Thursday, August 13, 2015

Remembrances of 50 Phish Shows - Numbers 21 through 30

There are already lots of blank spaces where my memories should be of the 50 Phish shows that I've attended, so I figured I better write down whatever it is that I can still think while I can still think of it.  Here are shows 21 through 30.  We are now entering the dark side.  Featuring Kid Rock and Jay-Z.  Oh no.  For numbers 11 through 20 click here.

2000-09-27 (Fiddler's Green, Englewood, CO)
This was my one time seeing Phish in Colorado.  Coming from the East Coast where most everyone was gung-ho about Phish, the Denver crowd seemed a little skeptical.  Not quite as universally into it.  Maybe it was the overly corporate venue.  Things have probably changed out there now.  The song My Friend, My Friend can get weird and on this night it seemed especially so.  The You Enjoy Myself was a little truncated to allow room for the Loving Cup encore.  After the show we started heading toward Vegas and after driving for a couple hours we slept in the back of my pickup truck at some random little league baseball field off the interstate in the rural Colorado mountains.  Woke up in the morning only to discover that two other cars from the Phish show had done the same thing!

2000-09-29 (Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV)
Laura and I got married before this show!  It was a quasi-elope, because although we knew about it a week or two in advance we didn't tell anyone until after it had happened.  On the shuttle ride from our hotel to the venue the song We're An American Band was playing on the radio and I predicted that Phish would play it tonight...and they did...for only the 2nd time ever!  A good guess, I guess.  Although it was ruined by Kid Rock on vocals, as was a good portion of the 2nd set.  They needed a hook to get that idiot off the stage.  What a big mistake it was inviting Kid Rock out to play with them.  The end was near.

2000-09-30 (Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas, NV)
They put this show out on DVD.  Unfortunately the dry, desert climate didn't sit well with me.  I was running a fever by lunchtime, had a sore throat, and felt increasingly more sick as the day went on.  I still went and enjoyed the show, but it was the most unwell I've ever been at a concert - as in like actual illness stay-home-from-work sick.  This show of course had the first Esther since 8/9/98 VA Beach - another show that I was at.  Trey butchered it and it was shelved again.  Esther died.  There's also that bizarre synchronized duel on stage between Trey and Mike.  This would be the last show for 2+ years as Phish was about to take their first hiatus.

2003-01-04 (Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA)
By the time 2003 rolled around we were living back in Virginia.  While Phish was on the first hiatus we filled the time by flying to the High Sierra Music festival a couple times and getting into other bands, but it was nice to have Phish back.  I'm looking at the setlist for this show now, hoping to jog some memories of it, but not much is coming to mind.  I remember the night before, the drive to the show, hanging out in the hotel room beforehand, but not much about the concert itself.  I think I remember being glad that they played Pebbles and Marbles, being a fan of the Round Room album.

2003-03-01 (Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro, NC)
The tapes may or may not live up to it, but it was one of the all-time best Phish shows I've attended.  Ironically, while hanging out on the day of I remember doubting if I could even recognize a "great" show any more, circa 2003.  There was magic in the air, the type of magic that can turn crystals into fool's gold.  Lots of good friends and lots of good fun.  There was a point in the evening where every song seemed to be going back to that same transcendent place.  The songs were merely vehicles for the hose to spray its flow.  There was definitely a Trey fist pump at the end of this night.

2003-07-25 (Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre - Charlotte, Charlotte, NC)
This show kicked off one of my most favorite three night runs ever.  Party all day and rock all night, and then get up and drive to the next place and do it all over again, and again.  The specifics sorta bleed together.  There was a muscle-bound crazy guy in the parking lot shouting "Where's My Momma" when his hippie girlfriend disappeared.  We figured she wasn't going to come back but she did.  He was not someone you wanted to mess with.  "Where's My Momma?" has remained a catchphrase to this day.

2003-07-26 (HiFi Buys Amphitheatre, Atlanta, GA)
Is this the place in the ghetto?  Piper > Mountains in the Mist, Waves > Tweezer.  Yeah I think I remember that as being awesome come to think of it.  How could it not have been?!  I lost my voice yelling "Where's My Momma?" after the show.

2003-07-27 (ALLTEL Pavilion, Raleigh, NC)
I remember someone stealing my cooler and thinking I was going to die in the car ride afterword as it became clear that our DD was not fit to be a DD.  Besides that, again, not much.  It's like I wasn't even there, but I know I was.  Maybe this show shouldn't even count on the list if I can't remember anything about it musically.  If I really try hard maybe I remember the Seven Below.

2004-06-18 (KeySpan Park, Brooklyn, NY)
My friend Daniel was the only one brave enough to go with Laura and me to this New York show.  We stayed in Mahattan and took the subway over to Coney Island.  I liked it over there.  The minor league baseball stadium was a good place to see Phish.  There were some interesting bars nearby and authentic pizza.  We looked for Paris Hilton but didn't find her.  The New York crowd was very New York.  This was the show with Jay-Z making a guest appearcance in the 2nd set.  I wasn't into that at all but it seemed like the band was getting a kick out of it.  It made me feel like a tourist.

2004-08-09 (Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA)
It was hard to get tickets to this show but I got one.  The night had a melancholy feel to it; very different from the celebratory times at Hampton in the past, especially the post-setbreak part of the evening.  The band was not healthy at this point in their career.  There are definitely highs and lows across a trajectory like Phish's and this night was a low.  We would soon go back for one last hurrah, though: Coventry.

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