Live Music is Life. It’s one of the biggest things I missed when the world shutdown because COVID. There is something about watching musicians who have spent tireless hours being good at one instrument and and then even more tireless hours working with other musicians to form a band. I’ve been a Phish Phan for years … too many years. I wouldn’t consider myself a “super fan” only because some of my friends are absolute super fans. They know every note, riff, tease and can call out show openers like a modern day Nostradamus. Thats not me. I just enjoy their groove and have an appreciation for their masterful musicianship.
The 10/16/2021 and 10/17/2021 shows in San Francisco, California were rescheduled from COVID canceled shows previously set for 7/25/2020 and 7/26/2020. When the tickets went on sale my family and I still lived in the Bay Area and the idea of moving was just an idea. I had put in my “mail order” request for the shows in San Francisco and at the Gorge back in February 2020 and had completely forgot about them — one month before California closed. Well, we moved to Park City and surprise, I got an email that I had tickets on the way to my old house in California — haha. I even had to email them and ask them “what shows did I purchase?”.
I ended up selling all of my tickets online but serendipitously found myself traveling to the Bay Area for work and decided to meet my friend at the Sunday 10/17/2021 show at the Chase Center in San Francisco — the new home of the Golden State Warriors. First, it was so amazing to see my buddy who I had not seen in years — second, the show was amazing. The setlist was solid. The energy was high. The groove was groovy. The light show was off the charts.
10/17/2021 Phish @ Chase Center Setlist
- Set 1: Bug, My Soul > Back on the Train, Maze, Steam, Destiny Unbound, Beauty of a Broken Heart, Reba, I Never Needed You Like This Before
- Set 2: Evolve, Set Your Soul Free, Wingsuit > Chalk Dust Torture
- Encore: Lawn Boy, Wolfman’s Brother
Steam contained a Dave’s Energy Guide tease. Chalk Dust Torture included a Wingsuit tease. This was the rescheduled date from the show that had been postponed due to the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
Unfortunately, I woke up the next morning to a slew of text messages about how the Phish message boards were a fire with discussion of a “death” at the show. I didn’t notice anything that night other than a section across from us was empty but pointed it out to one of my friends that it was weird. The news would not pick it up until later that day — two individuals fell/jumped/not sure from the upper balcony to the lower level — one of those individuals died. Very sad.
- 1 Dead, 2 Hurt After Apparent Falls During Phish Concert at Chase Center [NBC Bay Area]
- Fans at S.F. Phish concert recount horror as man died at Chase Center [The SF Chronicle]
- SF Police update cause of death of Phish fan at Chase Center [The Mercury News]
I can’t say too surprising though. The combination of raucous dancing, the steep balconies, low glass railings and likely drug use is a deadly combination. I had the opportunity to see the third concert at the Chase Center which was Dave Matthews Band back in 2019. It was my first time in the brand new building and my first reaction was how steep the balcony was an how oddly low the railings are. I’m sure they will make some changes after this incident. Trey said a few choice words about it at the next Phish show in Eugene, Oregon. The Phish community is small so it was a bit rattling. My condolences go out to the friends and family involved with the deceased.
So, even through it was a Great show. Great vibe. Great performance. The cloud of the death will hang over that show.