In an unprecedented move that was hard to wrap one’s head around at the time, Phish and / or authorities called off the opening night of Northerly Island one song deep in the second set. After a sluggish opening half, the band dropped a spirited “Down With Disease” that ended far too quickly for a “Prince Caspian” that never happened. Page got up from his piano—a move many thought was in reaction to the ripcorded—to inform Trey that the concert had been called off. Lightening in the distance was the reason provided, but the massive storm that was coming never materialized. In fact, across town Pearl Jam took a two-hour set break and played until two in the morning. This is the second bush league fiasco of tour that could have been avoided with any level of forethought.

7/19 Official (R. Kelly)

7/19 Official (R. Kelly)

Everyone knew the storm was coming from early afternoon, but why should be last night be any different from SPAC, Jones Beach, Merriweather or Alpharetta? Phish has played through storms far more severe than the one in Chicago last night all tour long. And let’s be serious—this was no lightening storm. The show should have continued. By the time everyone had found their way home, the rain had stopped and Pearl Jam was taking the stage. Granted they had a later curfew, but these are the situations for which rock stars have millions of dollars. I can name at least ten shows off the top of my head that took place in for worse conditions than last night. Everything that happened on Friday reeked of poor form, and here’s what could have happened.

Phish announces—via social media—that are starting promptly at 7pm due to impending storms. The band takes the stage for real, not with a worthless first set, and plays—without a break—through 9:30pm and sends everyone home dry and happy. Instead, they waste the only time we had with meaningless music, take a setbreak, and come back as if all is progressing as planned. Who makes these decisions?

I don’t feel bad for myself or the kids on tour, they’ll see the rest of the shows. But what about the people who flew to Chicago for three shows? What about the people who could only come to last night’s show? One would assume Phish will come out with their biggest show of tour tomorrow night. They almost have to. How bout playing two improve based sets instead of one? How bout playing three sets tomorrow? Something? Anything? Buller? Bueller?

I: Suzy Greenberg, Wolfman’s Brother, Backwards Down the Number Line, It’s Ice, The Moma Dance , My Soul, Scent of a Mule, 46 Days, Limb By Limb, Julius

II: Down with Disease > Prince Caspian*

*aborted at least 30 minutes before any rain hit

Tags: ,

707 Responses to “Really?”

  1. kayatosh Says:

    dl’ed the LP sbd form last night.

    setting the intention of watching tonight’s webcast uninterrupted, top to bottom. still smarting from my inability to focus last night. sometimes life gets in the way of phish enjoyment.

    what time (EST) do you think they’ll start tonight?

  2. kayatosh Says:

    dl’ed the LP sbd from last night.

    setting the intention of watching tonight’s webcast uninterrupted, top to bottom. still smarting from my inability to focus last night. sometimes life gets in the way of phish enjoyment.

    what time (EST) do you think they’ll start tonight?

  3. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Attempted a webcast after dinner party last night at my house. Nobody dug it and I had to turn it off as week started;(
    I jokingly asked everybody to please leave. Set 3 in bed on headphones. Glad it crushed last night!

  4. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    SillyWilly Says:
    July 21st, 2013 at 12:33 am
    headed out on the blue line
    whole train is phish kids. everyones glowing.
    a few random pockets of townies totally confused by the carnival

    This is always one of my favorite aspects of the post show havoc and mayhem inflected upon the local community.

    Weirdness abounds!

  5. Chitown Throwdown Says:

    Sure it sucked to have been evacuated, especially with the expectation of a delay and confusion as to whether or not it was a delay or canceled. And, sure it sucked to hear that PJ went back on and played until 2 am. But what you need to understand is this: Northerly does not have any permanent structure to provide shelter. Every thing from the beer tents to the speaker towers pose considerable risk in strong storms, and no one wants another Sugarland. The storm did come in, twice. As brief as the two waves were, it was a downpour. The only places we 30,000 had to take cover we’re under awnings and in entry ways of the museums on campus. This is all outside of the boundaries of the venue. So, it was, in fact, a wise decision to cancel for the safety of the fans. Additionally, the compensation Phish offered was surprisingly more generous than I expected. A 3-set show AND partial refund?!? I’ll take it! While the 3-set show may have had it’s disappointing aspects, keep in mind that it was thrown together the day of, and the 30 min extended curfew didn’t leave a lot of room for them to throw down lengthy jams. There was a lot of music to play in less time than is typically available for a 3-setter. The phiner moments always outweigh the phails for me…

  6. dusty Says:

    Morning all. A little Parkour POV for your morning coffee. Kinda wish all 2nd sets flowed like this:

  7. phishnin Says:

    Also, the band members all respect each other more than to call someone out for “ripcording.” a song.

    Grow up, people. Phish has.

Leave a Reply