Phish New Years Run (Frolf) Miami, FL - 12/31/03
Miami Travel Blog› entry 4 of 4 › view all entries
Going into Miami, I had set two sporty goals (besides dancing at the Phish shows): scuba and frolf. I attempted (and failed miserably at) the scuba dive on the 30th, for better or worse. That left frisbee golf for the 31st. I figured the odds of getting sea sick were less on a frolf course at the Metro-Dade Kendall Indian Hammocks Park. A hired van took 10 of us halfway, then shuttled us home after trying to jack the price mid-trip. (Ricardo was on vacation.) Alas, the five hardcore frolfers found our own way.
Above right, Aaron stands in front of one of the many amazing trees in the park. Roots shot down from branches, creating an awesome natural beauty unique to Florida--and added obstacles for the shot.
The course was a great one. Eighteen holes, few out-of-bounds territories (though we found them) and even a few fun, elevated hills. After the front 9, I found myself tied with the lead. My game was off. But the long straightaway on the 10th hole opened the door for me. I pulled ahead and never looked back. A 2-toss birdie on hole 16 sealed the deal. It was time to head to the show. It was New Year's Eve after all . . .
The monorail took us from the hotel to the show every night. It was free, fast, and efficient. Granted, it only covered the area of downtown with the hotels and arena, but that was enough for us.
At right you'll find one of my favorite pictures from a Phish show I've ever taken. Only Jackie is visible amidst the blurring, and the Phish logo is clear in the right-bottom corner. I don't know why, but I love it.
On the Dec. 29th show, outside AAA, Adam tosses me a Slave to the Traffic Light T-shirt and says, "This is for you." He was given the shirt by a generous girl who was grateful for Adam picking a hot dog up off the floor.
For the Dec. 31st show I wore my new Slave shirt, positive it was going to be played that night. Our seats were right next to the soundboard, allowing for great sound and a great view. The first set when on forever, 100 minutes to be exact.
Slave was magnificent in the second set, spurring a beautiful, harmless, glow-ring war that accelerated with the tempo of the song.
New Year's eve is a lot of things for a lot of people. But at a Phish show on that date, it means madness.
The photo at left, taken during a random second set jam (Slave > Chalkdust > Slave?), illustrates this a bit.
Look close and you can spot some funny faces, deep thoughts, and a nipple ring.
The madness may not be better shown than in the picture below. I did not alter the image in any way. Gabe is deep in intense focus, listening intently to the music. Two girls, who I have absolutely no memory of from the show, stand behind each shoulder. One in red and the other in black and white, they look like Gabe's personal devil and angel.
The New Years holiday run is tradition for me. My second Phish show was their first MSG show (12/30/94), and my third was the infamous Boston Garden show on the last day of 1994. That show was a major turning point in my life, and Phish played a major role in it. I decided then that a Phish show is the best place to be when a new year rolls around. The New Years Eve concert in 2003 was my eighth consecutive, and quite possibly, my favorite.
With the friendliest security of any major venue, I was able to bring in my camera, champagne, and anything else I wanted to. I love American Airlines Arena. So does Phish.
On Dec. 31, 1996, I had just finished my first semester at college and was undergoing a major lifestyle transformation.