Sunday marked the eleven-year anniversary of my first Phish show. So, I thought I’d take a moment to celebrate the occasion by telling you about that show, as I experienced it. Your first Phish show basically sets the stage for all the rest you go to after it, defines the perspective by which you perceive all that follow. And it is generally accepted that you can’t really understand Phish until you see them live. As my friend, The Goat, can tell you from his recent experience in Camden-you can listen to Phish for 13 years, but feel like you don’t quite “know” until you finally see them for the first time, 13 years later.
For my money, this show represents what I love most about Phish. Tension and release, peaks and valleys, quiet then loud then quiet, segues, teases, covers, songs I’d heard before, songs I’d never heard before (at this point, I’d heard only a small percentage of their catalog, mostly from albums, so there was still so much discovery ahead, ah, things were so fresh then, so young), dissonant and difficult to listen to, beautiful and flowing, fun and bouncy, dark and haunting. It was all here in this show. And this was back when they basically didn’t make mistakes. Especially Trey. Notes weren’t missed. Everything sounded like it was all worked out backstage before hand, and yet, as if it was all coming from that moment in time. I don’t know how they do this, but they do.
At the time that I saw this, I’d been listening to them about two years. But not religiously. I was kind of a fan. But really, I was a big Dave Matthews Band fan. I hadn’t been hooked yet. That would all change the moment they walked out on stage, picked up and climbed into their respective instruments, and without saying so much as a word, sauntered into the opening notes of Roggae. Read the rest of this entry ?