Still Waiting…

Pre-show 3.6.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

Pre-show 3.6.09 (C.Taylor Crothers)

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.

Miami '03 (Unknown)

Miami '03 (Unknown)

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!

Hampon (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 Hampton (J.Kravitz)

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.

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

3.7.09 Hampton (J.Kravitz)

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.



3.14.92 Roseland Ballroom, NYC SBD < LINK

3.14.92 Roseland Ballroom, NYC SBD < TORRENT LINK

Phish '92 (J.Pollock)

Phish '92 (J.Pollock)

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.


118 Responses to “Still Waiting…”

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  1. old dude Says:

    still have an old cassette of this show

    “the roseland ballroom – let’s see some nice dancing…”

    when popper comes in on sleeping monkey is excellent.

  2. ColonelJoy Says:

    Imagine my wait, All. In Iraq….can’t do any tour until fall!!

    Small Stadiums: I think it would be great if Phish looked for small outdoor stadiums for big summer/Ween/NYE shows…..we should differentiate between places like Giants Stadium (I wouldn’t attend a show there…maybe on the lawn front of board…maybe) and Sam Boyd (an ideal Ween spot, won’t be too chilly).

    Seattle has a great small football/soccer stadium right under the Needle where the Dead played in 94-95…(an alternate Gorge location)

    Small Stadiums can hold between 30-40k, allowing a superior ticket situation without compromising too much intamacy or sound quality…there are plenty of these venues in the south and other areas….how about FIU Stadium in Miami for NYE?

    Get creative redlight!!

  3. Al Says:

    I wouldn’t have a problem seeing Phish at Giants Stadium. Imagine a Wilson chant, Hood chant, or Stash clapping. I’d just love to see that at least ONCE.
    Truly, this wouldn’t be an atmosphere to dig the jammin’. But, hey – standing half a mile away from the stage at IT is pretty far as well.

  4. JerZ Says:

    I don’t know how to separate anticipation from expectation. I felt like Hampton wet my appetite, but I am expecting big things. Years ago, my expectations had everything to do with the setlists. I would go into each show expecting to hear certain songs (and even if I didn’t I was never disappointed, and always felt like their choice of songs was better than mine would have been anyway).

    But, I could really care less about setlists going into this summer tour. I feel like we were blessed with sick setlists in Hampton. My expectations are all about quality now. I am expecting quality that I have not heard since 98- and I think that it is a realistic expectation because I think that Phish wants to deliver. They have their stuff together for the first time in a long time, and I think that they want us to know that. I am expecting jaw dropping quality at every show this tour, and for us to look back at summer 09 (especially Red Rocks) and put it up there with such epic tours as fall 97, the Island run, etc. For the first time, my expectations might even outweigh my anticipation- and I know that we will not be disappointed

  5. Brimley Says:

    Well said JerZ…Does anyone [Miner] have a clue if Phish will continue to write setlists for the Summer shows or will they go back to winging it…?

  6. Jack O Roses Says:

    I have no desire to see Phish in stadiums. I’m not saying it would preclude me from going, but stadium shows are a whole-nother beast. For one thing, sound systems would need to be upgraded. Probably same with the lighting rig. I’m sure the “business side” of Phish would love the extra revenue. But, for the Phans… Nah. I’m fine with bitching about getting tix for Merriweather or Gorge or Red Rocks or SPAC, but then getting inside a relatively intimate venue. Giants? Ugh.

    Now, a tour of minor-league baseball stadiums. I could get behind that…

  7. Little Buddy Says:

    Very eloquent, Mr. M!

    Hang in there Colonel. Thanks for all your doing for us. You certainly will have earned your fall shows!

    There are a lot of medium sized soccer stadiums that have popped up around the country. A tour full of these, along with some of the standard sheds ,and some baseball stadiums would be sweet. Oh wait… that sounds like summer ’09. How sweet is this summer going to be?!?!?!

  8. Jack O Roses Says:

    Re expectations:

    I’m expecting to hear the new tunes in fairly heavy rotation. Necessarily, other, older songs will fall by the wayside. Bummer, yes, but I’m stoked to see the boys delve into new material as well as crush some older stuff.

    Sooooo….. Opener at Fenway?

  9. bhizzle Says:

    Dylan has been playing the minor ball fields for the past couple years. Has anyone seen one?


  10. Pence Says:

    Big summer classic a couple years ago was at a “miner” league stadium a couple yrs ago in schaumburg IL. I think that they would prob have to open up the whole field, because the grandstand is rather small. But I think it would be great.

    Miner hit the nail right on the head. Exactly the way I have felt over the past, well since around Oct. of last yr when hampton went on sale.

    Speaking of ballparks, I noticed one dude on here got his fenway tickets in the mail last week. Has anyone else gotten them yet??? Im getting nervous, lol

  11. notkuroda Says:

    Miner and JerZ hit the nail on the head.
    One of the great things about this site is it almost acts like a support group. We all have lives, jobs, families, problems responsibilities. It seems somewhat bizarre that in the midst of all of this, at the forefront of our brains is Phish. It’s addictive, obsessive behaviour! But it’s great to know you’re not the only one going through it

  12. Jack O Roses Says:

    I missed Dylan when he came through here on that tour, but that was where I got the idea. Isn’t Wilco doing a similar tour, too?

    Speaking of Dylan – Does anyone have Dylan opening for Grateful Dead at RFK 6-24-25-95? I’d love to find a clean copy.

    @Pence. My Fenway tix came in the mail last week, from the…um…gentleman I purchased them from…

  13. Pence Says:

    @Jack were they the mail-order kind?

  14. Danny B Says:

    The anticipation has been getting to everyone I know who likes Phish, and it just continues to build. Clifford Ball DVD’s are constantly playing at my apartment, or any number of friends houses. I am listening to more Phish right now, than I have since coventry. Hampton jazzed me up for what is to come, Time Turns Elastic sounds promising, and I pray that Party Time has some great songs or at least great jam vehicles. Page even twittered yesterday “I wonder at what point time becomes elastic”, thought that was kind of funny. No matter what, I think it is safe to assume this summer is going to be about integrating new songs, and new jamming styles. Time turns elastic has potential to be Phish’s terrapin station, or at least something to that effect. A couple of new songs from Trey’s little run last fall have some great potential, as miner pointed out, personally I would love to see Phish play “Light”. It is the only new song that was played at Wallingford that really made me think Phish!!!!!! Honestly, I don’t care how many new songs are played, as long as they keep up the improvisation, humor, and playfullness we all love. I just can’t wait to let loose and have fun this summmer, no matter what!!!!

  15. Jack O Roses Says:

    @ Pence – I’m at work so I’m not able to totally describe them, but not mail order… Probably, he stood in line at ticket outlet?

    Has anyone else received their tickets for Fenway?

  16. Chalkdustin Says:

    Saw The Dead last night in Chicago. Great show, IMO, and made me even more anxious to see my boys this summer. I have so much Phish on my mind, I swear I thought they were going into a Possum jam last night. I knew I there was no chance in hell that was happening, but my ears just wanted to hear Phish.

  17. Jay Says:

    I received my Fenway tickets on Monday. Tickets were all processed on April 29th and everyone should receive them within the week.

  18. Bandonicus Says:

    Well miner….looks like you had to scramble to think of something to write for this post….really nothing of substance here…just fluff….i feel like you’ve written this same type of post several times….”waxing poetically” about the same old fluff… really very rarely say anything of substance….

  19. msbjivein Says:

    @JackO, MinER league tour would be killer. We have a really nice park in Indy. As for opener, Buried Alive>MOUND

  20. Uberchef Says:

    Nice post Miner. The morning was going along nice and smooth until I read that…these 25 days will be passing slowly indeed! But as you remarked, pass they will, and soon enough we’ll be in the hallowed grounds of Fenway awaiting the first notes, perhaps with an icy cold Smithwicks in hand…:)

    Recognizing the venue, I’m thinking the opener will be the Banner, or perhaps Take me out…but that might be saved for a 2nd set Mikes>Take me out> Weekapaug! I have to believe that we’ll hear plenty of new material.

    Coming out of the Hampton walk down memory lane, the boys will want to freshen things up this summer with new tunes, new covers…just new. That’s got to be the driving creative force behind getting it back together. So expect new stuff, and let’s not turn our noses up…unless it’s during a kung chant 🙂

    Oh, and I hope I’m in attendance when they break out Andelman’s Yard, because that is going to be ridiculous…

  21. msbjivein Says:

    I received my Phens also

  22. Mdawg Says:

    “Following your bliss, knowing you will arrive, and giving yourself to that unknown journey; this is the fabric of the experience.”

    Well said!!!

    Phish @ Soldier Field (Chicago, IL)!!!!!!

  23. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    What’s funny about anticipation is that I distinctly recall years past when I’ve been on tour, 10-12 shows in, 20 or so shows and many miles still to go, when the routine of “tour life” starts to sink in. I’m recognizing people on tour. I know at 6:45 it’s time to start heading into the show. I’m wearing the same shorts I’ve had on for two weeks. Stink in the pocket and the supply isn’t running out anytime soon. At that point, instead of anticipating individual shows, I was just enjoying the whole journey and experience. It’s different now. I miss that… maybe I’m just feeling old today.

  24. Jay Says:

    I like the minor league tour idea. Isn’t Dylan and Willie Nelson, and somebody else doing a minor league tour this summer?

  25. bhizzle Says:

    The Cougar aka John Melloncamp

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