Thanks to a ridiculous ground score by Chet in the Camden parking lot, our last night on tour before heading to a couple weddings was outrageous! Phish rocked the crap out of Canandaigua, NY in what was a pretty randomly placed show between the MD shows and the July shows down south.
Phish started off with ‘The Connection,’ which is not exactly a sweet opener but they played it well. Then the show really got started with a good ‘Down With Disease.’ It’s funny, there are a few songs that Phish will play that can be played a number of ways and sound equally as great each time. This is one of them. It could be 20 minutes long or 5 minutes long and it has a profound impact.
After ‘Disease’ Phish played ‘Sample in a Jar’ and ‘Ocelot,’ a favorite off of Joy. The set really picked up here, with Phish blasting into a great ‘Reba.’ Luke, Chet, Gypsy and I had gotten completely separated at this point and I remember thinking, “Out of all these dancing spunions how am I going to find them?”
Then I looked to my left and saw Gypsy’s face melting off to the ‘Reba’ jam. We climbed up the hill and chilled under a tree for a bit, eventually getting ahold of Chet and Luke. ‘Horn’ and an awesome ‘Funky Bitch’ followed. Then there was ‘Undermind.’ This song off their 2004 album Undermind has turned into a killer live tune.
“I lost it during ‘Undermind,’ man,” Luke Burkett said when he found us under the tree. “That jam was incredible.”
Phish finished off the first set with Lynard Skynard cover, ‘The Ballad of Curtis Loew’ and then ‘David Bowie.’ It was a pretty good first set, with ‘Reba’ and ‘Undermind’ as the real highlights.
Set two was just plain awesome. It started off with ‘Possum.’ After being on tour for a bit, you get to see a lot of ‘Possums’ and they all have a bit of a unique twist of energy differential. This second set opener set the tone for a really upbeat set.
It was followed by an exceptionally trippy ‘Mike’s Song.’ Usually this would trigger into ‘I am Hydrogen’ and ‘Weekapaug Groove.’ Not tonight, and I was pumped about hearing ‘Simple’ follow ‘Mike’s Song.’ It was the first ‘Simple’ we had heard this tour, since we had to miss the Virginia show for a false alarm work call. Grrr.
‘Simple’ was nasty, but our the favorite of the night for Gypsy and I was ‘I Am The Walrus.’ Gypsy is a Beatles fanatic and went bonkers when they started playing this, which was actually the first time Phish had covered the song. It was just another great Beatles cover by Phish. In fact, they seem to kill it on most covers lately. See Merriweather’s ‘Jumpin’ Jack Flash’ if you don’t believe us.
“This is my favorite show because of the Beatles cover,” Gypsy said as she spun around in circles on the lawn. “This makes my life!”
‘Weekapaug Groove’ came next and played nicely into ‘Limb by Limb.’ They haven’t done the cool vocal jam out of ‘Limb by Limb’ since Chicago, and I’ve been waiting for it. Still, very nicely done here. Another Gypsy favorite, ‘Joy,’ came next. While it’s corny as anything has ever been, you can’t help but love and sing along to this tune.
A nasty ‘Harry Hood’ and crowd uplifter ‘Golgi Apparatus’ finished up the terrific set. Phish encored with ‘First Tube’ and Trey was especially into this one. He was head banging and really ripping the guitar on this one. While it’s the thumping bass line by Mike during this song that usually gets me, the youthful enthusiasm displayed by Trey hit me hard.
This summer has made us realize that we are truly blessed to be doing what we are doing. As we sit in our cheap hotel room, making cheap steak on a cheap skillet, we reflect on our tour. So many phaces, so many places. Sometimes you’ve got money, sometimes you don’t. But you always have people and music.
This was the last show this leg of the tour and we’re truly sad about it. Now we struggle to pay rent and do real life activities instead of selling waters and burritos on lot to get by. You really never feel poor when you’re on tour. No matter what your bank account may say, as long as you’ve got tickets in your hand and a friend to jam out with you are set.
As Hunter Thompson said, “Buy the Ticket Take the Ride.” And if you can’t buy the ticket, show up and hope for a miracle. They do exist. Or as Gypsy often says, “Take the ride, but don’t buy the ticket.”
Keep reading throughout the summer about festival season and any news about Phish. For those of you at Nateva or down in Georgia seeing Phish, I’m truly jealous and hope you are enjoying heaven. On that note, see you in Berkeley! No tickets here yet, but there is no way we are missing it.