Video Bar


Thursday, July 24

Review and Photos: Phish - FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island - Chicago, IL - July 18th, 2014

"555" ---> "Character Zero" 

How does one sum up in words the unspeakable, the stuff that truly can leave you speechless? This time spent with my favorite band with best friends and making new friends in arguably the “2nd city”. 
It would be a hard task to do and even though I couldn't put words down to give it any justice at all, so instead I’ll keep it simple and tell you what I do know and what will be with me forever until the end. 
You spend time online some of the winter and most of the spring waiting for the announcement. Your planned events and unplanned events all become “Jumbled Events” and many have exactly that…..”Less than no worth.” Instead when tour starts, IT all changes….“What shows will I attend”, “What shows will be the best to attend?” What shows will all my friends be most likely to attend? What shows can I take time off work for? What songs have and or will they play at my shows / venues? What songs do I want to hear? Then you pack your shit, hit the road, and it all becomes…..”CENTRAL!”…
If you have not had this feeling, prior to a Phish tour, you may as well stop reading here. So… As we arrive into Chicago for Phish, it’s like “Christmas in July” for this Phan! I am ready to explore 2-6 city blocks squared (maybe more). I am excited to see my Friends. I am ready for what may come?! Does this sound like a typical Phish show experience? Well if so…..FUEGO! 
It was nothing like it. With the exception of only exploring 2-6 city blocks, this summer tour, beautiful city, three day run, and time away from home was different. I can only try to really explain, but I think you may be with me? Here is what I got! Skyscrapers are grand! Sick weather! (SORRY 2013 Northerly Phans!) Chicks with Dicks! (TRUE) All the above while listening to my favorite band play music like they have not played in years. 
No more “Stealing all my lines!” Phish took songs that I have heard many many times, added new songs…..great songs, and played them in a way that made me step back, sink in, and want to take MY time. Maybe it was because I got an extra hours sleep? I am not sure, but anyone that knows me, knows that taking my time, is not what I am about! That said and I’ll say it again, I felt the Chicago weekend of music FORCED me if only for a few moments to do just that…. slow things down just a little bit. 
I didn’t throw a rager at the hotel, I didn’t wake up in a strange place in the middle of the afternoon with people I’d just met instead I had a more spiritual experience, where I was able to vacate from daily life, enjoy a band playing tremendously, all four of them as one, and I found something that I have not found at most shows! I can’t explain it in words, but after a weekend in Chi-Town with a crew that can get down…..I learned to “BIDE MY TIME AND TAKE IT SLOW!” If only for just a little bit!
Words: Matthew Bolton 
Photos: Craig Casgar
©Grateful Music LLC