Going Alone

If you find yourself with a ticket to a show this summer, but nobody to go with, just go, because who knows what could happen.

I’ve only arrived to one Phish show alone—11.17.97—and it fundamentally changed the course of my life. I graduated in Spring ’97 and come Fall, my closest show-going cohorts of ’95 and ’96 were off doing other things. Thus, Fall ’97 represented a transition in my Phish life. I planned to do different parts of the tour with different friends, and I was planning on going to the Denver shows with my non-Phish buddy, Leaguer. After a particularly hectic first night, suffice it to say, he had no desire to go back to the circus. Thus, I brewed up some mushroom tea at his Boulder apartment, put it in a Nalgene bottle for the show and headed down to Denver on my own.

I had a floor ticket for the evening, but when I went to my seat, I noticed plenty open up ahead. I walked up a section or two and found an aisle seat, asked if it was taken and sat down. As is usually the case, these guys told me they weren’t in their seats either, but I was welcome to stay there. We talked before the show for a while, officially meeting each other. Then the lights dropped and the infamous first set started with “Tweezer.” Taking gargantuan Phish jams to the dome one after another, we all bounced behind the seats into the larger space in between sections and blew it up. After the set ended, a bunch of their friends found their way to the floor and I met a series of people that I would never remember the next day, let alone the next hour. I hung out with the original two people I had met for the whole show, said good bye and went on my way back to Leaguer’s.

Fast-forward to Cleveland two weeks later. In a story far too absurd to get into, I broke away from the girl I went to the show found a platform to rage on my own. In the middle of the first set someone surprised me by saying my name and passing me a bowl. I turned around, not recognizing the person at all, and he explained that he had met me back in Denver during setbreak. Things immediately made sense and we hung out and raged the set together. For reasons still to absurd to get into, I had every desire to find some some new people to hang out with, and joined them behind the stage during setbreak to puff joints. I re-met the same guy and girl—Jon and Sarah—that I sat next to in Denver. I continued meeting people from their extensive group of friends—all from their hometown—and I got along well with all of them. I wound up hanging out with some form of their group of friends for the next couple shows before they hopped off. Good peeps.

Fast Forward to Europe ’98. Jon—the original guy I met in Denver—was spending the summer in Prague, and we met up at The Grey Hall on the first night of tour in Copenhagen. As we introduced each other to our respective friends, one of the guys I met that night became my tour comrade and co-psychonaut through 2009, and one of the girls I met became my wife. Ever since that Europe tour, I, more or less, merged with their extensive group of friends for the duration of 1.0, 2.0, beyond Phish tour, and still to this day.

SO…if you don’t have a partner in crime for any given Phish show this summer, you should go anyway—you just might find your wife!



Everyone was a noob at one point, and we all sought information about the scene from anywhere and everywhere. Just recently, fan, Brent Nichols, sent me a link to “Phish: A Guide For Beginners” that he had written. If you’re reading this blog, odds are you don’t need to read his, but his piece serves as a great resource for that person in your life who just won’t listen to you about your favorite band. Check it out…

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357 Responses to “Going Alone”

  1. sumodie Says:

    Yup that’s shakedown

  2. Plord Says:

    Urghh. Pulled the siding off the North side of the house today and found evidence of two kinds of bug. Hopefully the “I bet there is mold” allowance we put into the budget can handle bug removal instead. Replacing about the same amount of wood/framing so maybe so. Maybe not.

    Not sure how I will be able to concentrate at all this week between loud house construction and imminent Phish.

  3. joe Says:

    going with the Dead at the Centrum 4-7-88 for tonight’s soundtrack. Have never heard it, but felt like something from the venue.


  4. DocGanz Says:

    So, this might have been covered sometime during the past week, but just saw an article on jambands dot com where Jim James of MMJ was bitching that he couldn’t do his NYE show at MSG like he wanted to cause Phish had booked it for four years. wonder how they feel about him spilling that

  5. snow Says:

    If anybody wants to join my groupme.com group for the Bader Field/Atlantic City shows, send me your phone number or email addy. snowbank bb @geemail

  6. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Yes! Gagne in the lineup tonight… like they even need him.

  7. jdub Says:

    A lil’ disappointed in my new England brethren for not selling out DCU center. Another reason for Phish to tear the roof off the sucka and make the doubters cry in their cereal the next morning.

  8. DocGanz Says:

    Just read the comments from last night re: GoT. I enjoy the show, but maybe more to see the books come to life. This season takes you about 300 pages into Book 3, so it covers approximately 1400 pages of densely plotted novel into approximately 600 minutes of viewing. The acting is good, the sets are good, I think its an admirable adaptation and I’m enjoying it, but its a box of 8 crayons compared to a box of 128- so much more detail, internal thought processes, meaning behind action when you read it. My two cents

  9. halcyon Says:

    Tried for Neil Tickets for Red Rocks except the only ones available were the 150.00 ones 🙁

    So both potential job prospects called my references today…. I believe job offers are impending….major life changes comin…. excited and nervous as f***

  10. stapes Says:

    @ halcyon – where are the potential jobs located? Hope fatherhood is treating you well.

  11. jdub Says:

    I heard that about MSG @Doc.

    Is James just messing Phishies?

  12. joe Says:

    this centrum show is surprisingly pretty good. audio quality very good.

  13. joe Says:

    and good luck Halcyon

  14. halcyon Says:

    @ Stapes

    Westminster & Massachusetts.

    Fatherhood is awesome.

    Hope your doing well. How is the nuptial planning going?

  15. jdub Says:

    Good luck Halcy! Never a bad thing to have two nice job offers.

  16. MiA Says:

    Good luck Halcy. You’ll get two offers adding to the dilemma. Which is good.

  17. phoammhead Says:

    portsmouth re-release

  18. halcyon Says:

    Thanks friends! Nothing is certain until it is certain, yet everything happened fast (within a week’s time)…. I am trying to hold off one offer to await the second offer which is the job I want.

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Nice, Patti Smith opening for Neil in NYC. Maybe i can get a comp?

    spinning some fall ’97 to get amped. 12.5.97 to be exact.

    DF- Not tonight my friend, not tonight….

  20. stapes Says:

    Trying to keep wedding plans simple and easy @Hal. Just super busy all around right now. Feel like my summer is flying by already.
    Best of luck with whatever happens.

  21. tzara's Says:

    “Nice, Patti Smith opening for Neil in NYC. Maybe i can get a comp?”

    Damn, that’s a dream matchup for me. Saw Patti at a small club here a couple years ago and it was a religious experience. She’s a legend.

    Saw Sonic Youth open for Neil back in ’91 (damn I’m old) and that was more feedback guitar noise than I’ve ever experienced, before or since.

  22. tzara's Says:

    Have a little bachelor night for a while here. Starting with: Martini w/lemon twist-> 12/28/95 tweezer. Should be a good warmup. What should I listen to after?

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    12.28.98 Wolfman’s, tzara’s

  24. tzara's Says:

    @palms, I actually have that one on CD, will cue it up next. Thanks. This is my 2nd time through this tweezer and it is epic. Such a different sound than the late ’90s.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I just turned it on as well, been a while.

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