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.

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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.

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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 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.

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.

 

 




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