I didn’t feel like paying for internet on top of the already stupid hotel charge here in AC, so this might not get posted ‘til I hit Virginia next week. Aaanyway… In short, d/l the shit out of Night 1. Okay. Did you? Great. Now put on Birds, and put a plate under your face in case of melty drippage.
Once you get through that, hit up the classic Twist -> Piper combo, then kick up your feet and relax into Billy. Still with us? Great. Now start back at the beginning of the first set. Check out all that patience. And listen to Mike and Fish protect the beat.
There’s plenty of good reviews here of the music, so here’s what you can’t see in the download – Bader Field is a small, unused airstrip about a half mile west from the furthest south casinos on the AC boardwalk. Apparently like a shitload of other fans, I looked at a map and saw the Hilton was the furthest south casino, and looked like a pretty short walk to the grounds. I booked it upon receiving my ticket confirmation. About a week before the show, I got an email from the ‘Atlantic Club,’ which apparently had bought the Hilton and rebranded it. I use that term loosely. You can still see the outline of the words ‘Hilton’ on the roof, and the only signs that say Atlantic Club were hastily stenciled on the door. That’s about all they spent on re-decorating since some time in the 60s. I was expecting Nucky to tap me on the shoulder at any moment.
The grounds themselves are well-maintained, getting in and out was considerably less of the massive train wreck I expected from Atlantic City, but I headed up to the show early just in case. At 6pm I walked up and sat down maybe 20 feet from Page’s baby grand, and the grounds very slowly filled up.
Despite the rage side moniker, the folks around me were all very chill and very happy to be there. Here we were, outside in beautiful oddly fall-like weather, and somehow the show felt like an intimate inside venue. Everything felt easy. Every transition, every song choice, even the breeze that constantly washed across the field.
The First Tube on the last night of Super Ball was a pure ripper. After three days of Phish, that ass kicking rendition left just about everyone there wishing we had another night. Tonight’s was no different – driving, deliberate and awesome, but we still have two nights to go. Win!
The walk back was… interesting. Lots of tanks and sketch-bags selling balloons off of em. A couple guys down an alley yelling, “Hey Phish! Get what you want down here! No lines!” Um… no lines? Whatever. Play in the sewer, you’re bound to find some rats.