[Phish.net user Tommy Whittaker, @Quidley, organized the line of Phish fans, all of whom were ultimately let into the show, outside the Met last week. He shares his story and gratitude below. - ed.]
The Phish phenomenon has been a constant in my life since October 29, 1995. Over the 161 shows I have attended, with the Met being 160, somehow I have managed to have tickets to all but four shows prior to my arrival. The last time I showed up to a show without a ticket was Virginia Beach on August 9, 1998, which was the third anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s passing. Oddly enough, I was traveling with my favorite Phish buddy, Henry, aka “Bring it on home jam.” We arrived two or three songs into the first set, assuming we would only be able to hear the show from outside. Much like the feeling at the Met, we thought, "no way we are getting in." Out of nowhere, the “Virginia Beach Saint” miracled us tickets in the 8th row, center. We thanked him profusely, started running to the show, and before we knew it, we were wide-eyed seeing the only "Terrapin Station" Phish has played to date.
At this point the reader may ask, what the hell does this have to do with the Met show? For me, two things: first, my favorite road buddy “Bring it on home jam” had decided to use his vacation days for the Met and Pittsburg. Second, the anxiety and blind faith of two 25 year loyal followers meeting up to attempt the impossible. Both of us, up to the day of the show, had exhausted all available channels to get tickets to no avail.
Here we are fellow phans, on December 3, 2019, and I have taken a cab into the city and arrived at the Met at 1:30 pm. The scene is pretty loose with people steadily arriving all day who were either on the Sirius/Phish friends and family list, or those lucky enough to win a package. There were a handful of one finger in the air fans hanging at the back of the package winner’s line hoping to score their spot with a variety of good trades, including four floors for New Years, and up to $1,000 cash. I roamed around for a few minutes before catching wind of an “unofficial” sign up sheet for people hoping to get a miracle from Sirius.
I found JD - “keeper of the line,” and also the first person on the list - around 2 pm. At that point, I ended up being #132 on the list which gave me little hope that this would end up being a reality. From the point I signed up until around 5:30 pm, I heard many random rumors and varied accounts as to how/when/if this would happen. Pre-show anxiety was at an all-time high for all involved, so I decided to take matters into my own hands and get the information straight from the Sirius people. Around 6 pm, I spoke with who I thought was the person in charge of the fate of the 283 phans who braved the cold Philly day to get a Sirius miracle. I regret to say that things happened so fast, I never caught the name of the Sirius employee, who so kindly relayed the most important information of our day: the rumors were true. Many thanks to you, whatever your name may be.
At this point, I realized I had been waiting my whole Phish career for this moment and was ready for the task. As I walked across the street from the Met, I noticed that everyone was on the edge of their seats anxiously awaiting the news I was about to relay from the Sirius Miracle Man. I informed the newly appointed line committee of the news I had received, toasted with a heady beer, and went right to work. JD handed me “the list”, and we proceeded to get everyone in line. As I went to the crowd, all I could say, is “I’m Sirius, if you want a chance to get in the Met, you must follow exact orders. There will be a uniform single file line, that is to be orderly and fair, in the order you signed up. Also, equally Sirius, there will be no bum rushing, cutting, pushing, or disorderly conduct, or this thing will be shut down, Siriusly!”
Around 7:30, the Sirius Miracle Man approached me and asked If I had a list ready, and more importantly if I had the first 10 people ready to get in the show. I of course answered "yes" to both questions, and he said "produce." I called JD first, and the next line followed suit. The Sirius Miracle Man then told me he was going to walk the first ten across the street to the Met, and to get the next ten ready. Upon his return, I had 11-20 ready in a single file line to cross the street to rage town. From there, it was game on. 21-30 line up! 31-40 line up! I was able to personally hug/fist bump/high five everyone from #1-180 before the Sirius Miracle Man paused. I was nervous. Everyone in line was nervous. Time stopped. We were not getting in! He let the anticipation linger for a brief moment, then he looked at me and my fellow line keeper, gave us our wristbands, and said “get the hell in that show, you're going to miss the first song - I’ll take care of the rest of the people!”
At this point as any true fan would, I flew across the street with my fellow "plus one" line-keeper, and ran into only my second Miracle show. As I walked into the Met, I could hear the opening notes of “Tweezer”. After getting the free poster, I proceeded to get a beverage and walk right up to my normal spot about 12th row between Trey and Mike, from which I would not move. I saw my buddy, “Bring it on home jam” get in the line, and into the show, but never saw him in the show - as far as I know everyone else got in.
Why the writeup you ask? My hope was to get the biggest "THANK YOU" up the ranks from the 283 people who had no idea on the start of December 3, 2019, that they would make it into the Met. So here goes: Thank you Phish for being the best band on the face of the earth ever. You have created an unbelievable life for so many people that the outside world will never understand. We love you. Second, Thank you Sirius for being so kind and patient to the 283 people who believed in the Met Miracle, and for so graciously accommodating us inside and out. You went far beyond the call of duty. Lastly, thank you to the 282 other fans who helped make this possible for me, I love you all.
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