A Calm Night in Camden? – Phish – 7/31/2003 – Camden, NJ

Back to back nights of Phish during the week in the Summer is one of my favorite ways to use my Vacation Time.  I work a half day the day of the first show – leaving my office at 1:00.  That gives plenty of time to prepare for the 2 nights ahead.  The day of the second show, I take off completely.  Such was the case for these 2 nights in Camden.  Since DanO and I drove back home after the Wednesday night show – we both were able to sleep late on this Thursday morning.

We got back down to Camden early and were ready to “rage the lot.”  But something was different about this night.  We were parked in the main lot, along a fence with some trees overhanging.  Shade in the Summer can be a rarity in a hot and dusty Phish lot.  Having the fence line and trees nearby also meant that we didn’t have to travel far to pee.  The perfect setup for 2 dudes.  We had all the conveniences that we needed, so we did not stray far from the car.  We tossed a Frisbee around before the lot started to fill up, and sat back down in our camp chairs.   

The excitement for the upcoming “IT” Festival was buzzing all around.  I made one of my few lot purchases this day.  As we were sitting in our camp chairs with our feet up on the cooler, a guy came by selling stickers.  I bought a round blue sticker for a dollar that just said “IT.”  I still have it somewhere since I never stuck it on anything.  Reminder – FIND THAT STICKER. 

The most surprising note from this night was that because we were so comfortable where we had parked, we never found Shakedown.  What is Shakedown you ask?  Shakedown – or Shakedown Street is the place in the lot where everyone gathers to sell  all of their stuff.  “Stuff” can be everything from food, clothing, artwork, beer, liquor and jewelery.  Tables are setup under EZ Up tents and it is a wonderful, if not sketchy place to be because you can also find any type of illegal anything you can possible imagine. 

This night turned out to be an unusually low-key night for the 2 of us.  We had actual seats again for this night so we didn’t have to worry about getting in early to secure a decent spot on the lawn.  We made our way to our seats a few minutes before showtime and did some people watching.  Normally we would have used our ticket stubs from the night before to get back down to the 7th row again.  This night we decided to stay in our actual seats and enjoy the show. 

The show itself was a typical Summer show.  The first set contained a lot of songs that were well played, but nothing really sticks out in my mind other than the Moma Dance.  It featured a dark jam that sounds like the precursor to the “Death March” Moma Dance that they would play a year later in Brooklyn.  If I remember correctly it was raining during the first set – a huge benefit of not being stuck out on the lawn.   The second set brought the jams.  A 22 minute Piper kicked off the 2nd set and again featured some more dark jamming.  The show closed out with a Frankenstein (Edgar Winter Band) encore. 

Everyone was ready for the long drive up to Limestone, Maine for the IT Festival.  In retrospect it was probably the fact that I knew I had this long  journey ahead of me that we decided to have such a calm night in Camden..  

Thursday, 07/31/2003
Tweeter Center at the Waterfront, Camden, NJ

Set 1: Llama, The Moma Dance > Divided Sky, Dirt > Seven Below, The Sloth, Water in the Sky, Wolfman’s Brother > Possum

Set 2: Piper > Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove[1] -> Free > Friday > Harry Hood

Encore: Frankenstein

 [1] In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida tease.

Notes: Weekapaug included an In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida tease. The tease may have been homage to Iron Butterfly guitarist Erik Braunn, who passed away two days before.

You Aint Goin Nowhere – July 30th, 2003

9 years ago today DanO and I attended the first of 2 nights in the God-awful depressing place that is Camden, NJ. I was able to score great seats for this show. We were 10th row and were treated to a show for the ages. But what sticks out in my mind more than the 30 minute version of Scents and Subtle Sounds that was played was the debut of Bob Dylan’s “You Aint Goin Nowhere.” It was a big treat for DanO – since he has seen many Bob Dylan concerts with his dad. For me it was a song that I had never heard before. In typical Dylan fashion, the lyrics spoke to me.

Whoo-ee ride me high
Tomorrow’s the day
My bride’s gonna come
Oh, oh, are we gonna fly
Down in the easy chair

Hearing these lyrics immediately made me think of my girlfriend at the time. I would be ditching DanO after these 2 nights in Camden, and taking LeighMo on what should have been an 11 hour excursion to Limestone, Maine for Phish Festival – named IT. The lyrics continued..

Genghis Khan
He could not keep
All his kings
Supplied with sleep
We’ll climb that hill no matter how steep
When we come up to IT.

If I only knew how those lyrics would foreshadow the adventure that we would have.. But that story is for another day. Today, enjoy some Bob Dylan.


Wednesday, 07/30/2003
Tweeter Center at the Waterfront, Camden, NJ
Set 1: My FriendMy Friend, My Friend, Lonesome Cowboy Bill, Scents and Subtle Sounds, You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere[1], Spock’s Brain > Chalk Dust Torture, On Your Way Down, Fast Enough for You[2] > Taste

Set 2: Twist, Bug, You Enjoy Myself, Walls of the Cave

Encore: Secret Smile

[1] Phish debut.
[2] Bathtub Gin tease from Page.

Notes: Lonesome Cowboy Bill was played for the first time since October 31, 1998 (173 shows). This show marked the Phish debut of You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere. On Your Way Down was played for the first time since October 2, 1999 (108 shows). FEFY included a Bathtub Gin tease from Page

I Feel the Feeling I Forgot

The first thing that you need to know about me is that I don’t have a very good memory.  A lifetime of playing contact sports and sustaining multiple concussions has forced me to use specific calendar dates to remember where I was, what I was doing and who I was with for the past 20 years of my life. 

Luckily for me, but unfortunately for my Wife – I am a fan of a band called Phish.  Phish’s fans are the most passionate fans you can ever imagine.  And by passionate, I mean completely obsessed.  Every concert the band has performed has been meticulously documented and every Date, Venue, and Song is available online in researchable form.  On top of that, there is a Fan Site available for you to select every show that you have attended, and you can view your own personal stats.  My personal stats contain 96 concerts worth of useless information.

Thanks to this website  – I remember stuff.   It is a strange phenomenon how I use these concerts to relate to my real life.  In an attempt to remember what I have already forgotten I will be using this blog as my new tool to create an online diary of memories, present-day endeavors and impending adventures.