While Phish tour is a feel-good vacation from everyday life, it is also a clandestine mission to reach the most epic peaks of exaltation and self-discovery. Fun spliced with spirituality- and a whole bunch of friends. But anyone who has undertaken whole tours, or legs of tours, will tell you, it is not always a walk in the park. Getting from show to show and state to state requires not only forethought, but organization. Whether you are camping, staying in hotels, or crashing at rest areas, traveling two to six hours every night takes its toll. Or if you are the type to get some sleep and get a move-on during the mid-day traffic, a whole different set of obstacles present themselves. While negotiating this nationwide labyrinth of highways, back roads, and parking lots, there are some things that can help you along the way.
As we enter the last full weekend before the first summer tour in five years, people may be a little out of practice. While many of us will use part of this three-day weekend to begin packing and getting ready for our three week adventure, I thought that some might need to reminded of some things they may be forgetting. So as you prepare yourselves for your return to the road, here are some things you should probably not forget.
Duct Tape: Whether repairing a car, a shoe, or camping equipment, duct tape is usually the answer.
Needle, Thread, and Safety Pins: Someone in your car will need em at some point- and if not, it’s because you had ‘em.
Advil, Tylenol, Allergy Medicine: Hangovers, cornfields, and night time lot injuries are only some of the uses for these necessary medicines. You never know in what part of the country your allergies will kick in.
CDs, iPods, Hard drives: Nothing is more important than road tunes, and at this point it’s almost all iPods. Make sure to bring the proper wires to connect in cars and to computers. I’m bringing a mini-hard drive to dip my pod in daily. A portable hard drive (pocket-size) is useful when you’re hanging out in a hotel room with some folks who did the same. Note: Those dj mixes make for great late night driving at 80 minutes a clip.
Laptop: In this digital age, every hotel, motel, and Holiday Inn has wireless, so bring it, and be able to log onto Phish Thoughts anywhere you go! And your fantasy baseball team won’t go down the tubes when you don’t set your rotation for a month because you’re disconnected from the world.
Socks, socks, and more socks: I bring as many “freshies” as shows, and then you gotta’ figure you’re living life and not doing a lot of laundry. Someone once told me to bring two times the socks and underwear as days between laundry- take it for what you will.
Atlas and/or GPS: One way or the other, you gotta find your way. Sometimes maps look like spaghetti when you’re really spun, so a GPS may be useful- an iPhone will do the trick these days. But when trying to find that back route around the traffic at Star Lake and Alpine, you better break out that atlas.
AAA Card: A lifesaver in so many situations- make sure someone in your car has one.
Grinder, your favorite rolling papers, lighters, air-tight container, Ozium: If you’re puffing, you gotta have the goods. And if you don’t bring papers, it’s gonna be an EZ Wider and Zig-Zag summer for you.
Gold Bond Medicated Powder: The “voodoo” herb contained within can be the cure for many a summer ailment.
Extra Pair of Shoes: You will use them after getting caught in that post-show downpour.
Rain Gear: There’s no festival this year, but you’ll get caught in a shower at some point and be glad you have it.
Snacks: While convenience stores are one of the most frequented places on tour, they aren’t always so convenient if you’re lost or running late.
Corkscrew, scissors, pocket knife: All handy on too many occasions to not have them, and you can store ‘em any where.
Chargers for all your equipment: Phones, iPods, laptops, and whatever else can be run without a plug.
Now, that’s a good start! If you have most of this tour gear, you’ll be ready for many a tour catastrophe, and be able to avert many others. If you forget any of this stuff, there is always Flying J’s and Walmarts to fill in your gaps, but if you’re prepared, you’ll just keep on rolling.
What other tour gear must you not live without, and what has come through for you in the clutch?
FALL ’97 MIX-UP Pt. 2 RESULTS: A THREE-WAY TIE!
Congratulations to George Fetner, Mark Leporati, and Robert G.! ALL THREE of these guys nailed the setlist track for track- a three-way tie! Honestly, I never expected this to happen, but I guess I made it too easy! Anyhow, after some consultation with the winners, the only fair way to decide who gets the free ticket is to have a high stakes playoff tiebreaker! Today, I will craft a tiebreaker mix of Fall ’97 material to find out who is the true maestro of the tour. I am definitely going to make it more challenging, and I will post it with the Weekend Nuggets for others. I also want to congratulate Phish Thoughts reader, Rolling Papyrus, who only missed the second two tracks. For now, the contest moves on! The track listing to this week’s mix is below.
1. Funk Jam following Possum 12.3, Philadelphia >
2. Ghost 12.2, Philadelphia >
3. Down With Disease 12.29, MSG >
4. Bathtub Gin 11.23, Winston-Salem >
5. Stash 11.23, Winston-Salem >
6. Jam following Johnny B. Goode 11.17, Denver >
7. Mike’s Song 12.31, MSG >
8. AC/DC Bag 11.21, Hampton >
9. Drowned 12.11, Rochester >
10. Gumbo 11.14, Salt Lake City >
11. Wolfman’s Brother 12.31, MSG >
12. Ghost 12.5, Cleveland >
13. Emotional Rescue 11.21, Hampton >
14. Mike’s Song 11.22, Hampton
Trey performed the east cost debut of his orchestral composition, Time Turns Elastic last night with the Baltimore Symphony Orcestra. The setlist is below. It looks like a much Phishier affair than the Nashville premiere!
Trey W/ Baltimore Symphony Orchestra 5.21.09
I: Divided Sky, Brian and Robert, Inlaw Josie Wales*, Water in the Sky*^, Pebbles and Marbles, First Tube
II: Time Turns Elastic, Let Me Lie, Guyute
E: If I Could
* Acoustic Guitar
^ Dedicated to Trey’s nephew (in attendance), son of his sister, Kristy Manning, who recently passed away
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
12.3.99 The Crown, Cincinnati, OH < TORRENT LINK
This is the first night of December ’99’s two night stand in Cincinnati. The more exploratory and psychedelic night, this show was smoking all the way through. No doubt the best playing came in the second set with a heavy, dissonant “Sand,” one of the greatest and most exploratory “Limb By Limbs” ever played, and raging late-’99 “Piper,” one of the best periods of the song.
I: First Tube, Wolfman’s Brother, Bouncing Around the Room, Get Back on the Train, Billy Breathes, AC/DC Bag > Possum, Slave to the Traffic Light
II: Sand*, Limb by Limb, Bug, Piper, Harry Hood
E: Rock and Roll
*With Trey on keys.