Read the book(s)

by Yome NetSan 28. August 2016

This summer has been a quiet one. I haven't got the chance to start listening to Phish's tour before it ended neither the several vinyl records I bought since April. But I've read quite a lot and some of the books I dove into have been related to our band.

 

Fare Thee Well

After finally buying the huge Fare Thee Well 12 CD / 7 BluRay "Complete" box (still missing the Santa Clara shows, where the lyrics "Fare Thee Well" have been sung), I added to my shelves the accompagning book.

It's a beautiful coffee-table kind of book with a lot of beautiful pictures. Seriously, the production of the concerts and the talent of the photographers have done wonders. I received it in the morning of the day I flew to my vacation in Morocco, so I have left to dive deeper in those lights.

 

This has all been wonderful

 

I also bought a book I've been willing to read for a long time : David ''Zzyzx'' Steinberg's "This has all been wonderful". Everybody know for sure Zzyzx's website for Phish statistics but not as many know that the guy wrote a book about his summer 1994 tour, "the year Phish became Phish".

The book isn't very long but I haven't begun it yet. I hope it will immerge me in the 94 scene with description of the lot and the fans more than the actual music. We'll see...

 

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A Live One (33 1/3)

I've been intrigued by this book since it came out last september. It's part of the 33 1/3 series of Bloomsbury Publishing where each book focuses on a particular record. The series counts more than a hundred books and I already ordered several more like Miles Davis' Bitches Brew, Michael Jackson's Dangerous and, more surprising, Koji Kondo's Super Mario Bros. Soundtrack.

A Live One is written by Walter Holland, a long time Phish fan. It explores each track of the double album with some thoughts about the history of the band and the evolution of their sound. It's sometimes quite complicated to read because of the technical and musical notions involved, especially for a non native english speaking person like me. But it's very well written and interresting. It can open up a new way to listen to a jam and it certainly pushed me to listen to this great live album once again.

 

The Phish Companion (Third Edition)

But if there must be only ONE book to read (except for the Helping Friendly one of course) it's The Phish Companion.

I have the first and second editions for years and I've been waiting for this one for a long time. It has been actually announced and available to pre-order more than three years ago. But the book have been completly re-worked and it's been released independently by the Mockingbird Foundation in June 2016. 

The biggest modification is the organization of the book. Where the first two had several sections (setlists, songs, interviews...), this new version compiles everything chronologicaly from 1983 to 2016. Histories of each song are sprinkled after the show it appeared first. It can be puzzling at first but it's finally the best way to read the book very naturally, from start to finish. There is still an index at the end of the book to find directly the history of the song you want.

It's sold at 39$ on the official website (phishcompanion.com) but the international shipping are way too expensive. The only thing that I miss from getting the book directly from the Mockingbird Foundation is the rad package with written in big letters "READ THE BOOK" (as seen on Holger's pictures). It has then been available on Dry Goods and then Amazon some time later at 49$ (the retail price) with varied shipping fees. That's why I received it in the same parcel as Fare Thee Well right before leaving to Morocco. But unlike the other book, I find a blank space for it in my luggage !

I read it avidly during my holidays and it's a hell of a good read. Pictures are in full colors and the printing is beautiful. In the end, the two past edition avidly s look very amateur-ish in comparaison. Each fan should really get their hands on a copy.

A few days before I left, phish.net announced a contest where you had to take a picture of the book in a remote place or with a nice setting and post it on the Internet with the hashtag #ReadTheBook. That's the kind of challenge that I like, without thinking of winning, just to have fun.

I started taking pictures of the companion on the beach. Ok, they aren't very creative, even if you see the "Sand" history on the page... So I've posted only the first one.

I wanted a picture of me reading it in the ocean, on my bodyboard. With the help of my wife, we took several photos and I had a hard time choosing the one I would send

The funny thing is that I opened the book at random to pose for the picture and find myself on the page of "Wading in the Velvet Sea"...

Then my wife took the rein with some good ideas.

The first one was having my shadow reading the book in the sand. A clever idea but not really fulfilled in the end.
The second one was more elaborated and needed some settings. The idea was to dry the book like a T-shirt and a wetsuit with a surf board in the background. I like that one a lot but after posting it on Twitter, I realized the book wasn't clearly visible after all.

While up on the roof of the house for the previous photo, I took some more with the landscape of roofs in the background. I posted the one with the tree but not the other one because I didn't like the light, even if you can see the ocean in the distance.

And then there's a last one I took very quickly without really thinking of it, one day before leaving the beach. We were sun bathing and reading right next to this life buoy but I only thought of using it in a photo at the last moment.

I was about to publish this article yesterday when I've received a message from Phillip Zerbo, editor of the Phish Companion. And guess what ? I won third place in the contest with this one !! I later saw in the phish.net post the other winners' great photos. Happy ending !

 

Anyway, I hope your summer has been full of fun, music and good reading too ! We'll see us on a webcast one of this day ?

 

Reviews from Ireland

by Daniel 15. August 2016

Here comes a new challenger !

 
As an ardent reader and fellow European phan, I noticed that there hasn't been much content posted as of late and I offered to post some stuff, keep the train rolling.
 
I'm a phan from Waterford in the south east in Ireland and I got into Phish early 2014 from an offhand mention from an online music critic, which fascinated me, so I listened to the PYITE/Sloth opener from the NYE '95 show. It completely blew me away and was simply the greatest music I had ever heard. Since then, I've been completely hooked, buying every Phish CD, vinyl, shirt, hoodie and webcast I can afford.
 
Sadly I haven't been to a gig yet. I was going to go to MagnaBall, but I had to refund my tix because my ride couldn't get off work. I was especially annoyed that I couldn't go when I watched the webcasts, that Gin was just brilliant, and the Drive In Jam was incredible. I tried going to Dick's this year, but again plans fell through and I had to sell the tickets.
 
This year, I've done reviews of most shows since The Gorge in the comment sections of Phish.net for their respective shows and here are those of the first two San Francisco ones...
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18th July 2016 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium Night 1 :

 
First Set :
A Martian Monster opener, a beautiful and serene Roggae jam, an above average Divided Sky and a Ya Mar with a it's-getting-old-fast-and-accomplishing-nothing-at-all-so-please-stop-it-Phish rotation jam.

Second Set :
Golden Age kicked things off and got off to a good start, with great and melodic playing to Trey, not too unlike the fantastic Lakeview Simple, but more anthemic, freewheeling and joyous, then skidding into Type II territory with nervy Rhodes work by Page and Fishman speeding up the tempo a bit to complement it,. 

After some great Trey and Mike interplay, Trey started laying down some tension with Page manning the grand; going from twinkling to laying down the chord structure, then Trey kept things tension-filled with some machine gun work, before the jam quickly fizzled out before heading into an unusually short Twist, then My Sweet One and then, the Line (DEAR GOD NOOOOOOO).

The thing is, I actually like the Line, the studio version that is, but when performed live with it's harmonies sounding like a choir of teenager's voices crackling, thus losing much of it's power. But most of all, it is the harbinger of Le Fourth Quarter, and Simple following didn't seem to be much of a savior either, despite the fact that the aforementioned Lakeview version was fantastic, and this one did feature some nice Trey and Page interplay, but then...

Sneakin' Sally kicked in the door, and it's jam section began like my beloved 12/30/15 Gin, with the band members scatting along to a steady Fish beat, before beginning the jam section with great funky Trey and Page interplay, before Trey hits on a melodic riff, then Fish goes over to the ride cymbal, loosening up the jam, with Trey slowly shredding alongside him, with Page providing the tarmac for him to shred on. 

It seems that Trey is heading for a finish line before he brings himself back before sprinting at 100MPH towards a glorious peak, before going at it again like the Worcester Boogie On, before cooling down and then, with Fish picking up the tempo and Page twinkling on the grand, Trey heads back into tension land under a psychedelic sky painted by Page's grand work and his own effects, before Fish speeds up the tempo even more, and Trey begins going for an astronomical peak, before heading up the fretboard for some quiet and fast soloing.

Then Fish speeds up the tempo to a ridiculous speed, and Trey gets more forceful and frantic before going for the peak in earnest and then he just shreds it, and it's just so over the top and glorious, before heading back to earth and regular tempo to finish off Sally. 

I really need to use full stops more, eh?

Anyway, after that whiplash-inducing awesomeness, it's Limb by Limb with a brief discordant jam which then turns melodic before Slave creeps in beautifully. This version is a little slower than most, and a little more quiet and unassuming, before it explods in the almost parody-level of grandeur like most Slave's do, and overall is a good version.

For the encore, it's When the Circus comes to Town and Antelope.

And uh... that's that.

Overall : 
The best show of the tour so far, especially in terms of consistency. It's a captivating listen and can't wait to see what other fruits the BGCA run bares.

Highlights :
Roggae, Golden Age and Sneaking Sally through the Alley (if Satan himself offers an SBD of the latter for your first born child, TAKE IT YOU HEATHEN)

P.S.
For the love of god and for the millionth time, turn Mike up on the SBD!!!
 
 
 

19th July 2016 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium NIGHT 2 :

 
First Set :
Chalkdust Opener, a Wombat bustout, a fine knotty and nervy Melt and the return of Breath and Burning, a song I once loathed but now, I can't wait to hear the studio version of it. The third appearance of Space Oddity ended the set, and it's cool that they're playing that a bit more, and if anyone complains, ya mutha.

Second Set :
Down with Disease kicked things off, and began in the usual Type-1 circa 1995 , and Page's organ work things up even further and keeps the blood flow seemingly speeding towards the usual peak before Trey starts wailing.Then they build up and Trey starts firing away before heading into full on tension territory, getting quieter but retaining speed and then heading into even spacier territory when page heads over to the Rhodes, when Trey opts to go for a beautiful progression usually reserved for Gin jams. This guitar/ Rhodes texture sounds just fantastic, but they only ride it for a minute as Trey takes control again and Fish tightens the tension, with Page still playing the Rhodes. They continue with this for a minute or two, and then Trey just screams, and the tension is really rising, with Mike dropping bombs before the whole thing melts into space and the effects take hold, and then Page begins the opening piano line to Fuego.

Fuego had a nice melodic jam, and Trey teased the Bug while soloing, and Page just killed it with the organ here. Then Ghost comes in, and after a minute's jamming, starts to turn nasty, with Mike turning on the bass synth and Fish speeding up the tempo. But then Trey goes up the fretboard and starts spinning out beautiful phrases with Page backing him on the grand and Mike laying down an ever present bass line. Then, Fish starts an almost techno-like beat and after some beating around the bush, Trey just begins fucking wailing and Page is hammering on the grand, then moves over to the organ, and the whole thing is just so glorious. Trey is just SCREAMING and it sounds incredible and the whole sonic tapestry is just in line and alive and kicking, then the jam winds down, before heading into Scents and Subtle Sounds, which I'm not even going to comment on because THAT WAS GODDAMN INCREDIBLE. AND IT WAS LESS THAN 11 MINUTES LONG.

After Scents, it's Light, which goes into quiet territory, then the jam turns weird and almost confused before... Manteca! Ah jeez, who doesn't love Manteca, even if it is only ten seconds of crab in my shoemouth. After that, the jam briefly turns dreamy with a few Manteca quotes taboot, and then... it's over. Felt a little premature, but it was still funny as hell to hear Manteca.

Then ''No Quarter" (damn right this is No Quarter) and Fluffhead for good measure, and Bug and First Tube to end it.

Overall : 
HOLY SHIT CRAP THAT GHOST WAS INCREDIBLE OH MY GOD

ahem, anyway, the Ghost tops last night's Sneaking Sally; the best jam of the tour in sheer focus and cathartic release alone, but beyond that? There's Fluffhead, the DwD jam was pretty darn good, there was Space Oddity...

So you could call this a bit of a one trick pony, but even if it may seem like it kind of is, that's one hell of a pony to have. The rest is fun and all, but the Ghost is just a towering storm cloud over the rest of the show, but there's still some very good moments in there besides that behemoth, and the show has excellent flow, arguably the best of the tour.

Also Page and Fish were MVP's here; they both gave jams a right kick up the ass and a hell of a lot more more vigor.

Highlights :
Ghost (I want to hear this when I die)


 

 

 

Let's spin !

by Yome NetSan 4. December 2015

After a great Fare The Well and a spectacular Summer tour, the end of the year sounded a little too quite. But that was before I received lots of good LPs to spin...

 

New Year's Eve 1995:
Live At Madison Square Garden

 

Originaly released on 3 CD in 2005, Phish's New Year's Eve 1995 show made its way again to independent record stores on 6 LPs during the Record Store Day on 18th april 2015. This huge boxset is limited to 4500 copies and costs an arm. Of course, no store in France had it and it popped pretty quickly on eBay. Due to its already hish-sky price, scalpers can't charge much more but I've been reluctant to buy one of them over here. I waited several month to see if it would appear on Dry Goods but in september, I've been told by my contact at Phish Inc. that it won't be sold there. Thanksfully, this person managed to got me one of the remaning copies and sold it to me ! I finally received it on the 20th november, around the same time as the other vinyls bellow. But surprisingly, it ended on the Phish merchandise site on 3th december ! Grab it while you can !

The boxset is rather simple but quite nice. With six 12" discs, it's huge and, of course, heavy. It's also my first and only 6 LPs boxset. My second biggest one is David Gilmour's Live in Gdansk with 5 LPs.
All pictures and texts are taken from the original CD boxset but re-arranged on six sleeves and a leaflet. A download card is also included and, if you're lucky (if you're the first one actually), you can use mine : just find it on the pictures. One strange thing : the image used by Phish in february to hint at this release (a green square with the words "Side K : you Enjoy Myself"), isn't part of the boxset at all. Actually, the only green things on it are the tittle's letters and side numbers on the outside of the box.

I haven't got the chance to isolate myself for more than three and a half hours yet to proper listen to the music. I haven't listened to the show for many year actually as I haven't been impressed the first time I heard it. Maybe my expectations were too high knowing that Rolling Stone Magazine named it one of the "Greatest Concerts of the '90s", or maybe I wasn't in a good mood...

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Rift (Blue & Black Editions)

 

Announced shorty before the summer, the second Phish vinyl of the year was Rift, their fourth studio album from 1993.

Two versions of this one have been made : the "Festival edition" and the "regular" one. The original release was at the Magnaball Festival on 21st august 2015. This edition comes with two translucide-blue discs and a new print from David Welker, the original cover's artist. A second version with black LPs and without the print was to be available on Dry Goods later in September, but the announcement text wasn't clear if the blue one will also be buyable online.

On site at the festival was the JEMP Record store, featuring listening booths to enjoy vinyls from Phish and solo projects, even NYE 95. My friend Stephen from Amsterdam got us in touch with Eric, an american fan who would attend the festival, and he aggreed to buy us vinyls there and send them to us. After many adventures with post offices, shipping fees, Paypal and customs, the package finally arrived in Europe last week. Meanwhile, the album has been sold on Dry Goods, even a few blue ones, and I grabbed the black version over there.

The sound on this one is phenomenal ! I heard bits here and there that I've never noticed on the CD I have for years (it was the third one I had, in 1998). The packaging is rather standard but it's always a pleasure to have a bigger version of a cover, especialy such a beauty ! The translucent blue discs are beautiful. I also really like the new David Welker illustration. It's a follow-up to the original cover art that can be watch from every angle, with a lot of details. I framed it like I did for the Pollock's Junta poster and it'll go well beside the jigsaw puzzle of the original art !

 

Trey Anastasio : Paper Wheels

 

Trey Anastasio's new album, Paper Wheels, took its time to come : I remember downloading the first song (Bounce) back in October 2014 and I got the 7" single for Record Store Day in April.

It finally hit shelves at the end of October 2015 with a gorgeous limited vinyl edition. This never-before-seen package is totally awesome. The gatefold cover is full of 25 holes on each side that let see through, down to the actual discs. Indeed, each "sleeve" is made of several smaller sleeves with a rounded hole in the center and they are imbricated one into the other. The result is a kaleidoscopic visual that move when you get the disc out. Moreover, there are writings around the little holes of the gatefold, but on the inside ! That's very original but not that easy to read.

That's the only main drawback of this breath-taking packaging : it's beautiful but fragile and not that practical. One must grab and open it delicately to prevent any damage.

Another surprise comes with the discs themselves.

They are color splatted and look really nice too. But unlike most 12" discs, they play at 45 RPM like 7" so, technically, the sound is better than on a 33 RPM LP.

And it does a great job with this album. The compositions are typically Trey-ish instead of Phish-ish. They have been recorded mostly live and it sounds, like with the tempo-change of Bounce.

On the title track, Natalie "Chainsaw" Cressman made a funny monologue in french ! Her accent is adorable and the text is complete non-sense. I was with my child when I first listened to it and he chuckled when he heard french for the first time after 9 songs in english.

Here is my translation of the speech and a translation :

Salut mes collègues américaines. 
Moi, je suis la tronçonneuse. 
Quand j'étais petit, j'avais un ami imaginaire :
le cochon vert. 
Il était très grand et... et il vous ressemble un peu. 
Avant que je suis parti pour le tour, 
un ivrogne a cambriolé ma maison
et a fait pipi dans mes bottes de neige. 
C'est vrai, j'ai promis ! 
J'ai dû les jeter.
C'était si dégueulasse. 
Quel dommage. 
C'est complètement nul !
Quel dommage ! 
C'est un vrai con qui m'a fait ça. 
C'est complètement nul ! 
Putain de merde !
C'est des conneries ! 
Je souffre ! 
C'est un vrai con qui m'a fait ça. 
Casse toi ! Ivrogne !
Hi my fellow Americans.
I am the chainsaw.
When I was little, I had an imaginary friend :
the green pig.
He was very tall and... and he looks a little like you.
Before I left for the tour,
A drunkard has burgled my house
And peed in my snow boots.
It's true, I promise !
I had to throw them away.
It was so swinish.
What a pity.
It totally sucks !
What a pity.
It's a real jerk who did this to me.
It totally sucks !
fuckin shit ! (Holy Shit !)
It's bullshit !
I am suffering !
It's a real jerk who did this to me.
Get out ! Drunkard !

Some sentence aren't proper french or has gramatical errors (like "Avant que je suis parti pour le tour" which would translate to "Before I am left for the tour") but it's actually part of the charm.

By the way, Natalie has a kickstarter underway for her new EP : https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/299666408/natalie-cressman-releases-the-traces-ep
You should check it out, she makes good music and cookies too !

 

Medeski, Martin & Wood :
Radiolarians - The Evolutionary Set

 

Another not-so-related-to-Phish-but-still arrival happened in november : Radiolans - The Evolutionary Set.

Radiolans is a project by Medeski, Martin and Wood from 2008/2009. It was a series of three tours, each one centered around new music that would be recorded after beeing played on stage : "The plan: Write > Tour > Record > Repeat."

The three CDs released in 2008 have been compiled on this Evolutionary Set with bonus materials, a remix CD, a live CD, a documentary DVD and a double LP.

I've been looking for this for a good price since its release in 2009 so I was psyched to finally put my hands on it this year. I really like the design of this set and the improvised-feeling of the music.

MMW have been the first band discovered thanks to Phish that I've seen in a concert at the Jazz à Vienne Festival in 2005.

 

Holly Bowling's Tahoe Tweezer

 

Last but not least, I received on monday the vinyl version of Holly Bownling's Tahoe Tweezer.

The monstruous jam have been famous in the community since 2013 and althought it didn't impressed me at first (maybe I've over-heard of it before actually listened to it, and I've prefered other jams in 2012/2013 and even more in 2014/2015), I have to admit it's a great piece of music and band/crowd communion.

Classically-trained pianist Holly did a fantastic work as transcribing it to solo piano and, since its debut in 2014, her interpretation has become almost as famous as the original. She hasn't stick with this 35 minutes work and has expand her repertoire with many other Phish songs or jams arranged for solo piano (even my first-show-ever Down with Disease Reading Jam). She started a campaign on Pledge Music in april to gather funds for her first album including songs on the first disc and three jams on the second one. Now she's doing concerts all around the United States and is incorporating Grateful Dead jams to her sets.

I instantly jumped on the "Pleadge" button with a "Shut up and take my money" kind of reaction and received the CDs in late august. Now, the Tahoe Tweezer sits near my turntable on a nice blue 12" disc and I can't wait to make it spin.

You can buy her album and the remaining vinyls (limited to 500 copies) at Royal Potato Family and find her shows on Archive.org.

  

 

Siket Disc

 

The year 2015 will end (or most likely, the year 2016 will begin) with another fine Phish release on vinyl : The Siket Disc.

I didn't expect this one, or at least not that early, but it's a very good surprise ! Those studoi outakes are some of my favorite musics by any artist.

I can't wait to blast What's the Use out loud on my new sound system !

 

 

 

 

 

Fare Thee Well in Europe

by Yome NetSan 10. June 2015

I'm sure you already aware that Phish's Trey Anastasio will play the five final shows of the Grateful Dead in Santa Clara and Chicago between June 27th and July 5th.

My friend Gilles from Switzerland is trying to go to the Chicago shows.

The three last shows will be webcast but apparently, the MLB stream will not be available in Europe.
They will also be broadcast in a lot of cinemas in the United States.

 

But for us in Europe, the very last show (on the 5th) will be shown in selected cinemas all over Europe on the 6th night ! Holger will attend one of the many events in Berlin.

What seems to be the complete list of cinemas can be found here. As of now, there will be 11 events in France (most by Kinepolis) and one in Switzerland but unfortunatly none anywhere near Lyon where I live...

I would love to see this in a cinema and party the night with other fans. I hope more theatres will be added to the list but the time is short.
Please make it happen !

[vimeo:129388704]

The work of Chris Kuroda

by Yome NetSan 9. December 2014

Here are two videos showcasing the awesome work of Chris Kuroda, Phish's lighting designer. Of course, full credits goes to the band, Chris and the original tapers.

 

Phish Lighting : A look at the Pre-visualization of a song

The first one aired at setbreak, during the November 2nd webcast. I'm very surprised it hadn't surfaced before tonight like the 11/1 setbreak video about the relation of Ben & Jerry's and the Whaterwheel Foundation.

[youtube2:uxM0OsF6LPw;169]

 

Chris Kuroda destroying Tweezer Reprise Chula Vista 10/25/14

The second one is a simple picture-in-picture I made from a video of Chris Kuroda at work and a view of the stage. It was during Tweezer Reprise at Chula Vista this fall (10/25/14).

[youtube2:VlhHGlb49dw;169]

 

1 Year Ago : 03.11.2013 Last day

by Yome NetSan 3. November 2014

I woke up at 8.30.

Or so I thought.

Gilles had sent me an email during the night to remind me that there was a time change today.
It was actually 7.30 !

I went back to bed for a welcomed extra hour...

When I woke up for good,  my goal was to fit all that I've bought to my luggage and I achieved it quite easily.

After checking out, I took the bus to the city. 

I had a few Souvenirs to buy, like a train toy for my son that I found at Toy'R Us.

 

I still had two hours until my appointment with Gilles so I went back to the Boardwalk.

I bought some Atlantic City T-shirts and a mug for my brother.

Then I just walked on the beach reflecting on the few days I've live here, living my dream. I ate a slice of pizza and took a coffee with more donuts. I quickly met Kevin from last evening bus, totally by chance.

[more]

 

At 1 PM, we gathered with Gilles and he drove us to the Airport. On the way, we listened to his own musical project, a concept album for kids with a lot of music styles. I really liked it and I hope to see it on the shelves soon.

 

 

I spent my few cents left at the airport. 
Gilles' flight was delayed by two hours. It would be tough for him as he'll go straight to work on the next day, landing at Zurich for work instead of Geneva!

The end of the trip isn't much of interest (who said "like the rest" ?). It ended as it started, in a uncomfortable plane, with Miles Davis in my ears.

It's been a year already and I can not wait to go back on tour...

1 Year Ago : 02.11.2013 Bus, luck, concert, bad luck and end

by Yome NetSan 3. November 2014

We were back at our hotel in the middle of the afternoon so I've been able to rest a little more. I took the bus at 6.20PM while several other obvious Phish fans ordered a cab.

During this ride, I witnessed another thing that couldn't happen in France. At the bus stop, I began talking with this young man, Kevin, and we quickly found out we were both heading at the same place. He asked me what I like in America. I answered that I love how welcoming people are. Talking like that with a stranger is quite rare, at least in my experience. 

He had an appointment at a bar and asked me if I knew where it was. I wasn't sure and started to tell him what I knew. We were seated at the front of the bus and the driver heard our conversation. He naturally begun to explain him where the bar were from the bus stop. As he opened the door and we were going out, several people from way back inside the bus yelled at Kevin to show him the direction ! 
As the bus went away, I turn to Kevin and said : "That's the thing I love in America. This kind of spontaneous help never happens in France !"

Before entering the Boardwalk Hall,  I went to the band's hotel to leave my present. The person had a hard time understanding who it was for,  even if I told him the exact name.

As I was entering the venue, my unprecedented luck stroke me again. Between the first person who scanned my ticket and the security check, I found on the floor an un-used golden wristband. Yes, one of those thing given to the holders of GA floor tickets ! I stashed it in my pocket without further ado.

Once inside, I took the time to eat a hot dog with French fries and bought two onesie for relatives' upcoming babies at the Waterwheel Foundation table.

[more]

I met Harry and his friend again. He was wearing a "Birds of a Feather" T-shirt with a Duck Hunt sprite on it. I really liked it ! By the ways, I just found out those great Phish/Nintendo fan-made pin's, check them out.
We talked about the wristband and what was its color tonight. After asking a passing fan, there wasn't any doubt : I would enjoy the last Phish concert of my trip on the floor !
I put the strap on and made my way to the floor very easily. I waited Gilles impatiently as he did not expect to find me down here. Good thing he told me where he was standing every nights !

When he arrived,  he couldn't believe how lucky I was... again ! We quickly talked to a nearby fan who asked us where we came from after hearing us speaking in French.

I was super happy to be able to dance my ass off on the floor with Gilles !

 

During set break Gilles introduced me to the fans he met the days before. Then we went upstairs to the Waterwheel Foundation table and we talked with my Phish Inc. contact the whole set break. It's too bad I can't write about what we talked about... 
The conversation went on so that we again missed the beginning of the second set !

As we run downstairs to reach the floor, we heard the enveloped bass intro of "Down with Disease"
As we were late, we were among the last ones to pass the security check and as we arrived running, they double checked our wristband. As I put mine myself, it wasn't well clicked as it opened when it was checked. The security woman took it off saying to her collegue, without even looking at me : "That's what they do : they pass them on to themselves"
It happened so fast I couldn't react before it was too late. She didn't answer me when I asked "What's the problem ?!" Gilles stopped on the other side and started to say something but I stopped him.
"That's OK.  I'll go to my seat and we'll meet after the show."
I knew that if I tried to argue more, she would ask to see my ticket. I had already been lucky enough, I didn't want to push too much.

So I made my way to section 103, Page side, at the exact same place as I was on Halloween night. The row was full with the same people as two days ago. It was so full that I had to show my ticket to the guy standing at my seat to prove that it was mine. I have to admit that my credibility has taken a hit because I lost balanced several times as I walked in the alley. Everyone thought I was totally drunk !

I enjoyed every second of my last set as much as I could. Dancing, singing, screaming...

But it was the end already. My eyes went wet as I walk out of my seat, slowly. I didn't want to leave.

We met again with Gilles and we walked together to my bus stop. I can't remember what we talked about at that time, my thoughts were still in Phish land...

1 Year Ago : 02.11.2013 More shopping

by Yome NetSan 2. November 2014

Still the same routine : woke up at 8.30, bath,  breakfast.

I emailed Gilles to set an appointment at 11.30 in town, in front of Tanger Outlet
But before our shopping adventure, I had to go back to Game Stop.

Remember I had reserved 2 limited edition controllers for the Wii U and for this, I had to subscribe to the Game Stop card ? Of course, I had explained to the seller that I was living in France and I didn't want to sign up for something that I could not use. The card costed $16 and he explained me that it would "pay itself" because of a discount I'd have on the Wii Remote. 
So I double checked what I had to pay on my second visit and even with another game that I added, there wasn't any discount. As I supposed, I should had bought a lot more things to have one. 
It wasn't the same person at the cashier but he was very understanding and refund me the price of card.

The rest of the day has been more shopping with Gilles at Tanger Outlet, BAM! (where I found Daft Punk and Grateful Dead vinyls, a Tetris card game and a Lego book) and at a nearby mall (where I bought Game Boy games, a Zelda book and a Pink Floyd vinyl).

During the ride, we passed by a highway toll where the price was $0.75... exact change. We both run into sereval of these "Exact Change" signs since when arrived in the USA. When I took the bus in Atlantic City, I had to have the exact change to pay. The highway toll didn't even had another exit in case you did not have exactly 75 cents ! It looks like we should always have a bag full of quarters with us !

Gilles also showed me the "food court". There isn't things like that in France where tables and chairs are shared between several fast food vendors around. A very cool concept where you can eat different things with your friends at the same table.

1 Year Ago : 01.11.2013 Second show in Atlantic City

by Yome NetSan 1. November 2014

After more sleep, I was on the Boardwalk at 5.45.

They had a discount at Dunkin' Donuts so I bought 6 donuts for $3 but, as we say in French, "my eyes were bigger than my stomach". It was way too much for me and I couldn't eat them all.

A policeman call me out as I passed him to ask me if he could have one. He was joking but he was very surprised when I said "Sure! Help yourself" while opening the box in front of him. He thought I was joking too but as I was dead serious, he finally took one.

I gave 2 more to fans in the line. In the chat that followed, the guy told me, after he learned where I came from, "France? Never heard of it !".

Finally, as I couldn't enter the Boardwalk Hall with the last one, I had to trash the box at the security check, after telling the security guy to eat it. I hope someone finally took it.

[more]

 

Gilles was late so I couldn't meet him before the show so I went straight to my seat.

This time, it was on the opposite side of the venue, Mike side, in straight line of the stage.

I had a better view on the girl who makes the deaf language signs. It was as mesmerizing as the night before.

 

 

The show was stellar. Trey introduced Page's Halfway to the Moon by saying that this piece would be part of the new album but as they had already played it this summer, it didn't fit in yesterday's second set. I high-fived one of my neighbors when they started Jesus Just Left Chicago.

 

 

Between sets, I talked with a guy in the line to buy some water because of my small french flag I still had with me (only without the stick since last day security check). He couldn't believe I made the trip from France to see Phish. He asked "Vraiment ?" ("really ?"). 

 

I met Gilles too but Twist began already... 

 

 

Lots of improvising during this second set and fun moments like the Mariska Policeman. I didn't catch all the Bush and kush jokes but most of them. But most importantly : I got my Slave to the Traffic Light. It's the kind of song that brings tears to my eyes. The slow building of the jam and the end being such a momentum, I think it should always be the final song. They could just stop there without any encore, it would be perfect.

 

 

 

1 Year Ago : 01.11.2013 A day off

by Yome NetSan 1. November 2014

I don't know why I didn't use my "day off" to stay in bed late. Maybe I was afraid to miss the breakfast hours ? Anyway, I woke up at 8.30 and tried to warm my neck and back with a very hot bath. It didn't worked very well but at least I could walk better than the night before. 

For breakfast, the food looked exactly the same as what was at my hotel in Reading. Like, exactly. But it was good enough and I didn't lack anything.

After a couple of minutes, I realized something felt awkward. I was alone except for the man at the reception on the other side of the room.

And then it stroke me : the music from the office was only old Christmas songs! I guess they didn't want a time off between the Halloween season (that ended the day before) and the Christmas one! I like Christmas time but it sounded strange on the 1st November!

I went back to my room at 10 and rested or slept the whole day. It rained outside anyway so I didn't want to go out. I don't like massage neither so I stayed in bed all the time,  trying not to move. 

Unfortunately, I still had to walk out to eat something around 12.30. After the pizza the day before, I choose the McDonald's, a mere few meters further, where stayed a little to write on my Journal.




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