Sunday, March 08, 2009

Set the gearshift...

This weekend was spent reminiscing. We sat cozied up on the couch, listening to the soundtrack of our college life. Only it was live. Well, sorta. On Saturday, Phish was nice enough to post the entire Friday night reunion show online for download. Saturday morning we danced with the boys to the first set.

And Saturday night I opened a bottle of wine and listened to the remainder.

It was oddly emotional. A lesson in taking things for granted. It's a cliche for a reason, that you don't know what you've got, until it's gone. As I became older, we no longer made the treks to see them play, and with the internet, there was always a fresh live performance at my fingertips. There is even Phish streaming radio, playing shows 24 hours a day. But when the boys called it quits, it was sad. The option for seeing them was no longer there. For some reason, having the possibility taken away creates a sense of loss. Like when you hear an old friend has passed away. Someone you don't think you would have seen or spoken to again, but the knowledge of their permanent absence creates a distinct void, previously occupied by their potential. I suddenly wished I had done more, taken the time to document the fun times, the crazy times. Because most of this was before digital camera days I have a sorry bit of nostalgia. A ticket stub here, a cassette tape there. But there are the memories.

My first show was a Wolf Trap with High School friends. I believe it was the summer after Freshman year of college, so it was a reunion of sorts. At that same show, some of my new friends from Tech were there. Jay was one of them. If someone had told me he would one day be my husband, I would have never believed it. I don't remember a lot from that show. I think they played Harpua? And covered Honky Tonk Woman? No, maybe that was Richmond. But I do remember the big ball jam! I was so was so much fun. Though the details are foggy and the specifics lost, I still remember the feeling of friendship and gratitude for the amazing talent these guys shared so generously.

My last show was Charlottesville (I think?)...I didn't realize it would be my last at the time. Life took over, not allowing for mid-week jaunts over the mountains and rivers to whichever little patch of earth people were converging on. But inbetween there were some great times. We even snuck in a New Years Eve before the demise of Boston Garden. I remember a sense of kismet when a concert worker placed a sawhorse in front of us declaring it the "beginning of the line". I still remember turning on the bathroom lights because we were the first ones in.

I could go on, the times spent with these guys as our personal troubadours. Not just shows, but many a late night in Blacksburg, with the lights out and the disco ball rotating in the corner. Or in all our many now defunct cars...The Mazda, the Bronco, Chloe, Bertha, the Honda...all gone now.

I tried to get tickets for the Asheville show, so if we couldn't swing it, at least Jay's sis could probably get rid of the tickets for us. It was going to be the best birthday present Jay ever got (except for you Matt!), but the lottery deadline came and went. No tickets. I made a declaration to Jay, that if they get close, we must go. Hopefully they'll keep touring so tickets won't be so hard to come by and they will play Vermont. You would think they would, since they live here!

In the meantime, the MP3s sure are magical. Thanks guys.

Click here to see the setlists and download if you're into it!


crankypantsknits. said...

I think the first time I met you was at that Phish show in Boston. Ticketing here was a big fiasco, people waited in line for days and only 16 people got tickets because they forgot to hold blocks back from online sales. Oops.

Hector said...

Amen. Miss you guys.