Monday, July 14, 2008

Rothbury 2008 (or These Rothburys Taste Like Rothburys): Sunday

Sunday was by far our busiest day at the smoothie booth. We were slammed for most of the morning which was great because we were not only making money, but I knew that once the afternoon rolled around I might be watching the three members of Phish who were at the festival play together. Our resident-artist Jumbie decided to give away all of his posters for free which meant that we had tons of people milling around, which in turn attracted even more people to the booth. One thing that I've noticed about lines at festivals is that the longer the line at the booth, the more people that will flock to the line. Anyways, the only thing of interest Sunday morning was when we got a hold of some ice cream and added the Goo-ball milkshake to our unofficial menu.

We caught most of Rodrigo y Gabriela and it was really, really good. I just don't know how so much music can come from two acoustic guitars. Somehow the duo was able to infuse all sorts of riffs from Metallica, Deep Purple, and Jimi Hendrix into one 30 minute version of "Stairway to Heaven". The cameras mounted on the guitar necks was a cool little effect as well:

Seriously though, these two know how to play for an audience. I really think they could have started playing Madonna and I would have liked it. Those aren't drums in the background, by the way, that's the sound of their hands slapping the guitars.

Trey Anastasio was scheduled to play right after Rodrigo y Gabriela, so we rushed to get seats right in front of the soundboard when the first show ended. For some reason I felt kind of nervous before this show. It's not like I was playing my first show in 15 months or anything, but I felt kind of nervous nonetheless. Not to over-analyze the set or anything, but it seemed like a lot of the songs were not only carefully chosen but many seemed to take on a new meaning coming from this older, sober, kind of humbled, and seemingly wiser Trey Anastasio that took the stage. There weren't any distractions, no extravagant lights, not even the Languedoc was present for this one. It was just one man trying to connect with his fans, his band, and his music.

Get Back on the Train


Brian & Robert


Sample in a Jar

For those of you who don't already know how this story ends, Mike Gordon sat-in at the end of the set for two new songs, "Backwards Down the Number Line" and "Alaska", as well as "Chalkdust Torture".

I thought Backwards Down the Number Line was fan-fucking-tastic. It had really emotional, direct, powerful lyrics and I bet this will probably be the first song Phish plays when they eventually reunite (instead of Shine). Not only were the lyrics themselves touching, but the song made me excited to think about the prospect of more new Phish songs, new albums, New Year's Eves, Summer tours, Halloweens, and everything and anything in between.

Alaska was fun, a little funky, and definitely has a few of those Phishy lyrics that inevitably get stuck in your head for days and days.

Chalkdust was a great way to close the set, and the whole crowd ran over to catch Mike's set, which began 15 later at another stage. Cactus started off hot with "Another Door" from his new album, the Green Sparrow. You could tell that Mike was really in great spirits. He professed his love for the audience, his new band, and of course, his old band. I professed my love for Mike, but I don't think he heard me.

Mike Rothbury

The best way way to describe the second half of Mike's set: nearly perfect. Trey came in, did a little shredding, they played "Meat," and then Fishman joined for a kick-ass rendition of the Beatles' "She Said, She Said." It was definitely 30 of the best minutes of the weekend, and it gave me an overwhelming sense of relief, not just about the music, but about everything.


She Said, She Said

The trade off to seeing nearly 6 hours of music in a row on Sunday was that I had to work during Phil Lesh & Friends. Although I was slightly disappointed, I didn't have much time to reflect on my disappointment considering that the booth was really busy because it was warm out on Sunday night unlike the previous two nights. I was just in too good of a mood after the day's events to even care that we were missing Phil.

I really have to hand it Madison House, Charm City Hospitality, and the folks at JJ Ranch for putting on one hell of a weekend. Rothbury not only did the big things right, but they did all of the little things right as well, which is even more impressive considering that this was the festival's inaugural year.

And while I'm still a long way from being rich, we did well enough to hop on the Umphrey's McGee & STS9 Summer tour for a couple of stops.

Currently, the little smoothie booth that could has no plans until All Points West.

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