Half of us arrived on Sunday night and the rest of the crew rolled into Miami on Monday around noon. After a quick lunch in South Beach, we converged on the Marriot downtown. The Joker and Wildo booked us a suite so we could end the year in style. The suite had balconies and it was located a ten minute walk from the venue. After a mini-pre-party in the suite, we headed to the lots. We walked through Little Havana and drew odd looks and a couple of sneers from the locals who had no idea that the circus was in town.
Wildo had extras to sell. The Joker had t-shirts to vend, and I was hawking patches. We ambled through one of the front $40 lots. During the 2003 run, that lot was Shakedown central and much more organized. This year's version was a free-for-all. Random unleashed dogs roamed free while the molly slingers darted in and out of the crowd. Tickets were going for $20-30. A head from Boston sold me mushroom chocolates. The Joker set up shop in the $25 back lot behind the monorail. Talk about the other side of the tracks. The tanks were out in full force. Hissing sounds filled the air and salesmen were walking through the row of cars waving $5 balloons. The black guys were yelling "Whip its! Whip its!"
Benjo was inexperienced with the nitrous scene and curious about the affects. He watched in amazement as people lost their mud sucking and huffing on balloons like they were infants sucking on their momma's boobies.
I had a freak accident and dislocated my finger (old yet annoyingly recurring football injury). I had to pop it back and snap it back into place. It's not pretty and hurts like a motherfucker. Luckily, I was able to self-medicate with Vicodin and a few key bumps.
We headed inside and my girlfriend get flagged by security who saw her shroom chocolate in a piece of foil and asked her to open it up. She was told she couldn't bring it inside so she ate it on the spot! We headed up to the 300 level. It smelled like cinnamon and weed in the hallways. Beers were $13.50. Capitalist pigs. It took a while for the arena to fill up but by the time the boys took the stage, the arena was at least 80% full. We had a tough-ass security guard. She must have been a Nazi in a former life. The good thing was that TLAQuinn was in my section and PhanArt was near by.
The Phish 12/28/09 American Airlines Arena -Miami, FLCrowd pleasing Sample in a Jar to open the set, followed by an upbeat NICU. I love "Play it Leo!" songs and Page let loose. My Soul was the first bustout of the night. Last time played? Shoreline 10-7-00 when the boys ended their tour and last show of 2000 and the Phish 1.0 era. Trey let it rip at the outset of My Soul. A little sloppy.
Set I: Sample in a Jar, NICU, My Soul, Roggae, Undermind, Bouncin, Poor Heart, Stash, I Didn't Know, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Possum
Set II: Mike's Song > Light > Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Backwards Down the Number Line, Makisupa Policeman, Harry Hood > Contact, Character Zero
Encore: First Tube
Roggae was another bustout and included an unexpected extended jam. I dig the Fishman jam on Undermind with an funky interplay between Mike and Page. I headed to the pisser during Bouncin. I stood at a urinal in between two guys talking about the show.
Happy Fan: "Awesome show."I got caught up in the snail-paced beer line. The vendor apologized and said that she had a contact high from all of the wafting weed. Solid Stash jam. I'm a fan of fat guys in dresses playing household instruments, so I was in heaven during Fishman's vac solo in I Didn't Know. Trey mentioned that it was the last vac solo of the decade. It sounded like Fish was calling out to the Mothership. A homing signal. They'll be stopping by to take all the space kids home after the NYE show.
Grumpy Fan: "Whatever. This show sucks."
Happy Fan: "Sounds great to me. Maybe it's the Don Julio and molly speaking."
Page shined on Beauty of a Broken Heart and the boys smoked on Possum to end the set. Seemed a bit safe with a few bustouts, but I knew that the boys were warming up.
I ate some shroom chocs at setbreak to catch up with my girlfriend who said she was as wasted as Katie Holmes in the movie "The Ice Storm". The second set kicked off with searing Mike's Song which I felt was a good omen. A noob chick behind us puked up against the wall. Then she started crying before she puked again. If I had any wook tickets, I would have issued her a citation. By the middle of Light she was taking swigs off a bottle of beer. Puke and rally. We were impressed. That's a bold move right out of the Disco Sister's play book. Puke and rally.
Her boyfriend asked to borrow my bowl a few times. On the last exchange, I handed him my piece and thirty seconds later he tapped my shoulder. "Sorry bro. I'm spun out. I forgot that I smoked all my weed during Mike's."
Danced heavy during Weekapaug Groove when all of the party favors kicked in and peaked during a merry Alaska and peppy Backwards Down the Number Line. Freakish version of Makisupa Policeman which featured an homage to Mike with "policeman comes to Mike's house."
The jam out in Harry Hood went pretty far off the reservation. For a few minutes, they wandered around aimlessly. Almost reminded me of a 2004 Oxy-jam. I wondered if Trey was back on the sauce with that muddled jam until Fishman pushed him out of the tail spin and they found their footing and segued into Contact. Funkified jam led by Page before they ended the set with a Trey spooge-fest and Character Zero. Rocking First Tube to end the show.
I was betting on the setlist with Benjo. He took an early 2-0 lead, but I'll get it back. He We headed back to the lots and the tanks were hissing in the shadows. Daniel saw a sad scene -- a five year old kid huffing on a balloon. Sketchy for sure. We bailed as soon as possible and headed back to our suite for the post-party.
One show down. Three to go.