The Phunky Fox Diary: Sea and Sand

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Photograph by Roger Patteson, Type 2 Photography

Phish in Mexico Night 2 kicked off with “Turtle in the Clouds”,  a perfect beach show opener and a song that always gets everybody pumped up and ready. Last year in Mexico they played it on the second night but in the second song slot and changed the lyrics from “dancing on the hillside” to “dancing on the shoreline”. This year they did not change it and I yelled “shoreline” instead of “hillside”.

Just when you think you know what’s coming, this band shows you that nothing is certain. This was reiterated with the next song. The only way to describe the feeling when they busted out into the funkiest, high-energy and haunting “Shafty”,  is unforgettable. “Shafty” was a weekend highlight that still has us in awe. That moment left my body tingling as they went right into a smooth “Plasma”. “Plasma” had a nice jam before weaving right back to “Shafty”, which then returned back to “Plasma”. The last time they played “Plasma”, they spliced it in to jams throughout the entire show. It was wonderful to see it weaved with “Shafty”. Next came “Lizard’s”. The majority of the crowd ran into the ocean, waves of people, myself included. It was a beautiful “Lizards” that included the whole crowd in the water splashing high.

Photo taken by Roger Patteson (night one), Type 2 Photography

The next song contained a shout out to CID for their exceptional service. We all took a moment to really appreciate where we were and what was happening. Trey said “every single person here even has a hot tub in their room…come on”. Then they dove into a rocking “Bathtub Gin”. The ocean was going wild. During the Gin jam they took us back into “Shafty”, then back into “Gin”. The “Shafty” jams made this show one wild ride.

Next they went into “Blaze On”. “Blaze On” contained the lyric change “We’ll be dancin on the beach!” Which we most certainly were! In the midst of “Blaze On”, the wind picked up, and I began to get real chilly in the water. Not being allowed to have towels in the venue, I had no solution for how cold I became, something I did not anticipate. Then I realized how close the room was, and that there was re-entry, so I made a trek I never thought I would make mid-show. I danced/jogged my way back, made it to my room and could still clearly hear the show. I changed suits, grabbed the soft towel robe from the room and shuffled my way back too the venue. It was still blaze on! I was so grateful I was close enough to be able to do that because I would’ve shivered the whole show. Only at a Mexico show do you have experiences like that!

Photo by Roger Patteson (night one), Type 2 Photography

Right when I was back on the sand, my feet in the waves walking back to our spot, they went into “Sea and Sand”. I felt the sea crashing on my toes and felt my footprints in the sand. I couldn’t not believe I was really hearing that exact song in that moment, right then and right there. I felt the salty tears rolled down my cheeks and thought about how many years it must have been since they last played that. This version was only the 4th ever, and the last one happened the year that I was born in Ventura 98. It’s been 21 years since they busted that out. There is something so mind blowing about seeing Phish play something this late in your life they haven’t played since the start of it. 

After that they closed the set with a high energy “Possum”. Set break was incredible, there was just that mystic energy in the air. No one could even believe all that had just happened. Set 2 opened with a new tune, called “Sigma Oasis”. This was the second time Phish has played it. It contains an uplifting chorus with the words “You’re already there!”, great new happy tune. Next they dropped into Also Sprach Zarathustra, which is always like a spell for an instant dance party that song brings all the funkiest moves out of everyone. They followed up with “Drift While You’re Sleeping”, which is an emotional and bittersweet song. Hearing that on the beach was simply enchanting.  Next was “Lifeboy”,  a cosmic and spiritual song. In the middle of the song one of the lovely waiters handed us a popsicle out of the blue. We hadn’t seen anyone else with them and it was such a refreshing surprise! As me and my friends shared it taking bites it was hard to control the laughter. We couldn’t believe we were just gifted this free delicious thirst quenching popsicle. 

“Weekapaug Groove” – “Shafty” via Phish Youtube

Mexico gives you chances to experience songs in ways you never ever thought you would. Next was I Always Wanted It This Way”, which is one of my all-time favorite songs. It is a guaranteed rocking jam, and it is such an important message to remember. Every time I hear that song I am in complete awe of how fortunate we are and what we really have here. This band, this community, this precious life. I look at all my friends, new and old, all these people I love so dearly, and just can’t believe how lucky we are to share these moments together. We all have wanted it this way. That carried into a stellar “No Man in No Mans Land”, then a deep “Piper” jam. They closed the set off with a killer “Good Times, Bad Times”. Waiting for the encore, I couldn’t believe how good of a time it really was! “Good Times Bad Times” is usually in an encore slot, so encore speculations were all over the place. They came out and did an incredible “Sand”. I dug my toes deep into the sand, feeling every grain. It was an awesome “Sand”, but they weren’t done yet! They dropped into a “Weekapaug Groove”. That was a first for me in the encore slot. It was incredible and just when we thought that was really it, back to “Shafty” we went. What a perfect end to a perfect show.

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