If you caught my review for night one of Phish at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO, you might have guessed that when I woke up Saturday morning, I had a considerable-sized hangover. It was one of those headache-oriented hangovers that let you know an hour before you actually wake and open your eyes that it’s going to be a rough start to the day. I had plans to sleep a little bit of that off, but thanks to DiscoBiscuit Jeff from Philly, who speaks at one volume and one volume only –- loud -- my plan was altered.
At about 7:40 a.m. Mountain, DBJ wandered into our campsite trying to score something, anything, from Uncle Jake. It started off as breakfast -– for which he was offering $5. DBJ was told that our crew needed to eat first, but that if there were any leftovers, then no problem. He was back within moments trying to reassess the situation (Editor’s Note: Uncle Jake was the only one up and out of his tent, and thus far he’d fried a few strips of bacon and begun heating water for coffee.), and basically the same conversation was repeated.
When it was clear that there was still no breakfast for DBJ to have, he asked about having one of our plastic cups. Uncle Jake gave him a cup, thinking (I assume) that this would make him go away for a while. Instead, these were some of his top-volume lines.
“Yeah, bro. My name’s Jeff,” he said (for the second time). “I’m from Philly” (which we already knew) “and the Disco Biscuits are really my thing” (also a repeat). “I’ve seen Phish 89 times but I’ve seen the Biscuits more than a hundred.”
Good job, DBJ.
“But, yeah,” he said. “That’s really awesome what you’re doing, cooking for your people, but for real, bro -– if you had anything to spare, I’d totally throw you some cash.”
Dear DiscoBiscuit Jeff from Philly:
Take said cash, plan ahead, and go to the store.
He wasn’t done, though.
“So, did you have a good show last night, bro?”
“Yeah, man,” said Uncle Jake. “Real good time.”
“Dude, that was so tight,” said DBJ. “Check this out, bro: Every song they played started with the letter ‘S’.”
Thanks for the news flash, Philly. Now a word from our sponsors.
“Yeah,” said Uncle Jake. “Pretty crazy.”
“Dude, it was more than crazy,” said DBJ. “They played ‘Sparkle,’ and ‘Simple,’ and ‘Sanity.’”
I’d had enough.
“Know what else they played, bro? ‘Silent in the Morning.’” My head throbbed with each hollered syllable.
“Yeah, man,” he said. “Totally.”
DBJ went on talking up his schpeel to Uncle Jake. Loudly. I was contemplating getting out of the tent.
“Know what my favorite song from last night was bro? It was called Shut the Fuck Up.”
This made him mad.
“A better song was You Better Man the Fuck Up, dude,” he said.
“Yeah, bro,” I said. “That’s gonna get you some free breakfast real quick.”
“Aw, dude,” he said. “I was just messin’ with you, but whatever, man. If you don’t like it, you shouldn’t’ve come.”
With that, he was gone. But I was up.
DBJ was back by later, and it was clear -– mostly because one eye was literally looking the other direction -– that he had not yet slept. He was covered in a light coat of dirt, sporting a backwards hat with those obnoxiously fat, always-untied high-top sneakers that Grubby McDorkboxes like him usually rock. Apparently, he’d lost his cup and was in search of another, but he didn’t pause to ask our camp.
Anyway, Uncle Jake, Emily, and the nephews had plans to go into town and see some sites. Originally, they were going to tour around Red Rocks, but it was discovered that Carlos Santana was playing there Saturday evening. With George Lopez. (Note: Really? Does that actually happen?) So, it was determined that venue crews and staff would likely be setting up, so they headed northwest to Boulder and Estes Park instead. Having seen all of those places plenty, I stayed behind.
Once I’d washed the taste of Pabst-brined gerbil out of my mouth, I showered, changed and set out to see who was who on grounds to enjoy this weekend of Phish. It was sort of an aimless wander, but I wanted to get 10 subjects, and once a subject agreed to a quick chat, they had a choice of question sets: a), b), or c).
Taylor and Steve were first. They chose set a).
1) Where are you from? “San Francisco.”
2) How many times have you seen Phish? Taylor: “22”; Steve: “50.”
3) What do you do for work? Taylor: “non-profit, children’s mental health”; Steve: “student at Stanford.”
4) Complete this sentence: This best way to spend time when not doing anything Phish is…: joint-effort answer: “other music, i.e. Dark Star, Govt. Mule, the Disco Biscuits” (Editor’s Note: I badly wanted to ask if they knew Jeff from Philly, but did not.), “The Dead.”
5) What’s your favorite thing about the Phish culture? Taylor: “Everyone’s so positive. There’s a sense of togetherness. We’ve been on campgrounds for other festivals where we didn’t even know our neighbors.” Steve: “Other lots are all disjointed. Everyone’s so ‘I need this' and 'you’ve got that' and 'aarrghhh.’”
(Note: Steve was a little wary at first, wanting to know if this interview would “make its way onto the Internet,” which I assured him it would. He was also keen to some Thank You Phish Day that was supposedly taking place that day, where there had been plans of sky writing a message to the band and handing out free doses to the crowd. I didn’t see any of those things, but if I was oblivious, then, Thanks, Phish!)
“Melanie” was second. She went with set c). She also gets extra quotes around her name/locale because she was interested in being cute, and by "cute" I mean giving a a fake name and locale.
1) Where are you from? “’Tampa.’”
2) Name three bands on your iPod or in your CD player not named Phish. “Eric Hutchinson, Tool, Dean Martin.”
3) Do you have an opinion on Bob Dylan? “Love him! Minnesotan! Woohoo!” (Note: This was apparently a shout-out to all her Tampa people from Minnesota.)
4) What do you make of all the Obama criticism? “Ohhhh-bama. That’s what I say.”
5) What’s the most important thing to teach kids? “Have fun.”
Up next was Daniel. He, too, went with c).
1) Where are you from? “New York.”
2) Name three bands on your iPod or in your CD player not named Phish. “Ali Farka Toure, Emancipator, Holy Ghost.”
3) Do you have an opinion on Bob Dylan? “I love Bob Dylan.”
4) What do you make of all of the Obama criticism? “Obama had a tough road to go when he was elected. The criticism is out of control. I mean, he can only do so much. He’s not a miracle worker. I think he’s doin’ alright.”
5) What’s the most important thing to teach kids? “Sustainability.”
Fourth was Chloe. Again, c).
1) Where are you from? “I live in Lakewood, but I’m from Boston.” (Note: I asked her if she was stoked about the Bruins championship win, and she showed me her Boston inner-wrist tattoo.)
2) Name three bands on your iPod or in your CD player not named Phish. “The Grateful Dead, Boards of Canada, Pink Floyd.”
3) Do you have an opinion on Bob Dylan? “Bob Dylan’s a super-poet. He can’t fuckin’ talk anymore. No, I mean, he’s like the first rapper. I just wish he could still sing.”
4) What do you make of all the Obama criticism? “I love Obama. He’s doing what I want for weed, so he’s cool with me. I voted for him because I think he’s a good person. They’re good people. It’s better to have a good person in office than a good politician.
5) What’s the most important thing to teach kids? “To love themselves, to be themselves, to always be true to themselves.”
Lara fell in the five-hole. She chose b).
1) Where are you from? “Denver.”
2) What’s your biggest musical influence outside of Phish? “The Grateful Dead.”
3) What book did you most recently read? “The Help by Kathryn Stockard.”
4) What’s the strangest place you’ve ever had sex? “I don’t know. I’m not very adventurous, I guess. In a tent?”
5) What’s one thing for which you want to be remembered? “Changing the lives of children.” (Note: Yes, Lara’s a teacher.)
In the six spot was Tim. He also chose b).
1) Where are you from? “Chicago.”
2) What’s your biggest musical influence outside of Phish? “The Beastie Boys.”
3) What book did you most recently read? “The Life of Pi by Yann Martel.”
4) What’s the strangest place you’ve ever had sex? “I don’t know. Oh, in a nasty lake.”
5) What’s one thing for which you want to be remembered? “I don’t really care if I’m remembered.”
Lee was batting seventh, made for three consecutive b) picks.
1) Where are you from? “Minneapolis.”
2) What’s your biggest musical influence outside of Phish? “The Beatles.”
3) What book did you most recently read? "Big Sur by Jack Kerouac.”
4) What’s the strangest place you’ve ever had sex? “At a festival.”
5) What’s one thing for which you want to be remembered? “I don’t know...bein’ happy.
Hannah and Christopher were eighth. They went with a).
1) Where are you from? (Editor’s Note: I either forgot to ask them where they’re from or didn’t write it down, but I’m pretty certain they’re from the Denver area. What I do know is that they’re engaged (and if memory serves as of December with plans to wed next September) and will celebrate in Breckenridge.)
2) How many Phish shows have you seen? Christopher: “102”; Hannah: “1.”
3) What do you do for work? Hannah: “marketing sales account manager”; Christopher: “finance.”
4) Complete this sentence: This best way to spend time when not doing anything Phish is…: simultaneous answer: “Furthur!” They then added, “or snowboard or ski or hike 14ers. Live life!”
5) What’s your favorite thing about the Phish culture? Hannah: “my fiancé”; Christopher: “friends.” Hannah added that she also “thought the letter-of-the-alphabet show was cool.”
Up next: Lorin, who went with b).
1) Where are you from? “Connecticut, but I live in New York.”
2) What’s your biggest musical influence outside of Phish? “The Grateful Dead.”
3) What book did you most recently read? “Democracy by Joan Didion.”
4) What’s the strangest place you’ve ever had sex? “My friend’s second-floor porch.”
5) What’s one thing for which you wish to be remembered? “Always being able to stand up for myself.”
Jon and Jessica closed it out, also with b).
1) Where are you from? “Seattle, by way of Orange County.”
2) What’s your biggest musical influence outside of Phish? Jessica: “Pink Floyd”; Jon: “Neko Case.”
3) What book did you most recently read? Jessica: “Clash of Kings by George R. R. Martin”; Jon: “Clan of the Cave Bear by Jean M. Auel.”
4) What’s the strangest place you’ve ever had sex? Mutual response: “The kitchen.”
5) What’s one thing for which you wish to be remembered? Jon: “Being hospitable, generous”; Jessica: “being reliable.”
So this was the little interview experiment, which was a ton of fun, something I'll repeat at future shows given the opportunity. Check back tomorrow for part two of Saturday's review, which will include some more campground shenanigans, and, uh -- oh, yeah -- the show.