It’s a perfect night in Chicago. Only a few non threatening clouds fill the sky. A flood of people make their way down the one street that leads to Northerly Island. Many hold one finger up above their head to indicate they are looking for a ticket to a show. Tonight is the final night of Phish’s three night stand in Chicago. The fans anxiously await for the band to take the stage.
Phish takes the stage and the crowd applauds with excitement. They begin to play and Trey’s microphone isn’t working. For most acts, no microphone would run the show. But Phish easily goes into an instrumental jam while the issue is fixed. Walking around the large crowd in the lawn, I take in the crowd. Girls are hula hooping. Guys are throwing frisbees. People join the frisbee circle for a few throws and then move on. Some people are gathered close to the fence to watch the band, but many are just spread out enjoying the atmosphere. For many fans, it is not just about the band. It’s about the community that comes out to the show. I witness two people run into each other and greet each other with a huge hug. It’s clear they haven’t seen each other in quite a long time and are quite happy to run into each other. Music brings us together, and for Phish, it’s a large crowd of people enjoying the music and the company of like minded fans.