I found myself on a bit of a Phish kick last week. It started out as a Grateful Dead kick, listening to Crimson White & Indigo, the live album from their July 1989 concert at JFK Stadium in Philly. That led to me spelunking through my (relatively) small collection of live Phish stuff. Which led to me noticing that Phish were playing this weekend in Atlantic City, for three nights.
I had a brief mental flirtation with the idea of actually driving down to AC for one of the shows. Then I remembered that I’m 55 years old, we’re in the middle of a heat wave, and hanging out on the beach for three hours with 30,000 other people probably isn’t a good idea for me. I also looked at the FAQ for the event and noticed all the rules & regulations, including a notice that attendees would be subject to a “thorough TSA-style pat-down search,” which made the whole thing sound a lot less fun and more like a trip to Newark Airport.
I’ve also considered buying one or more of the shows from LivePhish.com. The set of three is $35 in FLAC or ALAC, so that’s not bad. Certainly cheaper and more convenient that driving to AC, enduring a TSA-style pat-down, then trying to get through a three-hour show with no actual seats, surrounded by 30,000 other Phish fans. (On the other hand, there’s plenty of live Phish stuff already available on Apple Music, and I’m not enough of a fan to really need more than that.)
This recap of the first show actually makes it sound like it was quite a good show. Phish.net is a fun site to browse. There’s so much meticulously cross-referenced detail, and so much nuance that just goes over the head of a more “casual” fan like me. It’s fun when a band (or a writer, or artist, or whatever) inspires the kind of devotion that results in this kind of work. Sometimes, that kind of thing gets toxic and insular, but other times, it’s a lot of fun.