, attached to 2014-10-31

Review by DaleCooper

DaleCooper I have finally decided to dive in and write a review. I will leave the musical analysis to others who are far more qualified than myself. I guess I would like to concentrate on on the feeling this show gave me. If (when) I get long-winded, I apologize in advance.

My first show was '95 Dane County during that fabulous Fall Tour. I knew of the band, had heard Junta thoroughly in the dorms, and came in with spirits high. That show is still the "scariest" Phish show I have ever been to. The YEM got dark. The Sleeping Monkey confounded me. The Antelope left tracks on my back. I left with a concussion and I loved every note that beat my brains that night.

By the time Spring had rolled around, and Jazz Fest accompanying it, I hit the road with some friends and did the obligatory first trip. For anyone that was there, you know how much fun the weekend was. The rain at the end of Stash and The Meters afterwards and the bars trying to keep the Heads out on Bourbon Street. I dove headlong into culture and it responded with that perfect amount of mockery and respect and welcoming that a new family does.

I was hooked.

I know that if a couple of dates and a couple of places were replaced, the above stories could mirror almost every persons' journey here. Every one of us has given time and money and sweat and blood to the music that these four men so graciously give. That is one of the reasons I love this band so much. It doesn't matter if you have 10 shows or a 110 shows on your belt. If you have experienced "IT" you share that feeling with everyone else who has felt "IT". It truly is a community in that regard.

As the years have dragged on, and as my belly has grown and the temples have a touch of grey, the feeling of absolute pure euphoria that I got during those first shows has somewhat diminished. The shows have (for the most part) always been enjoyable and to get my elusive Tela brought a couple of tears, but simply put, I have gotten older. Life has happened, as it does to all of us, and the blissful feeling of only having to worry about getting Mail Order has been replaced by so much else. Frankly, I have no problems with it either. I actually kind of enjoy it.

In the last few years, the quality of play and the rekindled friendship of the band has really jump started my love for the band again and that enthusiasm led to my girlfriend getting me Halloween tix for Vegas. The Halloween show was one large hole on my Phish checklist and the enthusiasm that accompanies an Oct 31st show swept me up as well.

Speculating about the Halloween show meant spending much more time on this website. That led to revisiting shows long past, putting these new years in perspective with old, and starting relations and conversations with you folks. It has made that community that I felt so connected to 15 years ago, real again. I felt like a fan sitting in the lot getting killer French Bread pizza from Arizona Guy and talking about Guyute. And it felt great.

The only thing left was the show. And what a show it was.

That was what I loved about that show more than anything. The collective sense of NEW. Every person in that arena had an experience that got them there, but every person in that arena was joined by the uniting fact that NO ONE HAD EVER EXPERIENCED PHISH QUITE LIKE THAT.

It was exciting and it was fun and and it was smart and creative and over the top and all of the reasons that Phish is Phish. It had all of the reasons that we fell in love with Phish. And every person had the same deflowering to that experience. We were all like-minded in our stupefaction, and when the curtain fell, the mutual jubilation and appreciation that was on the tongues of every person there reminded me of a feeling that I had long thought gone.

We had witnessed something special. We had witnessed something unique. We had a witnessed a moment that completely encompassed "IT."

I always hoped, but never truly expected, to feel the same way I did in New Orleans. I have always wanted, but didn't think possible, to have a musical moment on par with The Riverport Gin. I have always dreamed, but didn't dare hope, to have my head spin the way I felt after my first show.

And yet, they did it.

It was the perfect bookend to a trip that blasted off 19 years ago and the audience was the perfect crew to share the cabin with. It was special. Truly, truly special...


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