|Originally Performed By||Phish|
|Historian||Kelly D. Morris (birdswerds)|
It’s the second night of the 2016 Halloween Run in Vegas. My wingsuit feels good, ’cause it feels good, and Trey eases us into “More.” I’ve been waiting for this one. After hearing it on Big Boat, a lot of us are eager to witness it live.
Each soft-sung, relevant word sinks in; the lyrics instantly relatable.
Speed increasing, Page, then Trey, rip into their solos, supported by the invisible, unbreakable net that Mike & Fishman hang tightly. The feeling is one of urgency: the bowline is detached, the whistle is blowing, we’re running up the gangplank with our shoes untied while the big boat is primed to leave port. We leap! On the boat, all in it together, we revel in this pulsating, driven jam that builds to an intimate frenzy. As “More” and the set comes to a close, all 16,800 of us insist in unison, “In a world gone mad, there must be something more!” It is a palpable, energized, and determined release.
Phish takes their set break, leaving us vibrating with love and light, and leaving me wondering what ”More” means to me.
I left Vegas inspired and wanting to use that energy to create. As a filmmaker, I convey thoughts and ideas through pictures and video. Because the refrain of “More” wouldn’t leave me, I decided to create a music video project, putting images to the song. My imagination ran free as I set out to find visuals that could do justice for “More”.The MORE Project music by Phish, directed and edited by Kelly D. Morris
The year we’d experienced provided no shortage of imagery to complement the first melancholy verse: “Life in slow motion / Feet are in the clay / I’m going nowhere / Been standing here all day.” Horrific headlines were devastatingly commonplace in 2016: gunmen taking the lives of innocent people dancing at concerts and clubs, Dakota Access Pipeline standoffs and poison in our drinking water, black lives matter-of-factly cut short by police brutality and lethal chokeholds, assaults on the equal rights of LGBTQ citizens, climate catastrophes—and then, of course, the coup-de-grace of the Trump election. There was no place to hide from 2016. These images became the opening montage of the video.
There is no darkness so dense, so menacing, or so difficult that it cannot be overcome by light. “More” isn’t about despair. It’s about turning the corner from that place, and embracing love, light, and humanity. A day after the 2016 Presidential election, I asked Facebook friends and groups to show me what love looked like to them. Within minutes, love showed up big-time—in countless shapes, sizes, colors, places, and faces. These uplifting images led to a mosaic of positivity that reinforce the video’s message.
In “More,” I hear an earnest anthem about taking personal inspiration and turning it outward like a light in the darkness. When life is at its most difficult, there is beauty that transcends the madness. By connecting to each other, and by letting our spirits rise even when our hearts are heavy, we can ride out any storm together in this big boat. The video is intended, and hopefully received, as a reflection of that message.
On December 1st, I uploaded my 11th version of the The MORE Project: “More” by Phish to YouTube, and shared it as an offering to our community. From its warm reception in the first few minutes to this moment, I have been overjoyed by the response. I am privileged to have been a tiny part of this song’s place in Phish history, and I’m as committed as ever to living its message. Thank you, Phish!
To date, Phish have utilized the energy and positivity of “More” exclusively a set-closing role. It has ended the first set every time played except 12/31/16, when it closed the second set. The aforementioned Vegas version remains my favorite. It carries with it a gravity and energy that sounds monumental and feels like a turning point. To me, it was. Trey also added “More” to his March 2017 solo acoustic tour set, first closing his first night’s set with it and serving as the final encore the other two nights.Trey Anastasio ”More” 3/11/17 Portsmouth, NH
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