Phish as a Sensory Experience
When I try to think of a sensory experience, one that comes to mind is a Phish show that I went to about two summers ago with two friends. That summer of 1997 was something else indeed. I can remember when I went to the beach in North Carolina with my two best friends, Pat and Erik. We had a great time going to the beach during the day. I can recall, very painfully, how the sand would burn our feet on the days that were especially scorching. At nights we would go down to the bonfires on the beach and meet up with other kids. We definitely met some characters. We were hanging out a lot with some surfer kids from Florida that were our age. I remember one guy in particular named Kelly who was a very stereotypical surfer. He had long hair and simply looked the part. I found myself laughing at his expense on more than one occasion. He would say something along the lines of, "Yo bra, can you toss me another brewskie?" At his words, Pat, Erik, and I would laugh hysterically.
We were just having a good time at the beach and as if that wasn't enough, we had a big Phish concert coming up later in the week up at Virginia Beach. As excited as we were, we continued having a good time at an easy pace. We passed the time by lounging on the beach, meeting people and playing hackey sac out in the streets. Erik's girlfriend would join us on occasion because she was staying only about ten minutes away from us. Life was good, and soon it got better.
The day finally came for the concert and we were all so excited. We loaded up the car and headed off, running late as usual. Erik was driving, his girlfriend was in the passenger seat, and Pat and I were in the back. It was a good two hour trip so we just relaxed and enjoyed the ride. Suddenly it began to storm. The lightning looked as if it were almost alive. It looked like extraordinarily graceful, dancing stick figures lighting up an otherwise gloomy sky. Pink Floyd tunes filled the car and no one spoke. The silence was golden and nothing needed to be said. When we got to the Amphitheater in Virginia Beach, the sky had cleared and the sun was shining crisply through the scattered gray clouds.
We approached the venue with our tickets and I distinctly remember having butterflies of anticipation in my stomach. I could already hear the music faintly. They were playing Tweezer and I thought to myself, "Damn! I wish I got here earlier." As we entered, I was dumbstruck by the diversity of people. The ages probably ranged from twelve to about eighty. As I surveyed the lawn seats, it...