Ex-NHLer Sean Avery Talks Phish Fandom In New Book


Longtime NHLer Sean Avery recently released an autobiography titled Ice Capades: A Memoir Of Fast Living & Tough Hockey. Avery, who spent portions of six seasons on the New York Rangers, has never hidden his love of Phish and discusses the band in Ice Capades as noted by the folks at r/phish.

“We went to our first Phish concert at a venue on Long Island called Jones Beach,” Avery recalled in the book. “There was pandemonium in the parking lot even before the show started and basic insanity the moment the first chord hit. I was hooked a few songs into the show, when massive funk-based freak-outs erupted among the 15,000 fans as they let go of any insecurities and danced any way they wanted,” Sean said likely in reference a concert during the 2009 run at the Wantagh, New York venue.

Sean Avery decided to see the band again at SPAC in Saratoga Springs and this time he had a chemically-enhanced experience, “Because the Saratoga concert is inside a national forest, I decide it’s the perfect place to trip on acid for the first time, and twenty minutes before the show starts I pop a white Altoid with a drop of LSD on it into my mouth, and make the short walk from the hotel into the venue. Phish opened the show with a bang, the exuberant ‘Brother’-Whoa! Somebody’s jumping into the tub with your brother-and I waited and waited and waited until a hour into the show, and then the acid hit me.”

While the “Brother” opener took on June 20, 2010 at SPAC, Avery seems to mix together his experience from that night and at SPAC the previous summer:

I’ve never felt or experienced anything like it in my life. It feels like you’re in a movie, watching yourself in these amazing primary colors, with everything alive around you-even things that aren’t alive. I can only compare it to a scene in Fear And Loathing In Las Vegas where Johnny Depp, playing Hunter S. Thompson, arrives in hotel lobby while he’s on an acid trip, and the carpet on which his character is standing comes to life…I must say he handles the experience much better than I did. Phish is known for throwing curveballs at their fans by playing unusual cover songs, and that night they played one of the weirdest and most intense cover songs I’ve ever heard: Katy Perry’s “I Kissed A Girl.” Phish sent my acid trip into a whole new stratosphere, and by the middle of the song my face felt like it had melted off and my soul was exposed. My arms felt so heavy I could barely lift them to take a drag on my cigarette, and when I finally got my hand to my mouth the butt was moving like an ocean wave so that I couldn’t meet my mouth to pull a drag. The concert was outdoors, and I had to move around to shake off this beast that was hanging on me, so I made my way to the top row where the venue flattens out and looks down on the crowd and the stage. I sat and watched, trying to control my mind. Hilary, who did not drop acid, was next to me, being a good companion. To her, and everyone else, I looked like I was fine. Maybe my eyes were a little glassy, but I wasn’t going to take a flying leap onto the stage. I mean, I could barely move.

In 2010 Avery tweeted, “‘Down With Disease’ is the NYR song for the stretch run people…let’s get this show going!” Sadly for Sean, the Rangers didn’t make it to the playoffs that year.

Watch fan-shot video of “I Kissed A Girl” as captured by Daniel Erem:

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