Well, I did it! I survived my first Phish show! All it took was a few Sparks (for those of you who don’t know what that is, I’m sorry, you’re totally missing out), some VIP tickets (over paid for by me on Stub-Hub), and an open mind.
We flew into Seattle, stayed one night in the ghetto, and then drove for 2+ hours through some of the most beautiful country side I have EVER seen in my life! I wish I would have taken pictures! The lush, green, over grown forests, the volcanic mountains so high you can’t see their tops. And best of all…no rain! The weather was perfect, the scenery was perfect…I’d LOVE to go back and explore more.
We stayed at The Sunland Inn in this little town called Ephrata. Jacob, the motel manager, was fabulous! Mr. Young (whoever that is) didn’t show up, so Jacob gave us his room because he remembered it was Chris’ birthday. Thank you Mr. Young! It was more room than we needed for one night (full kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom), but it was great!
We headed to the Gorge after picking up some “parking lot beers”. We pulled in next to this really nice couple from, well, I don’t think we ever really got a clear answer as to where they’re from, though it could have been all of the second hand pot smoke that was making it difficult for me to concentrate. They seem to be frequent movers…I think. Anyhow, we pulled in, propped up our camping chairs and got to drinking.
It wasn’t long after we got there that people started wandering though the aisles of parked cars (mostly rentals, but a few Subarus and VW buses) saying somewhat quietly, “mushrooms…brownies…” One guy opened a case of glass pipes…all for sale of course. Chris wanted more than anything to show me “Shake Down Street” but we didn’t make it that far.
It truly was amazing! There is a huge campground at The Gorge which Phish-heads transformed into an actual makeshift shanty town. I have never seen anything like it before. Something else I had never seen before was so many babies and young children at a show like this!? At a show where drug use is not hidden, where tie-die and dreads are totally normal. That took me a little by surprise. The venue was even selling Phish “one-sies”! I guess they’re just trying to change along with their growing (not in numbers, but in age) demographic?
The show itself was pretty cool! We walked down to our “seats”, got some $9 Coors Lights and got ready to see some action. We got to sit fairly close. The view of the Colombia River was breathtaking, the lights from the show, the music…it all just kind of came together. Other than the cranky people next to us (totally ruined the free loving vibe, but we got over it) I had a great time! Can’t say you’ll find me at another Phish show, but it’s still something I’m glad I got to experience.
Happy Birthday Chris! I hope this trip will go down in your history book as one of the best! Love you.
Addendum by Chris
- The Mango Song
- Chalk Dust Torture
- Middle Of The Road
- Twenty Years Later
- Ya Mar
- It’s Ice
- Wolfman’s Brother
- Character Zero >
- Run Like An Antelope
- Rock & Roll >
- Makisupa Policeman
- The Wedge
- You Enjoy Myself
- Backwards Down the Number Line >
- Good Times Bad Times
- Tweezer Reprise
(I am really thankful and proud that I have a girlfriend that would endure the admittedly long and I’m guessing to the un-initiated, confusing Phish setlists)