IT was a long, strange trip
i love to drive. i really do. the thought of driving 14 hours to see one of my favorite bands was not a strange one for me; i had done it on several occasions in the past, and been very glad i did.
we left Old Forge, NY at 6:30AM on friday morning. we had wanted to leave earlier, but some of the crew had to work late, and this was decided to be the best time. the gates opened at 8:00AM, but the shows wouldn't begin until saturday.
additionally, rather than taking the highway route down I-90 to I-95 to Maine, we took Route 2 across Vermont, New Hampshire, and much of Maine. this seemed more direct.
along the way we encountered a few traffic issues, but we still arrived in the Limestone, ME area around 8:30PM. at this point, we ran into a traffic jam, but this was expected. we figured we probably had a 4-6 hour wait to get in, annoying, but tolerable.
16 and 1/2 hours later, we parked on the airfield.
you might wonder why we would do this to ourselves. "who the hell would wait in line for 16 hours to see a band?!?!" of course, we really had no choice. although we could have turned around an arrived home before we actually got in, we had all spent $150 to go, and driven a long way; we were there for good.
in truth, we didn't know how long we were going to be waiting. we expected some wait, and due to a change in course we took a different route in than the other Limestone veterans had taken before, we didn't know how far away we actually were from the venue.
we were about 13 miles away.
finally there... after finally getting in and situated, we really didn't have time for naps or anything, but we were glad to have lucked out with our campsite. we were about as close to the concert field as we could hope to be, and unlike some of our friends who we had talked to before cell phone use became impossible (70,000 cell-phone loving phans have that effect on a cell tower), we were able to camp on grass (instead of tarmack) and next to our cars (instead of a different lot).
we were concerned about the whether, but it had already done all the damage it was going to do. torrential downpours in the previous week had turned many of the camping areas to muck, so they needed to be relocated. it was mostly sunny, and very pleasant at night.
tripping the light fantastic... refreshments (chemical and otherwise) were abundant, and we really didn't have to go anywhere to find anything; it all came to us. i really don't know how some people had the energy to consume all the recreational products that they did, considering that after 30 hours in the car, and pretty high heat and humidity all day, i felt like a dishrag. the last thing i needed was to be in a chemical funk.
08/02/03 Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME First set was 1h50m!!! Set I: AC/DC Bag, Ya Mar> Runaway Jim, Reba, Birds of a Feather, Meatstick, Two Versions of Me, Vultures, Limb By Limb, Cavern Set II: Down With Disease> NICU, Brother, Lawn Boy, Discern, Waves, David Bowie Set III: Rock and Roll> Seven Below, Scents and Subtle Sounds> Spread It Round, Bug Encore: Dog Log, The Mango Song
this Ya Mar was 17 minutes long. instead of the usual solos over the chord changes, it just went into outer space. after about 15 minutes, i had to ask joel what song it was, since i had totally forgotten (plus i couldn't believe that they could take Ya Mar to the places they did!).
some phans apparently were chanting meatstick, and the band opted to play this, instead of the Fluffhead that everyone had wanted to hear.
08/03/03 Loring Air Force Base, Limestone, ME Set I: Daniel, Saw it Again, Punch You in the Eye, Army of One, Chalkdust Torture, Wilson, Mike's Song> I Am Hydrogen> Weekapaug Groove Set II: Mellow Mood, Ghost, Mist, Pebbles and Marbles, You Enjoy Myself> Chariots of Fire, Loving Cup Set III: 46 Days, Julius, The Lizards, Secret Smile, Run Like An Antelope Encore: Good Times Bad Times
a verse got lost in Wilson somewhere, and they just ended it, prompting trey to say Wilson was the shortest version ever, and was "postable", after which he made a keyboard typing motion with both hands.
then after the entire crowd got on the Fluffhead chant bandwagon, trey asked mike, but "mike said no". i think they pretty much all realized they hadn't practiced it enough to risk ruining the neat perfect shows they had played so far. they ripped out on a Mike's Groove instead, tho.
finally, instead of the "rye, rye, rocco" part of Antelope, Trey said his little goodbye message to everyone, and promised a "traffic-free festival" for next time, whatever that means.
let's get the FUCK OUT!!! we were ready to hit the road at 10:30AM the next morning, and since there seemed to be so many people leaving that night, we figured we'd have no problems getting out.
it took 10 and 1/2 hours to get out.
total concert time: ~45.5 hours total car time: ~55.5 hours
in conclusion... tucker and i decided on the best way to describe this festival. it was an ice cream sandwich.
it looks so good, and you can't wait to eat it. then, salivating, you take a bite, only to discover that the outside part is made of dirt, and it's twice as thick as the ice cream.
but the ice cream is so sweet, you almost forget about the fact the you just ate dirt.