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. neemor Says:

    Tour will open with Down with Disease.
    And it will stop the Earth’s rotation.

  2. neemor Says:

    Not the first 8 minutes.
    But the last 13.
    And the segue into Wolfman will explode 60% of the heads in the venue.

  3. neemor Says:

    Not the front-row 60%, but the back row 60%.

  4. voopa Says:

    PB – first set.

  5. neemor Says:

    Forget about the Sabotage encore.

    The remaining 60% in the middle will squish into one row purely made possible by sheer joy.

  6. Exree Hipp Says:

    This is a great thread – I went to my first show solo in 2011 (Hollywood Bowl) and don’t really regret it. It opens up new ways to enjoy the show. But looking for friends is the end-all of it.

    Another interesting (I hope) tidbit for the bb today:

    I am in the process of finishing up my first feature film. Any chance we can get some steam behind this thing? There are ways in here to see the trailer and even get a copy of the movie if you are so inclined:


  7. bearito Says:

    Long time BB! Hope everyone is as jacked up about tour as I am!

    Enjoyed your story today Miner.

    I’ve had some amazing experiences in 3.0 solo and met tons of great people. Some I’ll see again and others I will not. All I know for sure is we have an amazing community in Phish.

    Hope to finally meet some of y’all this summer

    Let’s sell out Woostah east coasters! I want dat stream!!!

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    Huge favor to ask anyone with some downtime today. A site has offered to advertise for me and I was hoping someone might be able to create two banner ads that fit the specs:

    Horizontal – 960x80px
    Square – 300x300px

    It is for the book, so you can use any images on phishthoughtsbook.com

    possible? Many thanks in advance…


  9. rivertrance Says:

    my bust out I want is ASIHTOS cuz it’s the shit

    and TMWSIY>AVENU>TMWSIY cuz I haven’t heard it since Alpine and reminds me of some great sets of old I caught back in the day

    that and fuckin tweezer cuz it’s the greatest fuckin song this shit band ever wrote!

    woosta bitches!!!

  10. Exree Hipp Says:

    I’m west coast only for this tour but am psyched to wake up to that Live Phish app stream. Tweezer opener, do it.

  11. rivertrance Says:

    viola you can def hit me up at my custy email weir 5877 google stylee

    then I can hit you with the email I check more frequently.

  12. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Thanks for the clarity voopa.

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    SillyWilly Question of the Day:

    Are the secrets of the world contained in the bass lines of Boris Gardiner?

  14. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Tour Shirt:

    Zeus on his throne saying “Release the Ocelot!”

  15. tzara's Says:

    What’s up BB? This thread and this time of year is bittersweet for me. Probably no shows this year (possibly Denver though) after getting to hit so many last year, and all of them “solo,” meaning surrounded by BB brethren all the way. It was such a great time last year, makes me a little sad I’m not doing it again.

    But that’s OK no-spoiler couch style will do in a pinch.

  16. tzara's Says:

    Ciao @silly & @PB. And @voopa.

  17. SillyWilly Says:

    Shit, Tzara’s.

    pretty busy, huh?

  18. Exree Hipp Says:

    Tzara – did solo mean you met up with bb members at the shows? I went solo legit and it was actually pretty fun. Seeing so many crazy people I wouldn’t have seen otherwise and moving around the Bowl. Was good times.

  19. angryjoggerz Says:

    why no shows this year Tzara’s? I vote for a change of plans.

  20. punkmug Says:

    @BTB. You got “G” mail..

  21. Dr Pronoia Says:

    I love seeing folks from the past pop back up as tour approaches

  22. mr.palmer Says:

    Only show I remember being totally solo for was 12-29-98. I’ve ended up solo plenty of times though, because I needed a change of scene.

  23. angryjoggerz Says:

    I tend to wander around a lot at shows and jump from pockets of friends, etc. I also like to take solo wander jaunts.

  24. MiA Says:

    Why the new MSG kinda sucks right there. So much tougher to do.


  25. Dr Pronoia Says:

    Exactly Mia

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