Returning again

10 years ago today, Phish announced their return as a band.

I remember feeling sort of mystified by it. I got into them right around Coventry, thinking I’d just missed grazing the aura of something that I’d never fully understand. A great cultural force was lumbering into history, and here I was, geeked-out at 16 and left holding a second-hand copy of A Picture of Nectar, knowing doubtlessly that there was something more to all of this. Older friends assured me that “they’ll be back,” though it was hard to know what that even meant.

It’s not hyperbole to say that this announcement — and what followed — is a cosmic turning point in my life. Phish is an axis, and broad swaths of my universe have spiraled out from their music, their shows, their community.

My god, it’s been 10 years. An entire decade, a moment, spinning backward forever! I’ve gone to almost absurd lengths to see this band in that time, never regretting a second of the pure, bracing joy and wishing only that I’d pushed the car even further and made it to the next show. …It all feels apart, in a way, from the rest of reality, like a psilocybin trip: completely fragmented across time (and timelessness) and rebuilt continually into new and curious shapes inside my mind. Christ, the hours and long nights I’ve spent obsessing over this band. Was it me I was writing about all along? Everything bleeds into itself; there is no logic to any of this; the way out is in. My buddy Colin and I showed up one night at Jones Beach, and — KABOOM! — like a rocket to Mars, the music never stopped. What incredible speed!

Fall tour beckons. Need to put Curveball in the past. You’ve got to lean into the turns, now; hold on…..

Your trip is short!

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