Describing Phish as a band might be a bit of an understatement. In fact, calling Phish a cult would even fall shy of what it actually is. “Lifestyle” might be getting close to describing what Phish is. If nothing else, it is much more then a jam band from Burlington. Up until recently, I would have never written those previous three sentences.
Two weekends ago I tagged along with my friends Tyler and Teddy to Amherst Massachusetts to attend a Phish concert. They are both huge Phish fans, something I have never quite understood. I didn’t have a ticket, but I had a sneaking suspicion that photo worthy things would be lurking outside of the venue. I was not disappointed.
While my friends were having their faces melted in the well heated Mullins Center, I was out exploring. I watched people by the dozens force their way in through the one way exterior doors of the venue, while others were having their $500 bribes turned down by 17 year old security guards. Androgynous dreadlocks aficionados were selling questionable brownies and assorted braided hemp. Even 30 minutes after the show started, what seemed like hundreds of desperate fans were still wandering with one frozen finger up begging for scalped tickets. I have been to quite a few concerts in my day and have never seen anywhere near that level of scalper desperation.
At some I started to get cold and took notice of a giant bus. I got on it. It turns out it was part of some sort of religious movement. I had a long conversation with a man with a long beard.
I would like very much to photograph another Phish show, no press pass required.