The most intriguing and enticing slice of this upcoming tour has to be the week-long stretch of Asheville > Bonnaroo > Fox Theatre. With all other shows contained within four-night amphitheatre runs, this will be the week of unique Phish experiences. Carved out seemingly so that many can skip the chunk if they want to (or have to), some of the most magical moments will no doubt come from these unique shows.
After seeing pictures of the Asheville Civic Center, I can’t believe Phish will be playing there. The place is not meant for such a monstrous act, boasting nothing more than an ovular field house. Yet Phish will play there, and it will inevitably be an intimate indoor treat for the 7000+ with a ticket stub in their hands. Coming directly before the largest show of the summer, and the largest show in stature of the band’s career, Asheville will be the kick down before the storm rages.
When Phish steps to the stage late-night at Bonnaroo on June 12 and 13th in front of 80,000 people, what do you think will be the result? Monster-sized Phish of the likes we may never have seen before. With a musical message to send to a generation that largely missed them, and a diverse audience that will not automatically love what they hear, Phish will crush these shows like none other. With two nights of gargantuan grooves, I can guarantee you it’ll be worth it musically. I keep trying to convince myself that I should skip it and side-step the unbelievable hassle and nonsense I will have to deal with to attend the ‘Roo, but the thought of what will happen there is drawing me in. With the industry and the audience in the palm of their hands, you know Phish will step to bat and rip the cover off the ball– we are talking massive festival sized crushing. I have read everyone’s posts about the misery of the festival– the crowds, the heat, the cops, and the corporate rape– but will any of that matter once swimming in the bombast of the summer’s murkiest Mike’s jam? The magnitude of the Phish could be too much too miss. Any way I cut it, it’ll be pretty hard for me to sit by and wait for St. Louis!
Following up the colossal headlining explosion at Bonnaroo, Phish will travel to the 5,000 person, ornately designed Fox Theatre. In what will almost certainly be one of the most vibrant summer memories, Phish is set to blast off in the stunning room untouched by the band since 11.23.1994, when they dropped one of the most magnificent Tweezers of all time. As small a Phish show as we will ever get in America, this night is sure to be something to remember for the band and audience alike.
It’s always fun when they mix it up with indoor and outdoor shows, and this this week will be the ultimate indoor/outdoor Phish experience. Tickets for these indoor shows will be tough, but I don’t think we’re talking Hampton here. There is a spread out demand at this point, the shows are both on Tuesday nights, and the limit is four so people can hook up friends. It will be interesting how it all shakes down.
With all of the other shows in 20,000 person amphitheatres, the ticket scene should be pretty mellow, even if you don’t score em right away. Things should fall back into place a bit this summer. Jones Beach will be the most difficult just because of the population of the New York metro area and the fact that they are the tour openers. But Great Woods, Camden, Deer Creek, and Alpine are looking good from this perspective. But honestly, it’s hard to believe this is really happening.
While pondering a topic for the day, it was very hard to sit down and write something about the past when all I can think about is the future. I will most certainly get back to some more conventional and historical posts, but for tonight the adrenaline inside is keeping my fingers typing about the upcoming road.
All that, and Hampton is less than two months away! Yes, kid.
PHISH AUDS: I definitely plan on posting the Phish shows in mp3 format like I did for the Trey shows. I know a lot of people have been asking about that, and the answer is most definitely yes. I have to either find a taper to work with or I may do it myself. If anyone can help, please email me! Not sure if the turn around will be the next day due to driving et al., but I will do my best to get a great copy of the shows up for download ASAP. This is not against any policy of the band.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
7.12.96 Melkweg, Amsterdam < LINK
Throwing down a request for a loyal reader, this is a classic nugget of Phish history. Marking the band’s first trip to Amsterdam, the band played a three set show that included as much comedy as anything else. With the band enjoying the city’s delicacies as much as the fans, this night made for a hilarious memoir, but didn’t amount to a whole lot musically. With some good tidbits thrown strewn about a sloppy, smoky show, this one is certainly a must have for its place in Phish’s legacy.
I: Wilson, The Divided Sky, Horn, Split Open & Melt#, Ya Mar, Funky Bitch*, Taste**, Theme From the Bottom, Tweezer > Llama
II: It’s Ice > Prince Caspian, Mike’s Song, Run Like an Antelope, Purple Rain > HYHU, G D E A- Minor Ska Groove***, NICU, Slave to the Traffic Light, Suzy Greenberg****
III: David Bowie > Free, Hello Ma Baby
E: Bathtub Gin, Johnny B. Goode
#With “The Landlady” tease. *After the end, Trey made a comment about the lack of curfew. **Trey announced that this will no longer be “Fog That Surrounds” and will be “Taste” from now on. ***Trey asked the audience to help make up a song. He asked the audience to shout out keys and the band played them. Trey then asked a guy in the front row for a groove, and he shout out “ska.” They start the GDEA-Minor (keys) Ska Groove but Trey said that this was too weird and that they were going to play one of their own. ****Trey unplugs and then plugs in his guitar, resulting in weird noises. Fish calls it, “It was cool when he plugged in his guitar song.”Tags: Summer '09