Five years ago, after numerous consecutive Phish tours across the country, a large group of friends and I traveled to Coventry Vermont where Phish last broke things off. The music sucked and the atmosphere was concrete depression mixed with a little bit of suicide.
The grounds were muddy, the band was sad, people were broke, and it rained so much in the days before the festival, that what seemed like Army forces had to be brought in to help the masses get through those 3 days.
But now, five long years after leaving us in a cold, wet and dirty swamp in North Coventry Vermont, when the economy is in the dumps and our unemployment numbers have skyrocketed past 4.2 million people without jobs, Phish decides it’d be a good time to hit the road again. And best of all, to kick things off at Hampton Coliseum on Friday, March 6th 2009 – they opened with a juggernaut… Fluffhead.
Phish at Hampton Coliseum: Friday March 6th 2009
If you aren’t aware of the significance this song holds on the Phish community, here’s a little description: The song is 12+ minute composition that was not played once after Phish returned from Hiatus in 2002. It’s a Trey (lead guitarist) written classic that spans Phish’s entire generational gap in fans. They pretty much never play this song, and when they do, it’s a big deal.
Traffic heading into Coventry 2004, nothing new.. But still awful
Perhaps my good friend VJ said it best… “By opening with Fluffhead, Phish doesn’t need to address any awkward reunion small talk. They know they left us in a dirty, muddy swamp five years ago, and this is how they’re going to make it up to us.” No small talk, no bullshit… Just the best music they can play.
But why song one, opening night… after five years! What an oddly placed decision. Perhaps they’re opening the doors for a tour with no expectations from their fans. By playing Fluffhead right away, they get it out of the way. What was rumored to be “too complex of a composition” for Trey to play anymore, is now “just another song.” And this, for the sake of the music… is as good as we can hope it gets.