, attached to 2010-10-20

Review by Orload

Orload I was on about a decade hiatus from Phish due to life happening and the band on and off and off again... As they began gearing back up , my kids to were getting older, and my wife and I hit CMAC in the summer. Fist show since Hershey 2000. I caught the bug again..... hard. I was shut out in the lottery so ticketmaster it was. 5000 seat venue with half designated for the lottery, and on sale at the box office as well, I wasn't exactly expecting the same Ticketmaster experience I used to have in the 2nd half of the 90's. You know, when you could tell the lady on the phone you wanted edge seats on Fish side by the aisle and she said ok, no problem! Well, all i got was busy signals and a new-to-me online ticket system. I figured 10 or 15 minutes and they'd be gone. I tried for 2 and in the end, no go. For giggles i tried again, this time for just one ticket, and bam, got it. After explaining to my wife i could only get one, she graciously offered to stay home with our boys and I was on my way to my first solo show. I set up shop to the side of the soundboard. First indoor show in a long time. Philly 99 i think. If CMAC gave me the bug again, Utica poured gravy flavored cement all over that feeling. The sweet sound in that little rink, the awesome lights from Kuroda, the whole Guyute deal..the first set was just plain amazing stuff. Being older however, the shoulder to shoulder squeeze was just pissing me off. Idiots around me... chatting up a storm, pushing... the whole 9 yards. At one point i turned to some young kid and said something like, "damn, Trey is loving on Guyute tonight." blank stare. I was outta there. For the second, i found the sweet spot. It was the back corner of the floor, Mike and or Fish side, right where the curved hockey wall met the rectangle of the bottom of the stands. There was maybe enough space for two people but i claimed it. To my left, sitting on the wall were some jaded vet lookin dudes. Not stereotyping them as jaded vets due to appearance, but rather because of the deliberate and razor sharp attention they were giving this show. A quick conversation verified they were on tour as the one dude told me this is the best he'd seen them play all year. Adding to the jaded vet assumption was the look on his face throughout the show. It was like that of a proud parent consumed with joy as they watch their child return to a hobby or sport or whatever to great success. I let out a yelp when Page started Tela and the Vet dude gave me a "right on". In stark contrast, the younger folks saw it as a sit down song. It was at this point i saw the whole circle of fandom. Everybody's a noob at some point. I didn't feel welcome to the club at my first few shows, but back then ('96) you actually took shit from strangers, you know, the ones who were at Treys conception! VA Beach 97 some girls in full hippie costumes made fun of my shoes! My flipping shoes! Hell, at Watkins Glen the wife and i sprung for the hotel and shuttle package. On the way out to the buses some dick snidlely remarked "thanks for visiting". Argggh! Life is too short for that shit. Sorry, i digress. I love the music in both sets, but there was just something about that 2nd set I'll always cherish. The Sand is still my favorite version I've heard and it capures the vibe of this show perfectly. The Split was awesome and the Tela was just well suited for that moment. There is always room for Piper at any show I'm at, and catching the rare Have Mercy, though much slower than Oswego, was so sweet. If it were still the tape days, my tape would be worn out. It is so nice to have the DVD for crystal clear memories. Thanks for reading my nostalgic look back at a show that speaks for itself.


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