“Starting route to,” was all I heard from the GPS as my roommate, Andrea Pauza, and I began our way to Worcester, Massachusetts on Saturday, Oct. 26, 2013.
It was mid-afternoon with a chill atmosphere and a heavy sunlight glare. Andrea’s iPod was playing in the background the music of the band we were both so excited to see—Phish.
As our hour-and-a-half trip from Keene to Worcester was winding down, the anxious energy of excitement set in.
“Arrived at,” the GPS exclaimed and that was the moment my brain clicked into “Phish mode.”
We entered a parking garage and situated ourselves for the night. We began to walk down the street.
As I approached the venue, the sign read, “DCU Center,” in large dark-green letters.
My roommate and I joined the already formed “women’s line” and started to move closer to the door. We reached the worker where we were patted down and sent inside.
Within the next set of doors stood an older-looking woman with big, dark, curly hair and a massive smile across her face, ready to check our tickets. She looked at our tickets and sent us in to the show of a lifetime.
The DCU Center is one big circle. If you miss your section, then you can make a safe bet that if you continue walking, you will pass it eventually.
We started our walk around the building’s personal roundabout and looked for our section sign. We passed sign after sign until we reached section 207.
As we walked up the stairs, the first view our eyes were captured by was the stage.
The stage was set up with spots for the keyboard player and bass player on the left-hand side; lead vocalist and guitarist, percussionist and drummer located more in the middle and a bassist on the right-hand side.
The stage was an aqua-blue color with a tint of violet and dark-green. The colors were still and remained primarily on the equipment placed on stage.
Above the physical stage hung two massive rows of black amplifiers. These amplifiers signified the sides of the stage.
Multi-colored lights and smaller amplifiers filled in the space between these rows to further the light experience along with the sound. After fully comprehending the entirety of the stage, we found our seats.
After a little while, the crowd began to fill in the empty spaces. The stadium was too large for me to see in its entirety, but as I looked around, I began to notice that every seat was full.
The floor section was packed to the brim with people pushing and shoving to get to the front row.
The lights began to dim and the audience anticipated the performance with utter excitement. The members of the band, drummer Jon Fishman, Trey Anastasio on lead vocals and guitar, bassist Mike Gordon, and keyboard player Page McConnell, took the stage.
A single strum made the audience gleam with joy, then the opening song began, “Party Time.” A drum pattern began the song with the electric guitar and the bass was not far behind it.
Full percussion is added and jammed on before Anastasio began the lyrics with background accompaniment.
The words flowed out with a raspy yet stern tone that showed confidence and respectability.
The members of the band jammed out by inserting riffs and other components to make the song have an uplifting and overall fun atmosphere to it.
“Party Time” slowly made transitions into song after song, melody after melody, and solo after solo until the first set was done.
The concert was split into two sections. The first section consisted of ten songs while the second had nine.
The lights that accompanied those tunes were a different story.
They “blew everything out of the water.” The array of rainbow colors played within one’s brain spectrum, flashing as a strobe light and staying quite consistent.
The colors would move from side to side, hypnotizing each member it lit up. The break came to a halt as the lights began to dim again and the members retook the stage.
“Drowned,” was the opener for the second set. The piece started with an Elton John-style piano melody that was slowly picked up by the drums and electric guitar.
The piano melody stayed consistent in the background of the song while the vocals, drums, guitar and bass jammed separately on top of it.
After about a minute, the song went back to only the piano, the original melody our ears heard at the beginning. The piece picked up to the dance tune we all fell in love with as the lyrics progressed.
The atmosphere of the second set was nothing like that of the first set. Everyone was more energetic, along with the band members.
Everyone was more concentrated on the overall show, instead of the space they were listening to it in.
The lights absolutely did not fail with their effects and multitude of colors. The show came to a mind-blowing conclusion with the crazy and audience enthused, “Possum.”
Between the lights and the music that melted us into the floor, we were “Phish-fried.”
Haley Erdbrink can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org