Today is what we all have been waiting for; it’s the beginning of Phish’s summer tour.  We have waited five long months for this.  We have spent hours speculating, reviewing, reading, and wondering about all things Phish.  But, alas, our withdrawal itch will finally be scratched tonight.

Fenway - 2009 Tour Opener (D. Vann)

One of the more promising things that happened in the off-season is Mike’s continued role as band leader in his side-band.  Like he has been in 2009 and 2010, we should expect Mike to continue stepping up during Phish jams.  However, that’s all the speculating I’m going to do in this article.  No more speculating, just excitement here.

Online Phish Tour, especially my (OPT) articles, is known for getting phan backlash for some of the things posted here.  Sometimes we (I) come off as too critical or too nit-picky–people wonder if I actually enjoy myself anymore.  The answer is: fuck yeah.

While I speculate and critically review from my desk, I lose my mind at concerts.  No matter the song, no matter the jam, I dance (like no one’s watching).  Phish concerts are all about the very moment; it’s not about how it’s gonna hold up on tape, it’s not about if Trey is flubbing, it’s all about taking in everything around you and forgetting about the real world for three (or more) hours.  To get a good handle of what type of phan I am, read my article from last summer before Telluride: Enjoying Phish in Two Ways (formatting is messed up from switch to new site – no paragraph breaks)

Blossom Lawn 2010 (P. Brotherhood)

The feeling of the band walking on stage on a sticky summer night is what I live for.  The house lights dropping down, leaving Kuroda’s purple lights draped upon the stage to start the second set never fails to send shivers down my spine.  It’s about dancing until my shirt is sopping wet with sweat being my favorite form of exercise.  It’s about getting a bust out and high-fiving your friend.  It’s about throwing your hands up and your head down as you dance to 2001.  It’s about screaming “Wiiilsooon” when Kuroda has white lights in your face.  It’s about jumping as high as you can when Trey comes to a peak.

Right now, real life tasks matter very little to me.  I’m zoning off at work, and I’m spending nearly all of my computer time looking at,, and YemBlog.  All my hotels are reserved, tickets lined up, and driving plans locked up.  All that’s left is for me to enjoy myself.  Because, as you know, it’s not just about the time that you’re seeing Phish, it’s also about everything surrounding it.

Waking up early to get in the car with your best friends is a feeling of pure excitement–you get on the road, laugh about things you pass, enjoy crummy travel food, and see more and more phans filter onto the freeway as you approach the venue.  I love checking into a hotel packed with other phans as excited as I am.  I love preparing to go to the lot.  I love stumbling through the lot back to the car after the show, hearing impromptu explosions of cheering.  And I love going to get food at some restaurant I’ve never been to late at night with friends.

This summer tour is featuring some of the best venues; Phish is treating us well this year.  I hope you all have as much fun as I’m going to have.

From the bottom of my heart, I wish you and your friends safe travels, safe concerts, good jams, good setlists, good lots, and the best time of your fucking life.

I’ll see you guys back in real life at the end of the tour, unless I run into you on lot of course.