Recently, I went to my first Phish show in 15 years! 15 YEARS! Pulling in and seeing all the people setting up camp in the parking lot, i don’t know, I think I felt a bit out of place. Like, that scene was several lifetimes ago.
Once inside, we pretty much had our pick of the lawn, and settled in between where Trey and Mike would be standing. Slowly, the lawn started to fill. The band came on and played through the first set. It was strange…the music was great, but not GREAT! I was honestly thinking, “Why the hell am I here?”. But man, that second set!!!! WOW!!! My solid rock and ice demeanor melted away; slowly, at first, then with a fevered quickness! Yeah, I quickly reminded myself to reprimand myself when I got home. But still…
Something was missing from my experience. The usual all out ecstasy from shows past was not there this time . But, as most things are, the fault was not without! It was within! It’s been 15 years. Damn! 25-30 years that the band has been together. Things change. And this changed. The way the band moved towards that ecstatic moment of release was not through barreling over the crowd. Rather, it was constrained, constricited, and finally, blissful, but careful. Gleeful, but not without due cause. It slipped out instead of bursting out. But out it came, and it will be to my everlasting shame that it took me some days after the show to realize just what a great show I had just seen. Thanks to technology, I was able to watch videos of the show on Youtube the very next day (probably sooner if I had checked)! And wow! God Damn I said God Damn! That show(7.31.15), the next night, the night after – hell – the whole summer tour, for the most part, has been fire!
I’m happy for the band, with all they’ve been through. Good to hear them playing and connecting so well! Here’s to next year! You know where I’ll be!