PHOTOS / VIDEOS / RECAP: Phish @ DCU Center, Worcester MA, 6/7/12

kicked off their 2012 summer tour at the in Worcester, MA last night. As I arrived to the lot, like many-a-fans, I instantly felt at home. The scene was, as always, very heady. Glow in the dark handmade posters, metal pins and glass pieces for sale on the every corner, good brews available out of rolling coolers…“1 for $3, 2 for $5!”, 1970s VW buses were parked in every other row of the lot, grown men with beards in tye-dye onsies were walking around….OK, maybe there was only one of those! One excited fan approached me and insisted on a double high five. I asked “What do you think they will open with, buddy?” He looked at me nervously and just said, “SHHH!! It’s going to be OK!”

“Oh, boy!” I thought, “It was going to be a GREAT evening, to say the least!”

Though it is cliche (or so some say) to wear a t-shirt of the band you are going to see, the lots are always full of so many threads of tours past. It makes for good random conversation and almost dates that person’s history with the band and the scene. This year, the band announced that during their three-night run in Atlantic City they will open up their Dry Goods vault, AKA: The Freezer, where they will be selling a limited amount of authentic vintage threads, posters, stickers, shows, you name it. I can only envision that this summer there will be much of the past returning to the surface with this special offer!

In arriving pit-side, the management had confirmed that no photographers were allowed in the front pit “due to safety reasons.” The stage, for this arena, was set about 2 feet closer to the GA barrier than normal, giving room for only 1 videographer, Dave Vann (one of ’s photographers) and the security guys up front. We photogs were directed to either house left or right for the duration of our 15 minutes of shooting. I voted to be Page-side.

The band had reportedly been practicing leading up to the kick-off of the tour, and as one of our own confirmed earlier, they were starting off in an indoor arena as opposed to under the stars as they have in the past. I don’t think anyone was turned off by that. Plus…makes for a WAY better light show when indoors so no compalints here!

The anticipation to the start of the show was completely exhilarating for everyone in the arena. A young lady named Julia was hanging out along the rail. Turns out it was her first show. She called herself a “ Virgin” and was hoping for a “Bathtub Gin”. What she got on this evening instead though: a “Buried Alive” SANDWICH! Oh, that is right. They started the show with a the song and ended the show with a reprise prior to encore! (For Julia’s sake, maybe tonight is where we all “take a bath”).

The crowd was screaming in a frenzy as the band settled on stage. Without much hesitation, Trey ripped into a heavy “Buried Alive” version and continued into “Runaway Jim” to open the show. A friend, and loyal “phan” had said on Facebook just last week that he felt like it is going to be a “Runaway Jim kinda summer” And holy shit, I think he was right!