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Posts Tagged ‘Boardwalk Hall’

Friday’s show was a great start to the weekend. Click here for Friday’s Article….

Welcome to New Jersey!

Welcome to New Jersey!

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!!!

10/30 - Poster by Nate Duval © Phish 2010. New Jersey Honey Bee.

10/30 - Poster by Nate Duval © Phish 2010. New Jersey Honey Bee.

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.

The Heard (photo by Dave Vann © phish 2010)

The Heard (photo by Dave Vann © phish 2010)

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.

Music is my religion!

Music is my religion!

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.

Jesus ~ Phish

Jesus ~ Phish

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.

Glowsticks are fun!

Glowsticks are fun!

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.

Trey and Mike Guelah Papyrus dance

Trey and Mike Guelah Papyrus dance

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


Photo by Dave Vann

Photo by Dave Vann

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

ZEPPELIN RAGE!!!

ZEPPELIN RAGE!!!

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.

Photo by Dave Vann

Photo by Dave Vann

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.


Photo by Dave Vann

Photo by Dave Vann

SET II

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.

Photo By Nick Nifia

Photo By Nick Nifia

Heartbreak, Thank You and Stairway to Heaven were all Phish debuts so I’ve heard.  Not only was this AWESOME, but it blew the Musical Costume rumor of Led Zeppelin OUT OF THE WATER.

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.

Photo by Dave Vann

Photo by Dave Vann

Saturday Setlist

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”.

Lions, and Tigers and Bears!

Lions, and Tigers and Bears!

Marco Benevento & Friends @ Trump Plaza

Jazz Swank at his best!

Jazz Swank at his best!

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.

Photo by J.R.

Photo by J.R.

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 😦

Photo by J.R.

Photo by J.R.

Bear = Marc Friedman

Bear = Marc Friedman

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***

Goodnight/Good Morning?

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.

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10/29 - Poster by Nate Duval © Phish 2010. New Jersey Eastern Goldfinch.

10/29 - Poster by Nate Duval © Phish 2010. New Jersey Eastern Goldfinch.

Halloween is my favorite holiday! Hands down!  The creativity, the energy, the raging, the musical performances, the underlying scary vibes. It’s an excellent excuse for a party and that is what most in the music industry believe as well.

Hallorage Time!

Hallowrage Time!

Numerous bands and musicians rage their individual Halloween performances all over the nation and expectations are always high.  For the past few years I have spent Halloween in the mecca of the holiday down in the East Village in New York City.  However, this year I would be following only one band and it would take me out of one city and into another.

Phish. Halloween. Atlantic City. Four words that established one of the most amazing, unpredictable, energy-filled weekends in my musical history.

Atlantic City Skyline!

Atlantic City Skyline!

Let me just list a few things for ya here right quick!

Halloween Weekend in Atlantic City = YOUTH POSSE!!!, The Borgata, Phish @ Boardwalk Hall (3 nights), after show performances by Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe (Friday), Marco Benevento (Sat) and The Heavy Pets (Sun), house parties, 30+ friends gathering from around the NATION, good food at fun restaurants, Casinos, raging Halloween costumes, contests, spa treatments, Led Zeppelin rages, Little Feat rages…and the list goes onnnnnnnnn!

The Departure

I could barely sit still at work. I walked into the Arsenal by 7am just so I could put in a full day of work before leaving at 3pm for one of the greatest rages of the year.  My crew (2 adults and the YOUTH POSSE = four raging HS juniors we were chaperoning for the weekend) gathered up our gear, headed out of our respective homes, jobs or schools and collected at 88th and Madison with fireworks coming out of our ears .

Yukon Denali

Yukon Denali

While most people were taking buses, trains or caravan-ing with their friends, we were riding in style in a big black Yukon Denali arranged through a car service. (THANKS MATTT!!)  The ride to the show was a highlight of the weekend, I must say.  Sitting in a car with our four raging high-school charges, listening to their hilarious conversations, participating in a few and being shocked by others.

It was (and always is) great spending time connecting with our favorite young ragers.  It’s just so humbling to be around these wonderful young adults.  They are smart, funny, well-mannered, sober, non-rebellious, beautifully spirited young adults. They are also members of THOR!  Check it out! They truly give me hope for a future where so many kids their age are little bastards. I’m just saying, I live in NYC.  Most of the kids I see/meet are seriously brats.

The Arrival

The Borgata in all it's purple glory!!

The Borgata in all it's purple glory!!

We debated constantly whether to go to The Borgata, our lovely accommodations for the weekend, first to drop off our belongings or head straight to Boardwalk Hall so we didn’t miss the opener. Luckily, we made it in plenty of time to check in, or so we thought.  As we arrived at the giant purple glowing Borgata, the lines were horrendously long, there were Phish heads scattered around the lobby but not many. Our lodging would be a 5 minute taxi ride from the venue but almost everyone else we knew would be occupying casinos surrounding Boardwalk Hall.

So, we left all our things with the Concierge and would deal with it all after the show. This was a bit of a rush and, of course, we all left things behind.  Most important thing I left: my camera.  GRRRR!!   Alas…so many of the pictures you see throughout this article will be from my friends, other websites, etc.

Will-Call/Entry

I lead the Youth Posse to Will Call to pick up our laminates and tickets for the weekend.  Josh went to the flag poles, which would become the meeting point for everyone all weekend.  While handling the ticket situations, which was quite unorganized, a security guard whispered in my ear about drugs.

“Hey! Ppsstt! You looking for some pot?”

“What? Huh? Nah, I’m sorry. I don’t have any.”

“Nah, Nah! I am looking to sell YOU some!”

“Seriously? You are a security guard and I am here with 3 kids. Back it up homie!”

And with that I turned my back and we were off to the flag poles.  The entire exchange blew me away as I had just read the article about Atlantic City cops going undercover at Phish shows to see what they were up against earlier in the week. Here this guard was, trying to deal. Unreal!

Picture by David Vann (2010)

Picture by David Vann (2010)

I am so thankful I never had to deal with the general population entrance to the show.  The set-up was as disorganized like a five lane highway under construction merging into one, bottle-necking at the mouth of the gate where security guards yelled at everyone to hold up their tickets.  To be clear on the disorganization, I had a friend, with a ticket, who made it in without his ticket being scanned or his person being searched. We miracle someone with it during intermission!!  I later came to read about Phishheads crashing the show on Halloween dressing up as security guards and sneaking in as well.

Phish Atlantic City: Friday (10.29.10)

It was a sold-out show but people were pretty much giving their tickets away Friday night.  The ticket situations are super intricate sometimes. People spending hundreds to get into certain shows, doing things I would never do to see a live performance of a band.

Boardwalk Hall Seating

Boardwalk Hall Seating

Friday: SET I

Picture by David Vann (2010)

Picture by David Vann (2010)

After helping/making sure every one of our friends were taken care of, we finally entered the building. We popped into our seats in Section 103 easily enough, the isles already getting packed.  Within minutes of getting to our seats, the lights dimmed, the band walked out and the weekend had OFFICIALLY begun.

Without a beat, all four Phish members surround a microphone situated at the front of the stage and went into a barber shop quartet-style, acapella Star Spangled Banner.  That is the first time that I had ever seen something of this sort at an event other than a sporting event.  I looked to my right and a MASSIVE American flag was hanging at the end of the venue. I wondered if I would have ever noticed it if we hadn’t sung that song.

Having finally gotten to our seat, the show beginning and everyone situated, I collapsed into my seat.  I was completely exhausted.    The excitement of the week leading up to this adventure, the ride to Atlantic City and finally getting things into place for the weekend.  Man oh man, the weight was lifted and I just collapsed.  I took this time to reflect on the venue.  It was gorgeous.

The inside of the gorgeous Boardwalk Hall

The inside of the gorgeous Boardwalk Hall

The bluesy My Soul started off the music, getting us into our dancing shoes.  AC/DC Bag had me on my toes, thinking of my buddy who had been hoping for the song last weekend in Amherst, Mass. The playful, bouncy melody of Ocelot filled our ears as Trey gave us the usual guitar jam in the middle while Fishman slammed our ears with some high-style drumming. It all just brightened up the room a little bit more.

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Sample in a Jar, a personal favorite from my teenage years, played but the whole set was still lying a little flat for me.  I was assuming it was because it was Friday and they were saving their energy for the next tw0 nights.  But then, they released themselves upon us. The highlight of the set, IMHO, Light Up or Leave Me Alone, (a Steve Winwood/Traffic cover), rocked everyone’s heads OFF.  AWESOME cover. With Page on vocals and Trey’s jams, they overly entice us to boogie on down.  Page…oh Page!  I just love you. The lights, as always, amazing.

Sugar Shack and Timber (Jerry) were just ok. I like Timber to a point, the chorus is fun to sing along with and roll your body along to the tune.  It’s a decent song that my friend would call an Intermezzo Phish song, giving the audience time to run to the restroom or the beer tent.

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Axilla into Rift highlighted Page on his piano and rocked out Fishman on the drums.  This is such a rager of a duo.  The beginning of Axilla simply throws your body into gyrations and it was around this time I found myself starting to head bang in my seat.  I needed to get out of the confines of these bleachers. Not a big fan of them singing during this song but I LOVE the chorus including the guitar rift and the drumming rages.

That super sped-up Axilla (for which I was front row center). Damn, that was hot. Headbanging at Phish shows isn’t usually the protocol, but I can’t resist Axilla! ~ Karina R.

It’s all about the Rhythm section folks. DAYUM! A funky unfinished The Moma Dance into Cities (a Talking Heads cover) had everyone dancing and singing along. The second highlight of the first set for sure.  Tight, funky and fierce.

Continuing the flow from Cities, they took it right into 46 Days as the set closer.  Great high-energy jamming continued on by Trey, Fishman ripping the drums apart, Page slamming down on the keys and Chris Kuroda‘s lights were SUPERB! It’s absolutely amazing watching a light tech do his job, flowing with the music as if he is an extension of the music himself.  110% love me some Chris Kuroda. This was a great ending to the first set. Some argue, the best jam of the weekend.  I’ll let you decide on that one.

FRIDAY: SET II

I was officially hungry for more. The first set of seven for the weekend had ignited my energy.  Where there was once a tired version of me, there was now a bouncing, giggling girl realizing what the hell was standing in front of her. This is what was surrounding….I mean, come on!

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Magic Key to my Magic Weekend

The Magic Key to my Magic Weekend

I needed some air and to get away from all the smoke during intermission so Josh and I explored, using our laminates to find the best way outside as it was a non-reentry show.  I was so thankful for these wonderful bits of magic around our necks for the weekend. I absolutely needed and was able to utilize the fresh air many times that weekend which enhanced my overall comfort throughout the shows. That was great.

As we returned from the cold night air, we walked around the venue to take in the sights.  People were in costumes, running around like chickens with their heads cut off, standing in beer lines, bathrooms lines or just in piles leaning against the walls with friends escaping the hot, smoky inner belly of the venue.

Having missed most of the piano-heavy Punch You In The Eye, we heard the funk going down in Sand beginning to play, a gorgeous song about what it is like being a piece of sand in an hourglass.  We ran into the closest tunnel that would take us to the song, ending up in the very back of the theater.

Slide and let the silicone
Embrace you as you fall
Then bounce and land you let
Your brothers crush you to the wall

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

The light show was spectacular from back there.  The balls flying throughout the floor were so tiny but the whole scene looked so magnified, I was completely overwhelmed.  Sitting closer to the stage, you loose an ability to fully take in the light show.   You loose the magnitude of the venue because you are not looking behind you. Sometimes, people don’t get to experience the magnitude of the space, the energy backing up on all sides.

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Sand segued into an unfinished Carini, a little sloppily but the crowd was so pumped they didn’t seem to mind.  It was a  great light show but I felt like I have heard some cleaner, smoother versions of this song. The energy, however, was relentless.   You’ll wanna check out the lights in the video! 🙂

I was walking down the steps towards the GA Friday night when Sand segued into Carini. It was MADNESS. Some guy through his Philly cheese steak up in the air, and I couldn’t move a foot, as everyone had stepped into the aisle to boogie down. I actually thought it was Zeppelin’s Kashmir for a second…interesting foreshadowing! ~ Karina R.

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Mike’s bass dominated my ears during Prince Caspian.  Another favorite of mine albeit a little dull at times.  There so many places this song could go in a jam.  Where as Trey didn’t really bring it home, it was a high energy moment in the venue and it was laid out nicely enough.  The lights, the balloons and balls floating over the audience were stunning.  The taper of the videos I am using was in a great centralized location for this show, right?  Great view! Great videos!

Then a song began that I was unsure of until my friends blasted it out before my mind had time to register it. “Los Lobos?” cried one. “No, it’s not!” cried the other. Coincidentally, both were right.  The Taj Mahal cover Corinna was next but Trey teased When the Circus Comes before the count off that threw my musically knowledgeable friends for a tiny little loop. There were a lot of teases throughout the night which I could have written down but I was having too much fun dancing with my friends!

Corrina is a rarity that they’ve been busting out once a tour since New Years 2009. First night was a great warm-up for what was to come. ~ Erika V.

Piper. I am pretty sure this was my first Piper live and I LOVED it.  The intro was fun and it got fast…quick. They were on it here.  Chris Kuroda‘s lights once again stealing my eyes away from the band.  They blast into hyper drive and Trey’s solo begins.  Page’s keys driving it at times.  One of my favorite songs of this set for sure.  And it went into my second favorite song of the set…..

Right into Theme From the Bottom.  Perhaps not the most well-played song of the night, but Chris Kuroda‘s light work on this song was phenomenal. Making the sea of people on the floor look like an ocean of fun I just wanted to jump into. Blue lights radiating off the walls like waves, I swear my face melted a little bit.  The glow stick war that exploded during the crescendo was a favorite moment to top it all off!  Just a great song that threw me back into the seat of any number of my friend’s  car driving around in the 90’s in high school.

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

The face melting continued during Golgi Apparatus.  The energy was lifted up and glow sticks went everywhere during the “ticket stub” line.  And then the slow jam that I was wishing would speed up to keep us raging hyper.  Which eventually, it did.  I loved this song mainly because of it’s lighting effects and the speed at which things can change up.  And there is nothing better when the entire place erupts during a climatic point in the tune.  I SAW YOU WITH A TICKET STUB IN YOUR HAND!!! Glow sticks everywhere.   The lights catching them as they fly into the air.  JOY KILL MOMENT: To the people who throw them UP into the stands…STOP! Unprofessional raging!  Throwing them down is as dangerous as it needs to be.  Projectiles coming AT our faces tend to cause more damage then a few sticks hitting you on the head coming from the stands.  Saw a poor girl get one to the eye during this song.   She was ok, albeit a few tears down, never fear 🙂 Tour kids are tough!

The first half of Slave to the Traffic Light was a bit slow for my taste but the second half…magic. Slow but lovely.  I remember closing my eyes, taking in the energy around me, swaying in tune with my friends surrounding me, the lights slow and soft.  I raised my hands in the air and it felt slightly like a spiritual moment. Uplifting music is all I ever ask for.  Tinkling piano keys brightening up the bass sounds and Trey just raged the song…fully delivering it at the end.

Rocking Fluffhead, but when is it not rocking.  I do feel like I have seen this song performed at every other show I have seen this year but I wasn’t going to complain because it’s fun.  Lovin Cup (a Rolling Stones cover) was delivered as the encore.  This high-impacting song blazed through the arena.  Everyone singing along, jumping everywhere, the floor a massive earthquake.

I just remember hearing ‘loving cup’ for the first time on Friday. This has been one of my favorite Stones songs forever and hearing the guys play it couldn’t help but put a smile on my face. That encore reminded me that Phish is about more than an exploratory jam; a sense of love and happiness was in the air that night. What a beautiful buzz. ~ Matt L.

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Photo by Dave Vann (2010)

Friday definitely got us warmed up for what was in store that weekend. That’s not to say that Axilla and Corinni wasn’t hot, hot, hot. I love a full sound with heavy beats and high energy! ~ J. Bach

Friday’s performance is being greatly over looked by many people I believe. Overall a slow start to a raging weekend, the show blasted us with one hell of set list that brought the energy up just enough to tease us and keep us on our toes for the following night. Of course we would want more energy tomorrow. Of course they would need to bring it tomorrow. Phish knew this and it was nice to see them withhold a few things because what we were about to be delivered the following two nights were beyond anyone’s imagination, predictions and dreams.

Friday started slow but eventually got quite jamming. At the end of the show I leaned over to Isaac and said, that was a tasty appetizer. ~ J. Raskin

Friday Setlist

Set 1: The Star Spangled Banner, My Soul, AC/DC Bag, Ocelot, Sample in a Jar, Light Up Or Leave Me Alone, Sugar Shack, Timber (Jerry) > Bouncing Around the Room, Axilla > Rift, The Moma Dance > Cities > 46 Days

Set 2: Punch You In the Eye > Sand -> Carini > Prince Caspian, Corinna, Piper > Theme From the Bottom > Golgi Apparatus > Slave to the Traffic Light > Fluffhead

E: Loving Cup

DOWNLAODING INFORMATION AS PER PHISH’S FACEBOOK PAGE

Included in the ticket price for each date on Phish’s Fall Tour, is a free MP3 download of the entire show (a fully mixed soundboard recording), redeemable at LivePhish.com. This includes all tickets purchased through Phish Tickets, Ticketmaster, Ticket Horse, and at the venue’s box office.

If you’ve got your tickets in hand, you may redeem your code now at http://www.livephish.com/redeem. Your “code” is the barcode that appears on the tickets. You may upgrade to CD or CD-Quality FLAC or 24 Bit FLAC-HD after you redeem.

Phish’s entire 2010 Fall Tour is available now for download, including their recent Halloween show – with the complete Waiting For Columbus second set – now at LivePhish.com. Included with all downloads is the original Phishbill that was handed out to fans at the begninning of the show.

Please visit http://www.livephish.com/ today.

Borgata Rage & Chris Kuroda

After we were finally ejected from the venue we collected at the Flag poles and delivered the news of the Karl Denson show to anyone who would listen.  No one was going to bed any time soon. The power of the show, even though this was no show stopper, the energy surrounding it, the people, knowing what was in store….We were kids in a candy store. High on life!

We still had not dealt with our luggage and checking into the hotel so we scooped up our Youth Posse and made way for The Borgata in two cabs.  As my crew waited in The Borgata lobby for the second cab to arrive, tour buses began pulling up.   The cute teen couple in my charge stood guessing who’s bus was who.  “It can’t be Trey’s. Trey’s is (insert color here).” or “I think that is Mike’s?”

We ran up to the rooms. They were gorgeous.  Totally jumped on the beds in each room! They were lovely rooms with beautiful views of the city. LOVED the shower! We all got ready for round two  and met in the lobby.

Here comes a super highlight of my night. We reach the lobby and see a friend.  Hugs ensue between everyone and is chatting.  At some point Chris Kuroda has joined the group and we are introduced, again.  Before I register who it is, I go in for the hug I normally give everyone I met and almost get stuck in place. I worship Chris Kuroda. I really do. He is my favorite member of the band.  Pulling away was tough cause I knew I would have to make small talk which is hard for me when I’m standing in front of one of my musical idols. Pulling away was hard enough. I hardly gathered myself but we shared a few words about the light show that evening. My night was officially made.

We jumped back in the taxis and were off to….

Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe@ Trump Plaza

We walked all over Trump Plaza for some tasty Karl Denson, running through casinos, through bars with people in costumes dancing to various styles of music…

OK! This is where I make my first Jam Cruise reference.  I always make one right? Floating around Atlantic City was as close to Jam Cruise as I have found this year aside from Wook the…I mean Rock The Resort.  Running through casinos, restaurants, going from one show to another, stopping in friend’s suites along the way in the various hotels that were pretty much connected, costumes everywhere…the list goes one.

The AC setting is as close to a festival as you can get without actually having a festival. Anything and everything was available to us 24 hours a day. Everywhere I walked, I saw show goers and smiling faces. I can’t stress enough how special it is when so many wonderful, same goal-minded people get together. ~ J. Bach

KDTU! (Picture by I. Sloane)

KDTU! (Picture by I. Sloane)

Karl D! (Photo by J. Raskin)

Karl D! (Photo by J. Raskin)

We got to the show around 1:15 I would say.  It was more empty then I thought it would be.  But, the show had clearly started.  I saw a few tapers in the room and knew I didn’t have to worry anything. I could just enjoy the company of my friends who were, just a few hours earlier,  spread out amongst 14,000 people and who were now all roaming a MUCH smaller space. It was one reunion after the other.

At this point I had been up since 5am Friday morning and was exhausted.  I just let the night flow, not worrying about notes or set lists.  Sadly, the tapers have not loaded their recordings to the web. BOO!!  It was a great show though 🙂

Mellow after such a high energy performance but towards the end Karl had us back on our toes by the time Mighty Rebel was played.  Here are a few videos!  Thank you to the person taking the time to record!!!

Karl Denson’s AfterParty Setlist

Set 1: Turnips, Front Money, Bag O Funk, Look Out, The Answer, Because Of Her Beauty, Soul Driftin’ > Manic Depression, Brother’s Keeper pt.1 > Brother’s Keeper pt.2

Set 2: The Mighty Rebel > reggae jam > Walking On The Moon (one verse), Grenadiers , Chance With You > Hey Jude jam > Chance With You, How Fine Is That, Funky Song, Satisfied, The Bunny Playa

E: Superman Lover, Shake It Out

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