, attached to 2009-10-29

Review by hansokolow

hansokolow This soundcheck is one of my all-time great memories of the band. I can actually say I attended. Back in 2009, I had lost my job, like a lot of people, and I didn't have the bread to get a Festival 8 ticket. But as an LA resident, I wasn't about to miss it. I signed up for the volunteer shifts, which meant coming in a couple of days early and working for something like 20 hours total. We checked in at the store and we all got one of the nice metal Festival 8 water bottles, which I immediately lost. I walked right back in the back of the store tent from the back, where no one was guarding the exit, and I grabbed another one. Then I did like 8 hours of mostly lifting cases of water bottles onto or off of a little golf cart trailer, and just getting water everywhere it needed to be. It was back-breaking work, and Indio in late October is still hot, easily in the 90s. After a full day of it, the foreman picked out me and maybe four other hefty dudes. We all were pretty sturdy. He didn't tell us where we were going, but we got on a truck loaded with palm trees in pots. They drove us right into the venue during the opening jam of what is called set 2 here. Only one of the other volunteers and myself was actually really pumped we were getting in. The other dudes were tired, I guess.

We loaded out a truckload of palm trees all over the venue while the band played. The palm trees went to the corners of the sound booth and at all the light and speaker stations among the crowd, as decoration. It was pretty fantastic. I was dancing on the moving flat-bed truck from one side of the venue to the other during Undermind. I remember that very well. Empty lawn. Just the band and us techies.

We finished up with the palms, and the guy didn't take us away right away, so we got to see the soundcheck to the end. None of us had the stones to go right up to the front. We kept a respectful distance off to the side, but there was nobody between us and the band. I didn't recognize Starship Trooper, but people were very excited. I knew it was a possible Halloween clue.

Later this night, you could still get into the outer area of the venue, and on that giant screen they were playing clips of horror movies interspersed with clips of Phish shows. They played a good chunk of the 1998 Halloween set, and I said, hey, this exists! When are they releasing this video?! They still have not. Nor have they released the 3-D blu-ray of Festival 8, even though there was a movie released in theaters. Why can't I buy that 3-D blue-ray of the movie you aired in theaters, Phish.com?
I digress.

The next morning I showed up to the store for my last shift, in costume, which was as a cop. Yup, it was the scariest thing I could think of at a Phish show. I was a pretty believable cop, actually. I think I went too far. I got my hair cut short to the neck, which really sold it. I showed up for my shift and they put me in the back of the shop to just stand there all day and discourage the hippies from stealing those nice Festival 8 water bottles. You show up as a cop, they make you a cop. Don't do it.


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