Arriving fairly early, we settled into our seats toward the front of the pavilion and took in the sights as we awaited the first set. My mom noticed a couple of kids bumping rails of white powder off the back of their hands and pointed them out to me. I chuckled as I pondered whether they would have shared the love or brushed my mom off as a narc if she had asked them for drugs. During the first set I was more interested in gauging my parents' reaction to the show than actually listening to it. As a consequence, the most musically intriguing part of this set for me was the cover of Little Feat's "On Your Way Down."
My mom, on the other hand, loved every note. She had at one time been a physical education teacher and to my great joy declared during "Limb by Limb" that she felt inspired by the music to resume teaching interpretive dance. Dad's reaction was not quite as good. Over the years his tastes had migrated towards the works of Willie Nelson and talk radio. He thought that Phish was good, but that everything was "a little too loud and flashy." In an effort to modulate the volume and minimize the visual overload of the light show, he spent the bulk of the second set in the concession area. This was a minor disappointment to me, but I understood that Phish just isn't for everybody, and he seemed to have enjoyed himself.
The second set was pretty damn good, with the "Also Sprach Zarathustra" being the high point. It went places I had never heard it go before. Mr. Kuroda set an incredibly thick ultraviolet tone to the whole thing that just spun me for a loop. As hard as I tried to resist it, I could not fight the power this trance-house groove-laden jam had over me, and I completely forgot my mom was there. In that moment, as she watched my unique version of interpretive dance, I believe she grasped why the band is such an important component of my life; it is both a source of and an outlet for completely unconditional love.