On the way into the venue I overheard two kids behind me talking. “I really like you man. We should hangout and do Ketamine.” Security was lax and I was highly entertained by a random warning sign that read, “STROBE LIGHTS WILL BE USED.”
We made our way to our seats in the pavilion right behind the soundboard. I made some nice chit chat with the guy sitting next to us. He gave us a heads up that he danced big and would try not to hit us with his arms, but apologized ahead of time if he did. He wasn’t lying either. That man could get down! The only person dancing bigger than him was Disco Bret who dances like it is Character Zero being played the whole show.
It was H-O-T as balls out there and muggy too. Mikes Song > Hydrogen > Weekapaug opener, while a standard combo, was nice because it gave you a minute to breathe and cool off in the middle. I was even happy to get a Bouncing so I could just stand still and chug some water before getting down to NICU. I don’t know if it was just me, but NICU seemed a little sluggish. I think it had more to do with the heat than anything. Again, I was happy that they went with Sample next so I could stand and chug more water. I thought about my older sister who loves Sample. She gave me my first Phish album when I was 12 and opened my mind to what music could be.
Forbin’s > Mockingbird was a treat. A spun out wook in our section sang every word with eyes closed tight like he was feverishly praying. Another kid who was out of his mind was doing the Weeble-Wobble side shuffle up and down the aisle. Speaks, a friend of Devo and Disco Bret’s, claimed him as his boyfriend. At one point, and I don’t remember when, the Weeble disappeared down the aisle towards the soundboard and tappers. Next thing I knew I was almost knocked down by a pissed off fan pushing the Weeble with all of his might back up the aisle. He then started throwing punches at him and the Weeble tried to punch back. Other fans separated them, and huge hole was left in the aisle next to us. Disco Bret and I immediately darted back out into the aisle and started dancing to help chill everyone out and put out some good vibes. That’s when I noticed someone had a pit bull in the venue. A real dog, with a laminate and everything. What the hell, why not?
Axilla I kick up the crowd’s energy to 11! Everyone was jumping up and down screaming. Wolfman’s had an epic jam. Mule was high-octane shake your ass time and Stealing Time was a much-needed cool down. I never mind hearing it.
We chilled out in our seats during set break and I spent time chatting with people in our row while Devo assembled a sunburst shaped glow stick apparatus.
2nd set started with BDTNL, which is a lot of fun to dance too. During set break a lot more kids got stubbed down and there was very little room to dance. It also made the temperature in the pavilion go up even more. I always love a Velvet Underground cover, and Ghost was a highlight. Free was VERY well placed. Reba came out of nowhere and I almost lost my shit I was so excited to hear it! But between the influx of people and the heat it was just too much. Devo asked me during the jam to go up on the lawn with her. I was happy to oblige. We quickly made our way out, refilled our water, and carved out a nice spot on the lawn just as they started Icculus. Hindsight bias is 20/20, but the shirts Trey and Mike were wearing were a good tip off that we might get an Icculus. I want to thank all my friends who sent me hateful messages via twitter and text message for getting an Icculus. Love you guys too.
Devo spotted some friends on the lawn and joined them for the rest of the show. There was a guy on the lawn to the left of me during Bike dawning a Fishman dress and a popcorn bucket on his head. Imagine Fishman and Buckethead got together and had a love child and you’ll get the picture. He also had some crazy dance moves that made me giggle. There were also a lot of random fireworks going off in the lot during 2nd set.
I herded Devo and Disco Bret out of the venue and back to the car after the show. Charlotte is usually a pretty chill/clean lot so I was surprised to see so many tanks south of the Mason-Dixon line. We went to a great house party after the show and didn’t make it back to the apartment until 5am. I passed out immediately and woke up around 10 to Devo and Disco Bret still wide-eyed. Devo and I went out for some breakfast. I wasn’t ready for the real world yet. I was operating at about 10 mph. and the wait-staff was at 70. Devo and I joked about how I was unable to properly articulate myself to the server and I decided I needed a shirt that said, “Why do you have to make this so awkward?!”
I was back in my car and making my way back to Raleigh by 1. It was 96 out and I drove most of the way in just my bra and shorts. I did a quick stop at my house for food, shower, and a change of clothes before meeting up with G-rob, Otis, and Timmy downtown.
I was DD again that night and was happy G-rob let me drive his fully loaded car to the show. We stopped off just outside of the venue at a gas station for some ice and beer. Otis put in an order for “anything.” Timmy and G-Rob returned with a Blue Raspberry Four Loco for him. Nasty. Some chick was slinging god knows what at the gas station and got busted. We rocked Welcome to the Jungle full blast as we rolled into our unmarked lot. I ran into a good friend from Raleigh on lot and found out that it was his first show since IT and was there alone. We adopted him into our group.
Our group had xtra lawns that I had promised to some friends earlier that day. I hadn’t heard from them by 6:45, so I called and they weren’t even on lot yet. I dropped their tickets off at will call and hopped everything worked out for them. (it did.)
We had seats down in the pavilion again and a storm was blowing in as the show started. Amazingly, we did not get rained on; the temperature dropped about 5 degrees and a nice cool breeze picked up. I stubbed down my friend between Cars Trucks Buses and Peaches En Regalia. I was SUPER excited to hear Peaches En Regalia as I had been listening to Hot Rats a couple of times earlier that week. Going back and listening to it later I realized that it was a bit sloppy, but at the time I was just so excited to hear it. AC/DC Bag was fun. The jam had moments of Plinko-esq playing by Trey before they broke it down into a high-energy jam.
And then it happened. Guyute. I have only been to 29 shows, and have never heard live. Anyone who knows me knows that I’ve been dying to hear it. I had listened to the two other Guyutes from this tour and know that they have been super tight versions. I was grinning from ear to ear and in near tears as they broke out into the first chords. A mix of emotions swept over me, excitement and apprehension. Could they deliver like they had been earlier? That’s the beauty of Guyute for me. It is such a technical piece that demands constant attention from the band that you never know how it is going to turn out. I should’ve never doubted the boys for a min. It was flawless and beautiful. I loved every single note.
Possum got the venue shaking with energy and Halley’s was a lot of fun. I saw two girls crawl into the open pillars of the venue and dance around in there for a while before getting yelled at. My friend and I talked about how easy it would be to climb the structure, but wondered about the top out of the buildering problem. We couldn’t tell if the top of the problem was made of solid material or shitty Styrofoam plaster that would break away if you tried to mantle up on it.
46 Days was rocking and had the crowd jumping out of their skin by the end that continued into Divided Sky. Nothing like a grand pause in the middle of a song to keep the fans on the edge of their seats and everyone was loving it. Curtis Loeow was awesome and I spotted a guy in a full body skintight zebra suit dancing with another guy in a clown suit in the aisle. A cute older couple slow danced together and made-out at the end of the song. I could feel the love.
(photo courtesy of @twhims)
Set break we all made our way to the lawn to toke up. Time slipped away from us and the band came back on before we had made our way back to our seats. That’s when we realized we had found the glory hole of sound. We all agreed to stay on the cool spacious lawn with the excellent sound. G-Rob made up fake lyrics during twist that had me laughing. Rift was super solid. I know most people can do without Caspian, but I happen to love it based on a memory created by 4 guys on a lawn singing in perfect harmony at the top of their lungs one year at Deer Creek. As the jam faded out I distinctly heard the first “boom-chuck-chuck” organ chords from Page and turned around to G-Rob and whispered “ESTHER!” I thought I was lucky to get a Peaches and my first Guyute. Now they were just pouring it on with my favorites! Some drunk chicks behind us didn’t realize what was being played until the 2nd verse when they started screaming, “OH MY GOD! ESTHER!” over and over running up and down the hill. I was slightly annoyed as they were already way into the song and they wouldn’t stop screaming. Better late than never I guess. I can’t really fault them. I was just as excited to hear it, just not as wasted as them. Eventually they calmed down and I was able to enjoy the tune in semi silence.
Everyone was perplexed about the request from Trey to get “Brian Brown” out on the stage. No one was expecting the Jane’s Addiction cover of Been Caught Stealing with the most ridiculous vocal distortion ever! Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, was on their feet shaking it down!
I have to 2nd @yemblog tweet that night of calling for a Facebook page entitled, "people for a slow build piper." My Friend, My Friend is always creepy, which I love. I thought it was interesting that they chose it to play since you could draw a lot parallels musically between it and Guyute. So while it may seem like the 2nd set was all over the place, I thought it tied the 1st set nicely into the 2nd set if you thought about it. Truth be told there was a lot of discussion going on between songs amongst the boys about what they were going to play next. Yes, you could argue that the 2nd set was all over the place and had no cohesion, but that’s the beauty of a Phish show. I don’t want to be able to call every song or hear what’s coming next a mile away. I like it when they live on the unorganized edge and play whatever they feel like playing next, even if it seems to make no sense in the flow of a set.
SOAM was the show stealer. Even me, the sober girl kickin’ it on the lawn was beamed up to the spaceship. If you haven’t downloaded the show, or have and haven’t listened to it yet, do it now!
I have a love/hate relationship with First Tube. I love it because it is so rhythmically interesting, but I hate it because the syncopation is so crazy that I have a hard time wrapping my brain around it. I was highly entertained by Trey during the end of the song when he was strumming the huge cords. He would stand back and then jump forward into a power stance while hitting the cord and then jump back and do two little hops. It was like he was summoning a version of Pete Townsend. Very entertaining and you could tell they were having a lot of fun with the song and the crowd.
I’m very lucky to have seen these two shows with the people I did. I want to thank everyone who helped me get there, put me up for the night, sold me tickets, and love me for who I am, a crazy Phish fan. See everyone in Tahoe! It’s going to be the T-I-T TITS!