Like many things in my life, I long for the freedom Kindergarten, when comfort outweighed style and Velcro shoes and sweatpants were the trends of the day. Personally, I’ve always thought of myself as something of fashion connoisseur, just not a conventional one. For instance, I can tell the difference between a Phish ’95 Summer Tour shirt (which is dark blue) and a Fall Tour ’98 shirt (which is maroon) from a mile away, despite their identical logos. I’m also smart enough to pick and choose which band shirts I sport at what musical events. Its pretty unheady to where a Phish shirt at a Phish show, unless of course it’s either a lot shirt referencing a specific song or at least five years old (aka proof that you’re earned your Shakedown stripes). While I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing my IT Festival souvenir at the Disco Biscuits’ next performance, it is OK to wear a Phish shirt from Big Cypress or earlier. After New Year’s 1999, any veteran tweaker surely spent all major holidays with the Bisco, moe. or Cheese. Phil Lesh and/or Dead paraphernalia in general is pretty much universally accepted except maybeat a Christina Aguilera show where tie-dye in is considered probable cause or a Lynard Skynard performance, in which case you’ll probably want to wear your granddaddy’s confederate flag.
Speaking of concert T-Shirts, last summer I purchased my first new concert shirt in about three years at a Jones Beach Black Crowes concert. I really like it because, unlike the dozens of Phish Ts which hang idly in my closet, it actually fits as a shirt instead of, say, a kilt. After debuting it at a Tsunami benefit, I also realized that it works as a pretty hip going out shirt, if only because its black and tight enough for hipsters to think I’m being retro. In fact, if I had any fashion and/or business skills, I’d start my own concert attire advisory group and hem a line of designer concert T-Shirts for white collar Deadheads to where on Sundays. I-Bankers take note: If nothing else, it might encourage some earthy secretary to rub your chest (even if they are mentally petting the the cotton likeness of artist in question).