Monday, January 21, 2019

I won’t regret Hampton until Redemption Cheering is explained

Posted by teibs On March - 10 - 2009

newphish@ZackTeibloom There will be times when I’ll regret not going to Hampton. I’ll look back and think “Oh, what was I doing that was so important I couldn’t go? Didn’t I buy a $10 ticket non-refundable ticket to a poster sale in the Hampton Best Western Hotel to make sure I’d go? What happened?”

I needed to make this post to remind myself that it wouldn’t have been worth it. For the most part. I need to remember that even if I’d manned up and driven the 1,500 miles each way to Hampton by myself this weekend, I’d still be driving back. Right now.

I wouldn’t even be close to home. I’d only be approaching Arkansas, and that’s assuming I checked out of the hotel at 10 a.m. Monday and only stopped for gas. I’d be dead tired, alone and quite low on funds.

Staying in Austin this weekend, I had to resort to covering Hampton through Twitter and Live Phish from 8 p.m. to 4 a.m. Friday night and sporadically Saturday and Sunday.

It was fun, but I’m not going to pretend for a second that it was anything like being there. As much as I read about the shows on Twitter, (and I read literally every Twitter about Phish. Check out TwitterFall, it’s incredible) there was not one literary journalist writing anything worth a damn about the concerts and it makes me feel like I let a unique story fall through the cracks.

It turned out being good for the Festival Crashers that we didn’t go. We put a ton of time into redesigning the site and we had the biggest weekend of traffic in Festival Crashers history. By a lot. No regrets. Well, not yet.

I’ll regret it at some point in the roaring 20s. The 2020s. I’ll be visiting my sister in Vermont or some South American country and she’ll insist on putting on the first set from Friday night. She’ll say she always puts it on, because she named her kid Fluffhead and he loves that the first song is about him and “he does the cutest dance” to the riff from “Jump On It” that’s playing on the P.A. before Phish takes the stage.

As she puts on the 3/6/09, she'll pull out her scrapbook and show him this picture she took where the trees look like Dr. Seuss's Truffula trees and she'll decide to read the kids The Lorax as the recording plays.

So, she’ll be reading “The Lorax” as “Fluffhead” plays and I’ll already be insanely jealous, but then it’ll go into “Divided Sky” and she’ll have to put the book down to drop some first-hand knowledge. She’ll be doing her little long-skirt-twirl-hippie-dance and tell my son to listen carefully for the redemption cheering.

“What’s redemption cheering?” he’ll ask innocently.

She’ll explain that you can hear it towards the end of “Fluffhead” but it really hits hardest during that glorious stretch in “Divided Sky” from 5:41 to 6:34 as the fans give all they have to the band they love for coming back. Four years of pent-up emotion unleashed, as they’re finding their way into the groove. Finally reunited with the band they devoted years of their lives to. Redemption cheering. Different from band taking the stage cheering, different from recognition of the beginning of a song cheering or celebrating the end of a great song cheering. It’s even different than encore cheering. This is its own beast. Redemption cheering.Suzy will make him try to hold his breath during the 53 second crowd roar to let it soak in how long it really was. She’ll say “that’s why I had to be there,” when he exhales in a huff after 34 seconds and the crowd is still booming. “That’s why I had to be there.” My son will look up at me and say “Was it as good as Suz says it was?”

I’ll feel the same jealousy I had when we were growing up and she’d order grilled cheese at Fuddruckers and it would always look way better than my burger as I try to explain why I wasn’t there and never heard Redemption Cheering in person. I’d just moved to Austin and that drive was a nightmare, I didn’t have that much money, it was so far, yadda yadda yadda and even I’ll think my excuses are lame.

He’ll look up at me with puppy dog eyes and say, “But, but, but daddy (my son will have a bit of a stutter) I thought you were THE Festival Crasher?” I’ll have to look down at him and say, “Not every time. Not every time.”

2 Responses

  1. Festival Crashers » Blog Archive » Ragged VIP Trivia Contest Winner Said,

    […] What is “Redemption Cheering” and when will it be explained? (1 pt, 1 bonus point for most creative […]

    Posted on October 24th, 2009 at 10:43 pm

  2. Festival Crashers » Blog Archive » Festival Crashers 1,000th Post Said,

    […] Redemption Cheering at Phish Hampton I had to go to the future to tell you what this meant. […]

    Posted on January 20th, 2010 at 11:55 pm

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