Phish - Night Two
22 October 2016 - Encore Park - Alpharetta, GA
for The Lot Scene by Gina Elliott Proulx
Band Members: Trey Anastasio - guitars, lead vocals; Mike Gordon - bass, vocals; Jon Fishman - drums, percussion, vacuum, vocals; and Page McConnell - keyboards, vocals
Set One: Mike’s Song > Ass Handed > Weekapaug Groove, Waiting All Night > Sample in a Jar, Bathtub Gin, Rift, Stash, Funky Bitch, Your Pet Cat, Character Zero
Set Two: Run Like an Antelope, Fuego > Runaway Jim, No Quarter > Simple > 46 Days > Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley > 46 Days
Encore: Makisupa Policeman, First Tube
I read somewhere that Mother Nature turns tree leaves different colors in the fall, as a way of teaching us humans the intrinsic beauty of letting go. Of course -- there is a scientific reason underlying that sense of wonder at nature’s grand finale. The cooling temperatures cause a precipitous drop in chlorophyll. Then we can see orange and yellow colors. These colors were in the leaves all summer, but the green covered them up. Some leaves turn red, from residual chlorophyll trapped in the leaves. Still others, brown.
The blast of color before Winter can be jarring to the senses, especially if one doesn’t know what color to expect to manifest, underneath the waning green leaves over our collective heads. In many ways that jarring sense of the unknown, mirrors what the ‘enlightened’ top of the food chain is dealing with in this American presidential election year.
Georgia isn’t ‘supposed’ to be a battleground state, in an election sense. But this year, it is. The broadcast avalanche of political commercials emanating from my hotel room TV was relentless. It’s hard to endure the sensory onslaught without either taking on the prevalent negative energy, or tuning out and allowing only those who show up, to win. At any given moment in this election cycle, I’ve taken both roads. Neither were ultimately satisfying to my psyche. Don’t get me started about the nature of political discourse online, especially amongst ‘friends.’
It starts feeling like there is an ‘us’ and a ‘them,’ in this country. And like the outward colors of the Crips and Bloods, we all seem to be eyeing each other up in search of either a red or blue bandanna before offering up even the basics of civility. Eventually the bandannas come off, at least the political ones. I hope so, anyway. I’m trying to liken this last minute intensity about all things election to the leaves up on the trees. As the weather cools, things will change, some colors will drain, and new ones will emerge. Then they all fall down… And next Spring the cycle will begin again. Even if today, it sometimes feels like it won’t.
When my life gets weird, with the election but one way that can happen, I tend to lean back into what always makes sense, as a way to plot my next course. My constants in life are few, but steadfast in their consistency. They remind me of my place in the big picture. They remind me where my center, is. I can reset my perspective. Perhaps my favorite way of re-centering, is through live music. This past weekend, Phish helped me to recenter and prepare for the coming winter, as well as celebrate the change of all kinds of seasons. ..
After a particularly warm early October, Phish brought cooler temperatures to their Alpharetta, shows. It was such a treat to be at a show in the south, in the fall. I’ve attended my fair share of sweltering summertime shows in the South and Mid Atlantic. Bright blue skies, a brisk wind, and temps just cool enough to require a sweater and jeans.
After photographing the first three songs and stowing my camera gear, I returned to the venue to see the rest of the show. But instead of heading to my seats in the pavilion, I went up to the lawn. The demo-graphical microcosm of fans up on the lawn is vast and varied. Most ages, races, and lifestyles were represented. And with the cooler temperatures and stellar music, their “chlorophyll” was receded, so to speak. As a result, it was possible to see the person who was underneath all along. And you guessed it, that person was a lot like me: all. along. Just like the leaves…
I stayed on the lawn for the rest of the night.