The Great Woods show was mostly a journey of mysterious mysteries. I had always wanted to see Phish at Great Woods because it's supposed to be such a cool venue (a similar WANT for Canandaigua). Then they broke up- and at some point of course the name Great Woods was changed to the Comcast Center- but we need not discuss that because it will always be: Great Woods. Yes, Great Woods, the spot of so many legendary New England Phish shows and Marty scored mail order tickets, so that was phatty dank like a kind lot veggie burrito*.
To up the ante, I invited my brother Dave & scored an extra** for my fake brother Matt so we could try and have a little 1993 reunion. That's when Matt & his now wife Amy gave my brother and I their extras for our first Phish show: 12/29/93, New Haven Coliseum, CT. We trekked up on the snowy & icy 95 to have our faces melted from right behind the stage. So, we all hit Great Woods together (along w/ Marty, the whole VT crew, some herns/4dice action, etc.)***. It's impossible to go to these shows without running into a handful of friends. That's probably the 2nd coolest thing about Summer Tour '09. It's a great big family reunion. The 1st coolest thing is that: Trey is off the junk, Mike still rules, Page has a giant noggin, and Fish almost looks like a productive member of society. That may look like 4 things, but it's actually 1 thing.
Anyways, we got a sweet fucking deal on a hotel thanks to William Shatner and we converged upon Milford, MA with a subtle elegance that only goes along with a pony vest ("that's real pony").
And then we slipped into Great Woods amongst the gen-pop and tried to blend. While not real pony, I was wearing a 100% cotton Yanks Swisher 33 t shirt cuz I was ready to start some fights. Oddly enough I mostly got compliments from Yanks fans and only a few "SWISHAAA"'s, (k, I lied- this was the real reason I wore the shirt)- it sounds exactly how you'd expect. There's some fucking weird shit in the chowdah up there.
Gorgeous day! Especially after 2 days of shit at Jones Beach (but pre TN/Bonnaroo micro bursts, ho ho!). The po' po' were everywhere and they were on bikes, taboot taboot. No glass, firearms, veal. Red solo cups all the way- you know the drill. Our neighbors in the lot were supercool, very funny, and even liked my brother's Pony Vest and encouraged him to wear it inside- "are you gonna pony up?" (he didn't).
Eric D. & I figured out we were standing 20 feet from each other and I got to hang for a few w/ the vt/li funkmob peeps including DISCO TONY. Good times! A no go on the herns/c4d, etc. who were shitbombed in a party shuttle somewhere. They were in a different realm than I. We headed into the show.
Once we made our way into the ampitheater the place looked kind of familiar. I'm still fairly certain this was my first trip to Great Woods but Marty suggested that the structure is similar to Mann Music Center in Philly. Curious. Hm.
Oh yeah, Phish. Golgi was cool and got people batty, Sparkle was fun to hear even though Marty hates it and screamed, Jiboo- fine, Lawn Boy- it's cool, it's not like it's going to blow your mind musically though. Page got up and did the lounge singer swagger for a few minutes, cute. Makisupa was totes fun to hear and Prince Caspian is pretty but not mind boggling.
It's recently been brought to my attention that Page is very self-concious about his bald spot/receding hairline. Rumor has it he instructs film crews that there are to be absolutely no overhead shots of him or cu's with his bald spot. Try and pick up on it next time you see a show. Page- darling, we love you but the denial is doing you no good. Just cut your hair already, please. The long hair is actually just drawing attention to the bald spot. Sorry, dude. I've heard it's like ripping off a band-aid. Go for it. Trey quit the black tar heroin, you can do this.
Set 2 started out with a song I don't know and it made no lasting impression so- uh- whatevs. BUT... FLUFFHEAD! YES!! AWESOME! Scent of a Mule- YES YES! Mike is the fucking BOMB! I love this song, so psyched to hear it- sweet sweet music to my ears. Heavy Things, sure, Harry- also fun, but sometimes feels long and like an unremarkable journey. Possum was great, enjoyed it much. Bug- if I have to-- at least it wasn't Time Turns Molasses.
Encore was pretty sweet with Contact but some crazy wook jumped onstage at the end of the song and totally fucked up the band. I wonder if it's the same dude who ruined Harpua at the Clifford Ball****? Dick. Used to be more lights and crowd participation in Contact- with the arm waving and such- I miss that. BRING IT BACK! I dig Julius, it always gets the crowd going and it was particularly funky & loud, so that was awesome. Except then the show was over! Well I guess that means we'll all have to file back out into the lot and blow some sheeeyat up!
Some dueling fireworks action entertained us as we waited to drive out. Then we rocked a sweet combination of the hotel concierge and GPS system and found an all night diner in Milford, near our hotel where we feasted (Johnny Jacks*****) and celebrated Mattyface's birthday with some breakfast after midnight. Happy Birthday, Mattyface.
Phish, 6/6/09, Great Woods, MA: 8.5 HUZZAHS! Great stuff! Thus began 2.5 days to prep for Bonnaroo.
UP NEXT: Bonnaroo--- "what have we done???"
SETLIST (courtesy of phish.net)
06/06/2009 Comcast Center (Great Woods) - Mansfield, MA
1: Stealing Time from the Faulty Plan, Nothing, Back on the Train, Golgi Apparatus, Sparkle, Gotta Jiboo, Lawn Boy, Let Me Lie^, Taste, Makisupa Policeman, Prince Caspian
2: 7 Below, Fluffhead, Scent of a Mule, Heavy Things, Harry Hood, Possum, Bug
E: Contact, Julius
Notes: ^ debut Phish performance (from Trey's solo album "Bar 17")
* or Jones Beach lot jerk chicken wrap, my how we've matured!
** Much obliged, Sontag. Now explain to your children where their missing 5 cases of Magic Hat are.
*** and Matt was gonna "party like it's 1993". I was rightfully scared. Also, sans Amy, always the responsible one- she stayed home to take care of their child.
**** was that the Clifford Ball or Waterloo? Dick.
***** Johnny Jack's in Milford, MA- 9 HUZZAHS! They served me even though I was wearing a Yanks t shirt! And I didn't get food poisoning!