, attached to 1995-10-31

Review by stazone

stazone To be in this room, on this night, for this album proved to me that an intelligence directs our universe and all of it's events.

I'd seen Phish in 94 with a group of friends at the infamous UIC show. Liked the energy and the band. That summer "Down With Disease" was getting some rotation on local radio. I'd heard of Phish previous to this but nothing really had me seeking out tapes of their shows much less hitting record stores to delve into their material. I wasn't a "Dead Head" and had no desire to drive around the country to see concerts. In all, I was the least likely person to be "hippie" band fan.

My tastes in music developed in grade school with a heavy emphasis on The Who. Pete Townsend's lyrics were some of the best I'd ever heard. As I got older and started seeing more live shows the desire to find a contemporary band with a diverse musical sound was really the driving force in trying to find new music. Every week I'd be buying 4 or 5 CD's of new bands searching the latest sounds. After a while everything started to sound the same and yet nothing compared to Townsend's writing talents.

By the fall of 1995 I was fresh out of college and working on building a career. With a new car, collection of suits, and weekends off I could now enjoy the fruits of discretionary spending. My 95 Jeep Wrangler had a hard top/soft top combo. When fall came it was time to put the hard top on of which I employed the help of my friend Ken. As a thank you I offered to buy 2 tickets to see Phish on Halloween. Ken accepted and we planned to meet that night in the parking lot of Rosemont Horizon after we got done with work.

When Halloween came around neither of us dressed up. We entered the arena and were greeted with a chocolate coin with Phish on 1 side and WXRT on the other. The scene inside was hysterical. Everyone parading around with their costumes all themed to Phish songs. I did see one person in a Bellboy outfit which seemed strange at first but figured that was a song I hadn't hear yet.

As we took in the sights, smells, and a few beers we headed down to our seats. This being my 3rd show and Ken's 1st we didn't know what to expect. After the first set I asked Ken what he thought and his response was, "that was mesmerizing". It really was. I noticed that it was hard to take my eyes off the stage. I'm not sure I looked away once. Phish had really captured our attention. Then, what began was something I'll never forget.

Sitting in our seats, our entire section was seated as well. Thriller was playing in the background which seemed like the band's choice that night. It was only a matter of time until the album was revealed. As I scanned the crowd, everyone was still. Frozen in place as they awaited Phish's Halloween costume. Trying to figure it out myself I got past the sound effects from the PA to hear wind and waves. It was hard to identify at first but then I knew this sound. Familiar yet I couldn't quite place it. Suddenly it hit me. I jumped up and out of my seat then yelled "Holy F***, it's Quadrophenia!!!!" I must have repeated that phrase a dozen or more times until "Real Me" came ripping out.

The emotions, memories, feelings associated with listening to The Who for a good 10 years came rushing upon me. Holding back tears in public with your buddy probably wondering what the hell is wrong with you was a bit overwhelming and slightly embarrassing too. But that aside, I was in heaven. Note for note, word for word; that set, that show, it was magic.

In college I had a professor that said to pay attention to coincidences in your life. 10/31/95 was more than coincidence for me. Being in that room, that night, for that album....only the Vedics could explain "it".


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