Waiting. Almost the entirety of our Phish lives are spent waiting. Waiting and anticipating the time of our lives. Unlike any other anticipation, that for a Phish show can be both paralyzing and inspiring. Prone to spontaneous bursts of excitement, we navigate the days, weeks, and months before a show with a different sort of smile. Despite what our days and weeks look like, we possess knowledge that trumps it all- Phish is right around the corner. So we fill the time. Listening to old shows, surfing Phish internet space, posting on message boards, guessing what might happen when the time comes- we continuously inflate our collective balloon of excitement to capacity and beyond. The ordinary no longer feels so mundane knowing that we have a date with the extraordinary.
From the moment shows are announced, we begin waiting for the ticket process- “mail order,” on-sales, then trades. Once we get our virtual hands on our tickets, then the anticipation truly kicks in and things become involuntary. This is when your mind begins migrating to Phish when you should be focusing on tasks at hand. Surges of energy begin to shoot through your body out of nowhere, making those ultimate moments seem almost tangible. It is all within reach- and seems a lifetime away. But the emotions begin to bubble up months beforehand, intensifying as the calendar pages turn. You know what you’re in for, and the best part about it is that you have no idea what will happen!
Anticipation without expectation; getting excited for the unknown- it almost seems like a paradox. How can you get excited for something when you don’t know what will happen? Well, we have a hunch. But when expectations are dropped and we connect to that excitement without knowing or caring what is in store, we are prepared to receive the Phish. Following your bliss, knowing you will arrive, and giving yourself to that unknown journey; this is the fabric of the experience. Taking part in what will unfold- living it, not thinking about it- is one of the purest feelings we have left. Turning ourselves over, dropping our egos, and allowing Phish to lead the way- if only for three hours a night- is the most magical feeling in the world; a feeling for which we would wait forever. Considering the enormity, how can we not get periodic butterflies and shots of adrenaline, even if the shows are still a month away? Once the dates are circled, it’s on, and it’s only a matter of time.
But as blast off approaches, time begins to crawl. The week, even the day, before a show can seem like a stint in The Twilight Zone as we await entry through the pearly gates. Anticipation transforms into pre-show anxiety, knowing that whatever happens, you won’t be totally the same afterward- but that is the beauty of it all. Phish is life-changing, and when forced to await such an event, the rivers of possibilities overflow. Even once we are inside the venue, the hour before show time might as well be a day- time turns molasses as we await our destiny. Our mind begins to race, knowing that all of those months and all of these dreams, have led up to this moment. The time is now, and that reality can be as overwhelming and as powerful as the anticipation; the adventure is finally upon us.
In a mere twenty-five days, our wait will be over. While we might feel like bursting right now and May 31st seems like it will never arrive, it most certainly will. And as the first notes of the rest of our lives wash over us, that feeling of endless anticipation will dissolve into a sweet surrender to the majesty of the moment. And so it will begin again.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
3.14.92 Roseland Ballroom, NYC SBD < TORRENT LINK
This is the first of Phish’s four performances at New York’s famed venue, and this show paints a picture of a dynamic band about to hit the first real peak of their career in the spring of ’92. Every band is psyched the first time they play the Roseland, and Phish was no exception, putting together a smoking setlist for the show. The night’s highlight comes with the gorgeous “Harry Hood” late in the second set, as the band expounded on the intro- something seldom seen- teased “Off To See the Wizard,” and drove the jam to the top with emotion and intent.
I: Runaway Jim, Cavern, Reba, Sparkle, Foam, Rift, Stash, Fee, Chalk Dust Torture, Take the A-Train, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove
II: Golgi Apparatus, Llama, The Squirming Coil, Split Open and Melt, Bouncing Around the Room, Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Harry Hood, Cold as Ice > Cracklin’ Rosie > Cold as Ice, Possum
E: Sleeping Monkey*, Good Times Bad Times*
*With John Popper (Blues Traveler) on harmonica.Tags: Culture