One simple flash animation and the entire community was whipped into a frenzy. Leave it to Phish to fuck with us until the end, and if my supposition is right, that is exactly what they are doing. Yesterday, on Phish.com, the Save the Date map saw California lifted off the map by hot air balloons- supposedly meaning the Halloween festival will not be in Indio, CA- the location that everyone and their mother assumed it would be. Due to all of the hype and anticipation, Indio hotels have been booked for weeks and some fans have even gone as far as purchasing plane tickets to southern California! (Questionable decision making in my book.) But with the airlift of California off Phish’s animated map, everything was thrown into question, and the Phish community turned into an all-out freak scene.
It took no time at all for rumors to begin circulating about the festival’s “real ” location, Datelan Army Airfield outside of Yuma, AZ. These rumors spread like wildfire on message boards and Facebook, and before long, people had RVs on lock-down in Phoenix and Tucson for the festival in the middle of the desert. It made sense- an old military airfield out in the middle of nowhere- much like their former festival sites, and it still fit in with the heavily rumored fall dates that start in the southwest and move up the west coast. Leave it to Phish fans- the most obsessive sub-genre of people on this planet- to get to the bottom of this.
All of a sudden, plans were changed. Whether it was Arizona, New Mexico Georgia, or Vegas- all ideas tossed around the web- it wasn’t gonna’ be Indio. Or was it? To be honest, my initial thought was that Phish was pulling a prank on us. But that thought didn’t stop me from booking 30 footers out of Phoenix and Tuscon just in case! But there had been too much talk about Indio; locals had confirmed the plans, there were all the semantic correlations with the suffering date crop of the region, people in the organization freely talked about it at Alpine Valley- and all of a sudden it fell through? It just didn’t feel right.
My first thought was that because the animated California never got destroyed, pillaged, or blackened- like the other eliminated states- it would somehow survive. Possible clue number two- the design on the balloons had arrows pointing up and down- “What goes up, must come down!”- of course. At the end of all this, when all the other states are gone, California would float back down and be presented as the official site. That’s what I thought, but who really knew? I could definitely picture the band members and Flash animators laughing their asses off as they watched the community spin into a tizzy over the newly-created mystery.
And then later in the day, it was discovered that California wasn’t gone at all, it was in Canada! If you held down the command button and pressed “+,” the animation zoomed out showing California-very much intact- hovering over the lower 48. It was brought up that it might just be a fault of the Flash animation, but come on! If they wanted to take California off the map, they would have- bottom line. Theories, obsession, mystery, hype, adrenaline….this is all part of the Phish game too, and five years later, it was funny to be in the midst of another full-on freak scene! Some things never change.
Once people saw California hovering over the country, the consensus seemed to shift back to a festival in Indio, but the mystery is still out there to be solved. Regardless of where Halloween ends up- and I’m 99% sure it will be in Indio- it’s great to see Phish’s prankster spirit alive and well in 2009. Taking their fans on a mental scavenger hunt to find the next site, and boosting their heart rates for a while, the organization shook things up on Monday, making the normally mundane start of the week far more exciting.
It’s so great to have Phish back- not only for the music- but for the sheer excitement they bring to everyday life. Nothing else could have caused such a hectic, yet positive, stir in all of our lives yesterday, and that just speaks to the power of it all. Reason number 1001 why the world is a better place with a happy and healthy Phish around. But keep those reservations- wherever you may have them- because who knows what the next twist will bring!
See you in southern California! Probably.
Phish Thoughts Jam of the Day!
With the new Flash audio player, I thought that I’d add a new feature to the site! Every day I will feature one standout jam to listen to, separate from the day’s post. Sometimes I’ll write a paragraph, sometimes a sentence, but there will always be some quality Phish to listen to every day! You will always be able to download the selection by clicking the orange song header. Enjoy!
Simply put, this changed my life.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
10.11.95 Compton Terrace Tempe, AZ < TORRENT
10.11.95 Compton Terrace Tempe, AZ < MEGAUPLOAD
Rumors spread faster than a California wildfire that the Halloween scene was shifting to Arizona- and it still might! Here is one show that Phish did play in Arizona back in the Fall of ’95. A sparsely populated affair that served as my wife’s first, Phish brought out a great second set featuring the rare “Mike’s > McGrupp > Weekapaug”, a hot second set “Gin,” and a bust-out in “Crossroads.” I love the ’95 Phish, and this one gets glanced over most of the time.
I: Stash, The Old Home Place, Cavern, The Divided Sky, If I Could, Fog That Surrounds, Acoustic Army, Julius, Sample in a Jar
II: Possum, Bathtub Gin, Mound, Mike’s Song > McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Weekapaug Groove > Llama, Suzy Greenberg > Crossroads, Hello Ma Baby, A Day in the Life
E: Chalk Dust Torture
Source: unknown (possibly Tascam PE125 > DAP1) fob?