Wednesday 12/04/2019 by Doctor_Smarty

PHISH AT THE MET: WELL I'LL BE VAN DAMME'D

Howdy folks, or I guess that should be PHOLKS right??? My name is Bill and I am substituting for my brother-in-law Martin (@Doctor_Smarty) for this article. He had intended to tell you guys about the Phish concert at The Met last night, but there was a problem. I am subscribed to SIRIUSXM and he isn’t. When I got the email asking me if I wanted to go to the concert, I entered the drawing assuming I could just give the tickets to my brother-in-law and he and his wife could go see their favorite band. Unfortunately, the tickets were non-transferable, so my brother-in-law and his wife stayed back in Oregon instead of coming out to spend Thanksgiving with the rest of our family. That meant that me and my wife went to the concert instead. He told me that you guys would be interested to know how it all went down, so this is my attempt to do that. Obviously I won’t know any of the lingo you guys usually use to talk about this stuff. But here goes.

I’m not very big into going to live concerts to be honest. I’m more inclined to be at home with a glass of Crown Royal and puff on a Cuban cigar while sitting next to my fire pit listening to classic rock on my Sonos. In fact, the only concert I have ever been to before last night was when @Doctor_Smarty took me and his sister (my wife) to see Guns N Roses at the Florida Suncoast Dome on December 28th, 1991. That was quite an experience, let me tell you. But probably best I don’t. Suffice to say, I had not been back to a concert since. I also never listen to Phish Radio on SIRIUSXM. My favorite channel is Classic Rewind. My favorite band is arguably, with all due respect to Bob Dylan, Bearsville Records’ greatest artist...FOGHAT!!. Man...I just can’t get enough of that “Slow Ride” if you know what I mean? Alright, take it easy. As you can imagine, other than when Martin comes to visit, I haven’t really heard any Phish and don’t really know the songs. My ears were a blank canvas in that respect. After last night, I’m feeling like they are more like one of those Jackson Pollock splatter-gram deals now. Are rock concerts always like this?

Photo © https://twitter.com/aznpix Andrea Nusinov
Photo © https://twitter.com/aznpix Andrea Nusinov

As instructed in the email, we showed up to the Poplar Street side of The Met right around noon. The wristbanding and ticketing process went very smoothly. With some time to kill before the show we went to Jennie G’s Dim Sum House to get some dumplings and Singapore Mai Fun. Check it out if you are ever in Philadelphia. Top notch. Next stop was The Yards brewery. Average great brews. Did the Revolutionary sampler flight and a pretty good spruce tip IPA. Bouncing further down Spring Garden back toward the venue we hit a not for profit brewery called Triple Bottom. A few feet better than Yards. Inching ever closer back to The Met, we found ourselves at the lobby bar at the Divine Lorraine Hotel. Very cool vibe. Awesome bartender. At every stop other than Jennie G’s there were other people heading to the show. The anticipation was building.

We arrived back at The Met as requested shortly after 6:00 and well before 7:00 PM. We passed quickly through security and made our way to the line to collect our free posters and then to our seats which were located in Orchestra 4 Row C. Just behind the GA pit on the right side of the stage. The crowd around us was nothing like the tattooed leather clad biker gangs and exotic dancers that seemed to dominate that Guns N Roses crowd back in 1991. We barely made it out of the Thunderdome alive that night. Anyway, you guys are nothing like that. At no point did I fear for our lives. We chatted with our neighbors, who we learned were happily expecting and sipped on a Troegs Perpetual IPA while waiting for the opening act. Then we found out there was no opening act. I guess so SIRIUSXM didn’t have to pay two bands? I mean, who does a concert with no opening act? Most of the concerts our kids like to go to have three or four “bands” these days. I put bands in quotes because I’m not even sure they play instruments. Not like the old Classic Rewind masters of rock and roll.

Photo © https://www.reddit.com/user/squashedjosh
Photo © https://www.reddit.com/user/squashedjosh

Exactly at 8:08 PM, the lights went down and the crowd jumped up. A standing ovation already and the band hadn’t even touched their instruments or played a single note. The crowd was going wild as the four dads took to the stage looking like they were ready to have some fun. They opened with an A’cappella rendition of “Hello My Baby” one of the four songs I recognized during the course of the show. Also, it looked like the drummer was wearing a mu-mu. Which was pretty funny, because it reminded me of one of the bar bands that used to play the full moon parties at our fraternity house at Zoo Mass. Their drummer wore a dress too. I wonder whatever happened to those guys?

Anyway, next up was a song that I don’t think they practiced before the show. Because they played it a few times throughout the night to make sure they got it right. Uncle Ebeneezer I believe. That tune was mostly upbeat and some serious hard rocking. Very similar to when I would sit in with the Wildcat O’Halloran Band at Seven O’s in South Deerfield. A bunch of people were dancing just like the Wild Kittens used to when we really tore it up. Seems like a crowd favorite. I hope the people seeing the shows in Pittsburgh or Charleston aren’t too upset they missed it. I really enjoyed it.

The next song they played that I recognized was ZZ Top’s “Jesus Just Left Chicago” which was pretty great. The piano player especially was getting into that one. The guitarist is no Billy Gibbons, but what are you going to do? There was a song called “Free” which I’m guessing they played because the tickets to the show were. There was a waterfall song that got kind of out there for a while. Towards the end of the first set, the band gave the crowd some kind of signal that it was time to head to the beer line or go to the bathroom. I did both and picked us up another couple of Troegs Perpetuals. That is a tasty brew, let me tell you.

The rest of the show after the intermission was really a blur. The lights are pretty amazing and the Troegs were starting to go to my head. They opened with a song that I really liked. Something about living while you’re young. That’s the key to all of this shit we call life you know? Have a good time and enjoy what you are doing. If you aren’t enjoying it. Do something else you dumbass! Then they played the Ebeneezer song they were practicing during the first half of the show again. The pace really picked up for the next three tunes. The bass player was going crazy. The room was just resonating with the thump, thump, thump of his groove.

They slowed it down to let people take a breather with a ballad that was called “Miss You” according to the guy next to us. I was kind of wishing they had done the Stones version of that one for those of us that are regular listeners of The 70s on 7. Instead, to cater to us classic rock aficionados, they did a pretty true rendition of The Beatles “A Day in the Life” from their White Album. Next up was the fourth song in the show that I knew, mostly because of Elvis Presley. I love watching old videos of The King on YouTube. It gets me every time when he comes out on stage to the theme from 2001 A Space Odyssey. This version was nothing like the original. It actually made me feel like I was being abducted by aliens. Unreal.

The ending of the show was very tongue in cheek. These guys are pretty funny really. End the show with a song called “More” because there has to be something else right? Then the encore is an invitation to “Waste” more of the time we are spending together. Then back to the same song that they had been practicing all night. They finally got it right though. That may actually have been the best three and a half minutes of the show. Really shows you what they can do with a song if they practice it.

Anyway, we had a GREAT time at the show. You Phish fans are some good people. It really is a shame Martin and Olivia couldn’t go. They probably would have loved it. Like the guys in Foghat say...take it easy!

Bill

Photo © https://twitter.com/aznpix Andrea Nusinov
Photo © https://twitter.com/aznpix Andrea Nusinov

If you liked this blog post, one way you could "like" it is to make a donation to The Mockingbird Foundation, the sponsor of Phish.net. Support music education for children, and you just might change the world.


Comments

, comment by yEEt_1331
yEEt_1331 Glad you had fun! Phish playing a venue like The Met is unheard of these days, and you should feel proud your first show was this one.
, comment by tmwsiy
tmwsiy @yEEt_1331 said:
Glad you had fun! Phish playing a venue like The Met is unheard of these days, and you should feel proud your first show was this one.
This was his first show, unless of course, Doctor Smarty was crafty enough to use his brother-in-law's ID to secure the tickets for himself and his lovely wife and then wrote a fanciful take on the show pretending to be his wife's brother. Just a guess.
, comment by BetweenTheEars
BetweenTheEars oh now this is fantastic. Thank you .net staff, I eagerly await the ensuing comments.
, comment by JMart
JMart @tmwsiy said:
@yEEt_1331 said:
Glad you had fun! Phish playing a venue like The Met is unheard of these days, and you should feel proud your first show was this one.
This was his first show, unless of course, Doctor Smarty was crafty enough to use his brother-in-law's ID to secure the tickets for himself and his lovely wife and then wrote a fanciful take on the show pretending to be his wife's brother. Just a guess.
Sure hope so.
, comment by jkicharvey
jkicharvey best...recap...ever! Pure genius! Readers of this recap are either laughing their ass off or their heads are exploding! Quality stuff let me tell you!
, comment by whatstheuse324
whatstheuse324 That was hilarious
, comment by JDspecial1
JDspecial1 Fantastic.
, comment by CAVERNOUS
CAVERNOUS After years of enjoying these reviews I was bummed to read the dismal tone of some reactions to AndrewRose's (thoughtful, apparently controversial) review from the other night. While there really is 'nothing at stake' in any one particular review + reaction, there is something worthy at risk if the toxic and harsh stuff continues until authors and readers begin to shy away.
Well, just as I was feeling blue about my favorite online Phish spot, along comes this prime review to brighten things up... perhaps our clever author also read those previous comments and has prescribed the right medicine and a nice heavy dose of it? I feel so relieved, I might go listen to some XM channel 66, Watercolors. Or maybe I'll catch 'Hello My Baby' on Thirties on 3. Same team!
, comment by phootyjon
phootyjon This...is...what you need: https://phish.in/2013-10-25/waves
, comment by ForgeTheCoin
ForgeTheCoin Ha! Best review in some time! If you are going to go to your first Phish show, seeing the exclusive Met show is sure a hell of a way to do it! Glad you had fun and enjoyed the crowd (and the brews)!
, comment by GratefulJoe
GratefulJoe This is so great, thanks for posting! I'm so glad they finally got Uncle Ebeneezer right after all those tries...
, comment by DiscoStu
DiscoStu Practice makes perfect! Keep it up boys! #itsalwayssomeonesfirstshow
, comment by johnnyd
johnnyd Great review, Bill! Thanks for taking the time to write it out. I'm sure your BIL appreciates it, even if he's a little jealous he couldn't attend this marquee show.

Often some wise words in these recaps, and you nailed these:
"They opened with a song that I really liked. Something about living while you’re young. That’s the key to all of this shit we call life you know? Have a good time and enjoy what you are doing. If you aren’t enjoying it. Do something else you dumbass!"

Hope the hangover wasn't too bad. If you multiply all those IPAs, sounds like a lot.
, comment by PhillyPhilly
PhillyPhilly Glad they played a few songs you knew "Bill". Excellent / hilarious review. Bravo and well done.
, comment by jlouderb
jlouderb LOLing here in Singapore. You just eased my FOMO with that hilarious review. Thanks!!!!!
, comment by Peytonmitzel
Peytonmitzel SO GLAD to see you had the same experience with 2001. I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened there. I'VE never heard a version like that before. I'm afraid to relisten because I don't think it will sound the same on recording, which is my guess as to why no one seems to be talking about it. My all-time favorite, I still can't believe that five minutes of torn reality.
, comment by bushwood_a_dump
bushwood_a_dump Apologies if I've missed it elsewhere, but does Fall (mini) tour still have no repeats thus far (though Pitt)?

Great review by the way!
, comment by Urkness
Urkness Such a great review. You're awesome. So refreshing hearing from somebody that has never heard them before.
, comment by CTrygg
CTrygg If this isn’t a parody, then I’m glad you enjoyed it. I’m also glad, glad, glad about the positive comments people gave you. Too many haters. A classic rock aficionado that doesn’t know “A Day in the Life” was on Sgt. Pepper’s, I think not. This was a great way to make your brother-in-law a little jealous along with the rest of us who didn’t win tickets. Step into the Uncle Ebenezer!
, comment by CTrygg
CTrygg @bushwood_a_dump said:
Apologies if I've missed it elsewhere, but does Fall (mini) tour still have no repeats thus far (though Pitt)?

Great review by the way!
They’ve repeated Plasma and Tweezer a few times, lol
, comment by yupyupman
yupyupman @Doctor_Smarty is the Kasvot Vaxt of concert-goers. Great review! (And the song is called Step into the Freezer, not Uncle Ebeneezer, but I can see how you got it mixed up, NBD.)
, comment by Wolfenhaus
Wolfenhaus Likely the best review I've read on this site. Refreshing, light hearted, hilarious, and fun.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Wait... what if he doesn’t even HAVE a brother-in-law?
, comment by solestus
solestus Absolutely hilarious! Thank you!
, comment by RIchiethat
RIchiethat Bill.....THANK YOU!!!
Your review is one of the best I've read here ever!!! You've brought tears of happiness to my eyes.....literally...... THANK YOU!!!
, comment by nesta
nesta Funny ass writing, my phriend. You truly win. I was laughing out loud. What shows you hitting next?
, comment by mockingbirds
mockingbirds Great review, thanks! I grew up in Philly with my grandma always talking about going to The Met to see the Philadelphia orchestra, looks beautiful. Also notable is how completely insane the light show looks in a small venue!
, comment by 10a_cJedi
10a_cJedi Thank You Bill! That was an excellent read, the wisdom of not trying to fit in. That's the good stuff! I was rolling n tumbling with your "Uncle Ebeneezer" take, those last 3 minutes must have been well worth all that practice! LMFAO! Well done sir, well done!

P. S. I was also at a Guns n Roses show in 1991-12-31 @ Joe Robbie Stadium, Miami, FL (use your illusion tour)!

Thank You, 10 A/C Jedi
, comment by RTinVA
RTinVA This was genius. Made me laugh out loud.
, comment by Doctor_Smarty
Doctor_Smarty Bill would like to thank you all for the kind comments. He's really enjoying his moment in the CK5light. Almost famous'd.

Maybe we can convince Bill and my sister to come out for a west coast show in 2020?
, comment by SerNelson_TheBrave
SerNelson_TheBrave Image
, comment by mack4553
mack4553 Call me # 202
I'm 65, almost 66 and a big fan. I first listened 5-6 years ago when i got Sirius for the car. I'm a sales rep and would listen on longer drives to Jam On, then recently Phish Radio # 29.
I had never seen Phish live, having missed the past few summers in Camden. I live in PA and would consider MSG but hard to get away during the Holidays. So, i was excited to learn of the concert and the chance to win. I entered and did not win. But, the morning of the show, I scheduled 2 sales calls in Philly, booked a hotel, and thought i would at least go to the Met and check out the scene. I had a feeling that maybe someone would need a plus 1 or that there would be no-shows and Sirius would release some tickets.
Around 330 i heard about a guy with a list across the street. I went looking for someone in a Sirius jacket and an official list on a clipboard. On my 3rd trip across the street I found " the guy with the list". He was in a hat, jacket and scarf and the list was on plain white paper. We put down our name with a sharpie and the next number in order. I was 202.
For the next few hours we waited in the cold and kept asking each other if our chances looked good. My daughter lives 2 blocks away and i jumped out of line to get warm , have a coffee, and encourage her to come over. ( she was # 203). I went back at 445. No news, no movement, but the line was growing. Close to 250. Very fun, upbeat, confident crowd. Beer for sale in coolers ( too cold ). I was making fiends and having fun and kept thinking there would be tickets.
Think about it.. winners could have come from anywhere. From far away would mean a plane ticket, hotel, missing work. There had to be plenty of no shows, right?
730, still no movement but we had been directed to get single file. My daughter showed up. My new friend Scott told me #'s 1-10 had just been given wrist bands and tickets. The line was starting to move! It was happening but would they make it to 202 and 203?
Another group of 10. Then they were up to # 50. With each group of 10 going across for tickets, a huge cheer would go up. We were closer and moving faster. Now over 150 and told to be ready. It was close to 8 and everyone believed the band would start at 810.
Now it was our turn. The list guy checked our names and number, didn't ask for ID and we went across for wrist band and 2 tickets for Orchestra 9, row E, forget the seat. No one was sitting! We got in and missed " Hello My Baby" but just in time for Tweezer.
My first Phish show and it was this one! Free, in an intimate venue, with my daughter.
I loved it and knew every song. The lights and sound were awesome. The crowd was incredible. I've listened to the replay 4-5 times already. I'm going to MSG later this month. The people i met were truly thrilled for me to be at my first show. There was no edginess in the crowd, all smiles, hugs and handshakes. Thank you.
I can't compare so I'll let veterans review the show as it compared to others. For me it was the best. Thanks to Sirius, the list guy, the line leader, my new friends, and for letting me tell the story.
, comment by BigJibbooty
BigJibbooty Hey Bill - just curious.....is your wife by any chance named Funyon?
You must be logged in to post a comment.
Support Phish.net & MBIRD
Phish News
Subscribe to Phish-News for exclusive info while on tour!


Phish.net

Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal | DMCA

© 1990-2020  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by End Point Corporation