Well, well, well. The day we've all been waiting for is finally here. After 1,664 days in hibernation, Phish returns to the scene tonight at the Hampton Coliseum in Virginia for the first of a three night run.
All hail The Mothership.
Developments this week leading up to the show include a rehearsal with a confirmed setlist; word that LivePhish.com will offer free MP3 downloads of each show within 24 hours of Phish walking off stage each night; a No Spoiler audience recording of the show will be available within a couple of hours of the last note being played each night; the band succedded in getting a federal judge to bar people from selling merchandise in the parking lot with their name or logo on it, but the judge will not allow workers to seize merchandise; Phish has plans to return to the studio next month with 20 new songs demoed for recording -- although it seems they only plan to perform "Backwards Down the Number Line" this weekend; and Phish plans a return to the Machine-Gun Trey mid-1990s era by spending a lot of time in rehearsal and focusing on many of their long, written out songs rather than short, simple diddys like many of the tunes that appeared on Undermind.
Oh, and the New York Times article says the boys are going with setlists this weekend. I wonder if they will deviate from it at all once things get hot and heavy?
And judging from these photos taken for the recent New York Times article, it appears Phish has returned to its original stage setup with Fishman's drum kit over on the far right-hand side of the stage.
Here is a story that just came out from the Associated Press, "Phish heads descend on Hampton."
This article spills the beans on how Hampton police plan to deal with traffic congestion. And according to this article at HamptonRoads.com, the city will deploy 113 officers and detectives in and around the coliseum. The Hampton force will be supported by nine outside agencies, including the Virginia State Police. Be careful out there. I hope no one comes this far with tickets in hand just to get rolled in the parking lot.
Mr. Minor posted this photo of last night's sunset at The Mothership.
Don't have tickets yet but you're in the Hampton Roads area? Why not link on over to StubHub and plop down as much as $4,500 for a three-night pass -- or $825 just for tonight? Just use that nest egg you've been saving; why invest in your future when the future is now!
It looks like Rolling Stone will have a presence in Hampton, and plans to post reports from the scene throughout the day.
This video of "It's Ice" from the Clifford Ball DVD should whet your whistle while you kill time waiting for the lights to go out, signaling the start of the show.
Apparently, Phish is going to allow the 11-and-under baseball team that planned to sell t-shirts in the lot this weekend in order to raise enough money to visit the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame to go ahead and hock their wares.
I'll add to this post as news items continue trickling in today.
Check back tonight as I will be updating the setlist in near-real time all weekend.