The first time you heard/saw Phish.

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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby sarahsmiles » Thu Dec 29, 2005 8:20 pm


I may as well come out and say that I'm a new generation Phish-head, and never saw them live, though I could have. I'm 21 so it's not like I couldn't have....I live in Ohio so I could have see some great shows in the area post hiatus. Anyway...
The first time I saw or heard of them was in 2000 sometime. It was on VH1 where they played bits of the Roseland Ballroom Show (5/23/00). I think the song that hooked me during it was First Tube. I believe I got 'Slip, Stitch, and Pass' from the library to see if it was on there (they didn't tell you the song titles, so I had to find it through guesswork). Luckily I got 'Farmhouse' next and heard it. I didn't really GET IT--the entire Phish thing--until senior year of high school. This incredibly bright intellectual kid who could rip on guitar was in my physics class. He was mostly into classic rock and any band or musician (jazz or otherwise) who could play. The one day we were working on a project (had to build a catapult...how's that for weird Phish moment?) and he was playing Live Phish 10. A little while after that I bought Live Phish 6 and from there....well I'm sitting here with the second edition of the Phish companion in front of me, if that's any indication. ;D


wow how come u never went to see them?? i would give my left tit to get another good show in me
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby fone » Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:40 pm

Here's a seven part post that I placed on the rmp after seeing Phish for the first time in 1997. I've tried not to re-edit the original text that I dug up from some archive floppies that I keep buried in a desk drawer here at work. It's pretty naive in it's approach and execution, but I was fairly new to internet bulletin boards and newsgroups, as well as the live Phish experience.

I called the post "Darien Lakes and Other Thoughts", and it took me several days to complete, but I can remember the excitation from that first show even today, and thought I'd like to share those first observations about my first Phish experience with you folks here in the OKP. It's incredibly long so I'll post it in parts, along with the notes to the rmp people who commented along the way....................................

---------------------------------------------------

Darien Lake......and other thoughts

Thought 1

I'm not going to finish nearly all of what I find a need to say about my first Phish concert experience in a few lines of text. All I can summarily say at this time, is that Darien Lakes was probably the most profound experience I've had in many years.

I'm intensely confused by the impact of what's going on here, and it's got to do with the music, obviously. Since my first experience with Phish over eighteen months ago, and culminating in my first concert, I am once again experiencing thoughts and emotions which I did when once I was a much younger man...and boymanGodshit am I blown away by all of it. I'm sitting here at my desk within a DoD installation, working for an aerospace contractor in central NJ tapping out thoughts to people younger than my eldest daughter! And basically I guess I'm looking for feedback as to what the freak is going on. I turn to my beautiful wife (who braved everything she feared in life to be with me at Darien) for understanding, and she just doesn't get it. I turn to people around me and say....look, I found this Sound...and it does mystical things to your head and heart....and no one is listening.

I've gone on the Phish newsgroup and tried to read what's being said about the music, but I think I'm just getting details about the details. What I'm really seeking is how people are affected by this "stuff". What do people hear in the Chalk Dust jams? Does your head snap back every time the jam gives it back to the verse at the end of "It's Ice"? Does the seven note ending of "Maze" communicate more to you about life than any book ever written by L. Ron Hubbard? The best that I can figure, for me anyway, is that the band is drawing from some Ultimate Source, and is closer to that pure musical energy than any group I've heard in many, many years. They're drawing from the well, and providing nourishment for my soul, and I believe I'm blessed to have heard even this much.

Darien was undoubtedly beyond the limits of what I am capable of writing about. If I could recapture that experience on paper, I would undoubtedly be the next Joyce. I can't and I'm not, so in the next installment I'll try to give you more insight into what it meant to me, and not whether it was a good Phish show or a mediocre Phish show.
GBUA.....fone

Thought 2

Aside: Thanks, Kim, Wahoo is a an understatement!

Marie was actually in shock when I told her the tickets for Darien Lakes had arrived by Fed Ex. She agreed to my obsession about the music, but never really believed anyone so grounded in mid-life would actually go to a rock concert six hours away. She began looking at me a little differently, and I guess it changed her world a bit. It's interesting how the chords laid down by a bunch of strangers in a remote recording studio in the Vermont hills can affect the relationship of a happily married couple hundreds of miles, and millions of heartbeats away. Ripples.

She was making a pretty big sacrifice for me, since any attempt I made to get her to listen to the music beforehand wasn't quite working. She thought the band "capable", but couldn't connect with it. She said it was important for the words in her songs to make sense. I said, then how can you listen to Wagner's Ring when you don't understand German? There was no argument to win here. There's a Hindu saying about not being able to rip the skin off the snake. We can all only see and hear what we're capable of in our own time, I guess.

So we did some middle aged things in the days prior to the concert. We stopped at the Corning glass museum...she loves glass paperweights. We trekked through Watkins Glen State Park....she loves walking in the woods. We did some Seneca Lake wine tasting....she loves fruity tasting wines. We stopped at Sonnenberg Gardens in Canandaigua....we have gardens galore. We spent two romantic nights in Niagara Falls...and all was right with the world. We were having the best vacation ever. I began to relax with my own trepidations about the concert.

The last "rock" concert I attended was George Harrison at Madison Square Garden in 1974. There were some bad vibes between George and the crowd at that show and it was a shame
because there were some pretty great musicians making some really great sound. I swore off large venues after that show. Unfortunately most of the groups I cared enough to see only played large houses. At that point in my life I was at the onset of, ugh, maturity. So I was a little nervous about what to expect at the Darien concert.

We left Niagara Falls in the morning on the day of the show. We had a pretty nice room fourteen floors above the falls facing the East (the direction of new beginnings). We were up at six a.m.. because that's when old people get up, and just happened to see a spectacular sunrise. Perfect, cloudless and clear. I began to recognize the correctness of this trip, the indescribable surety that all forces were in phase with the direction I was taking. I think I was able to transfer some of this certainty to Marie, because I began to feel her relax with the forethought of the day ahead.

We drove north and east along the southern bank of Lake Ontario, through apple and peach orchards. We stopped for some of the best and most unique tasting peaches I've ever eaten. Subjective enhancement of the experience due to pre-cognizance of a great day initiated by my morning's revelations? Who knows, who cares.....I was already groovin' to the music.

We pulled into the parking lot of the Day's Inn in Batavia, NY (Did you know that Batavia is just 10 miles from LeRoy, NY, the birthplace of Jello?). The calm that my Sweetie had known was challenged by the kids in the parking lot as we drove in. Tie-dyed wearing teenies were tossing frisbees and unloading beer from minivans borrowed from mom. "These children are going to the concert, aren't they?", she worried. My urgings to stop looking at the differences (age thing) fell a bit short as we checked into a pretty seedy room for a Day's Inn. I was supposed to write a complaint letter about our stay there, but f-it, they've got the market cornered in their little corner
of the world. Marie was getting nervous again .... the magic in the music wasn't giving her the strength she needed. So for the first time in over twenty years we did something that I can't possibly describe right now.

I've got to break here......to be continued,
GBUA fone

Go down in your own way
And everyday is the right day
And as you rise above the fear lines in his frown
You look down
Hear the sound of the faces in the crowd
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby axillaptiii » Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:44 pm

I've said it somewhere else recently. in fact, there was just a thread about this. i'm not gonna all again.

Simplified, Undermind. 3rd time listening to the album, felt infiite love for that SASS riff that comes in at like 0:40.

said it before, never saw them live.
Last edited by Anonymous on Thu Dec 29, 2005 9:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby bhuji2 » Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:08 pm

I was about 15 or 16 this was in late '92 or early '93. I played guitar, and was really into Hendrix, Clapton, Garcia, Santana, Zappa, as guitarists and was kind of trying to emulate them. I had a friend who was a totally disciplined thrash metal freak. He bust out the sweep arppegios and finger taps like nobody's business. One day we we're hangin out and he was like "Man, you'd really get into this". We wrapped up a joint, and went out to his car and got high and listened to "Tweezer" off of Nectar. I had read about Phish in Guitar World or whatever, and the H.O.R.D.E. festival had been through, but I'd never heard them. We were all stoned, getting totally blown away by the part that sounds like it's slowing down... I saw them that summer (8/13/93 Murat Theater in Indianapolis) and was hooked.
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby Moma Dave » Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:22 pm


I saw them that summer (8/13/93 Murat Theater in Indianapolis) and was hooked.


That was a GREAT Phish show! I went through 4 or 5 tapes of that gig back then.
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby rivshark86 » Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:32 am


I was at a school dance my senoir year in highschool. The dance sucked I mean bad. They were just playing rap ect. Anyway I was on my way out the door when I thought I heard a slow slow song so I came back in. There was a girl I wanted to dance with. Anyway it turned out to be the intro to Character Zero. I went crazy dancing during that song. It was amazing. Turns out some local heads had snuck over put on the song. Anway I got way into the band after that I bought the wrong Phish cd like 4 times looking for character zero and in the proccess fell in love with the band. I finally got the see them at Hampton the last time they played there 08/09/04. It was amazing, guess what the last song they played was...... Character Zero. I went crazy once again. Anyway they ended a week later and here I am buying live Phish releases.
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby ghost_2000 » Fri Dec 30, 2005 12:34 am

that's a story only dreams are made of.
:'( <-- tears of joy
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby phishyeducator » Fri Dec 30, 2005 2:57 am

The first time I heard Phish was in a buddy of mine's car cruising around Bluefield, WV. Matt C, are you on here? Anyways, YEM was playing and I was blown away by the whole-ness of it. Having been a hardcore Deadhead, Phish really opened my eyes. So did the cannabis. :D
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby yem » Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:50 am

When I was a day old. Day after I was born my parents and I made our way to the Townshend Family Park.
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby Harpua » Fri Dec 30, 2005 8:58 am

^ its not a good idea to take small children to concerts. I see so many infants at concerts. I can't imagine my sister taking her baby to a concert. Also some places you have to pay for an extra ticket for a baby.
Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby fone » Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:09 pm

I'm going to dump the rest of the account of my first Phish show at Darien Lakes because of time constraints I'm having at work, and because someone contacted me personally about the show and was anxious for the rest of the story. I apologize for taking up so much space on this thread.................. bill

---------------------------------------------------------

Thought 3

Aside: Thanks, Dan. Yours are the kinds of thoughts that I seem to need to know are out there.

Jen is our middle daughter. I love her muchly and think I communicate best with her out of the three. Four years ago I essentially threw her out of the house because she was dating this guy named Jim and wanted to stay out all night. She was 21 at the time, and we couldn't agree on house rules, so she moved in with John. The separation was messy and there were hurt feelings for several months.

After a time, we agreed to sit down to dinner together, a cookout, actually, and John came along. John was not well educated nor particularly motivated in any specific direction except in rooting for the Cowboys in near obsessive ways. While I tried to avoid any quick and in depth conversations with anyone as the evening began, I remember well how John eventually approached me first. Cautiously, carefully, this boy came nearer the irate father who wasn't making his approach any easier; who wanted nothing more but to rip off his head and piss down his neck for taking his sweet baby away and doing the nasty deed with her at his testosteronal pleasure. But he came forward, regardless, undaunted by my glares, gathering his strength and barely clearing his throat said, "How do you think the Giants will do this year without Parcells?"

Simplistic as this question seems, I knew at that moment that I had not witnessed an act of courage and integrity such as this many times in my life. Here came a boy who knew who and what he was in my eyes, but came nonetheless, because he knew what had to be done, and he did it. In the instance of recognition of this brave act, the father of one became the father of two. I immediately hoped that Jen would always work at maintaining the relationship with this man. They're still together today and two years back gave us the start of the next generation in a beautiful baby girl. They're not legally married yet, but he's my son-in-law and I love him like one of my own.

Before we left for the Darien Lakes trip, John made a special trip over to the house, and with the nervousness I hadn't seen since the night of the cookout, he gave me a near empty box of Marlboro Lights. With elfish eyes and a shit eating grin, he handed me the box and said, "I want you to really enjoy the concert". My girls and I had never really talked about such things in depth. Drinking and smoking were "trappings of the young" and as long as you "got on with life", we neither approved, nor disapproved. But here was devilish Johnny, taking a risk and hoping that I would know the spirit of the gift. I looked at him as he waited in excited anticipation of my reaction, and I wanted to hug him for his Puckish nature and for the courage it took to deliver his "gift". As soon as we recognized our roles as gift giver and gift receiver, we both came to the same realization at almost the same time ......... what about Marie.

Marie was getting pretty uptight as concert time grew closer in that rat trap Day's Inn room in Batavia. She knew about John's gift before we left on the trip, but had basically avoided dealing with it. We had once or twice enjoyed a Marlboro Light together some twenty plus years back, but because we had to step into parenthood and "take care" of business all the time, we opted to handle it the only way we knew. She wasn't too keen about being a million miles from home and doin' a Marlboro Light in a slimy motel room....but God bless her heart, she's a goer!

It was about four o'clock and we soon found ourselves laughing at everything. When the band broke into "Sparkle" that night, you have no idea how magical that was for us. Not only is it one of the few songs that Marie actually recognizes and likes, but at one point in the hotel room hyjinx, we started singing it. It was damn near one-on-one commingling with the universe at the moment the first chords were strummed. There was magic at Darien Lakes that night, and this is just one small way it actualized.

We floobed our way across that once dangerous parking lot to the Bob Evans eatery on the main road. We sat at our table, now laughing at which of the other patrons were Phish bound. The younger ones with the appropriate garb were easy. It was the ones in disguise that made our job of recognition both harder and a helluva lot funnier. We ordered non-descript delicious glorious victuals, and paid attention as a white stretch Corvette pulled up outside of the restaurant right in front of our window. I'm holding back waiting to see Trey or Mike step out of the car, when out step these two fairly hot ladies, both in similar garb. They wore tight blues with white halter tanks and low heels. They practically ran to the ladies room inside the restaurant, and I was dying to know which band member was in the car. Rather then torture myself, I rationalized that it could be anybody from anywhere, since Batavia was a NYS Thruway exit, and it was only half a block away. The girls got back in the car after a time, and I never saw who was in it. After an eternity's worth of fantasizing about that car and where it's been, I came back to the moment and blew bubbles with my straw into my iced tea. Marie continued to laugh.

Later that afternoon, as we approached the main gate to the concert pavilion, I saw the white stretch Corvette parked behind the stage with one other regular stretch limo. It was a beautiful night.

I've got to break here. Drew, thanks for the opportunity to let it out. I promise I"ll be done soon....GBUA, fone

Thought 4

Aside: Sorry for the delay...work is on my heals.

I was born twice in New York State. Once physically in a small town just north of NYC, and once spiritually in an even smaller town at the foot of the Catskills. I haven't seen all states in the country, but New York definitely ranks as one of the most beautiful. Darien Center is located in the Niagara Frontier area of the state, but borders on the Finger Lakes region which is characterized by rolling hills formed by the retreat of the glaciers of the last ice age. What was left behind is probably some of the prettiest scenery you might ever see.

Maybe Marie and I were a little prejudiced by our afternoon's magic, but the twenty-two mile ride from Batavia to Darien Lakes was an outstanding journey through the NY countryside. The evening's weather was gorgeous. Mid seventies and only some clouds for accent. The air was fresh and negatively enhanced only by an occasional dairy farm. We did pass an ostrich farm on the way, and for some reason didn't think it extraordinary, only funny as hell. Marie's paranoia about the show had subsided from the early afternoon, and we were cruising this glorious country road, past picture perfect vistas, God's best handywork, bound for what I knew in my heart was going to be a cosmic event ..... when the power of the Law, brought it all to a near screeching halt.

The power of hormones is almost always understated. Adrenalin, I've found, as you get older, doesn't flow as readily as when you're younger. I don't know whether it's because you become wiser as you get older and the fearful things in life don't seem so fearful; or because your body ages and your hormone levels start to diminish making you less fearful of the world. Salvatore Dali, when asked one time if he uses drugs, responded quite indignantly, "I am drugs"; but quite frankly I've never understood whether the thoughts drive the chemicals or the chemicals the thoughts. Either way, the sight of a NY State trooper checkpoint in the road up ahead and Marlboro Light buzz sure added up to one hell of an adrenalin rush.

But we had magic on our side and light jean shirts covering up our Phish t-shirts. Mr. J Law looked almost apologetic at Mr and Mrs average tourist passing through his checkpoint on Route 33. He was lookin' for vicious and vile drug totin' punks headin' for that Commie rock concert thang at the local 'musement park, and not Mema and Papa in their conservative gray Camry with the NJ plates. We were invisible because of the disguises that we didn't even know we were wearing. Of course, when we were surrounded by the rest of the Phish fans at the concert, our disguises disappeared and we stuck out like spies for Mom and Dad. Half the crowd that was sitting around us at the show sent out this weird vibe like we were there to report back to their parents about what they were doing. That is with the exception of the two dudes to my left who
were tokin' and dancin' up a storm right from the opening chord, and didn't give two rats who we were. I'd like to thank them for making us feel less conspicuous, and actually more at home at the show. Although they probably weren't aware that they were doing anything at all ........... which is always the best way to be.

Looks like this thing is going beyond Part 4 because I've got to get back to it. Drew... I'll
try to finish tomorrow. GBUA, fone


Thought 5

Here it is one month and three days since that evening in upstate NY and the glow is still warming my spirit. I apologize for these maudlin references to the "magic" of this event, but in my life, this phenomenon is still magical.

Case in point: when we arrived at the show, we were both so disoriented that we barely figured out where our seats were. I didn't notice the vendors inside the pavilion or even think about scoring a summer tour T-shirt until sometime the next day. So I didn't get a shirt. I was a little psyched out over this ... but I figured it wasn't meant to be. Two Sundays ago Marie and I went to Red Bank, NJ for their annual street fair. It's a thing middle aged folks do with their Sunday afternoons.

Now the town of Red Bank is trying to become a cutsie haven for avant guarde shoppes and basically high end crap for the nouvo riche yuppies who live in the surrounding towns of Rumson, Colts Neck, and Holmdel. In some respects the town is doing a good job drawing people in with regular concerts at the river side park of local jazz and rock artists. On the other hand, there's the street fair of artsy-craftsy stuff which is pretty much overpriced. We spent the afternoon perusing the wares of the street merchants anyway. While trying to get some shade on a pretty hot afternoon, we backed into an obscure alleyway of small shoppes, initially attracted by an animation art shoppe (another past time of middle agers with a little money to throw away). After re-living some of the cartoon characters of our long gone youth, we turned further down the alley, next to encounter a window, displaying the summer tour T-shirt, the one with the ticket designs displayed on the back.

We had happened upon an updated "head" shoppe of tie dyed shirts and goods (sans smoking apparatus) which also sold a line of Phish shirts at the same prices available from Phish dry goods directly. I tried to discuss the band and the shirts with the clerk, but he seemed basically disinterested with the topic. I didn't care, I had the shirt
Go down in your own way
And everyday is the right day
And as you rise above the fear lines in his frown
You look down
Hear the sound of the faces in the crowd
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby fone » Fri Dec 30, 2005 4:09 pm

......more...............


Thought 6

There was excitement in the air. I always loved going to concerts, I've never had a bad experience. I guess I've been lucky. Some people make tons of money real easily, others get laid whenever they want, some have never had a sick day all their lives. Me, I've always had great concert experiences because I really like good music. Even the worst, a Humble Pie concert I saw at the Academy of Music in NYC in the very early seventies, turned out great because Edgar and Johnny Winters opened the show with White Trash and brought the house down. Of course Frampton and Humble Pie put the house back up, but that didn't mitigate what the Winters boys had done.

We made it to our seats and were some of the first few to arrive. We were sitting about 29 rows from the stage and pretty much the last seats on the right. The sound was a bit distorted during some songs because of the proximity of the stage right speakers, but I didn't care. You've got to understand this function in life called the "first time". When you bring no prior knowledge, memories or perceptions into your experiences, it becomes the first time, and first time things are some if not all of the most memorable experiences in our lives. I responded to an RMP thread about Phish losing their groove a few weeks ago, and brought up this "first time" perception. Phish sound is so great that we want to capture it constantly and feel it from moment to moment. Unfortunately we tend to over analyze this phenomenon with all the tools (baggage) we've acquired in our lifetime. It's a pity because it keeps us from being objective about something we
love so much....the music. Phish will never lose their groove.....it's their groove. They will also never totally live up to our grooves, as long as we bring our grooves to the shows.

The pavilion was comfortable. A three quarter moon would be on the rise and the sky was beautiful as the sun set over the park. I bought a couple of brews at an unholy rate, just to help my Sweetie to mellow a bit. Once we got to our seats she was doing better. As the crowd filtered in and we began to realize how much of an age difference there was, she began to get self conscious again. But fortunately, my friends, all of you who shared the Darien experience with us, you were all just great. The crowd that surrounded us was one of good natured humanity gathered for a sharing of something beautiful. The band came on thirty minutes late because the venue hadn't filled until nearly seven thirty. I looked back sometime during the second set to get a scope of the crowd, and the place was jammed, the place was cool. Phish came out and went into a song I didn't recognize.

I knew there would be many songs like that during the night, and it worried me only slightly, because it takes me several listenings to even slightly grasp some of the sounds that this band produces in any one piece. I only knew it was YaMar during those verses in the song. I don't know whether it was better than that version or slightly worse than another. Look .... Phish can play any of their songs shitty and it'll still be better than the best day Cheryl or her brother Counting Crows ever have. By the end of the first song I was convinced of one thing; one Phish concert in my life was not going to be enough!

I did bring some baggage into the show. I was hoping that I would get to hear at least one of the following: YEM, Hood, Taste, Billy Breathes, Esther, or It's Ice. I really didn't think I'd hear the last two since they weren't being played much on this tour. It was magical to hear the three that they chose to play, but in retrospect, I'm much more grateful for YaMar, Fluffhead, and Antelope. I'm rediscovering these songs since the concert and hearing some shit going on in there that I overlooked before.

I'm not going to review each song, they were all great to me. I'm just astounded by the shear force of the music at the live show. I was standing there and the crowd was gyrating around me. People were dancin and groovin to rhythms I was barely able to grasp. The sound was vibrating my clothes, my skin, my hair and I was loving every minute of it. During Antelope the band took the sound to a level that I thought heads were going to start exploding, including my own ..... and we would all know what it would be like to be the grateful dead.

The first set ended and Marie thought it was the end of the show. I made the grand gesture to leave because she was tired of being on her feet for more than an hour (she was too embarrassed to sit down during the show). She agreed to stay, and God love her for sticking it out for the second half.

Chalk Dust Torture was on my secondary list for "hope they plays", and Sparkle brought Marie back into the show. What stood out in that second half in my mind was that little jam between Hood and Forbin when Trey faced Mike and they began a cross rhythm thing similar to what goes on inside of Taste. This technique of multiple rhythms, or out of sync rhythms really intrigues me. I guess the band must evolve musically, or dissolve. This is one of the reasons I think we like the music so much. It changes. It changes not only from piece to piece, but much of it has distinct movements within each piece. I found it fascinating that these on stage jams provide an insight into that evolution.

There's a great deal of negativity about Bouncin' as a viable concert piece. I don't understand this. No individual song is any more or less the essence of Phish. To subjectively refute or remove certain songs is to negate what the band is. Bouncin is a great song. It was the first song I heard on radio (at the time ALO was released). It made me buy that album. It was my first listen. Playing that song and Rockytop as encores brought the whole night together for Marie and I because she connected with the songs. What I guess I'm trying to say is that the concert experience was complete and perfect in every song that was played and in the communion of the crowd with the group. Maybe I should give away my seats to the two Philly shows which came
yesterday, and never go to another live show. I've seen Phish live and it was perfect.

Epilogue tomorrow. By the way, that stuff about not going to Philly....I'm not that strong in character. I'll be there in Sec 5 on Tues and Sec 1 on Wed. GBUA, Fone



Epiloguecal Thought (Is that a word?)

I kind of rushed through my thoughts on the concert itself and don't think I really did it justice. Then again how can any written review capture the power of the sound.

There was so much great music that night, some of which I still can't associate titles to. I heard Funky Bitch, Limb By Limb, Tela and Camel Walk, but I don't know which one is which in my head.....but that's OK....titles are important only for discussion about the music. I was really impressed by Free that night also. The song wasn't one of my favorites on the studio recording, but the expanded live jam made me hear it in a whole new way. This is one of the major reasons why I'm so attracted to this band...that is...they really enjoy playing the music and playing with the music. As they try new things and expand their techniques and concepts, the music stays fresh and alive and is renewed from version to version. I don't know of many bands that can do this as competently as Phish. I'm amazed by them every day. The music that night was like
electricity coursing through the synapses of my body and throwing light out through every pore. I was on fire, feeling myself in ways that I had forgotten I could. "Excuse me while I kiss the sky"

The concert ended. And like so many nights in my youth when we had journeyed great distances to see shows, gotten so absorbed in the sound and experience, that when it ended and the lights went on, there was that initial disorientation, that jolt back into the reality of the situation, when you go, "where the freak am I?" The "Oh yeh, Darien somewhere in NY and we're supposed to Batavia somehow, I hope Marie doesn't notice that I'm pretty confused because she don't know how to get outta here, Days Inn, boy do I have to piss" feeling. Know what I mean?

As we moved slowly out of our row, a girl who had been sitting behind us turned to Marie in a part concerned, part patronizing and part good-natured way asked my wife, "So, did you enjoy the concert?" We were amused by her mock parental concern, but warmed by her sentiment.

I stood in line at the men's room on the way out because that brew was bustin seams. Now you young guys out there will one day realize as you get into mid life that the plumbing doesn't behave like it does when you're twenty. It's slower. I mean sloo..o..o..w..e.....r. Here I am in line with all of you guys and you're all emptying out in about five to ten seconds, tops. I'm in the queue and noticing how quickly everything is moving and worrying how I was going to hold everyone up. So it takes an old guy about twice as long to download, and I wanted to apologize to the men behind me that night in the north end mens room after the show. Sorry for the "delay".

The walk through the darkened amusement park was dreamlike. The moon was bright, the night a welcoming cool, and the afterglow of the show lightened my step through the sleeping playworld. Marie was tired, but happy. She really only knows three songs well, Sparkle, Weigh and Bouncin. The Bouncin encore brought us together at the end of the show because we were holding on to each other and movin and grooving like the two girls who sat to our right and who spent the whole show gyrating in the aisle like the flower children of the sixties. I continue to try, and bore you in the attempt, but insist without a doubt that this was a magical experience for me and continues to be so.

We got back into Batavia and my Baby wanted coffee. We stopped at the Dunkin in downtown Batavia and waited on line with a bunch of Phans. I stood listening to the Phish chatter about the show and knew that most them had no idea I knew what they were talking about. This old man thing is a great disguise. Back at the parking lot I ran into Ken Kesey coming out of the hotel and exchanged pleasant hellos. I didn't know who I was talking to until several days later. More magic? We drank our coffee and exchanged memories about the concert before going to sleep. My Sweetie was exhausted and even though I wanted to hold her and kiss her and tell her how happy I was, I knew she needed to turn it off and get some rest.

In the morning we took pictures standing in front of "Furthr" which was parked at the hotel. We cut our vacation short by a day and drove back to NJ on Friday. We were pretty exhausted and any other sightseeing we could have done, would have been anticlimactic. My thoughts driving home were shared by memories of the previous night, and fantasies about Went.

I came away from this experience with an intense desire to make contact with other sick twisted obsessive phanatics like myself. I've tried to explain to Marie that I don't understand what the music does to me and how it makes me feel, but that I can't seem to get enough of it. She fears it's a mid-life crisis thing and that I'm enamored with the things of my youth because subconsciously I'm afraid I'm getting old. She expects me to pick up with some flower babes and get on that bus to cruise all the concerts. She doesn't get it. She doesn't hear the Sound. To her Phish is just a rock and roll band.......maybe so...and maybe not.

This music has been a near religious awakening for me, a communion with my soul and it's difficult to explain that to many people. I hear things so intense in this stuff that the "I" just disappears, and what's left is what "I" doesn't know. It's something that Tibetan Bhuddism explains as the path to enlightenment in terms of sound. I really can't explain it any clearer, because the words just corrupt the meaning and besides....I really don't know what I'm talking about. Not really. All I know is that I'm grateful to hear the Sound and that I know I'm blessed to be part of you that hear it also......God Bless Us All, Fone
Go down in your own way
And everyday is the right day
And as you rise above the fear lines in his frown
You look down
Hear the sound of the faces in the crowd
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby thelot » Fri Dec 30, 2005 5:02 pm

That was a great read fonefono!
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby Moma Dave » Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:22 pm


^ its not a good idea to take small children to concerts. I see so many infants at concerts. I can't imagine my sister taking her baby to a concert.


I think it is weird to see an infant at a show. Not only are their ears sensitive, but their lungs are too. All that second hand pot and cigarette smoke. Indoor or outdoors, the cloud lingerers. I'm waiting till my son is about 3 before he's boogie'n with mom & dad at a show.

I'm left in the now with a wondrous glow
I think I'm still me but how would you know?
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby crnl4bin1 » Fri Dec 30, 2005 6:44 pm

Today is my 10 year first show anniversary (12.30.95). Man, how I miss them. The very first time I heard them was in may/june of '95. I was a sophmore in High School, and I was familiar with the Dead, but i knew nothing of the jam scene (ie tape trading, completely different show night after night, imrov, ext.) I was into classic rock (lots of FLoyd, Zeppelin). One of my closest friends had been given Nectars by some friends he knew from high school band. We were hanging out at his house and he put on Guelah. The rest is history. We went nuts picking up all studio albums we could get our hands on. And then there was "A Live One". We gave that a first listen later that summer in my parents living room. I remember listening to the Tweezer. Both of us were just sat there in awe as the song just kept going. I had never heard anything like it. Twenty some odd minutes later, when the jam resolved back into Tweezer, I remeber going "hey I know this song. HOLY SHiT, it's the same song they started 20 mins ago!"
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby dbphan » Fri Dec 30, 2005 9:15 pm

Great read Fonfono I am a little sensitive so I got choked up during the part about your dughter. That Darien show was tight. YA MAR open a mellow-funk chaldust, KEN Keasey on the improv, end with Camel> Frankenstein, then out of the venue and onward to the Went - This is one of the larger highlights from all my touring moments
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby jeremybender » Sun Jan 01, 2006 5:22 am

I was one of those total fucking idiots who bought in to the "They're just Dead clones" thing. I never heard any of their songs, but I read that so often, I just didn't bother. Plus, for some reason, the whole tramps thing in YEM and Fish's vacuum thing really turned me off, because it meant they weren't serious about their music. :( :( Total farking idiot I was.

First time I heard Phish is when I watched Bittersweet Motel on IFC in late 2002. I went out and bought Hampton Comes Alive a few days later and that was that. Oh how different my life would have been if someone said "Dude, you love prog rock, you love ELP, Yes, King Crimson, Genesis, Gentle Giant, you've got to hear "Junta", you'll love it" in 1992. :)
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The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby ghost_2000 » Sun Jan 01, 2006 6:07 am


When I was a day old. Day after I was born my parents and I made our way to the Townshend Family Park.


yes. when i was 1 day old, i drove my parents to their eye doctor appointment, and then to get some yogurt! it was a fun time.

oh, also - yem: you're full of shit.
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Re: The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby ghost » Fri Sep 01, 2017 4:56 pm

From June 8, 2005:
ghost wrote:My cousin had a tape with some songs from Junta on it.


That cousin is none other than...new member SirChompsAlot!!!!!!!!!!!

Here's a recent picture of us:
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Re: The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby SirChompsAlot » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:30 pm

lol, awesome. I was super happy to be in that teacup :thumbup:

Here's another of two cool guys circa 1994 playing their guitars (presumably poorly).

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Re: The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby SirChompsAlot » Fri Sep 01, 2017 5:37 pm

Also, I think I mentioned this in another thread, but the first time I heard Phish was in 1993 I believe. Working at a summer camp (that picture of ghost and I was taken at that summer camp), I was exposed to a lot of music that I would have never heard had I not worked there. Working in the kitchen, on dish duty, we'd just listen to music pretty much all the time. Someone had Junta and I fell in love with Fee, and the rest is history.

First time I saw them was in 1996. My girlfriend at the time got me two tickets to the show at Alpine Valley that summer for my birthday, so I naturally took ghost with me instead of her (IIRC we had already broken up by the time the show rolled around). I definitely didn't really get it yet, and I didn't recognize too many of the songs. I was probably more excited that they played Whipping Post and Hendrix's Fire.
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Re: The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby Harpua » Tue Sep 05, 2017 2:57 am

Heard: December 2002 - My cousin played Live Phish Volume 2 for me. I thought it was pretty good, so the next day I picked up Live Phish Volume 7 from FYE. That is what hooked me. Chalk Dust, Guelah, Divided Sky, Esther, Mound, Antelope, and 2001... man-o-man. I listened to that show dozens of times over the next few months.

Saw: 6.25.2004 - Days after my 17th birthday, I skipped summer school (AP English - Not the other kind) to see them at Alpine, during the first leg of their last tour. It was spectacular. It was the only time I got to see them before the band broke up forever.
Well, here we are, Mr. Pilgrim, trapped in the amber of this moment. There is no why.
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Re: The first time you heard/saw Phish.

Postby El Bastarde » Wed Sep 06, 2017 9:49 pm

Surprising I hadn't posted in this one before.

Heard: Not much of a story. Was in maybe 96/97 when my brother came in and just put on a CD (as he often did). It turned out to be A Live One so the first song was Bouncing which I found to be intriguing. Then the second song was Stash and during the raging solo, I turned to my bro and said something along the lines of "Holy shit, who the fuck IS this??" The rest is history.

Saw: 11/11/98 in Grand Rapids, MI. My brother went as well (also his first) and I swear there was a third person but I can't remember who it was. The show is maybe on the low end of the shows I've seen but it was incredible to see and experience them live. We had general admission floor and we slowly worked our way to the stage as the show went on and was front row railing on Page side by the start of the 2nd set. It's the only time I've been front row for them and that was enough...I haven't really tried to get that close since.
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