Phish is a band that, 8 years ago, succumbed to the demons of its guitarist. Myself and a great number of fans were devastated. We enjoyed 2 years after a nearly 3 year hiatus, only to have the rug pulled from beneath our feet again. It stood to reason that we would never see another Phish show, and they all but told us as much. This could have been the end.
Fast-forward nearly 5 years to Hampton. Phish was back, and the fans were excited about the possibilities. Fans, such as myself, took whatever we could get, because our boys were back in the saddle. An outcome that many of us hadn't expected. I wasn't able to see a show since '10's Deer Creek outings, and I haven't seen Phish since. I just haven't been able to afford it. But I have listened to every show, and read the reviews.
Ahhhh, the reviews. Where a bunch of spoiled brats come to kvetch about such petty matters as where songs are placed in sets, how songs aren't long enough, how Trey flubbed a note, or Fish missed a cue, or Page's voice isn't what it used to be, or Mike...you get the picture. SHAME ON YOU GUYS! As I mentioned earlier, this is a band that seemed to be gone for good, and all you can think about is insignificant inconveniences to you, personally? Here's a novel concept for 2012: If Phish plays shows this year, just take them as they come.
As an attendee at 30+ Phish shows between 1998 and 2010, I was grateful for each and every one of them. I was grateful that Phish wanted to play shows, and my enthusiasm never waned to be a part of the magic. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that not every show I saw lived up to my impossibly idealistic standards of what a Phish show should be, but that was part of the experience. Sure, I'm bummed that I've never seen an Esther, but maybe I'll be able to catch one next time!
If you don't hear what you want to hear at any given show, just be thankful that you got into a show! That is not difficult. I guarantee you that Phish didn't give a second thought to your dream setlist. Nope. They were too busy trying to make a raging show happen for EVERY PERSON IN THE HOUSE!
Fom the desk of one who hasn't been able to afford to see a show since 2010, I leave you with one last message. I would KILL to be in your shoes. Seeing my favorite band. Partying with my favorite people. Feeling one of my favorite feelings! And it wouldn't phase me one iota that the first set was "just standard" or that Sneakin' Sally was "flubbed." Next time you want to bellyache about a Phish show not being up to your standards, stop yourself, send the rest of your ENTIRE TOUR'S WORTH OF TICKETS to me, and let the guy who loves Phish, even on "off nights" do his thing.
P.S. Maybe you should also give Scents & Subtle Sounds another listen the next time you aim to snivel and whine about that Show of Life encore.
If you would only start to live
One moment at a time
You would, I think, be startled
By the things that you would find.
Like Scents you never noticed
And many subtle sounds
Like colors in the landscape
And textures of the town
Then the winds would lift you up
Into the sky above
And you'd be treted to a view
Of everything you love
And if the moment passes
You should try it once again
For if you do it right
You'll find the moment never ends
If you would stop and notice that we number every day
But allow the many moments left uncounted slip away
You don't have to count them, just enjoy them one by one
Then things would take a different hue and sparkle in the sun
The winds would lift you up into the sky
The winds would lift you up into the sky above
Where you would see a trail of treasured memories you love
A rainbow record of the thoughts and moments you've enjoyed
Arcs behind the earth as spectral colors in the void
In the void
Scents and subtle sounds