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Posts Tagged ‘Mike Gordon’

March Music Calendar

March 2011 Potential Show Run Down

Calendar updated daily!

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2011

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

  • (Free) The Jamie McLean Band @ 315 Bowery
    • John Varvatos Presents: JMB’s 2011 EP Release Party! Free Show! Open Bar!
  • ($10) Red Baraat @ Barbes
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Corey Glover & Bernie Worrell @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($33-$95) Tibet House Benefit Concert @ Carnegie Hall
    • Feat: Philip Glass, Tenzin Choegyal, The Flaming Lips, Angelique Kidjo, Taj Mahal, James McCartney, The Roots, Patti Smith, Jesse Smith and Michael Campbell, Michael Stipe
  • ($40-$80) Mahler’s Fourth Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall

Friday, March 4th, 2011

  • ($7-$10) Official Conspirator After-Show feat. The Manhattan Project @ The Delancey
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Robert Randolph & Corey Glover @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($25) Rebelution and Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad @ Irving Plaza
  • ($25) Conspirator @ Gramercy Theatre (Mis Ter Bugsley)
  • ($30) Larry Coryell Power Trio with Victor Bailey & Lenny White @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40-$80) Mahler’s Fourth Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($40-$45) Dr. John and the Lower 911, Marco Benevento, High and Mighty Brass Band @ Sullivan Hall

Saturday, March 5th, 2011

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Robert Randolph @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30) Larry Coryell Power Trio with Victor Bailey & Lenny White @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) 5th Annual Nolafunk Mardi Gras Ball: featuring Dr. John & The Lower 911 , Soul Rebels Brass Band and Sister Sparrow & The Dirty Birds @ Le Poisson Rouge
  • ($40-$80) Mahler’s Fourth Symphony @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($41-$331) Bon Jovi @ Madison Square Garden

Sunday, March 6tht, 2011

  • ($30) Larry Coryell Power Trio with Victor Bailey & Lenny White @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30) Fred Hersch & Joshua Redman Duo @ Jazz Standard

Monday, March 7th, 2011

  • ($5) London Souls Residency @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

Wednesday, March 9th, 2011

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Friday, March 11th, 2011

  • (FREE) Tall Tall Trees @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Karl Denson, Van Hunt @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) Budos Band @ The Bell House
  • ($18) Tab Benoit & Kung Fu @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($22) Los Amigos Invisibles @ HighLine Ballroom
  • ($25) Devon Allman’s Honeytribe @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30-$40) Al Dimeola World Sinofina @ The Blue Note
  • ($30-$43) Dropkick Murpheys @ Roseland Ballroom
  • ($35) Pete Yorn with very special guest Ben Kweller @ Terminal 5
  • ($46-$54) Piano Power: Brad Mehldau & Friends w/ Joshua Redman @ Zankle Hall
  • ($59) FURTHUR: Phil Lesh & Bob Weir @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Saturday, March 12th, 2011

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($15) Bowlive 2: Soulive w/ Matisyahu
  • ($59) FURTHUR: Phil Lesh and Bob Weir @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater
    • ($10) A Post Furthur and Allman Brothers Band Show w/ Reckoning @ Sullivan Hall
    • ($25) Post Allmans in New York Midnight Concert Series w/ The Yonrico Scott Band featuring Oteil and Kofi Burbridge @ Iridium Jazz Club

Sunday, March 13th, 2011

  • ($7) Afro Funky Party w/ Zongo Junction, Top Shotta & DJ Offbeat @ Cameo Gallery
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($30-$40) Al Dimeola World Sinofina @ The Blue Note (2 shows)
  • ($30-$42) Intimate Solo Acoustic Citizen Cope @ City Winery

Monday, March 14th, 2011

  • ($5) London Souls Residency @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($30) Steve Martin performing with The Steep Canyon Rangers: An Evening of Bluegrass & Banjo @ Highline Ballroom
  • ($30-$42) Intimate Solo Acoustic Citizen Cope @ City Winery
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Tuesday, March 15th, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (late night)
  • ($5) That 1 Guy @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30-$42) Intimate Solo Acoustic Citizen Cope @ City Winery
  • ($35) Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers @ Joe’s Pub
  • ($59) FURTHUR: Phil Lesh and Bob Weir @ Best Buy Theater
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Wednesday, March 16th, 2011

  • ($10) Gent Treadly @ The Sugar Bar
  • ($30-$42) Intimate Solo Acoustic Citizen Cope @ City Winery (2 shows)
  • ($35) Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers @ Joe’s Pub
  • ($40) New York Dolls @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($80-$180) Elton John @ Madison Square Garden

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

  • (Free) The Farewell Drifters @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • ($5) Dead Kenny G’s @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($15) Chris Morrisey Quartet w/ Mark Guiliana @ The Jazz Gallery
  • ($18-$22) JJ Grey(MOFRO) solo acoustic with Shannon McNally @ City Winery
  • ($35) Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers @ Joe’s Pub
  • ($40) New York Dolls @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($50-$93) Celtic Women @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Friday, March 18th, 2011

  • (Free) Nutritious @ The Cove
  • ($5) The Heavy Pets (GOLDYS BIRTHDAY PARTY) @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($5) Buzz Universe & Afro Skull @ The Bowery Poetry Club
  • ($30) Duduka Da Fonseca Quintet featuring Anat Cohen @ Jazz Standard
  • ($35) FUNK SUMMIT: Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Bernie Worrell (P-Funk), Fred Wesley (James Brown, P-Funk) @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater
    • ($12) A Post Allman Brothers Band Show featuring Some Cat From Japan: The Music Of Jimi Hendrix featuring Scott Metzger / Will Bernard / Ron Johnson / Eric Bolivar @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($60-$275) Janet Jackson – Number Ones, Up Close and Personal World Tour @ Radio City Music Hall

Saturday, March 19th, 2011

  • (Free) Mark Guiliana @ Rockwood Music Hall
  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($10) Anders Osborne w/ Leroy Justice @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($30-$40) Pat Martino Organ Quartet @ Birdland
  • ($35) FUNK SUMMIT: Leo Nocentelli (The Meters), Bernie Worrell (P-Funk), Fred Wesley (James Brown, P-Funk) @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater
  • ($60-$275) Janet Jackson – Number Ones, Up Close and Personal World Tour @ Radio City Music Hall

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

  • ($20) Murder By Death @ Rocks Off Cruise
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($60-$200) Diana Ross – Greatest Hits Tour @ St. George Theater, S.I.
  • ($75-$125) Benefit for Cornell Dupree w/ Cornell Dupree, Joe Cocker and Dr. John @ B.B. King Blues Club and Grill
  • ($80-$180) Elton John @ Madison Square Garden

Monday, March 21st, 2011

  • ($5) London Souls Residency @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($10-$17) 101.9 Wrxp 3rd Anniversary Show Feat. Guster @ Irving Plaza
  • ($25) Mingus Dynasty @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($30) Rick Derringer @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($50) Keyshia Cole @ B.B. Kings
  • ($60-$275) Janet Jackson – Number Ones, Up Close and Personal World Tour @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (late night)
  • ($15-$20) Mike Gordon @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($18-$22) Noah and The Whale @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25-$40) Paula Cole – DIVINALE: A Month of Wine, Women and Song @ City Winery
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Wednesday, March 23rd, 2011

  • ($10/$12) Heyoka, The Malah, Octopus Nebulae, Tucci @ Public Assembly (Mis Ter Bugsley)
  • ($15) Surprise Me Mr. Davis @ The Bell House
  • ($15-$20) Mike Gordon @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($20-$25) Steve Kimock 2011 NYC Residency w/ special guests Henry Butler , Andy Hess (Gov’t Mule, Black Crowes, John Scofield) and John Morgan Kimock @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($30) Jeff Lorber Fusion @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

  • ($10) The Macpodz and Sister Sparrow And The Dirty Birds @ Studio at Webster Hall
  • ($25) James Blood Ulmer with The Memphis Blood Blues Band featuring Vernon Reid @ Jazz Standard
  • ($30) Jeff Lorber Fusion @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$52) Cold War Kids @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($40-$80) Hungarian Echoes IV: Bartók’s First Piano Concerto @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Friday, March 25th, 2011

  • ($??) Mahavishnu Project plays Jeff Beck (Wired, Blow By Blow, There & Back) @ Iridium Jazz Club
    • DVD Release Event for “Jeff Beck: Live at Iridium” [free DVD giveaways]
  • ($12) A Post Furthur & Allman Brothers Band Show featuring Some Cat From Japan: The Music Of Jimi Hendrix featuring Nigel Hall , Scott Metzger , Will Bernard , Ron Johnson , Eric Bolivar @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($18-$20) The Wood Brothers with Carsie Blanton @ City Winery (2 shows)
  • ($20) Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) James Blood Ulmer with The Memphis Blood Blues Band featuring Vernon Reid @ Jazz Standard
  • ($25) Post Allmans in New York Midnight Concert Series Col. Bruce Hampton and Pharoah Gummitt Featuring Duane Trucks @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30) Steve Smith, Jon Herington and Col. Bruce Hampton @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($32.50) Victor Wooten and Stanley Clarke @ BB Kings
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$47) Queens of the Stone Age @ Terminal 5
  • ($40-$80) Hungarian Echoes IV: Bartók’s First Piano Concerto @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($50-$60) Don McLean with Special Guest Dar Williams @ Town Hall
  • ($50-$84) Furthur @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater

Saturday, March 26th, 2011

  • (Free) West African Band @ St. Nicks, Harlem (late night)
  • ($10) A Post Furthur and Allman Brothers Show with Reflections @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($15-$20) Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears @ Bowery Ballroom
  • ($25) James Blood Ulmer with The Memphis Blood Blues Band featuring Vernon Reid @ Jazz Standard
  • ($35) Hubert Sumlin Band @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40) Charlie Haden Quartet West Celebrates 25th Anniversary With Release of Sophisticated Ladies @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$80) Hungarian Echoes IV: Bartók’s First Piano Concerto @ Avery Fisher Hall
  • ($45-$65) Afro-Cuban All Stars @ The Concert Hall
  • ($50-$84) Furthur @ Radio City Music Hall
  • ($61-$172) Allman Brothers Band @ Beacon Theater
  • ($100-$175) Rod Stewart / Stevie Nicks – Heart and Soul Tour @ Madison Square Garden

Sunday, March 27th, 2011

  • ($8-$10) Dangermuffin @ The Rock Shop
  • ($25) Hubert Sumlin Band @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($25) James Blood Ulmer with The Memphis Blood Blues Band featuring Vernon Reid @ Jazz Standard
  • ($30) Chico O’Farrill Afro-Cuban Jazz Orchestra @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40) Harlem Gospel Choir @ BB Kings
  • ($50-$84) Furthur @ Radio City Music Hall

Monday, March 28th, 2011

  • ($5) London Souls Residency @ The Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($8) Jim Campilongo @ The Living Room
  • ($25) Mingus Orchestra @ The Jazz Standard
  • ($25) New Sounds Live: So Percussion and Bobby Previte with John Medeski, Zeena Parkins, DJ Olive & Jen Shyu @ Merkin Concert Hall
  • ($35) Hubert Sumlin Band @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($40-$47) LCD Soundsystem @ Terminal 5
  • ($50-$117) Jeff Beck and Rock N Roll Party w/ Imelda May & Her Band @ Radio City Music Hall

Tuesday, March 29th, 2011

  • (Free) Dred Scott Trio @ Rockwood Music Hall (late night)
  • ($5) BoomBox @ Brooklyn Bowl
  • ($12-$65) Medeski Martin & Dunn, John Zorn & MASADA Marathon @ David H. Koch Theater
    • Featuring: Marc Ribot, Uri Caine, Dave Douglas, John Medeski, Secret Chiefs 3, Greg Cohen, Joey Baron, Cyro Baptista, Kenny Wollesen, Jamie Saft, Erik Friedlander, Mark Feldman, Sylvie Courvoisier, Trevor Dunn, and many others
  • ($20) Billy Martin w/ Dj Oliver and Ikue @ The Stone
  • ($30-$40) Kevin Eubanks Trio @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$47) LCD Soundsystem @ Terminal 5
  • ($55-$65) Billy Bragg – At Home In The City W/ Special guest Ben Sollee @ City Winery

Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

  • ($20) Steve Kimock 2011 NYC Residency with special guests Marco Benevento , Marc Friedman (The Slip) , Adam Deitch (Lettuce, Breakscience) @ Sullivan Hall
  • ($25) Reggie Watts @Music Hall of Williamsburg
  • ($30-$40) Kevin Eubanks Trio @ Birdland NYC
  • ($35-$60) Aaron Neville @ BB Kings Blues Club
  • ($40-$47) LCD Soundsystem @ Terminal 5
  • ($55-$65) Billy Bragg – At Home In The City W/ Special guest Ben Sollee @ City Winery

Thursday, March 31st, 2011

  • ($20) Mimosa @ Irving Plaza (Mis Ter Bugsley)
  • ($27.50) Tim Reynolds @ Iridium Jazz Club
  • ($30-$40) Kevin Eubanks Trio @ Birdland NYC
  • ($40-$47) LCD Soundsystem @ Terminal 5
  • ($55-$65) Billy Bragg – At Home In The City W/ Special guest Ben Sollee @ City Winery

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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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PHISH TOUR 2010: 4th Show

Phish = RAGING PARTY!!!

Phish = RAGING PARTY!!!

Trey Anastasio ~ Guitar

Jon Fishman ~ Drums

Mike Gordon ~ Bass

Page McConnell ~ Organ

Leaving out of Penn Station...

Leaving out of Penn Station...

Only seven days earlier I was treated to my first Phish show (Phish @ Hartford, CT (06.18.10)) and miracled into the two that followed (Phish @ SPAC, NY (06.19.10) & Phish @ SPAC, NY (06.20.10). Now, only a week later,  I was totally feeling the itch of withdrawal from the party I was introduced to; another wonderful extension of the party that is my life.

New Jersey Transit

New Jersey Transit

Getting on the New Jersey Transit train on Friday afternoon, I had no idea I was about to be handed an opportunity that many would pay tens of thousands of dollars to experience.  Somewhere between NYC and Camden, NJ, a member of our teenage posse produced an extra All Access Pass laminate and placed it around my neck.  I was later told that this had been planned out and discussed prior to me arriving to meet the group.  Heavy 🙂  At the time, however, it seemed excited and immediate.  That is because it was supposed to go down with my friend handing it over to me but instead our member of the teenage posse was so excited she couldn’t wait.  How cute is that? There were many of us, but only one extra pass.  I felt honored, I truly did.  To be entrusted with such a heavy responsibility.  Because that is exactly what it is, a responsibility.  Raging responsibility was a must now, not just a choice.  If I had learned one thing during the first few shows, discretion and commanding a ghostly nature were the only way to rage backstage with Phish.  It is dry and sober backstage.  Fully.

~ Initial Backstage Rage! ~

The Pearly White gate to backstage...

The Pearly White gate to backstage...

Susquahana Bank Center, Camden, NJ

Susquahana Bank Center, Camden, NJ

We walked through the gate, our bags weighing us down but our spirits lifted so high we were floating.  Walking in, I spotted Trey Anastasio out of the corner of my eye but continued to walk. “Trey’s outside.” I say to Jay.  “Really? Excellent,” says Jay.    He takes me back outside and Jay gives Trey the biggest smile.  Trey’s face in recognition of Jay got so wide and bright, smiles abounded and they hugged.  Then Trey turns to me, as Jay introduces me, and gave me the same giant hug.  Finally, he turns to Josh, holding up a stack of papers and says, “I am doing my homework.” And walks inside.

Tour buses just outside Backstage

Tour buses just outside Backstage

The Dressing Rooms

The Dressing Rooms

We followed in search for a place to lie down our bags and passed Trey in the Catering Lounge.  He was holding up the papers to the teenage posse saying, “Look at all the tapestries this guys has!  Anyone with that many tapestries, I wanna make a record with.”  Laughter.  (This was the only time that I felt comfortable taking a picture with Trey and I kind of froze up instead.  Just the hug would have to suffice. )

My Favorite Poster backstage.

My Favorite Poster backstage.

We find a spot to lay down our bags out of the way of everything past the dressing rooms.  There were amazing framed concert posters along the walls in the hall.  Once again, the dressing room doors were open and there were scattered childrens toys everywhere.  I imagined what this scene looked like 10 years ago.  I imagined it would be just where I wanted to be, in the life of the most raging backstage party there ever has been.  Jay was there, I have heard the stories.

We head back to the Catering area to say Hi to some friends and grab a bite to eat.  The spread was delicious.  There were meat, cheese and fruit platters, all kinds of cake and cookies, pork chops and casseroles.  Hot and cold.  Sweet and savory.  I bet the wives LOVE not having to cook 🙂  It also made me wonder what the demands of the band might be in terms of things they want in their dressing rooms and for their children.

~ !! Happy Birthday Richard!! ~

Happy Birthday to Richard!

Happy Birthday to Richard!

The Set List Birthday cake!

The Set List Birthday cake!

I wasn’t eating because I was too excited.  I was anxiously waiting to get back to the parking lot to hang with our krewe.  After a few minutes, I noticed the traffic in the Catering Hall get a bit busy.  There seemed to be a bustling.  A large cake was brought in and all of a sudden Trey, Page, Mike and John were all in the same room together.  People were all crowded around Richard, Phish’s manager.  It was his birthday.  Everyone sang Happy Birthday to him and he let Mike Gordon’s daughter blow out the candles as Mike bent her over the cake.

Trey is always Smiling!

Trey is always Smiling!

~ Sound Board vs. Sound Room ~

So, this was cool.  While we were backstage at SPAC, there was a room I noticed while using the restrooms where there was a TV with a video of Trey, wonderful sound coming from the room and what appeared to be soundboards.  I took a pic from afar and wondered.  During the first night of Camden, Jay made friends with the gentlemen who was in the room.   His name was John.  Today, I was taken to the room and got a breakdown on what it all meant.

John's Sound Room

John's Sound Room

Basically, when a show is taking place, there is a sound engineer who maintains the sound board inside the venue.  It is his/her job to make sure the audience is hearing the best quality sound that the venue can produce for that performance.  Now, this special room backstage was for a whole different beast of the same nature.  It is John’s job is to mix and master the quality of sound coming from the stage for the RECORDINGS that will be produced for sale after the performance.

John's Sound Room

John's Sound Room

Having researched Phish site after writing the previous articles, I found that the Phish website updates the set list every 30 seconds while a show is occurring.  Then, only a few hours later, the recordings for each song are posted as well.  So, this was just one of those musical wonderland facts that I never knew.

~ Stage Rage #1: Prior to Show ~

Phish's Stage! (Sorry so dark)

Phish's Stage! (Sorry so dark)

Fully raging!

Fully raging!

After we put our things down, we were walking to head back to our friends when we spotted the door open to the stage.  I walked out.  Not too far at first.  And then a little further and a littler further until I was right behind Fishman’s drum kit and just kinda froze. I was standing on Phish’s stage.

Fishman's Drumset

Fishman's Drum Set

The power that resonated through me as I imagined the place full of ADORING fans in front of me, the lights flying around behind me and the jamming having commenced.  Insanity.  INSANITY.  For those of your who watch Trey, you see his face…you know what he is feeling. You have watched the documentaries of him basically saying that he gets completely off on his performances.  Musical orgasm after musical orgasm.  It’s written all over his face, in his lyrics and comes out of his fingers.  Standing there, I just couldn’t even put myself in their place. I couldn’t fathom the hugeness of it all.  I remember dancing on stage to Dumpstaphunk back in April, recalling the feeling of sickness and excitement I felt after exiting the stage.  It was overwhelming.  I remember it distinctly as I shook like a leaf.  This was too much for me to imagine.  Not sure what the rules were or how far I was able to venture, I stuck towards the stage door and shot a few pictures from that area.

Waiting patiently...

Waiting patiently...

The part I loved the VERY MOST…the lights.  Chris Kurodas’ canvas.   They were all placed facing in their upright positions…waiting patiently.  I love seeing instruments/equipment on an empty stage because their energy resonates with me.  I can feel them wanting to be played.  I could FEEL these lights itching to be manipulated.

The lawn prior to the show!

The lawn prior to the show!

~ !!Parking Lot Rage!! ~

As we left the birthday celebration, Jay, who is just excited as I was, proceeds to tell me how wonderful and rare that moment just was.  Apparently, since a family atmosphere has replaced the partying, it is rare that all four members of the band are in the same room at one time like that.  In addition, Trey is rarely out of his dressing room.  He hides away most of the time…so I was told.

Parking Lot rage!!

Parking Lot rage!!

Lot Rage!

Lot Rage!

We walked back through the gates to meet up with our krewe.  Tonight’s group was massive.  So many people I knew were at these shows.    Phish really does have a death grip on people in the JamBand Community.  For some,Phish is the end-all-be-all of our music community.  And for New Yorkers, well, we are truly blessed to be in the epicenter of all things surrounding music.  We have the majority of Phish shows  on our coast and NYC is in the middle of them all.  Wonderful.  Even more wonderful, I now had this little bit of power around my neck that would allow me to rage all over the venue tonight with all my friends without any hassle.

I used this time to play catch up, pre-game and set up various plans as far as knowing where people were initially seated and where I can grab them when the time came to get everyone together in our seats.  The cops rolled through the lots frequently and yet my friend was selling beer out of his truck which promoted so many lovely conversations.  A large percentage of folks asked us how we got our laminates while the others just started offering us money for them.   It was so bizarre to me. While I appreciated the pass around my neck, I felt that many of these folks deserved it so much more then I did.  The super fans.  I was not taking it for granted, but I also wasn’t flipping my lid over it.

Looks like more people came... :)

An hour later = venue packed!

Stage prior to Show!

Stage prior to Show!

Everyone walked in separately but pretty soon we would all be together.  Jay and I walked into the show through the backstage entrance.  After a quick bathroom break, I peeked into the Catering Hall and there was Trey again.  Surrounded by his teenage superfan base (Members of The Leadheads and THOR) Trey was playing a mandolin for them.  Just strumming and coming up with things on the spot.  The teenage posse comprised mainly of teenage boys all smiling adoringly and giggling.  “We are just getting started,” I heard Trey say as I left for our seats.  Neil Diamond was playing as we found our seats for the night.  That was funny to me.  We had five in a row that would magically expand in a matter of songs.

Let the games begin...

Let the games begin...

~ !! Let The Show Begin !! ~

The kicked off the show with Alumni Blues into Letter To Jimmy Page back into Alumni Blues. Phun Fact #421: This was the first Alumni Blues since July 24, 1999 (222 shows ago). Phun fact #567: This was the first Letter to Jimmy Page since July 15, 1994 (587 shows ago) .  I didn’t really pay much attention to the first few songs as I used this time to gather up my people.  The venue grounds were now my playing field and Lauren and Meredith were first to be grabbed.  Somewhere behind the soundboard, I ran into Zegs as I was looking for my girls.  The seats in the stadium were so odd behind the soundboard and to get to the middle of a row was strangely impossible.  So, here come the girls, climbing over all the rows to get to me.  So silly but they were on a mission.

Dancing on the Soundboard :)

Dancing on the Soundboard 🙂

~ !! DANCING ON SOUNDBOARD!! ~

Soundboard rage!

Soundboard rage!

As if having an All Access Backstage Pass for this show wasn’t the pinnacle of my music going adventures, the next few songs would stick in my head forever.  They will possibly hold the top spot for me as a very special time in my music-going adventures.

Towards the beginning of Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Jay and I took off for the soundboard.  AHHHHHHH!!!!   This was it.  I was about to watch Chris Kuroda LIVE from only a few feet, no, inches away!!  If I have said it once, I have said it a million times: Chris Kuroda is my personal favorite member of Phish.

Dancing on the Soundboard!

Dancing on the Soundboard!

Chris Kuroda during Runaway Jim

Chris Kuroda during Runaway Jim

Kuroda is the IT guy when it comes to lighting effects. I am a huge fan of lighting and in my personal opinion, along with millions of others, he is the greatest at what he does.  For a while, while Phish was on hiatus, Kuroda did lights for The Black Crowes.  I can only imagine his happiness when Phish decided to get back together.  Without missing a beat, I am sure Kuroda put in his two weeks notice to The Black Crowes the day he found out.

And so I stared.  I stared at Kuroda‘s hands and face during the rest of Big Black Furry Creature from Mars. I would stare at him and then stare at the lights on stage in front of me.  It was BRILLIANT.  I wish I knew how he manipulated all of that.  What an art form.  I would have loved to ask but I didn’t want to interrupt his work.

We love you Chris Kuroda

We love you Chris Kuroda

Chris Kuroda and Sue Anastasio!

Chris Kuroda and Sue Anastasio!

During Runaway Jim, Trey Anastasio’s wife, Sue,  joined us on the soundboard.  It was also at this time that I shared a wonderfully romantic moment with my friend Jay.  A long time coming and wonderfully romantic.   Our teenage posse was hanging out on the soundboard as well and everyone hugged in approval of the moment.  At the end of Runaway Jim, Chris Kuroda turns around and, spotting us  in his sight line, he mouths: “WOW!!”   Even Chris Kuroda surprises himself.

Phish @ Hartford, CT (06.24.10)

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.24.10)

We all swayed together in a large embrace for a lot of Army of One as it was mellow and calm.  There was a lovely piano solo by Page.  Trey’s solo was simple and sweet.   The song itself didn’t hold my attention and I found myself losing myself in my own thoughts while watching Chris Kuroda work his magic on the boards.  Free Man In Paris was a new debut Jonie Mitchell cover.  It was a bit faster but still just a little mellow for my taste.  I really wanted the music to rip my head off to coincide with the energy level raging through my body grouped with the excitement of what was going on with the Pass and with my friends. Oh man…the lights were more energetic then the music during this set I felt like.

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.24.10)

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.24.10)

Summer of 69 was lovely. It was hard not to be dragged into the chicky little tune. I walked up towards the front slowly during this song, taking it all in again.  Loving that no one was stopping me.   I had heard the debut of this song in Hartford a week earlier.  They carried this tune for close to 10 minutes, repeating the lyrics: “And we danced all night” for what felt like a million times. 

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.25.10)

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.25.10)

Kuroda Rage!

Kuroda Rage!

And then there silence for a good minute before Mike broke out a fat bass line and the playful keys of Page ushered in Split Open and Melt.  We got a bit of a jam session during this song but it still felt forced from Trey.  I felt Page was just ripping it up…like, I am here ready to rage, yall ready yet? Like they were still warming up.  But, not sure if I mentioned this earlier…Phish had a RIDICULOUS opener at Camden the night previous. People were saying it was the greatest show of the tour so far.  So, it was no wonder Phish was so mellow and kinda just not bringing the fire during this set.  They literally were gearing up.  And this certainly wasn’t a bad show but I have high expectations no matter what.

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.25.10)

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.25.10)

The FUNK and HEAVY was brought in for The Sloth and then the energy was there.  The song forced it up and out in my opinion.  Page continued his rage on the keys and Trey had to scream to get that energy up and the entire venue was risen up with the band.  Mike’s great funky bass behind Trey’s guitar was pretty great.

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.25.10)

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.25.10)

The fun and bouncy vibe continued on into Time Turns Elastic. This song was all over the place with a pretty melody behind it.  For almost 20 minutes the guys on stage just raged their instruments.  Jammin’, slammin’, beating, hitting, strumming, screeching, jazz and rock and funk all together.  Menacing and bubbly at the same time.

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.25.10)

Phish @ Camden, NJ (06.25.10)

And during Golgi Apparatus, when they sang the lyrics: “I saw you with a ticket stub in your hand,” I giggled inwardly at how I had yet, after four shows, been asked to produce a ticket.

Full Moon over the show!

Full Moon over the show!

Prep work...

Prep work...

During intermission, the lot of us went to the lawn to decompress and just hang.  New perspectives.  I was very pleased to hear from others that they found that the first set was a little mellow for their taste.  It was definitely too mellow for me. I am very aware that I don’t recall much from the first set. The music didn’t hold my attention for the most part.

View of stage from lawn, with screens

View of stage from lawn, with screens

We lounged on the lawn until the music started again.  Chatting about anything and everything.  Everyone smiling wide.  And doing exactly what we had hoped and figured, PHISH RIPPED OPEN the second set with Chalk Dust Torture. I sat on the lawn and watched how the party unfolded.  Because it was ON after this song.  

View of stage from Lawn

View of stage from Lawn

During Prince Caspian, I made my way down to our seats, snapping the above and below pictures as  I walked.  The lights were gorgeous. The sound was uplifting and fun.  I love this song.  Always a crowd pleaser.   There were 8 friends left in our area as the rest had remained on the lawn for dancing room.  With a few having stepped away, the remaining friends jumped and danced and raged all over those seats.  The people around us were singing along, dancing with us, hugging.  Every time someone we knew would come or go there was always a commotion of love. 

View of Show from Lawn

View of Show from Lawn

John's Sound Room in action...

John's Sound Room in action...

Heavy Things was next and it was during this time that I had another backstage rage.  We took over the seats in the sound room and were as quiet as a mouse.  John was watching the screen while manipulating the levels and whatnot on the board in front of him. My camera died at this point and Jay went to plug it into the plus that was on the wall.  John reminded us very seriously of the fact that the main device was to our left.  Of course, we were more then careful.  I felt like I was near irreplaceable glass while I was in the room. I was scared to breath.  But it was really cool to see how these people work.  To learn of what things go on behind the scenes that you might not have known before.   That has been the greatest part of this musical adventure I have been on the past few weeks with PHISH.

John's Sound Room in action...

John's Sound Room in action...

The funky, bluesy Alaska called us back to the pavilion.  A nice, slower jam after the raging first three that finally brought the heat to the Bank Center. But it was 2001 that got me jumping again.

Fishman!

Fishman!

When they busted out 2001, all I could think about is the spectacle I witnessed in Saratoga Springs days earlier when they unleashed it upon us during the second set.  It was out of control.  The scene was no different here.  The Glow sticks erupted everywhere, people were screaming, the dancing in the isles seemed to have gotten a bit thicket as well.  Luckily, at this point, we remained up front for the remaining of the set and there was plenty of room to get funky.

I would say that this was my favorite song of the night.  Mainly because during the jam, the guys broke out into a few Michael Jackson Tribute songs in recognition of the one year anniversary of MJ’s death.  The song consisted of Billie Jean containing a Thriller tease from Trey.  They continued to tease it later on in the song as well.  Phun fact #215:  This was the debut of Billie Jean 🙂

Front row ragin'

Front row ragin'

During Light, I grabbed my friend and took her to the front during the piano song.  I didn’t really know what I was doing at first and we got a little heckled trying to find a good place to stand out of the way.  At first we walked right up middle and there was no way to reach front row.  The guard told me: ” you will never get up there. Don’t bother trying to get closer.”  So, of course, I grabbed Mer’s hand and we got closer.

Front row ragin'

Front row ragin'

There was a pretty sick glow stick war during Possum but nothing compared to the glow stick was in Saragtoga a few days earlier.  Trey also brought the heat here with his solo.  YUMMY!

Trey in all his glory!

Trey in all his glory!

For the encore, Jay ran back and got my camera charger allowing me to take the pictures you see above of Trey and the gang.  I danced in front of Fishman for the entire encore of Shine A Light and it raged.  All my friends had gathered back together in our seat.  After a final head count, there were 18 of us raging those few rows and it was spectacular to me.  I had never been with so many fans who were literally SUPER FANS.  I am normally the super fan of these smaller groups who I love.  But it’s rare that I am the one on the outside looking in at the party.  That is what was going on all these years.

Set IAlumni Blues > Letter To Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars, Runaway Jim, Army of One, Free Man In Paris, Summer of 69, Split Open And Melt, The Sloth, Time Turns Elastic, Golgi Apparatus (1:14)
Set II: Chalk Dust Torture >, Prince Caspian >, Heavy Things, Alaska, 2001, Light >, Possum, Character Zero (1:17)

Encore: Shine A Light (5:55)

~ Stage Rage #2: After Show ~

After the show, we checked back in with our krewe, made plans to meet up in the parking lot and Jay and I took off backstage to grab our things.  In the middle of it all, I walked through the stage and just stopped.  Overwhelmed.
Time to pack it up...

Time to pack it up...

To my left, there were numerous trucks with their backs dropped over as if they were ready to load cattle.  Some men waiting to load it in, while others were packing it up on stage and still others were transporting the equipment on wheels between the stage and trucks.  Quite the machine.  Especially since we had only been hanging around for a few minutes before making the move to return backstage.  Look at this efficiency…
Game over...

Game over...

To my left was the stage, I could see all the people leaving the pavilion and lawn.  It was intense to stand where I was standing and try to feel the massive energy from all those people.

A portion of my fellow ragers!

A small portion of my fellow ragers...

That night, as I lay in a cuddle puddle with my friends, Jay exclaimed, ” You saw them all.  I have been backstage a million times and I have never seen them all in one place.”   “Never?,” I ask.  “Maybe 1/ in 40 shows,”  he said.  And sometimes you never see them at all, especially Trey.”  Yet again, I silently thanked the show karma Gods for making these superior, exciting adventures happen to me.
I just want to leave you all with a few words from Trey himself that will make you all very happy: He said: “…but this is where I belong. This is where I am supposed to be…and I am never leaving you all again.” Keep Trey sober and Phish won’t be going anywhere 🙂

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~ Read show prior: Phish @ Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC) @ Saratoga Springs, NY (06.19.10) ~

DAY III of Tour / Night II of SPAC

Happy Father's Day chill session behind our hotel

Happy Father's Day chill session behind our hotel

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.

Isaac, Wayan, And Mat jammin!

Isaac, Wayan, And Mat jammin!

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.

Happy Father's Day ~ If they only knew...

Happy Father's Day ~ If they only knew...

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! 🙂

View from the "Ho Chi Mhin Trail" @ SPAC

View from the "Ho Chi Mhin Trail" @ SPAC

View from the "Ho Chi Mhin Trail" @ SPAC

View from the "Ho Chi Mhin Trail" @ SPAC

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!?

Tapestries on Shakedown

Tapestries on Shakedown

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?

View of Lot from Shakedown Bridge

View of Shakedown from Bridge

Find this shirt for me and I'll pay you $1 Million dollars!

Find this shirt for me and I'll pay you $1 Million dollars!

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.

Venue prior to rage time!

Venue prior to rage time!

Tiny Aprtment Man's Digs - Day II

TTAM's Digs

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)

SPAC Night I ticket!

SPAC Night I ticket!

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:

Whoa!whoa!whoa!
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!

One of my favs shots of the run...

One of my favs shots of the run...

Amazing. Felt so Massive.

Amazing. Felt so Massive.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

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.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

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.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

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

Tony Markellis joined the stage

Tony Markellis joined the stage

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.

Tony Markellis joined the stage

Tony Markellis joined the stage

See that portal of light? It bugged us out haha

See that portal of light? It bugged us out haha

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.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

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.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

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…

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

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.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

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.

View From Second Level!

View From Second Level!

View form second level!

View From Second Level!

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.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

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.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night II

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!

Page raged a Keytar during Encore

Page raged a Keytar during Encore

Page raged a Keytar during Encore

Page raged a Keytar during Encore

Page raged a Keytar during Encore

Page raged a Keytar during Encore

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

Encore: Frankenstein

Download: Phish @ SPAC Saratoga Springs, NY (06.20.2010)

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.

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DAY II of Tour / Night I of SPAC

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Day II: It had been one day and we were now waking up in this gorgeous villa in Hartford, CT to the sound of Boz and Step’s children running through the beautifully lit, large hallways.  The birds were literally chirping in my ear and the wind was literally blowing my hair across my face.  It smelled like heaven.  In that moment, as I happily woke, I was so aware that I was not in New York City.  It was blissful.  Granted, I was running on three hours of sleep now but nothing could lay me back down.  Too much excitement.

Villa de Levy

Villa de Levy

He was right, Jay was absolutely right.  He said that once I got a taste of Phish tour, I wouldn’t want to jump off the wagon.  Earlier in the month, he had tried comparing Phish Tour to Jam Cruise.  Comparing the community and the vibe.  I completely understood, even though I don’t think anyone can truly understand Jam Cruise without experiencing it for one’s self.  However, Phish tour was still just a music concert with a severe tailgating vibe to me.  But, he was right on many other levels.  The community was hardcore, dedicated, forum-posting, set-list guessing,  phantasy football type, FANATICS.  Following one band all across America and sometimes the world takes dedication.  It made me wish the bands I adored would tour and if a community like this would follow.

Music Mammas! xoxo

Music Mammas! xoxo

Josh directing the sidewalk chalk drawn Thank You note

Josh directing the sidewalk chalk drawn Thank You note

We left the house much later then we planned.  But these were the moments I would come to cherish, the before and after travel parties.  It was here where we spent time just getting to know our new friends and reconnecting with our old.  Driving through the country side knowing that we would be meeting up with more travelers who had come for the same purpose.  To have their faces melted by their favorite band.  It was always a really big pleasure seeing these Phishheads geek out over things.  I knew how they felt.  Pretty much, it had taken me one live Phish show (PS: Thank you JESUS For Chris Kuroda) and less than 24 hours to fall for the touring scene and I was already wondering how to do it with MY favorite bands.  So, we left Hartford, CT and made the four hour drive to Saratoga Springs, NY.  We blasted Jamiroquai almost the entire trip with the windows down and the sunroof open.  It was a gorgeous day for a drive to a concert with friends.

I "Heart" Tour Sticker!

I "Heart" Tour Sticker!

The touring world was slowly opening itself up to me and divulging its tiny little nuances that make it an experience.  For instance, as we drove, we passed fellow tour goers rocking their Phish stickers and blasting their jam music on the Interstate.   Every time we stopped, we were met with more fellow Phish-heads in search of the next bite of music.  Caravans forming without even trying. Waves and smiles all along the interstate.  Every time we stopped at toll booths, no matter what age, gender or race of the operator, they knew where we were going.  “Going to see Phish?,” “Yall going to the Phish show?,” “What? Phish?” Many times we offered to take our booth operator along with us but sadly, and stupidly, they all denied.  You can be certain that I would have been the girl jumping out of the booth and into car with strangers if I had been given the opportunity back in my teen years.  My parents always had just reason to worry.

Show Karma was once again on our side.  When we arrived at the road meant to take us into Saratoga Spa Springs Park, it was backed up to a dead stop for over a mile.  There was no way we were having this with Jay in the car.  Within a few minutes, a few phone calls, and asking an old runner in the neighborhood for directions, we were entering into the Park through the back way.  Flew right on in and right up to Gideon Putnam Spa Resort (GPRS), located on site.

GIdeon Putnam Spa Resort

Gideon Putnam Spa Resort

Layout of our Gideon Putnam Hotel room

Layout of our Gideon Putnam Hotel room

Pulling up to the GPRS, I was reminded of Colonial Williamsburg, my hometown.  Anything with that flare of colonial settlement reminds me of home.  Our King bed room would hold four that night. The cuddle puddles would be deep and who knew if more would join the party late night.  Another lovely plus to add to our superb touring situation was that Jay was aware that these Phish shows would be taking place before they were announced to the public so he had all his friends book rooms in the hotel prior to announcements.   Jay and I ran around the hallways barefoot, finding our other friend’s rooms and getting stuck there for welcoming pre-parties. Our teenage posse was on one floor, our Chicago krewe was on another.  More scattered all over the place yet to arrive.  Finally, we all stopped playing long enough to realize we had a show to catch.  And out the door we went in the highest of spirits.

Saratogo Performing Arts Center

Saratoga Performing Arts Center

To top it all off, located right behind our lovely accommodations was the venue: The Saratoga Performing Arts Center (SPAC).   Seriously, our hotel spot was crucial as the rest of our friends would have to get back on the highway and head to campgrounds off other exits or travel to other hotels off site once the show was over.  I even had one friend taking a $60 taxi back to Albany after Saturday night’s show.   The taxi never came and his wife eventually came and got him.  Ouch and props to wifey for indulging her man to live his musical dreams!  Zegs, Get your lady a pretty ring.

Welcome to Saratoga Spa State Park

Welcome Hippies....to Saratoga Spa State Park

Bouncy steps like a Phish out of water :)

Bouncy steps like a Phish out of water 🙂

So, as we are walking to the venue, I swear to god these Phishheads were floating, skipping, whatever you wanna call it, but the bounce in their step was evident.   Their happiness was seeping into the grounds to the point that the trees were dancing to the songs I JUST KNEW were playing in my friend’s heads. This was going to happen two nights in a row.  And the show the night prior, my FIRST Phish show ever, already felt miles away.  Phish in Saratoga Springs, NY ~ Night I was about to rage with a whole new perspective from new seats. So Much Anticipation…

Saratoga Performing Arts Center ~ Saratoga Springs, NY (06.19.10)

SPAC Night I ticket!

SPAC Night I ticket!

Trey Anastasio ~ Guitar

Jon Fishman ~ Drums

Mike Gordon ~ Bass

Page McConnell ~ Organ

Saratoga State Spa Park

Saratoga State Spa Park

At this point it’s about 5pm and the show was to start at 7pm.  As we leave the hotel and head to the venue, it is evident that there was a wedding in the process of reception.  We openly discussed if the wedding party was happy that Phish was in town saturating the grounds of their wedding site.  Asking a party member, they confirmed that the Bride and Groom were well aware that Phish was in town.  This didn’t surprise me one bit having recently discovered that TONS Of people get married at music festivals.  That never occurred to me until this year.

Kid Phriendly

Kid Phriendly

We didn’t really hit up the Shakedown, not before anyway, at least from what I remember.  I am still amazed at what I AM remembering as I didn’t take a single note until my fourth show in Camden a week later.  Like Jam Cruise, the tour/Phish world had seeped into my brain letting my live music addiction know it could get exponentially worse.  Taunting me.

The beautiful venue ~ SPAC!

The beautiful venue ~ SPAC!

The Tiny Apartment

The Tiny Apartment

And now we split up.  Jay and I walking right through backstage and the rest of the crew going through the ridiculously long ticket line into the venue.  We entered the side of the venue and headed towards the tour buses, no tickets ever being requested of us to produce.  And it’s here we meet  Tiny Truck Apartment guy.  We come across a the side of one of the tour buses and a side panel had been lifted to reveal a small 3 foot by 3 foot space within the side of the bus.  In front of that space was a chair and in the chair was Tiny Truck Apartment guy. We asked him if he was having a good time and what exactly his space was meant for.   He said it was his apartment, thus his name.   I ran into him numerous times to and from bathroom breaks, his TV always watching a race of some kind, nothing to do with the show.  In hindsight, I wondered if he was the bus driver.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I(06.19.10)

They BLASTED IT OPEN WITH TWEEZER REPRISE AGAIN!!!  Yall just have no idea.  For those that were there, only you can understand the rage that erupted from the venue.  This would make three times in a row now Phish had played this song.  They had done the song two times in a row the night prior closing out the Hartford, CT show.  Trey knew what they were doing.  They KNEW we would explode.  Phun Fact #65: This was the first Tweezer Reprise Opener since 11-9-1995, or 482 shows ago.  What a great way to start the set.  And they kept the energy up as they rolled right into Chalk Dust Torture.   UP UP UP!!!

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

The venue was STIFLING hot.  Feeling the need for air, Jay and I walked towards the lawn during Suzy Greenberg.  Now, the members of Phish are promoters of love over war but as we walked towards the lawn we walked into a GIGANTIC GLOW STICK WAR that was taking place on the west side of the lawn.  What is a glowstick war, you ask?  Said to have begun as a Phish phenomenon, thousands and thousands of glowsticks are cracked and thrown into the air during prominent parts of certain songs.   “This is by far one of the biggest I have seen before,” says Jay. (Again our Show Karma rages!!!)

Susie Greenberg also brought one of my favorite jams of the night with Mike Gordon on his bass and Page McConnell on the piano.  Their jam a few minutes into the song was one of the highlights of the night in my opinion, with Trey stummin in some of his signature whine here and there was plain NAAASTY!!!  Perhaps it was the war but the place was on fire, light bombs dropping in face, in my mind.  Listen to the piano in that video….the music was flawless.  And with that, they brought the first set to a close.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC (06.19.10)

The second set started slow into Rock & Roll but their jam during that song raised us all up from the lows of intermission.  The venue was lit back up so quickly.  Trey’s guitar wailed and whined through Rock & Roll and it transitioned effortlessly into Saratoga Jam.  They brought the SPACE jam! And Chris Kuroda made it appear that a space ship was landing ON MY FACE.  Out of control lights and music. Just unruly.   It all felt so massive.  Free was next and threw me back to the 90’s…raging through highschool, wishing to see these guys LIVE! Trey’s guitar rift we all know so well leading the way.  Mike funking it up in middle.  His sound was just rocking this whole tour it seemed.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Stage was on fire!

Stage was on fire!

It must be mentioned that the location of my seats vs Hartford’s seats was crucial to my enjoyment of the light show Chris Kuroda delivers the audience.  I LOVE THE LIGHT SHOWS!!!  Being in the front row during yesterday’s show prohibited me from seeing the full light effects that the audience is generally given.  This weekend, being in the middle section, about 15 rows back, I was being thrown into mental chaos.  This visual art…so great and wild.  So on point.  I truly can admit that Chris Kuroda has always been my favorite member of PHISH.  If I had a better camera, I can only imagine what gorgeous shots I might have gotten.  I was so mentally involved in the light show

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Trey is the man! xoxo

Trey is the man! xoxo

During Halfway To the Moon , we went closer for some pictures.  There, not 7 rows back was the bride and groom from earlier…in their own two seated section…on their feet dancing around.  She was wearing her veil and holding her bouquet.  He was in regular clothes with the biggest smile on his face.  I wondered just how much of the bridal party was in here.  I imagined that there had to be so so many.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Saratoga was one FIRE.  Just look below if you don’t believe me.  Our friends had all been stubbed down and were now located all over the pavilion dancing their heads off where they found space.  Most were with us, rolling 12 people deep in our five seat section that spread to three rows.  Prince Caspian and Joy were slower songs that still had people deeply involved in dancing as Trey’s guitar wailed throughout them.  I particularly like Mike’s bass behind Trey in PC as well.

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

And Joy, well, the lyrics are stunning.  Possibly the greatest wedding vow ever is dropped in that song and I hoped the wedding couple embraced their asses off as Trey sang: “I never thought I could have it so good / You were the song that my soul understood.”  And so PHISH sang TO US,

“We want you to be happy, don’t live inside the gloom / We want you to be happy, come step outside your room / We want you to be happy, cause this is your song to. / In time we’ll weather this storm inside together / You’ll see the change when the sun shines through.”

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Phish @ SPAC ~ Night I (06.19.10)

Davie Bowie brought some funky rage.  Mike’s bass , yet again slamming me in the face during this song.  The obscure fly off jazzy rages are always fun.  My friends were dancing around me with the biggest grins.  Magic.  The lights were SICK!!!  I really just LOVED the lights.  With it’s slow start, they capped off the second set with Show of Life. Wonderful wonderful lyrics on top of a semi slow rock ballad.

Trey ~ I love you!

Trey ~ I love you!

They closed off the night with Squirming Coil and Character Zero. Mike’s bass was so deep and sexy and the song is always an uplifting rage.  Trey raging and the keys on fire.  And thennnnnnnnn Tweezer Reprise to end the show. Yet again blowing the entire place up like a supernova.  History in Phishland has been made with that four song run and it was fun to know I’d been part of it.  People will be like: “Remember that time when they closed with it twice and opened closed the following nights show!

Set 1: Tweezer Reprise, Chalkdust Torture, Funky Bitch, Runaway Jim, Yamar, Sample In a Jar, Axilla 2, Fluffhead, Bathtub Gin, Suzie Greenberg

Set 2: Rock and Roll>, Free, Backwards Down the Number Line, Halfway to the Moon>, Prince Caspian>, Joy, David Bowie, Show of Life
Encore: Squirming Coil, Character Zero, Tweezer Reprise

Download: Phish @ SPAC Saratoga Springs, NY (06.19.2010)

End of Night I ~ A Fully raged SPAC, all cleaned up

End of Night I ~ A Fully raged SPAC, all cleaned up

After the show, we all stuck around for about 20 minutes again, saying our goodbyes and gathering the troops would would remain to rage into the wees hours with us.  Jay mentioned a path that ran around the venue that people called The Ho Ci Mhin trail.  He thought it might be fun to walk through on our way to the Shakedown.  This path ended up being pitch dark, a shotty ledge with a shotty rope and just ever so dangerous for even sober folks.  It was shocking and wonderful that no none got hurt.

Golf anyone?

Golf anyone?

We hung in The Shakedown for what seemed like hours.  We ate hummus wraps and pizza.  We stocked up on goodies for tomorrow night’s show and gifts for friends/family.  And then we walked back to our hotel.  This time, through the venue.  As you can see in the picture above, the venue was already spotless by 2am. They had giant blower trucks, similar to street cleanser blowing the trash into a pile. As well, men on foot were using hand held blowers to rally the remaining bits of garbage.  It blew my mind as I had (and always do) complained about the amount of trash that was left behind after the show.  People, pick up your waste, use the damn trashcan.  It’s not hard. Anyway, so then we totally got lost finding out hotel but it was so much fun.

3am Golf Anyone?

3am Golf Anyone?

As we approached our green, the final adventure of the night revealed itself to us.  The golf green behind the hotel was ragin so we took a look.  “Well, last year we asked for the clubs and they wouldn’t lend them to us so this year we brought our own.” Said golfer guy #1.  I turned and they even had a little light attached to a tiny flag spotlighting the hole.  Ah, I love imagination and spunk.  All the guys attempted to shoot the hole a few times while I spun in circles on the green.  Egging me to try, I grabbed the silly club and birdied the hole in two shots. Yes Sir!  Golf is boring as hell, but it doesn’t mean I can’t play it.  I am from Williamsburg, Virginia after all.

After 20 minutes it was over. The night was done. What a great night of music, dancing and bonding.  Day three began in 8 hours 🙂

~ Continue on tour with me: PHISH @ SPAC ~ Saratoga Springs, NY ~ (06.20.10) ~

Pulling up to the GPRS, I was reminded of Colonial Williamsburg, my hometown.  Anything with that flare of colonial settlement reminds me of home.  Our King bed room would hold four that night. The cuddle puddles would be deep and who knew if more would join the party late night.  Jay and I ran around the hallways barefoot, finding our other friend’s rooms and getting stuck there for welcoming pre-parties. Our teenage posse was on one floor, our Chicago krewe was on another.  More scattered all over the place yet to arrive.  Finally, we all stopped playing long enough to realize we had a show to catch.  And out the door we went in the highest of spirits.

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Trey Anastasio ~ Hartford, CT

Trey Anastasio ~ Hartford, CT

PHISH 2010 TOUR

Trey Anastasio ~ Guitar

Jon Fishman ~ Drums

Mike Gordon ~ Bass

Page McConnell ~ Organ

What can I possibly say?  And how do I say it? Many times, music is a feeling to us.; something that can’t be expressed in words.  I try on so many levels, but still feel as though many times I fail in my own wanting to express these massive musical adventures.  And THIS was MASSIVE on day one.  But by day four…This was EPIC.

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Phish is a band that has been worshiped and written about by the cult masses for years.  A band whose name many times doesn’t ring a bell to your average passer-by yet has a cult following in the tens of thousands.  A band who has outsold the likes of Madonna, Elton John and Jay-Z in ticket sales numerous years over.  A band whose entire studio album collection I own, to include hundreds of live shows spanning almost two decades.  However, until this past weekend, I HAD NEVER SEEN THEM LIVE!  Being as dedicated to live music and wonderful musicians as I am; being that this is considered THE “IT” GROUP to follow in the Jamband community…having never been, well, this fact was considered to be straight up blasphemy amongst my fellow music tribe.

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Phish @ Hartford, CT

I will flat out tell you that I boycotted Phish for many years.  I have always been and will always be a Deadhead first and foremost.  Where as Phish‘s touring phenomenon is my generations equivalent to the Grateful Dead tours, Trey Anastasio IS NOT Jerry Garcia and thus, nothing would fill the void.  Also, and more importantly, I boycotted Phish for the reason that everyone DID consider them the “IT” group.  Because I saw how people fell under the SPELL of Phish, swearing they were the end all/be all of the Jamband world.  And so I didn’t go to their shows.  Instead, I choose to apply my time and money to the hundreds of other bands being left in Phish‘s dust.

Comcast Theater @ Hartford, CT (06/22/10)

Righteous! Much Love Jay!

Righteous! Much Love Jay!

So, I have this buddy, we shall call him Jay.  He is a total Phish head, by way of the Grateful Dead.  He spends thousands of dollars on Phish tickets every year for his friends and for himself.  Enough for every venue, every show, for whoever might need them, and always great seats.  He does this with the greatest intentions of sharing his tickets, stubbing his crew down and working it so that all his friends can be together for the show, grooving together as he bops all over the venue.   He offered to treat me to my first Phish show, swearing to me that I would continue on to as many shows as I could after the taste I got in Hartford.  This was his world, a world that I was ready to allow myself  to enter and already found slightly intoxicating just by the movement that occurs when it’s PHISH TOUR time and those ticket lotteries occur.  And it was about to be introduced to me in a pretty sick way.

They each have thier own tour bus. No Biggie.

They each have their own tour bus. No Biggie.

We climbed into the car around 2:30pm Friday afternoon and arrived at the Comcast Theater in Hartford, CT around 5:30pm.  This is where the beauty of my Phish experience truly begins.  As we are driving through the toll booths, Jen asks the gentlemen if he is going to the show.  “Phish?” he says. Jay leans over and tells him to jump in the car with us and that we had a ticket it for him if he just jumped in.  I could read the pain on his face.  And with that, Jen asks how much.  Without missing a beat, the kid goes, “No charge.” “Excuse me?/What/Huh?,” we all say.  “You’re good,” he says and we pull away in mid thank yous.  We were MIRACLED at the toll booth.  And it just got better and better.

The car fit nicely!

The car fit nicely!

Stompin grounds for the evening

Stompin grounds for the evening

With Jay’s All Access laminate, we were able to drive through the masses, past VIP parking and parked it right backstage next to the tour buses.  I knew immediately that with this laminate, things were going to get a little rowdy.   We chatted up the guard and walked right into the venue through its side you see above.  None of us ever being asked to produce our tickets.  It was lovely.  I snapped pictures and we wandered around the venue checking out the layout, running into other friends along the way.  We checked out our seats (Section 200, Row U, Seat 241).  I was so excited.  I knew that I wasn’t going to be able to rage front row like I normally did but I knew I would be able to see Trey.  See his smiling face and his bouncing, vibing, cute, happy self all over the stage and that made me so happy.  After combing around the lawn and seeing how far the stage looked from there, I was so very grateful for Jay.  We ran into our teenage posse who had been taking pictures on the stage and then we then took off for the lot parties.

The RAGE Stage! Comcast Theater, Hardtford, CT

The RAGE Stage! Comcast Theater, Hardtford, CT

Checkin out the lawn...

Checkin out the lawn...cant see stage! Yuck!

As we stumbled upon the parking lots, the scene appeared no different then a musical festival mixed with a Jimmy Buffet concert, full of tailgaters and hippies as far as the eyes could see.  Once there, we decided to hit The Shakedown, a rogue section of the Jamband scene that pops up in places surrounding shows/music festivals where folks vend their wares.  Definitely a wook-filled vibe in spots but just like all things in life, it was easy to look past the grimy and the dirty to see the beauty in the environment I was walking through.  We met some friends at the end of the Shakedown and made plans to meet up inside.

Trey Anastasio @ Hartford, CT

Trey Anastasio @ Hartford, CT

Page McConnell @ Hartford, CT

Page McConnell @ Hartford, CT

The show was slated to start at 8:00pm and so we walked back to find our seats and get the party started.  At this point, I still hadn’t used my ticket.  Jay takes me by the hand and we walk right into the venue, no questions asked.  My ticket was never taken out of my pocket.  For this venue, we held down five seats in Section 200, a few rows back from the front, towards middle left aisle.  I was in the isle as PHISH walked on stage.  A security guard leans over to a guy near me and says, “Teach her the rules right now.” Apparently, I had to stay within a certain line so as to be out in the isle…fire hazards and what not.  Duh! And that rule was so broken so fast but not by me because  within SECONDS of the music starting, Jay once again grabbed my hand and led me to the front row, left side…PAGE side.  There it was, I was up front for FEE!  And there I stood/danced/smiled all night.

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Phish @ Hartford, CT

Trey and Mike @ Hartford, CT

Trey and Mike @ Hartford, CT

A perfect view of the band.  To be standing in the front row at my very first Phish concert was a little overwhelming.  I was not expecting anything so great.  I figured I would be out in the lawn like most other big shows I attend or in the seats stuck behind some big dudes.  I had been assured of our wonderful seating prior to the show but being 5 foot nothing, I am always weary as no one truly knows how little I can see.  But I knew going into this trip that things would be above average.  It’s just the way things work out.  And I was blissfully happy because the energy in that place was hitting me like a freight train.  If you think I was happy, magnify it by 1 million and stick that energy into all the people around me who KNEW what they were in store for.  The people who built up what was around me and what I was feeling and becoming apart of.  Everyone was SOOOOOO happy.  Fee was great.  A cute song about a weasel named Fee who gets his nipple cut off.  Sure, why not!

Thanks Chris!

Thanks Chris!

Chris Kuroda's lights ~ EXCELLENT!

Chris Kurodas lights ~ EXCELLENT!

I was pleasantly surprised to hear how lovely Page was right in front of my face.  Happy to hear the piano a little louder then the other instruments.  This song had such great piano amongst the chaos of the story.  First song in and I was silently questioning why I had boycotted them for so long.  The energy in the pavilion was sick.  Everyone was singing, jumping up and down, blowing up balloons and raging in the isles.  Sure, this happens at tons of shows where the fans are ridiculously fanatic but this was different.  This was extremely more intense.

Thank you Chris Kuroda!

Thank you Chris Kuroda!

They jammed out during Rift but I wanted more during that song to be honest.  A guy a few rows back screamed, “This is my first Phish SHOOOW!!”  Of course, I scream back, “ME TOOOO!!”  There was a big commotion of hugs and high fives between our groups and I fell in love with our community all over again.  He smiled and ended up finding me later during intermission for more hugs. Now, you tell me what other show is like that…on this MASS a scale.

Trey and Mike @ Hartford, CT

Trey and Mike @ Hartford, CT

With it’s gorgeous melodic intro, Summer of 69 got the venue swaying with its lyrics reminding us that it’s SUMMER and IT’S TOUR TIME!!!
“Glad to find anytime alone / and it’s summer once again / The days are full / but they’re not our own / Remember our life back then.”
And with Mike Gordon‘s bass reentering after the chorus, they ALMOST got me crying.  Such a pretty song and SUCH a loving vibe blasting through the venue at that moment.  It truly is an experience that so many people just will never attempt nor understand.
Backstage @ Phish, Hartford, CT

Backstage @ Phish, Hartford, CT

In case you didn't know...

In case you didnt know...

During Cavern (the last song of the first set), it was time to rage the bathroom.  Jay grabbed my hand and led me backstage.  The walls were covered with large pictures of bands that have left their mark on the venue and in the music world.  Phun Fact #123:  A few days prior, they erected the below photo of Phish, so aptly located next to what was Trey’s dressing room for the evening.  Speaking with Trey the previous night, he had been VERY excited and happy about this honor.

Phish on All Star Wall Backstage @ Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT

Phish on All Star Wall Backstage @ Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT

Unlimited waters was a FABULOUS plus!

Unlimited waters was a FABULOUS plus!

While walking backstage, I was shocked at how quiet it was.  The band’s dressing rooms were lined up in a row, littered with hippie blankets and children’s toys.  Smelling of incense and just shockingly quiet.  All these toys but no kids.  I knew they had to have an entourage of children and wives and whatnot.  That threw me off. Wonder where their rage room was?

Mike's Sound Room

Mikes Sound Room

I walked past a little room with a TV screen and what appeared to be a sound board.  I would find out later on in the tour in Camden just what this room was meant for.  You will have to read that article because I got to hang out with Mike, the sound guy, for a few minutes and it was pretty rad.

Heading back to our seats, we met up with a few more friends.  The second set was by far the best set.  I was amazed at how well I just flowed into the concert, knowing more of their music then I thought I would as I had listened to them so much in high school.  I was thrown back 10 years, when CDs were all the rage.  I was actually introduced to Phish when a friend made me a mixed tape and put Bouncing Round the Room and Billy Breaths on it.

Like an alien space ship from SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!

Like an alien space ship from SPAAAAAAAAAAAACE!!!

Our teenage posse had joined us, rocking their laminates with the biggest grins and raging with us instead of at their usual soundboard spot.  Issac, wide-eyed and holding a tee-shirt, tells us how he ran into Fishman backstage and how Fishman proceeded to proclaim that he “doesn’t LIKE tee-shirts” and gave it to Issac.  It was a dope pencil drawing of Jerry’s head, hair blowing across his face due to an unforseen wind.  It really was a cool shirt.  The following day, Issac was rockin’ that shirt.  Damn right, Issac!

Unreal.  Beautiful lights by Chris Kuroda!

Unreal. Beautiful lights by Chris Kuroda!

Trey = Light & Love

Trey = Light & Love

When the music started, our front row spot had doubled.  How was this possible? Didn’t people own these seats?  Were they raging the lawn with their friends? But throughout tour, this is how it went.  No matter how many people we brought to our spot, there was always enough room.  You always get what you need.  Later, I would be told that normally…generally…things like that never happen.  Many times, the guards are pushy, constantly asking for your tickets, shuffling people along.  But we were lovely music mamas in boas, not drinking, clearly having a GREAT time, staying out of the isle and behaving.  I mean, I felt like I was at the Brooklyn Bowl at times. Not like I had 14,000 people behind me raging.  I was surrounded by all my best ones, missing those who were not able to be there, and thinking about those who were still spread all over the venue.

Amazing Sauce!

Amazing Sauce!

Reba brought the spacey, obscure jam that I so adore from Phish.  Like rouge jazz insertions throughout parts of the song, while other parts are fast and solidly melodic. Yet, other sections were rocky and all sections were raging.

Kuroda is Obviously my fav member of Phish! Yes!

Kuroda is Obviously my fav member of Phish! Yes!

And Mike Gordon‘s bass really hit home with me during Cavern.  I have been hooked on listening to him ever since.  I LOVE Mike Gordon!  I LOVE his sound.  Whoever does sound for him during this tour is making him sound perfect.  He has stood out to me during the entire run.  And during Tweezer, ugh, that bass line.  Thwacking me across my dome.  Phun Fact #72: It is best to always make sure you surrounding security guard is well taken care of.  See if they need water, anything really, as it’s best to be on their good side.  Diplomacy and politics run in all facets of life including front row at giant venues.  By doing so, we were able to take some great pictures with Trey behind us as well as go to the middle for some great shots!

Trey Anastasio @ Hartford, CT

Trey Anastasio @ Hartford, CT

Theme From the Bottom might have been one of my favorite songs of the night for nostalgic reasons.  Everyone singing with the band was fun to watch.  Glow sticks had made their way from the wars on the lawn behind us up to the front and all sizes of balls had made their way to the stage area.  Harry Hood brought another 15 minute jam session.   I loved Trey’s guitar in Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan.  So, so funky.  “Got a blank space where my mind should be,” sang Trey, one of my friend’s favorite lines.  The lyrics for Phish songs are great and that was definitely a great line 🙂  And as the guitar just rock-n-wailed, Fishman thumped the drums and the cymbals in perfect time. They are so tight, that even on a horrible night, they can’t be truly bad.

Trey rages! @ Hartford, CT

Trey rages! @ Hartford, CT

The best part of this show came at the end, during the encore.  Phish played a groovy Tweezer Reprise.  Aside from what was about to happen at the end of this song, Trey’s energy is so ridiculously evident in the video below.  He was having SO MUCH FUN on that stage that I was loosing my mind.  Sure, I loved the music, but as much Live music as I watch, I rarely see the guitar artist I adore bug out and just rage physically.  That is what I LOVE to see…when the artist is as much into their music as we are.  When their music takes them over, lifting them our of their chairs, off their feet, into the air or sprawling on the floor.  Skerik is a prime example of the crazy I like to see in my artists from time to time.  I was flipping OUT and it was as much Trey’s energy as the music or the atmosphere.  And then right as they finished Tweezer Reprise, Trey jumps back to the microphone and excitedly shouts”,

“You know what! We’re having such a great time.  We’ve only got a couple minutes before they kick us off this stage. And we played Tweezer in Hersey Park but we never did Tweezer Reprise. So, we’re going to play it again. THIS IS FOR HERSEY PARK!!!”

Front row ragers!

Front row ragers!

And RIGHT BACK into another Tweezer Reprise…clearly this was not planned as Mike took a moment to look around and then fall back into round two….and then the place erupted.  And by God, if Trey’s energy and the energy in that supernova that was the Comcast Center hadn’t reached it’s boiling point…right at that moment, the eruption shook me to the CORE!  I mean, just pure ultimate joy was radiating out of these people floating around me screaming their excitement.  Intense is the only word I can think of.  Trey was bouncing all over the speakers, the venue was lit on fire. This video will show you everything you need to know! It sounds amazing and looks even better…Definitely hit PLAY!

Set List I: Intro, Fee>, Rift, Wolfman’s Brother, Summer Of ’89, Foam, Possum, Moma Dance>, Julius, Reba, Cavern

Set List II: Intro, Halley’s Comet>, Light>, Billy Breathes, Tweezer>, Theme From The Bottom>, Harry Hood>, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Stealing Time From The Faulty Plan

Encore : Sleeping Monkey>, Tweezer Reprise, Tweezer Reprise x2

Download: Phish 2010-06-18 Comcast Theater, Hartford, CT

So much equipment...

So much equipment...

Ragers leavin out the back....

Ragers leavin out the back....

When the music was over, it was over for good but like a festival, I LOVED knowing that I would be able to do this all over again tomorrow night.  Yet, like a concert, I was also happy that the possibility of sleeping in and not having to run to make early music was a nice positive that I immediately picked up on as plus for touring with a band.  For a while, we just sat in our chairs chatting over the double Reprise we were just thrown.  That was so ridiculous.  The power of the people in the pavilion and rolling up the lawn…I could taste it.  There were glow sticks everywhere, in piles.

We were staying with a gorgeous family I had met only weeks earlier at Mountain Jam.  They lived in Hartford and supplied about eight/ten of us with beds for the night in their lovely villa.

Das Villa! Thank you Levys!

Das Villa! Thank you Levys!

Waking up to the sun filled rooms and the breezy walkways, I was SO excited to think that we would be piling back into a car, and taking off for another state! Another night of Phish and another night of the biggest party you can go to that isn’t on a boat.  I can see why my parents kept me from touring with The Dead and Phish back in high school.  It was a raging party and they knew once I got a taste….I’d never come back!

Thank you Levys! xoxo

Thank you Levys! xoxo

Continue on tour with me: PHISH @ SPAC ~ Saratoga Springs, NY ~ (06.19.10)

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