I’m assuming you’ve been to at least one Phish show? And partied your ass off? OK, cool.
Have you done back-to-back shows? Three nights at Dick’s in Colorado? Hit a 4-night New Years’ Eve run?
Cool. Cool. Cool.
You’re storied, you’ve seen some shit.
But let me tell you, this Baker’s Dozen ish? This is so much more. This is going to break you.
Even a mediocre Phish show can melt the faces of any mere mortal. And runs like Dick’s 2015 will very much dismantle you physically, and mentally. I’ve seen people going into a show looking like Jeff Goldblum and three hours later they come out looking like The Fly.
But if you follow our instructions here, you just might survive the 13 shows.
#1) Shoes! Take Care of Your Shoes, Dammit!
Please, wear solid, comfortable shoes, like sneakers with thick socks. Don’t do this in flipflops, Bro. Please. You won’t make it! (Actually, you shouldn’t be wearing flipflops in NYC anyway). Wear a pair of sneakers, old ones, preferably… the kind of busted sneakers that feel at one with your feet when you wear them but you’d never actually wear them anymore because they look kinda nasty. We recommend a pair of 4 year-old New Balance 574s.
#2) Drink Water. Like, seriously, Bro. Drink water.
I’m guessing you’ll be drinking alcohol non-stop… sure, just a Bloody Mary or light beer with lunch, but then it’s two more rounds and you haven’t even left the hotel yet. This is when you drink water, glasses and glasses of water. Just chug it. You’ll thank yourself later. But stop drinking water precisely 90 minutes before showtime. Otherwise, you’ll be in the restroom when they bust out “Lushington.” (jk jk jk They’ll never play “Lushington.”)
Oh, and bring some water bottle caps with you because the vendors at MSG can’t give you the caps. Bring a few and gift friends and neighbors! Or at least you won’t be spilling that previous life-source that MSG sells for $37 per bottle.
#3) Don’t Take Too Much.
It’s easy to indulge at a Phish show. But in this run of shows, any imbalance, any hangover, is going to just compound exponentially until your head explodes or you poop your pants. It’s a marathon, y’all. Not a sprint. Don’t do it all at once.
#4) Also, Don’t Talk Please? OK, Thanks!
Hey, I forget myself sometimes too and I’m jawing with a friend getting everyone riled up. Once in a while, sure, but let’s make a real effort on this run to be kind to our neighbors and keep conversation to a minimum. Treat it like the cinema! You wouldn’t gobble garble with your buddy during the premiere of Tarantino’s new movie, would you? No. No, you wouldn’t. He’s a living auteur! And so is Phish, dammit.
#5) Don’t Do Nitrous (But If You Do, Sit The Fuck Down).
I’ve seen too many dodos suck down a balloon only to keel over and face plant on the sidewalk. Be careful, y’all! Phish is fun, Phish with a concussion is less fun.
But also, don’t do nitrous.
NYC has the greatest public transportation system in the country, but it’s also one of the world’s greatest walking cities! It may take you an hour to walk from Madison Square Garden to the Brooklyn Bridge, but you’ll see so much weird shit along the way! And you can break it up, ya know, stop for lunch, stop for a beer, stop for a strip club, whatever you’re into it. You won’t see anything riding the damn subway a mile underground. Also it’ll be good to have some daytime walking around time between all those dark, drugged nights. Am I right or am I right?
#7) Eat Well, Y’all
New York City has some of the finest restaurants in the world. And the Pizza? Fuggetaboutit! Be sure to make plans for lunch and reservations for early dinner. You’ll thank us later! No one wants to eat all their NYC meals at Madison Square Garden. Yuk! Personally, I love TheInfatuation for dinning recommendations. Live it up!
#8) Take Lots of Photos, But Only A Few Of The Band
This is your vacation! For many of you, this is a big trip, spending savings and taking PTO to make it happen, so get touristy with it! Please don’t go home to your friends with a phone full of Kuroda doing his thang all like, “But watch, it moves!” Your friends aren’t into it. But I bet they would be into seeing photos of you pissing on the corner of Broadway and 29th at 3am or Times Square selfies or Central Park shenanigans. NYC is a big, weird place, let’s get some shots of you guys in the mix!
#9) Sleep (At Night).
Sure, you may hit that afterparty on the weekend but don’t rage for the sake of raging after the other shows. Your body needs sleep. Something to do with your brain resetting and cleaning up? And believe me, after just five or six nights of Phish completely crispy frying your brain synapses, you’re gonna need a deep sleep before heading back into the fray.
And don’t just sleep all day and party all night. Unless you’re in your early to mid twenties, then I damn well expect you to party all night and sleep all day. Get it, boi!
#10) Find Your Bearings, Know Your Geography
Know where your hotel is, compared to Madison Square Garden. Know your corners and intersections, and the bars around them. You’ll look like some sort of idiot savant when your crew is trying to meet at a bar and you can confidently say, “This way!”
And keep a business card from the hotel in your wallet. That’s a sort of “in case of emergency” card. For instance: you’ve lost all your friends, the show is over, you’re wasted, phone is dead, and you’re standing on the corner of 8th Ave and 33rd St trying to figure out if that horse next to the hotdog stand is real or not. Worst case scenario you can hail a cab and tell the cabbie, “Here, please,” and hand him the card. Chances are you’ll wake up in your hotel room!
Seriously, stretch those legs. Take some time before lights out and work those gams. Take just a few minutes before and after the shoe to work those muscles. Trust me, you’ll be better for it even if your friends pretend they don’t know you while you do it. They’ll be the ones limping home after a combined total of no less than 40 hours of dancing. Yes, 40 fuckin’ hours, dude.
#12) Be Kind To Your Neighbors & Take Care Of Each Other
Listen, everyone is gonna be worn thin come that final weekend. This means folks may be a little more sensitive than normally. So, be gentle, be kind. A smile goes a long way. And remember: you’re all here because of your love for the band. If you’re looking for an icebreaker, I got one for ya: “Come here often?”
Also, three quick ways you can help take care of each other: offer water, share the space, and ask for help when you need it. I don’t care what anyone says, we’re all in this together.
#13) Have Fun!
I hate to sound like everyone’s mom, but try to remember this is fun! We’re having fun! Please don’t take it too seriously. Roll with the punches and stay loose!
This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience with the greatest rock band touring today. We’re gonna see a shit ton of music with 17,000 of our closest friends. How fuckin’ lucky are we!?