Sunk City

Limestone Travel Blog

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And Here I Am! Jordan befriends the Big Boy of the City.

I always love the unique creations built by the various artists at these festivals, and this year's "Sunk City" was the coolest of the bunch, imo. The half-sunk Bob's Big Boy was priceless.  IT was a collection of artworks and other fun and very creative stuff. IT was really cool. I saw some people getting married there.

IT was a city they built in the woods that had an area for kids to put tape everywhere from tree to tree wich ended up looking like one huge trippy web. It had a walkway suspended in air that you were able to cross to the other side and look down. Lit up signs and a 6 foot burger dude that was buried to his shoulders. Just some trippy shit going down in there.

The lit up signs were atop buildings intended to look like they were mostly buried in the ground.

Edge of Sunk City.
You could walk along the top of the building and look down at stuff going on inside of them.

I also really liked the DJ/jam house that pumped out that industrial groove stuff. It was a unique sound, a sound that was mirrored, I think, but the jamming the band did on the control tower the first night.

At the first note of 46 Days, I decided to go on an adventure to the Sunk City. Not that I wanted to miss any of the show, but I wanted to see the attraction, and I knew I wouldn't have time after the show. So Jordan, Beth, Meredith, and I meandered our way through the silent trees to get to the hidden Sunk City.

As we entered beyond the facade of the city structure, we found ourselves in a clearing with strange artwork strewn about. We checked it out, and I saw Jordan pop behind a line of trees.

Sunk City Woods.
Better than the port-o-potties, I thought. But a minute later he didn't reappear. So naturally I walked into the edge of the trees to find him. He was gone. In his stead was a labrynth of mazes through the forest, with string and tape delineating the paths.

I told the ladies I'd be back and charged in after him. The paths were cut off at about 4 or 5 feet, so you had to crouch down as you traversed the maze. But I cut through the woods, completely lost and turned around. Occasionally I'd run into a person or strange art creation. Foreign music emanated from all around me. Then, in a moment of inspiration, I charged down a random corridor and found him at the end. Later he would say to me, "I felt like a lizard in that forest."
 
Wandering around the Sunk City Forest, I found myself next to a large pit of balls.

Groucho Marx
There were basketballs, soccer balls, footballs, whiffle balls--just about every sort of ball you can imagine.

I thought it was neat but didn't quite understand IT.
 
Later in my journey around the Sunk City, I found myself on a ramp leading upwards. I followed it, wherever it led, then peered down from above.

The balls suddenly took form in my imagination. Somehow, magically, they had been set to the face of Groucho Marx. Darker balls created his glasses and 'stache. Brown balls formed his cigar. The funny glasses and mustache from the weekend all made sense. IT made sense. (At least to me.)

The neatest part was the band that was playing inside this little tower within sunk city - there were 4 guys in white jumpsuits wearing acorn hats and sunglasses - one guy looked like he was controlling the strobe lights, 2 were playing the guitar like crazy and another played the drums.

Yeah Is Good!
..mirrors were set up along all the walls and white strobe lights within (mind you they had about 3.5 feet of space to work with in there)... at the top of this tower there were video screens playing the Wizard of Oz.

As we made our way to the top of the ramp, we found an overlook where we could see the entire Sunk City, as well as the stage in the distance. 46 Days was still going on. People in the forest were visible from above.

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This is IT!

Sunday was beautiful. I got the best sleep in weeks and awoke to another gorgeous day. This time, I had time to mentally prepare for the show. Gabe and I played Frisbee, and I impressed him with my disc golf abilities. Later he helped me sell my new poster. This was the debut of the High Way poster, and it was the first time I got to see strangers react to it. Folks laughed out loud, pointed at the illustrations, and picked up every copy I brought to IT. Pretty awesome. All those late hours and working weekends in the spring finally seemed worth the effort.

After dilly-dallying in the RV lots for a few hours, we finally headed to the show. What better introduction to the show than the opening holler of Daniel? After 126 shows, I finally got to hear the rare gospel tune, and it was jammed to perfect.

Speakers in the Sun.
"Oh, well the tree it was bending/Up in the heavenly land/Well, my God spoke unto the Holy Ghost/He said, "Come on and let's make man."

This time around we found the perfect spot: an elevated plateau behind the second tier speakers. The sound was good, there was dancing room and no mud, and we could even see the band. They were ants on the stage, but they were there. It was my first show with Mer since the Great Went; we had been to many of the same shows together, including the Nassau show from 02/28/03, but now we got to get our groove on again.

As the mud squished between my toes and got caked in our footwear, I remembered Phish's Cavern mantra: Whatever you do, take care of your shoes. Not possible.
 
The cell phones didn't work at all for us.

Our Intent Is All For Your Delight.
No matter: We ran into just about everyone we wanted to. I ran into Lawn Boy at his only summer appearance. Jordan found Sam and Doro and their enormous posse. (Sam tipped us off to the sweet location behind the speakers.) Beth stumbled into Aaron (also after dark). Marcus ran into his ex not once, but twice.. Yikes!

As night descended on the Sunday show, I was in a great location, both physically and mentally. With a giant tarp, cold beers, snacks, and a complete crew, I was ready to party to the end. The nighttime brought its own adventures, too.

Phish's intent has always been for all our delight. The music-loving masses would probably agree.  Below, thousands of gorgeous glow rings criss-cross the nighttime sky, harmlessly providing a psychedelic visual stimulus--even for those of us who were sober for the event.

Phish Glow Ring War.
It seems that after a few glow stick injuries, Phish provided the audience with a perfectly lightweight ring. And maybe it was just me, but I thought it made the Ghost from that night even more intense. What a Ghost it was.

Some of the best friends in my life assembled in this odd corner of Maine.

Amazingly, I ran into just about everybody I wanted to at Phish's It festival. Considering that cell phones didn't work and that there were more than 60,000 people there, I didn't expect to find too many familiar faces.

Alas, I ran into Aaron from Relix, Sam and Doro Globus, Steve from Phamily, and even Lawn Boy (Below right).

It was Lawn Boy's only appearance on the entire summer tour. He upgraded from his traditional "Lawn Boy" cape, apparently tired of the folks who would call his name and ask for free candy.

Pardon Me, Doug: aka "Lawn Boy"
It can't be easy being Lawn Boy. So he said he was being "DL" with his 21-century cape. Behind Doug's shoulder the crescent moon is flashed on the screens between sets.

So to sum up the final three sets of 08/03:

I: Again, a VERY solid first set of the day. Daniel was fine, Saw it Again was plain dirty, PYITE got the energy building. I could have done without Army of One since we seemed ready for beefy jam, but we got it with Chalkdust...around 25 minutes probably, great stuff. "Shortest Wilson Ever" followed as they skipped a verse and nixed the ending. Crowd is now chanting for Fluffhead LOUDLY, and as the band confers, Trey approaches the mic and says "Mike says no." Crowd boos, but then they immediately bust into Mike's Song, which was fantastic! H20 was real nice, and Weekapaug raged as well.

Sunset Grounds
I caught a Seven Below tease in Week too (IMO).

II: Set of the festival hands down. I got real close for this one and they absolutely brought the HEAT. Mellow Mood started things off nicely and then Ghost just destroyed the place. It was amazing. I found myself in the middle of the largest glowstick war I've EVER seen, getting pelted left and right. All the while the music just wouldn't let up. I'd say this was around 30 minutes, if not more, but don't hold me to it. Jam of the weekend. Mist was a very nice cool down, YEM was FLAWLESS and had a great funk jam to it, and the whole awards ceremony thing was fun with Lovin Cup to close it. Amazing energy this set, I think the fans seem to know that second sets are where it's at usually at these things. All I could hear after the set was "holy shit," "are you kidding me," and so on and so forth.
Fireworks
Sick.

III: Tough to top the second, but they had a valiant attempt. 46 days was WAY too long and went nowhere. I heard someone say that it was amazing, but it really wasn't that good. There were a couple nice segments but overall it had a tired feel to it, which isn't surprising as alot of the energy seemed to be soaked up from the last set. Julius was rockin', Lizards was very nice personally, haven't caught that in a while...and Antelope was broken up by Trey's Thank you speech but was a fun closer nonetheless. Good X Bad Times was fun and Fireworks were spectacular.

Overall a fucking great time. The setlists may not look "stunning" on paper, but the playing was top notch all weekend, and that's all that really matters.

After the fireworks were extinguished and Phish said their goodnights, it was time to head home.

Phish Makes Fireworks: The light show is left to the professionals.
We gathered our possessions and each other and made our way back to the RV. It was 2 a.m., and we Beth's midterm exam at UVM in VT was at 6:00 p.m. I drove through the night and passed the controls to Jordan at Portland. By the time we returned the RV in Williston, it was 4:20 p.m. Traffic and driving rain slowed the home stretch of the trip, and we finally got Beth to College Street at exactly 5:55 p.m. She went straight from a Phish festival at Limestone, Maine, to a graduate school history midterm exam in Burlington. She scored a 94.

Setlist - 8/3/03

Set I Daniel Saw the Stone, PYITE, Army of One, Chalkdust Torture > Wilson > Mike's Song> I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

Set II: Mellow Mood, Ghost**, Mountains in the Mist,
Pebbles and Marbles, You Enjoy Myself > Chariots of
Fire, Loving Cup

Set III: 46 Days, Julius, Lizards, Secret Smile, Run Like an
Antelope

Encore: Good Times Bad Times

Highlights of second day:
MIKES- Couldn't wait to hear this one.

Doro Loves IT: I only got one picture of Doro all weekend. Even though it's blurry, you can tell she's flat-out awed by the display of flying light during an out-of-this-world ghost.
Trey was on FIRE
ENTIRE SECOND SET - one of the best sets I've ever seen. Amazing Ghost. It must have come close to thirty minutes. Great jam. The band was on fire the whole set.

Third set seemed a little short. Julius rocked pretty hard.

Overall I thought day II was much better. SET II was *THE* set I'd been waiting to hear for a while. The band appeard to be having a blast and the music was much better because of this.

And Here I Am!  Jordan befriends t…
And Here I Am! Jordan befriends …
Edge of Sunk City.
Edge of Sunk City.
Sunk City Woods.
Sunk City Woods.
Groucho Marx
Groucho Marx
Yeah Is Good!
Yeah Is Good!
This is IT!
This is IT!
Speakers in the Sun.
Speakers in the Sun.
Our Intent Is All For Your Delight.
Our Intent Is All For Your Delight.
Phish Glow Ring War.
Phish Glow Ring War.
Pardon Me, Doug: aka Lawn Boy
Pardon Me, Doug: aka "Lawn Boy"
Sunset Grounds
Sunset Grounds
Fireworks
Fireworks
Phish Makes Fireworks: The light s…
Phish Makes Fireworks: The light …
Doro Loves IT: I only got one pict…
Doro Loves IT: I only got one pic…
IT Fireworks
IT Fireworks
IT Fireworks
IT Fireworks
IT Fireworks
IT Fireworks
Our Intent Is All For Your Delight.
Our Intent Is All For Your Delight.
Aaron and Gabe hang by Russs side.
Aaron and Gabe hang by Russ's side.
Here We Shower Ourselves in Lightn…
Here We Shower Ourselves in Light…
Gabe and the girls.
Gabe and the girls.
Crowd
Crowd
Check out Fluffhead: Even without …
Check out Fluffhead: Even without…
Crowd
Crowd
Girls wrestling: Meredith tackles …
Girls wrestling: Meredith tackles…
Beth shares a big grin with none o…
Beth shares a big grin with none …
Bunnies hop through the audience: …
Bunnies hop through the audience:…
Marcus and Steve aka Mikealike. Ma…
Marcus and Steve aka Mikealike. M…
Did I mention it was muddy? Some f…
Did I mention it was muddy? Some …
Beth kindly requests Harpua. It di…
Beth kindly requests Harpua. It d…
The Ladies, The Ladies: The ladies…
The Ladies, The Ladies: The ladie…
Balls
Balls
Jordan and Aaron share their infin…
Jordan and Aaron share their infi…
A Lovely View of Heaven: Jordan wa…
A Lovely View of Heaven: Jordan w…
Merry Times: Meredith flashes perm…
Merry Times: Meredith flashes per…
Beth, well, um, thinks she is a sh…
Beth, well, um, thinks she is a s…
Nipple Rings and Beer: DMA
Nipple Rings and Beer: DMA
Sunday Group.
Sunday Group.
Sundown at IT.
Sundown at IT.
Wait, I Have an Idea!
Wait, I Have an Idea!
Ill Climb the Big Boy.
I'll Climb the Big Boy.
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photo by: B-Town