March Madness

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

As the NCAA tournament takes peak form this weekend in the rounds of sixteen and eight, a different type of March Madness has swarmed the Phish community in the form on ticket on-sales.  After the near-impossible Red Rocks mission, fans look to have more success against the weaker seeded shows this weekend.  Big match-ups against both Ticketmaster and Live Nation headline today’s slate. The host venues of these battles will be The Gorge, Merriweather, Darien, and SPAC.  The fans look to give it 110% in their quest for paper glory.  After today the first nine tickets of late summer will have come and gone, and only Shoreline and Hartford will remain.  On a raucous Friday in March, the madness is most definitely in the air.

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

Hampton (J.Kravitz)

“Madness” is a word often used loosely to describe Phish music.  Honing in on this idea of “musical madness,” I compiled eight Phish jams that embody this word.  A friend on mine recently posted on Facebook “The Best Five Albums to Listen to After a Phish Show,”  and yesterday, another buddy retorted, “What are the best albums to listen to while frantically trying to score Phish tickets via public sale?”  Well here is my response.

Hampton (P.Washburn)

Hampton (P.Washburn)

The music should match the mania, and these eight selections fit the theme of the day.  In honor of March Madness- both ticket and basketball- I have collected an “Elite Eight” jams that are the musical definition of madness; allow them to color your weekend in any way you please. The download link is above the track listing.  Good luck today!  I’ll always take any extra pavilions off your hands.  Just drop me a line!




“Bathtub Gin” 11.23.97, Winston Salem, NC

This one is a beast that dominates the second set that could be better than its legendary Hampton predecessors.

“Simple” 11.29.98, Worcester, MA

Hampton (P.Washburn)

Hampton (P.Washburn)

I’ve written about this one before- a masterful, tour-ending  piece of psychedelic sorcery.

“David Bowie” 10.27.95, Kalamazoo, MI

A dark and monstrous “Bowie” from Fall ’95, one high point for the song.

“Split Open and Melt” 12.1.94, Salem, OR

A dark-horse jam in the first set that illustrates ’94 Phish going for the jugular.

3.8.09 (Unknown)

3.8.09 (Unknown)

“Tweezer” 12.2.95, New Haven, CT

A “Tweezer” like none other- fifteen minutes of the most seething music you’ll ever hear.

“Maze” 10.18.96, Pittsburgh, PA

A highlight of this dark-horse ’96 show, this “Maze” gets way out there in a hurry.

“Stash11.12.94, Kent, OH

Dark and terrorizing, like “Stash’s” should be, this version characterizes the depths to which ’94 Phish plunged to in no time at all.

12.7.95 “Mike’s > Weekapaug,” Niagara Falls, NY

One of the best “Grooves” out there, each half boast stand out jamming- though the “Mike’s” takes the cake.

(Note: This is not meant to be a definitive list of “the” eight craziest jams.  ever- just eight pieces of madness.)


8.20.93 Red Rocks SBD < LINK

Phsh @ Red Rocks (Coventry Blog)

Phsh @ Red Rocks (Coventry Blog)

Since we are going through the history of Red Rocks, here is the legendary first show the band ever played there, smack dab in the middle of August ’93.  This is a re-post, but it fits the season.  New readers- enjoy!

I: The Divided Sky, Harpua, Poor Heart, Maze, Bouncing Around the Room, It’s Ice, The Wedge, Ginseng Sullivan, Rift, Run Like an Antelope

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Slave to the Traffic Light, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, My Friend My Friend-> Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself > Purple Rain*> HYHU, Cavern

E: The Mango Song, Freebird

*With Mimi Fishman (Fish’s mom) on vacuum.


Hampton Space – Photo: Jeff Kravitz /


400 Responses to “March Madness”

  1. jer-z Says:

    I’ve got an idea- learn to trust people. I had two extra Hampton ticktets, met a guy on this site that needed them, met him down in Hampton with the agreement that he gets me back when summer comes around. Now He is giving me some summer tickets. I have hooked people up for years with an understanding that they would get back to me, and they always do. Dont contribute to the shadiness

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    jer-z, I have been scammed by seemingly trustworthy ppl out of tickets. I traded face to face one show for another and ended up with counterfeits.

    Trust but verify. Or take a risk, knowing it’s a risk. If it works out, you have someone to trust.

    Not getting custied does not equal contributing to shadiness IMO

  3. dyda Says:

    In a closed society where everybody’s guilty, the only crime is getting caught.

    In a world of thieves, the only final sin is stupidity.

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    seems like I *may* have at least one two day pass to trade for 2 merriweather; possibly 2 x 2 day for 4 if anyone’s out there…

    c0wfunk at yahoo dot com

  5. wanderin Says:

    Congratulations to all ticket holders and condolences to those that don’t. So after getting shut out of everything, and realizing that its probably not worth trying for live nation tomorrow (in Colorado, + trying via internet).

    I have an old friend with a couple of extras back east. My question is this: At what point does one begin to question if its worth traveling back east for a show for one night? To each his own, but just wondering what some people think. This has been most disheartening couple of months trying to get tix. Maybe it’s not meant to be and now longer my time, but it just doesn’t feel right inside. Thoughts?

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    go with whatever makes you feel warmer inside. I know if I hadn’t seen a show yet I’d get to whatever I could. But everyone’s sitch is dfferent!

  7. Bandnana Says:

    @ WANDERIN after driving from Utah to go to Hampton and having the easiest long drive ever because how happy I was, I can tell you it will be worth it. I put in for almost every show for lottery and got 1 for shoreline and 1 for Darien. After the initial “wow, thats stupid the shows I got were on opposite coasts”, I am jazzed. They are gonna throw down at every show this summer, and thanks to the ticket madness it seems a lot of people who are only going to 1 show. This means large portions of every crowd will have that energy that Hampton had. “My god, their back!”. So all I can say to you is, yes, it is worth it. Especially if you only get to do 1 show, do what you have to do to get there. Also, even if its east coast be happy you have at least one show/ticket option, a lot of people out there are lost right now due to the “lockout”. So do your show, enjoy the travel, and thank whoever you thank for such amazing things. Phish is back!

  8. Billy Breathes Says:

    Looking to trade my 2 Tix Darien Lake 4th Row Center for…

    …Your 2 Tix of similar quality to Alpine or Deer Creek.

  9. Henry Holland Says:

    I’m still in shock, at 7:00 pm, but I actually managed to get tickets for both nights of The Gorge. My co-workers were laughing at me as I was literally bouncin’ round the room when I got ’em. Now on to the madness of the Shoreline on-sale on Sunday through the *shudder* LiveNation *shudder* site.

  10. c0wfunk Says:

    I got a text from a friend around 7 who pulled some gorge tix as well..congrats and good luck.. LiveNation seems to be a patience test more than anything!

  11. wanderin Says:

    @ bandana & cOwfunk thanks….I needed a good shakin

    I know this is not a music or phish post but to those who are into life, the mountains, sports, & skiing

    Don’t know if anyone was familar with this cat’s skiing and base jumping but he was one of the best ever

    RIP Shane McConkey

  12. Mutha_Ohks Says:

    RIP Saucer Boy

  13. mangoman Says:

    you know whattt… ive been listening/touring since 97′ and today I tried for SPAC tickets.. I got thru on the phone at 1:05 and they wee already soldout!! how the phuck does this happen!!?? seriously 35,000 seats under 5 mins.. come on now.. this is unfortuantly getting to a point where im going to say phuck it!!!!! obviously a ton of tickets are going to agents .. its soo sad.. real phans cant get them.. and I really hate to buy from a scalper ect… stubhub… its my backyard show and I cant even go.. there is something wrong with this picture.

  14. c0wfunk Says:

    when you first tried for gorge tix, the system allowed you to pull 8 tickets, then upon further tries there were only pairs .. I’m wondering if the software is programmed like this to allow the autobots to have first dibs at big bunches of tix.. I wish I had grabbed a screen shot but was focusing so hard on getting the click made

    My wife has a story of a friend who was at a ticket window in CO yesterday and the lady at the window was obviously in cahoots with the broker in front of her and was selling as many tix as he wanted, then selling only 2 a piece to the phans behind.. they are working together on many levels, and it needs to be made public… there’s so much money involved, it’s hard to believe it can change, and many people outside of our world think whatever, it’s just capitalism.

  15. Walfredo Says:

    cOwfunk…I got through immediately on TM and has the option of 1-8 tickets…but choose 4 (because that was the lottery max for Gorge). Got through in about 3 minutes and it denied me saying I chose more than the max. Went back in, and max you could choose was 2. Total BS. Maybe it is a autobot scalper trick…but they still bent me over. Luckily, I went onto the Livenation at 12:20 and was able to pick up a four pack for each night with no wait at all. Weird? But I’ll take it. Seconds later, I tried on Livenation and it started routing me to the Ticketmaster website….I thought they were direct competitors? I feel lucky for sure….but it was some shady shit.

  16. Bandnana Says:

    My only fear with this whole ticket mess is that they go to some kind of credit card ticket system. Meaning when you arrive at the event, the card you used to purchase the tickets is your ticket. While it would obviously stop the brokers, it would present a problem for trading, much like the current situation with tickets being mailed out at the dates they are for second leg of the tour. Imagine you couldn’t get off work or just still couldn’t get through and get tickets for a particular show but did manage to get them for another. How would trading go then? Or would you just be locked out again, this time with no hope of trade, or just far more difficult. I agree as all do that something needs to be done, but its also important to note that when it comes to phish phans, the way we deal with tickets for shows is different than almost any band and always has been. I just hope that in a hope to fix the problems, some other beast is created that is almost harded to deal with.

  17. Mugician Says:

    Testing… 1…2…3… can anyone see me? Just wondering, because I’ve posted about 6 posts since last night and nobody has even acknowledged me.

    Is this shit on? Testing… testing…

  18. cottle Says:

    @ Wanderin –

    GO FOR IT! When we were at Hampton, a friend out in Denver said “if you guys find an extra Sunday, let me know and I’ll fly out there”…this was Saturday afternoon just before showtime. Someone found her an extra, and she booked a flight that night, we picked her up at 9:00 am the next morning. She came to the Sunday show, raged it, and flew back to Denver the next day. I think she’d tell you that if you have an opportunity to see the boys play….don’t squander it.

  19. Chalkdustin Says:

    Welcome, Mugician. I know how you feel……

  20. shpongleyez Says:

    I need 17 tickets for Saturday at the Gorge?

    Who is with me!

  21. Davey Says:

    Where in Utah you from Bandnana?

  22. shpongleyez Says:

    Also, I really only need 2 for Saturday.

    Who is with me!

  23. RobAins Says:

    I think I like the credit card idea. I understand it’ll make trading tougher but really, consider the options. Maybe we should only buy tickets to the shows we can go to. If the theory works, and keeps the brokers away, and if the only people trying to buy the tix are those who are planning on going, it would be a ot easier to get them online.
    I bet you could also leave the at Will Call if you were to trade with someone.

  24. wanderin Says:

    @ Cottle
    I woke up this morning and decided IT is worth it. I needed a good shaking after being too discouraged from recent onsale disappointments. Thanks and have a great weekend.

  25. themanatee Says:

    oh miner….

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