Phish at Hampton Coliseum 2018- Hampton, VA

Phish hampton 2018 poster
I’ve been told I’ve seen shows at Hampton but I have no memory of them. This 3-night run wasn’t even on my radar except for Kinetic asking me every few weeks. “No, I’m not going.” Soon as a miracle showed up for the first night and Kinetic said she had a bed for me… things started to make more sense. After 2 great nights at Albany, I was ready for more and hoped I’d be ready to dance. Well, I was ready but the music in Albany didn’t move me that far.
It’s a nice drive through Delaware and across the bay before cutting west into Hampton. Crossing into Virginia is palpable. I’ve been in Virginia but not like this. Right at the border, I was greeted with gun stores, fireworks, and confederate flags. Indeed it is the most diverse state border crossing I’ve made. The Coliseum is right in town, very accessible, and has ample parking out front. Fighting through traffic once off the bay left me just enough time to park and find that miracle.
Walking towards the mothership is exhilarating. Most people are heading
from the same direction as you. The sky was a deep bruise-colored blue and a silvermoon was hanging above the coliseum. There’s a large fountain outside (yes, at least one person will end up in there by the end of the night) that makes a great meeting spot.
The inside is concrete and more concrete. Long bathroom lines, sparse decor, friendly staff, and it’s all general admission. We started on the floor but it was packed. I wandered looking for dance room. It’s amazing to me how/ why people choose where to stay for a show. Find a spot you love for sure. No pressure from me and I hope you have a great time. Most of the weekend found me stage left in the back or stage right in the wings. Both spots had room to dance and a friendly crew from across the land.

The first sets felt like second sets. It felt like there were lots of shorter songs but that’s all in my memory. Overall, the shows were balanced and lots of fun. So much pressure for this venue after countless historic shows and even a live album release.
Our Airbnb was along the water about 40 minutes north. It was essentially a double-wide but was decked out like a beach house that double-dipped into cheezy and generic philosophy-art. “Salt air is best” hung among multiple signs pointing the way to the beach (all were pointing different directions and none was actually pointing towards the closest beach). “Salt air is best” isn’t awful on its own but when paired with a starfish which can’t live in the salt air, the meaning becomes muddled. The largest piece hung in the living room and was a beach scene painted on a door, hung landscape, covered with netting.
salt air is best
The poster for this show was gorgeous. I try not to get too deep into poster collecting as I only have a few walls, framing is expensive, and I suspect it’s a slippery slope to obsession. Plus, I don’t like waiting on line for hours before a show in hopes I’ll get one. That’s exactly what KG did though. The first night she got in late and missed the line. The second day, the person in front of her got the last one. The third night, she was first in line and was completely unstoppable. At the end of the night, our friend said he had an extra on the way, I could take KG’s and all would be well. It’s still being framed but I’ve got a spot ready for it and am very excited!

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