~ Read show prior: Phish @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) @ Saratoga Springs, NY (06.19.10) ~
DAY III of Tour / Night II of SPAC
You know when you fall in love with something all over again? Something that you had slightly begun taking for granted? I woke up in this most comfortable bed, surrounded by lovely friends, in this gorgeous hotel, feeling the first few days of events course energy through my veins and all I could do was start tearing up. I always get so emotional when I am at my happiest. In that moment, as I closed my eyes and relived the last few days, I feel in love with the scene all over again. I fell in love with my life all over again. I fell in love with my people all over again. And so, I teared up, overwhelmed with happiness and knowing that this world existed for me to retreat to when I needed it.
Today, my third day of tour, was going to be my last before I had to return to the real world. I was dreading it but at the same time , felt rejuvenated and safe. Rejuvenated through the love, the dancing, the music. Safe, because in our wonderful music world you always get what you need. Even safer still because I knew I could always find our little piece of music heaven anytime I needed it.
The real world had crept into our lives as today was Father’s Day. (I LOVE YOU DADDY!!!) The restaurant in the hotel was over flowing with Father Day’s reservations. Since I was not with my father I got a glass of champagne in his honor. That sparked the party and by noon, everyone was awake and by that I mean all sprawled out over the Golf green where I had birdied the hole only six hours earlier. Members of The Lead Heads and some other friends combined to play us Phish and Dead tunes as we relaxed into the afternoon. It was lovely to see random families walk through and little children watch the musicians with amazement. These families had no idea why we were there without our parents jamming out on the green. Yet once again, music had drawn different worlds together on a special day.
Unfortunately, I was running around meeting up with our ride home for the night and talking to my father and connecting with others to hear all of the jam. I invited the Zegs family to join us at our hotel which ended with them having a lovely brunch before they enjoyed their daughter’s first Phish show as a family. Love! I heard that they ended the jam session with a KILLER Tweezer Reprise. Even more Love! 🙂
The day literally consisted of connecting with people arriving for the day and just relaxing. The show was slated to start again at 7pm. The night prior, the scene at The Shakedown was grimy and wooked-out, having turned into Tank City. Never a place I want to be. So, we decided to check out The Shakedown by way of the Ho Ci Mhin Trail, now that it was light out. Remember how I told you about us tackling that bad boy last night in the pitch dark? Just hundreds of hippies praying they find the other end!?
Unsure of the real name, it’s a trail/path that goes around the outside of the venue and takes you to the other side. We could have all easily gone THROUGH the venue but where is the fun in that? It was here where my suspicions were confirmed of the danger it presented and again, I was thankful that no one fell down or tripped last night. And then beauty of the scene quickly flooded my mind. Why do I live in a city again?
I love a good Shakedown Street. It’s a completely different monster when it inhales a parking lot vs. setting up in the middle of a music festival. Like a traveling circus on acid. This Shakedown consisted mainly of food like hummus wraps, pizza, grilled cheese…your typical hippie grub. There were cops riding horses trampling through the sea of wooks as far as the eye could see. There was beautiful jewelry and lovely handmade clothing. We walked to the other end and not one place had incense to sell me. CAN YOU IMAGINE? I was shocked, to say the least and there we lunched for another hour or so.
Tonight we would end up having enough spots for 18 of us to roll together, around and behind us. It was nuts how this night worked out in terms of getting everyone together. A ton of friends had come in from the city to join us and we would all be returning home to wake up at 8 for our nine-to-fives. UGH! We all walked in. I still never had a ticket and never needed one. We walked around and said howdy to Tiny Truck Apartment guy near the tour buses. Our seats were a bit closer for this show and for that I was grateful. The closer the better, IMO. But this was just far enough away
Saratoga Performing Arts Center ~ Saratoga Springs, NY (06.20.10)
Trey Anastasio ~ Guitar
Jon Fishman ~ Drums
Mike Gordon ~ Bass
Page McConnell ~ Organ
Oh man, what a GREAT beginning into the show for Father’s Day. Phish started out playing Brother. The lyrics spouting:
Somebody’s jumping in the tub with your brother
Half way through the song, they slow down the chorus and out came a large tin washtub brought to the front middle of the stage. The song continued as one by one, each of the band member’s,to include Chris Kuroda‘s daughter, got into the bathtub 🙂 And then Phish jammed out their song for a few more minutes, the whole while, the children crammed into the tub. Trey then introduced them as each exited the stage, pointing out “One boy, one boy!” HAHA! It was SO CUTE!!! HAPPY FATHER’S DAY TO PHISH and all the other father’s out there!!!!
The vocals were a little shot on both Brother and AC/DC Bag. I don’t expect it to be great but AC/DC Bag lost me to the crowd and friends. I don’t even remember that song being played till I looked at my notes to be honest. They were definitely warming up. Back on the Train brought me and all of us back UP! Trey’s jam during this song finally solidified that the night had begun. It was time to Party! The sun was going down and I took my first of a million trips to the pavilion bathrooms and caught some AMAZING shots with my dinky little camera!
And so I continued to walk around the venue. This being my third show, I was beginning to relax from the high of it all. The music fading into the background as I became glued to the lights. I am completely addicted to Chris Kuroda’s talent. His lights made me wander around the building the entire show on this night. I was becoming much more aware of my surroundings. Not to say I hadn’t been already, but now I was focusing around me on purpose. The two prior articles were purely from a ridiculous memory recall ability I was granted for three days. I normally forget things that happened earlier in the day but because everything was so intense it has been seared into my brain. I never took a single note. As well, I didn’t take any this night either but I did see things in new lights and wanted to explore the venue. Wanted to see what everyone else was seeing. The lights were intoxicating.
It was still light out during Undermind so I ran around the lawn and the pavilion, saying hi to friends. The song providing a nice background music for our conversations. Certainly didn’t hold the attention of my dancing feet. It was during Cities when the sun finally set and the lights were able to take full hold of our eyes.
I finally started paying attention again when Trey spoke:
“We’re going to do something that we’re really excited about now that I hope you” enjoy as much as we. Let me just tell you a quick story here!”
And so, Trey proceeds to describe this lovely friend of Phish. During Trey’s first night EVER in Vermont, he went to see Big Joe Burrell and the Unknown Blues Band. And the man on stage, Tony Markellis, was playing bass in that band. They became friends and have been ever since. Tony Markellis played at Trey’s wedding and is also in the Trey Anastasio Band. Back to the front
And so back to the front it was to see just what this Tony guy was all about. The song was Gotta Jibboo, written by Tony. Phun fact #43: This was the first time ever that Phish has played with Trey and Mike both on guitar. The song was jumpy, a simple pretty tune with minimal lyrics allowing for room to really rage, which they all did.
The heavy bass in Roggae was great. Once again. Mike’s sound soaking into my ears on top of the other instruments. The singing was kinda horrible again and I was not really diggin’ it other then the bass. The song comes with some great lyrics though. “If life were easy /and not so fast/ I wouldn’t dream about the past.” Ouch, but the vocals. Ouch! But I didn’t care. The light show that Chris Kuroda put on for us during this song was gorgeous. Each light striking with the hit of each key by Page. Each beam moving with every strum of Trey’s guitar like they were reading each others mind. It was talent at its best.
Such a chill first set in my opinion. I was running around a lot, not being held in place by the music. I didn’t mind. It was lovely music, I just wanted my face ripped off as I always do. I wanted to see the lights from every angle and level. Sleep Again was another slow jam with beautiful piano by Page towards the end.
Lawn Boy was next. A song that reminds me of a whiskey bar, slightly jazzy mixed with lounge-y vibe through the sound of Mike’s bass and Trey’s strumming. Run Like An Antelope brought the full rage finally IMO. Glow sticks were flying everywhere. You got to be careful not to look up in these type of situations. Balls and balloons were everywhere. I was stuck in place watching the light show. My jaw on the ground more for Chris Kuroda then anything but the music at this point was tight, jamming and gearing up for a ridiculous ending. I could feel it build for minutes until Trey’s guitar just screamed into his fast strumming, Page’s keys were pounding a mile a minute and the bass was thumping all over the stage. It was on-point chaos. Everyone was jumping around, the wind was blowing, the balls and balloons were flying around. It was MASSIVE! And the glowstick war over my shoulder was huge. “You’ve got to run like an antelope, out of control!!” Pretty much what was going on…
Carini Had a Lumpy Head continued the fire from the ending of the first set with the heady rock strum of Trey’s guitar which he manipulated to space out with Page and Mike at times throughout the song. Transitioning the space jam right into the The Mango Song, Mike’s bass thumped behind the guitar and plunking keys. I don’t remember much but I know I was having a great time.
A classic and always a crowd pleaser, and I say this having listened to tons of live Phish shows even though this was only my third live one in person, Wilson just brought it. Everyone loves this song so everyone was singing and screaming the lyrics. Kuroda’s lights were out of control ,as was the band as they were clearly having so much fun. Trey and the members of Phish truly do feed off the energy of their audience. There is nothing more awesome. When I can FEEL that shit coming off the stage and hitting me…that is my version of church. I don’t judge the music. I evaluate how it makes me feel. Music is music is beautiful music. But how it makes me feel is totally different. Everyone was singing, Trey was smiling so wide. A genuinely nice and happy guy. “Can you still have fuuuuuun Wilson?!?!” Trey teased Dixie at the end of Wilson before heading right into Drowned. Made me think of all my friends down south who were going to be raging with the band soon enough.
Drowned kept the vibe up considerably as Trey physically bounced throughout the whole song. Page’s key rage on this song was ridiculous and the lights matched tempo. This was one of my favorites of the night just because it was a pure, tight jam. That is what I LOVE from Phish besides Kuroda. Sure, they have cute stories within lyrics and are actually pretty good singers when they want to be, but when they just let loose and fade into their jams….oh man. I fade away with them.
Jay and I ran up to the second level for a few songs. It was so hard to keep still with this much space to run around and this music lifting me up. I am pretty sure it was during Swept Away that we crept away because we were antsy and it was a slow jam. We got to the bridge and it was just us and the ticket guy. We danced all over it before moving into the second level for a look down. I liked this view. Swept Away is one of those songs that shows you that the band can hold a round, hold a tune, hold a melody. I am thankful they did so. Steep continued the slow vibe into Makisupa Policeman which raged it up with its total reggae-vibe.
The intro to Piper was interesting as they inserted words from Makisupa Piper, which to me sounded like a round. I didn’t realize what was going on at first so I just bounced around. I snapped the picture below during this whole ball rage being passed around the crowd. There were many more but this shot came out the best. (I really need to stop buying concert tickets and upgrade my camera). The lights strobed and spun out of control on stage and over the audience as Trey just went to town on his jamming. It was all over the place and hard to find a beat to dance to one way to but that is why I loved this guitar player. He really was one of the greatest. Where and when Trey changed things up, the band followed so tightly.
I ran to the restroom at this point, Piper having kind of lost me. While I was washing my hands I heard it. THE MOST FUN PART OF THE WHOLE NIGHT!!!! THEY WERE PLAYING THE FUUUUUUNK! Also Sprach Zarathustra!! As I came FLYYYING up the stairs, I saw the most amazing things. The video below is clearly taken from someone on the top level. I was standing directly under them on the first as the scene was unfolding. It was the great. The funky version of 2001’s A Space Odyssey was ringing through the rafters and the funk was killing us. The vibe totally changed and people’s dancing shifted into a deeper grind. The glow stick wars were everywhere, the pavilion wars were specifically brutal, blasting up constantly, people barely waiting for the major beats. Balls and balloons were flying everywhere . And finally, Chris Kuroda’s lights. Once again, reading each others mind the band put on a KILLER 2001 rage. I wanted to stand there the entire timewatching it unfold from above but knowing it was my friends favorite song, I had to get back down in that mess to dance with them.
You Enjoy Myself was a great closer to the set. Such an upbeat tune which Trey rips into after a semi-slow start to the build. The colors Kuroda threw at us went from brilliant and bright into chaos of raging reds and purples… the reds and purples enforcing the chaos until Trey would again touch his guitar bringing out the bright colors again.
For the encore, they all re-entered with Page coming to the front of the stage on a Keytar. And then it was into a 5 minute rendition of Edgar Winter’s Frankenstein. The Keytar made an odd synth-y sound and the rocking cover sounded great. Spacey. It was raging rock-n-roll and we were head banging and throwing up our rock fists. Why not. They closed it out with someone everyone knew. I would have loved them to close it out with 2001. And I am happy that didn’t try adding anymore Tweezer Reprise in the mix. Again, they know what they are doing 🙂 And they do it well!
Set 1: Brother, AC/DC Bag >, Back on the Train, Undermind, Cities, Gotta Jibboo, Roggae, Sleep Again, Lawn Boy, Run Like an Antelope
Set 2: Carini >, The Mango Song, Wilson >, Drowned >, Swept Away >, Steep, Makisupa Policeman, Piper >, Also Sprach Zarathustra >, You Enjoy Myself
Almost immediately, we were packed into a car almost heading back to New York for Monday’s workday. These three nights with Phish solidified my mental insertion into Phish Land. Or perhaps I should say, solidified my insertion into the touring world. Just like Jam Cruise, it doesn’t matter who’s playing, get on the damn boat. Am I right?
I only went a few hours in different directions and crossed a few states lines but the tiny little taste I got of what ” going on tour” might entail. Watch out now. I am thinking about becoming a teacher to have my summers off and just go to every festival, every show. I have the energy. I just need the time. The gears working in my brains right now are ridiculous. I sit here and wonder who else I would want to follow so intently as this community follows Phish. What other community of followers would be this fun, dedicated and genuine? Personally, side from the obvious, I can’t think of many more communities like this one touring the world with a raging jam band. I miss Jerry.