In a summer tour that is filled with a selection of the finest venues and plenty of excitement, it seems that almost every show is receiving a massive dose of hype- except a few. While the buzz in the scene has centered around Red Rocks, The Gorge, Fenway, Asheville, and The Fox, it seems that Summer ’09’s slate of other venues is a laundry list of memories past. Deer Creek, Alpine, Star Lake, Merriweather, SPAC, Darien, Camden, Great Woods, the list goes on. But amidst all of these high key shows and memorable venues, there are three that look to be the sleeper shows of the summer.
On a Tuesday night in August, Phish will play Chicago, but somehow everyone forgot. After every single show sold out in minutes, this one took almost a day! Pretty odd seeing it’s the same Phish and the show is in one of the three biggest markets in America! At this point, extras are flying around like mosquitoes on Lake Michigan, and something tells me people will be giving them away at the show. Coming on a Tuesday after the west coast run- two days after the Gorge- and before the final four-night swing around the northeast, this Chicago show is truly the show in between.
All of this and the show is in Toyota Park, an MLS soccer stadium with a massive GA field! To be honest, this may be one of the most enjoyable experiences of the summer. With plenty of room inside the 30,000 person venue Phish will surely match the size of their setting with massive musical endeavors. Having a propensity for rocking the Windy City, this time should be no exception, especially since they have somehow made a stop in Chicago an out-of-the-way show.
In Knoxville, on a Wednesday in June, Phish will play a gig at the University of Tennessee that was squeezed in between the much talked about affairs of Asheville and Bonnaroo. Added after the original tour was announced, this arena stop was also one of the easiest tickets of the summer, as Knoxville’s local ticket system worked beautifully- likely due to tempered demand. With many fans already resolved to hitting the first four and last four of June, you can be sure not too many people will be flying into Knoxville for Thompson-Boling Arena; this show will be for the people on tour. On a Wednesday night indoors, this one looks like a dark-horse success story in the making.
Although it’s hard to call Phish’s only stop in the Bay Area a sleeper show, I’m going to go ahead and do it, and here’s why. The Red Rocks stand is clearly the focal point of all Phish west of the Mississippi this summer, and an all-out effort will be made by all fans to get to Colorado. But even if people are shut out of Red Rocks, no one will be shut out of The Gorge, the west’s most magical venue, and location of endless Phish lore. Due to scheduling, Shoreline got hung out to dry on a Wednesday night on the peninsula. With Red Rocks and The Gorge being “destination” shows, Shoreline is receiving very little attention- the first ingredient to a sleeper. Coupled with the fact that Phish tears apart Shoreline routinely, there is no doubt that this will be a mid-week special.
With summer’s white hot spotlights falling elsewhere, these three shows will likely emerge from the shadows with some epic jams and more than a few surprises. Just as Phish is known to rise to the occasion in the “big” shows, so are they famous for taking “out-of-the-way” audiences for cosmic rides. Call it a hunch, but these less-talked about shows won’t hold the same label come the end of the summer.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
6.16.95 Walnut Creek, Raleigh, NC < TORRENT LINK
This legendary show of summer ’95 has been recently re-popularized by the “Left Nuts” CD that came with the Walnut Creek ’97 DVD. On the sampler are select soundboard versions of the multitude of highlights from this show, including the epic “Runaway Jim > Free,” and the “Dog-Faced > Catapult > Split Open and Melt.” To cap the show, there is also a huge “YEM” featuring Boyd Tinsley on violin. Amidst a week of incredible outings in 1995, this one is among the best.
I: Halley’s Comet > Down With Disease, Esther, Ya Mar, Cry Baby Cry, It’s Ice, My Mind’s Got a Mind of It’s Own, Dog Faced Boy* > Catapult > Split Open and Melt
II: Runaway Jim > Free, Carolina, You Enjoy Myself*, The Squirming Coil
E: Bold as Love
*With Boyd Tinsley (Dave Matthews Band) on fiddle for a portion of the jam.
Source: Neumann RSM190i > Neumann PS > D7 > JVC XD-P1 [patch master used in xfer]