New Adventures and Old Feelings (Memo from the Road)
My choice of flight playlist was simple. “A Live One.” It is where my love for Phish really took shape. I haven’t listened to it straight through in quite some time. The time I spend with Phish is usually utilized with some sort of insane project, or making sure I am catching every nuance of the current offerings. Playing “A Live One” while writing is filling me with pure energy (thank god, because this airplane coffee is AWFUL).It’s 6:30 AM. I try not to ever get up before 10:00 AM. Yet I am wide awake on a plane to Atlanta and felt compelled to bust out my laptop. This piece has been kicking around in my head for a couple of days but the time to write it has eluded me. I am on a flight to Atlanta to begin my big stretch of the summer.
Three days in Atlanta, four in Chicago, and seven in Seattle (culminating with my birthday show on the 27th). I am a giant Mariner’s fan and will get to see them play multiple games in Seattle. Everything is coming up Memo. Two weeks on the road with nothing but Phish, baseball, new adventures, and just as important great friends staring me in the face (and hopefully some big fat Ghosts).
No matter how hard I tried to shut my eyes and gain some fuel for this journey, it was hopeless. There is nothing like the first day of a trip. Everything you have been working towards and waiting for is now here. I land in two hours and I know that when this plane touches the ground, the world opens right up to me.
My choice of flight playlist was simple. “A Live One.” It is where my love for Phish really took shape. I haven’t listened to it straight through in quite some time. The time I spend with Phish is usually utilized with some sort of insane project, or making sure I am catching every nuance of the current offerings. Playing “A Live One” while writing is filling me with pure energy (thank god, because this airplane coffee is AWFUL).
I had never heard anything like those recordings when I hit play on “A Live One” for the first time. “ALO” was my gateway into musical appreciation. I was just a young high school kid and the Internet was just starting out when I got my hands on that double CD set. I had no idea what a Phish show was like. The only thing I knew was that I thought the music was incredible. My friend had given me the “Lawn Boy” album to listen to and then I had purchased “A Live One” shortly after. Listening to those live performances was all I knew of the band. I couldn’t just look things up the way I am able to now. I had no fucking idea what Gamehendge was. I had no idea Mike and Trey jumped on trampolines during “YEM.” I thought “Harry Hood” was the guy from “Harry and the Hendersons.”
My Phish innocence in retrospect was pure beauty. My young mind was left to imagine and wonder about what those performances were like. What did those arenas look like? People must have been going nuts! Why the heck does the crowd chant “Wilson?” Hundreds of spins (no exaggeration) of “ALO” and I always had new images and wonderment running through my head.
Getting up this morning, the same sense of excitement struck me. Three cities I have never been to. Eight shows that will most likely leave me breathless. I know many of the answers to the questions my 15-year-old self didn’t know. The hunger for knowledge and music however, hasn’t changed. That feeling of never really knowing what Phish is going to do on any given night fuels my fire, the same way that trying to envision what Phish concerts were like in my adolescence fueled that same fire.
Sitting on the plane as the “ALO Harry Hood” graces my Shure studio phones (Thanks, @Tmwsiy), I take in the entire beauty of it all. As I age, I try to make more of a conscious effort to soak in every moment during trips like these. It won’t always be like this.
The first day of the party and everything still in front of me. I am an “adult” yet I couldn’t feel more like a kid today. Incredible music, laughs, beers, hugs, and probably even a few tears await my landing. I can’t wait to share it all with you.