1 Year Ago : 31.10.2013 End of show and back

by Yome NetSan 1. November 2014

I arrived late at my seat, and missed the beginning of Ghost. Who am I to wait 16 years to see my favorite band and miss a part of the concert ?! Twice as it happend at Reading too !

The music was imaginative, funky, great... as much as my neck was bad. I enjoyed the set but I spent most of it sat on my seat, head down. I couldn't stand up anymore.

People around me understood I wasn't feeling good and were nice with me. I was strange to be at a Phish show finally and to have to listen to it seated, head down, eyes closed, almost like I'm used to with my headphones.

As we're leaving at the end of the set, my contact advised me to go to one of those massages on the Boardwalk and to take some rest the next day. 

On my way to the bus stop,  I met Harry and his friend and we talked a little. Still costumed as Luigi and walking awkwardly, I passed a group of young gangsta-like men on my way to the bus stop. One of them called out to me : "Hey Luigi! Where's Mario ?!" In such a situation in France,  I wouldn't have turned around. But,  I don't know why, I felt safer here. So I answered "I don't know man,  I think he's back at the Hall with the Princess!"

In my hotel bed, I quickly checked Facebook and found my picture in the Halloween gallery before falling asleep.

1 Year Ago : 31.10.2013 Second Set (Wingsuit) and setbreak

by Yome NetSan 31. October 2014

But the second set was already beginning.

And I was among the first (15000) few to hear brand new songs by Phish, first hand.

They start with the Wingsuit / Fuego combo. Right at the first notes I was transported by the slow and haunting song. I loved the Pink Floyd feel at the end. As the tunes each have several parts, they seems to be connected some way. Especially because the beginning of Fuego sounds like the middle of a song to me. I was surprised many month later when I saw the final track order of the released album. 

The light show was different from Reading because there was no seats behind the stage. So Chris Kuroda used the back to "paint" big splash of colors. The room was bigger too and as I was on the side, I had a very good view to the whole venue. Lights on the far rear of the crowd were great.

Anyway, I really loved every song. It was so strange and special to hear brand new Phish music at my second Phish show! 
The three acoustic set ups (with Mike on upright bass for one of them !!) were a nice surprise even if the some parts were hard to hear because of too much crowd noises. For example, Snow is a beautiful song but the big venue on Halloween night doesn't give it justice. It's too bad it didn't make it to the final album.
The beginning of Waiting All Night made me think of You Enjoy Myself but the feeling didn't last.
The prank and the dance routine during Womba were priceless. Even if I didn't know what a Womba is, nor the Fish TV Show, nor the name of Abe Vigoda (I know him from the Godfather but that's it).
I didn't understand all of what Trey said so, at first, I thought it was Page's father in the costume. I finally understood with the Godfather video at the end of the set. One of there best video in my opinion.

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I noticed a mini-stage on the right of the normal stage where a girl was standing. She had a light for her and what looked like a teleprompter at her feet. I soon realized she was translating the lyrics for the hearing impaired! I found it great and strange at the same time. I can't imagine deaf people coming to a concert. I wonder if she's hired by the band or the venue. I'm pretty sure she wasn't there at Reading. 

Anyway, I often looked at her during the whole show. It was like dancing but with meaning.

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Since the end of this set and after many re-listen, I think playing their own album from the future instead of a cover it's one of the best decision Phish even took in their career. I was amazed at the time and I'm still are about their courage and how well they played. It has been a very good investment for the future and I can't wait to hear what they're up to for Halloween 2014.

At set break, I finally met Gilles near the Waterwheel Foundation table. We talked about what happened since we part ways at Reading (music he heard at Washington, my walks in Philadelphia, Atlantic City, my door locked, and of course, the new album...).

But set 3 is already on its way !

1 Year Ago : 31.10.2013 First Set and setbreak

by Yome NetSan 31. October 2014

The show finally started at 8PM.

I won't go into details of the music as it has already been reviewed many times during the 12 last months. So I'll stick to what happened "off-stage".

And if you haven't listened to it yet, look for a picture of my tickets and redeem the bar code to livephish.com/redeem and enjoy !

And if the bar codes aren't readables, just ask me ! But remember : first come, first served ;)

I really enjoyed this set. I danced all I could to the Moma Dance, one of my favorite groove, and to the other fine tunes. I've been pretty lucky when it comes to the song selections : Stash, Camel Walk, Free, Mound... It was fun to dance among all those costumed people. I love to watch people having a great time and dancing like there's no tomorrow in concerts so it was double the fun. And what is said is true : Page side, rage side !

As I re-listened to the show afterwards, I noticed that Trey called Mike "Don Gordleone" during Poor Heart. It was a joke to the yet-to-be-shown setbreak video. I don't know if many people got it at the time. I sure didn't.

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But during this first set, people kept switching seats around me so it was rather disturbing. Obviously, some shouldn't have been here and moved when the right fans came with their tickets.

Near the half of the set, a group of people arrived with children with large headsets. I found it strange to bring young children to a show like that and arriving that late. That's when I've almost positively recognize the person who gave me the possibility to buy my tickets, just 2 seats from me.

I asked her who she was right at the end of the set, and I was right ! 
We were so surprised to be seated next to each other !
Of course, I spent the first 5 minutes to thank her. I also told her about the present I brought from France. I'd have to leave it at her hotel because I can't enter the venue with it.

We talked the whole set break about several topics like my meeting with Trey in Philadelphia and the next set of new materials. 
We agreed that it was better for the band to rehearse new songs for the future than someone else's album just for a one night stand.

Meanwhile, my back and neck pain were getting worst. After all my morning walking and standing and dancing in the first set, I had to sit a little bit.

1 Year Ago : 31.10.2013 Before the show

by Yome NetSan 31. October 2014

Doors opened at 6.30pm.

The first thing to do on a Halloween night at a Phish concert, is to get the Phishbill. For those who don't know, Halloween is one of the most special night to see a Phish show as they play three sets instead of two and most importantly they do a "musical costume" in the second one. That means that instead of donning costumes on stage, they play a whole album from another band, most of the time an important one in the history of Rock'n Roll.

And in this context, the Phishbill is the program of the night where the album is announced, among other funny fake ads and texts. The name itself is a play on word with the Playbill from Broadway musicals.

 

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To get the booklet is really easy : follow the herd and you'll come across someone who'll handed it to you. 
First thing : the cover doesn't ring any bell.
I didn't take the time to really observe it and opened the first page, where the schedule of the night is written and the album announced. 

Wingsuit

OK, so they'd play yet another album that I've never heard before like Talking Heads' Remain in LightLittle Feat's Waiting for Columbus... But I couldn't find the original band's name like in the previous Phishbills... All I saw was Set 1 Phish, Set 2 Phish, Set 3 Phish. I started to read the full article while waiting in line at a photo booth (all costumes would be uploaded to the Facebook page and entered for a contest). 
And it finally stroke me. After all these years, Phish managed to change the rules of the game they created themselves. Wingsuit wasn't someone else's album from the past, it was there own album from the future ! An album they'd record in the following weeks after the show ! That meant a full set of brand new Phish music !

I forgot the pain in my neck I began to literally jump of happiness and excitement in the line !

But I heard comments from other fans who didn't like the idea of not having a proper musical costume. Like if they came only to listen to an Allman Brothers Band tribute band.

I was so happy to witness a game-changing show, so proud to be among the first audience to listen to their new songs ! Think about it : it's not every day that your favorite band debut a new song at a show. It's even more rare they debut a full album ! One that's not even recorded ! And we were there, we were a part of this ! Not wonder why they hadn't play any new song during the year (many fans complained about that by the way). And what will happen at future Halloween shows ?! Before tonight, we wondered what would be the album they'd play at Halloween. But from now on, we do not even know IF they will ever cover another album in the future ! They can trick us anyway they want ! There is no rule anymore !

With Phish, anything is possible.

I took my picture and sent it to Facebook and Twitter. What I learned later is that some of them have been broadcast on the webcast during setbreak. My friend Stephen who watched it from Amsterdam totally freaked out when he saw me!

I went to the obligatory merchandising table and bought myself the event Tee and the playing cards deck. But the wait in the line made me miss my appointment with Gilles.
I felt stolen when I paid 10$ for a Bud Light and went to my seat (Sect 103 Row JJ Seat 7) at 7.40.

I was at the left of the stage, at a nice height, comparable to Gilles' seat two days ago. There was not many people around at first so the venue looked about the same size at Reading. I changed my mind when it filled.

I took the waiting time to finish reading the Phishbill and laugh at the fake ads like "Woo-X", anti-Woo patches !

1 Year Ago : 31.10.2013 Dressing for Halloween

by Yome NetSan 31. October 2014

Tonight's Phish's show was special of course : it was Halloween.

In France, there's no historical background for this season. It's mostly centered on the business side and monster costumes. So I've never been dressed at Halloween in my life and the last time I donned a costume was for a concert I played dressed as Billy Corgan (and by the way, I did play "Sample in a Jar").

But I couldn't go to my second Phish show on Halloween night without being true to the American tradition. I was lucky enough to be able to borrow a Luigi costume from a co-worker. It as a little too small for me (it kept opening on the back) but it would be good enough. To complete the theme, I've let my beard spread for several weeks so I could shaved accordingly as a big moustache!

I quickly ate what remains of the pizza (I love doggy bag !) and took the bus, dressed as Luigi of course, at 5.20PM. The bus driver asked me if I could do the "coin sound". I said no but I paid the ride with a lot of small coins (I'll talk latter about change) and they did produced a fitting sound when falling in the bus farebox !

There were several people's with costume in the bus. I remember a girl made up like a zombie with a flap of flesh hanging from his face !

By 6PM,  I was at the will call in Boardwalk Hall to pick up my tickets. I was a little worried because they hasn't been charged yet but there were no problems. I had in my hands the Holy Grail for the 3 following nights !
In front of the venue, Phish fans were all around with lots of funny costumes. As I experienced in Reading, there was a great atmosphere, despite the herd of ticket-less fans.

I witnessed a scene that will live in my memory : a guy came in front of a girl who had her finger in the air and gave him a ticket. Yes, he gave it like that. Without expecting anything in return. He gave her a ticket for Phish's Halloween show and simply left.

They call it a "miracle" over there.

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1 Year Ago : 31.10.2013 Shopping and Walking

by Yome NetSan 31. October 2014

The night did not go too bad and I finally been able to have my luggage back on the morning. But my neck and back weren't any better than on the evening.

I can't remember why, but there was no breakfast at the hotel this morning. So I took the bus to Atlantic City at 10.20 and walked on Atlantic Avenue where I bought a coffee with donuts.

Then, I went to the Boardwalk, along the ocean shores.

The weather wasn't bad. Mostly sunny but with a cold wind that didn't helped my neck. I really liked the landscape with the beach, souvenirs shops, restaurants and, of courses, casinos.

The contrast between the roads and streets that resemble those of a normal city (I can't explain why I didn't take pictures of that part) and the buildings along the shore was striking. The closer you get to the ocean, the taller the buildings. Casinos and hotels were huge and extravagantly decorated. The Taj Mahal Resort looked like... well... The Taj Mahal. Another one looks like a roman coliseum... Between the scenery and the mood inside the lobbies, I felt like I was at Disneyland. Really unreal.

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Passing next to the Boardwalk Hall, where the shows would take place in the coming days, I noticed that Phish fans had already begun to gather around. The box office was opened but my tickets weren't ready yet.

I went walking on the beach and saw the pier with the big ferris wheel from the Trey Anastasio's "Original Boardwalk Style" cover.

I also noticed several people riding bikes on the Boardwalk. As I'm used to do most of my moves in France on my bike, I looked for the place to rent one. It would have been very nice to be able to go back and forth between the hotel and the venue on a bicycle. Unfortunately, they are only allowed to stay on the Boardwalk, not in the city, and there isn't a global rental service like in France.

My next stop was planned for long ago as I pinned on my map the few video games stores in the city. So I left the shore and went to Game Stop on Atlantic Avenue. In the end, it would be the only gaming shop I found opened in town.
I had several things in mind and a few "orders" from friends. I went out with two 32GB PS Vita memory cards and a reservation for both special edition Mario & Luigi Wii U Remotes that were being released two days later. The seller managed to sell me the membership card (16$) to place this order by telling me that, with what I bought this day and the remotes, the card would "pay itself" with a discount on the remotes. 
More on that later...

After that, I walked back to the hotel and I only had to cross the parking lot to eat at a pizza restaurant right beside the hotel.

I was back to my room by 12.30 and felt asleep until 4 PM.

 

 

1 Year Ago : 30.10.2013 Back at the Hotel

by Yome NetSan 30. October 2014

After my lonesome diner, I walked back to the hotel, eager to arrive and take my medicines.

My room had two doors. One inside, leading to a corridor and then to the main entrance, and one outside leading directly to the parking lot. When I checked in, the receptionist told me to use the one that leads directly outside because the inside door would be closed at night.

But when I came back from the city at 10 PM, the door would not open. The key card did not work.
I went to the office to have it re-magnetized but I didn't work better. The manager came with me with his pass but the problem was obviously the lock itself, not the cards.

So he opened the hall so that we could use the interior door. 

Great ! It opened ! ... Partially !

During my nap in the afternoon, I put the inside safty catch (like the one with the chain, but only this one was solid metal). And when I came out by the other door, I forgot to unlock it.

Needless to say, I was fucked. There were no way to open the door without breaking something. After trying for half an hour, he offered me to use the next room for the night and wait for the repair men in the morning as they'd open the outer door. That was fine with me except that all of my stuffs and medicines for my back, neck and my cold were in the other room...

 

It was not as if I had a choice and I fell asleep as I could...

1 Year Ago : 30.10.2013 First day at Atlantic City

by Yome NetSan 30. October 2014

When I woke up, the bus was arriving at Atlantic City. As I turned my head to see the city, I felt a sharp pain on the left side of my neck. Damned, my back was just getting better and now I couldn't turn my head ?! The emotion of meeting Trey Anastasio in Philadelphia, the walk with my luggages on the streets and the uncomfortable ride in the bus ended up ruining my neck...

PER. FECT.

I missed the first stop at Tropicana and got off at Bailey's. As I walked down, I grabbed two copies of Surrender to the Flow, a fanzine I've heard about many times in the past. Gilles would be happy to have one.

I initially planned to walk to my hotel but I finally took a cab because of my neck. That proved to be a brilliant idea as the Knight Inn wasn't precisely near the casino I was at.

I checked in room 114 and, to ease the pain, I tried the hot bath and little nap solution. Without much success.

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Off to the city !

I went out of my room at 6.20 PM and my neck wasn't better. Nevertheless, I took a bus to the city.I got the bus schedule from my GPS location with my smartphone. I used this feature for the first time as it doesn't work in France, at least where I live. Although I couldn't use a cell-phone network, my smartphone would be very handy in the following days, to get bus schedules, to read my emails and make video-calls through various free Wi-Fi access.

So I stopped at the Tropicana Resort.

I had planned for a few weeks take advantage of the IMAX 3D theatre to finally see Gravity. What I had not anticipated was that the building was a real maze with a casino, hotel, restaurants, shops, bars... I was amazed (!) by the size of the thing...

And by the lack of direction map.
I had to ask three persons to finally find the IMAX theatre !

At 7.00, I was comfortably sitting in front of the giant screen, with a bowl of salted popcorn (the kind I don't like and make me cough, but I misunderstood the waitress).

The movie was amazing and seeing it in 3D on this over-sized screen was the best way to watch it.

After the movie, I started to look for a restaurant. I ended up at Hooter, less for the waitresses short-legged pans than the huge BBQ Burger.

As promised...

by Yome NetSan 24. October 2014

...the full report of my Atlantic City run from last year is coming : I'll be "live reporting from the past" in the next days.

Starting on the 30th October and up until the 2nd November, there will be several posts per day, each reporting things at they happened last year. The only concession is that the time of the posts will be switched to french time. That means that what happend at 10PM US Time will be posted at 10PM France time. I choose this to avoid posts in the middle of the night or during one of this year Halloween shows.

 

So see you on the 30th November in Atlantic City !

I'm not dead (yet)

by Yome NetSan 2. October 2014

Yes, I'm still here !
Well, kinda... not too far at least. 

Two articles since January, I had never been less diligent. The reasons are many: change of pace in my work and in my family life, loss of desire to write while the motivation and topics abound. And indeed, a particular topic blocked me psychologically. I have the will and some "duty" to finish the story of my trip to the United States for those two people waiting. But I want to make it right and it takes time, time that I do not really have or no longer really want to take. And when I want to write about something else, I tell myself that I have to finish this story first... It's a kind of weight that remained on my shoulders all these last months. But don't feel abandonned, I don't write more on my french website Gamusik... But in recent weeks, I resumed writing at times of the day that suit me best: morning and evening on the train, I write on my smartphone with a Bluetooth keyboard. All I'll have to do would be the formatting and adding pictures. 

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know I'm still very active. I have read many books in recent months, I followed a fantastic summer tour, I went to a few concerts (although much less than 2013), I started playing drums (so to speak), I watched the last webcast in the middle of the night, I continue (with some restraint) collectioning retro games and vinyls, I enjoyed the new Phish album, I re-built my childhood LEGOs and I, most importantly, took my back guitar after 10 years ! 

While you wait for the next part, here is a small selection of what happened in 2014...

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Concert - Stefano Bollani
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Concert - Youn Sun Nah
/image.axd?picture=/2014/10/notdead/mini/Lego Minifig Yome.jpg
Lego Minifig Yome
/image.axd?picture=/2014/10/notdead/mini/Lego Retro Room.jpg
Lego Retro Room
/image.axd?picture=/2014/10/notdead/mini/Musical Summer - Drums.jpg
Musical Summer - Drums
/image.axd?picture=/2014/10/notdead/mini/Musical Summer - Guitar.jpg
Musical Summer - Guitar
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Retro Filming
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Vinyl - Bill Withers Live at Carnegie Hall
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Vinyl - David Gilmour
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Vinyl - Fuego
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Vinyls - Lots of them
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Vinyls - More of them
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Vinyls - September 2014 (part of)
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Webcast

Game Over ?
Continue !

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