25 in 25 of 2016: #8 07/02/2016 Saratoga Peforming Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY (Myke Menio, @lawnmemo)
I wonder if anyone else listens to music the way I do. I look and more importantly live for “those moments.”
“Those moments” are moments in a jam that you have reached the pinnacle of what your spirit is looking for. Everything has been leading up to “those moments.” All the stress, all the money you had to save, all the planning and life-arranging you had to do to get there… It all melts away during “those moments.” Sometimes, it’s 30 seconds, sometimes it’s much longer. However, when Phish graces you with one of “those moments,” everything changes. The smile on everyone’s face changes. The feeling in the room is one that science will never be able to replicate. Everything just clicks and pure, unimaginable beauty is born. I’m often brought to tears and other times, I have to hug and embrace the closest person to me because I cannot hold in the intensity of love that “those moments” create inside me. Sometimes “those moments” force me to dance so hard that people begin staring at me. Sometimes “those moments” leave me stunned in awe of what is taking place. Both reactions are things that I chase when I go see live music. Nobody has ever been able to make me feel it as powerfully as Phish.
There are other bands that hit me with a couple of “those moments” but never to to a degree that Phish does. It probably has something to do with all the history Phish and I have together. Having history together is a powerful force. As time passes and relationships deepen, “those moments” grow in intensity. Those friends you have you known for 20 years will always have an edge over those friends you just met last month. You have just been through too much together. The memories of the past heighten the memories of the present. I see a lot of music but I don’t have a 25 year relationship with other bands that aren’t Phish. When I see Phish, my past and present collide, and it’s a force that can’t be replicated. Phish isn’t the same band on a consistent basis as they were in the 90s. But for me, it might be even more powerful now because I bring all those memories of the 90s with me to each show I see now. Mix that with the fact that in any given moment and in any given Phish jam they can still bring it, and “those moments” hit me like a sledgehammer.
I chose to write about 07/02/2016 “Light” because it is a great example of one of “those moments” buried in an average show. I remember it vividly and every time I listen, those emotions come flooding back. SPAC has added history for me personally. I wrote an extensive piece for Phish.net about SPAC back in 2013 and my love for SPAC and the times I spend with my crew there have only heightened. Since I am around some of my favorite people on the planet, “those moments” at SPAC seem to hit harder.
Two quick notes on this “Light” :
- The start of this “Light” is even more jarring than normal.
- 6:00-6:30 is awesome.
Now let’s talk about “that moment” in this “Light.”
It starts at 9:15.
It starts out soft, but you can feel it. When Trey finds the magic, everything in your body just feels better. A glistening ray of sunshine pierces through the fog. Trey’s signature riffs don’t pack the same ferocity of the old days, but they pack an emotional imprint that slays me. As Trey’s riff progresses my mood towards humanity grows kinder. I like all kinds of Phish, but uplifting blissful Phish is great for the soul. Measure by measure, my need to turn up my volume intensifies. Measure by measure, any stress in my life is replaced by elation. Almost a year later and hundreds of miles away, this section has the power to teleport me back to the moment I heard it and feel the joy I received it with. I’m with my best friends who I don’t get to see as often as I wish and we are looking at each other nodding in approval of our love for each other and our love for Phish.
It ends at 12:15.
Three minutes. I have listened to these three minutes of this “Light” on repeat for the hour and a half it has taken me to write this piece. Each time, I am excited for the section to start over. I am relieving incredible music and more importantly, reliving incredible memories. It’s my fuel for my soul. I feel gratitude, love, excitement, and most importantly uplifted. Three minutes and Phish can run make me run the gamut of emotions.
With every Phish jam, at a click of the button, I often find myself reliving all of my favorite moments. My memory gets jogged and I start a favorite section and listen over and over until it feels like it’s a part of me. Time can take many things you love away from you but it can’t take “those moments.” So thank you Phish and everyone that has helped make all of “those moments” special. I cherish every single one of them.
See you this summer. Can’t wait to share some more of “those moments” with you!
I wrote a lot about “Ghost” on this site. I recently wrote the “2001” jam chart for Phish.net with some diehard friends. My favorite up-and-coming band is Aqueous from Buffalo, NY who I created a podcast about at http://allinwithaqueous.com/. You can find me on tour this summer at Dayton, Pittsburgh, the first three MSG shows, the last week of MSG, and Dick’s. Look for a dude in a helmet who dances hard but has no idea what he is doing.