Sunday, December 6, 2009

Vending, Snowing, and Naked in Charlottesville

Getting there proved to be half the battle. At least three or four hours of my drive was through heavy snow. It reminded me of going to the Boston show (12-2-03) only more snow, and a shorter drive. The snow continued to fall until right before the show.

If I had stayed up Friday night planning how I would park, I still wouldn't have landed a better spot than where I ended up Saturday night. I was smack in the middle of shakedown. JPJ garage didn't open until later when the other lots began filling up, so it looked like getting the parking pass definitely paid off. Trying to vend mobile with snow coming down would have been a neat trick. It was great to be where the other shirt and food vendors were set up. The icing guy was parked right down from me, and he was advertising his wares with...get this...a green laser pointer. Yes, that was probably him inside that night. At least it didn't last very long.

One of the greatest joys was meeting all the people from the different message boards and twitter. The conversations would always start the same: "Hey!...are you...Jiggs?.....". Thanks to everyone who came up and introduced themselves, and thanks for the comments about the shirts and stickers.

The show will probably end up being one of my favorites, specifically for the Tweezer > Light > Piper > Free. That is why I see Phish. There were some awesome type II moments in there that took the room for a big ride. Kuroda upped the ante when connecting with and mirroring the energy onstage. It was one of my favorite band/light jams that I have seen. It pushed on at times taking a blistering pace, but it all seemed purposeful and natural, as if it were meant to happen that way. Pure hose. And after the Yamar incident, the Antelope featured the "Run Like a Naked Guy" lyrics, making for more asterisks when the show was on paper. I love antics. It appeared, by the way, that the guy never intended to touch the band, well maybe just a hug...and just run naked on stage. Sorry, no pictures of that, but I am sure they are out there. At this point the whole show seemed to go up a notch.

I know most considered this another repeat show, but I'm glad they had plenty of time to practice these on tour, so I got some of the best versions. And, thanks naked guy for giving the whole room a kick in the pants.

The community vibe was strong and I really enjoyed my time in the lot both before and after the show. there were a couple of weird moments, one being a balloon vendor tried to set up/adjust his tank directly in front of me. Literally. I said...well, let's just say I asked him to move. Then balloon vendors popped up everywhere. And when some one almost got arrested directly behind me, it was time to pack up and go. A small blemish on an otherwise flawless evening.

I can't think of a better place for Phish to end the tour than in a small college town in a venue roughly the size of Hampton. Say what you will about a college town, but those kids were getting down, and the band seemed to give it right back.

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