Blossom is located near Akron, Ohio, somewhat close to Cleveland, Ohio. It is an historic venue with lots of foliage and fantastic sound from everywhere in the venue. The walls around the stage are wooden panels and the staff is very professional. I got there early and chatted up some new friends and some I hadn’t seen in awhile. Then I took the long walk to the gate not knowing what time they would let us in. I got a pit ticket on Ebay a few months ago for a good price and this was my first time seeing Phish that close to the stage. When we got to the gate they had the pit ticket holders walk single file down to the pit after being wristbanded and checked out (I think it is a safety precaution for the band so no one gets hurt).
Phish kicked off the first set with “A song I heard the Ocean Sing,” a great starter for a super first set. I wore my Rubix Wheel T-Shirt hoping the webcast cameras would catch a glimpse of it. Yeah I know, shameless promotion, but whatever. They didn’t. I had my dad watch it from his house, but he said he didn’t see me. When “Wilson” came on, the crowd was roaring from the lawn to the pit where I was. Now I know what the band hears when they start that song. Unbridled energy and enthusiasm. The camera man pointed to the kids to my right in the pit, and they screamed “Wilson.” Trey and the boys played it spot on and “Timber Ho” was next. That song is one of my favorites and is rarely played. We were lucky to get it last night.
Before “Roses are Free,” a Ween cover, Trey asked that the guys from Ween get back together (Geen and Deen). They played an awesome “Roses” and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Page looked at me when he sang “Get in your car and cruise the land of the Brave and Free.” I was only like 10 feet away from him so I felt special. “Wingsuit” was nice and slow and let the band relax a little bit. I really dig that song because I think of a Wingsuit as Languedoc(Trey’s Guitar), of which I happen to have a copy. It speaks to me that I should put on my blonde Languedoc and fly around in my van with my band.
“It’s ice” is my favorite Phish song and I really enjoyed hearing it from so close to the stage. The song has so many notes, is so complicated, with confusingly clever lyrics, and a riff or two that I know how to play, as well. As a musician, “It’s ice” is almost like a symphony with it’s many sections and its complex flavor. It is also a reminder of what touring musicians go through in the Winter.
“Chalk Dust Torture” started off the second set to a very appreciative crowd. “The Lizards” was my next favorite and was spot on. Such a great song to people and a lesson to be helping and friendly in your day to day life. “Makisupa Policeman” was next and I hadn’t been to a show where they played that since the ’90s. I felt lifted as Trey sang that one. “Ghost” was great, another song about secret friends you don’t tell your friends about. “Good Times Bad Times,” a Zeppelin cover, was the encore, and they couldn’t have picked a better tune to close out a fantastic night with.
Overall, the night was very good vibes all around, and everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves. Blossom is a great venue to see a Phish show, and the weather was amazingly good. I enjoyed checking out some of the foxy ladies and mingling around, but all great things must come to an end. So I drove the 2 1/2 hour drive home trying to wrap my head around what I had just witnessed. A hot show for the tour, or a hot show on a hot tour? One thing I did notice was a lot of Dead 50 shirts roaming around. Could it be that some of the Dead Heads have begun to embrace Trey and his band, or was I just making assumptions? Anyways, if you want good vibes and friendly folks, Phish shows are a great place to go!