The date is November 27th, 2009. A mere boy and two noble companions travel to a foreign country in search of sonic enlightenment. The boy is naive, and does not understand the journey on which he has embarked, while his entourage is wiser and seems to speak in a kind of code. “You don’t get it now, but you will understand,” his companions tell him, and the boy does not truly believe them. He trusts his own worldly experience. He thinks that he has used his ears often enough to know where the limits of the auditory realm lie. But on the day of the birth of the legendary Jimi Hendrix, the boy heard things he thought impossible. And from then on there was no looking back. The following four years were spent in constant search of the cosmic nature of even the first few notes emerging from the collective mind that is Phish.
The man then left Albany, NY seemingly uncomfortable on his own two feet. Things had changed. The music spoke to him on a different level than ever before, but there was still so much he didn’t fully understand. “Return home and study,” the man thought to himself. He needed to get past the overload of his first Phish shows to find out exactly how these melodies could exist, and simply pour effortlessly out of these musicians. He picked up his guitar and struggled through the most peculiar of jams in search of the recipe for mind-melding improvisation. He tried everything from apple cores, worms galore, and a can of some corrosive, to toxic waste and purple paste he hoped was not explosive. Yet it seemed impossible, like only the Helping Friendly Book could contain such ancient secrets. And after an excruciating year of patience he returned again on October 23rd, 2010, in Amherst, MA, to try once more to reach those unattainable heights. Once again, Phish brought him through the steepest peaks and the most treacherous lows.
As the man delved further into the reaches of Gamehendge, he sought a whole world to explore, but the mere stories of Wilson and Colonel Forbin would not suffice. He travelled great distances to Superball IX, and then it clicked. He finally felt as though he was not just a spectator, but a participant in the music of Phish. He was a part of the songs, not a simple observer. In that fenced in world he found no shortage of magic and wonder, and this became his all.
Then the man travelled to SPAC, with an uncontrollable grin and an eagerness for sound, for light, for all of the strange and lovable characters he could and would meet along the way. Although anticipating everything he could not truly be ready, and yet again the whirlwind of Phish swept him up only to toss him around just long enough to leave him confused and out of breath, but unharmed and downright stoked.
Now in the summer of 2013, I return to SPAC, and I will follow the sea of music lovers back across the border to see Phish in my home country for the first time in over a decade. This time I am making no predictions. I have no notion of what might happen in the coming week, but rest assured, I will be ready with open arms to grab up every tangible moment of my coming travels.