I’ll admit, I’m a little nostalgic. Hitting 100 shows is an achievement for Phish fans, a centennial celebration to mark a long journey over many years of seeing Phish. Very few jump on tour and don’t miss a show for 3 or 4 years, netting 100 shows in one quick succession of years. Rather, the journey takes many years. There are some who have seen the band since the late 1980s have yet to crack 100 while a few who started in 2004 are soon to break the barrier sometime this summer. The longevity adds to who you are and says where you have been.
My 100th show was 12/28/11 (as was Dan McKnight’s) and going in, I left all expectations at the door for once. A Ya Mar opener, just like my first show (12/13/97) was my only request and the first ever Free opener erased the thought from my head and gladly so. The New Years Run was devoid of expectations thereafter and my enjoyment of the shows was great, as it started off with an achievement. I looked forward to it and my friends who are soon to crack 100 themselves talked it up.
Think about it – have you ever done 100 of anything and kept count? Beyond kid stuff, anything as an adult? Been to 100 countries? Ran 100 miles? Biked 100 miles? (that one is possible on a long day…) Seen any other band 100 times? Sure, there are Grateful Dead, Panic, Cheese and Umphrey’s fans who might have hit this milestone but outside of this realm of music, achieving a 100 even on a test is tough to do. When it happens, its rare, and worth celebrating
I recall two other friend’s 100th shows in the 3.0 era. Holly hit 100 on NYE in Miami in 2009 while Amy celebrated in her hometown of Utica on 10/20/10. To mark the occasion, stickers and shirts, respectively, were made to commemorate the occasion.
When my 100th show was approaching, I thought it to be a novel idea to follow suit and make a sticker up. I knew the exact date and thanks to the Essex flood relief show falling on 9/14/11, 12/28/11 would be my 100th show. I contacted my friend Jeffery, who also designed his wife Holly’s 100th sticker, and asked him to design a sticker incorporating all my other 99 shows. The resulting sticker was awesome and brought the sports of Madison Square Garden and the beauty of seeing Phish together very nicely.
What I did with these stickers over those 4 days in NYC was sell them, but not for profit. Likewise with Holly’s sticker and Amy’s shirt, it was more to make ends meet than make profit. With stickers being cheaper to make, usually around $1 after shipping, it made sense that these stickers would be a better investment and to make money back in the end.
As a bonus to this, if you can manage to sell your stickers for a Buck or more, why not take that profit and donate it to The Mockingbird Foundation. Having your 100th show be a reason for celebration is one thing, but to make a feel-good donation it, all it takes is a little effort, no matter how many stickers you buy. Through 123stickers.com or Customstickermakers.com (two sites used frequently and are recommended) you can get stickers in smaller quantities for cheaper, or go for 100 to commemorate the day. Either way, you can make a nice donation to Mockingbird and enjoy a nice way to commemorate a milestone in your history – your phanneversary.
Four simple steps:
1) Design sticker
2) Make sticker (see links above)
3) Sell sticker on lot, or on PhanArt
4) Donate to Mockingbird (if you made any extra $$)
You can collect these stickers or shirts from among your friends. It works out to be a nice way to see where you’ve been. Got a group of 10 friends who have seen 100 shows each? 1000 Phish shows seen is a bit mind-blowing and a cool design makes for great art and a nice piece of nostalgia. As fans approach their 100th show, consider commemorating it with a piece of art and possibly helping out Mockingbird in the process. The group effort would be an enormous one over time if this catches on.
Now, I can’t comment on 200 shows personally, but at Dick’s this past September, I ran into my friends on lot and was handed a sticker to commemorate Holly’s 200th show – about 3 years after the last notable milestone, she hit 200. Pretty remarkable, and creative too. Her husband Jeffery designed this one as well.
Then you have those folks who have made it to milestones some may think of as unreachable and unfathomable. Noah Phence hit 300 shows on the third night of Hampton in 2009. Pretty good timing huh? Noah recalled what he thought of when he made a small postcard to give out to friends: “I instantly thought of the movie 300 and the scene where he bellows “Tonight, we dine in hell!” and simply changed it to “Tonight we dance in Hampton!”
Last but not least, Christy Articola, the editor of Surrender to the Flow had a nice surprise treat in St. Louis this summer. She knew in advance that this show would be #365 for her, meaning a YEAR of Phish! Run that one through your head for a second. Mind-blowing, isn’t it? While Christy was taking the show in like no other, a group of her friends worked together to make the small mock-STTF issue (#365) to commemorate the event, they also worked together to raise money to buy the band-signed show poster from The Waterwheel Foundation, even scoring poster #365 in the process! This was a group effort to commemorate a rare milestone for a friend who does tons for others (not to mention publish the best, and only, fan magazine out there) and do some good for others with the effort in the process.
So there you have it. The 100 show milestone, whether you are hitting it for the first time, the second, third or 3.65th time, it’s well worth noting and commemorating with a little art of your own, and possibly a little something for The Mockingbird Foundation. When you hit that mark, share your art with PhanArt and we’ll keep them cataloged for future editions of PhanArt: The Art of the Fans of Phish.