Tour Tales

NYE in NYC: A Tasty Helping Of Phish & Biscuits

NYE in NYC: A Tasty Helping Of Phish & Biscuits

At 5 a.m. my alarm screamed, reminding me that it was December 28, the day I would finally be making the journey to NYC to see two of my all-time favorite bands, Phish and the Disco Biscuits, with my big brothers and some of my best friends in the world. As if years of excitement and anticipation weren’t enough to fuel the fire, my connecting flight from Chicago to New York was jam-packed (pun intended) with Phish Phans and Bisco Kidz. In phact, when we finally landed in NYC, the plane erupted with cheers of excitement.

At 5 a.m. my alarm screamed, reminding me that it was December 28, the day I would finally be making the journey to NYC to see two of my all-time favorite bands, Phish and the Disco Biscuits, with my big brothers and some of my best friends in the world. As if years of excitement and anticipation weren’t enough to fuel the fire, my connecting flight from Chicago to New York was jam-packed (pun intended) with Phish Phans and Bisco Kidz. In phact, when we finally landed in NYC, the plane erupted with cheers of excitement.

Night one of Phish was about as surreal as it gets. I wound up scoring a ticket for phace about an hour before the show, and happily canceled my couch tour plans.  The phirst show was musically solid, opening the run with a very bouncy version of “The Wedge.” The fist set was relatively contained, but extremely tight. Mike Gordon sounded especially on-point from the beginning. Set two opened with a standard “Sand” jam, into a blissful “Piper.” “Steam” was phantastically phurious and by phar the peak of the show, but to be totally honest, night one was about way more than just the music, it was about being there and bonding with my phamily.

As the phirst of phour shows concluded, I, along with my oldest brother, Seth, and sister-in-law, Reena, ventured over to the Best Buy Theatre for what would be my first-ever Disco Biscuit show. They have been friends with the band for a while now, and as a result, I got hooked on the music long before seeing the Biscuits live. Anyone who knows me understands just how special of a place this band has in my heart.

As the house lights dimmed and the opening notes of “Caterpillar” serenated the room, Seth smiled and put his hand on my shoulder and I had this moment of you made it, we are here! I realized just how important this whole run was. I looked over at him and it dawned on me I was literally living a dream; I was with some of the people I love most in the world, bonding over something that we share a passion for, celebrating my transition into the next chapter of adulthood. Being hugged and welcomed by all of Seth and Reena’s friends really made me realize just how proud I am to be “the Littlest Scoobs.”

As far as the music goes, December 28 absolutely blew my socks off. “Little Betty Boop” and “The Great Abyss” have always been two of my favorite songs, and seeing them performed in the first set was certainly a treat. That said, the second set is really when the band caught fire. In the thick of it all, “Spaga” into “Flows” back into
“Spaga” into “Flows” back into “Spaga” and once more to “Flows” to end with “Spaga” was some of the most intense and gripping energy I have ever experienced in a live setting. The transitions were perfectly timed, and the scorching peaks singed the hairs right off my face, and left me sweaty, parched, and hungry for more. After such a high-energy set, “Run Like Hell” was a supreme encore, and a fantastic end to a monumental night.

The next day, December 29, was the only night I wasn’t able to make it to Phish, although I did have a great time on couch tour. But, my heart was back with Bisco, where I eagerly hustled a few blocks to the Best Buy Theatre for my second serving. My favorite sequence from the first set had to be “Pygmy Twylyte” into “Astronaut” into “Dance of the Sugar Plum Faries” (with Magner on the miniature piano) back into “Astronaut.” Smiles flooded the venue throughout the melodic madness, and it was clear just how much fun everyone was having. Set 2 began with a very well-placed “Safety Dance” that morphed into “Basis for a Day,” which included some especially transcending reverberations during the jam sequences. The highlight portion of the night consisted of a mind-bending inverted “Above the Waves” that twisted into a vicious “Cyclone” and ultimately unleashed a monstrous “Munchkin Invasion.”

As night three rolled around, it was back to the Garden we went for more Phish . Since the band seemed to have really pulled the big guns out the night before, there was a ton of excitement surrounding the show on December 30. Trey’s guitar screamed as the opening licks of “Kill Devil Falls” filled the air. The band sounded very tight and together, and the vibes were very positive from the get-go. Next was “Bathtub Gin,” which helped set the tone before the true animal was released in “Wombat.” After making its debut on Halloween, this was the phirst time the beast really came out of its cage with some exploratory type-two jamming. The rest of the set was solid, but nothing particularly spectacular. The band seemed in sync, but the magic just didn’t seem all there. The second set was a lot of phun and included a very interesting “Mike’s Groove” with surprising “Ghost” making an appearance just before “Weekapaug.” As the reggaesque opening to “Harry Hood” began, the crowd erupted. Though not my favorite long anthem, “Hood” was delivered extremely well, and there was no denying the immense energy in the air during the call-and-response sequences. Night three certainly brought some unique high-notes and interesting surprises, such as the “’Ghost’ in the ‘Groove,’” but definitely left a lot of room for New Year’s. Though the band sounded tight and together, there was still a distinct pheeling that they were saving a lot for the phinal night…

As New Year’s Eve rolled around, I could hardly contain myself. Though, the ride was almost over, I was having the time of my life. I had dreamt of doing a New Year’s run with my brothers for as long as I could remember and phinally reaching that experience left me, at points, teary-eyed and speechless. My stay was made all the more special by linking up with a group of old phriends with whom I used to go to summer camp. The accumulation of phriends, old and new, and phamily all congregating together was beyond anything I can describe. As we all sat there before the show, talking about what songs we wanted to hear while we reminisced over childhood summer camp stories, it seemed like the ultimate phull-circle experience, and I could not have been happier about it.

Being on the floor of MSG for my phavorite band on one of the biggest nights of their career (Phish’s 30th Anniversary) was about as good as it gets. This was the only night that I really went off on my own because my brothers did not have floor tickets. Walking around, I realized how thankful I really was for my phriends and phamily, as they taught me everything that led up to that night. Thanks to a little ‘Scoobs Sibling Guidance’, I had learned how to be a pro and not just another face in the crowd.

Set one began with “AC/DC Bag,” which my brother Ben happened to call before the show when we were discussing possible openers. Phrom the opening notes, it became clear that there was a very different energy in the air that night. The highlight of the first set took the form of “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” into “Wilson” into “Divided Sky,” and it was absolutely magical. As the phirst set ended, the band thanked the crowd and gave cake to the people in the phront row. The set break pheatured a hilarious truck-themed video to “2001,” which ended with a truck driving right out on to the floor.

The Truck set was simply awesome. Being in the front row, staring directly into the eyes of my phavorite musicians is something that stills gives me goose bumps to think about. The band recreated the setup from their phirst gig, right down to the hockey stick mic stands, and it looked great. I had been talking about wanting hear “Colonel Forbin’s” into “Mockingbird,” so when the opening riff jumped out of Trey’s amp, I phelt engrossed in euphoria and became teary-eyed. Other highlights from the historic set included a nasty “Fuck Your Face,” an incredibly passionate “Icculus,” and concluded with a great rendition of “The Lizards” into “Split Open and Melt” to end the voyage to Gamehendge. The third and phinal set definitely pheatured some gems, including an absolutely Earth-splitting “Fuego,” after the countdown. I had guessed that would be the first song of the New Year, so when it was, I pretty much just lost my shit (in the best way). As always “Light” acted as a blissful jam vessel leading to some very interesting type-two jamming. It should also be noted that the band did not play one cover during the entire run. As the show ended, tears of joy ran down my cheeks as I lovingly hugged my brothers and sister-in-law and thanked them for everything. For Ben, the night was winding down, but the rest of us still had two more sets of the Bisco late night madness downstairs in the Theatre.

As I met up with Seth and Reena in the Theatre, I was bombarded with hugs and hellos from friends in all directions. Though we missed the first set because of Phish, the second was certainly hot. The musical highlight was a wondrous “House Dog Party Favor” and “Hot Air Balloon” sandwich. However, what really made that set special was getting to go backstage only to be welcomed by the whole Bisco family. Being able to watch everything from behind the scenes has always been my favorite point of view, so I felt right home.

As the final set of the run kicked off, it started to sink in that my journey was nearing its end and I realized how thankful I was to have had such an amazing experience. However, just as I began to think that the peaks had passed, The Biscuits busted out an incredible final set! Highlights included a raging “Chemical Warfare Brigade,” and a spine-tingling “Strobelights and Martinis” into “Spraypaint,” a high-flying “Helicopters,” and the set closing “MEMPHIS” into “Hot Air Balloon,” back into “Chemical Warfare Brigade.” The true cherry on top of it though, was the fitting “Hope” encore that left everything out on the stage and wrapped up and absolutely spectacular run. The musical escapade was truly everything I’d hoped for and more, thanks to two incredible bands and their welcoming phan phamalies. What a spectacular way to end the year and segue into 2014. Until next NYE, NYC…

victor

February 10th, 2014

No comments

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *