Phish @ Jones Beach 06.02.2009

I have had a  bittersweet feeling about Phish reuniting again ever since I heard the news of them getting back together.  Sweet because I will now again be able to see one of my favorite live bands of all time.  I will be able to go to the large venues that I miss because no other band can play them.  I will be able to enjoy the community that Phish creates at their shows.  Bitter because I put that part of my life away.  I come to the fact that Phish was done and was never coming back.  I was very upset when they announced that they would be breaking up, but I got over it.  I finally accepted the fact that I would never be able to see Phish again and I was alright with that.  I was on to new and different things.

So 5 years have passed and PHISH is back.  I was locked out of all the the lotteries to get any Phish tickets.  Thankfully, they announced another day at Jones Beach, so I was able to purchase tickets.

It has been 5 years since June of 2004 since I have last seen Phish.  I was pumped to be able to go see them after so many years.  It will be good to see Trey on stage with the boys.  Not his lame ass Trey band.  I was excited to see Trey in his natural surroundings.  See him in that familiar setting again.  The drive from Jersey to Jones Beach sucked.  2 hours of way too much traffic.  Such a pain in da ass to get to Jones Beach during rush hour, but I finally parked around 6:15 by my boys car.

A week before Stack and I almost got killed in a tornado down at Del Fest, but that is a story for another day.  Today is suppose to be all about Phish.  We drank a couple of beers as we waited to enter the infamous Jones Beach Amphitheater.  This is such a beautiful venue and a perfect place for Phish to bring back the magic after 5 years.  We started to walk in around 8:00 and the band still was not on.  The sun was starting to set.  The phans were smiling as we entered either from the rainbow that was out earlier or because one of the best live bands back again.

We walked in as they started with “Runaway Jim.”  Stack and I were walking throughout the whole venue trying to find our seats.  The place was packed.  Everyone was all over the place.  All the aisles were filled up with people dancing away.  I have not experienced this kind of concert in years where seats just did not matter.  We were still walking through all the bodies as “Foam” came on.  Man this is the perfect song trying to navigate through a sea of people.  As we walked it felt like the foam was getting thicker.  And it just keeps getting harder.  We were trying to walk up to our seats through a ton of people, so we ended up just stopping and turning around and watching this band that we all came to see.  Next highlight for me was “Cities.” One of my favorite covers that Phish does.  I was so glad to see this song live for the first time.  Wish they jammed it out a little more, but I still enjoyed myself.  Next highlight of the first set was “Reba” and then “Possum.”  “Reba” has to be one of the most intricately performed songs that the band does.  I wanted to hear how the band would pull this off.  This was the one song that the boys really jammed on.  They really surrendered to the flow and let it all hang out during “Reba.”   Next song, “Possum,” is just a fun song that I personally love to hear live.  A fast paced song that got the place going.  They closed out the set with 2 soft songs, but still good to hear.

Now, the start of the second set was the old school Phish that I am used to hearing.  The start of the set starts out with Mike’s Song > Simple > Wolfman’s Brother > Weekapaug.  The boys really came out of the gates on the fire for the second set.  The highlight for me was “Simple.”  The whole place was going nuts during it.  We were close to the top of a tier and everyone was dancing and twirling during “Simple.”  The energy during just this song was just off the chain.  The combination of the energy of the crowd and the song is what I chase for at Phish shows.  It puts you on a whole new level.

This new song called “Kill Devil Falls,” I really enjoyed and seems like it has much potential.  A more old school sounding song like more classic rock.  It had a more blues tone to it.  I thought it was a cover at first.  Trey was doing a little banter before this song which I enjoyed.  I love when artists conversate with the crowd.  It is why I love Yonder so much.  And “Loving Cup,” was the perfect way to end the second set.  And we fall down drunk.

Overall, I was very happy to see Phish again live.  I do enjoy that they played a ton of songs during the show; however, I would like to see some songs jammed out a little more.  I would have loved to hear “Cities” jammed a little bit more and the start of the second set could have spanned over 45 minutes or an hour, not 30 minutes.  I am excited to see what they do from here and see their progression now.  I see a lot of people calling this era Phish 3.0 and it fits.  They are different from anything they have played before.  Right now I am just excited that they are back and I can see them live.