As I sit at my computer, deciding on what to write, historical retrospectives seem almost pointless, because the future is now. Three days are left until the morning of a new era in our lives, and the anticipatory excitement is completely overwhelming. The pre-show butterflies have taken flight early this time around, leaving an extra-special, week-long bundle of wonderment and nerves in our stomachs. With only the formality of a 72 hour of waiting period, the time is finally upon us.
What began with a Flash video in the wee hours of October 1st has snowballed in hype, energy and enthusiasm, and will finally come to fruition this Friday, in one of the most anticipated concerts in rock and roll history. As I’ve previously posited, we are witnessing the course- correcting nature of the universe; the powers of fate and destiny flexing their cosmic muscle. While many fans have posed theories to explain Phish resurrection, my overwhelming response has been- “Does it really matter?” While the reasons for their return may be manifold, once Phish steps onto a stage together, look at each other and their surroundings, the ultimate reason will be clear- this was meant to be.
Say what you will about financial need, ego stroking, and the allure of their former super-stardom- this is part of the master plan- our own spiritual stimulus package, for the band as well. I’ve always held that if these four guys are alive and playing music, they should always be doing it together- the “hows” and the “whys” become relative. Once those lights drop, a moment that still seems elusive, that indescribable feeling will return. And regardless of whether you have been to 300 shows or zero, that feeling will be different this time around- it will be composed of not just adrenaline and excitement, but a rejoicing in the fact that the portal to our mystical world has once again reopened- like the Colonel’s door to Gamehendge. It seemed like that vibrant world would be closed forever- restricted by yellow caution tape like the scene of a horrendous train wreck- as we were forced into a Phishless existence with no indication that things would ever change.
But then, years later, events began to occur; seemingly random events that have pushed us back to the brink. Trey went down and then rose again. Mike wrote an album, started a band, and toured, illustrating his strong desire to still create; after some solo work, Page began popping up for guest sit-ins; members of Phish appeared together at the Rothbury Festival- and then the rumors started. Trey played a comeback show in Brooklyn, debuting a slew of new material that seemed far too lush and complex for his solo band, then hit the road for two weeks following the announcement. All of these disparate happenings were stones in the path that has ultimately led us to now.
In the end, the journey that has led us to here is largely irrelevant- what is far more important is that we have arrived. The past is behind us as lasting memories, with the future lying ahead as dreams unwritten. If we can make it through these next three days without imploding, our collective destiny awaits. The importance of the past has fallen away, while the seemingly bright future remains eternally unpredictable, thus leaving us with now- the only time that holds true power. Bask in this moment, for it will never come again, and its power is immeasurable. With so many people’s collective energies, hopes, and dreams converging this Friday, we will be launched into the next chapter of our lives, with Phish back to provide the soundtrack.
THEY’RE GETTING READY!
Phish Thought’s roving Phantasy Tour correspondent, Chris Stearns, who wades through the nonsense to find the goods, passed along some pictures that were taken and posted yesterday (3/2) of the snowy coliseum and Phish’s buses unloading in the lot. The trucks are from a company called Upstaging. Upstaging is the #1 tour trucking company
in the industry, and Phish has used them since at least 1997. All Upstaging trucks are red. The band, apparently, has The Mothership booked all week to do full rehearsals with lights and their new sound guy, dialing everything in for this weekend. They’re waiting!
(Thanks to PTers ScentOfAMelt and sanberdino for the reports! Thanks to A. Bollinger for pics!)
PHANART: The Art Of The Fans Of Phish
A coffee table book featuring art inspired by Phish has hit recently hit the market. In the words of project overseer, Pete Mason, “There was a culture and community established at Phish shows that really reflected the positive emotion inspired by the band and we wanted to capture that, through the art, before it was lost forever. I think this book does just that.” The 400+ page book features more than 1600 pieces of art and over 40 essays, all created by fans of Phish, as well as numerous fan memories and stories collected over the bands 21-year existence. With a purchase price of $59.95, all net-profits from the sale of Phanart will benefit The Mockingbird Foundation, a non-profit organization created by Phish fans to support music education. For more details, or to purchase a copy of the book visit www.phanart.net.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
2.26.97 Longhorn, Stuttgart, GR < TORRENT LINK
This one comes as a special reader request that was supposed to go up on the anniversary a few days ago. Alas, better late than never! This Stuttgart show came towards the end of the band’s Winter ’97 Europe run, and is widely known for its second-set centerpiece version of “YEM.” But the show offered quite a bit more! A very interesting first set featured bust outs of “Camel Walk,” “My Friend,” “Tube,” and “Dog Log,” while integrating the new tunes of “Carini” (then known as “Lucy”) and “Rocko William.” Not to mention a soaring fourth song “Hood!” An adventurous “Scent of a Mule” gave way to a proper set-ending “Slave.” This escapade in Germany was among the most well-loved gems of this early ’97 run, but is often overshadowed by Amsterdam and Hamburg. Check it out!
I: Camel Walk, Llama, My Friend My Friend, Harry Hood, My Soul, Tube, Carini, Rocko William, Dog Log, While My Guitar Gently Weeps
II: Buried Alive > Poor Heart, Ha Ha Ha, You Enjoy Myself > Kung > Theme From the Bottom, Scent of a Mule > Jazz Jam* > Magilla# > Scent of a Mule, Slave to the Traffic Light
E: Highway to Hell
*Trey’s part of the Muel Duel. #Page’s part of the Muel Duel.Tags: Comeback, Hampton