26 in 26 of 2019: #18 07/06/2019 Fenway Park, Boston, MA (Dave Daniels, @GratefulD)
All roads lead to Phish. This time, it was Fenway Park Boston, MA. My hometown and place of birth. The Fenway shows were special to me for several reasons.
I love learning about the history of venues, and Fenway has a history all onto its own. The Fenway shows were a wonderful synchronicity between my love of Boston and Phish. Fenway is a representation of that love and connection. A kind of emerald city, made of green rusted iron and crumbling concrete, but it is home and I love it. Fenway is not known for its acoustics and is possibly the worst place you can see Phish nowadays, but that did not take away from what was about to transpire and my enjoyment of the moment.
This Fenway show is nothing incredible, but for me it was more about who I spent it with, and that time we had together. One of the most important things about Phish for me is how it connects people. I am here just as much for the community as I am the music. Like most fans, the anticipation of a tour or show is something I look forward to all year long. Striking the days off a calendar like marking balls and strikes on the Green Monster. Day by day we get closer to tour. Rain was in the forecast all day and night so we were preparing for maybe the worst. We remained positive and prepared the only way we know how, with a good lunch and a little pregaming. It was almost showtime.
You would think that after seeing Phish for a decade, I would know how to sneak a couple joints into a show by now… well I didn’t. I had put my joints into a ziplock sandwich bag, the same bag that was holding my wallet and phone. My genius thinking was that I wanted to keep them dry. We arrive at the security gates and I hand over the bag with the joints under my wallet and phone. This sixteen year old teenager flips the bag over and finds all the joints. I foolishly walk through security, now down five joints, and all my friends were there to witness my stupidity. We laughed about the situation and into the concourse we continued.
Weaving our way through tie die and sandals, we soon get word that the show is to be delayed. Shoot. But oh well, we decided to post up and continue our pregaming. By the grace of the gods, we happened to pick a spot where they were wheeling all of the beers up from the field to the concourse. Not just any beers either… this was Julius from Tree House. They were being carted up in big grey bins full of ice. My friends and I took turns getting back in line to make sure nobody was thirsty. This was just another fantastic synchronicity, one of my favorite beers of all time.
The concourse was turning into a sort of shakedown, where people were engaging, meeting and chatting. The delay lasted almost two hours and it was a serendipitous opportunity to spend time together, which during tour sometimes does not happen enough. A truly unique experience for me. Eventually, we get word that they are to allow us to go to our seats and that there would be no set break, they were going to play right through.
The show itself was a dance fest, a marathon of rhythmic song and different moods. Perhaps what it lacked in far out type two jams, it excelled at more direct lyrical dance music.
Some highlights for me were seeing my first version of Mexican Cousin, which went into a household favorite 2001. Clocking in at over ten minutes makes it a little special, too. Page’s keys dance like little clouds upon the keyboards while Trey keeps the rhythm and tension going. The vibes were great and I was dancing my butt off with some of my favorite people on this earth listening to my favorite band in one of the most historic sporting cathedrals in the world.
These synchronicities or commonalities is what makes Phish and music so special. That we can enjoy a common experience together in a space and time that feels so meaningful. I am so grateful for this band and for the opportunity to share in the groove with so many of my close friends.