As we approach tomorrow with utmost anticipation, there is more coming back into focus than just simply the music-the Phish community is reuniting for the first time since 2004. These shows will serve as a family reunion, a funked-out fashion show, and carry the optimism and excitement of the first day of school. We are all standing at our own bus stops, waiting for the big yellow vehicle to whisk us off to a new place. Those butterflies and that unpredictability that we felt heading into elementary school are very present as we re-enter the school of Phish.
As the scene descends on Hampton and its surrounding area, crews are reuniting, old friends are in touch via text, email and phone for the first time in years, and we will all surely bump into folks we haven’t seen since the muddy bog of Coventry. As the saying goes- “The gang is back together”- and it’s never been so sweet! The reunion will go beyond simply the people in each crew, but will extend to the acquaintances that everyone made on tour. Maybe not the people you hung with until 6 am every night, but the people you raged shows and shared moments with- faces and names you thought you might never need to recall are back in play- so dig deep in the recesses of your memory for the identities of these parallel travelers! As the R & B song goes, “Reunited and it feels so good.”
In addition the reunion aspect of this weekend, the shows are shrouded in mystery. Similar to the first day of first grade- this spectacle holds all the wonder in the world. For school the questions were, “What would your teacher be like?” “How would the other kids be; would they be nice?” “How would you be treated?” You always picked out a special outfit- or maybe your parents did- to sport on this special occasion- and Hampton is not all that different. Fans will be funked out to the nines to celebrate the return of our dreams, and that unknown excitement and wonder we will feel walking through the threshold of The Mothership won’t be so dissimilar from the swirling emotions that flooded our little heads as we proudly carried our new lunchbox into the classroom for the first time. What will “the teacher” be like? How will all the new kids be? What will it be like? The dynamic is similar- though I’m not so sure any of us felt quite like this before any school year! This beginning of 3.0 puts us all on a level playing field, each with our own new lunchbox, starting the same grade together.
As our family and friends come back to the source of our undying Utopian vision, there is a revitalized energy in each and every one of us, that when combined will reach epic proportions. Our creativity and expression are part and parcel of who we are, and when so much palpable spirit is contained in one round room, the possibilities become limitless- beyond Phish, beyond ourselves, into something far greater. Who knows what will happen? And that mystery is so much of the fun!
Before long, we will be discussing how the first show was instead of wondering ad infinitum what will happen. The anticipation has grown to the point of bursting, and it’s just about time to pop that bubble. Tomorrow, we will have answers. Tomorrow, we start anew. Tomorrow the stars will realign and the universe will subtly shift back into order. Tomorrow…
What looked to be a mini-Mothership was yesterday found to be a “Welcome” sign in front of the venue, with it likely being part of a security “corral” allowing people to enter in an orderly fashion and prevent gate crashing. I’ve heard there may be hired outside security guards rather than the usual Hampton employees as well- we shall see. According to reports from people in Hampton already, there is a significantly increased police presence in the surrounding area, so be safe people! In unrelated news, I read here that Phish are trying to crack down on the sale of bootleg merchandise in the lot, a staple of years past. Interesting developments. In more interesting news, check out this New York Times article about their rehearsals, the best jam in five years, and how they are planning to be around a while ! All Hampton Photos by Meaty.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
11.4.94 Onondaga War Memorial, Syracuse NY < TORRENT LINK
Here we have another treat from November ’94. As Phish geared up for the last month of a phenomenal tour, they pulled into their extended home turf in Syracuse, NY. This second set is a winner with a monster “Mike’s Groove” and capped with a “Slave.” The first set provides a visit to Gamehendge via “Forbin’s > Mockingbird” and an oddly-placed, yet well-played mid-set “Bowie.”
I: Sample in a Jar, It’s Ice, Bouncing Around the Room, David Bowie, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Famous Mockingbird, Scent of A Mule, Suzy Greenberg, Chalk Dust Torture
II: The Curtain > Mike’s Song > Simple > Mike’s Song > Tela > Weekapaug Groove, Ya Mar, Golgi Apparatus, Slave to the Traffic Light
E: Loving Cup, Rocky Top