Wife's words

by Yome NetSan 30. March 2010

My wife doesn't care about Phish, at all. In french : "Elle s'en fiche" (yes, pronounced like the band).

She can't stand the instrumental parts of a song, written or improvised. Of course, she never listened to Phish by herself. When I put a CD in the car, that's when she's about to sleep during a long drive. After the ride, she tells me she couldn't sleep because of the noise...
Although she doesn't share my passion, she understand I can love this music and politely listen when I told her a Phish story, even with my habit of making a short story a verrrrrrry long one.

Beside all of that, every once in a while, she amaze me with her knowloedge about the band
She can name every band member with his main instrument and even describe them and recognize them on pictures.
"John Fishman is the one with the dress and the vaccum."
"Trey Anastasio is the one with the glasses, the beard and the hair who looks like you."
(Indeed, the '94 Trey shares a little ressemblance with the younger me)
"Mike Gordon is the one with the cosmonaut helmet." (refering to the Inside In cover)
"Page McConnell is the one with the piano."

She can list some song's or album's name :
"The best Phish song is Mmmmh Bop." (Athough I've already listened to this cover and I knew when and where it took place, she is the one who find me this video)
"Hey ! It's Phish on the radio !!" (Consequence of the previous statements. Yeald every time she heard a Hanson song on the radio)
"The most famous Phish song is Waste." (because it's the one which pops up the most on Youtube)
"The album I bought to you in Valence is the one with the moon on it and it's called Frampton House." (She mixed up Farmhouse, which is the one she bought, and Hampton is Alive, because I told her the reference to Frampton is Alive.

One day, we were joking about that and I asked her to name me some Phish songs. She went with "They must have a song with [insert random word] in it" and every word she said was indeed in a song's title !
After second thought, I realized that, with more than 250 orignal songs and more than 500 covers played, they sure have at least one song for most of the english words in the dictionary !

She has her own view on Phish concerts :
"They play vacuum to bring mid-aged women."
"They are so infamous that they have to play covers to be catchy."
"They don't have enough memory to remember their songs so they improvise." (In a way, that's a rather true statement about the 2004 Phish)
"They invent a new concept : disposable songs" (Because they played many songs only once)


She also has a percular opinion on Phish's music :
"Phish basically plays country." (Maybe because, when we are together, I choose songs that could please her and so often play My Sweet One, Scent of a Mule, Poor Heart, My Mind got a Mind of it's Own, Nally Kane, Sparlke, Water in the Sky...)
"Hey ! It's Phish on the radio !!" (Again, a consequence of the previous statements. Yeald every time she heard a country song on the radio)
"Every Phish song is high pitched notes (often played at the guitar) over random sounds in the background"
"Why didn't you make me listen to good Phish songs before ?" (while finding a studio version of Free on Youtube)

She says that Phish is all about food :
"They have many songs about food : cheesecake, something with Meat..."
"They must have another song with the word 'corn' in it because they play country music... oops no, it would be the case if they played 'pop' music !"
"They even have an ice cream named after them : Ben 'n Jerry's Phish Food !"


Of course, she says all of that just to have fun with me. She also says that sailing is not a sport...

What about you ? what are your wife/friends/children words about your favorite band or your dedication ?

Phish NYE Miami Tour - Jan 1st (return to home)

by Holger 2. January 2010

The alarm clock rang 7.15 after 4,5h of sleep. Much too short for my taste. I felt every beer and irish whiskey that Justin was carrying around as usual. Unfortunately staying in bed was no option as we had to catch a flight from Miami to Philly.

The breakfast room was empty and so were the streets when we drove to the airport and returned to car at the Alamo station. The Jeep patriot was 175 EUR a week incl premium insurance package and one tank of gas! A standard intermediate car would have been 150 EUR so I can only recommend to pay the extra 3-4 EUR per day and enjoy the cool american style SUV driving. "I want my SUV" (was that Mark Knopfler singing in "Money for nothing"?).

At the airport we had to find out that our flight was delayes over a hour. We have two hours in Philly so we should still be able to make the connection flight to Frankfurt. The good thing was that they had free Wi-Fi at the US Airways gate so I could upload last night's pictures to Flickr where Yome is grabbing them to put them up here. The livephish.com downloads of all 4 nights are already on my Blackberry and ready to be explored in depth over the next couple of hours.

When we entered the plane I discovered soul singer John Legends sitting in the first class. Prominent travel mate I would say ;) The flight itself was horrible. Bumpy turbulences for 2 hours. My stomach was spinning in circles - the beers an whiskeys, you remember?

Philly to Frankfurt was on time. Nothing exciting on the 8h flight but I got a beer for free (instead of 7 USD) because a salad bowl felt off the wagon of the stewardess when she was passing by and landed on my lap. Frankfurt to Berlin (usually a 50min flight) was also on time but couldn't land in Berlin because the airport was shut down for about 60-90min due to heavy snow fall. Once on the ground we couldn't get a parking position as the other planes couldn't start during the closing period. It took ages until we finally had the bags, passed customs (no officer on duty at all) and jumped into a cab that drove us to our flat. I hardly remember so much snow in Berlin. What a contrast?! +28°C sun and beach to -10°C snow and concrete. We have 2 days left to fully recover before Natalie and me both go back to work on Monday January 4th. My head is full of great memories and the trip and experience was definitely worth every Euro and minute of traveling. Would do it again without thinking twice! Take care all of you and happy new year again to the whole Phish community and sites which help us to connect, share, publish, etc. (phish.com, livephish, drygoods, fromtheroad,  phishthoughts, bouncingaroundeuroom.eu, thisweekonlot.com, jambands.com, phish.net, phantasytour, glidemagazine, relix,  archive.org, twitter, facebook, last.fm, youtube, flickr and many more).

2009/12/31 NYE with Phish in Miami

by Holger 1. January 2010

Last day in Miami and we picked up Justin at his motel on Biscayne Blvd to go to south beach at Crandon Park on Key Biscayne. This is one of the nicest beaches I know! Perfect on time we got the best weather of the week (approx. 27-28C). We could even swim in the ocean this time. Before we left the beach we took the obvious pictures and got a random blessing by a really nice and wise man who loved to hear that we just got married. He asked god to bless us with health, a long life, happiness, luck, children, etc. And he told us that I am the "head" and Natalie is the "neck" and that the head is nothing without the neck. He also said that a table with 2 legs doesn't stand. So true! I really did feel blessed after the procedure as strange as it sounds. I definately took it as a good sign by any meaning.

Back in the hotel around 5pm we packed our stuff for the flight back and wanted to go to Shuckers again but due to NYE they didn't serve dinner. We walked up the street where I spotted a fish restaurant ("The Crab House") the days before. The waitress was enthusiastic about their special deals and special NYE 3-course menues but I politely interrupted her to tell her that we are looking for a very quick and short dinner because we go the see Phish. She didn't have a clue what I was talking about ;) Natalie had fish and chips and I had a combo with fish and chips, crab cakes and fried scampi. Yummie! They tried to support our evening plans real hard and brought the food in record breaking time. The difficult part was to get a taxi which took about 20min. The caribean driver was really funny ("NYE in Miami is CRAZY I tell ya"). He explained that it would be close to impossible to get a cab on NYE especially after midnight and on the Miami side as all cabs are in South Beach (I will come back to this later). He dropped us off across the street after a speedy 25 USD ride.

Everything was fully packed and the air was burning. It was a hot day and the streets were still warm at night. People were heated up for the show and NYE in general. You could see all kinds of crazy costumes, formal dresses, fake hairs, colorful clothes. The mass was screaming, yelling, cheering to let out the energy in some direction. There was also a strong demand to connect with others which resulted in a total breakdown of all mobile networks. I wasn't abe to call or text message Justin for over an hour! Suddenly the plan to party in advance of the show busted and we drank our bee alone. I was definately pumped for the NYE show and even Natalie was kind of looking forward to it this time.

I had just bought 2 beer inside and walking towards our section as set 1 started with "AC/DC Bag". I prepared a wish list of songs during the day and they played 14 (!) out of 29 - that's a 50% correct guess. After a perect dancing start they played "46 Days" which always gets me in a really good mood. "Water In The Sky" pleased the Florida crowd before "Bathtub Gin" took it to the next level. Then "Punch You in the Eye" got the arena through the roof. I have never seen such a wild collective dance. This set 1 was like a second 2 set if you know what I mean. Fast, groovy, jamming - like the pefect "The Moma Dance" which was followed by a singing "Guyute". Then the band gave the crowd a rest after the multiple orgasms. "Swept Away", "Demand", "Seven Below" and the cool bar tune "Lawn Boy" helped to save some power for the long night yet to come. They really know to make a perfect setlist with exciting starts, exclamation, rests and a grand finale like "Julius". Man, what a 1st set! Unfortunately still no Justin in sight.

During setbreak Natalie stayed at the seats in case Justin would be looking for us. I was getting us 2 more beers and return exactly when the lights turned off and Justin made down from 4th level to our lower section (sec 118, row 20, seats 7/8). The rest of the night should bring massive excitement with 2 of my favorite covers by Phish. First one kicked off set 2 - "Rock & Roll" (by The Velvet Underground). It felt like the show contained a lot of "Billy Breathes" and "The Story of the ghost" songs. "Rock & Roll" was one of my absolute highlights of the whole night and it got an welcomed extension when it merged into "Piper" followed by "Simple" with a background choir of 20.000 phans. "Theme From The Bottom" gave us some air to breath before we collapse. "Shine A Light" is the second best song (besides "Loving Cup") from the Halloween musical costume which brought us a complete cover of the Rolling Stones record "Exile on main street". And it got better and better with the obvious "Ghost" which was overdue since 3 days and fulfilled all expectations. "NO2" and "Suzy Greenberg" closed an awesome 2nd set around 11.30pm.

From now on everybody was checking the clock for midnight to arrive. You could already see thousands of huge balloons holden by big nets under the roof of the American Airlines Arena. This is classic! 5min before midnight "Party Time" started the extravaganza and it seemed as it was only written for this occasion. The band moved into "Auld Lang Syne" exactly at midnight. The balloons were following down and filling the arena with pure joy. When the bass line of "Down With Disease" started the crowd totally freaked out for the next 10-15min. Balloons were EVERYWHERE!

Then the so called "NYE gag" with Fishman as main actor took place. Yome already wrote about it so I skip this part. I only want to add that from the audience you really couldn't tell if it was the girl or Fishman dressed up like the girl. And the faking at the beginning of "Fluffhead" seemed like a really well trained amateur drummer tried to play with Phish. "Joy" was the perfect song to nail down everyone's feeling. I was so happy and that's how the band wants us to be. "The Squirming Coil" was another crowd pleaser which made us all sing together one more time but one song was still missing after 4 unbelievable days and nights. And they delivered it big time. "Wash uffize drive me to Firenze"! "You Enjoy Myself" is probably THE Phish song ("Man...", "God...", "Shit..."). It ended in a vocal jam like most of the times in the previous 2009. I was exhausted but after "Blue Moon" I saved the rest of my power for  "Loving Cup" - "I'm the man from the mountain...".

Oh my god, what a monster night! Probably my best Phish show ever! It seemed like everybody was enjoying themselves and collectively a lot. The crazy mix of people at Phish shows from all kinds of different states and with all kinds of different styles is a story of its own. I am so glad that Justin joined us. He is such a lovely guy who is always entertaining and outgoing which is infectious to others. One night is was screaming really loud and people around us jumped in and suddenly it spread like wildfire across the whole venue. He just smiled at me and said to me "You see... ;)". He's also a wild dancer and a real party animal. And it all started at Deer Creek when I asked him and Matt if there's some space to sit down in the shade together with them.

It's often the little things. We don't recognize the importance at first but later (sometimes a lot later) we look back and understand how destiny pushed us in this or that direction. Like the guy at the beach who blessed us or the cab driver who didn't want to pick us up again after the show ("Hey man, if I tell ya I pick ya up I would be lying. Traffic is CRAZY in Miami on NYE. I tell ya.").

When we stepped out into the warm December night everybody tried to get a cab. The police had closed down Biscayne Blvd so there no chance to catch one at all. We decided to walk a few blocks. We wanted to get back to the hotel quick as we had to get up early for our flight back. No taxi in sight. Fuck! We walked further north parallel to Biscayne Blvd. Thousands of peoples on the street. Phishheads mixing with the local club scene and night bar goers. Traffic broke down completely around AAA. I was expecting a long walk. But destiny gave us a miracle. The first taxi with lights on which came from the exit of the highway while I was running up the exit to secure it for us was driven by the same Caribbean cab driver who dropped us off before the show. Can you believe that? What is the chance for this coincidence to happen in Miami on NYE around AAA? This time I was like "Hey man, I tell ya this is CRAZY" ;) After a 20 USD ride we fall straight to sleep. See you in the morning and happy new year everybody!



2009/12/30 American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

by Holger 31. December 2009

After an excessive shopping experience at Aventura Mall in the morning and around lunch we went to North Miami Beach to sit and walk at the Beach. My wife Natalie wanted to skip night 3 as she is not the biggest phan and she's fine staying at the hotel room, relaxing and watching movies. Its a short and packed with activities trip so she needed some rest. My Indiana phish buddy Justin was more than happy to trade his 4th level balcony ticket with her lower level seat.

So we met after an delicious dinner (new york cut steak) and a beer in front of American Airlines Arena. Low demand seemed to let the parking prices plunge from day to day. As a result I only had to pay 10 USD last night instead of 20 and 15 the nights before. The parking lot was a lot fuller. Before going in we had another beer outside. Inside it was also a lot fuller. I guess more people go for the end of the run and NYE of course! Behind the stage and flor was well filled and the balcony behind stage was open but still empty.

Set 1 started with some cool reaggae music ("Soul Shakedown Party") and followed by an dancing "Runaway Jim". Next song was the very relaxed blues number "Jesus Just Left Chicago" which is on "Slip, stitch and pass" which has been recorded during the '97 Europe tour in Hamburg, Germany. "Dixie Cannonball" was a real surprise song to me - didn't hear it before. I only found out today that was a debut. Then the first and only song from the latest album ("Joy") - "Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan" with the brilliant lyrics "Got a blank space where my mind should be". The next 5 songs ("Corrina", "What's the Use?", "Tela", "Gone" - the second debut of the show, "Rocky Top") were all about rarities and phan tunes - that's one of the reason why people go to several shows in a row. The set was closed with a rocking "Chalk Dust Torture" and a awesome "David Bowie".

Set 2 started with a jamming "Sand" followed by a great "The Curtain With" and a quiet "Lifeboy" which gave everybody a mini-break. One of my highlights was the 17min long "Back on the Train" which is one of my alltime faves by Phish. "Wading in the Velvet Sea", "Hold Your Head Up" > "Love You" >

"Hold Your Head Up" had a guest appearance by a fan on stage who was allowed to play a solo on the vacuum cleaner instead of Fishman. The fan was wearing the same shirt like Fishman and to his big surprise he was given the vacuum cleaner as a gift and could take it with him off the stage back into the audience. So this time it really was the ultimately final vacuum solo of the decade. Fishman didn't seem to feel sad about the loss and ran around the stage in circles only stopping from time to time to let the crowd give applause to him. During all of this Trey was playing the drums by the way.

After this little fun break a serious rocking "Free" made me dancing and actually feel very free. This was my second highlight of the night. And it got better with a funky "Boogie On Reggae Woman" - Mike probably deserves last nights MVP. And it got even better with "Run Like an Antelope" which was mashed up by Trey with guitar licks from "Roses are free" multiple times during the whole song. I was simply blown away - wow! As an encore they played "Frankenstein" with Page on the keytar standing in front of the stage. What a night again!

Personally I thought they might bring out a guest (Gloria Estefan or Lady Gaga as some rumors say) on night 3 but maybe they saved that for NYE or it is just a rumor. Anyway tonight will be sick and we are taking a cab tonight to appreciate the full NYE party vibe before we fly out tomorrow morning from Miami to Philadelphia to Frankfurt back to the cold and snowy Berlin in Germany.

More pictures on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/treyanastasio/sets/72157623084195140/


2009/12/29 American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

by Holger 30. December 2009

Yesterday we went to Key Biscayne during the day. There's a state park with an old light house where you can walk along the water and the marina. After that we enjoyed a sunny but quite chilly afternoon at the beach park on Key Biscayne - it is one of the best beaches around with hundreds of palm trees right on the beautiful white sand beach. The light around 4-5pm was amazing. It was actually so good that some company had a photo shooting with five bikini girls doing a cushion fight going on - can't give you any more details right now ;) Unfortunately it was too cold to swim but we will return on NYE during the day.

After a blitz dinner with "shrimp and angel hair pasta" (that's ultra thin spaghetti) at Shuckers Bar + Grill we headed towards the arena for the second time. We got there by 7.15pm which was still too early as they didn't start until 8.10pm again. You wouldn't dream of what to come...

First set started with "Golgi" which is definitely a classic Phish tune and a perfect opener and already more uptempo and danceable like "Sample in a jar" and most of the rest yesterday. It should pave the way for the whole night. "Maze" got it going before "Driver" and "The Connection" brought some of the more relaxed first set tunes. I am not sure if many people do but I like "The Connection" a lot. The next 3 songs were j ust awesome: "Wolfman’s Brother", then "Ocelot" (especially for my wife Natalie who loves this tune), an unbelievable "Reba" with beautiful lights by CK5. "Access Me" was maybe the only low point (you can hardly name it this way but if you need to pick one this was it). "The Divided Sky" was from another planet taking it really long. The melody is just lovely. Personally I thought that's the closer for set 1 but man was I wrong! A really nasty "Cavern" left everybody hungry for more. This was pretty solid compared to night one - a 7.5 out of 10 I would say. Setbreak.

Set 2 started with a really rocky version of "Kill Devil Falls" followed by one of the best "Tweezer" jams I've ever heard. They had ultra groove last night! Page was incredible, Mike was slapping it like hell all night long making the songs mega-funky, Trey did his high signature tunes after taking it higher and higher and Fish was working the drums like a dervish. The "Tweezer" was probably around 20min as far as I remember (please forgive me as I did not listen to the show yet and write this completely out of my memory from my Blackberry standing in front of a Hollister store in Aventura Mall while my wife is shopping - one of the reasons why she came to Miami. 8am to 8pm belongs to her - 8pm - 12pm belongs to me) . Unlike first night there was no stopping anytime. "Prince Caspian" made me sing until I almost lost my voice. After "Divided Sky" and "Tweezer" the next couple of songs, jams were the highlight of the night. It was unreal. I couldn't believe what I was witnessing. I text messaged Justin who was in another section to ask him if we were dreaming. "Gotta Jibboo > Wilson > Gotta Jibboo > Heavy Things" left everybody with mouth wide open. It was either from another galaxy, wonderland or hell or all together. And still no signs of slowing down. An energetic "2001" let everybody freak out. In brightest possible light all arms were up and bodies were shaking. And then they played "Slave to the Traffic Light". I almost had tears in my eyes. What do they want to play the next 2 days? Are they trying to create the ultimate set, a "best of / greatest hits" live album? I was full of happiness, couldn't stop smiling, pumped with adrenaline and thanking god for being able to be here.

The Encore brought "Sleeping Monkey" (for Justin) and the obvious "Tweezer Reprise" following the "Tweezer" of the second set. What else do I need to say? After the show we all met at the same corner like last night and drove back to our hotels. I needed to stop at a gas station to buy a sixpack of beer because I knew that without drinking a couple of cans I would not be able to sleep. I was so right: 3 beers later I fall asleep around 2.30am - totally satisfied. I wonder what phishthoughts.com and everybody else writes about the show - set 2 was a 9.5 out 10!!! Can't wait for tonight...

More pictures on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/treyanastasio/sets/72157623084195140/


2009/12/28 American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL

by Holger 29. December 2009

After a short swim in the hotel pool we got dressed and took the car to the American Airlines Arena. Its always hard to project how long it will take because sometimes traffic can be totally horrible around venues and parking lots. Not today! Despite a construction site approx. 1,5m from the venue on Biscane Blvd everything runs smoothly. There's only a very short waiting line right in front of the official parking garage of American Airline Arena. Guys with "parking 20 USD" signs try to re-direct people to their private parking lots and garages around the block. As the official fee is also 20 USD we take a right and roll straight on an 90% empty lot. Some Phishheads sit outside their cars listening to music, grilling, chilling, smoking and drinking booze.

Its only a 2-3min walk to the main entrance where we are supposed to meet with Justin and his friend from Indiana. Strangely there is only a really short waiting line on the stairs 5min before the gate opens. Back in 2003 people were standing back down to the street. The arena looks beautifully enlightened with yellow, orange and purple light and a huge video projection on the surface of the building showing Phish live footage previously recorded - really cool! Justin is right on time and after a short but enthusiastic welcome (who could expect that we see each other only 6 month after we first met at Deer Creek) we walk straight in. There is no waiting at all. Security check is relaxed. 

First thing you see when you walk in is the merchandise table with all brand new Phish Florida items. I am very sorry but I have to admit that I was massively disappointed with the new goods. I don't like the event poster which is too colorful and looks like an advertisement for orange juice. The 2003 poster looked like a cheap "Kitch" painting by an averagely skilled street artist on Ocean Drive. The colors hurt my eyes. Unfortunately I only found out after waiting in line for 45min and buying #987 (or so) of #1000. Now its on the wall in my flat ;) Thank god to Facebook, Fromtheroad, Twitter, etc. you now know in advance what you get so I did not get in line this time. The T-shirts weren't any better - just not my colors (all kinds of purple, yellow, orange, etc.). Well, the trip was expensive enough and my budget needs some rest. Domestic beer at the venue is 9,00 USD, imported beer 13,50 USD, a slice if pizza 8,00 USD, a cocktail 18 USD, etc.. So while Phish is keeping ticket prices low everybody else is robbing you legally! 

We were standing on the first floor and watching the people flow in. Around 7.30pm when the show should officially begin there were no signs of a soon start. Still hundreds and thousands of people came in from outside. Around 7.50pm we got to section 118 which is one of the lower sections in the middle of the arena. The seats are perfect and its so good to know that we will be there for 4 nights in a row. The people next to us were very nice. One was from Ft. Lauderdale, the other from New York City (seeing his show #96 or so - EU phans can't compete with that numbers but with the intimacy of our tiny venues). 

I don't remember the exact time but it must have been shortly after 8pm when the lights went out. Suddenly people were pumped and you could feel the collective energy. Everybody was waiting for this moment for weeks. Most people were already screaming and dancing when they got up the stairs and through the entrance. So did I. They didn't play Wilson as an opener like I had wished for. They didn't play it all last night. The whole set list and flow of the show was a bit strange and the first set missed a little dancing and party vibe (except some moments). 

Phishtoughts.com is quite disappointed by the whole show and pointing to the half empty venue. Yes, you hear right. Half empty (and the show was almost sold out)! There was even a black curtain covering the 3rd and 4th level behind stage and the lower section behind stage was nearly empty. Everywhere were empty seats - even on the floor. They definitely need to change the way tickets are sold. Print a name and ID# on the tickets and the scalping ends. That's the way FIFA does it with tickets for the soccer world cup. 

The show kicked off with "Sample in a jar" which is one of my all time faves. The version was very tight and I thought it was a great opener. Next song was "NICU" which always is good feel tune to me. It was followed by a rare bluesy "My Soul". The following 4 songs ("Roggae", "Undermind", "Bouncing Around The Room", "Poor Heart") lacked excitement a little bit. Then came "Stash" which brought back my full attention. I must agree with Phishthoughts.com that the flow of the show was destroyed more than once. There was a lot of "humor songs" but the whole mix was strange. "I Didn't Know" (featuring the final vacuum solo of the decade) and especially "Beauty Of A Broken Heart" didn't seem to fit between "Stash" and "Possum" which was a very warm welcomed and superb finale of set 1. 

Set 2 continued the spirit of the night. It took until song #4 (after "Mike's Song", "Light", "I Am Hydrogen") "Weekapaug Groove" kicked off the party. My wife Natalie who is far from being a phan felt the jetlag and was not turned on so far. Unfortunately "Weekapaug Groove", "Alaska", "Backwards Down the Number Line", "Makisupa Policeman", "Harry Hood" (all fantastic in my eyes) came too late for her to bring her back to life. "Contact" was a another "fun break" before an energetic "Character Zero" closed set 2. And then came an incredible sick "First Tube" which alone compensated for some mediocre versions last night. Trey was suddenly on fire and CK5 brought on an absolutely gorgeous light show. 

After the show we met Justin and his friend across the street to give them a ride back to their hotel which was on the way to ours. Back in the hotel room I synched my digital camera to the notebook and uploaded some pictures to Flickr (Thanks to Yome who grabs them and puts them up together with my writings which I send from my Blackberry during day). 


More to come tomorrow...


More pictures on Flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/treyanastasio/sets/72157623084195140/


Phish NYE Miami Tour - Day 3

by Holger 28. December 2009

Got up around 8am, Breakfast at 9am. The people at Best Western seem more white middle class than the crowd at the La Quinta yesterday - maybe its because the price of a room is twice as high. Breakfast selection is smaller despite that fact. I went for bagel with cream cheese and bagel with hard boiled egg plus a yogurt and two cups of extra strong coffee.

After strengthening for the day we drove down Biscane Blvd and crossed over to Miami Beach via Venetian Causeway. Getting a place for your car on Ocean Blvd is almost impossible so its better to go for one of the public parking garages on Washington or Collins. Turned out that we parked behind the Miami Police station on 11th street. From there its only a 2min walk to Ocean Drive with all its beautiful historic art deco buildings. Together with all the palm, the soft sea breeze, the sound of the ocean, the smell of food from the street restaurants, the noisy street and beach life, music from shops and bars it creates the very unique Miami beach atmosphere.

Walking around and thinking about tonight's first of four Phish shows is a surreal feeling. I really don't know what to expect (as always). We will probably here a huge bunch of repertoire with all classics over the next four days. With what song will they open tonight? It should be a statement of what to come. Will there be any guests like P-Funk in 2003. Some rumors whisper Gloria Estefan and the Miami Sound Machine which is certainly a perfect fit for the town. I would love to hear "Wilson" as opener tonight! Once your hear the guitar riff and 20.000 people screaming "Wilson" in between you get pumped like hell. I am wearing a old-school retro Wilson tennis t-shirt tonight which I just bought for the trip. It has the big Wilson logo on the front.

While typing these lines we are relaxing on the beach and eating some bananas and apples. Its cloudier than we thought but still quite warm. The weather comes from the Keys and moves by Miami during early afternoon. The sea gulls are walking around us eagerly observing us and hoping to catch some waste. They even fly really close above our heads almost attacking. The ocean is calm and quiet today.

Strangely I have only seen one single guy wearing a Phish shirt today and maybe 2-3 more people who potentially could be Phishheads. I guess 20.000 Phishheads are not to exposed among hundred of thousands of tourists. I wonder what the total number of phans in Miami is right now but probably not more than 35.000 as most of the people go to all shows. So its not 4 x 20.000 but more 15.000 fix + 4 x 5.000 different people each night. The question is if they really would sell out all the huge indoor and outdoor venues across the country night after night if the same people wouldn't go to ALL shows over and over again. Is there any "market research" or theories on this?

I think we head back to our hotel around 3pm, take a swim in the pool for about an hour, change clothes for tonight, drive to the Arena, get the tickets from will call (I am always nervous until I have tix in hand), have dinner at one of the restaurants at the port of Miami and go in once the door open around 6.30pm.

I hope to meet Justin and his friends from Indiana today. I met Justin and Matt (who unfortunately can't be here as he plays a NYE show with his own band "Catch Curtis" in Indiana) in Deer Creek and and all travelled to Alpine Valley. The funny thing is that Justin had to travel longer than we. Our total flight and travel time was approx. 18-19h. Justin's driving time was around 22h (only interfered by a short stop to watch a football game). I love people who are enthusiastic for music!

Yippie, the sun comes out again so please excuse me... ;)



More pictures from Miami

by Holger 28. December 2009

Phish NYE Miami Tour - Day 2

by Holger 27. December 2009

Got up around 8am, breakfast around 9am. Thank god its Sunday so the serve breakfast until 10. We stayed one night at the La Quinta Miami airport east just because it was the closest hotel (besides red roof and embassy suites) to the Alamo car rental station and was average in price and ok in ratings/reviews. A one way street made it a little complicated to get there though and it was already dark.

Once we entered the lobby and breakfast room we immediately recognized that it was totally overcrowded by a wild mixture of nationalities and colors. You got Hispanics, Asians, Europeans, Americans and Afro-Americans. Breakfast selection was the usual bagels/toasts and cream cheese, cereals, juices, fruits and coffee which is fine with me for a couple of days although I usually prefer a good selection of italian cheese and sausages. at home. I helped myself with slices of hard boilded eggs on a medium toasted bread with butter. Good choice!

It seemed like a miracle but after returning from the buffet style selection a table for two was just waiting for us. Each of us had approximately 3-4 orange juices as we didn't have anything to drink the whole night and we were totally dryed out. The reason was that I couldn't change any money in advance and we forgot to do it at the airport as we were too tired I guess. 20 USD were still in my wallet since the last Phish trip to Deer Creek and Alpine Valley in June this year but the vending machine seemed not too trustworthy to give it my last cash and hope for the return of change.

After the breakfast we checked out and got to our car on the parking lot - a silver Jeep Patriot with Florida license plate. After waiting on the phone for the Alamo roadside assistance over 15min I decided to keep the car and see what happens (if anything) due to the required oil change. Like in Indiana I will put a Phish logo sticker on the bumper to brand it the right way! Outside the weather was just brillant: sunny and warm like you imagine Florida to be. Its so cool to walk outside in December wearing nothing but shorts, t-shirt and flip-flops.

Next stop was a bank to withdraw cash and a pharmacy to get sun cream, contact lense fluid and a Revlon make up for my sister. Seems banal and not worth to mention but I looked up 2-3 stores in Indiana back in June to get it for her and I couldn't get it. Its the only thing she was asking for so I want to be a good brother and make her happy (I know she reads so blog so please forgive me to bore the rest of you on this one). Silke, I got it this time! ;)

Around 11.30am we reached our final destination - the Best Western waterfront Hotel which is located on the small island of North Bay Village between Miami and Miami Beach and is about 6-7 miles from the American Airlines Arena where the Phish NYE run will take place like in 2003 (our last time in Florida by the way). Our room with king size bed is located on the second floor with a view on the pool which looks a little bit like an 8 (coincidence after "festival 8"?). We could't restist and jumped in our bathing clothes to take a swim in the mid-day sun. Man, what do I have to say? Swimming under palms on Dec 27th and 4 Phish shows just one day away - what a great feeling. Now I know again why we took the long trip. My wife (we are only married since a week) is swimming like a dolphin and sun bathing like a lizard. We can't stop to smile. I know she's a little bit worried that 4 shows are too much for her as she likes some Phish but is not a fan. I am really grateful that she always supports my obsession. I guess that's unconditional love and what else can one demand? On the other hand there are worse places to be right now and if she gets beaches and palms and shopping malls all day long and I get rock'n'roll all night long evrybody is more than happy. That's the simple deal. Plans for the rest of the day are to walk the beach in North Miami beach and to drive to the Aventura shopping mall before having dinner at Shuckers Bar+Grill. That's all folks for the moment...

More pictures on http://www.flickr.com/photos/treyanastasio/sets/72157623084195140/



Phish NYE Miami Tour - Day 1 Part 4

by Holger 27. December 2009

I am officially dead! It's 4am (Berlin) time, 10pm here in Miami and we are finally at our airport hotel for the first night. After standing up at 6.30am yesterday this is almost 22h of travelling. No fun so far.

The Alamo choice line didn't bring us luck either. We picked a Jeep and once we left the Alamo station I recognized a blinking "Oil Change Required" sign. I will either exchange cars tomorrow after breakfast or ignore it for the rest of the week. We are not touring whole Florida this time and within Miami it should last for a couple of miles - maybe hundreds of miles. Its not my car and they better should give people proper vehicles.

Anyway, right now I am too tired to complain about anything and hey, we are in Miami after all. From tomorrow on everythings gonna be alright. The weather will be nice, the beaches and palms lovely, the shopping malls are waiting only for us, Phish will play a 4-night run beyond imagination, my Deer Creek / Alpine phriend arrives soon, etc....


More pictures on http://www.flickr.com/photos/treyanastasio/sets/72157623084195140/




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