, attached to 2000-09-15

Review by whatstheuse324

whatstheuse324 9/15/2000 in Hershey Park was quite the experience for me and my whole family. I was there with both of my sisters, my Dad, and six other friends from Rutgers. It was my Dad's first Phish show as well as some of my friends. He had driven our family minivan that fit seven of us while three of my other friends drove in a separate car. We have a really good family photo of all of us sitting around the back of the minivan in the parking lot while I'm wearing my TREY IS GOD shirt.

Although I did not know my wife for another year, it was her birthday, and she also attended the show with people from her side of the family.

The one thing we had in common was that it was the end of the line for all of us as far as the era that would be considered 1.0 goes. There were rumors that Phish was breaking up and I knew that this show was it for a long time.

Let's just say that some of us took full advantage of my Dad driving and had some very "spiritual and self-reflective" experiences at this show. I was completely faced and was trying to act "normal." It was all good.

My Dad hung out near the top of the stadium seating, Page Side Rage Side, along with some of our crew that didn't feel like dealing with the crowded general admission section in front of the stage. Both of my sisters, my friend Kevin, and I stayed down in front of Mike, about ten feet back from the rail. The boys came out and kicked the show right off with First Tube. It was my third First Tube in my last five shows, but I was very excited to hear it. I also got my fifth Gotta Jibboo in my last eight shows, but it was fun up in front of the stage. I was there for the Corrina bust-out at Big Cypress and recognized the opening words from Trey. Both the song and I floated on the cool September breeze. Birds was a blast and had a standard good type 1 jam. I will never forget my sister leaning over to me in the second verse and saying "It's not an experience if you can't bring your Dad along..." Priceless. I did not know what was going on with Windora Bug but I loved it. I am so glad I caught one at this show, because I wouldn't hear it again until twelve years later at a TAB show.

Antelope was fun and intense. It had me on the edge until Tom Marshall appeared on the stage with his daughter, symbolically telling me to hang on tight, and everything was ok. I did just that. Golgi and Bittersweet Motel mellowed me out enough to ascend the giant steps to find my Dad and the other half of our crew at set break.

Set break was a blur from atop Hershey Park Stadium. I quietly sat and pondered, keeping myself together. Two of my friends were standing next to my Dad. My one friend said, "Whoa, look at the moon in the sky! It looks like it's melting!" My other friend said, "Oh shit, you're right!" I glanced up and could not disagree, and I knew I had to get away again. My younger sister took the reins and guided my friend Kevin and I down the stairs and through the sea of people for what seemed like three quarters of the opening Piper. It was a dark and pungent type 2 jam that was held together by Fishman's steady drive. I felt like I was almost invisible as I held on to the back of her hoody while she navigated us to the front of the sound board, which is where we stayed for the rest of the set. I was pulling myself together when the light strumming guitar riff from Lizards emerged from the dark Piper. I had a peak experience during Lizards when, during my internal dialogue, I realized I was invisible and could communicate with aliens through music. Just to hammer home the point, Trey even put some alien-esque reverb on his guitar during the opening notes of the outro solo before bringing it back to the clean channel. For a moment I was Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind. TUBE! Hello reality! I found my body, put on my dancing shoes, and boogied down on the plastic floor. Tube ended and then...started back up again in a Tube Reprise jam! It was similar to the Suzy Reprise from the night before at Darien Lake in that the song ended and a separate jam containing the theme came back and pushed forward to type 2 territory. If this isn't the best Tube ever, I would like to hear what beats it. Circus mellowed us out and Character Zer0 was one last tension/release solo to end the night.

During the break before the encore, I focused on having as much fun as possible because this was the last song I would hear for the foreseeable future. The build up to Possum started. It was a rocking, ten minute version, but it was over soon enough and so was the show. I took one last mental image of the stage during the pandemonium of mass exodus. We made it to the bottom of the stairs to meet up with everyone else and escaped Hershey Park Stadium.

We hung out in the lot for a long time because the traffic out was not moving at all. I have three vivid memories from this point in the night. While sitting in the back of the van with the hatch up, I was watching two very tall, wookie-looking guys, running laps around their car and jumping off of their beer cooler in a graceful prance during each time around. The larger wookie-guy slipped on the cooler during one of the laps and went down hard. He was ok and it was very funny. Suddenly a pretty hippie girl walked between two of the parked cars and hollered, "Big Finger Man!" The guy that had just bottomed out stood up and shouted, "Katie!" Then they gave each other a big hug.

Soon after my friend was trying to inconspicuously twist up a little pinner before we left, but because of his state at the time, he was having difficulty pulling it all together. I distinctly remember my Dad pulling the ingredients from his trembling hand, twisting it up, and handing it back to him in about ten seconds. I give my Dad total props.

As we boarded the minivan and were leaving the lot, somebody had left a big orange couch that was sitting alone in the middle of the field. My Dad told us he wouldn't be surprised to see our friend Ryan sitting on that couch. Not sooner than he said it did we see our friend Ryan, who we hadn't seen since before the show, running across the field and sit comfortably in the middle of the exiting traffic on the bright orange couch. It was meant to be.

We had a long but fun ride back to New Brunswick, NJ. We made it back to Rutgers by 5 AM, where my Dad dropped off my friends and I before heading home with my sisters. We all had a great and unforgettable time. My Dad would also make it out to the IT Festival in 2003 to round out his Phish experience. Hershey was the last stop for me for 1.0 and I would have to wait seventeen more months before my next show.


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