I've started to get that feeling again. You know, that feeling of anticipation that comes when a Phish show is looming on the horizon just a few weeks or days out. I've seen Phish 54 times over the last 22 years and it's always been like this. The excitement builds until it's showtime and the band comes on stage for that first set.
The upcoming shows in Chicago at Wrigley Field later this month will be numbers 55 and 56 for me. Chicago is definitely a city I would like to visit but never had the impetus to do so until now. This should be especially cool because it's a destination event. I'm not really expecting Phish at a major league baseball stadium to be all that mind blowing in and of itself. The setup certainly won't be as conducive to a concert experience as a theater or outdoor music venue. But it's more than that.
For one thing it's at Wrigley Field in Chicago. That is exciting, unique and historic. It's also a downtown setting meaning that you can walk from your accommodations to the concert while bar hopping along the way. In my case, nobody has to worry about driving or working on the days of the concerts. You're basically on holiday in a new city where the only thing for sure happening for two evenings in a row is Phish is playing. We'll probably also go to breweries, Irish pubs, some jazz clubs, a few dive bars and ethnic restaurants. Maybe an art gallery. Who knows?
In a lot of ways this is like the perfect way to see Phish at this point in my life (short of the unbelievably awesome Riviera Maya trip earlier this year). It inspires me to get a quick glimpse of a classic American city I haven't really been to yet. This isn't a camping/festival situation, so you get to sleep as late as you want in a comfortable bed, if you are lucky enough to do so, with easy access to bathroom/showers. Plus there are oodles of bars, restaurants, museums and other sights to check out. In other words, "culture". It won't be like Hampton Coliseum for example where, although the venue and music is almost guaranteed good, the environs are bland suburbia.
Basically you get to be a tourist and see Phish at the same time. I can see myself doing more of this in the future -- integrating travel and Phish. One thing I'm wondering is how much will a beer at Wrigley Field cost?