There were two soundchecks for Festival 8: an acoustic afternoon session, followed several hours later by a separate electric soundcheck that evening. The electric soundcheck was broadcast on Phish's on-site festival radio, JACK-FM 95.9 "The Bunny" as well as Sirus/XM Radio. The acoustic soundcheck was not broadcast and the song order may be incorrect. The short Devil With a Blue Dress On Jam included the chorus and part of a verse sung by Trey, as well as a Good Golly Miss Molly quote. The Starship Trooper Jam consisted of part of the Würm segment of the song. Before Liquid Time, Trey quoted Fuck Your Face and briefly teased Kids (MGMT); the jam out of Liquid Time dissolved into a vocal jam featuring the band members snoring and featured a Lengthwise quote from Trey.
Arrival. Having been stuck in the Coventry traffic line and having never been to Indio for any of their multiple events, we trekked out there late Wednesday night and arrived at the venue after a wee bit of casino gambling at about 3 AM. Lights were shinning on the stage, big work lights were shinning all over the grounds and we could see folks milling about, setting things up and generally working alot harder than my freinds and I.
We were turned away at the gate and told to come back tomorrow around 11 AM. We found a lovely stretch of rode to pull over and catch some ZZZ's, awakening about 8:30, grabbing some greasy eggs and bloody mary's at Cactus Jack's (a lovely restaurant and bar run by equally lovely people) and taking care of some last minute shopping. We then proceeded to The Line.
Except that there was no line. A few hundred cars was it and we were waaaay up front. The vibe was excited, everyone was chatting and wandering from car to car sharing brews, stories and predictions. The gates opened a few minutes late, but compared to Coventry, this was a BREEZE. a stringent security check lost us some bottles of beer and some booze, but one can hardly fault the folk working as we are the ones trying to bring in illicit goods. Sure, it's annoying, but don't bring it if you don't want it taken away.
Besides, they missed my scotch. Hooray!
Campsite was set, meals were consumed and we thought, for a time, we could hear the acoustic sound check from our site, but it was too faint to be sure, it could've easily been someone playing some music a few campsites away. After wandering our area (Larks Tongues in Aspic, designated as ADA but there we were anyway) we settled into the camp and turned on the Bunny, our radio got crappy reception and when Sound Check camer on, I eventually moved down closer through the aisles and found many people dancing there to just jammed into Undermind. This check was pretty loose with lots of teases and long jams between actual songs. Undermind is just getting better and better and when the jam out of it quickly morphed into a short but sweet Devil With a Blue Dress, we all smiled and nodded in time with the band. Then a truly sick sounding jam erupted out of the stage. Starship Trooper. probably meant to throw us off the Exile scent, it basically kicked everyone's mood up a couple of notches as it sounded great and is a killer tune which I hope they play during a show someday. The jam out of Starship was pretty tight and the last couple of tunes were ones I am not yet familiar with. They have a mellow feel and heavier on the psycho-dellia than the funk or rock. From our aisle spot, we weren't able to fully make out some of the vocal jams, but overall, it was a great way to start the weekend dancing with our fellow festival attendees and gearing up for the madness of tomorrow night.
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