, attached to 2009-03-06

Review by benjaminjam

benjaminjam Me and my friend Matt had been to Coventry (our first Phish festival after seeing them live 20-something times). Needless to say, when we heard that they were re-forming in Hampton for a three night run we knew we had to go. In the lottery he got two tickets to every single night. I know it was random, but we have never shook the feeling that somehow we were just meant to be there. It being my first time in Virginia, we stayed downtown a few miles before the tunnel.

The energy in the lot was sort of like, "Is this really happening?" mixed with "I can't believe this is happening!" and a healthy dose of caution as Virginai's finest were in full force. But that didn't dampen our mood.

Inside, the giant orbs hovering above promised that, yes, this was indeed going to be a Phish show and something was going to happen that hadn't happened before.

Everyone was cool, I hadn't met this many truly friendly Phish heads since my first time in the Gorge (99) and felt at that moment that peculiar feeling of camraderie when everyone knows, "We're all here for the same thing."

Fluffhead blew us all away, you almost couldn't hear it over the roar of the crowd when they walked onstage, but it was the perfect opener for Fluffhead had indeed been a man with a horrible disease and we were all there to him. I remember, about halfway through the first set thinking, "Man, they are playing a TON of songs here in the first set!" that was during Suzy. At Rift I was thinking, "OK, here's a big number to close the first set out with."

Nope. We were treated to my favotite kind of Water in the Sky, the slow laid back summer time on a raft version. Then came The Squirming Coil and again I thought, "Perfect, a Coil first set closer."

Nope. Bowie. Enough said. The second set started with a song I'd wanted to hear Phish play since I'd heard it and is one that I think is an instant classic. This song will take on a life of it's own the same way Disease, Gin and Tweezer have. The second set was the more jammed out, I don't think it ever truly segued, but that is just this man's opinion. Some people expressed a small amount of dismay at the YEM flub (which I don't believe was intentional, but still reflected how seriously the band takes itself and it's fans) but I thought that they recovered nicely and they have proved since then they are more than capable of nailing that hellishly complicated, delightful song. The encore was solid and when the balls dropped and exploded during Bouncing, the night was obviously coming to a close.

Nope. Loving Cup. Just to kick our butts out the door with some good ole fashioned rock.

The energy in this room was something I have never felt before in my life. The sense of anticipation I felt can only be matched by the first show my theatre company performed in our first permanent residence. The people were great, the band was tight and more than ready to rock. I walked out of that place drenched in sweat from jumping up and down, grooving and generally dancing my ass off.

I still get chills when I hear the crowd and Fluffhead when I go back and listen to it.


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