, attached to 2016-07-02

Review by toddmanout

toddmanout I won’t say whether the love of m’lady outweighs my love of Canada but in 2016 she once again managed to lure me away from my home in the nation’s capital city on that greatest of all Ottawa holidays: Canaday™, and for what? Another Phish run of course.

The trio of Phish shows were running consecutively at my favourite outdoor venue in eastern North America (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) which made the exodus a little more attractive, and securing a booking at that nice old farmhouse-style hotel on the main drag along with a bunch of our ‘merican Phishy friends only sweetened the pot. The hotel sported an inviting front porch with three wide steps leading down to the sidewalk, and I spent every spare minute sitting on that porch with a guitar (or was it a mandolin?) in my lap and a beer (it was definitely a beer) at my side. It was never boring watching a phalanx of friendly strangers and even stranger friends parade up and down the sidewalk heading to or from something homey and fun, for all things in downtown Saratoga are some combination of homey and fun.

At some point during the weekend Trey’s bus got stopped at a light right in front of our porch (or was it Mike’s bus? Funny that I can’t remember, and even funnier that the four band members each have their own busses. I‘m sure it’s not because they don’t get along, ‘cuz I think they do. Do you suppose every once in a while Page decides to ride along with Fishman, or maybe all four of them squeeze onto Trey’s bus and watch a movie together while the other three empty buses follow along behind? Oh, the questions I would ask…). Anyway, what happened there…did the bus door open or did we just get a celebrity wave from the window? Was I even there? Did it even happen? Gosh…probably and for sure, and I’m pretty sure it was Trey after all. Or Page. There was definitely a wave, I remember my friend Rachel talking about it with a circle of friends afterwards. Hmm. So maybe I wasn’t there? Or was it Rachel? Either way, stay tuned for even more mind-numbing and potentially accurate vicarious tales of pedestrian by-sighting.

After all that gibberish it will come as little surprise that I don’t remember much specifically about the show itself, although I do recall really enjoying the new Mike Gordon song 555 that came near the top of the show. It has since become one of my brain’s goto earworms – probably because the lyrics are so simple (“Five fifty fi—hive!!!!”) – which has in turn led to me over-noticing clocks striking 5:55, such that I think I always look at clocks at five-to-six even though logic says I don’t*.

To be honest not a whole lot jumps out at me from this concert but that doesn’t diminish how good of a time I likely had. I’ve seen That Band From Vermont well over a hundred times and I only had a less-than-stellar time at a very, very small number of them. And I can assure you, I remember those concerts quite well. This wasn’t one of them, so I must have had a blast.

I certainly had a good time back on that porch after the show with a frosty beer in my hand and my mandolin in my lap. Or did I bring my guitar? Doesn’t matter. Good times.

*I had an ex-girlfriend (still do I suppose) who was convinced that the numbers 2 and 7 came up in her life with unnatural regularity. Which basically meant that she noticed a 2 and/or a 7 every time one or especially both of them appeared somewhere in a friend’s phone number or in her new credit card number or on her take-a-number slip or…anywhere. I thought that it was rather telling that she didn’t seem to notice when the numbers 2 and/or 7 didn’t come up. Never mind that by having two “favourite” or “coincidental” numbers she had a pretty large chance of having at least one of them come up in any random string of numbers. But my main point is that if she only and especially noticed when her numbers came up and particularly didn’t notice their absence when they didn’t appear (perhaps even to the point of evil-eyeing her future ex-boyfriend when he pointed out things like, “Hey, there’s no 2 or 7 in this bar tab…”), well, her lucky numbers are sure to follow her around forever.

But I won’t.

(I am a bit embarrassed to admit that to this day my brain momentarily takes note when I am assigned hotel room 527, say, or my expected wait time for something is seventy-two minutes. The reason it’s embarrassing to admit is because it seems to happen all the time.)



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