The final Phish tour...
Tickets went on sale prior to the band's announcement that they were calling it quits. Didn't really matter, tickets for the Brooklyn shows sold out immediately. I was out in California with my busted up ankle and tickets went on sale at 9am on the east coast. I woke a bit after 6am PST and called Stacy who informed me she had no luck getting Brooklyn tickets.
So, we opted to go forward and get tickets to the Saratoga Springs shows. Being familiar with Albany and having a friend up there, we could find a place to crash and attend the Saturday and Sunday performances.
Next, the Coventry festival was announced. Broke already, I emptied my savings account to cover this show...once again the break-up hadn't been announced and tickets sold out shortly after that. Glad I grabbed them when available. 4 summer shows guaranteed. (not quite as you will soon find out!)
Finally, the movie theater broadcast of the first Brooklyn show was announced and Stacy got tickets for this. While not an official show, it would mean I'd see 5 shows this summer. The most I'd ever seen on a single tour was 4, so this was the best I could do.
This show does not count in my tally of shows, however I did see it live and with a few hundred fellow Phish fans and isn't that what it's all about?
We missed the first song, one of the few that I like from the new record (but saw it a few days later!) and walked in during Dinner and a Movie.
Upon entering the theater we were surprised to see everyone sitting. It was very strange actually but as The Curtain With started, I began bobbing my head and within a few songs the place was very active.
(07:02) A Song I Heard The Ocean Sing
(17:20) 46 Days ->
(15:28) The Divided Sky
Stacy and I left around noon this beautiful Saturday afternoon. A few stops on the way up left us a little late which was actually beneficial from a parking perspective.
We took the side route to bypass much of the traffic and found some kids offering $5 parking. Little did we know it was like 2 miles from the venue! Since it was too far for me to walk on crutches, Stacy decided to drive me up to the venue and drop me off. Monster mosquitos flew in the car and all about and we brought a pair of kids with us to drop off. Since it was so far, we drove around the venue and found parking relatively close in a closed parking lot.
Arriving during Reba, we missed most of the song and met up with Stacy's friends. We settled down during Runaway Jim for the remainder of the set. The song selection wasn't my favorite with Wolfman's Brother and Walls of the Cave being 2 songs I dislike. However their respective lengthy jams proved that this band is that good.
After moving down a little closer in between sets, and meeting a fellow crutch-bearing fan, the second set began and was positively fantastic. Having missed A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing in Brooklyn, I was thrilled to hear it live and the jam just kept going! I could've sworn it went directly into Piper, to Stacy's sheer delight. The song was incredible and while the jam felt as if it had a few uninspired moments, the good was great. There were a few moments where I just found myself smiling, looking around and the song simply kept going on! At more than 32 minutes, it was definitely one of the longest songs I've ever seen (the 30+ minute Roses Are Free which preceded my first Piper is probably the longest.)
The segue was a good one, just the song wasn't so hot. The remainder of the 2nd set was ok....but overall it was one of the better sets. 50 minutes on 2 great songs isn't half bad!
(*) Tweezer Reprise tease?
Page invites his father, Dr. Jack McConnell, out to sing and tap dance on Bill Bailey (last played 7/3/99 Atlanta)
During Julius, Trey broke first string on stage since 1995.
I don't even want to recount this tale, but it is part of my Phish history and therefore it must be told.
Stacy had gotten to see the band play in Camden on Thursday and I couldn't make it b/c of an important training meeting I had at work. This was announced on Wednesday and cancelled on Thursday. So, I missed this show, much to my dismay. After a number of travelling woes, Stacy didn't get back to the island until Friday morning and we left just after noon to head up north.
Arriving in the massive line of Phish fans at 10pm, we stopped and wouldn't again move. In fact, at 8am, a full 10 hours later, we had travelled but 1 mile. Yes...10 hours, 1 mile. It was after this that Stacy decided to hop in the left lane and try to get closer. We went about 6 miles before getting back in the queue and waiting some more. It was shortly after this that the announcement was made. Mike was on the radio telling us all that they weren't allowing any more cars in. We were still at least 10 miles away. We never made it into the show.
The weekend was not all lost as we travelled across the state, stopping off at Ben & Jerrys. Then later stopping in Burlington for a nap by the lake. As the sun was slowly lowering in the sky, we found a campground and headed there. Fortunately there was a car full of other Phish fans who also didn't make it into the show. We spent the weekend with them and had a great time.
However....I missed the final Phish show.
It's something I will always be bitter about. I do not blame anyone, simply the circumstances. But ultimately I have a bitter taste in my mouth regarding the legacy of this band I love. I was lucky enough to see 2 shows in June that were simply amazing.