My Trip around the country in 2001 with Halley

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Trey Anastasio Band Shows #2 and #3: Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, CO

July 17-18

We arrived at 6am to the famed Chief Hosa Campground, right outside of Red Rocks. Immediately we were asked at the gate if we wanted any 'pharmies'. Being younger and still new to this, I passed as I had no clue what this guy was offering. I got my bracelet via reservation that was held and drove in to find a nice cozy spot on a flat area of a hill overlooking Shakedown Street, but far enough away that we weren't in the middle of it. I set up the tent and Halley and I took a nap for a little while before heading to the Trey Anastasio Band concert at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

            After our nap we went for a walk around the campgrounds and found it to be pretty cool, although a bit steep at some points for Halley. She was running all over, keeping an eye on me, running around then plopping down tired on the ground. We had to head to the lots early since Shawn and Siobhan wanted to vend beer in a prelude to Shawn's 21st birthday at midnight that night. I got Halley ready to go for the ride over to Red Rocks. On the way we got two styrofoam coolers full of beers for Shawn and Siobhan to sell, while I had prints of Hill's painting she made for me to vend. We made our way up the hill to the top parking lot of Red Rocks and found the security to be almost non-existent and the weather to be beautiful.

           I now discovered that with Halley at the show, I didnt know what to do with her. She was curious and wanted to walk around, so we strolled over to the giant rock formations on the side of the upper parking lot across from the steps leading up to the amphitheater. I didn’t want to leave the car alone for too long so we made a series of short walks to the rocks so we could wander around and Halley could go to the bathroom.  When we were at the car Halley didn't much like the heat as it was too warm in the car, even with the windows open and the breeze blowing. Thankfully, Halley did what she had learned from that dog in Utah – she made some space under the car by scratching out a sort of hole and laid down under the car. At first I didn't like the idea because it seemed dangerous so I pulled her out but she went right back under the car so I let her stay and fed her some water. As long as I was near the car, she was content in the cool gravel. 

            After too long, fans started trekking up the hill to our lot to head into the show. I took Halley for a stroll with the fans while Shawn and Siobhan packed up their stuff, so that Halley could stretch one last time and get ready for the inevitable wait in the car while I was inside the show. I dreaded this then and I dread it now, a show is no place for a dog, let alone a lot or a car of any temperature. Thankfully, the weather was getting cooler so I felt a bit more comfortable with her staying in the car. I prepped the car with a bowl of water, treats, her blanket on the passenger seat, cracked windows and some food in case she wanted to eat. I wasn't thrilled with this but it was nearing start time and although I could stand to miss a song or two, I didn't want to be outside with Halley waiting to make my move. Halley watched me as I walked away and I headed in. She was good enough in the car already and I made sure to bolt out of the gate as soon as the encore started.

7/17/01 • Red Rocks Amphitheatre • Morrison , CO

Set 1: Burlap Sack and Pumps, Acting the Devil, Last Tube, Quantegy, Moesha, Alive Again,Come On Baby Lets Go Downtown, First Tube

Set 2: Simple Twist Up Dave, Money Love and Change, Every Story Ends in Stone, Noodle Rave Daddyo, Flock of Words, Mr. Completely, Drifting, Push On Till the Day 

Encore: At the Gazebo

          The show was a great start to two nights at Red Rocks but the flow of things was disjointed. Last Tube was quickly becoming a great song, a regular for every show that summer it seemed. Dropping down into Quantegy's ethereal verses brought the energy to a halt, despite it being a rare song. Then back up with Moesha, and coasting through the rest of the set with four rockers, including the TAB original First Tube.

          Set two started with two songs that were new for me, Simple Twist up Dave and Money Love and Change, great songs with energy and playful lyrics. Every Story Ends in Stone was another low-energy number, but Noodle-Rave Daddyo changed that. Flock of Words made me reminisce for Hillary, already I was missing her but we'd be together in another 5 days or so. Mr. Completely was a shitshow of dancing in the middle left area of the seating, with a few early-spunions staggering/slam-dancing to the jam. Good song, terrible version to deal with though. Drifting mellowed things out and had me thinking of getting back to the car a bit early, so I headed to the top of the seats and waited for the show to end. Push on Till the Day came on and changed my mind so I went back down to where I was dancing and enjoyed the one original I recalled from back in February in Syracuse. When I saw the opening ensemble prepare for At the Gazebo, I bolted and headed back to the car to check on Halley. If the usual encore was this, I could take some stress off the guilt of leaving Halley in the car.

           I snagged a veggie burrito on the way out and learned a valuable lesson on first bite - dont buy from the first person selling them: they're likely made before or during the show and not fresh. Not as tasty and definitely not as warm, so Halley had a snack when I got to the car. I got to the car and Halley was sound asleep, cuddled up into a ball and groggy to get up before finding her energy and jumping out of the car in excitement to see me. We went for a little walk so she and I could both use the bathroom and then waited at the car for the traffic to die down so we could get to the campground. We were both tired and needed sleep.

            When we got to the campground, Shawn jumped out of the car to avoid having to pay for the bracelet for staying at the venue, so when I drove up, they checked Siobhan's wrist and found nothing. Since she was passed out cold, I paid for her before driving through a TON of people who were on Shakedown, which was situated on a winding one-way road that took us to our campsite.  Halley saw some other dogs outside and started to bark but we kept her quiet as these were not the kind of dogs she needed to be around. Our campsite was right where we left it, although some other people had put their tents there near ours as the place filled in. We headed up to the tent, climbed in and got ready for bed. Halley was returning to the new trick of making her den, albeit on my sleeping bag. Then, as we laid down to sleep, exhausted and dirty from 3 days of driving and not a shower since Vegas, the hissing started. Not a snake but instead, Nitrous.  I hated the sound at the time and paid attention to Halley. She started to shake nervously in the sleeping bag and despite me trying to calm her down or entice her with treats, she started scratching at the edge of the tent. She started to whine and bark, which normally isn't good for 2 a.m. but it actually seemed to help. The commotion in the tent moved the Nitrous guys away from our tent and further down the hill, almost out of ear-shot. Once she was calm enough to eat a treat and stop shaking, I fell asleep, more than halfway done with my trip but still three weeks left of adventure. 

            July 18th

            As dawn approached, Halley started to wake up and did what she still does today: stands over me staring at me waiting for my eyes to open and get up to take her out. Upon opening my eyes, I was greeted to wet dog kisses and excitement, so I got up and meandered out of the tent to take Halley out. A leash wasn't necessary at this hour so we did without it. Halley wound up leaving a freshie near another campsite so I scrambled to the tent for my keys and the car for a baggie. We walked down to Shakedown where some were still going strong but most were dropping or had already dropped like flies. I got a coffee and  a bagel for us to share before heading back to the car to straighten stuff out and prepare for a shower and the rest of the day.

            Today was Shawn's 21st birthday and he was excited from the moment he woke up. He cracked a beer and rolled one up in anticipation of a long day of partying. He made nice with the neighbors, one of which informed us he smoked a joint dipped in PCP and he had no intention, or ability, of sleeping. This was the most interesting man on lot.

           It was finally time to take a shower after a few days so Halley stayed with Shawn and Siobhan while I went to the shower stalls and cleaned the funk off of me. They decided against washing their dreads and taking light showers, part of Shawn's birthday present I presume. We hung out long enough, got some food in town and followed the same plan was the same today as yesterday – go to Red Rocks early, hang out, walk around, and see friends. Pete T, a friend from Syracuse who was out for the shows, met up with us that day in the lots and we spent time hanging out with his friends from home and school. Halley was a bit more tired today and as it was cooler, she lay down inside the car for part of the day, with the windows down of course. The breeze felt good for us in the lots and provided for the occasion hippie girl's skirt to blow up. We followed the same plan in the lots, taking short walks when Halley was up for it and drinking lightly in anticipation of the show. I went into the show once it was cool enough for Halley to be left alone.

A double threat: Two Petes

7/18/01 • Red Rocks Amphitheatre • Morrison , CO

Set 1: Mozambique, Cayman Review, Happy Coffee Song, Last Tube, Windora Bug, Burlap Sack and Pumps, Money Love and Change

Set 2: Sand, When, Mr. Completely, Gotta Jibboo, Nothing But a G Thing, Radon Balloon, Bathtub Gin 

Encore: Moesha

          Being able to go into the show a bit earlier and with friends from college, as well as a needed break from Shawn and Siobhan (closeness can breed contempt), I was excited and even elated for this show. It turned out to be one of the best of the tour. The opener Mozambique featured a dancing line of horns who one-by-one took their solo amid a rocking instrumental package Trey had developed. Phish played this in 1999 but TAB was taking it to a higher level. Cayman Review was funky and Calypso-y, while the Happy Coffee song was cool. Then the repeats started up with Last Tube, my third in 3 shows but fast becoming a VERY danceable song, despite having lyrics that were completely impossible to understand, regardless of what state I was in. During this song I ventured down to the bathrooms on the side of the stage, picked up a poster from the table for the Berkeley show I missed, but the poster was too cool to pass up. As I headed up to our spot, I saw a guy painting on the side of the walkway, mixing paint together and shining a light on his art as he stared at the band for a moment, painted some and danced all the while. This was my first meeting with Scramble Campbell, he pointed me towards one of his business cards and I set off back to my seat. I was amazed at the art. I may have stood there for 10 minutes or so just marveling in what he was creating. Years later, he was a major contributor to my book  PhanArt: The Art of the Fans of Phish and part of the reason I got into the Phish fan and official art community.

            Windora Bug was awesome to hear, with Tony Markellis singing the verses Mike Gordon once did in Albany on 9/8/00 when the song was debuted by Phish. With a tuba and much more instrumentation to the song, I again preferred the TAB version. Burlap Sack and Pumps, which I had seen in LA and Syracuse was cool, and nice because I missed it the night before while tending to Halley. Money Love and Change was much tighter this night as well. By now Pete and I were on the right side of the stage down low watching the band up close as Pete shouted to Trey as they headed into the backstage area for setbreak. That was cool.

          Second set started out with a long and deep Sand that had a touch of rain as a storm blew over us. It didn't last very long and eventually hit Denver, which we had a great view of in the distance beyond the stage. As the lightning struck Denver, the band descended into a creepy tune, When. The alternate title to this song is 'Storm Drawing Near' and it was incredible to hear that line uttered as lightning struck in the distance. I was glad we didn't get wet and equally glad we got a cool memento like this song. A scorching Mr. Completely brought the house to their feet and pounded through an extended version of a rocking song with potential seeping all over. Then a treat for me: Gotta Jibboo! I love this song and definitely credit it for getting me further into Phish during the Summer of 2000.

         In the excitement of the Jibboo, combined with my nervous habit of playing with a claddagh I got for my 21st birthday, I lost the ring as I threw my hands up into the air, excited for the song but immediately dreading what I had done. I put it out of my mind and danced a bit but had to search for it. Knowing it had probably bounced far, fallen into someone's bag or beer, or gotten stepped on, it was a lost cause. After the show Pete and his friend Marty helped me look for it around the area it would have been thrown, but it was no use, the ring was gone. Lesson learned - don't wear a ring to a concert.

          I missed Nothing But a G Thing (not that song, an instrumental by Trey) while I searched for my ring but stopped when the band left the stage, all but Trey that is. We got a brief story time from Trey about playing Red Rocks, an upcoming collaboration with Les Claypool called Oysterhead and a sampling of their work together with a new song, Radon Balloon. The lyrics were amazing and the first thing I listened to when I got home from tour:
"From an island, to the Tetons

To the day that came before
Drifting is a simple thing to do
To dance across the treetops with
Reflections in a spoon
In black and white or color
A step toward the craters on
The surface of the moon
Radon Balloon

In dreams he flies a tiny raft in a broken sky

Radon Balloon
Saw the sun in a chase to be
With the chosen one
Radon Balloon
Swung through town on a piece of twine
Radon Balloon
Disappeared a thousand times
Radon Balloon."

           If this wasn't good enough, Trey moved into Bathtub Gin, all acoustic and alone, an amazing version to hear and take part in. The crowd took over the lyrics when we got to the 'Doooooo do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do do" harmonies. Trey was laughing and played along, strumming the guitar in rhythm to our participation in the collective song. Trey left the stage and returned with the full band for an encore of Moesha, played the day before but this time with different lyrics at the end, with Trey singing "Moesha me Jerry, Moesha me Trey", much to the laughter and chagrin of the audience. We did a final sweep of the area for my ring and headed out to the car, a smile beaming across my face. 

           Halley was safe and sound in the car, sitting up and looking at the people who walked by until I caught her gaze and her ears went back and she barked in excitement of my arrival. We went out, had a bite to eat and waited out for the traffic. Shawn and Siobhan made it back to the car before too long and hugged to celebrate a great 21st birthday show for Shawn. Truly memorable.

      Leaving the venue and arriving back at Chief Hosa, we had the same cast of characters as the night before, including PCP-joint guy who was still awake, in a generic state and basically waiting for it all to wear off. I got up to the tent and saw a Nitrous tank ready to be tapped for all to enjoy/hear. I walked Halley around as far as I could until I was exhausted and returned to our campsite. There was still plenty of Nitrous around our site so I decided that Halley and I would be best in the car for the night. It was a bit colder that usual so I had the comfort of heat and music to go with it, which aided in drowning out the hissing for both Halley and I. Stretched out in the passenger seat with Halley in the drivers seat curled up in a ball, we slept surprisingly well and were refreshed for the ride the next day.

           If tour was like this, I could get used to it.

1 comment:

  1. Moesha be down, Moesha be up, Moeasha be Avalanche, Moesha be Cup!

    Moesha be Rainbow, Moesha be Pots, Moesha be Red, Moesha be Rocks!

    Moesha be Straight, Moesha be Gay, Moesha be Jerry, Moesha be Trey!