As people continue to stress about tickets and plan for Saturday, Trey is opening his eight show run at Roseland tonight. Amidst the hype and excitement- now exponentially greater with ticket mania- this should be an adrenaline filled run for Trey and fans alike. Simply knowing that madness is around the corner is enough to make these shows all the more significant and exciting. To make sure everyone is in the loop with what is going on out there on the road, I’ll be bringing you post-show reports, and for most of the shows (not Roseland) will have crispy AUDs up by the morning with some highlights to listen to right on the site as you read the reviews!
Much anticipation is already focused on the fourth show of the tour, an appearance at Burlington’s Higher Ground. By far the hardest ticket on the run, stubs went for upwards of $200 to get into this show in which the possibilities are endless. The band apparently had a certain amount of tickets reserved for friends and family for this benefit for Trey’s Seven Below Arts Initiative. Everything about this show screams something special. Rumors of Phish surfacing for the second set have already swirled, though a full band performance seems somewhat unlikely. You know Mike will probably sit in, as he is Higher Ground’s resident “sit-in”guest, and with Ray’s full keyboard set up on stage, Page could easily hop up on a whim. Once three are up there, why not four? In all likelihood, it will be a straight up Trey show, but just considering what might happen is enough to get the heart moving a little faster.
In addition to the highly anticipated Roseland opener, stops at Albany’s classic Palace Theatre, Boston’s Orpheum Theatre, and Richmond’s new swanky room, The National, provide shows to look forward to. The explosion of cheers in Manhattan tomorrow night will be deafening, as the energy may exceed Trey’s comeback show in Brooklyn, because this now all means something a lot more to a lot of people.
With a possible New Year’s run or show, these eight nights maybe the last we see of Trey until he, with Phish, steps foot on stage in Hampton. I highly doubt he will squeeze anything into January and February- hopefully those months are reserved for Phish’s practice sessions in the Barn, to hone their new and old material with the goal of coming back far sharper and more daring than last time. Not only on the mind of fans, Trey has got to be thinking similarly as he embarks on his first and last tour between his personal comeback and his band’s comeback.
This is a celebratory time in the Phish universe. Not since Miami ’03 has there been so much unbridled excitement in the scene. While that June run of ’04 shows was amazing musically, there was an impending sense that “the end” was near. Now, with nothing but more Phish in sight, the horizon is brighter than ever. In an unexpected case of course-correction, the universe has delivered us back to our fields of collective joy. After years lost on the mysterious Phish-less island, not knowing if we’d ever get home, the wheel has been turned, and we have been transported into a new existence, where possibilities are again endless.
While many are waiting for March to hop back on, Trey is taking whoever will come on a ten-day adventure through the Northeast, reacquainting himself, and all of us, to the wonders of being together again. With little ability to predict what is in store for these eights crazy nights, the anticipation is on the rise. Trey is ready, we are ready- lets’s go!
TICKET UPDATE: So it seems that someone is thinking straight. Ticket Master has now added “3-Day Packages” for Hampton, so that you can buy all three shows at once! Again, most likely an attempt to shoo away one-ticket holders- you can be sure that if you get in, you WILL get all three shows. This is also a double-edged sword, because now tickets will disappear in less than a split-second now, but at least those who are lucky enough to get tickets don’t have the awkward position of figuring out what to do with their one ticket for the third night. Good luck folks, the people who hook it will be set!
12.13.97 Pepsi Arena Albany, NY < LINK (single tracks)
Through the work of community member Paul Shapera Gwynne-Craig, we have a remastered copy of a classic show here. The final show on one of Phish’s most beloved tours, this one has it all. A first set that features a out of nowhere twenty minute Yamar opener, and a peak ’97 Tube prepared the audience for an all out raging second frame. Combining standout versions of Ghost, Mike’s, Hood, and Weekapaug, this was the perfect show to wrap up a perfect tour. Bring in the Dude! Thanks, Paul!
I: Ya Mar, Axilla, Theme From the Bottom, Ginseng Sullivan, Strange Design, Sample in a Jar, Vultures, Tube, Good Times Bad Times
II: NICU, Punch You in the Eye, Ghost, Mike’s Song# > Llama, When the Circus Comes, Weekapaug Groove > Catapult > Weekapaug Groove, Harry Hood*
E: My Soul, The Squirming Coil
J. Willis Pratt and Weird Bionic opened. #During which the band chants, “Bring in the Dude!”, referring not to Steve Pollak but to Trey, as there was apparently a jovial dispute about who the real “Dude of Life” is. Fish calls on Mike to “bring in the Dude” and the band stops and lets Mike play a crazy, effect-laden bass solo. Then Trey asks Fish to let him “bring in the Dude”. Fishman lets him, and bands stops to let Trey play a wah-wah solo. Then Page “brings in the Dude” with the clavinet. Fish doesn’t “bring in the Dude”. *With lights off and a glow stick war.