More Philling Photos

Executive summary: Wednesday July 12 at the Champlain Valley Expo near Burlington, VT. Live music mid-week and the guilty irresponsible feeling that comes with. Pouring rain all day and night. Dancing in the mud. Crowded covered grandstand. Happy happy people.

The Benevento/Russo Duo opened the show at 4:00. This was the scene during the middle of their set. We got there early enough to take third row seats in the grandstand. Most of the dirt you see will soon turn to mud and then be filled up with people.

Phil Lesh & Friends, first set. Songs: Good Lovin’, They Love Each Other, Rubin and Cherise, Desire, Suraree.
Kathryn has seen a lot of live music, but none of the Dead- and Phish-related jamband variety. She is however a sociology grrl, and in addition to enjoying the music, high-quality people-watching ensued. The character in the foreground wearing the orange hat was dancing in the aisle, him bad, and as he noticed the usher coming he danced up three rows and into his section as she walked by. As she walked past he danced back down into the aisle. He was invisible as far as she was concerned.

Phil’s second set. Songs: You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Scarlet Begonias, Viola Lee Blues, Phil & Mike Gordon Bass Duo, Help On the Way, Slipknot, Franklin’s Tower, Not Fade Away. Midnight Hour.
Full house. Not sold out, but comfortably full. You can see in the foreground the grandstand has become much more crowded in the aisles. Trey played onstage for the whole set. During Help I remembered walking across Main Street last week, crossing between the Post Office and Molly’s, and suddenly, in the middle of the crosswalk, the startled opening of Help On the Way popped into my consciousness. I remember thinking, “That’s probably the one song I’d like to hear Wednesday.” So, I got my wish, even though I forgot I had one.

Remember that “dirt” we saw earlier? A fond memory. Dancing, walking, running, and standing in the mud. I think you get the idea.

Trey and Mike, with the Duo. Songs: Drifting, Trouble, Tuesday, Hap-nappy, Goodbye Head, Something for Rockets, Shine, Mud City, Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey, Dragonfly. Who Are You (with Page).
Two things seem to happen at rainy outdoor shows: 1) The band plays really well, being sympathetic with the audience outdoors in the rain; and 2) They play it loud. I don’t know why this is, but it was damn loud during this set. The music was driving, rock electronica, with many minor chords and dissonant sounds. Some of the light show was beautiful, rainbow fingers playing over the audience for instance, but some was a blinking brutish barrage of colors and intensities. The music was assaultingly loud, and when I found myself wincing and twitching every time this one particular drum was hit (every few seconds), I dug around the backpack for hearing protectors. We smiled. We could listen now. Even wearing hearing protectors it was plenty loud enough. And this was 200 feet from the stage. I can only imagine up front. People seemed to like it, but my left ear was ringing a bit even 12 hours later when I woke up. Ugg.
When we left after the “first” Trey and Mike set, we thought there might be a big jamed-out second set with the hometown boys – Page McConnell had already joined Trey and Mike onstage with Phil’s band for Midnight Hour and there might be more. But we decided to beat the traffic and it’s good we left early because it rained hard for much of the drive home, slowing us down. And it turned out they only played the one encore, so we missed almost nothing and saved an easy hour, maybe more, getting out of there. The audience had a great time. The rain was an annoyance but didn’t affect the mood. People were happy, smiling, dancing. Top-notch live music in northern New England doesn’t happen every day, so let’s enjoy ourselves.
The one downside: “I tell ‘ya sonny, back in the day, I could stay up until 2 or even 3 AM and still go to work the next day. Now, I go to bed at 1 AM and I’m a-wiped out the whole next day. I am not getting any younger for these things.”