, attached to 1999-12-29

Review by gratefulphish

gratefulphish I was the one that taped this soundcheck. I was completely styled out for this whole show, with an RV parked behind the stage, to the right. I was not even going to bring my taping gear, because all of my other taper friends were going to be out there in the field, and it just seemed pointless to bring my stuff, but since I lived in FL, and had the ability to load the RV with everything that I wanted from home, at the last minute, I threw my taping pack inside.

We drove in a back way, through miles of unmarked roads through sugar cane fields, praying that we were not lost, and would not hit a dead end, since the road was so narrow, there would be no way to turn the RV around. We finally hit a "T" intersection, and there was a little wooden sign on a post pointing "Indian Reservation" with an arrow. Then I prayed that they spelled my name right. All was well at the gate, and we were escorted in by golfcart to the Chiet's private backstage RV area, where they had a big generator set up, so all we had to do was plug in.

As I am taking stock of the whole situation, and the amazing place that I found myself, I hear some plinking sounds. I was not sure what it was at first, but it was Trey just plucking a few strings. I ran out onto the field, but a security guy said that no one was allowed on the field. I asked where I could go, and he said, "on the stage." Okay. I ran back into the RV, cut a hole in my pack, set the deck up, ran wires through the hole, and zipped up the pocket, so that only the mic caps were sticking out, and then ran toward the stage.

Next dilemma was figuring out what to do with the deck. I finally placed it to the side back of one of the speaker stacks, and then went up on the risers on the other side of the stage to watch the soundcheck. Obviously, it was beyond fucking amazing to be there, but at some point I am talking to Fish's father who came up, and he told me that the soundcheck was being broadcast on FM radio. Now, I was wondering whether I should go and grab my gear, out of fear that Brad or Bart would see it, and just stomp it to bits, but I could see the edge of it from where I was, and I decided to just let it be.

After the soundcheck was finally over, I grabbed the pack and walked over to the RV, and said to the GF that it had been a waste of effort, since they had broadcast it via FM to the crowd. So, we walked out to general camping to meet up with some other tapers, and got to their RV, which had an FM tuner, and a stack of Tascam DA-20s all set up to record. But, apparently something had gone wrong, and there was no broadcast, meaning that I had just made a very precious recording. The earliest releases of this have my huffing and puffing as I am running around with the deck deciding where to put it. I know that got trimmed off later. But, it was just the beginning of the greatest show on earth.


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