If I've learned anything about Long Island during the 6/4 & 6/5 Phish Jones Beach shows, it's that: a) it's always raining, and b) it always takes 2 1/2 hours to get there. Aside from my traffic woes and said precipitation (and Time Turns Elastic), both the Thursday & Friday Jones Beach shows were pretty great.
I had met up with Weiss who was walking around with Crazy-Tracy^ +1 and then he and I made our way over to the Hern, etc. crew. First impressions were made and I chugged ketel one cintroen & sparkling cherry soda cocktail in a red Solo cup (all class, baby). We heard soundcheck from the parking lot where we were quickly tying it on while hiding from the po' po' before heading into the dry^^ venue. Having 2 possible narcs amongst the running crew made us feel safe. Did I mention it was raining? We were all equipped with appropriate poncho-age.
Mike and I found our seats waaaay up in section 20 and a nervous excitement filled the air (or was that a weatherfront?).
Divided Sky was particularly beautiful, the drizzle had subsided and the sun had set. Approximately halfway through Ocelot Mike gets a text from Crazy-Tracy who tells us to take her tickets cuz they are leaving. We tried talking her down and convincing her otherwise but she wasn't hearing it. So, we ended up in the section behind the soundboard in the sweet spot of the Ampitheater. Thus the nickname, "Crazy-Tracy". Thanks, Tracy- you're crazy.
Squirming Coil, PYITE, NICU, Antelope!!! All fantastic! Awesometacular! SETBREAK.
Set II started out meh, Meatstick was fun, but Time Turns Elastic... it's so... long. Oh Jebus, why does it take so loooong? Our friends dubbed it "Time Turns Molasses" which is pretty spot-on. Much like the worst kind of Saturday Night Live sketch- it needs to be about 15 minutes shorter. YEM literally saved the entire set and it was FANTASTIC. Nice to see the guys are keeping up with their cardio routines. Encore: Rock and Roll. I'm lukewarm on this one.
It was a fun night. We headed to the Golden Reef Diner in Rockville Center, NY and I almost died from a migraine on my drive home. Ya know- the yoosh.
Day 2. Step 1) make sure you eat enough (see: debilitating migraine above), Step 2) get bitch-slapped by traffic at least 5 times, Step 3) assume your $30 EMS poncho will work a 2nd day in a row despite the heavier rainfall, Step 4) enjoy The Phish.
The Herns, etc. and I arrived simultaneously and I managed to run into the VT Crew^^^ within a minute of parking. Of course, I promptly lost them. But the rest of us found jerk chicken wraps on Shakedown Street and maintained a solemn acceptance over the unfortunate weather. Having witnessed much "weather" since then, it sort of fades into jadedness, but I am pretty certain at the time it was pouring fairly shiteously.
I had scored a ticket from livenation (during the great ticket debacle of '09) right near the tapers, but both the VT Crew & the Herns, etc. were all up in section 20! D'oh! Additionally, there was no hope in finding Erika (she's tiny), 'Blingy! was also wandering around somewhere, and Simms was in the front section right in front of Page's giant noggin (it's huge). So, I started the night up in 20 with the Herns, etc., then went down to 7, got hit on by a bosox fan (why is it always the bosox fans?) but was still pretty content with my location and was soon joined by Simms who broke free of the tractor beam off of Page's head. The first set rocked hard. Great setlist- Wilson, Buried Alive, AC/DC Bag, I Didn't Know, My Friend x 2, Ya Mar, Split Open... Fucking awesome, actually. Fun times and good mood. Sweet sound in 7 and killer lights.
During setbreak we ran into the VT Crew and made the executive decision to watch the rest of the show with the gaggle of friends up in 20. Why the hell not? It was special in an "aww" way to watch Phish with my VT Crew, made me smile.
Hey and it even stopped raining for 10 minutes! Oooh that was exciting. DWD-> Twist-> Piper-> Backwards Down the Number Line was pretty cool, much better than Time Turns Molasses, no doubt. 2001 always rules and it is always on my list of WANTS and Slave helped me cope with the traffic ordeals.
I've said it before and I'll say it again- God Street Wine's version of A Day in the Life puts Phish's version to shame.
It was time to race home and get ready for Great Woods. It was also time to return my $30 EMS poncho and replace it with a far superior $40 Campmor full-body-poncho. I ended up buying a hoodie at setbreak just to have something dry to wear. My Campmor rain pants were the bomb-diggity, though. Fuck you, $30 EMS poncho. Totes boo too.
Phish, 6/4 & 6/5/09, Jones Beach, NY: 8.85 HUZZAHS! I have high standards, kiddies. 2nd night's 1st set was fucking stellar but 1st night's 2nd set fell flat (outside of YEM).
SETLISTS (courtesy of phish.net)
06/04/2009 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater - Wantagh, NY
Soundcheck: Twenty Years Later
1: Grind, The Divided Sky, Ocelot, The Squirming Coil, Punch You in the Eye, Dirt*, NICU, Ghost, Run Like an Antelope
2: Water in the Sky, Birds of a Feather, Drowned, Meatstick**, Time Turns Elastic, Waste, You Enjoy Myself
E: Rock and Roll
Notes: * w/ Mike solo. ** with Japanese lyrics
06/05/2009 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater - Wantagh, NY
1: Wilson, Buried Alive, Kill Devil Falls, AC/DC Bag > I Didn't Know, My Friend My Friend, Ya Mar, Theme from the Bottom, Boogie On Reggae Woman*, Split Open and Melt
2: Down With Disease -> Twist** > Piper > Backwards Down the Number Line, Free, Twenty Years Later*** > 2001 > Slave to the Traffic Light
E: A Day in the Life
Notes: * with Ghostbusters tease. ** with Oye Como Va Jam, about two-minutes long. *** debut performance. Also, note variation in segues.
^ we'll get to the nickname in a moment, Tracy
^^ no, unfortunately not that kind of dry.
^^^ yes, I know not all of you live in VT nowadays, but live with your grouping, will ya?