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Hampton from the Floor


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Wow, wow, wow. It has been a privilege to be in the coliseum these past two nights.

Arrived in the Hampton area on Thursday evening and settled into our hotel room equipped with kitchen which is just my style. Friday daytime I did a brief swing-by the Coliseum to catch my first glimpse of the mothership. I headed to the coast to put my legs in the chilly Atlantic. On the drive back to the venue we saw a huge folk of birds dive bombing into the ocean to feed. Assumabley there was a fish-ball under the water (anyone scene Blue Planet?). We made phish-ball puns the rest of the way back to the Coliseum.

Okay, enough about the tourism, now on to the scene and the show. We hit the lot around 5pm. People were friendly and excited as expected, but there was also a tangible sense of hesitance, maybe even leeriness. A communal sense of pleading desperation for a high quality show underscored with a fear and reluctance of the potential of disappointment.

I headed towards the doors at 6:30, waited in a tightly packed line/crowd and was finally herded 40 minutes later – ten minutes too long for the antsy/angsty crowd. Got in with little-to-no security presence and headed to the floor. When the boys did walk on stage the crowd went crazy, as expected, but that was also when the hesitance and uncertainty climaxed. The moments (seconds) between their arrival on stage and the sound first note hung heavy. What have they got for us? Where are they gonna take us tonight? Where are they going to take the band for the next years? Phish responded to these questions with three notes. The first three notes of their first song answered every query, and soothed any doubters. After three notes of Fluffhead the crowd on the floor writhed in a chaos of relief, gratitude and raw primal bliss. This was not just the standard cheering of a crowd recognizing the opening chords to an old favourite. This was a squirmy sea of Phish fans pumping-fist, jumping, and buckling over with blissful relief and excitement. With those three notes Trey, Mike, Page and Jon allowed a global community of phishheads to finally exhale. They’re back.

For me the first set felt had two parts, pre-Farmhouse and post-Farmhouse. The eight songs before Farmhouse felt like one long amazing set that assured the crowd, song by song, that these boys were a fine tuned machine, rehearsed, sober, and amazing. Farmhouse sounds like the track off the studio album and felt somewhat out of place at first. But man-oh-man was it timely. Not only did it allow time for fluid ins-and-outs, it also provided a moment for centering. A wee break to fully rinse away any reminisce of the pre show what-are-we-in-for-here angst.

The songs choices felt both like a gift and an education for the newer phans. For set 2 I stood left-of-centre to catch a good dose of the Trey and Page side of things and Page certainly was my main-squeeze that night.

This is account is being posted in a to-be-continued state. Thank you Velvet for diligently posting such complete reports from these historic evenings; I look forward to reading your tomes. One more show tonight and more reflections and reports to come my friends.

Edited by Guest
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