Friday’s show was a great start to the weekend. Click here for Friday’s Article….
The second of the three superb performances was upon us and the music and magic that we were in store for is difficult to explain. This was one of those nights where words will never do it justice. The soundboards do NOT do it justice. NOTHING but being there will ever substitute the awesomeness that we were delivered and that we FELT radiating through that theater for night two. I can honestly say that, for the first time, a Phish performance took my breath away and had me in tears.
TIME FOR ROUND TWO!!!
We slept in, or rather I slept in, until about 1:30pm. The fluffy Borgata bed, devouring me in it’s blankets, made it hard for me to leave its comfort. Having spent yesterday running around like chickens with our heads cut off, it was nice to take it easy for the rest of the weekend.
We set up some ground rules and meet up times with our Youth Posse (YP) and let them on their way to enjoy the city. Having them in the back of my mind kept me on my toes the entire weekend. I would find myself wondering what they were up to, hoping they were raging and having fun together. Hoping they were safe and happy. Ultimately knowing they were! How could they not be. If I felt like a kid in a candy store, I could only imagine how they were feeling.
Our YP enjoyed their day raging around The Borgota, able to watch the members of Phish during sound check. These humble little ragers enjoy musical happenings in life you can only imagine. While they were entertained by their favorite band, Josh and I took off to see a few of our phamily.
Soundcheck: Whole Lotta Love (x2), Thank You, Billy Breathes, Can’t You See, Ramble On, Whole Lotta Love, Ginseng Sullivan, Rock Me Baby, Destiny Unbound [Unconfirmed and possibly incomplete]
After a $35 taxi ride, 10 minutes away and totally more expensive then NYC fees, we were at our friend’s house. If we had not chaperoned the YP this trip, this would have been our accommodations. A house that sleeps 12 and containing all my favorite people 🙂 We spent the afternoon talking about last night’s performance, what album Phish might play on Sunday, what everyone was planning on doing after the show. Marco Benevento was playing at the same place Karl Denson raged the previous night. There were mixed feelings throughout our crowd as to whether Marco would be fun or not. I was 110% set on going and I silently crossed my fingers that they would come to that conclusion later on as well.
We taxied back to Boardwalk Hall around 6pm. Our friend’s had secured a few rooms in hotels around the venue and so we made our way to The Bally’s for a quick hang with more friends, specifically my NYC/Jamily crew! I LOVE YOU ALL!! We kicked it there for another hour before deciding it was time to head into the venue.
Phish @ Atlantic City : Saturday
Exiting onto the boardwalk, the front of the venue was packed to an even greater extent then the night before. There were substantially more people as well as more fingers up in the air for a lucky ticket into the venue. If we only knew then what we knew now, people might have paid $500 instead of $300 to get into this show…..oh man!
Again, we made sure all of our friend were taken care of before we took off for the nicer private entrance we used the whole weekend. Just look at that mess up there. We were in section 104 this time allowing for a slightly better view of the side-angled light show.
As I sit here writing, it has taken me me a minute to recall anything that happened before the bombs of rock hit us midway through the first set. As much as I want to just blast through the description of the Phish catalog that preceded the EPIC portion of this musical night, I will try to be patient and give ya the whole story!
As the members enter the stage, the audience completely flips their lid. The beauty of a Phish audience! They are SUCH diehards. Kill Devil Falls opened up the set with 8 minutes of high energy, hitting a nice Page jam around the 4 minute mark and bringing Trey in to shred close a wonderful opener.
The balloons and balls already making their way into the air from the ground level, I scanned my surroundings and my chest swelled a little bit. The scene in front of me, the energy surging through the hall…it was a bit overwhelming for me. I can hear yall now: “God! She is such a mushy female.” But what people need to realize is that these musical moments are my religion. Being in an audience, listening and feeling what the music does to me. That is my version of church. And when you stop, embrace your surroundings and look past the music and take it alllll in…..well, I swell up, and many times, I cry.
I swelled up at this moment because I can’t help but be touched by a MASSIVE space filled with 14,000 like-minded people, dancing and smiling and SCREAMING for a common goal. The passion these fans have for Phish. The dedication these fans have to getting into the shows. Here I am blessed to be rocking a laminate around my neck that others would pay me thousands of dollars for. It blows my mind.
I feel so blessed to have fallen into the Phish world so deeply, so QUICKLY! Then, top that off with being surrounded by all your closest friends who are just the greatest people to know. I lose myself many times in these moments, throughout my show going experiences….and so I get emotional. I know I am not the only one who’s “life was saved by rock n’ roll” so, holla if ya hear me 🙂 That being said, if you ever see me weeping at a show or see tears rolling down my face, you can be sure they are tears of joy and I am probably in the middle of an inwardly religious musical moment.
Cavern kept the energy high with each instrument standing out on it’s own, every player sounding on point. The boys had brought more energy into the first two songs of this night then they had during the entire first set of Friday’s performance.
Mike‘s bass brought the jazzy Foam to our ears and brought Trey to his toes. A random collection of notes coming out of the instruments, the salsa dancer in me wanted to burst out and I wish I was on the floor during this song twirling. Not having mentioned Chris Kuroda‘s light show yet, can I just say I love him? Did yall know that 😉 But the stand out in this song is generally Page, and once again, he brought a little love to our ears during his rapid, airy, scaling keys jam.
WHO LOVES GLOW STICK WARS?? I do! You know, I realized something during these shows, walking around the floor, checking people out. There are so many aspects to what make a Phish show great. Seriously, think about it. There are those people who play certain rolls in the community to ensure that the show, with all it’s traditions, stays alive and the audience stay pumped.
Right? So, perhaps I’m reaching here but at a Phish show, you have those people who’s sole dedication to the show is to rage the Glow sticks. They spend all their free moments collecting, ejecting, recollecting, throwing again and recollecting to ensure proper parts of the song/show are highlighted with these bursts of light and energy.
There was a MASSIVE Glow Stick war during Guelah Papyrus. Best one of the weekend by far. Around 4 minutes into the song, the stage goes black and the band members freeze frame for what seems like forever but was only about 45 seconds. During this time, the audience begins cheering, the glowsticks start flying in the air, the crescendo of sound growing with every half-second. Single specks in the air turn into hundreds being tossed, some directed at Trey and the other band members who are trying to stand still but also needing to move from time to time as to not get hit right in the face.
I wondered how many people it was taking to create what those of us in the stands could see happening on the floor in front of us. One’s vision is immediately drawn away from the stage and into the crowd when these bursts happen.
Glowstick Specific Video
And now…the moment they ripped the lid off Atlantic City. No one was prepared for what Phish was going to bust open next. Busting into a heady Chalk Dust Torture, everyone around me was dancing, smiling, same old, same old….and then we heard it. At first, it was interwoven into CDT, my friends catching it almost immediately. It was impossible not to recognize!
The Realization of Zeppelin
The Whole Lotta Love rift came out of Trey‘s guitar and HOLY SHIT!!!!!! I generally don’t curse in my articles but HOLY SHIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIT!!! I can’t begin to tell you what the reactions were that occured around me. There will never be words to describe it. The videos don’t do it justice, even though the ones below attempt to as their best. My immediate reaction was a deep breath in and a cough from choking on my breath. Realizing my immediate crew was jumping sky high, falling forward into the chairs in front of them, one fell into their chair with a gaping mouth. Throughout the rest of the theater, men around me were screaming like school girls. Josh almost fell to his knees screaming at the top of his lungs. The entire floor elevated as a unit a few feet off the ground with fists in the air. Trey himself just dropping his head and we head banged in unison. All around me I heard: “HOLY SHIT! HOLY SHIT!!” and “OH MY GOOOOD” Trey vocals kinda sucked through the single verse he sang but who the hell was complaining. This was amazing.
When I heard the cords to Whole Lotta Love starting I felt like I would have to be peeled off of the roof of Boardwalk Hall, I jumped so high to high five Goldy and screamed out in joy. ~ Josh R.
OMG!!! And from there it was just wide open into a 2 minute Phish original Ha Ha Ha followed by a shredding James Gang‘s Walk Away. GO TREY!!!
I loved them and the nostalgia it gave me; the feelings & emotion it provided – and the energy that ensued. You can’t argue with 14,000 people bugging out in surprise and all that emotion. ~ Rob A.
And on and on it went like that all night from Heartbreaker to Ramble On to Thank You to Stairway (OMG HOLY COW) and finally to Good Times Bad Times with Tweezeresque jams painting the corners of the jams. HOLY SHIT!!!! Jimmy Page would definitely enjoy it. ~ Josh R.
People around me were in tears. I wonder how many, if any, fainted? It was one of those musical moments where the Phish die-hards were just exploding to my left and right. High energy abounded and there was no stopping the four musicians on stage. Trey, always being one to feed off his audience, kept things 110% in the zone of RAGE as they continued with the ever vocal, funky Wolfman’s Brother into Undermind into Bathtub Gin.
Gosh, that song [Bathtub Gin] makes me so happy ~ Ali G.
Bathtub Gin was ridiculous. Got to love Page on the keys. Trey‘s guitar work is so tight. The Whole Lotta Love tease at the end was cute. Because at this point, we have no idea where things are going. The Squirming Coil concluded the first set with it’s swift heartbeat making our hips shake to the last note.
The second set was fire. Tube into Possum blasted open the second set with Trey’s shredding guitar stylings and screams that encouraged us to get pumped. Chris Kuroda‘s lights mimicking the title, made me feel like I was at the circus for some reason. He continued helping elevate the music ever so gently in the most psychedelic way.
I love Possum. It breathes a bit of country into their repertoire. Bluesy, country-vibe with funky undertones with another Whole Lotta Love tease thrown in. Gets your toes moving. It also allows for Trey to open up and the glow-sticks burst are always visible.
Rumors about tomorrow’s music were squashed as Phish unloaded an arsenal of Zeppelin covers upon an unsuspecting, eager audience. Tweezer started it off. And then ZEPPLIN RAGE!!! Heartbreaker into Ramble On into Thank You into Stairway to Heaven. Some hellacious guitar jams by Trey, Mike‘s bass thumping in my ear, Kuroda‘s lights into Hearthbreaker was intense. Ramble On into Thank You. After Stairway to Heaven we hear a “Happy Halloween! See you all next year.” WHAT? But Trey was just enjoying this whole TRICK situation that was going on. Sadly, he got me! I turned to Josh who just smiled at me
The Led Zeppelin songs on the 30th were incredible to so many of us and in the moment, I was on the verge of so many emotions. The excitement was overwhelming. The Ramble On brought me back to Alpine ’98 when they opened the show with it. That opening line from “Thank You” where Trey said: “if mountains crumble to the sea, there still would be you and me”…made me think of my love and dedication to this incredible band that only gets more intense as the years roll by. Then the closing line of Stairway to Heaven was dream come true and the energy from the guitar jam at the end.” ~ Erika V.
Every year on Halloween, Phish puts on a MUSICAL COSTUME by playing a full album of another band from beginning to end. I had never heard of this before. Apparently, phanatics theorize for months which album might be chosen by playing games or trying to figure out the clues sometimes dropped by Phish. So, this year, everyone and their mother was calling for Led Zeppelin, some were calling Genesis. If that is what it took to get Phish to play Zeppelin tonight AND basically telling us that we were not getting Zeppelin for Halloween, then hellz yeah! Sadly, this would be the final Musical Costume Phish would be putting on for at least a few years.
I agree with most phans when I say that Saturday night was the better of the three shows. They gave the crowd what they wanted and got the “led out”. They teased us, then laughed at us!!! (Ha, Ha, Ha) Then gave it to us good!! The crowd’s energy was at a peak that night. ~ Jessica B.
With every realization of the next Led Zeppelin rift/song, the crowd got more elevated. And then Phish brought back the old school jams with some new school tightness. Riding the energy of the Tweezeppelin rage, they tied into Halley’s Comet, another song I really like. I imagine this would be Bobby McFarrin‘s Phish song of choice.
2001/ Also Sprach Zarathustra & David Bowie followed with a sober bring down to start. I think everyone was still riding on the Zeppelin wave. I am trying so hard to remember anything after the Zeppelin rage. Man! My friend’s and I using this quiet time to rave about what just happened. David Bowie brought forth a pretty gnarly off-the grid jam from the boys. For a moment I thought I had missed a transition into another song…nope.
Show of Life, a newer song that has people split as to whether or not they like it due to it’s slower nature and poppy sound. I like it. I love it’s message. The lights WERE GORGEOUS!!!! Chris Kuroda, once again stealing the spot lights, as it were 🙂 This song may be a bit cheesy to some but it’s melody and notes bring a little tear to my eyes almost every time. It’s a bit spiritual for this little lady. I didn’t care for the sloppy ending of this version but it never ceases to lift my spirits and make me feel a bit closer to the people surrounding me.
Nothing could take the place in my heart of the darker Jones Beach version of Backwards Down the Number Line I was lucky enough to catch at the end of this last Summer tour. Here is yet another song that I notice my friends using to take time to use the rest room or sit and have a little chat with those next to them. It’s another song I love though. It’s pretty. I love the lyrics. I love Trey’s solo jams. A quirky little take on birthday love and friendship. Be sure to check out the lights in the video – I can’t pug Chris Kuroda enough it seems. He really does make the entire show for me. The use of his lights, his color choices, all delivered to enhance our experiences.
Happy happy oh my friend
Blow out candles once again
Leave the presents all inside
Take my hand and let’s take a ride
Backwards Down The Number Line cascaded into Good Times Bad Times. YES!! Let’s end on a FREAKING ZEPPELIN RAGE ONCE AGAIN!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do I dare try to explain the rage that ensued? Let’s just say, no one could get enough of Phish playing Zeppelin on this night. People’s minds were blown. And the fact that my wonderful boyfriend sang these lovely lyrics directly to me almost on his knees was a personal wonderful touch to a wonderful evenings.
I don’t care what the neighbors say, I’m gonna love you each and every day.
You can feel the beat within my heart.
Realize, sweet babe, we ain’t ever gonna part.
People, this is why you go to all three nights and not just Halloween. You never know when Phish is going to bust out the crazy shit!” ~ Erika V.
Set 1: Kill Devil Falls, Cavern > Foam, Guelah Papyrus, Chalk Dust Torture > Whole Lotta Love > Chalk Dust Torture, Ha Ha Ha, Walk Away, Wolfman’s Brother > Undermind > Bathtub Gin, The Squirming Coil
Set 2: Tube > Possum > Tweezer > Heartbreaker > Ramble On > Thank You -> Tweezer > Stairway to Heaven, Halley’s Comet > Also Sprach Zarathustra > David Bowie, Show of Life, Backwards Down the Number Line > Good Times Bad Times
E: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise
“With Phish it’s different. Phish is so amazing on so many levels. Phish to me is all the music of my life’s favorite music, Classic Jam Rock and Roll, done in a modern way but, totally grounded in the roots of the music I love. I love their originals very much, but a night of Zeppelin covers like that just wins for me.” ~ Josh R.
“Well, I guess they won’t be playing Zepp on Halloween”.
Marco Benevento & Friends @ Trump Plaza
Being an ivory-aholic, I was all set for Marco Benevento & Friends once Phish was over. However, coming from such a guitar heavy performance, there were a lot of skeptics as to whether Marco Benevento would be able to keep the energy pumping until 4am.
The Bennovento set was a nice relaxing set to hang and chill with friends. He is very good, if only he would hire a jamming guitarist, it would really be awesome. ~ Josh R.
We took our time strolling through the Boardwalk, checking out all the posters and artwork along the way. The the show started at 11pm, costing $25 a pop. We arrived around 12:30-1am I believe. Who can really tell at this point, we were all in la la land!! It proved to be a wonderful night of mingling with our friends who had come in earlier that morning but that we couldn’t find in the sea of 14,000 a few hours earlier. These after parties truly were a great way to catch up with the masses.
Walking into the venue, the scene was set for what appeared to be a pretty raging time. The lights were definitely more psychedelic then I had thought they would be. Marco Benevento, whose hair was all chopped off was sitting at his piano and going OFF!! Due to the hair cut and the fact that his back was too us, I actually asked someone if that was him. Why did he have to cut his hair 😦
Along side Marco Benevento this evening was drummer Billy Martin of Martin, Medeski and Wood and Marc Friedman, currently of Surprise Me Mr. Davis but more known for The Slip rounded out the trio on electric bass. This was a hot trip here ladies and gentleman. And they gave us EXACTLY what we needed. Thrown in among the jazzy standards and Marco originals like Greenpoint they delivered covers by Elton John, Michael Jackson and more. This was not your typical Marco show IMHO and I was terribly sad to not see tapers in the venue.
Marco and his friends had embraced the holiday season with a cute twist to their costumes. Sitting at the base of Marco‘s piano was a stuffed Lion’s head. Resting inside Billy Martin‘s bass drum was a Tiger head and Marc Friedman himself was wearing a bear hat with fuzzy ears. Lions & Tigers’ and Bears. How dang cute!
***Currently awaiting a response from the band for thier setlist and or recordings…cross your fingers***
The entire night, NO!!…The ENTIRE DAY was a high energy, completely addictive occurrence that makes one sit back and wonder who the HELL we are supposed to drop these amazing adventures and dare to go back to the “real world” of our 9 to 5. How do we go back to our daily lives of being teachers and doctors and lawyers and look our co workers in the eye knowing that their lives will never quite as exciting as ours. We live in a BEAUTIFUL world and what we were delivered tonight might be as close to Jam Cruise as many will obtain with the sense of community and layout of Atlantic City.
For others, well, I will let my dearest friend Josh spell it out for ya:
I love their originals very much, but a night of Zeppelin covers like that just wins for me. I heard a few folks talking about Saturday nights show and what it meant to them, and to me I might add. People were saying that while it was not at all the same as seeing Led Zeppelin, for some of us, it was as close as we could come, not because the music is played the same, but because of how well they play it, combined with how happy and high on life Phish just makes us.