Friday night saw many iterations on my calendar. Originally it would be me and my ex’s daughter. Almost 11, it would be her first Phish show. She was nervous about staying up through the whole show because she usually sleeps at 9:30. I made a reservation at the hotel across the street from MSG for the weekend. Her nerves got the best of her and we’ve rescheduled our city visit for another day. Having the hotel proved useful as a dear friend and her ensconced were headed to town from North Carolina to see the show. Seems she had 2 others in tow so I gave them the room with two double beds (this is what we call foreshadowing).
More news came through the wire. Kinetic was coming to town. haven’t seen Kintetic since last summer’s Lockn’ fest. Her boyfriend trusts me and so I arranged (somewhat miraculously) a stay at the Phillips Club. This is decadent full apartment near Lincoln Center that I rarely have access to.
I added names to the hotel reservation so the NC crew could check in on their own and met Kinetic at the club before heading to bbq. An unfortunate food choice as she’s from South Carolina but that’s where some other friends were. While eating, I learn that the hotel only provided one double bed in a room too small for extra cots. As I scrambled to make other arrangements, we ate tasty food that planted evil seeds deep in the gut which weren’t exorcized till after the show.
Kinetic got the 11 year old’s floor seat and we raged her first time in MSG and NYC. The music was great and we danced in a cloud of friends all night.
Afterwards I returned to American Beauty to dance with Jane. Smiles galore. We wandered the early morning city till food and a clean bathroom became the priority. 3 am chicken fingers at a diner, nothin finer.
The Double Chocolate donut brought an acapella Chocolate Rain complete with moves away from the mic when they breathe. The second set was an epic run of new and classic tunes that would have made even the most stoic shake.
At the set break I had a chance to introduce the Phellowship to friends in from LA. A transplant to the coast via Philly and NYC, Rick and I worked together for years and are quite close. His band Last Love played my charity’s fundraiser in April. He and his special lady had heard about the Phellowship but seeing is another experience entirely. The mass of people, the meeting happening, clapping, cheering, etc. It’s a sub-sub culture. To re-answer his questions, I know and love many of the people in that group and go to shows mostly to see them.
SET 1: Chocolate Rain, Ass Handed, Free, Weigh > Undermind > The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony, The Dogs, Destiny Unbound, Divided Sky, Things People Do, Sand
SET 2: Have Mercy, Chalk Dust Torture, You Sexy Thing > Mercury -> You Sexy Thing > Backwards Down the Number Line > Rock and Roll
ENCORE: Fee, Space Oddity
Phish debut; a cappella, with Page on a midi controller keyboard.
 Lyrics changed to “have a chocolate donut and catch your breath.”
I woke on Sunday to a flood of Facebook posts and saw Kinetic had been active in the last few minutes. Just as I sat up in bed she opened the door from her bedroom. She insisted on cooking breakfast before we went to the museum of natural history. No complaints. This is an amazing museum and to go with a biologist is an extra level of excitement. I got to introduce her to Lucy and her friend Turkana Boy. Conversation included penis size relative to body size (she said walrus, I said barnacle), giant sloths vs giant rhino, and what passive aggressive people. As Kinetic left for a day with other friends, I caught up with the crew from North Carolina. Record shopping, vintage stores, costume stores, then hookah and Turkish coffee (my favorite). The day was great and we were all excited for their night 2, my night 7.
The donut was Cinnamon. An announcement came over the speakers just before the show started warning us not to eat the brown donuts. Older folk laughed and explained the reference. Kinetic and I were on the skybridge halfway to the stage with a group of Phells. We danced with the freedom of little kids. Some would say we pushed ourselves, others would say we pushed each other. We would say we stopped pushing; we let go, we weren’t ourselves, and we weren’t each other but we took each other there.
Our walrus friend returned to us at the end of the first set with a Beatles cover. His penis would follow in the next set with the song Meatstick. FYI, it is the barnacle with the largest proportional penis at 50 times its body size.
After the show, we headed to Dopapod. Kinetic didn’t want to stop dancing and I didn’t think I could if I tried. Her bus to the airport was at 5 am so we stayed up. More of that story in this post.
SET 1: Llama, Wilson > Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan > Ya Mar, Tela, The Birds > The Line, Water in the Sky, Vultures, Train Song > Horn, I Am the Walrus
SET 2: Blaze On > Twenty Years Later > Alumni Blues > Letter to Jimmy Page > Alumni Blues > Meatstick > Dirt > Harry Hood
ENCORE: Cinnamon Girl
Sleep. Or at least an attempt. In bed by 5:30 after Kinetic got on the bus. I worked for a while and tried not to expend any energy till dinner and coffee (lots of coffee) before the show. I traded my floor ticket with a friend because I had a phone call at 9 pm and would miss part of the show. He was very excited at this.
The stated flavor was Jimmies which prompted colloquial debates. They’ve always been sprinkles to me but the proper noun opens new possibilities. Indeed we got Harpua a song that includes a character named Jimmy and often a unique story. Tonight was a science lesson about how the shape of the universe is actually a donut. Jimmy returned for the encore in the form of The Wind Cries Mary. A debut song for the band.
Delirium started to set in towards the mid point of the show and I was grateful for some time to sit and be on the phone with the show in the background.
SET 1: The Curtain With > Runaway Jim, Waking Up Dead, Esther, Home, Brian and Robert, Nellie Kane, Colonel Forbin’s Ascent > Fly Famous Mockingbird > David Bowie
SET 2: Drowned, A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Harpua > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Golgi Apparatus, In The Good Old Summer Time
ENCORE: The Wind Cries Mary
Life is getting blurry. Exciting news for today is that Island Girl and some other friends will be in attendance. Island Girl brought her poison ivy and related topical ointments but denied everyone hugs. Such a tease.
I watched the first set from the back of the bridge across from the stage. The Canadian flag hung from the ceiling was well lit as they opened the show with an instrumental version of O Canada. Perfect for the Maple theme. I spent the second set in my ticketed seats! What a strange turn of events. If I don’t have floors I head to the bridge but I noticed my ticket was for an aisle in the 100 section where security is keen to keep the peace. Anyone standing in the aisle is pushed aside as the flashlights strobe the stairs. There was some room to dance but I ended up standing in the vestibule with the spinners. The second set was low key till the end where Piper and Possum exploded the scene. David Bowie covers as an encore is always a welcome treat. Since they covered his album this Halloween I expect more in the mix at future shows.
The American Beauty dance party was odd tonight. The upcoming DJs sound promising so here’s hoping. Electric Beethoven was playing downstairs and while I didn’t see the show, I got to say hi to Jay Lane and give him directions back to the club.
Writing hurts my sleep deprived brain.
SET 1: O Canada, Crowd Control, Sugar Shack, When the Circus Comes, Daniel Saw the Stone, Army of One, The Wedge, Guelah Papyrus, Maple Leaf Rag > Guelah Papyrus, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters > Limb By Limb > Walk Away
SET 2: Golden Age, Leaves, Swept Away > Steep > 46 Days > Piper, Possum
ENCORE: Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide
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