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... ;)