3 Phish Shows Down…
Heyo! So this weekend I reconnected with my buddy Barrett who I hadn’t seen in 15 years. (Technically when I was 17 I was his babysitter but he’s only a couple of years younger than me and I was basically his driver.)
Side note: This is why I love social media. He posted a pic on instagram of a spot in Venice and I was a just down the street in so we met up for a beer at Hinano’s, one of my favorite dives
Catching up on life over a couple of beers quickly turned into, “You should come to the Phish show with us.” The concert was just a few hours away, and I had no plans except for writing and lots of beach time, so of course my response was, “Hell yeah! Let’s do it!”
Full disclosure: I’ve had a couple of friends who were really into Phish and the whole jam band thing, but its never been my gig. I saw them for the first time last year at the Hollywood Bowl with my boyfriend at the time. To be honest, I thought it was pretty boring and kinda just wanted to take a nap. (I’m sorry phans, I know you want to murder me right now, but hear me out.) I prefer concerts that are crazy dance parties such as Girl Talk, and MIA, or the opposite end of the spectrum like Pink Floyd, Alabama Shakes, the Black Keys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Radiohead, etc. Barrett and his friends are a lot of fun so I figured I’d have a good time no matter who was playing.
The show in LA on Friday night was at the newly rennovated Forum in Inglewood. The last time I was at the Forum was in 2004 or 2005ish to see the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
We cruised the lot which is apparently what you do at Phish shows. Mikey bought some lot art and a few tees including one for his baby girl. (Which he lost before intermission. DANGIT!)
Almost immediately we found a floor ticket that a phan sold us for face value. YASSS!! I have to say, Phish phans are some of the friendliest, most generous people I’ve ever met.
The “Floor” area was amazing. Not only does it have a separate entrance from the other sections, but it also has short beer lines with Pacifico on draft and no line for the ladies bathroom (apparently phans are primarily dudes).
We posted up in a circle sitting down to claim our spots, and I was shocked at how pretty and clean the place was. A guy rolled up next to us with a handheld dustbuster/shop vac type thingy and started vacuuming the floor next to us. WHAAAATTTT?!
The show starts and the phans go wild. The only song I recognized was their rendition of “Low Rider” by War. I tagged along with David to the bathroom during the first set since I have the smallest bladder on earth. We didn’t discuss a meeting strategy so when I got out of the bathroom, I didn’t see him and assumed he already went back to the group.
Well…I kind of knew where the crew was and started wandering around to find them. I couldn’t see a thing (dammit, I should have triangulated my position before leaving for the bano). I found a spot that I figured was close enough but I kept looking around for the crew and the guy next to me said, “How’s it going?” “I lost my friends,” I responded. Without skipping a beat he replies, “We are your friends.” I feel like that pretty much sums up the vibe at a Phish show.
During the intermission, the lights came up and people dispersed so I found our spot. Apparently the boys were taking turns looking for me since I disappeared. Oopsies.
The second half of the show was even better. I drank a little too much that whole day/concert and forgot to eat dinner (it happens). Well, all the booze, no water and dancing and I started feeling a little hot and dizzy. Since the beginning of time I’ve had the weakest stomach on earth. I know that feeling when it’s about to go down. I told Barrett that I was gonna be sick and I’d just be out in the lobby but he refused to let me go by myself. This is one of the many reasons I love my Texas crew. There are some friends that would leave you in a pile of your own vomit and not care, but not B.
I ran and made it to the fancy clean trash can within seconds of losing my cookies. I have to say I was really proud of myself for not barfing in my hair. While I still had my head in the trashcan, a guy in a flannel and jeans (I didn’t look up so that’s all I saw) gave me a handful of napkins. I said “thank you” in the most pathetic voice of all time and proceeded to finish my bidness. I wish I could have thanked that guy for his kindness.
There is nothing worse than watching or listening to people throwing up. The thought of it makes my stomach turn.
Maybe the only thing worse is making your friend miss part of the concert that he flew out from Texas to see. I felt like the biggest a-hole, but he was cool about it. What am I in junior high? Oh man, that was such an amateur move. I was a total shit show. I used to take care of him 15 years ago and how he’s taking care of me. DOH!
The next day, for some reason they invited me to go to the show in San Diego. We cruised down early in the morning and stopped at one of my favorite coffee spots Pannikin in Leucadia on the way to the hotel in Old Town.
The show was at the Sleep Train Ampitheater in Chula Vista. In all the years I lived in San Diego, I had never been to Chula Vista. It’s so far south, you’re basically in Mexico.
The thing I did love about the whole experience was how much the crew I was with loves Phish. They were talking about the different set lists and how many shows they had been to, etc. I know what it’s like to be that passionate about something.
The way Barrett described it (I’m paraphrasing from memory) was, “There are two types of Phish phans. There are the 5% that go on message boards and talk about them and their music and then there are the 95% who just go to shows and love the music and enjoy themselves. Unfortunately, we’re the 5%.”
BAHAHAHAHA! One of my favorite things in life is seeing people lit up by something whether it’s music, a wave, travel, a person. etc.
The highlight of this whirlwind of a weekend (other than just hanging with this entertaining threesome) was going to see the Monophonics (a funk band from the Bay Area) at Winston’s in OB (Ocean Beach) for the after party.
We danced our asses off. That’s the kind of dance party I’m talkin bout, Willis!
Reconnecting with old friends can be a gamble, but I have to say Barrett is now one of my favorite humans. He was cool when we were little hood rat kids, but it’s nice to see he turned into an awesome adult. I’m gonna go ahead and take a little credit where none is due and say I had a small hand in contributing to his awesomeness back in the day. Enjoy the best selfie of us of all time:
After the best weekend ever, I came home to my crazy sister who was acting a fool (I think she’s on her period). Let’s just say we got into a verbal altercation…more on that in the next post.