, attached to 1999-12-31

Review by whatstheuse324

whatstheuse324 Anything that could be said about 12/31/1999 has pretty much been said, so instead of beating a dead horse, I'm just going to point out the most memorable experiences I had on this epic day/night/day.

We were hanging out at the campsite next to our bus, FLAPJACK 2000, getting geared up for the night that was to be. We made it to the concert field a little late, so Runaway Jim started up as we were getting through the fence. I spent the entire early set all the way in the back of the field, Trey side. It was fantastic. There was a ton of room to dance and move, I was hanging out with most of my crew and some pretty girl dressed up like an angel. The sound was still very good in the back. At one point during SOAM>Catapult, a giant cloud moved in front of the sun and giant rays of sunbeams were cascading down on all of us in the field, it was very spectacular. After Midnight, as mentioned in other reviews, was off the hook, everyone was pumped.

As the set ended and the mass exodus began clearing out of the concert field, my crew and I were like salmon swimming up the river. We made it to about fifty yards from the stage, Trey side, right next to the railings that were put in place. Little did we know that the spot we picked was perfect for what would be coming. We sat in that spot for five hours and waited, taking shifts holding down the fort. Finally, Old Man Time did his thing, collapsed on the bike, we were all wondering if it would ever be midnight, and then the Meatstick started playing...Anyway, when Phish rode the Hotdog through the crowd, they drove right past our spot. We ended up with leis and I think some Jolly Ranchers from Page. They drove to the stage, fed the meatstick links to Old Man Time, and got ready for the countdown.

As I mentioned in my 12/30/1999 review, I was with seven other friends from Rutgers and we drove down in our bus together. Although it was hard to be with everyone at the same time during the festival, we all made it together for the midnight celebration. When the clock struck midnight, we had an enormous group hug and huddled together as a team in joyous jubilation. It felt like we won the Stanley Cup. I will never forget that ever.

Suddenly, I was completely soaking wet.

A group of kids behind us from Chicago let about five bottles of Champagne spray through the air. I was pissed off for about .5 seconds and let it go with everything else. There was nothing that was going to stop this utter feeling of amazing triumph and being "there" in that exact moment in time.

Down With Disease = Greatest Fireworks EVER

All of the giant beach balls made it over my head during Bathtub Gin. One of my favorite jams of the whole festival is the last four or five minutes of Gin. It mellows out completely after the vocal jam in the middle and there is a sense of overwhelming calm. It was almost like the eye of the hurricane so to speak. It felt like the band and audience alike were able to take a breath in this pristine moment, soak it all in, realize that there was no where else in the world that was having more fun than we were, and gave us a minute to get ready for the marathon that lay before us.

I get chills thinking about it.

CHEESECAKE!!! will never be the same.

Slave to the Traffic Light stands out to me because I was with my friend Felipe at that moment and it was his favorite song.

Bowie, Reba, YEM, Sand>Quadraphonic Toppling...words won't describe them.

By the early hours of dawn, the concert field looked more like a civil war battlefield. People were just collapsed and laying around everywhere. I am proud to say that I made it on my feet the entire time. Sunrise was euphoric. Hood tease>2001 was unforgettable. Trey's beautiful solo out of Wading in the Velvet Sea giving way to the Meatstick let us all know that the end had come. I will never forget the absolute silence of 80,000 people slowly walking away during Here Comes the Sun on the PA.

We got in FLAPJACK 2000 within the hour and made it out of Big Cypress by noon. It was a much more quiet drive back to New Jersey than it was driving down. Everyone was spent. We made it back to Rutgers before midnight on 1/2/2000 and carried on with our lives once again. But we were not the same.

Since then, I only see my friend Achal on a consistent basis. Our friend Aland, fearless driver/owner of FLAPJACK 2000, passed away long before his time in 2012. I spoke at his funeral about this trip and how he provided me with one of the best weeks I will ever have. I still think about the group hug at midnight, and although I will never see some of those guys again, we will always walk together forever.


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