Tag Archives: rain

Phish Merriweather Post Pavilion July 13th 2013

Phish Merriweather 2013 poster
Phish Merriweather 2013 poster

Another summer tour with two stops at Merriweather again. This is becoming a traditional weekend run for the band as they have done this over the last few years. I had to miss last years run because of a family event in Wisconsin but I was looking forward to getting back in the groove this year. Because of work and other obligations, this was going to be my only shows of the summer run. Over the years I have become selective in what Phish shows I attend. I still get out and see shows, just not as many as I have in the past.

I started the afternoon off at my sister-in-laws house. Her family was having a family BBQ and it was on my way. It was a hot and humid day but it was suppose to get cooler and drop in humidity as a front move in. This had already caused some spots of rain but it looked to be clear in Columbia for the rest of the afternoon. There was a 40% chance of rain late in the afternoon but that was it.

Getting to Columbia didn’t take long but I had trouble getting into the venue as usually. The parking situation is always horrendous on sold out shows and it took almost an hour to get a spot and walk to the venue. I made one last check of the weather as I was prepared with a rain jacket but Columbia looked to be dry the rest of the evening. I walked in to find the lawn already pretty packed with an hour to go before the official start time. I had planned for this and brought two cigars with me, one for each set. Sitting there I noticed the clouds rolling in and things didn’t look good. It eventually started to drizzle but nothing serious. We were treated to a double rainbow which was cool.

taste the rainbow
taste the rainbow

Not long after the posted start time the show kicks off with Kill Devil Falls. A great upbeat song and then a bust out with Destiny Unbound. I have been fortunately enough to see this song twice before in the almost 50 shows I have seen of Phish (10/15/2010 and 2/28/2003). After this the set mellowed out in the energy which was unfortunate. The weather was slowly changing and I felt the band could have really played on that and made it a great set. They played several newer songs I suspect will be on their rumored new album to be released later this year.

As the set rolled on so did the clouds. It was a crazy scene as the sun set behind me illuminating these dark clouds rolling in over top the venue. They where thick and nasty, glowing from the light of the sun which were certainly bringing rain. In an instance, they heavens let loose with a downpour or rain. Unlike the rain before the set where it was just a light drizzle, this was a downpour. Some people scattered for cover, others dawned trash bags but the majority of us danced harder as the rain fell. The song choice during the rain could have been better but the crowd was excited as the band played on during the heavy rain. Almost as quickly as it started it was over just after the end of the set. I was soaked to the bone but fortunately my phone and Moleskine were safe.

smoke what you got
smoke what you got

At this point I couldn’t sit down to relax for a while and decided instead to do a little people watching. The rain soaked everyone and every thing and people started adjusting to being wet. The rain revitalized the crowds energy despite the down tempo song selection.

Second set as a whole was much better. DWD opened with a roaring success. Free had a good jam, Bouncing was to short in my opinion, and for me Birds of a Feather is a classic from Story of the Ghost I love to see live. They then played Harry Hood which at this venue brings back memories of my first show here back in 1998. Back then they turned all the stage lights off and the crowd went nuts with glow sticks. Now they barely turn them off and there are many more glow sticks. When the band busts into the start of the jam the crowd did manage to make one large push to get as many glow sticks into the air as possible. From my location down on the hill it was a rolling avalanche as the glowsticks made it down to the front of the lawn where I was. Later they played Mike’s so that meant a Weekapaug would be soon follow, the question what will be the in between song. Simple was the choose and a little weird one. The groove is an odd one to sandwich between the two heavy hitting songs, but they made it work.

The show ended with Waste > Good Times, Bad Times. I didn’t know it at the time but this was going to be my only show of the run. I had other obligations that prevented me from seeing Sundays show. At the time I thought the Good Times, Bad Times was a great way to end the set and show. The band loves playing this venue and that song shows it. The first set was a little off but the rain made it fun. For the second set they redeemed themselves for the most part with an better song selection and tighter jams. On the drive home I stripped down because I was tired of being wet. It felt good driving with the windows down, drying off after an excellent Phish show at Merriweather.

Set 1 (7:42pm start)
Kill Devil Falls
Destiny Unbound
Halfway to the Moon
Twenty Years Later
Yarmouth Road
Split Open and Melt
ends at 8:50pm

Set 2 (starts at 9:20pm)
Down with Disease >
Free >
Bouncing Around the Room
Birds of a Feather
Harry Hood >
Architect >
Mike’s Song >
Simple >
Weekapaug Groove
ends at 10:40pm

encore (starts at 10:42pm)
Waste >
Good Times Bad Times
show over at 10:54pm

Harry Hood featured Birds of a Feather and Divided Sky teases by Trey and a Dog Log tease by Mike.

rain soaked first day

The Happiest Place on Earth

Disney's Magic Kingdom
Disney's Magic Kingdom

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Several months ago my Dad and Pat came up with a great idea, a family vacation.  They had banked a timeshare form last year and using the one for this year, they where able to get two rooms to accommodate the entire family.  The next question was where to go?  With two grand kids they decided on Orlando and a trip to Disney World.  Pat has always wanted to take her grand kids there, but it was a a challenge as Ty just turned one and Ellie is almost three.  Ty definitely wouldn’t remember the trip at all, in fact he slept through most of it.  But Pat was not sure how much longer she would be able to walk around the parks.  So it was decided the reward of the trip outweighed the grand kids being to young.  I can say all the kids enjoy the trip, even the adult kids.

We had direct flights out of National Airport early on Saturday, one think I have learned about air travel is fly early and direct.  After arriving in Orlando we got three rental cars and headed to the Marriott Cypress Harbour resort.  Arriving long before check in, only one room was available, if we waited we could get two rooms next to each other which really worked out.  My brother and his girlfriend arrived later that afternoon, unfortunately they could only stay till Wednesday before heading back to the real world.

tyson sleeping
Tyson after a long day

One thing was made clear early in the planning stages of the trip.  We didn’t have to do everything as a family, however we must all get together for a family dinner every night.  A very small price to pay considering plain tickets, hotel, park entrance fee, and most of the food were paid for by the folks.  Each couple took turns cooking one night with everyone else on cleanup duty.  The first night, Saturday, Nancy and I got selected to cook our meal, fajitas.  Being a time share the room had a full kitchen which we put to good use every night.  That first night 9 adults and 2 children crowded around two tables we put together and had our first of many family dinners.  I was seated at the head of one table and it was a great feeling looking down the table seeing the entire family together, the first time in a long time, all enjoy the food Nancy and I cooked.  That is a memory I will not soon forget.

Sunday everyone brook off into their own groups to do what they wanted.  Nancy, Bobby, Tracy, the kids, and I took the day off after our travels and spent most of the day at the pool.  Any other free time was spent simply lounging around the hotel room.  Sometimes doing nothing is all I want to do on vacation.  Not till Monday did we start hitting the parks, and we hit them hard.  Everyone went to Magic Kingdom on Monday, even got our must-have family photo in front of the castle.  Tuesday was Bobby and Tracy’s wedding anniversary so the two of them, Matt, Nancy and I went to Hollywood Studios for a day of adult fun while the grand parents watched the kids.  Wednesday was another family day at Animal Kingdom after my Dad dropped off my brother and his girlfriend at the airport for their plane ride home.  Ellie loved the safari ride and Ty did a lot of double finger pointed, a sign he likes what he sees.  Thursday the group slimmed down to just Nancy, Matt and I as we visited Epcot.

rain soaked first day
rain soaked first day

I would say that the Magic Kingdom was probably my favorite park.  It is by far the largest with the widest selection of rides, all the way from the classic It’s a Small World and Space Mountain to the more modern Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.  Nancy and I spent most of the morning in Tomorrowland with it’s many interactive rides.  The Buzz Lightyear ride was cool, you get to shoot all sorts of bad guys that give you points.  After a quick snake, most of us headed back to the hotel for lunch and a quick nap.  I quickly learned that the mid-afternoon nap for youngster is very important, if they don’t get their nap they become angry.  After a few hours we headed back just in time to get caught in a serious rain storm.  Just as we got onto the tram the heavens opened up and drowned us.  By the time we got into the park there was no point in staying undercover, so we walked to the back of the parks to get in line for rides.  When the lightning stopped and the all clear was given it was a breeze getting onto some rides.  We stayed late that night for the SpectroMagic Parade but left when it was finished for fear of getting caught in the rain once again.  I really wanted to see the fireworks display, but waiting till 10 just wasn’t going to happen.  There was a huge storm rolling in and we got to the car just before it started raining.

at Epcot
at Epcot

Hollywood Studios was a close second.  The rides here are more geared towards adults and the shows are more extravagant.  Plus it was just a lot of fun to hang out with Bobby, Tracy and Matt all day at the park.  We fast pass most of the rides so we didn’t have to stand in lines.  The Tower of Terror was cool along with the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster next to it.  Nancy actually like both of these even though the Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster did three loops.  We took in a couple of shows including the Indiana Jones, Studio Backlot Tour, and Lights, Motors, Action.  The Indiana and Backlot both ask for volunteers and would you believe both times Nancy and Tracy got picked to be extras.  For the Backlot they had parts in a Pearl Harboresq production.  They had to act “crazy” and got soaked in water.  For the Indiana Jones show they both got cast as citizens in the market.  They didn’t do anything, but they certainly had a good view of the entire show.

cute kid
Ellie is so cute

Wednesday was another full family day, minus my brother and his girlfriend who where on their way back home at this point.  We all traveled to Animal Kingdom, the park I was most excited about.  Years ago when my brother and I went with my mom and Norman to Disney World, this park was closed while the finishing touches were put on it.  The big attraction here is the safari ride in the back of the park and it was really cool.  The way they take you through the park is unique in that you don’t feel its a “ride” so much as an experience.  We saw a ton of animals just being animals, doing their own thing.  The one roller coaster they have, Expedition Everest, is different.  At one point you go backwards and there are a ton of high speed turns, using the fast pass it took no time at all to get on this ride.  I must say however the Kali River Rapids was pretty lame, skip this one if you can.  Bobby was talking all sorts of smack to Nancy and I, saying we were going to get soaked on the ride, turns out the raft turned just right down the plunge and got Bobby and Tracy soaked.  I wish I could have seen more of the nature trails and animal exhibits but I couldn’t get anyone else to join me.  We had already walked 10’s of miles and no one wanted to walk more than they had to at this point.  We ended the day with the Finding Nemo musical and it was actually very entertaining for everyone.  When it ended Nancy, Matt and I had had enough and we ditched out about 3pm with everyone else not far behind us.  The whirlwind trip was starting to catch up to everyone.

nightly poker game
our nightly poker game

Our last day at the parks Nancy, Matt and I headed to Epcot.  I will admit this this is probably the least exciting park Disney has to offer.  There are not a whole lot of rides, mostly educational demos and of course you have the 11 nation World Showcase around the lagoon.  We road Test Track and did Soarin’ which was really neat, you fly over various locations in California and the chair you sit in takes you up as you watch the scenery on a 90′ screen with the chair shaking in sync with the visuals.  You even smell oranges while flying over the orange grove.  The one ride I did myself was Mission: Space.  This uses a centrifuge to simulate the g-forces associated with a rocket launch and trip to Mars.  Pretty cool but I felt funny when I was finished.  I knew that was spinning around but the screen I was watching was telling my brain I was traveling in a straight line, just weird.  I didn’t feel sick or anything, just funny is the best way to describe it.  After Mission: Space we headed out of the park for lunch, I know it weird considering all the national food to choose from.  But we saw dark clouds coming and I was really craving some BBQ.  Lucky for us we where in the restaurant when the heavens once again opened up for a mid-afternoon thunder storm.  This was certainly the heaviest rain all week, we literally couldn’t see across the street it was coming down to hard.  Matt and I ate our fill of BBQ and had desert on top of that.  We headed back to hotel for a quick two hour nap.  After waking we headed back to catch the IllumiNations firework/laser/water show in the lagoon.  Everyone said it was the best of all the parks nightly shows and I would agree.  We had a great spot on the back of the park and I was amazed by the entire 12 minute show.

Tree of Life
Nancy and I at the Tree of Life

After four straight days of parks we all agreed Friday would be a relaxing day as we attempted to catch up from the 25-30 miles we walked in high humidity with soaring temperatures.  Matt, Nancy and I headed to a local putt putt where I schooled them in how to play, my Dad mostly napped, and everyone else was pool side.  Later in the afternoon we hatched a plan to meet at Downtown Disney to take the folks out to dinner.  They picked this Irish restaurant, Raglan Road Irish Pub.  Here we got some traditional Irish food and saw some live music with Celtic dancers on a small center stage.  I highly recommend the bangers and mash, yum.  Taking the folks out for our final night was the least we could do to show our appreciation for them taking us all to Orlando for a week long vacation.  Plus, no one wanted to cook that night, let alone clean up the mess before we had to leave on Saturday morning.  As a night cap we played one final round of poker.  Each night we played Texas Hold’em with a $5 buy in.  The late night poker seasons were fun.  I unfortunately never won, in fact Matt won 3 out of the four nights we played for money.  That lucky bastard!

Getting home was a non-issue.  The flights where on time and getting back to the house was a breeze.  I slept a little on the plan and took a nice long nap that afternoon after having some lunch with Nancy.  We even headed to bed early.  Thankfully there was nothing we needed to do on Sunday so that turned into a lazy day around the house, catching up on sleep.  This is certainly a vacation I will not soon forget.  It was wonderful hanging out with the family.  Our last night in Orlando we even talked about the next family trip in two years.  I am pulling for the Pacific Northwest and I think Tracy is for that as well.  Thankfully we have almost two years to decide where the next trip will be.

Random photos from the gallery:

[zenphotopress album=64 sort=random number=6]

Whiteoak Canyon Spring 2010

green moss on a rock
loved the green moss on the rock

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I totally forgot to make a post about my recent, well over two months ago at this point, hike to Whiteoak Canyon in the Shenandoah National Forest.  Since my hikes early in the year to Prince William Forest in late winter and Pinckney Island while on vacation to Hilton Head, I have not been able to get out and enjoy the spring weather.  During spring the weather was not sure what it wanted to do.  Some days it was cold and other times it was mid-summer hot.  Once day it broke a record and reached temperatures over 90 degrees.  Throw in unpredictable rain and it made for a pretty bizarre spring.

After much debating I was determined to get out and hike somewhere, anywhere for an afternoon.  I couldn’t have picked a worse weekend to try and get outside, but with my busy schedule I can’t be to choosy.  I set out early Sunday morning for Old Rag and the weather was not looking good.  My house was suppose to get rain in the afternoon and the Shenandoah looked pretty clear all day.  I decided to take my chance and make the 2.5 hour drive regardless of the weather.  I figured it couldn’t be that bad and if things did turn south at least the drive would be nice.  The whole drive West the sky was filled with dark clouds and a cool breeze, but no rain.  As I passed Sperryville down 231 it started to drizzle and I was getting worried.  By the time I got to the parking lot for Old Rag there was a pretty steady rain and I decided to drive a further south to Whiteoak Canyon and try my luck there.  I was hoping that further South I drove the weather would be more cooperative.

When I arrived at Whiteoak Canyon, I was surprised to see a good number of people in the lot.  They, like me, were not going to let a little rain ruin their opportunity for a hike.  I was able to get a parking spot close to the trail head and started hiking soon after getting my gear organized.  I decided to travel extremely light this time just in case the heavens did decided to open up beyond an annoying drizzle.  This unfortunately meant most of my camera gear stayed in the truck, my 18-55 lens was all I brought.

hikers enjoying lunch
nice view for lunch

The clouds never broke and the temperatures remained rather low all afternoon.  Fortunately the heaviest rain passed well north of my location so a mild drizzle was all I got.  I snapped a few photos and did a little adventuring near the lower waterfall.  There is a little creek that flows into the main body of water just before the waterfall.  I have passed it numerous times and finally decided to do a little explorer.  The creek leads into a small valley that is strewn with boulders of all imaginable sizes.  I did my best to climb up them, but eventually I gave up and tried climbing the steep raven walls.  This little adventure caused me a lot of trouble, I had numerous battle wounds when I finally got back to the main trail.

When I arrived at the waterfall I climbed to the top and enjoyed a packed lunch.  That last little hike up to the top of the waterfall is steep and took it out of me.  The cool temperatures allowed me to cool off while I ate my lunch and get a little entertainment.  I watch three guys climb down the side of the mountain from the top of the waterfall, instead of taking the trail.  The trail might be longer, but it certainly is safer then walking straight down the hill.

After enjoying the solitude for a while I made short work of the hike back to my truck.  The weather condition where certainly not ideal, but I needed to get outside so badly I didn’t care what the weather was like.  As I write this post it has been over two months to the day sense this hike and I am jonesing for another.  I will be traveling to Portsmouth, VA with a friend for MMW at the Norva Theatre followed the next day by Phish at nTelos Pavilion.  Hopefully I can squeeze a hike in between the shows.  If not, I know I will certainly have the time when I am up in Saratoga Springs, NY for a weekend filled with yet more Phish shows.

Veterans Day in Washington DC

path along the reflecting pool
path along the Reflecting Pool

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For most federal holiday they happen on Monday or Friday and often the government shifts around the day off to fit this ideal model.  So having Veterans Day in the middle of the week just felt odd and out of place.  On top of that Hurricane Ida hit the Gulf Coast and decided to sit on top of Virginia ALL day.  I was planning on getting outside to do a little hiking but that got washed out, literally.  So when my dad called saying he was going to DC to visit the Vietnam Memorial, possible Arlington National Cemetery, and the Smithsonian’s American History Museum I decided that was a better day spent than inside my house.

We got some what of an early start, I went to his house around 10am so we could take Metro into the city.  I was not overly concerned with high traffic today, middle of the week and rain would keep most people away.  Plus the more people I talked to it was about a 50/50 split on who had off.  Needless to say there was plenty of parking in the garage and seats on the train.

When we got to the Smithsonian stop and took the long escalator ride up we got our first taste of just how miserable the weather was going to be.  I was hoping that the further north we traveled things would improve, but of course that was wishful thinking.  The wind would howl blowing cold moisture soaked air, layers of warm cloths were the only defense against this onslaught of mother nature.  A good rain jacket or umbrella was a must too.  My dad’s umbrella decided to break down and provide only minimal defense against the rain, but for today it would do the job well enough.  The rain falling was never heavy, just a steady, even, rainfall.  Enough to make it not fun to be outside.

Vietnam Memorial
Vietnam Memorial

The walk from the Metro stop to the Vietnam Memorial is about a mile and half, not that far, but no fun in the rain.  We made the most of it and I was able to get a couple nice shots considering the day.  We passed the Washington Monument and the WWII Memorial before we reach our destination.  Around the memorial were a ton of veterans mingling and reminiscing about days of old.  The cold and rain were not enough to keep these guys from honoring the memories of their fallen brothers.  It was inspiring really, I imagine many of them dealt with much worse in the jungle to let a little rain bother them today.  We tried to get close and walk along the wall but police had it blocked off to the public.  An officer said they were preparing for a ceremony at 1pm and we should come back around 3pm if we wanted to get closer.

We spent a good amount of time standing around looking at the wall talking about Vietnam and the current war.  The conversation around the memorial was definitely different than the one on the train ride up or the walk over.  My dad was in country for 17 months as a MP at a southern airfield.  He has never talked about it and I never bring it up.  But I know it affected him.  We talked a little about what the American public was like back then and again now.  To me it is eerily similar now as it was back then.  The public is loosing patience with the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, just like in the late sixties with Vietnam.  It will be interesting to see what happens in the next couple of years.  Will history repeat itself?

lobby of the museum
lobby of the museum

With our sole searching done we trudged along towards the American History Museum.  They recently remolded the museum and opened it back up to the public, plus we wanted to get out of the rain.  Walking along Constitution Avenue we quickly noticed that the roads were blocked off, not even pedestrians were allowed to cross the road.  We knew it was for someone important, and we assumed the President.  A few minutes later we see police motorcycles drive by followed by three heavily armored limousine and 10 or so black SUV’s.  The motorcade even had an ambulance thrown in for good measure.  One of the SUV’s looked like it could have communicated with Spirit and Opportunity on Mars.  That’s just the way he rolls.

Getting to the museum we made a quick stop at the cafe on the first floor for some lunch and much needed hot coffee.  It felt good to be inside and out of the rain.  Next we got a map of the museum and started exploring.  The guide we talked to recommended the Star-Spangled Banner, Julia Child’s Kitchen, and American Presidency.  But before we saw any of these we started with America on the Move since it is on the first floor.  My dad loves trains so it was an obvious first choice.  It is pretty amazing to see how far we have come in this country.  But when you considering how massive it is, it’s no wonder we love to travel.

Next it was up to the third floor and work our way down.  The big attraction here is the Price of Freedom display which shows every war America has been in.  From our countries the little known wars in our early history all the way up to the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan we are bravely fighting.  We took our time especially walking through the Vietnam section.  I am pretty sure it brought bake memories for my dad.  He pointed out on a giant map the place he was stationed in country which was pretty neat.

a funny statue of Washington
a funny statue of Washington

On the second floor is the Star-Spangled Banner, this is the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write what eventually became the national anthem of our country.  When I was a kid the flag use to be displayed so when you walked in from the Mall entrance it was the first thing you saw.  As time went on they covered it and would only display it for a brief time during the day.  Now, it is entirely encased in a environmentally controlled chamber away from people and light.  Throughout the flags history people have not taken the best care of it.  Large sections were cut out and sold and at one time it was displayed outside on the museum wall.

We had time to check a few other section of the museum in our limited time.  Of course we couldn’t see everything in the few hours we had, but we saw everything we wanted to.  It was great spending the day with my dad in the city.  It reminded me of my youth when he would take my brother and I up regularly to check out the museums.  Even in my thirties going to the museums with my dad is a lot of fun.

Phish Saratoga Performing Arts Center August 16th 2009

Day two of my mini run and the last show of the summer tour.  My day started early because of the long drive I needed to make to Saratoga Springs, NY.  I booked a camp site at Schroon River Resort which was about 45 minutes north of the venue.  It was not the closest campsite to the venue, but it was the only one with spots available.  Again I waited to the last minute, Saturday morning in fact, to start calling around for a spot.  Some of the closer campsites posted on their website they were booked for the weekend and others simply didn’t answer the phone.

copyright: Mike Wren
copyright: Mike Wren

I was hoping to leave by 8 but didn’t hit the road till almost 9am.  The traffic was light for a Sunday and what little there was was headed south.  Actually the drive all the way up was pretty easy, never really hit any heavy traffic, even around New York.  But as I got closers to the venue I started to realize that once again, I would not be able to make it to the campsite and back to the venue before the show started.  So I skipped the campsite and drove straight to the venue down the center of town.  Arriving when I did, did not afford me enough time to fire up the grill for some burgers.  But I did get some time to relax and enjoy the scene in the over flow lot before heading into the venue.  I would have to wait till I got home before I could test out my new grill.

As show time approached I started to get a little concerned about the weather.  Ominous clouds started rolling in from the east and they looked angry.  While at one of the rest stops in New York I jumped on their free wi-fi network and checked the weather, “cloudy” is what is said.  I messaged Jeremy to have him check the weather and he reported back with “cloudy.”  Nothing said rain so I assumed I would be safe, but you know what they say about assuming.  When I got about halfway to the venue entrance, and it’s a long walk across the golf course, it started to drizzle.  No biggy, I decided to take some shelter under the trees for a while and wait for it to pass.  I know it’s a bad idea, but it was just a little rain not a thunder storm.  As I sat there with other Phisheads the rain got heavier and heavier till it as a full on down pour.  I tried to hug a tree for a while but it was fruitless, I was soaked.  At that point I decided to walk towards the venue in the rain.  Every where I walked there were puddles of water with rain coming down in buckets.  I was doing everything I could to protect my ticket.  When I reached the venue they had some covered areas that were packed with people trying to dry out before the show.

copyright: Brian Sherman
copyright: Brian Sherman

Now when I got in line to get in I was thrown back to when I first started seeing tickets.  For years now when you walk into the venue the ticket taker has some type of scanner that reads your ticket, making sure it is valid and has not been used already to enter the venue.  Because it was still raining the ticket takers couldn’t use the scanners and they had to resort to tearing off the stub to signify the ticket was used.  It was crazy seeing all these people holding out their wet tickets and the takers ripping off the stub.  Some people had print-at-home tickets that were bleeding ink all over the place and ticket takers did their best to tear off the bar code.  It is amazing how quickly things can break down when you don’t have the computers you rely on to do your job.

About the time I made it to the lawn the rain stop but dark clouds always loomed in the distance.  It already rained when it was not suppose to, so what was to prevent it from raining again.  The rain delayed the band from their usual start time and I was hoping it would lead to a better show.  Maybe get a Divided Sky or something like that.  Or hear a little banter about the rain and everyone getting soaked.  Those of us on the lawn were definitely in high spirits.  We might have been soaked but the rain couldn’t dampen our spirits.

When the show finally started the first set was peppered with great tunes, no Divided Sky however or any mention of the rain.  But the opener of Llama was a great choice and the crowd was full of energy.  Moma Dance was alright at best, they have not been hitting it like years past, just to short.  When they got into jamming the song, it’s already over.  Other set one highlights include Cars, Trucks, Buses, Chalk Dust and a mighty David Bowie.  For the closer they played one of my personal favorites, Antelope.  Throughout the first set there must have been no less than 4 glow stick wars.  The middle section of the lawn was filled with glowing pieces of plastic flying through the air.  It was so great to see the crowd getting into the spirit of the show and having some fun despite the rain, wet conditions, and thick humidity.

copyright: Brian Sherman
copyright: Brian Sherman

After the set was over I walked to the top of the lawn to stretch my legs.  The wet ground made it impossible to sit so I walked around instead.  I also just wanted to be amongst the people.  The crowd was dense but it was great rubbing shoulders with other fans in such close quarters.  Everyone was smiling and mingling with those around them.  I walked aimlessly for a while just enjoying the vibe, eventually settled down in the middle of the lawn.  If there was going to be another glow stick war, and I had little doubt, I wanted to be in the middle of it.  It is so cool to look up towards the stars when glow sticks are flying overhead with Phish playing in the background.  Surreal almost.

By the time the houselights lowered for the second set everyone was ready for a killer performance.  The first set was pretty good and now it was time to do a little jamming and exploring a deeper selection of tracks.  Set opener Number Lines was played for 20 minutes before it lead into Twenty Years.  After Halley’s Comet they played Rock & Roll by the Velvet Underground, one of many covers during the night.  When it was finished things slowed down for a minute before they busted out Harpua.  Jeremy and I talked about this at the Merriweather show and how great it would be if they busted it out.  Again Jeremy lucked out and they played it tonight, so something special was about to happened.

What followed was some crazy stuff on the part of the band.  Trey sat down at the drums and Jon took the mic to sing a song.  The night before Jon debuted a new song of his called Party Time, so I couldn’t wait to hear what was going to be playe.  The first few lines that Jon sung didn’t register, nor did the accompanying music.  But when he sang the line “I kissed a girl and I liked it” I realized what song it was.  Definitely a new interpretation of the  song, I would even say that Jon butchered it.  But covers, and new ones at that, are always cool to witness.  Next up was HYHU and back into Harpua to close this portion of the set.  Next up was YEM that dropped like a bomb on the crowd and closed out the set, a solid 20 minute performance.

copyright: Mike Wren
copyright: Mike Wren

So here we are at the end of the set for the last show of the tour till Halloween and Festival 8.  The band walks off stage and the crowd just goes silent.  This has happened every show I went to over the summer tour, the band walks off stage and there is no cheering or clapping, nothing to bring the band back out.  At least with tonights performance there was a proper glow stick war, but when it comes to encores the audience just expects it now.  They don’t cheer or clap and with all the lights people have, they don’t even raise those.  If I was Phish I wouldn’t come back on stage unless the crowd really got into it, but that’s just me.  After a short time they walk back on stage, with not much fan fair, for the encore.

The encore included an accapella Grind, lame, and another new song, I Been Around.  It was the last song to be performed from their forth coming album and prominently featured Page on keys and vocals.  It was alright, nothing special.  The final song was yet another cover and I thought an appropriate way to end the show/tour, Highway to Hell.

With the show over it was time to head back to my car and get out of Dodge.  This time I took the road back instead of cutting across the golf course.  The sprinklers were on and I decided I didn’t want to get soaked again.  When I left it was off to a rest stop a few miles down the road.  Since I never checked into the campsite I had to settle for sleeping in my car.  But the cool air that night made for a rather comfortable nights rest.  Like always I was joined by several other car loads of fans headed home from the show making a stop to rest from the party we all just left in Saratoga Springs.

Set 1:
1. Llama
2. Moma Dance
3. Guyute
4. Anything But Me
5. Cars, Trucks, Buses
6. Chalk Dust Torture
7. Golgi Apparatus
8. David Bowie
9. Cavern >
10. Possum
11. Ocelot
12. Run Like an Antelope

Set 2:
1. Backwards Down the Number Line >
2. Twenty Years Later
3. Halley’s Comet >
4. Rock & Roll
5. Harpua >
6. I Kissed a Girl* >
7. Hold Your Head Up >
8. Harpua
9. You Enjoy Myself

10. Grind
11. I Been Around*
12. Highway to Hell

*First time played