, attached to 2015-01-02

Review by toddmanout

toddmanout January 2nd, 2015 was the penultimate night of Phish’s New Years run in Miami, Florida. This was my first time spending NYE (et al) in a warmer clime and I loved it. It was so great to arrive at the show unencumbered by winter coats, mitts, toques, toboggans or snowshoes, and especially nice to walk out of said show feeling no temperature change whatsoever travelling from one side of the venue doors to the other.

My hotel was really close by – just a short stroll along the waterfront to and from the concerts – and with a thirty-storey dancing neon woman projected on one full side of the skyscraping inn it made for a somewhat hip and very identifiable addition to the city’s skyline. Suffice to say it took almost no effort at all to make it to the arena in time to scrounge for free tickets every night* and still have plenty of time to duck into the lot for a pre-show beer or two.

And all of it in t-shirt and shorts! Ah, it was so glorious. Not to mention the plentiful tickets. Hanging outside the venue before the show I scored one ticket for free and when I offered $20 for another one the guy selling it was ecstatic with my offer.

Getting up from our seats at the end of the show (which was pretty great) m’lady and I and our friend were joined by a talkative couple that had been sitting near us. I assumed they were friends of our friend but it turned out they weren’t; they were strangers.

Which was great! Nothing like a post-Phish show cool down lot stroll to turn strangers into friends!

As we were walking out of the venue the couple was relating a story from the previous night, when the people they were hanging out with “took off” on them. “Like, you turned around and they had ditched you?” I asked.

“Yeah,” the girl said, “can you believe it?” I couldn’t. That’s like grade-school stuff. “Why would anyone do that?” she pondered aloud.

“Maybe you guys are just really annoying,” I almost said as a joke, but didn’t.

But you know what? By the time the five of us had crossed the street to the parking lot I was already suspecting that I had unspoken a prophecy. Once we had cruised half the stalls in the small Shakedown it was confirmed: we were in the company of the most annoying couple on tour. They were simply unbearable.

Reaching the end of the lot the three of us turned to head back down another aisle. “Hey you guys,” one of them said, “Our car is just a few blocks over there and we have a cooler full of beers.

“Let’s go hang out at our car and we can have free, cold beers!”

The three of us looked at each other, simultaneously shaking our heads. “No thanks,” I spoke up. “I think we’ll just stick with the lot party.”

“But don’t you want a cold beer?” they implored.

I looked down at the cold two-for-five beer in my hand and gestured towards the lot behind me. “The lot is full of cold beers,” I said incredulously.

“But how about the ladies?” the girls said to me creepily (gosh, I remember it syllable-for-syllable). “The ladies want to come to the car…”

“No,” I said, looking to them for confirmation, “I don’t think they do.

“I’ll tell you what,” I said flatly. “Why don’t you two go and grab yourselves some beers from your trunk and we’ll meet you right back here.”

“No you won’t,” she said, obviously hurt.

“You’ll take off on us.”

And that’s when it dawned on me that this happens to them all the time. And they clearly don’t know the way out of it. How sad.

They did indeed leave to get themselves beers and we did indeed stick around that area of the lot (for a while at least), but we never did see them again.

And whenever I think of that couple I can only imagine the trail of stories identical to this one that they leave behind them wherever they go. It’s quite a legacy, I suppose.

*Or almost free. M’lady and I paid a total of $100 for tickets over the course of the whole run – an average of $12.50 each – and most of them were in the 100 levels.



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