The dawning of the year 2000 was welcomed in many ways, but out of all none perhaps touched so many lives as Phish's New Years' Eve show in the pit of Alligator Alley, on the Big Seminole Indian Reservation. While some sat in half-a day's traffic just to get in the gates, and a few casualties were suffered (by all), the event seemed a tremendous success. The stage was set by 4 days of bright sunshine, the band played top form, and from the tour veterans to the first-timers all seemed to have a good time. What follows is a mere excerpt of the scene on these 3 days, but I hope you do enjoy and it sends you back to the balmy weather of southern Florida.
Here a phan ganders at a menu while the last 10 hours of the 1900s pass by.
Shakedown, or on the fields of Big Cypress known as 3rd Ave., was as always a packed place. Here set the usual suspects, unusual as they were.
And as usual on the band's part, they went nuts with adding their own touches to the scenery, including a faux city (fooling many into thinking the song was a sure-fire on the set list), 2 ferris wheels, and their own ice pyramid.
|Along First Ave, near the top of miles of campgrounds, one had an idea to create a log of all those in attendance on a bed sheet. Thanks to the damp air, all earlier signatures turned into a swirling pastel backdrop for new signers. The sheet was later raffled off for one dollar.|
Deep in the woods of the sequoia forest strange forces were at work; spiritual energy traveled through the air via mystic drum rhythms, as if incarnate spirits stomping in a rain dance fashion throughout the air.
Sound familiar? A kind brother and sister from Oregon had some bad luck on fall tour with their Beatrice, a 78 fuel-injected VW bus, so after renovations they decided the best way to give her a new home was to stage a raffle on the lots of the NYE show. Around 700 tickets later, some brother from the East Coast drove home with a new ride for a scarce $5. Sure the couple was sad to see their baby go, but they were glad to give her a good home.
|A sister sits in the shakedown sun, taking a smoke break from her session.|
|Another contributes to the scenery with her artistic interpretations on Saturday afternoon as onlookers gaze over her shoulder.|
More to come soon, please be patient and check back soon.
All photos © Chris Vultaggio 2000.