, attached to 2012-06-10

Review by FreeGhost82

FreeGhost82 This was my first live Phish show!!!


And it was me and my sister's first ever music festival w/ camping & everything! The whole festival was really fun. Phish was among one of the top music artist headliners of the festival. Radiohead headlined Friday night and The Red Hot Chili Peppers were on Saturday! And looking back, there were so many bands that got their start at Bonnaroo that year: Alabama Shakes, fun., Foster the People. There were SO MANY great artists that year, my favorites being: The Word, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, Soja, Flogging Molly, Afrocubism, Aziz Ansari (comedy), "[adult swim] presents: things you've never seen," The Kooks, Tune-Yards, Punch Brothers, The Temper Trap, The ROOTS!, Skrillex, Puscifer, and Alice Cooper! (I just had to look back at the list now, and wow... I didn't realize there were so many other now-popular artists there! But at the time, it was IMPOSSIBLE to see them all because so many artists shared the same times on different stages, so you really had to pick and choose!)


This was a Sunday show, so, of course, it was going to be good! I wore my "Show of Life" shirt I bought from Etsy just for the occasion. My sister was kind enough to wait with me in the morning for the gate open around 11am. (It was her first Phish show,too, and the first time she had ever heard the band's music for a good length of time.) When the gate opened, we BOLTED to get into line for the areas closest to the stage. While we waited all day for the band, The Beach Boys was one of the acts that played on the same stage, so that was fun for dancing!

When the Pit finally opened, my sister and I ended up front row, Page-side, with a clear view of Trey and sorta Mike. (The piano blocked Page's face and the drums for Fishman). Then, the show started! SO EXCITED!! At the time, I didn't know ALL the songs by heart, so I only got excited when I heard the ones I recognized. There were some awesome things I noticed about the set as it went on: DWD starting out the set (it was the first song of 2012 during the NYE run) and "Rocky Top" (since we were in Tennessee!). The show seemed to fly by because of all the excitement & cheering and dancing.

My sis and I were surprised when Kenny Rogers appeared on stage. We grew up listening to oldies of the 50s and 60s because of our parents, and we used to go to a lot of country and oldies shows while living in Myrtle Beach, so seeing Kenny Rogers was a really special moment.

I didn't know the show was streamed on YouTube until one of my friends (who introduced me to Phish) texted me sometime during it to tell me that he was watching it at home online! I remember that he texted me, "So, how does it feel to be one of a thousand little children?" :)

Weather-wise, it had been clear all day, but as it got later and darker, it was starting to get cooler and started raining maybe sometime either in the middle of the first set or during the second, but it kept raining for awhile! My sis and I were just barely under the cover of the stage. By the end of the night, the ground was muddy and we were covered in rain and mud as we headed back to our car & tent.


At the time, I didn't know all of their songs, so I didn't notice a lot about the music, like the teases, as I do now. I've definitely listened back to the show several times since that night, and I have to say that, overall, it was a very enjoyable show!

When I was there, my highlights (and recognized songs) were almost all of the songs: DWD, Moma, Sample, Possum, Wilson (the shouting was fun!), Tweezer, Free, # Line, 2001 (I remember the white lights were cool), CDT, RnR, Light, Zero, RT, Show, Julius, and Tweeprise. When I listened back to the show last year, I of course caught more musical nuances. If you were to listen to just a few highlights, I'd recommend Golden Age>2001 and Hood>Light.

The band played "Show of Life," which was my favorite song at the time. (Now I go through phases since I've listened to all their songs at least once or more.) My friend texted that they probably played that because Trey might have seen my shirt. I don't know if Trey actually did, but I was just happy that the band played the song! I think Show has great lyrics, and it was one of the first songs I heard by them that made me realize that Phish was different and that they definitely have important messages in their music. (I asked my sister later what her favorite song was from her first show, and she said, "Julius.")

Being up front, I didn't get a great view of what the lights looked like above the band. (They had the 3-circle/trampoline set up at the time.) But I'm sure it looked amazing from further back. And it was hard to tell just how large the crowd was. It stretched pretty far back, I didn't see where it ended, but those who were there had to be the dedicated phans because Phish was the very last act of the whole festival, so those who didn't want to stay, left. (Kinda good for the band, if you ask me!)

Listening back to it, the whole show is just great fun! By the end, I definitely felt like they played a show that catered to the general festival crowd: simple dancey tunes, standard rock songs, but I think I remember that they did do some jam-like improv moments, and gave just a taste of the stretching-out that they like to do so much! So overall, it was really fun and I think it was really well-received!

Seeing Phish live sparked my interest in learning more about them, historically and musically and they eventually became my favorite band!


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