Tuesday 12/10/2019 by phishnet

MIRACLE AT THE MET

[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.

Photo by Charlie Dirksen, used with permission
Photo by Charlie Dirksen, used with permission

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.

Photo by Tommy Whittaker, used with permission
Photo by Tommy Whittaker, used with permission

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.

Sincerely,

Tommy

#132

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Comments

, comment by mcgrupp81
mcgrupp81 Cool story. It reminds me of stories I heard of how difficult a ticket the Fillmore was in 98. I remember the failed attempts to secure MSG 02 , Hampton 03, and Hampton 09 tickets. If they ever play at Broome County Arena, Capitol Theater, or any of those older venues, they might have to setup a ticket Thunderdome.
, comment by Davehengemania
Davehengemania I was trying to remember how many Phish shows I have shown up ticketless, and could only think of 2. One was the 20th anniversary show at the Fleet Center, and the other was Mohegan 2. I got into both sold out shows by asking questions, being patient, believing it would happen, and surrendering to the flow. But really, I just got lucky. Congrats on getting into the Met... sounds like it was a special show.
, comment by CForbin
CForbin Thanks for posting- I was so curious about how this all shook out. “Only” 283 people showed up? I expected a lot more. Super cool that everyone got in. This seems like the ultimate miracle.
, comment by PhillyPhilly
PhillyPhilly
, comment by SporkFan
SporkFan Way to be. Only show I ever got shut out of was Radio City - both nights. But the saddest part of all was that the first night two other wooks standing right next to me got miracle by Fred Savage, and not only were they obnoxiously under-grateful, but they also had no idea who he was. It was like my greatest dream slapping me in the face.
, comment by mjpunzo
mjpunzo This is the best write-up I've read here. Thank you for your dedication to the show and THANK YOU Phish for doing it right.

It's love, it's love, it always was
And it is and it always will be love
, comment by JMart
JMart Strong wook ethic!
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten Would you have waited around all day if you knew beforehand that the show would be so mediocre?

;) ;) ;)
, comment by Slewfoot
Slewfoot So, so awesome...thanks for the writeup and congrats to all! A Holiday Miracle, indeed.
, comment by Romert_Palber
Romert_Palber Really enjoyed reading that! Congrats on getting in and thank you for all the work and organization you contributed, wish I was there!
, comment by mack4553
mack4553 Thanks, Tommy! I was # 202, my first Phish show. You were so happy for me but you deserve the thanks. There is another blog post about the Met show, under which i told my story. Thanks, again, Kevin
, comment by gingerphish
gingerphish My friend was in the 220s and didn't think he'd get in so he left. Must be rough. I live in Philly but finals for my masters program. I was also bummed to see that if the test would have been a different day I also would have been in the Met.
, comment by Hendrix_Phishinfloyd
Hendrix_Phishinfloyd Shouldn't this be "MiracleD at the Met"?
, comment by MomentsandSeconds
MomentsandSeconds so very awesome.
, comment by MiguelSanchez
MiguelSanchez Does anyone else find “Bring It On Home Jam” to be an excessively long nickname?
, comment by blazeon46
blazeon46 A week and a half now has passed since this magical night, along with the rest of fall tour. I still can't believe that a) it happened and b) I was somehow able to secure a golden ticket +1. Looking back at how the no repeat format played out, I love the show we got. The thrill of hearing Tweezer (essentially) open the show, and then dipping back into it after Moma and KDF (my first!) was something I'll never forget. The proximity, not only to the band, but to each other really stood out to me. We all knew how lucky we were to be experiencing this together. Other standouts...2nd Set CDT (also back into Tweezer) and a 2001 that simply has to be heard to be appreciated.

I love this band so much, bring on YEMSG!!!!
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten @TwiceBitten said:
Would you have waited around all day if you knew beforehand that the show would be so mediocre?

;) ;) ;)
A little less salt in the gravy tonight?
, comment by MiamiGreg
MiamiGreg Nice write up. #71 and #72 here. Such a great experience!
, comment by MiguelSanchez
MiguelSanchez Looks like this made its way over to liveforlivemusic.com.
, comment by GuyGuyGuyForget
GuyGuyGuyForget I’d love to hear from #284 on the list...
, comment by shaunfunk
shaunfunk “Phish career”. Classic
, comment by Zamfir
Zamfir love & respekt, Tommy!
- #252
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