June 5th, 2009 was my first and only time at Jones Beach Amphitheatre. I spent the afternoon meeting a million new people at a pre-party near the venue and arrived at the show with enough time for a drink or two in the lot. Ours was one of a million little circles of friends hanging out before the show with eyes turned upwards toward the darkening skies.
This was the last show of a three night run at Jones Beach, a venue infamous among Phish fans, and not just because the band makes a habit of playing here when they tour the east coast. The amphitheatre is right on the water, which I’m sure is much more picturesque from a boat than it is from the stands, but tonight the venue would feel like it was actually in the water.
When it rains it pours; it rained and it poured. I remember standing in the concrete upper tier with water literally swirling above my ankles. It was a warm night and the rain felt good. I was wearing a poncho that was soaked through enough that I didn’t care anymore so I just enjoyed the show. They played of few of my favourites, like Theme From The Bottom and My Friend, My Friend and they debuted Twenty Years Later, a new song I liked instantly; from the very first line (“I can hold my breath for a minute or so…”). And anytime Phish encores with A Day in the Life I generally walk out in a good mood, even if I’m in soggy shoes.
I have no idea how I managed to get a poster home safe and dry, but I did. It still lives in the tube and has not seen the light of day since the show.
Come to think of it, the poster might be damaged after all.