Last week I was lucky enough to hit the 3-night Phish run at the Mothership, Hampton Coliseum. The stars aligned on high and at home and I was witness to the start of what is shaping up to be a fall tour to rival all those that came before it.
These were my 40th, 41st, and 42nd shows and each held something special. Friday night I spent up front on the floor, three deep off the rail, the closest I’ve ever been to the stage. My highlight was dancing big during the dirty Carini, the anti-anthem.
Saturday night, I sought higher ground to take in the full effect of the coliseum and the lights. I missed out on the lights deep down on the floor the night before, it’s a trade off I suppose. Saturday did not disappoint, even my shitty phone captured some of CK5’s wizardry. But, it wasn’t just the lights, it was the set, the energy, the crowd, the flow. All of it. When the house lights came up at the end of the first set, I told my friend I could leave, satisfied and fulfilled, with three sets still on the table. What a colossal mistake that would have been…
Saturday’s second set opening trifecta of Ghost>DWD>Steam spun me silly and provided the bounce off for some poignant introspection and contemplation that Phish’s music and the concert atmosphere often evoke in me. And, for those of you who follow Stealing Time, you may have sent me a virtual high-five when Page tapped those first notes of Theme from the Bottom, my 3.0 wish finally granted and in style.
And then there was Sunday. It was a beautiful day and I spent most of it second in line with dear friends and drinking PBR. As we waited for the doors to open, one friend described our efforts this way “I’ve got one thing to do today and all day to do it.” Our goal: to procure some of the best seats in the hizzy - first level directly across from the stage. And we did.
As far as we were concerned, Sunday was the icing on the cake, the cherry on top after Saturday night. Except it was that, and a whole lot more. Even though I knew that with every song played, I was getting closer to the end of this journey, I couldn’t help but smile, and even laugh out loud in pure joy at what I heard and saw. CK5 lit up the space and when he did not, the audience took up the helm. The entire night was incredible, my friends and the music took up residence in my heart and soul as I pushed my mind to work through some unattended thoughts. The first set was bonkers, but in the second set, Phish was takin’ care of business. And they knew it and we knew it.
Tweezer. (just watch and listen)
2001>Sand>Slave to the Traffic Light to end the set was simply perfect. The reverb coming from Trey’s guitar at the close of Slave would be enough to convert any hard metal fan into a phan, just sayin’.
Of course, dear Internets, I must mention the Tweezer Reprise. It wasn’t anything particularly special, except that it was the ideal finale for the Hampton run and my weekend. I couldn’t help but think that the last 30+/- times I listened to this song was during a run, typically in the final minutes and tenths of miles to give me that last little jolt my system often needs to finish strong. Last Sunday, I heard Tweeprise once again, live and in person, and it brought me to tears and nearly to my knees.
This is Phish and I’ll be back for more.