6 reasons you shouldn't have missed night one of Phish's Alpine Valley weekend
Everyone's favorite jam band, Phish, made its return to Alpine Valley on Friday for the first night of its weekend residency at the historic outdoor venue. Just as the buses were pulling out at Alpine after the Dave Matthews Band's performances last week, a new wave of loyal fans came by the thousands to experience another memorable weekend at Alpine Valley hosted by Trey Anastasio and company.
As with several bands who frequent the Elkhorn venue, Phish's shows are like none other and give fans a piece of decades past. Although you shouldn't need a long list of reasons to catch one of Phish's concerts this weekend, we have compiled a few to give you some extra motivation to make the short trip and go Phishing in the next couple days.
Here are our six reasons you shouldn't have missed night one of Phish's weekend residency at Alpine Valley:
1. It's the next closest thing to the Grateful Dead
Perhaps even more so than Dead & Company – the band which consists of John Mayer and several surviving members of the Grateful Dead – Phish is the closest thing you'll get to the Grateful Dead in the year 2019.
The Vermont natives are easily one of the most successful jam bands in history, and their loyal following is just a step below the Grateful Dead's in the '70s. With fans traveling city to city to see Phish perform for consecutive nights, traveling in large numbers in bright yellow school buses, Phish allows vibes from decades past to live on in the present day.
Although I wasn't born until 1988, Friday night's performance gave me a small window into the Grateful Dead era, at a venue where the Dead performed nearly 20 times before I was born.
2. It's just part one of the trilogy
If you missed Friday night's nearly three-hour performance, fear not, because you have two more opportunities to catch some Phish at Alpine throughout the weekend. Trey and the rest of the band are also scheduled to perform Saturday and Sunday for their Wisconsin fans.
Although many fans are likely attending every show during the weekend residency, there is no excuse for you not to make it out for one of the three performances. Fans on Friday night enjoyed performances of "Rift" and a cover of Ween's "Roses Are Free," but it's anyone's guess what songs fans will get to enjoy throughout the remainder of the weekend.
3. "Trey face"
It wouldn't be a Phish show without being able to enjoy Trey Anastasio's signature "Trey face" while he zones out on the guitar.
Anastasio stands rock solid, head tilted, with his eyes squinting upward off in the distance through a sea of dancing fans. The iconic look is worthy of its own Tumblr page and is a sure sign that you're in for a memorable night.
4. I saw a man try to barter with the box office for tickets
Only at a Phish concert will you witness a man trying to barter for lawn tickets at the box office. This isn't to say that Phish fans are cheap; after all, there's nothing cheap about following the band across the country to see as many sets as possible. But let's just say the groovy free spirit type that Phish caters to is definitely more likely to barter for goods and services than someone at a Green Day or Taylor Swift concert.
Needless to say their negotiation was not successful, but I certainly loved the effort.
5. No single song is short-lived
Phish songs and performances from jam bands in general are notoriously long, so if you're a fan of lengthy performances, Phish is the band for you. But if you prefer shorter songs so you can hear as many tracks as possible, then good thing Phish will perform even more songs throughout the rest of the weekend.
Also: If you have to go to the bathroom, you only risk missing a song or two and you probably have time to grab a bite to eat, pick up some merch and make a short phone call, all before the next song begins.
6. Friday's performance was literally like none other
As most Phish fans know, no single Phish performance is identical to any before it. With a new setlist every night, as opposed to just switching a song or two here and there, each show is totally unique. While jamming out for hours and dancing the night away are constants from concert to concert, Friday night's Phish performance was literally like none other, as will be tonight's and as will be tomorrow's.
Friday's one-of-a-kind performance got the weekend started on a high note as Phish kicked off the set with the smooth 2000 track "Sand" from the album "Farmhouse" before performing tracks like "Tweezer," "Lawn Boy," "Camel Walk" and "Rift" during the first set, only to keep the momentum going after the intermission with tracks like "No Men in No Man's Land" and the 2019 live debut of Ween's "Roses Are Free."
So if hearing songs like "Reba" and "Tweezer Reprise" are on your Phish bucket list, you'll have to return for nights two and three to see if your favorite songs make the cut!
"Turtle in the Clouds"
"Set Your Soul Free"
"Theme From the Bottom"
"No Men in No Man's Land"
"Roses Are Free" (Ween cover)
"Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30"
"The Squirming Coil"
"A Life Beyond the Dream"
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