs played at the shows.

The Headers:

7-21 Bend I

The Man Who Stepped into Yesterday:  Col. Forbin steps through the door into Gamehendge

7-22 Bend II

The Lizards : “We can swim it if we tried”

7-24 Shoreline


7-25 Forum


7-28 Austin


7-29 Grand Prairie

Fly Famous Mockingbird

7-31 ATL I

Col. Forbin’s Ascent

8-1 ATL II

The Sloth

8-2 Tuscaloosa

Punch You in the Eye.

8-4 Nashville


8-5 KC

Divided Sky.  Probably would’ve been better without mountains, based on the location.

8-7 Blossom


8-8 Alpine I


8-9 Alpine II


8-11 Mann

Scent of a Mule (Played at the show)

8-12 Mann II

Slave to the Traffic Light.  It seemed fitting, seeing how close the Philadelphia Zoo is to the Mann Center.  I actually made a poster based off this song  for the Mann 2014 shows.

8-14 Walnut Creek

Reba.  My favorite header.

8-15  MPP I

Run Like an Antelope (played at the show)

8-16 MPP II

Wingsuit. I prefer a literal interpretation of this rather than the convention definition of the word

8-21 Magna I

An interpretation of the camping based on photos of Magnaball since I couldn’t make it 😦

8-22 Magna II

Inspired by the “Poster is Dead – Poster’s so Dead” plane flyby.

8-23 Magna III

Inspired by the Drive-In set the night before.  Marquee includes a mashup of songs played that night.

9-14 Dicks I

Bike. Played at 2.42% of live shows

9-5 Dicks II

Sleeping Monkey. Leo’s choice.

9-6 Dicks III

The “Thank You” encore called for a minimal header in order to fit in my setlist.

These headers were quite a blast (and a challenge) to draw.  I do have some original ink and watercolors of some of the headers available (email me or contact via ig, twitter, fb for availability), and can make some custom posters using the headers based on shows attended.

Without A Net: A Sonic Exploration of the Music of the Grateful Dead

WithoutANet poster

I recently had the opportunity to design the poster for an upcoming show at the Ardmore Music Hall.   The illustration is ink and watercolor, with hand drawn lettering inspired by the iconic fonts associated with the Grateful Dead.

The show features Reed Mathis (Billy & the Kids), Todd Stoops (RAQ), Marcus Rezak (Stratosphere Allstars), Scotty Zwang (Dopapod), Hayley Jane, and Special Guests TBA.

More info can be found via the facebook event page , and tickets are available here:

Back by Popular Demand: Phish coloring page.


I originally made this coloring page as part of kid’s activity book for my wedding last August.  I posted it on the forums, which led to many requests for a copy.  Unexpectedly, I think the majority of the people that colored it in (at my wedding as well) were adults.   A couple people printed them out for some Phish viewing parties.  Their versions of it were posted online, but sadly I can’t recall where.  Since then, I’ve been mailing them out with orders, but I’ve been getting requests for it.  So, I’ve made it available as a PDF for you enjoyment: Phishcoloring. If anyone does download and color it in, feel free to send me a picture for an upcoming project!  I’ll be doing more coloring pages in the future, so keep an eye out for that!

In Memoriam- Chris “Buzz” Deardorff

                                                                                                                          Photo by Kevin Goldblum

The Phish community has lost a Phan.  Chris Deardorff, better known as Buzz recently passed away, leaving behind a wife and daughter.  He’s best known as the guitarist of Quagmire Swim Team, and most recently Pine Mountain Band. He was an amazing person, with one of the most positive attitudes I’ve ever seen.  It was always a pleasure to see him perform, and an honor to eventually become a close friend.  He is one of the best guitarists I’ve ever heard, and I used to regularly make the 6 hour drive from college to see them play in my hometown.

I got to know Buzz throughout the year, mainly through my friend Jeff Whetstone, who would get together with him and play often, eventually forming Pine Mountain Band.  Our mutual love of Phish brought us even closer.  It was exciting to hear his stories of going on tour, and the ridiculous situations he got himself in. We went to several Phish shows together, and seeing his excitement and joy made the shows so much better.  My wife and I were lucky enough to be with him at his last show, 8/16/15 MPP, which was his 132nd show.  It was a large group of us, and it seemed like we gravitated towards him. All these people getting together because of him. It’s fitting that he’s in the center of this picture:

                                                                                                            Photo by Nina Hamilton

Buzz will be dearly missed by his friends and fans alike.  We are saddened, but can’t help but smile thinking about the great times we had together, as a friend, with his family, or in the audience.

In honor of him, the full proceeds of any 8/16/15 Merriweather setlists sold will be donated in his memory to benefit his daughter Josephine.