Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Coventry Music Goes To The Dirty South

Tomorrow most of the Coventry Music Crew will be at the Raleigh Phish show. I am so excited to get to see everyone. Dr. Pauly, The Joker, JonasOtto, The Disco Sisters, Broseph and Strawberry Shortcake will all be there. Most of us will be at Charlotte and the Atlanta shows as well. I think Broseph will be chatting up the ladies in the lots and hustling the n00bs, so look out. We hope to run into you and please say hi, we are a fun bunch.

As a reminder, follow us on twitter to keep up with comments from the lot and the shows.

The main feeds for this run are:
Coventry Music: @CoventryMusic
Dr. Pauly: @taopauly
The Joker: @neillybop
Broseph: @BrosephLives
Jonas: @jonas0tt0
DiscoSis1: @DiscoSis1
DiscoSisII: @DiscoSisII
See you in the lot, brah!

Trey Is The Walrus

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Phish Setlist: 6/29/2010 - CMAC, Canandaigua, NY

This had the biggest potential to be the "sleeper" of the tour...
6/29/10 - Phish, CMAC, Canandaigua, NY

Set I: The Connection, Down with Disease, Sample in a Jar, Ocelot, Reba, Horn, Funky Bitch, Undermind, Curtis Loew, David Bowie

Set II: Possum, Mike's Song > Simple > I Am the Walrus > Weekapaug Groove, Limb by Limb, Joy, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus

E: First Tube
Thanks to Zeke for the setlist info.

Lost Vegas: The Redneck Riviera, Existentialist Conversations with Strippers, and the World Series of Poker

It took me five years to write this book...

You can buy Lost Vegas here.

Widespread Panic Red Rocks Saturday > Sunday Recap

I woke up relatively early on Saturday morning - about 10am - because my phone kept ringing. Friends who were still up from the night before needed me to come over and continue the party. I went over to the house we have dubbed "Shennaniganz" where we proceeded to drink mimosas and have a phish dance party in the front yard underneath an easy up. It was like a Telluride Bluegrass Festival campsite complete with a rug and second hand couches and chairs.

We watched the disappointing but intense end of the USA/Ghana World Cup soccer match and I had a perfect buzz going as I headed over to Cervantes for the second boarding of the Party Bus at 3pm. After the disaster of the Party Bus ride from the night before I was determined not to make the same mistake twice. I interviewed the bus driver. He knew how to get there, the air conditioning worked, and the bus had a iPod input for music. Perfect.

The ride to Red Rocks was much more fun with music, I played the Party Bus Mixes I posted last week. The girls were dancing in the aisles and it was a fun atmosphere, the way a party bus is supposed to be.

The lot scene for Panic this year was fairly disappointing. I spotted groups of undercover cops in unmarked Nissan Xterras driving through the lots and looking at everyone with a suspicious eye. Around 5:30pm some wind and rain moved in, a light shower for about 30 minutes. I sat in the party bus, drank and listened to music with about 10 of us who didn't want to get wet.

The rain subsided and I was able to get into Red Rocks about 7pm. As we were walking up the stairs we saw a beautiful sight: a rainbow behind the stage. Everyone loves rainbows, especially neo-hippies and we all felt it was a good omen.

And the setlist:

For whatever reason, Panic fans generally are not costume people. As you know I love to dress up and love a gimmick. Saturday night I wore my Wook Patrol t-shirt and it was the concert debut of my Chewbacca backpack. "Hey dude, is that a Wookie on your back?" Yup. The fight against the wooks will never be won, but we must keep fighting. Lots of smiles, laughs and high fives for Chewie and the Wook Patrol.

I enjoyed the Saturday show but in retrospect it was the weakest of the 3. Panic played strong but parts seemed a little sloppy. Still, I had a great time. The sunset was breath taking during Love Tractor and I was surrounded by many great friends. My favorite part was the Surprise Valley > Jam > Drum Solo > Hatfield > Surprise Valley segment. Surprise Valley is a song born in Colorado and Red Rocks and JB's singing during Hatfield connected with my soul. The lights were beautiful on the rocks and I caught glimpses of lightning over Denver as I gazed into the full moon peeking through the clouds. The scene was absolutely beautiful and classic Red Rocks.

After the show the dance party continued back on the party bus and we arrived at Cervantes without incident. I was unsure what I was going to do next, as it was only midnight and there was not a big after show like there was Friday night. It seemed like most of the party bus was also unsure of where to go as we mingled around Welton for half an hour weighing our options.

I befriended a cute couple in their 20's from Chicago living in Durango for the summer on the party bus. Jori and Scott are fellow Phish fans and and they picked up on my vibe. They decided they wanted to go where ever I was going. Kind of cool to connect with new friends who trusted me to show them around Denver. We headed over to Quixotes to check out Fareed Haque's band and the hardest working rock band in Denver, The Dyrty Byrds.

After 2am we moved to an after party at a friend's house. The party had about 15 awesome people who just wanted to party, tell jokes, dance and laugh. We danced to Tipper and Emancipator till dawn, and I'm fairly certain there were several good-natured supernatural creatures in attendance.

I made my way back to my own bed safely and passed out sometime around 8am. I woke at 1pm once again to my phone ringing. Even I need a little motivation sometimes. I was a little worn out from the past 2 nights and did not have a ticket to the Sunday show, which had an early start time of 4pm. I felt like I wanted to remain horizontal for a few more hours and my bed was warm, soft, and loves me. Still, I can't say no to a party. Gavin found me an extra ticket, and there was nothing else to do but get up, take a shower and put on my WAKE UP AND RAGE t-shirt. I scooped up my new friends Scott and Jori and we made a dash out to Red Rocks once again.

Days like Sunday June 27 are why there is the saying in the Panic community:

"Never miss a Sunday show."

How true, how true.

The set list:

I have been seeing Widespread Panic since 1997 and Sunday's show is the best show I have seen from Panic in over 10 years. I don't even know which shows were better, I'm just saying that the Sunday show was of the highest quality, start to finish. The Maggot Brain > Use Me with Eric Mcfadden guesting on guitar was straight disgusting. My jaw is still somewhere at Red Rocks. And what other band plays a 30 minute encore for their 3rd show? Great stuff.

I hope you can catch Panic this summer - you will not be disappointed.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Widespread Panic - Red Rocks - Love Tractor & Sunset

My buddy Dave from Boulder took this amazing video of Love Tractor and the Sunset...

Stay tuned later tonight Ill have the wild recap of Panic Sat and Sunday shows...

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Phish Setlist: 6/27/2010 - Merriweather, Columbia, MD - Sunday

The second night at MPP included a throwback with Walfredo opener (and the band on different instruments)...
6/27/2010 - Phish, Merriweather, MD

Set I: Walfredo^, Mellow Mood, Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan, Divided Sky, Tela, My Soul, Ginseng Sullivan, Sample in a Jar, Bathtub Gin, Brian & Robert, Antelope

Set II: Wilson, Meatstick** > I Saw It Again > Piper > Ghost > Jumpin' Jack Flash > Saw It Again > Contact, YEM

E: Fire

^ Trey on keys, Mike on guitar, Fish on bass, and Page on drums
** with Japanese lyrics
Thanks to Zeke for the spun-out setlist info.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Phish Setlist: 6/26/2010 - Merriweather, MD - Saturday

The Phish returns to MPP in Maryland...
6/26/2010 - Phish, Merriweather, MD

Set I: Crowd Control, Kill Devil Falls, AC/DC Bag, Sugar Shack, Tube, Aeroplane Over the Sea*, Stash, Backwards Down the Number Line, NICU, 46 Days, Suzy Greenberg

Set II: Rock & Roll > Free, Fast Enough for You, Sparkle, Tweezer > Horse > Silent in the Morning, Wolfman's, Slave to the Traffic Light, Tweezer Reprise

E: Show of Life, Good Times Bad Times
* Neutral Milk Hotel cover, FTP

Thanks to Senor for the setlist info!

2001 Michael Jackson Teases

Thanks to Justin and LMB for finding this gem...

Widespread Panic, Red Rocks 6/25/10 Night 1 Recap

I sometimes think I am one of the most fortunate people on earth. I have a wonderful family of friends, I love my home, I have a good career, and get to follow my passion for live music and skiing. Overall, I am very thankful. Things seem to work out for me and I manifest my wishes.

But it seems that when it comes to me and party buses, I am cursed.

Last night I took the party bus from Cervantes out to the Red Rocks Panic Shows. It was a 50 ft coach bus, and was billed as having a DJ included. Turns out the DJ was really just a burned copy of a Panic DVD. I boarded the bus and quickly met our bus driver, Charlie. Charlie kind of reminded me of the guy from Office Space who wants his stapler back. Charlie quickly informed me that:
1) he had never driven this type of bus before
2) he was flown in from Phoenix for the weekend and did not know how to get to Red Rocks and we would have to navigate and
3) he didnt know how to work the DVD/Stereo/Radio.

Great. I attempted to hook up the music on our bus, or even get the Panic DVD to work, to no avail. Whatever, we can ride to the show without tunes, no biggie. Upon getting to Red Rocks I navigated the very nervous driving Charlie to the lower south lot where all the other buses were. Kind of disappointing we didn't have any tunes, but I guess its the sacrifice you have to make to drink on the way to the show.

More on the party bus situation later...

The lot scene at Red Rocks was fairly tame. It kind of surprised me. I socialized and drank for an hour and then headed into the show about 7. The Panic fans continued the tradition of tarping down the first 40 rows at red rocks to keep space for their "crew". I found a group who had tarped down a large area at row 30 Jimmy side. Compared to previous years it seemed a lot less crowded and I didnt run into any tarp nazis throwing elbows. Maybe the average Panic fan has gotten older and is taking fewer whiskey shots? For wahtever reason, there was plenty of room at the sold out show and the crowd was pumped.

Panic started at 7:23 and it was daylight for most of the first set. The setlist:

Set 1: Airplane > Take Off Jam > Vacation > Pigeons, Cotton Was King > Climb To Safety, Greta > Tie Your Shoes* > Red Hot Mama* > Tie Your Shoes* > Porch Song (67 mins)

Set 2
: Conrad, Solid Rock, Good People > Dark Bar > Good People, Flicker > Jam > Shut Up and Drive, Cream Puff War > Mini-Drumz > Fishwater > Drumz > Fishwater, Blue Indian, Holden Oversoul (77 mins)

Encore Let's Get The Show On The Road > Ain't Life Grand^

Notes * Karl Denson on sax , ^JB on mandolin

The highlight of the show for me was the first set. The opening sequence of Airplane>Take off Jam>Vacation>Pigeons had everything - it was a beautiful up and down rollercoaster and Panic was tight from the first note. Karl Denson came out and added a perfect accent to Tie Your Shoes > Red Hot Mama > Tie Your Shoes. The first set ended at dusk and it felt like a second set.

I enjoyed the second set as well, with the Fishwater>Drumz>Fishwater being the standout. Honestly it was a little hard for me to be present at the Panic show during the second set because my phone was blowing up with text messages about the Phish show. There is something in the planet cycles, folks...all of our bands are playing well at the same time this summer in 2010.

Ain't Life Grand never gets old with me and I felt it was the perfect closer. I quickly said my goodbyes and made my way as fast as I could to the party bus.

A great Panic for more about the shit show.

There were originally 6 party buses that left Cervantes, but there was no rules about which one you could get on. The bus I had ridden down was just about to leave and was full of people who had not ridden down on it. I was literally the last person on the bus before we started moving. I found my cooler with a sandwich I had saved for a post show snack and popped a cold beer. As I had taken 1 bite from my sandwich I hear Charlie the bus driver yell "Where is the DJ? Mr. DJ, come up here, now!!!" I get up and Charlie is paniced. He had driven into a dead end in the parking lot and could not get out. Ruh-roh.

I spent the next 20 minutes spun out in the parking lot with a sandwich and a beer in my hand attempting to direct Charlie the Bus Driver in backing the 50 ft bus out of the Red Rocks parking lot. I was outside yelling "Turn left!" "ok go straight!" "Cut your wheel all the way to the left!!!" "STOP!" What a shit show. Charlie managed to brush a Honda Element in the lot and had to stop to give insurance information. Jesus.

We finally make it out of the Red Rocks parking lot and navigated Charlie back to Cervantes.

The aftershow was billed as the Power Jam: Ivan Nevelle, most of Karl Denson's Tiny Universe, Adam Dietch, Tony Hall, and even American Idol Taylor Hicks rotated in and out. It felt like I was back on the Jam Cruise boat in the Jam Room. The funk jam was sick and went long into the night...I finally called it a night at 4 am.

Tonight is round 2...Im picking a different bus driver, though!

Party Bus Mixes - Spun Songs For The Ride To The After Party

Last week, The Joker posted a fantastic Party Bus Mix, Fun Songs For The Ride To The Venue. Here is a little something for the ride to the after-party:

All Night Long - Lionel Richie
Dont Stop Till You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
Damentag - Tosca
Don't Explain - Modaji
Journey Inwards - LTJ Bukem
Stiff Jazz (Zündapp Dub) - Dzihan & Kamien
Blowing Up The Sport (Feat Akil Baker) - Fort Knox Five
Starq - Tom Middleton
Suzuki - Tosca
Dreams About Her (Original Mix) - Gramatik
Original Bedroom Rockers - Kruder & Dorfmeister
Satellite - Nicolay
The Sheriff - Fila Brazillia
Flurious Floods - Moodorama

Flurious Floods - Moodorama
Castaway - Groovecatcher
Optimystic - Tom Middleton
Mysterious Vibes - Destruments
No Sun in the Sky - Kraak and Smaak
The Best Part Of Waking Up... - Destruments
Peaceblaster '68 (Telepath Remix) - STS9 (Sound Tribe Sector 9)
Russian New Year - Momma Gravy
Le Sengre - J Boogie'S Dubtronic Science
Premonition - Rae & Christian
Kalifunk - Audio Lotion


Friday, June 25, 2010

Phish Setlist: 6/25/2010 - Camden, NJ - Friday

More epicness...
6/25/2010 - Phish, Camden, NJ

Set I: Alumni Blues, Big Black Furry Creature From Mars, Runaway Jim, Army of One, Free Man in Paris, Summer of 89, Split Open and Melt, Sloth, TTE, Golgi Apparatus

Set II: Chalkdust > Caspian > Heavy Things > Alaska > 2001 > Light > Possum, Character Zero

Encore: Shine a Light
Thanks to Zeke for the setlist info.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

FURTHUR - Public Service Announcement

July 5th Shelburne Vermont Show CANCELLED

To All Of Our Fans Who’ve Purchased Tickets To Our July 5 Show in Shelburne, VT:

After days of meetings to address and alleviate last minute concerns being expressed by State and Local Authorities, Furthur is very disappointed to learn that today, the local authorities, citing an inability to deal with an expected influx of ticketless fans, traffic concerns, and other issues, have revoked the approved permits for the show and have decided to cancel Furthur's concert at Vermont's Shelburne Museum on July 5. As the decision made today by the local authorities has been made so close to the event date, unfortunately we are unable to find a suitable alternate venue. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience!

Full & complete refunds are available at point of purchase. If you purchased online you'll automatically be refunded. In the meantime, please be assured that we are working hard to find a replacement show on July 5 somewhere outside of Vermont.
We plan to announce plans for a replacement date later this evening.
Please stay tuned for updates.

How about Saratoga Performing Arts Center? Or two days at Gelston Estate? I mail ordered on Day 1 and was shut out for Shelburne. Per a prior conversation I had with GDTSOO (Grateful Dead Ticket Sales) there were only 3200 tickets for the Shelburne Museum show. I obviously was disappointed, as I very rarely if ever got shut out of mail order but not as disappointed as those planning on attending must be.

Phish Setlist: 6/24/2010 - Camden, NJ

Welcome to Phish in the hood. I'm old. I remember the days when it was the "E" center.
6/24/2010 - Camden, NJ

Set I: David Bowie, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, Water in the Sky, Ocelot, Uncle Pen, Boogie On, Gumbo > Timber Ho, I Didn't Know, Birds of a Feather, Bouncin', Reba, The Rover **

Set II: Down with Disease > Crosseyed & Painless > Nothing, 20 Years Later, Harry Hood, Fluffhead, Julius, YEM

Encore: Bug

** Zeppelin cover, FTP
Thanks to Zeke for the setlist info.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Review: Kid Dynamite Goes to Great Woods

We'd been eagerly awaiting the Phish Great Woods (Comcast Center) show ever since my brother in law snagged 4th row center seats in the Phish pre-sale lottery. He finished work for the summer yesterday, and we were well prepared to party at Phish. Picking up burgers, dogs, booze, and Mark, we headed down to Great Woods early, arriving at 4pm. I'd read horror stories about the parking situation there: they offer free parking, but then you get stuck in the lot for hours after the show. We ponied up $30 to park across the street in a private lot, which was a slam dunk decision: we had a spot down a tiny hill, near some woods, with water behind it, ample room to lay out our camping chairs and hibachi, and there was even a band playing in the parking lot.

Prepartying hard for 3 1/2 hours, we eventually journeyed across the street to meet up with some of Dan's friends before the show. We each poured a beer into a plastic red Solo cup, and walked up to the main street. I already knew the State Troopers were in aggro mode, because upon arrival I'd decided to walk across the street to the multi-mart to grab another bag of ice for our cooler. They had an entire lane coned off, but I stood patiently on the curb waiting for the officer to stop traffic. When I stepped down, putting one foot in the street, he turned on me like a gunslinger, snapping "GET BACK ON THE SIDEWALK!" Whoa tiger. Don't tase me bro. I stepped back up onto the curb. Now, heading into the main lots with our red cups, a different Trooper shouted to us as soon as we appeared out of the parking lots: "You can't bring that with you." (We'll ignore the fact that he had no idea what was in the cup) Obviously, the instant reaction is to stop, turn around, and drink it, which we tried. "Do NOT drink it - pour it out. If you drink that we'll lock you up!" Whoa cowboy - no problem - don't tase me bro, and don't lock me up! I'll dump it out... Like a criminal in a movie slowly and deliberately sliding his gun to a cop, I slowly bent down with one hand above my head and one hand on the cup, and poured out the beer.

We found Dan's friends in the main lot, and were still psyched with our decision to pay for parking. I laughed at the sign for the venue's "Premium Lot." Hey - putting a sign that says premium doesn't make it premium! I'd read lots of mixed reviews about the level of service demonstrated by Comcast Center staff in getting people out of the VIP lots quicker... I took all of the pictures in this post on my Casio Exilim. It was really hard to get in-focus picture, even up close, in the low light situation, but I think some of these came out pretty good...

Heading inside, we grabbed NINE DOLLAR beers and found our seats in short order. Sick - 4th row center. The show started about 20 minutes later, and we were pumped up. One thing I always like to do at concerts is to look at the crowd, which in this case required me to simply turn around 180 degrees. I constantly checked the scene behind me, but didn't really feel like the crowd was rocking until Divided Sky, which quickly lost momentum in a slow song I love: Dirt. Kill Devil Falls rocked hard, but the new song Doctor Gabel, which I also liked, killed the crowd energy again. Trey didn't seem to notice, I guess, as he thanked the crowd for being receptive to the new song, and rewarded us with Antelope. Set the gearshift for the high gear of your soul - you've got to run like an antelope, out of control. That anthem never gets old, and I went typical Kid Dynamite Bonkers, bouncing up and down triumphantly, and collapsing back in my chair in an exhausted huff at the set break.

I ventured to the bathroom, which was like a sauna in a Turkish prison (at least what I'd imagine that's like) before grabbing more $9 beers and heading back to my seat. The good thing about the extreme beer prices is that it drove the customers away and there were no beer lines.

The second set got grooving right away with Mike's Song and Weekapaug Groove. I always said that if I were to make a movie, I'd use Weekapaug as the music in my chase scene. Two separate people behind me had "Sneakin' Sally" signs, and Trey obliged, and later played 46 Days, which I've always thought was very similar to Sally in terms of musical structure - especially the beginning.

Limb by Limb was hot, and Golgi Apparatus got the crowd really frenzied, finally, which I noticed as I jumped up on my chair with my back to the stage, arms raised in a giant V, ticket stub in my hand, as I screamed along, "I SAWWWWWWWWW YOU - with a ticket stub in your hand!"

Slave was hot, as usual, but I went ballistic when I saw/heard Trey turn to the band after the song and say "Loving Cup." That's how close we were - I could see him tell the band what song to play. Of course, Loving Cup was absolutely sick, with the refrain, "Oh, what a beautiful buzz," echoing through the Comcast Center.

I like this pic of Page with the spotlight behind him:

And I think this washed out red picture is cool:

Now, I promised/threatened that I would take my shirt off if Trey played First Tube, which is how I came to be jumping around waving my shirt over my head going absolutely apeshit as they ripped through First Tube as an encore. I was also committed to take my pants off and run onstage if they continued the terrific Tweezer Reprise theme, but fortunately for me, I was let off the hook on that front. Here's a few videos I shot - the first is of Trey's "O" face during Antelope (easier to upload one video of the O face than a bunch of pics):

And then this one of Loving Cup, which gives a sense of the crowd energy during the song:

All in all, we had a sick time from insane seats at a great show.


Mumford & Sons: A Take Away Show

thanks to Pino for the link!

Mumford & Sons - The Banjolin Song / Awake my soul - A Take Away Show #105 from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

Chris Kuroda = Genius

this pic was taken last night at Great Woods...CK5 FTW!!! (photo by Dave Vann)

Here is a short clip, you can make out PHISH during First Tube:

Shinneman's Photo of the Day: Trey SPAC

One of our loyal readers, Dan Shinneman, attended the Hartford and SPAC shows. He shot a few photos, so check out some of his work and different galleries.

This is my favorite...

Photo by Dan Shinneman

Thanks again for sharing, Dan!

Confession Time: I'm sorta ghey for Summer of 89'

Normally I'm not much of a fan of many Phish ballads. As my friend Phil says, 'Friday makes my ears bleed.' But something about this song hooks me into some quality, feel-good nostalgia. The lilting bass line and soft approach; I don't know any background about the song, but I believe every word Trey is singing.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Phish Setlist: 6/22/2010 - Great Woods, MA

The boys returned to Great Woods for a single show. The first set included new tunes and a couple of classics.
The Phish - 6/22/10 Great Woods, MA

Set I: Lil O Bot, Camel Walk, Possum, Divided Sky, Dirt, Sample in a Jar, Kill Devil Falls, Dr. Gabel, Antelope

Set II: Mike's Song > Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Sneaking Sally Through the Alley, Light > 46 Days, Limb by Limb, Golgi, Slave, Loving Cup

Encore: First Tube
Thanks to Kid Dynamite and Goober the tour dog for setlist info.

Phish Video - Rock and Roll 6/19/10 and the Whale

Phish - Rock and Roll - SPAC - 6/19/2010 from Lori Ann Christina on Vimeo.

First Song, Second Set, Night One of SPAC. I'm still a Phish noob but called this getting fist bumps/high fives & hugs from our southern-fried hippie friend Tony. He could have cared less that I'm older then his mom and he boogied down with me and Dr Pauly for most of the night. When he took off for water the pseudo-wook who fart bombed Pauly moved into Tony and his buddy Chase's seats. (those dreads you can see spinning during R&R are the pseudo-wooks). Pseudo-wooks buddy was directly in front of me and had to be the tallest friggin dude in the pavilion. Pauly is 6 feet and this dude towered over P and was two rows and about 8 inches below. I was trying to shoot around his bobbing head and flailing arms. My usual flawless camera work is a little shaky. The Pseudo-wook actually came over and gave me a fist bump and hug sharing some wooklove. Everyone around us was cool and chill and just excited to be grooving to the Phish. I definitely felt a powerful vibe moving thru the shed.

Strangest thing, just as Pseudo-wook and the tall dude floated off to other seats. Tony and Chase returned with water for us. Had the Phish played Wolfman's Brother then, I would have thought that Chase and Tony were actually shapeshifters and had just transformed from there primal selves back into there human forms. And yes I was stone cold sober.

Rock and Roll is a vehicle the band can jam off on but the jam got a little lost at the end and I turned off recording it about 13 minutes in. They probably played a few more minutes of what I call Saratoga jam until Trey shut it down. I knew something was off and asked Pauly if it was supposed to be/end that way and he said no. It was definitely a little mis-step or a work in progress. Listen to the end and hear for yourself.

Another weird thing I kept hearing a sound out of Trey's guitar that sounds like horns, specifically a saxophone to me. I told Pauly this and i think he actually thought I was capable of still tripping from residual LSD left in my system from 20 years ago. A little research shows I'm not having auditory hallucinations or flashbacks. It appears Trey is using a pedal or something phans on Phantasy Tour are calling the Whale. Im pretty sure what I was hearing was the Whale. I guess to some phans it sounds like a whale call, to me it sounds like a horn section.

I absolutely love this song as well as Ya Mar and Gotta Jibboo which I also recorded. So, I had a hard time not being able to boogie down to these at the show. Believe me when I got home and downloaded the songs into Flipshare, I was throwing down solo during playback in my office while Pauly devoured the cupcakes, black and whites and Chocolate Russian Coffee Cake I had bought for munchie food out in my living/dining room.

SPAC 2010 Arrest Report

Lulzterdam at the comments from locals, located at the bottom of the Saratogian Report:

State Park Police Arrest 68 During Phish Concert Weekend

The crime numbers have been crunched, and despite much fanfare and chest pounding by law enforcement, it appears only a small number (less than 1%) of those in attendance were arrested. This comment says it best:

"Just running a few numbers. I think I read that there were 30K people for each Phish show. Lets factor in people who went to both shows so we had 40K fans who were in town for the shows. 68 were arrested. That means 0.17% of the Phish fans were arrested, during shows where the police were being proactive..."

Clips from the 2010 Telluride Bluegrass Festival

SPAC Part I: Step Into the Tweeprise

Before we begin, check out Prelude to SPAC fort a bit of background info.

SPAC is an amazing state park, but the majority of the lawn area blows due to the elaborate construction of the "shed" which includes a balcony hovering over a covered section with reserved seating. The acoustic inside are amazing, but the lawn is another beast. The balcony shakes and sways depending on the song. That's when you know if the crowd is having fun -- by how much the balcony rattles.

I drew lawn seats in the lottery and luckily found a pair of pavilions at slightly above face. Someone was cool enough to trade three lawns for two pavs. We still had plenty of lawn seats to sell and headed to the lot early. I went to the shows with Irongirl. The rest of the Coventry crew had sit SPAC out (resting up for the last four of this run and most of the second leg). Last summer, we hooked Irongirl up with a pav seat for her first ever Phish show. Like many Deadheads, she slowly warmed up to Phish, and now she can't wait until they blow through town. She let me crash with her during the Albany shows which had one of my favorite moments of 3.0 -- Seven Below > Ghost. Irongirl is the perfect tour buddy with many years under her belt as a veteran of Dead tour. She also acted as the designated driver -- which allowed me to get shitfaced both nights, particularly Saturday.

Word got out that the police would be out in force for the Phish shows, thanks to Jonas' post. Because Irongirl doesn't drink, we weren't going to have a problem with cops searching her SUV for booze because they'd find none. Since she's a local, she knew the back roads into the park. We opted for the west lot (across the bridge) because that's where Shakedown was set up and where, according to Twitter, the po-po activity was rather light.

After a delicious stop at PJ's for BBQ, we made our way over to the west lot and passed through one of many sobriety checkpoints. A K-9 unit was circling a Subaru, while an officer tore through the back and trunk, and a little wookete in handcuffs was being led into a squad car.

We parked a couple of rows back from Shakedown. Within thirty seconds, Irongirl had a buyer for her Sunday lawn tickets. Two scalpers buzzed me and offered $25... then $30... and finally $35 for a ticket before I told him to fuck off. I found a frat boy who wanted to pay me face, but a hipster with a funny-Canadian accent tried to undercut me. He looked like a tweaker and said he was from Montreal. I cursed at him in French (called him a pig fucker) and told him to undercut the scalpers instead.

Within a half hour, I sold all four of my lawns; 2 for face and 2 for 80% market value. Not bad considering $30 seemed to be the standard buying price from the public. I passed by a guy my age who had a little kid with him wearing a Jeter t-shirt. I couldn't tell if he was a head or a scalper trying to dump his load before the show starts. One of the kids I sold my extra to told me one of those "close call" stories that become urban myths on Phish tour. He was riding with a friend of a friend, whom he described as "wookish" which almost got them screwed. The kid was riding dirty with a couple of zips of Diesel and 100 rolls. They stopped at a police checkpoint and the cop asked, "Do you have any liquor?"

The wook driver answered, "Well, um.... um.... um.... (pause)... no."

Wrong answer. The cop was dubious. In those instances you give up the booze as a "tax" for safe passage into the show, considering what everyone else was holding. The wook fucked up (and he was a walking "probable cause" and asking to get searched) and the kid in the back seat was shitting bricks. He assumed that he was going to jail -- K-9 wouldn't smell the rolls, but the weed would tip them off. The wook asked the cop if they poured out all the beer would they'd be free to go. The cop said no and asked for everyone's IDs. Luckily, he returned five minutes later, confiscated the booze, and told them to go. The kid got super lucky and sucked out without a thorough inspection from the K-9 unit. Meanwhile, he said he kicked the wook in the nuts after they parked the car for losing the booze and almost getting them tossed in jail.

The lot slowly filled up, but most of the vendors were keeping the beer sales on the ultimate down low. It had been a while since I wandered through a crowd and I heard the faint whispers of doses, molly, and headies.

Irongirl's mother had leftover expired generic lortabs, which I inherited. I popped a half in the lot to see what would happen. I couldn't tell if it had kicked in, so I popped a Perc and made our way to Sec 9. We were about 2/3 back on Page side. Not too shabby, but the folks around us were chill thrillseekers which always enhances a Phish show. The lawn is always tough because you almost without fail get stuck next to some moron at some point during the show that won't shut the fuck up or is too wasted that you fear he's gonna hurl all over you during Lawn Boy.

I spotted a guy with a FUNKY BITCH sign. The Joker had mentioned that Phish had turned into a request band, so it's in everyone's best interest to bring witty signs to shows in hopes of hearing your favorite (obscure) song.
97 - Year of the Funk.
98 - Year of the Cover.
04 - Oxy Years.
10 - Year of the Request.
The Phish closed out the second night in Hartford with a pair of Tweezer Reprise encores -- the second to make up for the Hershey show when Phish was short on time. Ah, the old Phish would have said, "Fuck the curfew, we'll pay the fine!" But 3.0 Phish features company men who honor their contracts. They left Tweeprize off of the playlist that night and tried to make up for it during Hartford's encore. I've seen a Sneaking Sally reprise at MSG in 1997 and the infamous Chalkdust Torture Reprise during the Deer Creek shows in 2000 (the indirect origins of why I often refer to the band as "the Phish" when Trey is quoting Peter Jennings). Alas, I was bummed that I missed out on the back-to-back Tweeprise.

So how could Phish top that? By kicking off SPAC with Tweezer Reprise, which had instantly set the tone for the night - we're funny, we're Phish, we can do whatever the fuck we want. After whipping the crowd into a frenzy, Chalkdust Torture added fuel to the fire. Talk about a hot start with two uplifting crowd favorites. At that point, I was so thrilled to be at Phish and not working inside a casino!

I wondered if the band saw the sign because Funky Bitch came in at third and kept up the high-energy first set. I scanned the crowd for more signs and spotted a guy with an orange sign with "Shaggy Dog" on one side and "Crosseyed and Painless" on the other. I was putting out the Crosseyed vibe.

During Yamar, two guys in front of us left their seats for a beer run. Within thirty seconds, a wook jumped from three rows back into their spot. Beware the seat jumpers during summer tour. The second you snooze, they will gobble up your seat until the see a new opening. Normally I don't care (unless it's my seat) but this wook happened to unleash a trail of farts during Fluffhead that almost suffocated me. Think Sadam unleashing mustard gas on the Kurds -- it was on that level of foul play.

By the end of Yamar, the 1+2 punch of the pharmies had kicked in and that warm fuzzy glow had ignited to a small forest fire. I was feeling no pain. In my notes, I scribbled down: "Axilla. Wasted." Yep, I had reached my peaked fuckedupness of the night, but I listened to the set a couple of times since then and the moment I reached my apex of insobriety of the weekend was the exact time that I thought Phish kicked it into a new gear with Axilla and Fluffhead. Page stepped up on Fluffhead and unleashed a bid for MVP as he seized the charge on both parts of Funky Bitch and Fluffhead. The energy level during the Albany Fluffhead was intense and as strong as I had personally witnessed last year. That was hard to replicate, but the crowd was still glowing. At this point, it's time to admit that Fluffhead needs to be skipped a day or three in the rotation. It needs to be one of those songs that appear once or twice a tour in order to retain an explosive response from the audience... much like Suzy Greenberg. Less is more.

I was tripping out on the funnels of light that Kuroda unleashed during Fluffhead, which was just around the time that it had gotten pitch dark outside so the lights finally had their full effect. I got hooked on watching the lights during Bathtub Gin, and listened a lot to Page's solos during the last part of their jam out.

The glowsticks were unleashed on the lawn during a raunchy Suzy Greenberg. Impressive display of glowing lights that pierced through the blackened sky. It was a matter of time before the sticks rained down into the pavilion and smacked me in the head. At setbreak, we saw a young bride in a gown with a bouquet. I assumed that it was legit, if not, it was one convincing (yet frightening) costume.

I must have been having a really good time because I don't have any notes written down during the first three songs of the second set. I was just having a good time and enjoying the music. I had been working so much the previous three weeks, the last thing I wanted to do was have to document every single thought.

I got to see Phish because of the music that they make up on the spot a few times a night during extended jams in specific songs that are vehicles for the unknown. Rock and Roll has morphed into a cover song to feature Page's chops but it also allows the band to open up and explore new territory. The jam out got off to a proper start but fizzled out. Phish took a shot and miss, but that's OK. I'd rather see them take those chances than play it safe... or even bore me with TTE.

Halfway to the Moon needs work, but I always love Page songs. Is it really about Manute Bol? All I know is that I was still floating up in the atmosphere at that point of the night. I was far from my peak, but still out there. I dug the segue into Caspian but they never finished it, which is the best part of the song. They continued to mellow out the set with Joy. That was the first time all set that I sat down to take notes. David Bowie saved the set. I caught a few disasters last summer and fall, but this one was definitely above average. I finally got to see Show of Life, which I expect will be in rotation all summer. Songs need work, at least a dozen times before they really take on a life of their own. I'm not gushing over the tune, but I have a feeling that it will be one of those songs that will improve the more they play it.

When the boys opened up the show with Tweeprise, I joked around that they might close with it -- the only way they could top themselves. Well, after hearing the first few notes to Coil I figured that it was not going to happen, especially when they followed it up with Character Zero. At that point, I estimated the chances at less than 1%. Phish rarely plays a three-song encore, so I was floored when they busted out the opening notes to Tweeprise. The crowd went berserk. Apeshit. Bananas. Trey was jizzing all over the crowd for a fourth time in 24 hours and they were lapping it up, me included.

I walked out pretty pumped to have seen any Phish. I knew it wasn't the best show I had ever seen, but I wasn't really paying too close attention. I was simply happy to be there, and as such, had a blast by just being able to hear Phish. Because I wasn't doing most of the tour, anything they had played was fresh for me -- no repeats even though they had begun to recycled some of the more popular songs since the tour kicked off.

We made our way out of the show and someone had the bright idea of selling nitrous on the bridge. First of all, it's dangerous to a bunch of hippie crackheads who might stumbled the wrong way and take a head dive into oncoming traffic. Plus, there was nowhere to scatter if they got caught by po-po. As we made our way to the other side, a couple of cops were racing trough the crowd to bust the tank. Location is the key to any successful business venture, but you also have to plan for suitable escape routes, which those balloon slingers failed to incorporate.

One show down, one to go.

Monday, June 21, 2010

YA MAR - SPAC 6/19/210

One of the 3 videos I shot from the first night of SPAC.

Phish Setlist - 6/202010, Saratoga Springs, NY - Sunday

Yep. Here it is...

The Phish 6/20/10 SPAC

Set I: Brother*, AC/DC Bag, Back on the Train, Undermind, Cities, Gotta Jiboo**, Roggae > Sleep Again, Lawn Boy, Antelop

Set II: Carini > Mango Song, Wilson, Drowned, Swept Away, Makisupa Policeman > Piper > 2001, YEM

Encore: Frankenstein

* with kids in a tub
** with Tony Marekllis on bass & Gordon on guitar
Stay tuned for a recap on the weekend.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Phish - Tweezer Reprise

I could try to explain Tweezer Reprise (aka Tweprise), but I think it's easier to let the music speak for itself. A quick background: Tweezer is a Phish classic - a long, dark, jammy song. Usually, when they play Tweezer in a show, they'll later play Tweezer Reprise - usually in the encore - which brings the whole "jam" back together in a composed piece that's intense and explosive. On occasion, Phish has been known to not "finish" Tweezer, and instead play Tweezer Reprise a night later, or even a number of nights later, to "finish" the song.

In Hartford a few nights ago, they closed the show with Tweprise, but had an extra few minutes before curfew, so Trey simply announced that they had time to play the song again - to finish the Tweezer that they'd played in Pennsylvania earlier that week - and played it back to back. Awesome - it's hard to describe how intense this must have been:

But Phish wasn't done. See, they have a fanatical fan base, and they - "they" being both the band and the Phans - GET IT. Thus, Phish kept the streak going and opened the next night's show with Tweezer Reprise. I think this has actually happened a few times before (10/21/95, 11/9/95,) but certainly not when they closed with a double shot of it the night before. Of course, Phish continued the saga by closing the show with Tweezer Reprise also, despite not playing Tweezer that night (making it 4 times played in two nights).

I know that non-Phish-fans might think this is lame, but for a band who can play a 4 night run in a city without duplicating a single song, the fact that Phish picked up this Tweprise theme and ran with it is basically an inside joke between the band and their phanatical fanbase - which comprises most of the audience - and the crowd loves it.

I'll see the band Tuesday night at the former Great Woods, now "Comcast Center" in Mansfield, MA. My brother-in-law was lucky enough to get 3rd row center tickets in the Phish ticket lottery, so we are insanely pumped for this show.


Phish Setlist - 6/19/2010, Saratoga Springs, NY -Saturday

Yup, that's no typo. Tweprise opener AND closer making it four Tweprises in 24 hours from The Phish.

Phish - 6/19/2010, Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY

Set 1: Tweezer Reprise, Chalkdust Torture, Funky Bitch, Runaway Jim, Ya Mar, Sample in a Jar, Axilla, Fluffhead, Bathtub Gin, Suzy Greenberg

Set 2: Rock & 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

Setlist courtesy of Dr. Pauly

Coventry Music now on Facebook

Coventry Music is now on Facebook!

Coventry Music | 

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Sleeping Monkey Tweezer Reprise TWEEZER REPRISE!

Party Bus Mixes - Fun Songs For The Ride To The Venue

A reader reminded me that many of you are taking a party bus with your friends this summer to the show. I love taking a party bus and last summer took several. I have put together some mixes for the ride to the venue. These mixes focus on pop songs that are fun and will put you in the mood to party.

Check out the footage of our party bus to Phish Red Rocks last summer:

Disc 1
Highway To Hell - AC/DC
Get Up- James Brown
Low Rider - War
Stayin Alive - Bee Gees
Going Back To Cali - LL Cool J
O.P.P - Naughty By Nature
Humpty Dance - Digital Underground
Mahna, Mahna - Cake
Get On The Good Foot - James Brown
Pour Some Sugar On Me - Def Leppard
Dont Stop Believing - Journey
Dont Stop Till You Get Enough - Michael Jackson
Satisfaction - Rolling Stones
Bohemian Rhapsody - Queen
Welcome To The Jungle - Guns N' Roses

Disc 2
Soul Shakedown Party - Bob Marley & The Wailers
Gettin' Jiggy Wit It - Will Smith
Hell Yes - Beck
Use Me - Bill Withers
Day O (Daylight come and we want to go home) - Harry Belafonte
Bust A Move - Young MC
It's Tricky - RUN-DMC
Push It - Salt-N-Pepa
Gin And Juice - Snoop Dogg
Wild Thing - Troggs
Santeria - Sublime
Sweet Child O' Mine - Guns N' Roses
Hot For Teacher - Van Halen
Supersition - Stevie Wonder
This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody) - Talking Heads
Get Down Tonight - K.C. & The Sunshine Band

Disc 3
On The Road Again - Willie Nelson
Oh Yeah! - Yello
Hits from the Bong - Cypress Hill
Baby Got Back - Sir Mix-A-Lot
It Takes Two - Rob Base
Beat It - Michael Jackson
Kiss - Prince
Good Times Bad Times - Led Zeppelin
Burning Down The House - Talking Heads
Folsom Prison Blues - Johnny Cash
Feel Good Inc - Gorillaz
Hollywood Freaks - Beck
Rock With You - Michael Jackson
Me, Myself and I - De La Soul
Soul Man (live) - Blues Brothers
God Made Me Funky - The Headhunters

Stay tuned...Jonas will be putting together a mix for the ride back after the show when everyone is spun out...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Phish Setlist: 6/18/2010 - Hartford, CT - Friday

Night two of a two night run at Hartford. My flight did not land early enough to get me up to Hartford, but I'm happy to settle on two shows at SPAC for my brief East Coast Run.
Phish 6/18/2010 - Hartford, CT

Set I: Fee, Rift, Wolfman's, Summer of 89, Foam, Possum > MoMA, Julius, Reba, Cavern

Set II: Halley's Comet > Light > Bill Breathes, Tweezer > Theme > Hood, Velvet Sea, Faulty Plan

Encore: Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise, Tweezer Reprise (Hershey Edition)
Thanks to Yaya and Toad for the setlist info.

Telluride Bluegrass Festival - Main Stage Streaming Schedule

I'm bummed I can't be at Telluride this weekend with several of my friends who made the trek out there. But I am definitely going to check out the audio - I'm marking my calendar to listen to Edward Sharpe + Magnetic Zeros on Saturday and Mumford and Sons on Sunday, among others.

Listen at

2010 Telluride Bluegrass Lineup
We are thrilled to announce the main stage schedule for the 37th Annual Telluride Bluegrass Festival...

Thursday, June 17, 2010
10:30am — Gates Open
11:30 - 12:30pm — Sarah Jarosz
1:00 - 2:15pm — Keller & the Keels
2:45 - 4:00pm — Josh Ritter & The Royal City Band
4:30 - 5:45pm — Dave Rawlings Machine
6:15 - 7:30pm — Del McCoury Band
8:00 - 10:00pm — Alison Krauss & Union Station featuring Jerry Douglas
10:30 - Midnight — Tim O'Brien Band

Friday, June 18, 2010
9:00am — Gates Open
10:00 - 11:00am — Ben Sollee
11:15 - 12:30pm — 18 South
12:45 - 2:00pm — Cadillac Sky
2:30 - 3:45pm — Peter Rowan & Crucial Country with Sam Bush & Jerry Douglas
4:15 - 5:45pm — Hot Rize
6:15 - 7:30pm — Court Yard Hounds
8:00 - 9:30pm — Lyle Lovett
10:00 - 11:30pm — Leftover Salmon

Saturday, June 19, 2010
9:00am — Gates Open
10:00 - 11:00am — Band Contest Finals
11:15 - 12:15pm — The Hillbenders
12:45 - 2:00pm — Jerry Douglas with Omar Hakim & Viktor Krauss
2:30 - 3:45pm — Imelda May
4:15 - 5:30pm — Yonder Mountain String Band
5:45 - 6:00pm — Telluride Troubadour
6:15 - 7:30pm — Béla Fleck, Zakir Hussain & Edgar Meyer
8:00 - 10:00pm — Sam Bush Band
10:30 - Midnight — Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros

Sunday, June 20, 2010
10:00am — Gates Open
11:00 - noon — The Drepung Monks
12:15 - 1:30pm — Väsen
2:00 - 3:15pm — Carolina Chocolate Drops
3:45 - 5:00pm — Punch Brothers featuring Chris Thile
5:30 - 6:45pm — Brandi Carlile
7:15 - 8:30pm — Mumford & Sons
9:00 - 11:00pm — Telluride House Band featuring Sam, Béla, Jerry, Edgar, Bryan & Stuart

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Phish Setlist: 6/17/2010 - Hartford, CT

The first of two nights at Hartford...
The Phish - 6/17/2010 Hartford Meadows, Hartford, CT

Set I: PYITE, Ocelot, Dinner and a Movie, Stash, Esther, Walk Away, Divided Sky, Circus Comes to Town, Sugar Shack, Alaska, Golgi Apparatus

Set II: Party Time > DWD > Sand, Horse > Silent in the Morning, Guyute, Farmhouse, Mike's Song > H2 > Weekapaug

Encore: Shine a Light
Thanks to Zeke for the setlist info!

Ocelot Lot Shirt on This Week in Poker

I missed the first week of Phish tour because I'm in Las Vegas covering the World Series of Poker. I made a cameo on a new webcast called This Week in Poker. I actually open up for Jen Tilly.

Anyway... the reason I'm posting this, is because I was rocking an Ocelot lot t-shirt during the recording of the show. My interview starts around 5:30.

Oh, in case you are wondering, I'm flying to NY on Friday to catch both of the SPAC shows before I return to Vegas.

10 Rules for Dealing with the Police

Four Parts; 1:25 to skip intro credits. Great advice for around town or out on tour.

Grace Potter Video - Low Road

Grace. Nuff said.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Backwards Down The NumBraH Line Video

This has a nice little jam in it...

Phish - 6/12/10 "Backwards Down The Number Line" from Phish on Vimeo.

Punch Brothers - Radiohead Cover, "2 + 2 = 5"

Stumbled across this from a recent friend's post on fb and wanted to share.

A lovely bluegrass band, Punch Brothers, covering Radiohead's 2 + 2 = 5.

Be sure to peruse around YouTube as this band has covered other Radiohead songs, such as Faust Arp, Morning Bell and Kid A.

Phish Setlist: 6/15/10 - Portsmouth, VA

The Phish returned to Sweet Virginia. Slave in the first set? It's my favorite song so I know that placement (first set, third tune) is rare.
Phish - 6/15/10 Portsmouth, VA

Set I: Tube, Kill Devil Falls, Slave, Lawn Boy, Poor Heart, AC/DC Bag, MoMA Dance, My Friend My Friend, Cold Water**, Bathtub Gin, Stealing Time from the Fault Plan

Set II: Wilson, Seven Below > 46 Days, Idea, 2001, Simple, Joy, Taste, Theme from the Bottom > Day in the Life

E: Heavy Things, First Tube

** FTP, Tom Waits cover
Thanks to Zeke for the setlist info.

Ten Years Ago Today in Phistory: 6/16/00 Osaka, Japan

All good things must come to an end. Phish completed their epic seven show tour of Japan with an amazing show in Osaka.
Phish 6.16.00, Zepp, Suminoe-ku, Osaka, Japan

Set I: Limb By Limb, Sample in a Jar, First Tube, Golgi Apparatus, Heavy Things, Dirt, My Sweet One, Reba, Character Zero

Set II: Runaway Jim, Theme from the Bottom, Dog Faced Boy, Driver, Slave to the Traffic Light, Julius, Bug

Encore: Bouncin', Harry Hood
* * * * *

This was one of my favorite shows from Japan. I usually burned copies of this show for Phish newbies because they played a nice mixture of old school and newer songs, not to mention my favorite Phish song... Slave to the Traffic Light.

You ever get that feeling that Phish played a song specifically for you?

Well I got that feeling in Osaka. I had been eagerly awaiting to hear a Japanese version of Slave since my arrival in Tokyo. And it was well worth the wait.

We spent the day wandering around Osaka. It's the city of water, with plenty of rivers and canals connecting the city. The shopping area was dense, but not as hectic as Tokyo. Beano found glow sticks. We saw Page crossing the street and I took a quick photo. Senor and I went bowling and you buy your rental shoes at vending machines. Went over to Cosmo Square, where the venue was located. Zepp had a theatre in Tokyo (I think it's a chain?) as well. I saw a couple of Phish posters and flyers around town.

The Zepp Osaka was spacious and there was a carpet on the floor! If you spilled a drink, guys in white shirts and towels sprinted into action and cleaned up the mess within seconds. They reminded me of ball boys in tennis at the US Open. They both hunched down, in the middle of the action, ready to pounce when duty called. You'd never get that sort of service in America.

The last Phish show was nearly perfect and borderline flawless. It was a clean crisp show and one of my favorites to listen to one rainy days when I need a morale boost. I had several hilarious moments at the show. I got separated from Senor and Beano and hung out with Zobo in an area about fifth or sixth row in front of Trey for most of the first set. We had so much fun and enjoying life in the moment. During the lyrics in Golgi Apapratus when the band sung, "I saw you with a ticket stub in your hand!" Zobo dug into his wallet, whipped out his ticket, and held it up over his head. With a belly full of mushrooms, and a head cloudy from hashish and Kirin, I busted out laughing, nearly falling to my knees in a hysterical seizure.

During First Tube I turned around and saw Senor jumping up as high as he could throughout the entire song. He had a wide smile and everyone around him knew he was having a balls out time. I've known the guy since 1990 and that was one of the happiest that I had ever seen him. With each note he tried to jump higher and higher... one of those rare moments when the music and Phish took over your entire body and controlled all of your physical movements.

At some point during the end of a smoking first set, I was very inebriated and closed my eyes during Reba. I floated or wandered into the middle of a group of locals, about eight or so Japhans, who left me alone. They kept dancing and encircled me. When I came to, I was completely lost. I had that feeling like I woke up from a dream, but couldn't tell if I was still in a dream. It seemed like a Japan was one long dream. Did all of that happen?

I came very close to freaking out. It is a natural occurrence on psychedelics when you forget where you are. I turned to my left and saw a smiling Japanese girl wearing a tie-dyed shirt. That's when remembered that I was in Japan. There was music playing and I looked up at the stage. I was forty feet in front of Trey. I whirled around and saw Beano and Senor jamming out to the music. I was among friends! Then I forgot what song they were playing. Was it still Reba? Or did they segue into another song during the short period of time I was trying to get my space together? That's why I write down the setlists. After a week of very little sleep, too many party favors, and very little food... I found myself very loopy.

I hit a personal high in Japan. I can count on my right hand how many times I've been that far gone since then. I'm a head taller than everyone in Japan. I turned back around and saw the floor of the venue flooded with the dancing and grooving crowd. I felt like I was a giant among Hobbits. It was one of those memory burns.

The second set was just as intense as the first set. I had not yet heard my favorite song, Slave to the Traffic Light, and knew the second set was my last chance. An hour into the set, I was blessed with an Osaka Slave... shit, a Japan Slave! I stood in awe, on the verge of tears, and goosebumps three inches thick bubbled up on my entire body. I was so close to the band I could almost touch them. When I saw Beano soon after, he was pumping his fist. He knew I was waiting all week to hear my favorite song. Nothing is more satisfying than flying half way around the world, and hearing one of your favorite bands play your favorite song.

Here comes the cliche... it was as though they performed Slave to the Traffic Light just for me.

I would also feel the same way at that trainwreck of a final show in Coventry, Vermont.

I can never write enough about Japan. Some day, I hope to go back and live for a short period of time, where I'll pen my novel about my Phishy travels in 2000.

A decade later, there's not a day that goes by where I don't think about Japan. I made some amazing friends. We taught each other an unquantified amount of small things that blended culture, music, and life. I was moved by the Japanese's spiritual approach to music. Despite the communication problems we all bonded. Music, and more specifically Phish, was the middle ground where Americans and Japanese Phisheads found a place where we could share the finer moments in life. The friendships and bonds that were created in June of 2000 are among some the the strongest and most meaningful on my journey through life.

I always wanted to tell Page and Mike and Trey and Fish about how the significance of those shows affected my life in a positive way. Those experiences in Japan shaped me as a person and as a writer, which would have never been possible if Phish never made the decision to tour Japan.

So here's a personal message to the boys..
Dear Phish,

Thanks for going to Japan ten years ago. It's been an integral source of friendship, inspiration, and sincerity in my often stormy life. Thanks for sharing those intimate moments with me and my friends both old and new. A decade later, I can still recall those delicious memories like it was yesterday.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Stepped Up Alcohol and Drug Enforcement Announced for SPAC

Be smart Phans, looks like the law is looking to cash in this weekend:

"Uniformed and plainclothes police officers..."

"Passive alcohol screening devices (Alco-Sensor FSTs ) will be used to detect alcohol in unmarked containers. Drug detecting canines will also be on site."

"Checkpoints will be in place on roadways and entry points to screen motorists for possession of alcoholic beverages and intoxicated driving. Intoxicated drivers will be immediately arrested and their vehicles will be impounded."

Read more here.

Ten Years Ago Today in Phistory: 6/15/00 Osaka, Japan

We made our way to Osaka, our fourth city in Japan within five days.
Phish 6.15.00, Big Cat, Chuo-ku, Osaka, Japan

Set I: NICU, Chalkdust Torture, AC/DC Bag, Uncle Pen, Ghost, Frankie Says, Divided Sky, Farmhouse

Set II: Down With Disease, The Lizards, Bike, You Enjoy Myself

Encore: Gotta Jibboo
* * * * *

Osaka was my favorite city in Japan. If I were to move to Japan, that's where I'd like to live. Tokyo gave off that NYC vibe, while Osaka was more laid back, much like San Francisco. We found a hotel near our venue and Beano went looking for glow sticks. I was on a frantic search for a local head shop that sold mushrooms. I stocked up for the final two shows.

After being in Japan for over a week, everyone was comfortable. My Japanese was surprisingly passable and locals were impressed. I gather that it had less to do with my pronunciation, than my effort to communicate in their language.

While we walked down a street, a guy tapped me on the shoulder. He was Japanese and his long hair was a give away that he was a Phishead. He told me that he recognized me from every Phish show in Japan and he wanted to say hello. How cool was that? Wandering down a random street and I was recognized by a local. Yes by that point, all the Americans had met one another and formed a group called Japhamily. Roughly 100 or so of us had ventured from the States and we all mingled at various times.

The venue was tiny and called Big Cat. I was up close to the front for the entire show. One American held up a sign: RIZARDS. He wanted to hear Lizards and hoped his sign would catch Trey's attention. It eventually did.

NICU opener was smokin'. I had a moment during Ghost when Phish went off down the rabbit hole and I quickly followed with reckless abandon. It was pretty cool when even I cannot describe that feeling of being dropped off in the middle of nowhere, and loving every second of that. I was pretty pumped to be half way around the world, listening to one of my favorite bands with two of my closest friends.

The show was spoon-bending insane and Phish reached a maturation point in Japan. They had gelled in Fukuoka the night before. Nagoya was the best show of the run (up until that point) and the boys melted the fuckin' walls of that club. Fukuoka was special because the boys hit some rare moments (to this day, they haven't matched that pile-driving intensity)... but they seemed the most comfortable in Osaka. The result? Three hours of tantalizing music.

Highlights included Divided Sky, Down with Disease and Fishman singing Bike. As expected, YEM blew the hinges off the fuckin' door.

Hanging out at setbreak with Beano and Japhans

The Osaka crowd was into the vibe. We hung out with Aki and Kimi and their Osaka friends. I met Ryuji and his drunk friend Hiroki, who insisted that he was "a professional." He kept shouting that at the top of his lungs. I learned that he was a professional alcoholic.

After the show, we were invited to an after party, thrown by some of Aki and Kimi's friends. I met Page. I hung out and smoked hash in a dark corner with people whose names I forgot. We saw Fish waiting in line to use the bathroom. Zobo walked up and Fish blew him off. because was trying to talk to a chick. I laughed when Zobo returned slightly jaded.

Next up... the last show in Osaka.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros

If you are heading to Telluride Bluegrass this week, dont miss this:

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero's - A Take Away Show from La Blogotheque on Vimeo.

A Superstar! Well Right You Are!!!

Phish Setlist: 6/13/2010 - Hershey Park

In the land of chocolate...
The Phish, 6/13/2010 Hersheypark, PA

Set I: Gotta Jiboo, Chalk Dust Torture, Fluffhead, Funky Bitch, Runaway Jim, NICU, Horn, Ice, Bouncin', Sparkle, Split Open and Melt

Set II: Drowned > Tweezer > Twist, Piper > Free, Velvet Sea, YEM

Encore: Bold As Love
Thanks to Zeke for the setlist.

Ten Years Ago Today in Phistory: 6/14/00 Fukuoka, Japan

15 songs. Two hours and twenty minutes of pure brilliance. Phish in Fukuoka...
Phish 6.14.00 Drum Logos, Chuo-ku, Fukuoka, Japan

Set I: Carini, The Curtain, Cities, Gumbo > Llama, Fee, Heavy Things, Split Open and Melt

Set II: Back On The Train, Twist > Walk Away > 2001

Encore: Sleep, Squirming Coil
* * * * *

The following is from my travel journal ten years ago today:
14 June 2000... Fukuoka, Japan

Holly walks through our car on the bullet train with a grin on her face. “I lost my boyfriend,” as she shrugs her shoulders, “He got out at the last stop, went to go buy something on the platform, and the doors closed on him, and the train left without him.” Poor Holly, her boyfriend got off and never made it back on the bullet train to Fukuoka.

Our train arrives at Hakata Station in Fukuoka exactly one minute early than scheduled. Fukuoka is Japan’s largest and most populated southern city. A majestic port city, it is closer to Seoul, South Korea than it is to Tokyo, which gives Fukuoka a more international flavor, especially with a fair amount of American military around, the locals are more used to GAI-JIN. Señor and I walk through the busy Hakata Station and we find a crowd gathered around a stage with a live musical performance by a band and these tiny kimono wearing dancers. As we pause to check out the scene, I am aroused by the flavorful smells of baked goods. I turn around frantically, trying to seek out the origin of the smells, the aromas, the tantalizing treats that are making my already hungry stomach growl for more attention.

I find the bakery a few steps away called TANDOR. Upon entering the bakery you are walk among rows of baskets of baked goods, all various sizes and shapes, of fresh baked breads and pasties and cookies. The large brick bread making ovens are located right behind the check out counter, where all the workers are tiny Japanese girls who wear the most adorable white and red uniforms and lovely white gloves cover their tiny hands. They greet you with big smiles and sing a nice happy song to you as the customers pay. I have no idea what they are saying but it makes me smile anyway. I buy a loaf of garlic bread, a few rolls, a couple of chocolate donuts and three containers of orange juice. The portions are so small in Japan, that I have to buy almost double the amount of food that is presented to me. I lug my overstuffed backpack and my baked goods to the counter and the check out girl smiles and is overly enthusiastic about my sale. I bow my head and say, “Arigato!” And she smiles back and bows.

Señor and I walk out of Hakata Station and find our way to the subway, as I catch my first glimpse of downtown Fukuoka. It’s very sunny and warm, and this is the most sun I have seen since I arrived in Japan a week ago. I bask it up for a few moments before we walk into the subway and take a ride to the area of town where Phish is playing. We were suggested a hotel by the information desk at the train station, and like every city we traveled to on this trip, we never once made a reservation, we would just show up and take our chances finding lodging. Risky, but that's how we were doing this trip. As we exited off subway and started walking in the wrong direction, I stop to ask a local where our hotel was, he tells me I am going the wrong way and gives me the correct directions in perfect English! The Fukuoka locals are definitely more friendly down here in Southern Japan, and a lot more willing to help with directions, as compared to the serious brush offs we were getting in Tokyo.

The hotel is overbooked, we unhappily find out upon arrival. But the manager recommends a cheaper place just a few blocks away. He even calls to make reservations for us! As I make small talk with the nice fellow, I find out that he’s not only well versed in English, but fluent in French as well. He worked at the Japanese Embassy in Paris for a decade, and I chat with him briefly in French, before thanking him and making our way to the next hotel. I’m pleasantly surprised by the friendly, curious energy and the laid back, Sunny California attitude of the locals. I’m really enjoying the vibe in Fukuoka and start to hope the vibe finds it’s way to the show later that night.

We check into our small rooms, shown to us by a very small and round elderly lady at the front desk who had been expecting us. I drop off my stuff, write a few lines, take a quick shower, make a quick inventory of my narcotics, Yen and tickets and head back to Hakata Station to meet Beano. He had separated from us in Tokyo and went to check out the mountains for a few days and skipped the Nagoya show. We are all excited to reunite, and when we finally find him, we’re all pumped and start to focus on Phish! On our way back to the hotel, Beano tells us stories about staying in a RYOKIN, a Japanese style hotel and a funny story about his bus ride from the hotel to the JR train station. We drop off his gear and head right for DRUM LOGOS, just a few blocks away, the venue where Phish should be starting up in less than 2 hours.

For the first time all trip, I kinda get us lost and Beano and Señor don’t have a clue because they have instinctively been following me the entire trip. I didn't want to tell them we were lost, so I just keep walking. I’m starting to feel the beginning effects of the shroomies I took before I left the hotel, and I hope I don't start booming too early, while I'm lost. I’m very confused because the street signs are all in Japanese and the map I have isn't very good, so I finally stop on one corner and confess to Beano and Señor, “Guys, I can’t find the venue.”

As they look at the map, I notice Mike Gordon walking down the adjacent street, and I quickly say, “Well we can always follow Mike to the show.”

And I pull them off in that direction. We keep following Mike about 20 yards behind, until I see a few phisheads loitering about, then I know I’m going in the right direction, onward to Drum Logos. In Japan, they let you into the show by ticket number so we had low numbers and scurry right inside and get a good spot for the general admission show. It's larger than the last venue in Nagoya, but smaller than the Zepp in Tokyo. Señor meets two Deadheads living in Southern Japan and it's their only show of the tour. I meet a couple of kids from the Navy (they barely shaved) and they ask me for some LSD. I tell them I’m not holding and they explain to me how they get drug tested, but not for acid. Interesting. Good to know my tax dollars are being spent on random psychedelic experimentation for our soldiers throughout the world. G.I. Joe keeps asking me if they are going to play WILSON and I keep telling him (and showing him the setlist from the Nagoya show) that they played it last night.

I notice this show might have the most Americans in attendance. Most of them I haven't seen on tour. They is a lot of military personnel and Yanks working in Southern Japan which accounted for the new American faces. Zobo is with Aki and Kimi and they find us and sit down. I also see Dan and Marie from San Francisco and all three girls named Heather on tour, as the lights go down and the boys start out dark and I fire up the hashish and toke with Beano.

Carini is one of my favorite Phish songs to hear and I love the frantic and dark Phish to begin the night. Cities was fun because Zobo was making me laugh the entire song and Trey changed some of the lyrics to: “It's only the noodles... It's only the noodles” Gumbo was well placed and unexpected, and Heavy Things is a Japanese favorite and makes the crowd go a little crazy. A edgy Split Open & Melt closed the heavy, contumacious and dark set. When the lights came back on, Beano and I made a beeline for the Beer Line as I scribbled down the setlist.

A Japanese kid in line behind me recognizes me and says with a warm smile, “Tokyo show?”

I nod and agree, trying to remember who he was then I recall he had been wearing a Dog Faced Boy T-shirt at the Zepp show, and I then I exclaim, “Zepp Tokyo. Great show! Seiko!”

He gets excited and laughs and I chuckle as I am slowly becoming a celebrity, being recognized left and right by random Japanese tour rats. We make our back to Señor and he’s smoking with Aki and Kimi and they are getting very shitty. I turn to Aki and say, “2001.”

His eyes get all wide, “Really?”

“Yeah bro, it will make my whole tour.”

Aki agrees and passes me some homegrown Osaka cannabis. Before the second set starts I put the vibe out. 2001, 2001, 2001. I keep thinking it aloud. 2001, 2001...

The set begins with Back on the Train > Twist > Jam. The Jam was a very odd spacey jam which then segued into Walk Away. Our lost member of Phish, Page was smoking during this tune. I almost forgot about Page this tour. He was just chilling back, grooving and waiting for his moment. Slowly Walk Away jammed into 2001! I turned to Aki and he just nods his head and gives me a huge smile! I nod back and get lost into the spacey grooves and loops of 2001. Phish peaked at this point and closed the set to the satisfied and funked out crowd. The Twist was 18 minutes long! And I finally got my Japan 2001.

Trey walked onstage for the encore and someone yelled, “SLEEP”. Trey laughs and jokingly says, “We haven’t played that this tour. We were going to play another song, but we’ll play that. Two songs. We’ll play two songs!” as he holds up two fingers.

The crowd erupts as Phish accommodated a rare request from a Japhan in the front row. I’m not a big fan of Coil, but I focus on Page the entire song, and just watch him play for the last 15 minutes of the show. Page is on a different planet tonight and he does me right, as I finish up jotting down the setlist.

Happy, smiling, elated, over joyed, full of the Fukuoka vibe. We look for a veggie friendly restaurant to eat in for Beano and settle for a Yakatori place on the corner. Every time someone enters and leaves the restaurant, the chef bangs a drum that is located above the bar and yells something out loud. It’s too funny. I can’t get enough of it. I’m booming just a little bit, so I still have the giggles, and I don't know what to eat so I just point to stuff on the grill and they serve it to me. Great eats, which are basically just veggies, chicken, beef and stuff grilled on sticks. Nothing special, but it sets us all right. We have a couple of beers and I’m not tripping anymore as my previous altered state enters into drunk mode. We leave the restaurant, as they bang the drum, and we laugh and take pictures before we stumble off towards our hotel.

At night the local restaurants, bars and hotels leave their recyclable goods on the street for a pick up and Señor and I find a few empty kegs and we start tossing them around and about the empty street. I pick up one over my head as Señor takes a picture. Yeah typical stupid, drunk Americans, doing stupid stuff overseas. We are what we are, drunk wandering the streets of Fukuoka at night.
Nest stop... Osaka.