My First Phish Show

Posted: February 19, 2018 in Celebrity, Entertainment, Music
Tags: , , , , ,


I’ve seen a lot of concerts. The notches on my belt include Metallica with an Orchestra, Pantera, Ozzy, The Big 4 (Metallica, Anthrax, Slayer, and Megadeth), GWAR, Motorhead (I snuck backstage and met Lemmy), and Guns N Roses just to name a few. But one band has dogged me all my life: Phish.

My history with Phish is complicated. Growing up in Bronxville, you couldn’t avoid Phish (or Dave Matthews for that matter). The Phish/Grateful Dead culture was part of the town’s DNA. Why? (Because it was better than Dave Matthews?) I don’t know, I listened to Pantera and Metallica, Phish was not on my radar but all my friends listened so I was familiar with their music and respected their talent, but long improvisational jams was not my cup of tea.

So what made me go to Phish on New Years Eve? A combination of things. Osmosis. I had heard so much Phish from hanging out with my friends that I knew them through osmosis. My friends would travel with the band. I got curious and decided to attend a Phish show.

Of all the shows to pick, I chose New Years Eve. When I told my friend’s I was going they said, “You picked an intense one.” And on paper it is. Three sets starting at 7:00 and going until 1:00am. A long show, but honestly, nothing someone that went to OzzFest couldn’t handle. So, what happened?

I had a great time at the show. They played more songs then I thought they’d play. I went in expecting the band to start their set with one song and jam all the way until the end of the set. I was pleasantly surprised that not only did I get to hear songs, but ones I recognized. (Character Zero, You Enjoy Myself, Free, Fluffhead, Golgi Apparatus, The MoMa Dance, Prince Caspian). I also loved the light show, the cannon countdown to January first, and to finally see the famous “Trampoline Jam” (during You Enjoy Myself) in person. But what most impressed me was the community.

While my friend’s and I were scattered throughout the Garden, I got to know the people sitting next to me and in my section. I met people who travelled all the way from North Carolina and Colorado just to see this show. I met a woman who got her “50th Show” pin. They were all very welcoming and did everything they could to keep me hyped for the rest of the show. They remind me of Star Wars, Star Trek, Transformers, Marvel, and Giants (or whatever sports team you cheer) fans. A deep loyalty and that’s something to be admired. They remind me of Pantera fans. In high school whether I wrestled or ran cross country, if I wore a Pantera shirt someone on the other team would shout “Pantera!” and after competition they’d come up to me to talk about how much they loved Pantera. It was camaraderie through music. I haven’t felt such loyalty to a band until I attended Phish.

Did I enjoy my first Phish show? Yes I did! Will I go to another one? Yes, I will. Will I travel long distances to see them? One step at a time.

To finish up, my friend who celebrated her 50th show sent me a video of the show. Since Phish fandom spread through tape trading, I thought I’d share with all of you. Enjoy.


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