@ZackTeibloom Guest post by Sam, a freshman at IU with dreams of the Festival Crasher lifestyle and Gonzo Journalism. We welcome him and hope he finds Lipshutz, takes a ton of Gass and Hollinden classes and keeps the spirit alive in Bloomington. This is his first Phish show. Remember- we were all Noobz once and most of us couldn’t write half this well.
@Sam Last night, I went to see Phish for the first time and I can say with near certainty that it changed me forever. My first big festival-type concert. It felt like home. Throngs of Phish heads flooded Miami, growing more and more as we passed one phan after another until we finally reached the venue, American Airlines Arena.
My cousin wanted to head in immediately, but I told him I was heading for Shakedown Street and would catch up with him inside. I had been waiting to experience the culture that surrounds bands like Phish for a long time, having missed the Toyota Park and Cincinnati shows near me.
Shakedown Street was like a dream. A hippie version of an old world bazaar, each fan traveling with the band, like American gypsies free of society’s chains. Everywhere were people peddling foods, wares and drugs. The scalpers’ fingers in the air dotted my view and the murmurs of “molly,” “doses” and “shroom tea” permeated the vibrant din.
“Have you seen my friend Lucy?” was the question on my tongue as I forged through the crowd. Many people apologized, not knowing where to find any. I looked. I listened. I saw a hippie girl wearing amulets, crystal earrings, and clothes that seemed to hang from her body. She motioned called me over and pointed me to her friend next to her.
The stadium began to fill up, but we had half an hour to chill before the show started. I bummed a cigarette and waited as people filed in, my head began to buzz. My stomach began to clench slightly just as the show started, and I could feel myself climbing.
Phish kicked off the first set with “Golgi Apparatus” and the lights began flooding over the crowd, climbing the walls. The scream of the chorus rang in my ears, amplified by the acid in my brain. 20,000 fans and I were belting it out with the band.
As the next song came on, the colors and sounds blurred and I began to lose sense of what was real and what was a hallucination. Suddenly I felt like I was back in the 60’s, dancing during one of the famed acid tests. It felt like a giant party, with amazing music and screaming fans in a giant dance hall.
In the smoky haze a joint appeared in front of my face. The man next to me motioned to me to hit it. Then again. Again. Again. I passed it and another was passed to me out of nowhere, then a bowl. I was swimming in the ecstasy of it all.
Not only were the fans jamming to the music, but the band was jamming to the fans. I could predict where each riff was going next before it rang through the amplifiers. We were all tuned in to each other, the music… the vibe. There was an ever present feeling that we were all connected and all I knew was that I wanted to ride the wave, feel the jams.
I danced, and danced, and danced. Every sight. Every smell. Every sound fed into my body which had become a lightning rod for stimulation. My brain had become a mega amplifier. It was a psychedelic, electric orgasm of sensation slamming into me at 400 mph. Never had I felt more alive, more in the moment.
Before I knew it, the first set was over. It had come and gone in a flash.
- Golgi Apparatus
- The Connection
- Wolfman’s Brother
- Access Me
- The Divided Sky
- Kill Devil Falls
- Tweezer >
- Prince Caspian
- Gotta Jibboo >
- Wilson >
- Gotta Jibboo >
- Heavy Things >
- 2001 >
- Slave To The Traffic Light
- Sleeping Monkey
- Tweezer Reprise