Well, day two of my New Years Run '14 voyage has begun, and, naturally, the most notable thing about day one was that I did *not* see Phish perform. So what *did* happen yesterday December 30th, other than the year 2014 being mercifully brought one day closer to finally expiring? All kindsa insignificant, uninteresting stuff. Let's talk about it!
First off, I need to make note of the most unusual thing about this run, namely that I will be seeing all four of these shows with *neither* Salvador, nor Bricer, nor Beafvy, nor Rumpo, nor Salsa in the building. "No big deal," you may opine, but you'd be wrong. In fact, if you add two more fellas to that group (the original guy who got me into Phish many years ago and a dude I'm unlikely to ever speak to again), 133 of the 143 total Phish shows I've attended have been in the company of one or more of those guys. To me, that's fucking crazy.
Granted, I have options on this run, some more promising than others, and yes, hopefully I wind up befriending a bunch of good ol' fashioned single-servers on this run, but it just ain't gonna be anywhere near as fun without those cats around any way ya slice it. *pours out last two inches of forty-ounce on floor*
Anyway, on to the actual trip. For reasons too boring to print here, I didn't get to sleep until 2 AM Monday night, slept badly, and was up for good at 6 AM for my 10:30 takeoff. Yup. The flight down sucked. A tiny, shrill monster spent the last hour and a half of the trip screaming out multipliction tables (*incorrect* multiplication tables, I might add, ARRRRRGGGGHHHH!!!!) and kicking the back of my seat; an old Hemingway-looking dude held me captive by jamming his ass mere centimeters from my face for an unbelievably long amount of time while he wrestled with his luggage; the cute, weird British chick sitting next to me had less than zero interest in conversation; a stewardess slammed me in the head with one of her hambone-sized elbows. (To her credit, she apologized twice and seemed genuinely remorseful.)
I flew into Sarasota, which, as you may or may not be aware, is nowhwere fucking near Miami. Long story short, flying into Sarasota a day early (and out a day late) cut my airfare in half, sliced my daily rental car rate by nearly 2/3, and, perhaps most importantly, elongated my trip by the aformenentioned two days. Not too shabby, and as long as I don't tumble into a crippling spiral of loneliness over the next week everything should work out all hunky dory-like.
As I expected, Sarasota is bursting at the seams with pickup trucks and men wearing jean shorts and ammo stores (and lazy profanity), but I was pleased to discover that there are several well regarded pho spots within the city limits. By process of elimination (the two highest rated ones were closed, goddamn it) I wound up at Miss Saigon for a late lunch, and let me tell ya they serve up a damn fine bowl of pho. (The sausage spring rolls are great too, and the shrimp summer roll is good if a bit too heavy on the lettuce).
After a few more insignificant errands and minor logistical screwups on my part, I hit the road towards Okeechobee around rush hour, where I'd be spending the night at a cheap hotel. The drive was almost entirely on a two lane road through farmland, featuring thousands of cows and little else of note. After arriving in Okeechobee, I had a hankering for something light for dinner, and nearly soiled myself with schaden-joy when the top result in my Yelp search for "salad" yielded - wait for it - KFC. Bwahaahhahhahhhaha. No thx, pls, k bai. Instead I settled on a blackened mahi mahi taco and a lobster taco from The Tin Fish. Pretty good!
OK. So, I didn't see any Phish today. But what are the top 5 things I'd like to see over the next four days? Let's have at that.
1.) "Harpua." I've still never seen a full "Harpua." Yes, I got the song's "Jimmy?" "Yes, dad" section day one at The Went in 1997 (my second show ever!), but as that version was meant to complete the awkwardly truncated version from a year prior at Clifford Ball, I still have never seen an "oom pa pa..." / etc. live.
2.) A jammed "Mike's Groove". This one has been at the top of everyone's wish list since the dawn of the 3.0 era, but it still hasn't happened. Last month, I saw Phish tribute band The Lawn Boys totally nail a mind-bending 30+ minute version of "Mike's" at Fontanas, including the elusive "second Mike's jam" and an incredibly well executed Digital Delay Loop section reminiscent of the legendary 12/31/95 MSG version. Make it happen, Phish!
3.) Ditto a jammed "Bowie." I made the stupendously idiotic comment that "I'm kinda over 'Bowie'" after Dick's2 this past summer (seriously me, STFU. I'll never live that one down, nor do I deserve to), but "Bowie" needs to be taken out for a real spin into some true weirdness.
4.) Reappearances of material from the Haunted House set on Halloween in Vegas. Trey has said this is, in fact, going to happen during this run (YEEEEEEAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!).
5.) "Guyute." No reason in particular. I just love "Guyute."
OK, time to get this show on the road towards Miami. I leave you with arguably the most heartbreakingly poignant song ever written about the lovely city of Miami, composed by no less than a true musical visionary, one of the defining songwriters of my youth. Namaste, and God bless.
(read the third paragraph here for an explanation, unless you're so overcome by emotion from the above musical tour de force that you risk shorting out your computer keyboard with your own tears.)