The following is an interview of Jason Del Gandio (phish.net user @JasonDG) about his article, “Pulsating with Love and Light.” The interview is part of an AMA series celebrating the publication of the “Phish and Philosophy” special issue of the Public Philosophy Journal, edited by Stephanie Jenkins and Charlie Dirksen. Jason will also be answering your questions in the comments throughout the week. The next post will feature Kristine Warrenburg Rome, so please submit your questions now.
Tell us about yourself. Who are you? When was your first show? Why do you come back?
Hi, everyone! I am a college professor at Temple University in Philadelphia focusing on the theory and practice of social justice. My first show was back in 1993 (7/25, Waterloo Village). Not to sound cliché, but the collective vibe is what keeps me coming back. Besides live music, I also love traveling, stimulating conversation, the bustle of cities and the tranquility of nature, and I am passionate about changing the world for the better.
Why did you decide to write this essay? What do you want your readers to take away from it?
I saw this as an opportunity to connect my ideas about the vibe with the Phish experience, and hopefully share those ideas with a receptive audience. I am hoping that the essay gives people a language for articulating and understanding something we all talk about, but rarely define or explain.
You said the essay reflects your personal Phish experience. What’s your favorite encounter with the vibe?
I grew up in a household where the vibe was a common word. Then in my late teens I started going to concerts, clubs, raves, underground parties, etc. It’s there that the vibe stood out as real, tangible, experiential. One notable Phish vibe is 4/15/94, Beacon Theater. Without exaggeration, it was otherworldly. My 20-year-old mind asked: What is it, how might we explain it, and can it help change the world?
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