The Top 100 Moments: 1-10

Starting from my first show.  Here are some things that I remember.  A quick hit from each show.

1. 7/1/95 Great Woods – The opening notes of Ya Mar.  The guy sitting about 10 people away from me who can clearly be heard on tape yelling “Fishman!” repeatedly.  The best If I Could ever played.

2.  12/2/95  New Haven Coliseum – Listening to part of the Funky Bitch soundcheck on 99.1 WPLR preshow.  Hearing Runaway Jim for the first time and having a moment with Dan O realize what an awesome song that it is.  The Tweezer Hose Jam.  Page’s solo during Squirming Coil – the most attention I have ever seen a crowd.

3. 8/16/96 Clifford Ball Day 1 – The innocence of the first major festival.  The perfection of the 2nd set.

4. 8/17/96 Clifford Ball Day 2 – Miracle-ing that dirty smelly skinny tour rat who had done the entire tour.  Old Home Place opener.  Ben & Jerry jumping in the bathtub during Brother.

5. 10/17/96 – Bryce Jordan Center, Penn State – 2001 opener with deep red lights and smoke machines.  Star Spangled Banner acapella.  Walking through campus zig zagging through the dorms with Dewey.

6. 10/21/96 – Madison Square Garden, NY – Pretty Meh show.  Had great seats right next to Fishman.  4 guys in the row behind us had homemade tshirts: Trey is Good, Page is Good, Mike is Good, Fish is Good.

7. 10/23/96 Hartford Civic Center – Extra drummer during the 2nd set.  Straight forward and rocking from the start.

8. 12/31/96 – Fleet Center, Boston, MA – Preshow at the Boston Museum of Science.  Bitter cold night.  Impossible tickets.  Saw one guy trying to trade a bar of soap for a ticket. Don’t Stop Til You Get Enough tease during Punch You in the Eye. Balloons falling from the ceiling!

9. 8/14/97 – Darien Lake PAC, NY – Camping behind the lawn listening to Crosseyed and Painless soundcheck.  Walking through the amusement park to get to the venue.  Bozo’s walking through the crowd at setbreak.  The Jam after Harry Hood.  BOZO MADNESS > Camel Walk.

10. 8/16/97 – The Great Went, Limestone ME – The band came on at exactly 4:20 and opened with Makisupa Policeman.  Took me 11 shows to get my first You Enjoy Myself.  Pretty sure we were sitting next to Tom Marshall before set 1.

 

The Daniel Daniel Transcripts: A Trilogy of Creepy Hilarity – Part 2

I hope that you all have been on the edge of your seats waiting for the second installment of my voicemail saga.  In this episode we find out how he got to my voicemail by mistake to begin with, and that not only had he applied for a job in my office previously – but he will continue to seek employment with us.
After I had listened to the original voicemail a few times and forwarded it to a few people in the office, I made my way over to my friend’s desk to get his take on what he had heard.  I expected a good reaction from him, but instead I got something even better.  Another voicemail.
My friend was doing the hiring in my office at the time and he had me listen to a voicemail from a prospective new hire.  Here is that voicemail typed out exactly as it was spoken (with a few names changed to protect the innocent and a few notes to help everything make sense):

Episode II……

“Yeah, I, ah, met you a few years ago, ah, about two years ago actually, I, it seems longer but um, here in your (M*****) office. I met someone, I, maybe I met you at the job fair at Ramapo College, ah, in Mahwah, two years ago, ah, it was april or may, two years ago, now it’s July, well we’re well into July. And something happened that I had gone to your superior, ah, several months later, ah, followed up, and I was very upset, because you know, when you come for a job interview I’m sure that you’re the person I remember now that I remember, cause I pushed in the name first name (Colorsinthevoid)

 
– He then proceeded to spell out the name.

and I didn’t know that your’s was (Kolorsinthevoid)

– He then spelled out that name.

I tried that, calling on Saturday.

At this point we realized that he had called earlier in the day and used the spell by name directory on our phone system.  He typed in my name instead of the person who he was trying to get.  When he got my voicemail, instead of hanging up the phone – he left me the message that I have posted in Part 1 of this Creepy Trilogy.
He continued.

Um, I haven’t called in quite some time, and I didn’t know if you were still here, but you, ah, ya know,  took my application for a position and there seemed to be some, ah, I don’t like the word friction you seemed to create some      mythical, ah, ah, ah, for lack of a better word, problem that didn’t exist, I’m, aye, you had said that I didn’t want to send a resume, not true at all. I sometimes run low on them, but in a worst case situation I could always photocopy them or what have you, ah, so that’s never a problem. I never refused. I would NEVER, just not, not send it, ah, that’s true, I might have been somewhat reluctant because I had filled out an employment application of the company, and I didn’t know whether, ya know, it was, ah, all that necessary , but to say that, ya know, that I’m this and I’m that and making a whole issue over minor things creating, ya know, making mountains out of mole hills, isn’t fair and right, and I went over your head and I want to just see now, um, what the situation is, I mean, ya know, I don’t know what kind of a job it was, and there was training up in Syracuse as I recall, ah, New York, and and um, ah,  ya know, I don’t know what the position was , I remember it was an hourly rate of pay, but I mean my, my  concern is um, is that, ya know just ah, seem to be, ya know making judgements about someone you don’t really know. I saw you once there and once here in your office in, ah, Woodcliff Lake, in this building here and that was it, and you were prejudging me, and I don’t think that’s fair at all, I REALLY, REALLY don’t. I think it’s it’s terrible of you to do that, and, ya know, you, I thought that you were nice fellow and all that and, ah, and and  whatever but, ya know, when you try to create a situation over a nothing, your making something out of nothing, I’m still, I’m not gonna’ give up, I’m gonna come back here I’m gonna reapply and I’m going, and and. Well I’ll call back on Monday, I don’t have any more time, my name is Dan and, ah, I eee ah you’ll hear from me, I don’t  know what time Monday but it will be later on in the day, got to go out. Okay, thanks a lot bye-bye for now. That’s the end of the recording.

You would think that would have been a long enough message for our new friend – who waited until the very end to leave only his first name, and no return phone number.  If he wanted us to hire him he should have left his last name and a number to call him back on.  That would all change with a third voicemail that he would leave for my friend later in the day on Monday.  But that is for another day.
Okay, thanks a lot bye-bye for now.  That’s the end of today’s blog.

Counting Crows: November 16, 2004 – Roseland Ballroom – New York, NY

The best concert I ever saw?  Definitely not.  But it was certainly the most unexpected – and was a fun night from start to finish.  The lead singer Adam Duritz drank about 12 Coronas during the show.  It was loose and fun, but well played at the same time.   The ballroom felt like the entire audience was sitting on the stage with the band and we were all a bunch of old friends just hanging out. 

This was my first concert I attended after Phish’s Coventry debacle and it was the perfect night to get me back on the train.  Coventry was so hopeless, ugly and dirty – this night was good clean fun. 

The text below was written by me a few days after the Counting Crows show in 2004.

I saw Phish 68 times from 7-1-95 through Coventry  (8-14,15-2004) .  It was difficult walking away from the stage that last time.  Yes, the music was emotionally subpar and the mud made it hard to move, but the real reason it was difficult to walk away was what we really left behind on that field in Northern Vermont.  I saw Phish for the first time when I was 19.  When I left Coventry I was 29.  Almost 10 years of traveling to shows with my tour buddy – meeting new people and seeing new places.  It was more than just the music – IT was an experience.  That’s what I’m going to miss…
But anyway…  
So I got free tickets to the Counting Crows Show at Hammerstein Ballroom on Tuesday night.  As the band took the stage the lead singer Adam (Something) stepped up to the mic and said,
“This is going to be our last show.”
My heart sank.
Not because I cared if it was the Counting Crows last show – 3 months after Coventry, it finally hit me that Phish was never going to play together again.  Hundreds of memories flashed through my head within the few seconds it took him to continue,  
“Of 2004.” 
I didn’t think it was very funny.
I will miss posting Fakebeave’s Fakesetlists, finding out when Ticketmaster rereleased pavillion seats and reading reviews of shows I couldn’t make.  I will miss reviewing the shows that I went to, reading about people whose favorite song was my least favorite, handing out UNO cards at a show and not having people look at me like I’m crazy.  I will miss the moment when the lights went down to start a show when I just got to my seat.  I will miss dancing in the balcony at the Worcester Centrum, sitting on the concrete floor at the War Memorial in Rochester, feeling the building move in Madison Square Garden, the  thousands of balloons in the Fleet Center on New Year’s Eve.
I will miss walking past the roller coasters at Darien Lake and Coney Island, freezing my ass off in Providence during the Island Tour and the Oh Kee Pa -> You Enjoy Myself opener that blew me away.
I will miss the covers during the summer of 98.  Sabotage, Terrapin Station, Trenchtown Rock, Ramble On, Vernon Down the House and Sexual Healing. 
I will miss going to a show by myself in Albany and making new friends for a couple of hours, the hour long Runaway Jim in Worcester and Page singing Strange Design to bring us all back to reality.     
I will miss all the Crosseyed and Painless teases, Andy Gadiel’s Phish Page, glowstick wars, marshmallow wars and tortilla wars.
I will miss the Wipeout show I was at, and the Halloween shows that I wasn’t at.
I will miss buying things in the lot and the things they did to me during the shows.
I will miss going to shows in my home state of New Jersey and the band ALWAYS delivering for me.  Doing the Meatstick with Sofi, BB King and the kid at the end of that set who said “I didn’t think they would ever stop playing JAZZ.”  I will miss the heat in Oswego New York, the long drives to Limestone in Maine and Big Cypress in Florida , taking shortcuts to venues while everyone else sat in traffic.
I will miss all the lots in Philly and our own personal delivery guy the last time we were there.  I will miss having great seats in the pavillion, sitting behind the stage and sitting in the last row in an arena.
I will miss guessing the opener, calling the next song, being disappointed when Trey started Character Zero, listening to Bouncin before it was cool to hate it, still not knowing what they are saying in You Enjoy Myself, the disco funk of 2001 and After Midnight from Big Cypress.
I will miss the Post-Hiatus music and the feeling that they were back.  I will miss the flubs, forgotten lyrics, segues, SEGWAYS and the stop and start jams.
I will miss Mike driving through the lots in a golf cart, almost driving over Fishman as he stepped out of the tour bus, Page when he was on crutches and Trey counting off the beginning of Guyute.  I will miss the Waterwheel Booth, the custies, the wooks, the white hats, burnouts, techno kids and dogs.  I will miss the vendors and all their glass, hemp everything, Lot Shirts and hairy armpits on cute girls.
I will miss drinking an icy cold Fat Tire and Sunshine Wheat in Maine on a perfect summer day.
I will miss going to the movie theater, Jay-Z in Brooklyn, the SPAC Piper and the Clinic at the Aftershow.
I will miss the debacle that was Coventry – the cost of fake tickets on Ebay whan I had bought one at Face Value, the rain, the mud, the farm tractors, the mud, the ANNOUNCEMENT by Mike and already having camp set up since the night before.  I will miss watching thousands of tired people hike into the venue.  I will miss the way we all pulled together for one last party.
I will miss watching the sun rise at Big Cypress after they played from midnight to 6:30am  – it will never rise again.

Thanks for everything,
The Real Beave
 
In case you were wondering you CAN find anything on the Internet.  Below is video and audio from the entire show.  Listen at least to the first minute so you can hear my thoughts racing through my head as Adam Duritz begins the first of his many drunken rants from the night.  Thanks to my wife for inspiring this post.  Read her memories from this night here: WHATIWANTMYKIDSTOKNOW
 

My Fascination with Stats

It is kind of ironic that I work with numbers all day.  I’m not good at math.  I never have been.  But that has never stopped me from being borderline obsessed with stats.  

My obsession with stats started back when the New York Mets were good at baseball.  The 1986 Mets were the most fun team that an 11 year old kid could watch.  I remember reading each game’s box score in the Bergen Record newspaper the morning after each game.  Batting Averages, RBIs, Strike Outs  were all compiled neatly for me to pour over every morning.  It helped that the Mets were so good that they had players in almost every League Leader category, which meant more stats for me to check.  So, Dwight Gooden with your league leading 24-4 record, 1.53 ERA, 16 complete games, 276.2 innings pitched and 268 strikeouts – thanks for making me obsessed with stats.  

Thank you Tecmo Super Bowl on NES.  The greatest football videogame ever made.  It was the first one to have real players names from real NFL teams.  Except for QB Eagles – screw you Randall Cunningham.  Freshman year at College, our entire floor played an entire season together.  We had at least 10 guys who each picked a team name out of a hat. (the Giants and 49ers were excluded because they were too good.)  After each week, the stats were handwritten and posted out in the hallway so everyone could see where they stood.  In the words of one of my floor-mates that year – “Awww stats.”

Thank you NHL 94 and 95 on Sega Genesis.  There was nothing better than being able to play an entire 82 game NHL schedule and have all of your goals and assists kept track of for you.  Especially since having a 100 goal scorer was not unheard of.

Thank you Microleague Baseball for the Apple IIGS in my parent’s basement circa 1986-1987.  This game wasn’t much on actual gameplay, but rather it was all about stats.  You didn’t even have to use a controller.  All you did was press One for a fastball, and Zero to swing the bat.  The computer simulated every play.  The original game contained about 25 old-time great teams including the 1927 Yankees and 1969 Mets.  It had actual player names and their actual stats from the season.  The best part about Microleague Baseball was that you could print out the box score at the end of each game.  With the addition of a “General Managers Disk,” you could create your own teams.  I remember spending hours entering entire teams stats onto that old computer.

That’s why I am such a geek when it comes to Phish.  Why do I need to know that I have seen Chalk Dust Torture the most times (36) of any song played?  Or that I have seen it at 37% of the shows that I have attended?  The answer is that I don’t need to know that, but I want to. 

Why do I need to know that it was 66 shows between seeing the Beatles “A Day in the Life” on 10/17/96 in Penn State until 6/05/2009 at Jones Beach? 

Why not?

Padding The Stats: Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez Go to a Phish Show

I’ll admit it.  I love stats.  One of my favorite things about this whole blog thing is that I get to see how many people visit my page each day.  Not only that, but it shows me where most of the clicks come from.  After only a few short weeks of life, my page is now searchable on the Interwebs.  I received my first Search Engine hit the other day.  Someone in Singapore entered in his Yahoo! search bar – “I feel feeling.”  I have no idea what the hell they could have been searching for, but it directed them to my first ever post.   

I started thinking about a way to get the most readers with the least amount of work.  That’s kind of how I roll – I like to work smarter, not harder.  And honestly, I’m not very smart.  But today I am a genius.  To steal a line from my other blog inspiration, “that’s right kids”  JUSTIN BIEBER AND SELENA GOMEZ went to a Phish concert last week in Long Beach, California.  And he like, totally Tweeted about it on the Twitter.

BIEBER TWEETS

I can’t wait to see how many hits those two names get me in the next couple of days and weeks.  A bunch of Tweens are going to be searching for more info on their favorite heartthrob, but instead they will get directed here to my blog.  Ha – the joke is on you 13 year old girl from the midwest!  No Justin Bieber content here. 

Alright, maybe just one picture from backstage.

 

OMG – Biebs (That should get me at least 6 clicks from Google) and Selena!!  Also known as Jelena (worst Hollywood couple nickname ever).  According to Hollywood insiders – and a bunch of dirty hippies at the Phish show, they were throwing glowticks during the second set.  Glowsticks wars have been a normal scene at Phish shows for the past 15 years.  When Justin Bieber was only 3 years old, I was at the Great Went listening to Phish play “Harry Hood” in complete darkness while thousands of glowsticks were launched into the air for the first time.  A Glowstick War was born!  It was spontaneous, it was beautiful, it was painful at times – but it was a moment I will never forget.

Thank you Justin Bieber and Selena Gomez for helping me remember my first Phish glowstick war – and more importantly, for padding my stats.

And if you want to see Justin Bieber’s arm throwing glowsticks, watch this Youtube video:

August 17, 1997 – “The Went Gin”

The first time I made it way up north to Limestone, Maine was with “Black Saab” and “DanO.”  We had attended the previous show together in Darien, NY and it was the first Phish show for both of my brothers.  That night we camped together outside of the Amusement Park in the shadows of the venue and the rollercoasters.  I have no idea how or why we got separated from them before the long drive and the weekend ahead.  But, that’s the whole point of this – maybe “Fat Strawberry” and “Rod B” can help me remember what happened with that.  I don’t remember seeing my brothers at all the entire weekend in Maine.

Two things that I remember vividly from that weekend both occured during the second day of music.  The first was about a minute into the opening song “The Wedge.” 

I’m building you a pyramid
With limestone blocks so large
I drag them from the mountain top
You’ll need a two car garage

I looked over at “Black Saab” and he had that look in his eyes that things were just not OK with being in a field surrounded by 50,000 other people.  The wave of people seemed to be sweeping over him and he leaned over and said something like.  “Dude, I’m freaking out.  I need to get out of here.”  I calmly assured him that everything was going to be alright.  We sat down together for a minute or two in the same spot where we were standing and the tide slowly went back out to sea.  We stood back up and smiled at each other and were able to enjoy the rest of the set.

The second thing that stands out in my mind from this weekend is the performance of “Bathtub Gin.” 

Phish had previously toured with Carlos Santana, and he described the band as a “Hose.”    Trey paraphrases Carlos’ statement here –  “(The Hose) is where the music is like water rushing through you and as a musician your function is really like that of a hose. And, and well his thing is that the audience is like a sea of flowers, you know, and you’re watering the audience. But the concept of music going through you, that you’re not actually creating it, that what you’re doing is — the best thing that you can do is get out of the way.”

 The best way to describe this section of the song is “Pure Hose.”  The music and energy flowing from the stage into the crowd was drowning us in sound.  I find it hard to believe that someone was able to hold a camera during this:

Yeah, The Went Gin has a special place in Phish lore.

August 9th, 1998 – Phish – Virginia Beach Ampitheater

The loudest, most intense, meaningful crowd reaction I have ever witnesssed.  Under a full moon on the third anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s passing – Phish encored with this Grateful Dead song – Terrapin Station.  I still get goosebumps everytime I listen to the first twenty seconds of this.  Even though I never got to see you perform live, we miss you Jerry.

 

August 8th, 1998 – Phish – Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD

I spent a week and half in August of 1998 traveling the east coast in my 1985 Toyota Camry with my college roommate and good friend DanO.  We left New Jersey on the night of August 7th and would be staying the first night in Alexandria, Virginia.  We merged onto the Garden State Parkway just as the sun had set and it had just turned dark.  A beat up car with its windows rolled down passed us just as we entered the highway.  The two long haired guys in the car had big smiles on their faces – and a Phish sticker on the back of the car.  We were more than 200 miles and 4 hours away from where the concert was the next night, and the first car we saw when we got on the highway was going to the same place as we were.

It was dark, and they did not have their headlights on.  I pulled up next to their car and yelled for them to turn them on.  “You going tomorrow night?” I yelled.  They both nodded yes.  “We’ll see you there.”  And we drove off into the night towards an adventure that would feature many more moments of magic like this.

I have zero recollection of what we did the next morning and day leading up to our departure for the venue.   We left for the show at 4:20.  The only reason I know that is because we wrote it down on the back of my setlist pad for the night.  The drive was supposed to take about 45 minutes.  It took us more than three and a half hours.  We sat on the exit ramp in the same spot for almost 2 hours.  It was a party on the highway.  People were out of their cars tailgating, riding skateboards, kicking around hackysacks and having a great time.  The most fun you can have in traffic is on the way to a Phish show.   It started to get a little nerveracking once showtime was approaching.  Luckily we found the Smooth Jazz station on the radio and got to listen to some Sade which helped calm our moods.  Traffic finally started rolling again, but we were still quite a way from the parking lots.  We made a decision that would go on to be a common theme for all of my future concert going excursions.  Get off the highway and take the backroads.

It was 8:00 by the time we finally parked our car.  The ticket time said 7:30.  We quickly walked to the venue and found a spot on the back of the lawn.  Just as we sat down – the house lights went down, and the band came on stage.  The stars were aligned for us on this night.  Even though we didn’t have good seats – the fact that we made it there was all that mattered at that point.  They opened with a song called The Wedge.  The chorus of it appropriately sang – “Take the highway, to the Great Divide.”  We had arrived at the Great Divide.

I don’t think I was able to see the band on stage the entire night.  I watched the show mostly on the monitors above the roof of the pavilion.  The show was extremely well played from start to finish, but the biggest memory from this night was the Encore.  The only time I was able to see the stage was when they started playing Sabotage by the Beastie Boys.  To put it bluntly, the place went fucking crazy.  I jumped so high in the air that for a brief moment I was floating above the entire lawn and caught a glimpse of the stage.

The first night of our tour was a wonderfully stressful but perfect way to start the week ahead.

August 6th, 2000 – Santana in Hartford, CT.

It is really hard remembering stuff sometimes.   But, I Try…  Just like Macy Gray sang about when she opened for Santana in Hartford on a rainy evening in August of 2000.  I dare you to listen to this song and not have it stuck in your head for the rest of the day.  Macy Gray – I Try

I remember singing this song all night after the concert.  Maybe it was just me, or maybe these 5 can help me remember more about this night.

Pictured left to right: BlackSaab, Suzy Greenberg, Brown So Sloppy, Jannifer Kawaka and “Keith”

Our seats were on the lawn this night, but the rain had us doing a lot of wandering around.  During Macy Gray’s set, Brown So Sloppy and Jannifer Kawaka found themselves in a VIP tent and acquired a few VIP passes and a bag full of swag.   I don’t remember how it all went down, but at some point during Santana’s set – I had one of the VIP passes hanging around my neck.  For the first time in my life, my Concert Instincts kicked in.  With Suzy Greenberg in tow, we walked ourselves into the pavilion.  Just like that scene from Wayne’s World when Wayne and Garth win backstage passes to Alice Cooper, I waved that VIP pass at every person that I saw.  Every yellow shirted usher just waved us passed them – never asking to see the Lawn tickets that were in our pockets.  We suddenly found ourselves in the center of the pavilion.  We slipped into a section of empty Box Seats and within 30 seconds someone approached us.  I thought we were done for.  Instead of asking to see our tickets, a girl in a white shirt asked us if we wanted to order anything.

We had great seats, were dry from the rain and now I had someone bringing me a beer.  Life was good this night.  Sometimes the music gets completely overshadowed by the experience.

SANTANA
MEADOWS MUSIC THEATRE
HARTFORD,CT 8/6/00

MILES INTRO
1.     SPIRITUAL/ YALEO
2.     LOVE OF MY LIFE
3.     PUT YOUR LIGHTS ON
4.     AFRICA BAMBA
5.     DAY OF CELEBRATION
6.     VICTORY IS WON
7.     RENE INTRO/ MARIA MARIA
8.     CORAZON ESPINADO
9.     *SUPERNATURAL THING
10.   EVERYBODY'S EVERYTHING
11.   SAVOR (KARL & RAUL SOLO)
12.   RIGHT ON/ GET ON
13.   BLACK MAGIC WOMAN/ GYPSY QUEEN 
14.   OYE COMO VA
        -ENCORES-
15.   APACHE/ SMOOTH/ DAME TU AMOR
16.   JINGO

*WITH MACY GRAY