Back in September, fresh on the heels of a raging summer tour and a third straight blow-out year in Colorado, I wrote an Open Letter to Trey. I explained some thoughts that had been percolating within the nucleus of my inner-most (and extended) Phish crew. In a nutshell, my letter was an attempt to reveal to Trey the significance that The Hiatus and The Breakup has had in all of our personal relationships with Phish.
Flash forward to Halloween 2013… A head-banging Fall Tour and a Thirtieth Anniversary Year filled with unbelievable music and positive energy. And what does the band do for us? They play us their own music. They trick and treat us all at once. They make an incredibly powerful statement; To us, nobody’s music is more important than our own.
Hey Phish, just a heads up… To many of us in the crowd, that statement echoes true, deep, all the way through to our soul.
What happened on Halloween 2013 in Atlantic City will go down in Phish history as one of the most special, emphatic nights in the band’s celebrated thirty years. Debuting more original material on this single night than any other night in the band’s career, each member was clearly demonstrating his own personal ambitions and desires for Phish. Some of those songs may never get played again.
The band has been delivering powerful messages all year. At this point, if you’re still complaining, if you’re still bitching, if you still think Phish isn’t as good as they once were… Stay at home. There are plenty of us who are ready to do this all over again.
In a huge way, it is absolutely clear that Phish is here to stay. I can confidently stop wondering if any individual show will be the last time I get to see these guys play together. That energy has been removed from the room.
The Phish I experienced in Atlantic City in 2013 reminded me of why I fell in love with this band. After a year filled with monumental jams and earth-shattering visceral moments of joy, the band blew my brains out this Fall Tour. They looked young, healthy and refreshed. They all have a spring in their step, they seem happy and genuinely stoked to be working on new material together. The debut of Wingsuit couldn’t have answered my questions any more clearly.
Personally, I’ll be following this energy to New York City come this December. There is no way I’m missing the upcoming New Year’s Run given what’s been happening so far this year. The band is on fire, they’ll be coming out of intimate tracking sessions in the studio and they are proud, confident and exalted.
See you in NYC.