Thirteen plus twelve equals twenty-five- now we’re talking! Dispersing the number of shows constituting a “normal” tour over the course of this entire summer, Phish will soon embark, in earnest, into chapter three. After a delayed announcement, a plethora of rumors, and even some naysayers, the band delivered a St. Patrick’s Day gift in the form of the long awaited “west coast” dates– of which half are in the east.
This time around, a video of the earth zoomed in quickly to an undisclosed location in Texas where an “09” was painted on the ground. Graphic overlays soon turned that into “Phish Summer Tour 09” and the dates started flowing. Red Rocks, Shoreline, The Gorge, Chicago, Darien, Hartford, Merriweather, SPAC. Huh? That didn’t sound so western. But Phish shows are Phish shows, and who can scoff at that east coast run peaking in upstate New York? That’s a familiar starting point for a drive to Limestone; just food for thought. As “Birds of a Feather” provided the late- summer soundtrack, we now had a tour! Let’s take a look at where this second leg of tour will take us.
After 1996’s debacle outside Red Rocks, Phish would never play the stunning venue again. After seven amazing shows over four years, their legacy at Red Rocks was locked away and sealed- until now. Thirteen years after Phish played one of the greatest stands of their career, they will return to the stunning natural amphitheatre in Morrison, CO for another four-night stand! Though rumored since last year, seeing the dates posted officially is sweet eye-candy, as any doubt has been forever cast away. If they hadn’t been made already, plans quickly materialized for fans all over the country for the last weekend in July.
After two days off, Phish will stop in the extended Bay Area for one show at the Grateful Dead’s former home of Shoreline Amphitheatre. The site of many an epic night of Phish, it was a little surprising to only see one show announced. Reason being, the past three times Phish came through Shoreline, it was for a twin bill. After Shoreline, there is another day off so people can comfortably get up to rural Washington; out to the the other best venue in America, The Gorge. With two nights of convergence between music and nature, Phish will cap their west coast tour. Albeit short, six of the seven shows will take place in the two most amazing venues in the country. Get ready for some inspired, mind-expanding Phish.
With only two days off, the next show will take place in Chicago’s Toyota Park, a 28,000 person MLS soccer stadium! In what will be one of the biggest Phish-only shows of the summer, the band will assume the Bears’ moniker of “Monsters of the Midway” for the night of August 11th. This one should be an open-air free for all. Another two days off will give people ample time to get up to Darien Center, NY for a four-night run of historic venues.
Starting under the white tents of Darien Lake Performing Arts Center, the band will make an unexpected late-summer, northeastern swing- potentially leading up to something bigger. (Though that is pure speculation.) Having played three monster shows at Darien in their history (8.7.93, 8.14.97, 9.14.00), expect the fourth to be quite the affair. In some bizarre routing, potentially to shake extra people off tour, the band will dive down to Hartford,CT, and even further to Merriweather Post Pavilion in Maryland, before popping back to upstate New York to finish tour at SPAC.
While Hartford doesn’t boast the history of the final two venues, Phish has played a solid two night stand there in the summer of 2000. The band’s relationship with Merriweather Post dates back to July of ’92 when they played a one set opener for Santana. Playing three standout shows amidst the forests of Merriweather between the years of ’98-’00, the venue became cemented in Phish lore. Finally, making a U-Turn and driving back up the exact same highways, we will head to SPAC- a place where magic happens.
Another venue tucked into the forest, SPAC is actually within the grounds of a New York State Park. Enchanting surroundings encompass the intimate ampthitheatre, to which Phish has responded astoundingly over the years. Having debuted there in ’92, again opening for Santana, the band returned for big shows during the summers of ’94 and ‘95. Discord between management and the scene kept Phish away from the venue for nine years, until the legendary shows of 2004. Having logged four epic shows at the venue, and with it being the last scheduled stop, you can mark this on your calendar as an absolute no-brainer.
Not to be redundant, but with the band is returning to the east after a brief stint out west, I’ve gotta wonder if they have anything lined up for afterward in Limestone (or Texas?!). One can dream. In addition, I’ve heard the Fenway opener on May 31st is 50/50 at this point, so we’ll see on that one. That being said, we’ve got ourselves a full-blown summer tour! Pack up the car, it’s time to “cruise the land of the brave and free.”
PHISH 2009 SUMMER TOUR
06/04 – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY
06/05 – Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, NY
06/06 – Comcast Center – Mansfield, MA
06/07 – Susquehanna Bank Center – Camden, NJ
06/09 – Asheville Civic Center – Asheville, NC
06/10 – Thompson-Boling Arena – Knoxville, TN
06/12 – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN
06/14 – Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival, Manchester, TN
06/16 – Fox Theatre – St. Louis, MO
06/18 – Post Gazette Pavilion – Burgettstown, PA
06/19 – Verizon Wireless Music Center – Noblesville, IN
06/20 – Alpine Valley – East Troy, WI
06/21 – Alpine Valley – East Troy, WI
07/30 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
07/31 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
08/01 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
08/02 – Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO
08/05 – Shoreline Amphitheatre Mountain View, CA
08/07 – The Gorge – George, WA
08/08 – The Gorge – George, WA
08/11 – Toyota Park – Chicago, IL
08/13 – Darien Lake Performing Arts Center – Darien Center, NY
08/14 – Meadows Music Theater – Hartford, CT
08/15 – Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, MD
08/16 – Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, NY
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
7.22.93 Stowe PAC, Stowe, VT < LINK
7.22.93 Stowe PAC, Stowe, VT < TORRENT LINK
Sticking with the old-school theme, this is a classic performance from the summer of ’93. Though not a SBD, the music in this show makes it a keeper.
I: Llama, Foam, Horn, My Mind’s Got a Mind of Its Own, Sample in a Jar, The Divided Sky, Mound, Ya Mar, Poor Heart, Stash, Golgi Apparatus
II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Tweezer > Walk Away, Sparkle, It’s Ice, Contact, Possum, Paul and Silas*, TMWSIY-> Avenu Malkenu*, Rocky Top*
*With Gordon Stone on banjo.
Source: AKG460’s w/ CK-61 cardioid capsules> 45v custom built phantom power supply> Sony D-10 Pro II
Taper: Tom McMinn