Since I couldn't make it to Festival 8, the next best thing would be enjoy it from the comfort of my couch. After getting home from work, I dusted off my satellite radio that had been sitting dormant in it's box and hooked it up to my receiver. I turn on the unit only to find that I didn't have any reception. What was I going to do? I was hungry and wanted to get some grub before tackling my small problem.
I called my friend Karla up and we decided to get some pizza at Piece. We went early enough that we didn't have to wait for a table. The Dark-n-Curvy Dunkelweizen complemented the pizza well as I was getting excited for the show. By the time we left the place was packed. On the way home we made a quick stop at Lemmings for one more beer. The Lagunitas IPA hit the spot!
When I got home I had less than a half hour to solve my signal problem so I had to think fast. Thankfully the chord for the antenna was plenty long. I ran the chord under my door and up to the side of my garage where a hook just so happened to be. It was like the antenna was meant to be there. The antenna had an unobstructed view and I was in business. I tuned to channel 56 and the sweet sound of Ween's "Freedom of 76" was piping through my speakers.
I was hoping for a "Down with Disease" opener, but "Party Time" kicked the festivities off. While the bands partying days are long gone, they were clearly ready to have a good time. Page continued his resurgence and brought some serious funk during "Moma Dance". After a very solid "Stash", the band played the amusing " I Didn't Know", in which Fishman did his trademark vacuum solo.
"Ocelot" was clearly the best song of the first set. The jam had incredible pace and showed why it has become a staple in the repertoire in it's short existence. "Time Turns Elastic" closed Festival 8's first set. I am a firm believer that this song needs to close a set. While the song seemed a little bit sloppy during the middle sections, the band regrouped for a strong finish. All in all the set had it's moments, but for some reason didn't blow me away. It seemed like the band was playing it safe.
Set II: PYITE, Down With Disease > Prince Caspian > Wolfman's Brother > Piper >Joy, David Bowie, Harry Hood, Golgi Apparatus
The second set sounded as good as it looks on paper and maybe even better. After a standard "Punch You In The Eye", the band unleashed one of the best sets of music of Phish 3.0. "Down With Disease" has really become a monster and this version was really tight. There was a stop start jam that really has to be heard. "Wolfman's Brother" saw Mike break out his trademark funk during the jam. I thought the groove they had going was rushed a bit and too short, but nonetheless I enjoyed it.
Phish transported their fans from the Polo Grounds to outer space during "Piper". The jam was very spooky and segued into "Joy". Trey announced that they were going to give fans a clue into their Halloween costume as Fishman started the hi-hat intro to "David Bowie". It was a bad joke, but hey I chuckled. Phish nailed the song and Trey was spot on. After a standout "Harry Hood" the band finished the set with "Golgi Apparatus"
The band came back and played a rocking version of "Character Zero" to end the first night of Festival 8. The story of this show was clearly the second set. The band seemed to be dialed in and lets hope it spills into tonight's show. Happy Halloween!