Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Feel the Heat

By Pauly

Show #187. Woke up early on a frigid Miami morning. The crew ambled about and motivated for lunch at The Filling Station. We played a Chinese Poker (in Euros) in the suite during the pre-party. We headed to the lot earlier than Monday. The light disappears quickly and the darkness descends around 5ish and that's when things get sketchier in the lots. Deviant derelicts crawling out of the shadows and invading the psychedelic carnival. Homeless guys drenched in urine and standing on the corner hawking bicycle wheels that they obviously pilfered. One local dealer pushed hard drugs to pay for a new pair of Jordans. But they were angels compared to hostile the thugs with the tanks. As we walked up to the lots, we saw the residual effects of our wasted generation... thousands of multi-colored used balloons cluttering the sidewalks and parking lots.

Joker and I headed to Shakedown during the daylights hours to maximize sales before the madness took over. The lot was slightly more organized than the previous day. I sold Dharma patches and bartered for grilled cheese sandwiches, beer, a heady crystal, t-shirts, and a ganja carrot cupcake. I thrive on the hustle and bustle and meeting new people.

I scored Adderral (thanks brah, you know who you are) and the girls were drinking rum and ginger ale. Rats the size of armadillos ran rampant in the weeds in the back lots. You had to bring a large stick with you when you pissed as protection so one of those nasty fuckers doesn't rip your pecker off in mid-stream.

Security check-in was significantly more thorough. I ran into Eric in the hall. He's an "insider" and relayed the sad news that the Miami shows were the last show til late-July and August. "Enjoy the last bits of Phish for a while," he said.

I bumped into Jesse, a poker pro that I know, and spotted another one. Odd when my work life spills into play time. Benjo, my girlfriend and I were in Section 117. It was super-crowded but we had a better spot than the night before.

I chatted up our usher with cornrows and a gold front grill. "You have fun last night?" I asked.

"Hell yeah! You white boys smoke the good shit!"
The Phish 12/29/09 American Airlines Arena - Miami, FL

Set I: Golgi Apparatus, Maze, Driver, The Connection, Wolfman's Brother, Ocelot, Reba, Access Me, Divided Sky, Cavern

Set II: Kill Devil Falls, Tweezer > Manteca Jam > Tweezer, Prince Caspian, Gotta Jibboo > Wilson > Gotta Jibboo > Heavy Things, 2001 > Slave

Encore: Sleeping Monkey, Tweezer Reprise
I gambled with Benjo again on the setlist. He picked six songs and I got four. He took a 2-0 lead on Monday, but I felt confident with my draft (Maze, Wolfman's, Moma, TTE). I was worried that he had AC/DC Bag but when they opened with Golgi, I knew that I dodged that bullet.

Page sizzled on Maze and the boys didn't waste any time with the first wave of intense jamming. Driver killed the momentum and the kid behind me begged, "Play Maze again!" Instead, Phish delved into the first of two songs off of Undermind. Hey, I'm a fan of some of those songs and was pumped to hear The Connection and a delicious version of Access Me.

Wolfman's included a raunchy punk-infused jam that were accentuated by CK's purplish lights. I wasn't on acid, but those series of lights made it seem like I was tripping balls. I wore my Oceleot shirt for a second night in a row and they finally played my favorite tune off of Joy. I can now change my shirt.

The Joker mentioned that this Reba was his favorite of the 3.0 era. The jam had several peak moments. I watched the crowd during Divided Sky. If you ever wondered if Phish was a cult? Just look around during that song. Phans were mesmerized. Lots of boners and wet snatches in the arena.

As per usual, Trey remembered all of the lyrics to Cavern. Ah, who am I kidding. Remember kids, free-basing and Oxy rots the brain. Maybe Mike, Page, and Fish need to chip in and buy Trey a teleprompter for Christmas next year?

Set 2 opened up with Kill Devil Falls, which was just mere foreplay -- sort of like grabbing your girlfriend's breasts while you're making out. The real penetration and explosions happened during Tweezer. I was floored by that jam. It was like Angelina Jolie salaciously making out with my favorite porn star Sasha Grey. I was speechless and had a scintillating erection.

The Manteca jam was sweet, yet fleeting. Caspian is usually hit or miss with me - but they hit a home run with an fiery jam out. The Gotta Jibboo > Wilson > Gotta Jibboo portion of the show was my personal highlight. At one point, I thought that they were going to seg into Good Times Bad Times but ventured into Wilson before an unexpected twist where they returned to the Jibboo jam. They fumbled Heavy Things and missed a bunch of changes. Luckily, that blemish was short-lived because the boys smoked the shit out of the joint with 2001 > Slave. The 2001 was pulsating and pumping with an inescapable ass-shaking groove.

The encore was a double-dip with an homage to Fishman in Sleeping Monkey and a searing Tweprise with a lubricious Trey spazzing out on stage to end the show. Everyone knows that I'm the jaded vet... so it's something when I say that this show rocked. As one guy behind noted about Phishtory, "December 29th will always be December 29th."

We headed to Shakedown after the show ended and were greeted by tanks on Biscayne Blvd. Wow, one guy's sales pitch? "No lines!" Millions more brain cells destroyed.

We headed back to the car and an impromptu jam session broke out with a fiddle player who was playing along to the 1980s party songs that the Joker was spinning on his amp.

We headed back to the suite... and that's when things went muzzy fuzzy.

Two down. Two to go.

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