Phish is going back to their stomping grounds for ten shows, starting tonight in Hartford. After playing their most “radio friendly” show in as long as I can remember two nights ago in Virginia, I have a feeling that tonight and tomorrow are going to be blowouts. Hartford, remembered for it’s stand out show last year (Forbin’s>Mockingbird, Disease>Wilson>Slave, Ghost->Psycho Killer->Catapult->Icculus>YEM), is going to be a two night stand rather than one like last year.
Phish, obviously a band from New England, seems to play to the north east’s far more receptive fans better than other places in the country, usually. Depending on the geographic location of a Phish concert, it’s usually pretty clear the difference in the majority of the fans attending. The west coast has a lot more “hippies” than the north east–aside from the higher concentration of fans in the north east, Phish enjoys playing there because the fans are not as much the dress wearing, patchouli smelling, dread-locked fans–Phish really can’t relate to them. The fact of the matter is that the “hippies” are far less receptive than the normal, suburban, north eastern college boys. While the hippies are there for the scene, the vibe, the drugs, the lights and the “music”, the north eastern crowd (and to an extent even the mid-western crowd) has a higher concentration of fans that follow Phish stats and spend time building their catalog of Phish tapes (well, downloads/cds). Phish knows all of this because the increased audible crowd response to things Phish does on stage is usually apparent.
The first three shows of the tour so far showed that Phish has the communication back and the willingness to jam–after playing one show (with no jams) in three days since, they must be itching to get back into their 2010 jam swagger.
Also, most of the shows are still not sold out in the north east–a true hit to Phish’s (Trey’s) ego. There is no way they are going to head into their home turf and not try to turn heads. There will be more than a few stand out shows in the next ten, and I would put money on one being tonight.
DOWNLOADS TO GET YOU PUMP’T:
Friday, 08/14/2009 The Comcast Theatre, Hartford, CT