Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Return: I've Got a Golden Ticket

A safe estimate would put the number of ticket requests for the upcoming Phish reunion at 250,000, all vying for maybe 15,000 pre-sale ducats for the three-night return engagement at the Hampton Coliseum. Somehow, some way, by the grace of the gods, my face-value dream hath come wondrously wet.

Until the unlikely confirmation came through earlier this evening, I could barely muster the excitement for the reunion I'd normally expect from my compulsive self. It's difficult for me to get too tangibly amped for a wedding when the engagement news begins to circulate. Unless there's a quasi-eloping situation in the offing, the nuptials generally loom way too far into the future to garner that genuine feeling of tingling anticipation. Eventually that excitement materializes, but at first, the natural reaction is something like "Oh, shit, well, that'll be cool. Open bar."

Similarly, despite it's obvious awesomeness on every level, it's been difficult for me to get too tangibly geeked for this Phish reunion, nearly five years in the making. I know what lays in wait, but the early-March run won't pop up on the "awesome things to do this weekend" horizon for another five months. For now, it's just another future weekend event without an open bar.

Make no mistake, hysteria is out there. Most of the popular rock band Phish's fans are overtly and rightly freaking the fuck out about the return of the subjectively greatest rock and roll band of our lifetimes. I know I will be -- and this day started me down that path -- but I'm still not entirely there yet. I want these shows here now. I don't want to wait through pumpkins and Macy's-sponsored parades. I don't want to wait through Jesus-atop-Santa chickenfights and Time Square confetti. I don't want to wait for that Punxsutawny rodent to decide whether or not we'll be freezing our wintry nips off for three more fortnights. I want a Phish show now. Hey, Daddy, I want a Phish show. I want you to get me a Phish show right away!

At this juncture it's a far-off concept. A post-hiatus, post-breakup Phish show is like an interstate Denny's when you're at your hungriest -- you know it's coming, but it ain't quite here yet. I can visualize the lots and fans and lights and grins, but it's hard to imagine the Hampton house lights coming down and the smoke going up. I can recollect all the notes and chords and songs and sets I've heard before, but it's hard to imagine the sound of those four brilliant dorks collaborating on a public stage again. I can remember the scent of the patchouli and reefer and...ahhh, shit, sorry, I just gagged a bit from the imaginary but vicious stench of patchouli -- 'tis enough to permanently damage the olfactory receptors and drive a man to assault and/or battery.

There's been nothing more enjoyable in this world than a well-executed Phish show (that hyphenated modifier clearly excludes the no joy in mudville called Coventry). From the "Here we go" at the start of the road trip to the "Holy fuck, what a day" at the end, there's nowhere I'd rather be on March 6th than in Virginia (regardless of whether they go Bradley Effect on us in November). If I didn't get lucky tonight, who knows what I'd be spouting off on this here rag. All I know is that when it comes down to it, I wouldn't miss the release after almost five years of tension. I couldn't. I wouldn't miss the adrenaline rush in between the PA's last song and the band's first note. I couldn't. I wouldn't miss the ability to high-five a stranger without impunity. I couldn't. I wouldn't miss the Curtain With exorcism opener. I couldn't.

But right now, I'm just a guy, like many of you (and sorry for the definitive gender use, but you are likely guys due to the sausage festiness of Phish shows), dealing with a stressful job and a suddenly Trans-Atlantic relationship trying to make it through the week just to watch a football game. The excitement will build, but tonight, tonight I'm in a place I'd never thought I'd be, the stoic lifelong fan with an e-mail confirmation and a whole lot of time before it gets real. Oh, but when it gets real, that's boogie time. That's the goods.

Good luck with The Ticket Master, my friends. I'll see youse all there.


Todd Levy said...

Brilliant post Ace.

Great memories infused with great analogies, and the Dennis Miller style sub-reference to Bradley Effect took it right over the top.

See you in Hampton!

::fellow golden ticket holder::

Washed Up Atlanta Hippie said...

Save at least $200 for the nitrous gauntlet. Gotta love it!

Chefra said...

Whatever you do, watch out for Slugworth. That motherfucker will do anything for your ticket. Congrats!

gatorphish said...

Congrats on the tickets, and I agree with your post - although my e-mail from the band said "denied". I got lucky with the last comeback of MSG and the shows in Hampton. Man my karma is fucked up this week.

$200 for the nitrous? Go across the street, bet on some horses, and have some drinks.

Adam said...

250,000 orders? how did you come to that number? my internet research led me to conclude there were about 150,000 orders.

My Uncle Morty said...

My uncle owns Music Today. He said 250K.

erick said...
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erick said...
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erick said...

I too am in the same boat. Except I recieved an e-mail this morning confirming that I have tickets for not one but all three nights. I can't express my excitement for a road trip accompanied by my favorite band of all time, which is highly capable of melting my face off with silly-ness.

happy happy joy joy


B Kahnscious said...

Denied. But I can sit here and think about the moments leading up to their first notes and my body shivers. even if i dont get there, these feelings are so real. i can just dream about it all day and let the waves of euphoria roll down my jaw bone and through my arms. congrats ace!

Anonymous said...

Denied...but what a great read, Ace. Indeed brilliant!

ismateo said...

great post. congrats.

i feel like i'd like to go just to go hang out in the parking lot for like four or five hours before the show, just to be there and be being there and entirely having that feeling of epic awesome anticipation of I'M GOING TO THE SHOW -- without, that is, ACTUALLY going to the show. this might be weird to say, but no matter what happens, that feeling of RIGHT BEFORE the show won't be matched by anything the boys do on stage.

so i'd like to go, but not for the right reasons, and so i didn't even enter my name in the lottery.

p.s. nice call on the Curtain With opener. i'm saying YEM. you know, back and in effect, all that. probably a longshot, but hey.

have fun!

DannyNoonan said...

Man, it's going to smell sooo bad there.

Russell said...

I got two on Ticketmaster, I was so surprised when the confirmation came on the screen. See you at the show!

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