, attached to 1998-08-09

Review by toddmanout

toddmanout On August 9th, 1998 I had a very rude awakening. After the previous night’s show my friend and I drove pretty late into the night towards a state park that we had found on the road atlas. It was well off the highway up a dark, lonely road and when we got there we found the place locked up tight. Hotel money was pretty much out of the question so with few options in front of us we pulled the car in front of the park gate and hunkered down for the night.

I think it was still dark when the cops arrived.

They knocked on the window and asked us a bunch of questions, then they told us both to stand in the dew-soaked field across the dirt road a hundred feet away from each other. We watched the cops search the vehicle and tried to look nonchalant, stealing occasional mute glances at one another. The back seat of the car was packed to the roof and it took them some time to go through things. Unsatisfied, they brought in a dog who went around and through the car and found nothing aside from our cherished bag of PC Decadent cookies, which the beast devoured without mercy. Curiously, thoughout the whole ordeal they never opened the trunk. Phew!

The cops brought us back to the car, apologized about the cookies and told us we were free to go. They didn’t have to tell us twice. As we pulled away from the cops there was a loud, clanging crash. My heart stopped as I slammed on the brakes. We quickly realized that the cops had left our metal camping plates on the roof of the car and the sound we heard was the dishes falling onto the trunk. My buddy immediately jumped out of the passenger seat to pick them up as the cops gave us an apologetic shrug. Such was our rush to get away from the whole scene that when he leapt out of the car my friend cut the top of his foot quite badly on a metal bracket that once held a stereo EQ under the dash.

At this point we weren’t stopping for nothin’, so he bled while I drove. We found a variety store and I ran in for napkins and coffees and the like and we sat in the parking lot in the stark morning light, my friend applying pressure to his gaping wound while I sipped coffees and searched the car for Band-Aids.

We eventually drove to the Phish show at Virginia Beach and found the concert medical tent, where I learned how to apply a butterfly bandage. Though my friend could have certainly used four or five stitches this would do the trick, so back out to the lot we went.

Which was a nightmare. The venue was very, very interested in shutting down any vending and all fun in the lot and they were using a legion of local officers to crack the whip. Mounted police patrolled the scene constantly. What a day I was having…dog cops, horse cops, cop cops. I literally had to cook my own grilled cheese sandwiches on the sly, for fear the police would confiscate my Coleman stove out of concern that I might be selling sandwiches.

Inside the show we found ourselves on the lawn. Rumours were circulating that this was to be the band’s 2,000th show (or was it 1,000th?), which, mixed with the universal knowledge that this was the third anniversary of Jerry Garcia’s death created much pre-show and setbreak speculation.

The band started with Punch You In The Eye, and punch me they did, serving up Bathtub Gin, Lizards, David Bowie, Sparkle, and a pretty Over The Rainbow by Trey to lead off You Enjoy Myself. What a nice pile of songs for a guy like me.

By the end of the second set my friend was finished. An evening standing on the grass while his body frantically tried to manufacture more blood had done him in. He headed for the car.

Which was a real shame, for it was time for all the hubbub to come to fruition. As Phish began their encore with the first notes of Terrapin Station a wash of joy blanketed the crowd. The band did a great job weaving their way through one of the Grateful Dead’s finest suites. I can hear the whole crowd now, crying as one: “Inspiration…”

After the show my friend assured me that he’d heard everything just fine from the parking lot. With no post-show lot scene to enjoy we started ‘er up and became part of the outro traffic jam. I have no recollection of where we slept that night; I suspect we set up the tent in a private campground somewhere. We certainly didn’t stay in a hotel, I’m sure of that.



Phish.net is a non-commercial project run by Phish fans and for Phish fans under the auspices of the all-volunteer, non-profit Mockingbird Foundation.

This project serves to compile, preserve, and protect encyclopedic information about Phish and their music.

Credits | Terms Of Use | Legal | DMCA

© 1990-2024  The Mockingbird Foundation, Inc. | Hosted by Linode