A week from tonight I’ll be basking in the sounds of Phish and mesmerized by Chris Kuroda’s lights for the tenth time.
I’ll be in Charlotte at the Verizon Wireless Ampitheatre to celebrate this modest and nooberific achievement and I’ll be able to do it all with my good friend Pat, who’s spending an indefinite amount of time in the suburbs of Charlotte at his parent’s newly built house. It’ll be his first show, and because of that, it’s altered my expectations for the show.
As far as show experience goes, I’m still a “noob.” Whatever, it doesn’t really mean a thing. As far as the music goes, I consider myself anything but. I’m at a nearly indescribable level of obsession with all things Phish. Anyone who knows me understands how important a Phish show is to me.
But because it’s my friend’s first Phish show and, other than the jams I’ve played for him in the car in passing, his first real experience with the band, I want the show to play out in his favor. He’s a big music fan, plays the bass and is in love with Medeski Martin & Wood, which we saw to great success in Brooklyn this past May. And after Dave Matthews Band let him down earlier this summer, I think he’ll openly welcome the infinitely more interesting music Phish has to offer. With how strong the band is playing this summer, I can’t see how someone could go to a show and not enjoy it. Hell, even the Biebs and Selena Gomez had a blast in Long Beach on Wednesday.
With the insanely deep catalog of songs Phish carries there’s obviously still a lot of great things I’ve yet to hear, and I’m not talking about deep bustouts. Yeah, I’ve seen Rift FIVE times in nine shows (I saw a Tweet about a fan happy to finally get it at his 20th show!), but I haven’t seen standards such as AC/DC Bag or Chalk Dust Torture. And that’s just how this band works, and is part of the thrill each show carries that is insanely possible to describe to someone outside of the culture.
After finally hearing Ghost, my favorite Phish tune, at my eighth show in Worcester this past June I will be begging hard for a few other of my favorites. A funked out Sneakin’ Sally, a soaring Slave, a jammed-out Split Open and Melt or a more rare Lizards would be perfect. Of course, the chances are that I won’t hear any of those four. And that would be absolutely fine. But chasing songs is part of the fun. You wait, you hope, you beg to hear the opening notes to so many songs. In the end, though, whatever the band wants to play is fine with me. But Trey, if you want to open the show with Alumni Blues, I’d be perfectly fine with that.
It’s been quite awhile since I raged a Phish show with a friend. Three of the last four shows were done solo (which I really don’t mind) and the one that wasn’t was with my dad, a special but different kind of experience for me. And even though I absolutely enjoy going to Phish shows on my own and meeting and chatting with new friends, it isn’t the same as sharing that special experience with a good friend. I remember every single thing about every single Phish show I went to and having a friend to recall those with is really what is important. It being my friend’s first show makes it all the more special.
The third and final night of Phish’s webcast from San Francisco will be kicking off shortly. It is great to know that in about a week I will be deep into a hopefully spacey, funky and psychedelic second Phish set. Let’s get this show on the road!