Originally, I had said, "Fuck Hartford" because Phish had gotten enough of my money this summer. Friends had offered me extras numerous times and I turned them down, until the last straw- Mattypie twisted my arm around with a free ticket and a seat in the carpool. "If I must." Matty, Chris, Anthony, & I met up in Portchester and hit the muthafuckin' road.
I'd always heard good things about the Meadows, so I was really surprised to find out the place is kind of a hole. I thought there'd be more... well... meadows. It's a freestanding ampitheater amongst the vacant lots and car dealers off Interstate 91 in Hartford. And there were mosquitos. Mosquitos are fucking lame. We were directed to the waaaay back of one of the free lots, where we were literally the car parked closest to the overpass you have to walk on to get over to the venue (and main lot). It filled in rather quickly and we were able to meet up with Eric, Dano, Disco Tony, Wendy, Chris, and Mintz even showed up for a hot minute! The hippies were coming out of hiding for this one!
Oh, man- and it was hot as balls, taboot, taboot.
Eventually we braved the clusterfuck of people being bottlenecked and filed into the teeny-tiny entrance of the venue**.
They had a vodka bar which made me happy, but I was already fighting a migraine and that made me sad (before my migraine pill kicked in, Kuroda's strobe lights would prove to be pretty painful) . We lost 1/2 our crew around this point and settled into a spot on the lawn (once Chris had fallen down in it). Phish soon took the stage.
SET ONE started out strong and didn't quit. PYITE, AC/DC, NICU, Col. Forbin's--- WHAT??? -> Mockingbird. Sweet slurried Cheesus, this was insanity. It settled down for a few but then right back into it with Stash (we snapped our fingers and felt the presence of our dear Johnny Fish) and an I Didn't Know (with Fishman on a kickass vacuum solo) which screamed of days past. Great energy, a lot of fun. Lots of smiles in the crowd and on our faces.
During setbreak we snuck into the pavillion and found some empty seats to rock out in for SET TWO, cuz we're still wild and reckless- you hear me?!! We don't play by your rules!
DWD is always great set opener, Wilson -> Slave -> Piper was freakin' awesome. Water In the Sky just felt like we were listening to Trey wank for 10 minutes. Could've done without it. Psycho Killer was freakin' awesome and had spectacular, blaring, crowd participation. You could actually hear the band giggling at the volume of it. -> Catapult, featured Trey doing some sort of hysterical tweaker noodle dance. -> Icculus!! Seriously??? It's been so long I didn't even recognize it at first. The crowd was in shock, people were absolutely losing it! Trey went on a rant about kids and their iphones and their dvd thingies. He pleaded with those people to read a fucking book! But not just any book- no, he was in fact talking about the Helping Phriendly Book, written by the one and only Icculus. READ THE BOOK. -> YEM. K, well, I heart YEM and all, am still enjoying seeing it, but they seem to play it at every show I'm at this summer. What gives? Gimme a Reba or Maze. Gimme gimme gimme! TAKE TAKE TAKE.
While My Guitar Gently Weeps was an awesome encore. It was a happy change since I've also seemed to hit every Rock n' Roll and A Day In the Life*** this summer.
Before we had even crossed the overpass going back to our lot, you could hear the ssssssssssss's of a hippie crack tank. Or 3. THREE. At least 1 was selling balloons out of a hot dog cart that actually still smelled like hot dog water. The nitrous monkeys were EVERYWHERE. They were on the hill, they were across the street, they were in the trees! Sssssssssssssss! Police were directing traffic 1/2 a block away and a few even drove right by- all blatently ignoring the nitrous spectacle. Okay, Hartford. You fill me with confidence.
After a drive-by ninja-like cookie drop-off in the Mercedes Benz parking lot, we waited til the line out of our lot subsided**** and blasted some metal with the windows down as we drove out. Eric Cartman was right, it definitely helped scatter the hippies. We left Hartford with thoughts of bacon, egg, & cheese on a biscuit (or at least I did). Unfortunately the billboard for Cracker Barrel indicated it was 28 miles off the exit. Why do you tease us like that, Cracker Barrel? 28 miles doesn't help us any. That's pretty shitty of you. Fuck you, Cracker Barrel. We made sweet time back to Portchester and I was home by 4am. Not bad at all.
Boy, am I glad I went to Hartford! This was by far the best show I've seen all tour. The setlist was great. Phish were energized and seemed to be genuinely enjoying themselves. It was a throwback to the '94 era. Trey's multiple noodle dances said it all. I am very happy he is still alive and off the junk. Tons of thanks to Matty for not only the extra (and badgering me to go), but also for driving both ways. You rule #1. Next time bring some of your famous jerked meat! Phish, 8/14/09, Hartford, CT: 9 HUZZAHS! Fucking awesome! Now that's what I've been waiting for since the tour was announced-- that's what I'm talkin' about!
Punch You in the Eye
Colonel Forbin's Ascent >
Fly Famous Mockingbird
Birds Of A Feather
I Didn't Know
Middle Of The Road
Down With Disease >
Slave To The Traffic Light
Water In The Sky
Psycho Killer >
You Enjoy Myself
While My Guitar Gently Weeps
*that's a dumb fucking name
** Michael Weiss compared it to the scene in WIlly Wonka when they try to fit everyone in the group through a really small door. Quite. I never found Weiss during the show. Sad.
*** And God Street Wine's A Day In the Life is still far superior.
**** And at the exact moment someone at the car next to us pulled out a hand drum.