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Columns > Annabel Lukins - Both Sides of the Rail

Published: 2009/11/12
by Annabel Lukins

Adult Phish 3.0

Halloween was filled with creative costumes everywhere. Combining Phish with such a fun holiday (especially having the event occur during the day time when everyone could see each other) was incredible. Here are just a FEW highlights

Now, I know I’ve been talking about, “Phish did this the best and that the best,” but what was REALLY the best……and I mean it….was getting to watch the Yankees games during set break. Hanging out with thousands of phans on Halloween, screaming at the HUGE screen TV, laughing, cheering, etc….STILL gives me perma grin. What a GREAT idea it was, but then I guess there would have been riots if they hadn’t been clever about showing the games.

Again…grown up Phish…getting to see the band and watch the game.

Clever they were….so clever that hundreds of us waited on line Sunday morning for our “8” donuts. We all took advantage of everything Phish had to offer. Not only was the site small enough to walk around the perimeters easily, but also all extracurricular activities were super fun!

This column doesn’t focus too much on the music. I hope that’s ok with all of you. The band played GREAT. My goal is to describe to you JUST how grown up Festival 8 was. There was no real sketchiness in the crowd, barely any trash, it was so kid-friendly….I could go on and on. As I dug deeper into the psyches of my phriends and others around me, we all were collectively in agreement that this was the way to see Phish.

Now, the event wasn’t crowded. We have alllll been to their festivals where 60,000+ phans pushed their way through the east coast styled event….it was always a slight struggle at some point. There was ZERO stress in California, and since only about 30,000 people showed up, an even greater freedom was felt amongst the crowd.

Although Phish would have probably liked more ticket sales, we didn’t. We kept saying this was OUR festival. It was like we all won the lottery and this was our grand prize: A Perfect Phish Event. It was a grownup event, filled with older phans who had trudged through the mud for so many years. We deserved it…the band deserved it. I can’t tell you ENOUGH how wonderful it was. Everyone, and I mean EVERYONE there said the same thing.

And how EXCITING it was to be back at a Phish Halloween show! It had been years since the band pulled one off. They set the bar high with Exile on Main Street and completely nailed it. But the best part of that set was Sharon Jones: a kick-you-in-the- ass funk musician who is the spitting image of a female James Brown. She lit up the stage with her soulful voice and fit in perfectly with the band.

Later that night, Sharon and I spent time together. “Annabel,” she gasped, as she looked deep into my eyes, “What IS this? Where did THIS come from? Oh the band and the fans just made me smile so big and I couldn’t help but sing better. I haven’t felt this good after playing with someone almost ever.”

“Sharon, this is Phish and you are now home. This is the real deal.”

She got it immediately. We are a strong force of nature, band and phans alike.

Adult Phish – Grownup Phish – Phish 3.0 at it’s best….whatever you choose to call it, call it a home run.

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