Tuesday night’s Phish show in Rochester, NY was a hometown show for a lot of us – sharing in the groove, the night was a spot-on show for the band as well as the crowd. Phish hadn’t played the Blue Cross Arena (The War Memorial) in 14 years and phans had high expectations for how the night would go. The Blue Cross Arena is set in the center of the city, the home of the Rochester Amerks hockey team and capacity of 13,000. Although this was not a sold-out show the venue allowed for dance room and a perfect landscape for Kuroda’s spine tingling, face-melting light show. This show was a night when phriends and phamily got together for the love of live music – ‘s Staff was well represented with several of us in attendance.
As a phan who saw two of their other shows here in Rochester, I knew this would be a solid show. What made this show the best of the three appearances was the fact that my 8-year-old daughter Ella was accompanying me and she shares my love for the band. Going to shows as a Mom is a hard choice for some people but for me its second nature. The joy it brings to not only her face and my face as she dances and sings along – but the joy it brings to the phans around us who adore that she is there, and thank me for giving her that experience – that feeling of love and acceptance for the music and the scene is what I love sharing with her.
In full Mom-mode, Ella and I set out to find the perfect dancing space in the venue, not too high up and not within the rowdy crowd. We found our spot in the opposite goal area from the stage. A small alcove with dreadys and spinners, the small crowd in there took turns high-fiving Ella and offering me accolades of, “you’re such an awesome mama” and “she’s the coolest little girl,” all of which made the night seem like perfection. With our spot secured and Ella perched on the ice rink wall, the lights went dim, the show had begun. Phish came right out of the gate with a much-needed, “AC/DC Bag” – the scene was set, the crowd was ready, this was going to be a spectacular show!
The “Moma Dance” set the crowd on fire, Axilla I brought on the lyric chanting, but what really got the groove goin was the – “Meatstick,Kill Devil Falls,Scent of a Mule”. This was one of several moments of the night that produced that energy we all seek at these shows; A hometown party insued, the days of ‘old have emerged in this tour and fans couldn’t be happier. “Character Zero” ended the first set with expectations surpassed.
Second set began with a 16:26 minute “Crosseyed And Painless” and Ella was holding her own at her now third Phish show since birth. She got down hardcore to this jam, feeling the freedom to dance and move about the sound of the music, we were sharing in the groove, sharing an experience of pure joy. “The Light > Golden Age” was nothing short of a miracle, glittered with the lights on the fans, Kuroda’s light show matched each note to a point, it was clear the band was feeling the crowds energy in a symbiosis of music and lights.
The funk re-emerged with “Birds of a Feather, Halley’s Comet, Possum” – another part of the night that left fans speechless but dancing about in a undescible groove. With the night getting later and the little one getting more tired by the song, Possum would turn out to be our last dance-off for the evening, while seated with her on my lap during “Heavy Things”, it was clear we would have to call it a night.
Finding out we missed a fantastic “YEM” and “Joy” was saddening but keeping in mind that going to shows as a Mama also means leaving shows as a Mama with a tired little girl. All in all, this show was a spectacular night for everyone in attendance – especially the coolest kid I am proud to call my daughter! Thank You Phriends and Phamily for a real good night, and Thank You to Phish for creating a community around music in which I am able to experience with the youngest of phans.
10/22/13 (Tue) Blue Cross Arena – Rochester, NY
Set 1: AC/DC Bag, The Moma Dance, Axilla I, Meatstick, Kill Devil Falls, Scent of a Mule, Timber, My Friend My Friend, Halfway to the Moon, Maze, Character Zero
Set 2: Crosseyed and Painless, Light > Golden Age, Birds of a Feather, Halley’s Comet, Possum, Bug, Heavy Things, You Enjoy Myself, E: Joy, First Tube
Notes: Meatstick contained the Japanese lyrics. Scent of a Mule featured Fishman on Marimba Lumina. Page teased Baby Elephant Walk before the start of the second set. Golden Age began over the jam out of Light.