Monday, February 13, 2006

Help on the Way

Above: A Clearer Vision of an Unreal Situation

Left: My Dream Presented in Lo-Fi Resolution

As an unabashed, all around dork, I’ve often joked that life couldn’t get much better than watching Phish and the Grateful Dead jam together while chugging a tall glass of chocolate milk. Well, on Sunday, my lifelong (am I old enough to utter that phrase?) dream came true when Trey Anastasio joined Phil Lesh for his entire set at the Beacon Theater. To top it off the Beacon gave out free hot chocolate all night, resulting in a sensory overload not even the drunken text message could properly convey (though G-d and my phone bill both know I tried).

It was one of those sleeper show nights, a cold, snowy Sunday at the start of a pre-vacation work week. I had actually planned to go to the concert with my parents and a friend, but unfortunately, all three were snowed into suburbia. So, at the last minute, I called a handful of my most bankable concert buddies and offered them free tickets to a Phil. There was a requisite amount of bitching: the weather, work and, of course, too much Warren. But, as someone once paraphrased, good shows are bound to happen every once and a while to those who spend seven nights a week seeing live music, and Phil and Trey offered, simply put, the best show I’ve seen since IT (no, shit!).

Like many, I’ve been rather hard on Trey since Coventry and last night’s performance confirmed my previously criticisms. Comparatively, pretty much everything Trey has done in the past two years has, quite frankly, sucked. I’m not sure if Phil unlocked some secret Deadhead touch in Trey’s fingertips or just gave him some good coke, but, for at least one night, I remembered why I spent 72 nights of my life watching Phish play 1277 songs in 21 states.

It was the type of night where nothing else mattered: not work, not global worming, not even an nonsensical text from some friend turned full-time ulcer (slightly tweaked here for your perverse pleasure: “Is there a line that I could write/Sad enough to make you cry…”)

I’m sure I’ll write a formal review for some much headier publications, so I’ll cut this short by saying sometimes its nice to dork out to music like a screaming girl at a Michael Jackson concert. By the end of the night even Lesh has lost his voice (insert your own joke here____), leaving Rob Barracco to “cover” his nightly organ downer rap. He did a good job too, proving, once and for all, that the Zen Tricksters can play any Dead song to perfection. Help on the Way, oh yes, “give me your organs.” Heady days indeed….

1 comment:

Russell Kahn said...

I would have given my liver to be at that show. Shit, I'd give it up right now for a crispy tape. We have two livers, right?

Mike, I need to get on your queue of dependable concert buddies. Shit.

At least I had my Phil & Phriends experience in April 1999--still the best concerts I have ever attended in my whole concert-going career.