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Archive for the ‘Madison Square Garden’ Category

[ATTENDED: December 30, 2019] Phish

After last night’s show, I really didn’t have high hopes for knocking out a bunch of songs.  I realize they don’t know what’s on my list, but it sometimes feels like they do and they keep spacing them out to make sure I come back.

For this show I had seats that I bought in the lottery.  I never get good seats in the Phish lottery, but the tickets themselves are very cool–colorful and quite lovely.  But I was up in the 200s for this show.  And once again my row-mates were lame.  Or maybe I’m the lame one.  Whatever the case, this was my first show where I could see the video screen.  The video screen is pretty terrible because the audio and video are out of synch.  However, it did allow me to take a few good pictures of the guys.

Tonight’s trip into the city was much better.  I’d picked a garage in the village, six blocks from Le Poisson Rouge, and this time I knew I’d be able to make the afterparty (Garcia Peoples, Chris Forsyth, Ryley Walker).  I also managed to go into MSG through a different entrance (I really wish I could keep track of which entrances are the best).  I managed to get the shirt that I liked (sold out last night) and get to my seat with ample time to spare.  Let it be known that there is FAR LESS ROOM in the 200s than in the 100s!

But the lights soon dimmed and Trey played the four opening notes that can only mean one thing–“Wilson!”  The very first time I saw Phish, they opened with “Wilson” and it was a wonderful moment.  And sure, I’ve seen it four times, but it is such a great, exciting song live–so much crowd interaction–that I knew it would be a fun night. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: December 29, 2019] Phish

I blew off two of the three Phish shows I had tickets to this summer.  (I really should have gone to that Sunday show).  Camden is such a hassle.

Somehow, I find getting to Madison Square Garden much less of a hassle–which makes literally no sense.  These were my fourth and fifth times seeing them at MSG (compared to two in Camden).  But this MSG trip involved driving into the city ($15 tunnel toll?) and then getting a garage.  And, because I planned to go to an after party at Le Poisson Rouge with Marco Benevento, I decided to park in the village and subway it up.  That’s actually a lot of hassle.

But it was worth it.

This was my eighth Phish show (I could be in double digits by now if I didn’t sell those Camden tickets).

The theory is that the Sunday night of the New Year’s Eve run is always great.  And boy howdy was it. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 21, 2017] Phish

I have wanted to see a Phish New Year’s Eve show for years.  But one should welcome in the New Year with people you love, so I will never go to a show on New Year’s Eve.  But this year I decided to try for a ticket for the night before New Year’s Eve.  Once I got my ticket I learned that many people feel like the 12/30 show is ultimately better than the 12/31 show–in terms of music, not theatricality naturally.

I was also pretty happy to find out that my friend Armando and his girlfriend were going.  So we wound up making an evening out of it.  They live near the train station, so I drove to their house and we walked to the train.  It was nice meeting his girlfriend (she is famous from his blog) and we all got along very well.  When we got into the City, he told me we were going to a great Peruvian restaurant really close to the arena.   And what a great find it was.  Rather than pizza or a hot dog we were able to eat a yummy (and filling meal) and it was quite fast as well.

Although, perhaps it could have been faster.  When we walked across the street to MSG, the line to get in was massive.  We never found out exactly what was going on, but they were holding everyone back at a barrier while the line thinned out.  We were running very tight to show time.  But the arena must have known that because the band did not go on as early as they usually do. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 8, 2018] Phish

I have never seen a band two nights in a row in the same place before (I have seen Tori Amos three times in four days but that was at different locations).  I knew that Phish always mixed up their sets so that two nights in the same place never contained the same songs.  This was a great way to hear even more different stuff.

Tonight’s show was very different for me though.  My daughter was in the 4H Fair play before the show (she was a wicked stepsister in Cinderella).  I certainly wanted to see that.  It was super fun, although pro-tip…she needs to exaggerate her on-stage behavior more.

I was afraid I’d be late for the show (4H traffic is shocking!), but traffic was light and I made it to Camden in okay  time.  I had to park over a mile away (and still pay $30).  It was a 15-minute brisk walk to the stadium during which time I was feeling kind of down about the whole event.  There were lots of drunk people and scalpers and hawkers and ugly sights abounded.  Plus it was hot and I was in a hurry and then I got to the gates and the line was huge.

I also knew that I was much later than the night before so I wouldn’t get a choice spot at the railing like the night before.

I bought a corn dog (yum) and walked up to the lawn.  I decided to purposely pick a different part of the lawn tonight (Page’s side).  And just as I climbed the stairs I saw Armando, my friend from the night before.  I was hoping to see him and was kicking myself for not coordinating with him.  But I love the serendipity of running into him like that.  He was talking to a woman who turned out to be his mom!  She lives closer to the venue than he does so he was staying with her for the night and he invited her along. She had been to many concerts with him (how cool is that) but had never seen Phish so she was excited for something new.  She was great to hang with.

He had a spot along the railing again and got ready for Night #2. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 7, 2018] Phish

Having enjoyed two Phish shows at Madison Square Garden, and really seeing what it’s like to go to multiple shows by the same band when they mix up the setlists so much, I was pretty psyched to hear that Phish were coming back to NJ for two shows on a short summer tour.

After the immense spectacle of the Baker’s Dozen, in which they repeated no over thirteen shows (thereby messing up every statistic-driven fan who likes to recount the last time a song was played, this tour was shaping up to be a more traditional fan favorites (or not) package.  This was actually perfect for me because as I start keeping tracks of the songs I need to see live, I realize that I need a lot of the staples to fill out my chart. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: August 1, 2018] Radiohead

I have never really seen a band two times close together.  Sometimes with smaller bands if they are playing two clubs, but never a stadium show.

But I had already gotten my Radiohead ticket for WellsFargo, so I was sure as heck not giving it up.

I saw Phish twice on the Baker’s Dozen run–two shows 16 days apart.  Now here was Radiohead 21 days apart.  For some reason their tour didn’t go NY to Philly, it went NY to Canada, to Ohio to Boston and then to Philly.  This was a cool way to see the band twice with some decompression time in between gigs.

Strangely enough, these tickets which were literally at the side of the stage–I was parallel with the gap between the stage and the crowd and 23 rows back–and they actually cost more than the General Admission floor seats at Madison Square Garden (although the fees at MSG were more, so these tickets were technically cheaper when all was said and done).

Since I had trouble getting to the arena for Pearl Jam, I decided to leave work a bit early, drive in and beat the inevitable traffic.  Which meant I arrived 45 minutes before the gates opened.  Duh.  So I sat in the car and continued my book.

Then I went in and got some merch that hadn’t been available at MSG and found my seat.  As with the MSG show I was surprised at how uncrowded it was.  I guess many people didn’t care about Junun.  But when the lights went down for Radiohead, my section (and everywhere else) seemed full.

I had a pretty great view of the stage (except for one lighting pole which was directly in my view of whomever was up front (usually Thom).  I also couldn’t really see the screen in the back (which was ok) and the lights are obviously very different from off to the side instead of head on.

But what was most important was the music.  And despite what I thought was a terrible sound for Junun, Radiohead sounded amazing once more   The music was crystal clear and powerful without being too loud. (more…)

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[ATTENDED: July 11, 2018] Junun

I thought traffic might be out of hand getting to the Wells Fargo Center (I had a bad experience parking when we saw Pearl Jam there).  Plus the show started at 7:30, which is pretty much heart of rush hour if you’re trying to get there at a reasonable hour.

So I left straight from work and wound up an hour earlier than when the doors opened.  I thought here was a chance I’d miss Junun if I got there late, but here I was super early again.  So I had a nice parking lot chat with Sarah while I waited.  Then I continued with my book (same book as the previous show–it’s a pocket-sized paperback (Terry Pratchett), perfect for this sort of thing).

I had a seat this time, so I wasn’t in a hurry.  I bought some small merch (socks!) and took my seat.

Unlike last time when I was on the floor, for this show I was stage left almost exactly parallel with the stage.  It wasn’t a great location for seeing the light show, but Junun doesn’t have one.  The main gripe for me was that the lighting pole was in the worst spot for me to see the front of the stage.

For my post from a few weeks ago, click here. (more…)

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