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.


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.