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Published: 2009/02/22
by Patrick Sauers

A Fan’s Take Too: ‘Locked Out’

Locked out. This is a phrase that I have been in the debt of several times in my life. I have been habitually locked out of my house on several, infuriating occasions in the past decade. I have unloaded hundreds of dollars on locksmiths to break into my car and retrieve my keys from the dashboard to the ignition. On one occasion, I befriended a locksmith when he had to pay me a visit three times in one week. I am very familiar with the term but only recently have I been associating it with music, more specifically concerts. In all fairness, only one band has brought this new lingo into my life.
Phish took my young, tasteless sense of music that had been dominated by MTV and pop radio and sent it on a path that would become the mold my life would be forever transfixed upon. For the past, eleven years, I give thanks to Phishs A Live One for falling into my hands. I was in awe of what had been missing in my life. What else was MTV not letting me in on? I cant imagine what would be in my music library. Would I be listening to The Disco Biscuits as I am writing this piece? For that matter would I even be writing this piece?
I went to great lengths to see Phish and I will never forget the first time I got my tickets in the mail. I still remember having butterflies in my stomach when my brother and I stole my dads truck to go to the show. I didnt even give a second thought to the fact that my mother said she was going to call the police on us if we didnt return home immediately. Did I care that my debit card was shredded by a malfunctioning ATM machine? No. It didnt matter that I had to choose between eating or gas money for the return trip because as soon as I heard the opening notes to of You Enjoy Myself echoing in my ear canal, I realized I was in heaven.
Times have changed. With Phishs second hiatus coming to an end in March at the beautiful Hampton Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia, tickets are impossible to come across. While The Mothership is a marvelous venue for the return, it is incredibly small for a band with the allegiance of fans that worship their craft. As news spread though the Phish nation about the three-show runs instructions for mail order tickets, I realized how many fans the band had acquired over the past four years of their absence. However, I still had hope that I would be one of the few who would open their confirmation email with euphoria sweeping away shadows of doubt. Unfortunately, I was among the massive number of defeated fans. My eyes began to water, and then a single tear rolled down my face when the thought of Ticketmaster entered my derailed mind.
Ticketmaster only proved more so that I would be locked out of the return to The Mothership. I was now left in the dark, to secretly pray and hope there would be a tour to follow. Should I even try to lift the part of my life that had been shattered? I tried to put it within the darkest realms of my mind. I hoped to never think of it again but it was boiled back to the surface with the bands announcement of a summer tour.
Oh, God! Do I have anything hope left to send to the slim chance of mail order? What kind of fan would I be if I didnt? We arent talking about Widespread Panic, Umphreys McGee or even Perpetual Groove, with whom I have a slight obsession. Its Phish. They’re the band that opened up an entire bag of tricks that had never been seen in the world of music. They opened our eyes to endless tours, massive festivals and groundbreaking, raw musical talent. I had to do it. The way I looked at it I didnt really have a choice.
So I waited. I waited with everyone else who sent for tickets. I didnt want to get my hopes up but they were soaring. However, a depression unlike any other has washed over me. Once again I have been locked out.
Locked out. My favorite band. A band where certain sections of songs actually bring tears to my eyes and smiles that last for minutes after has left me in shambles. I wait patiently and maybe I will come across a little piece of hope that will light the way for me. I know every phan out there is wishing on the same star that blazes in the sky.

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