Getting Ready for Phish’s Summer Tour

As summer approaches and Phish tickets are being secured, I suddenly find myself listening to less and less Disco Biscuits and more and more Phish. I guess this might be rather odd, but I don’t listen to Phish very often during the off tour months. I pretty much have Disco Biscuits blasting 24/7 (literally, we’ve listened to The Disco Biscuits perform at The Rave, 9-14-2001 every single night for the past 2 years). But as I begin to make plans for summer tour, the butterflies return to my stomach, a smile seems to be perma-glued to my face, and I spend way too much time revisiting old shows, putting playlists together for the trips, finding the best versions of my favorite songs and generally acting like a kid in a candy shop, except for I like SkullCandy, hold the sweet, pour on the funk.

And with a band like Phish, you can keep yourself entertained indefinitely for years and still never hear all the gems that are out there. But you got to start somewhere! Right now I’m making a “Best of Playlist” of my favorite versions of my favorite songs. It’s actually more like a Phantasy Show. If I could pull together the best of the best and put it all together in one show, what would my perfect show look like? I can tell you there certainly won’t be any Joy in my Phantasy set. Nor Caspian, nor Circus, fuck-no Rocky Top. And there sure as hell won’t be any Show of Life. And if I hear a note of anything from Farmhouse, I’m catching the next flight to Camp Bisco. There would be however, Double-Tweeprize, et al Comcast Theater 2010. There will also be the dirtiest, darkest, Type III Pornofunk funk jammed out versions of My Friend, My Friend, Harry Hood and Carini. And you better make room for lots and lots of Talking Heads covers. And of course, there will be truly fire piano, the type of down and dirty, Bathtub Ginning, spotlight stealing, keyboard mastery that you’d be willing to take Cars Trucks or Buses to check out live and in-person from the one rock ‘n roll keyboardist on the planet capable of pounding out such ingenious chords, topping himself year after year and always bring something new to the table the one and only, master of ivory’s and of my heart, the one Phish member who practices all year long and never gives a half assed performance – Page McConnell! (imagine my voice is like Oprah right there, summoning her guest on the stage.)

But don’t worry, it won’t all be Pages Houses. I’m going to have a balanced show. No one appreciates it more than me when Mike cuts lose and and gives us a little of that hip-shakin’, booty-rockin’, body-groovin’, soul-stirrin’ bass he plays so well. In my fantasy set, you don’t have to hold back Mike, I’ll keep mean ol’ Trey from squashing your moments of genius.  Just keep me dancing, dirty and raunchy, till the wee hours of the morning. Gimme a Bowie the way only you know how. I’ll be your Funky Bitch. Come and Boogie with this Reggae Woman. With your bass and my body, I’m sure we could have fun all night long and two ways till Tuesday, to boot 😉

Don’t worry Trey, I haven’t forgotten about you. You will hold the same place in my Phantasy show as you do in real life. I might make fun of your sensitivities, and compare you to a pansy-girl every now and then, but it’s all in good jest. I know who the creative powerhouse is behind Fluffhead. Only you can deliver a Tweezer the way it’s meant to be done. And you cover Heads songs the way David Byrne wished he could have performed them if he had even had an iota of the guitar shedding skill you have in your little finger. And while I might mock some of the “Gamehendge” story line for being ridiculously cheesy, I don’t judge you for it. You didn’t have time come up with some stupid story line when you were busy composing what is probably the most genius body for Rock ‘n Roll narrative ever to be created. And while Barber’s Hot Air Balloon plot puts your little Gamehendge fantasy to shame, we got Punch You In The Eye, Wilson, AC/DC Bag, Axilla I and II, Llama, Possum, and the list goes on and on. So please Trey, know that my jests are all in good fun. Leave the vocal jams and Barbershop Quartet shit at home, and you’ll have the leading role in my Phantasy show.

Fishman, just keep the beat, wear that dress and keep the Suzy Greenberg vocals fun, yet understated, and please, please leave the tuck at home, and will be solid. Remember, there’s always room for more cowbell 😉

So as I prepared and psyche myself up for a summer of life music brought to us by the best Rock ‘n Roll musicians on the entire planet, (and dare I suspect… universe(?), I thought I’d share the love a little and post some of my favorite Phish songs through here on this blog for you to listen to, too. Then maybe, just maybe, a little of my excitement will catch on and someone else will soon realize the golden opportunity we still have, even in Phish 3.0, so see some of the best musicians of our time play all summer long just for us!

I know that I’ve always been a bit more passionate about music, especially live music, than is typical. I don’t expect everyone to live and breathe and sustain themselves on live music the way I do. But it still just amazes me how hard it is to get people to appreciate what’s right there in front of them. I’ve bought dozens of friends Phish tickets and I never asked for a dime. I just wanted them to recognize what was going on that stage, and yet out of the 15 or so friends I’ve dragged along, not a single one of them had any interest in going to another one. Even though they all swore up and down how amazing it was. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make them drink. And if you don’t have Rock ‘n Roll in your bones, then I guess you just don’t. I don’t know how you can you can keep your body moving and breathing without feeding it music, but that’s just me again I guess. Lucky, I’ve met some awesome people at shows, including my boyfriend. The people who “get” Phish are by-and-large some of the most pleasant, smart – very smart I’m talking lots of engineers and scientists, open minded to others and to personal life experiences and just overall good people. I’m sure our mutual love for Phish is what drew me and my SO together and what kept us together, at least to start. Obviously it’s evolved since then. But when you have someone else to share that experience with you, someone who really “gets its”, it can be a powerfully bonding experience. Phish’s 3-night run over Labor Day at Dick’s Sporting Goods Arena, Commerce, CO is actually where we got together. I mean, we met when I sold him a Trey Anastasio Band ticket for 4 hits of acid, but then after going to Phish’s 3-day, 1-band festival, Super Ball IX together, as well as a handful of other live shows to fill up the time before Phish’s summer tour (Galactic, DSO, JGB, Thievery Corporation, that kind of thing), by the time the first Dick’s came around, it just felt natural. So this third year of Dick’s will be our third anniversary as well. I couldn’t have ask for a better anniversary celebration than three nights of Phish every year. Ah, I hope it never stops. Actually  that Phish festival that I mentioned earlier, that was originally supposed to be my honeymoon, before a serious of sour events that resulted in me calling off the wedding and subsequently asking my new Phish phriend to go with me. It’s nice to know neither of us will ever have to compromise. It will never be one of us giving up with week in St. Tropez to go tag along to a Phish show. There is no place that either of us would rather be and come hell or high water we’ll make it happen. Even if it means giving up heroin. Phish summer tour is the only thing in idk, 11 years I guess now that I have willingly and voluntarily given up junk for.  For those of you who might not be addicted, that might now sound like that impressive. But trust me on this one, even giving up three days a week can feel tantamount to swearing a blood oath of life-long sobriety. But each time I’ve put the work in to get clean for tour, it’s always paid off. For the only time in my life three days can pass easily with no heroin, because I’ve got something better. So much better. And anyway – blasting a bowl of DMT on a head full of acid during the middle of a fire Maze – Kuroda lights all a-blaze, lighting the stage on fire – all other drugs, including heroin, suddenly seem like kiddies play. Mmm. It’s going to be so good, again this year.

So, that you’ve had a little voyeuristic peak at how wet my panties get for good Rock ‘n Roll. I’ll leave you with another choice video. I hope you enjoy. Remember  Phish is listeners music. You have to really pay attention to get the subtle nuances that build on each other to comprise the whole piece. So put your head phones (preferably noise cancelling), turn your cell phones to vibrate, shut down your email and close your eyes. I don’t expect everyone to have the same reaction I do, but I’m sure you’ll get something out of it.

Light – 2012-09-01, Dick’s Sporting Goods Arena, Commerce, CA


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