Play Ball!

Fenway Park - Boston, MA

Fenway Park - Boston, MA

With a timely announcement coming on Opening Day of Major League Baseball’s 2009 season, Phish confirmed the rumor that they will start their summer tour at Boston’s Fenway Park on May 31st.  After a stint in the minors in ’04 at Coney Island’s Keyspan Park, Phish is being called up to the bigs to open up the ’09 season!  Another video announcement highlighted the unique features of the historic ballpark at 4 Yawkey Way, as a camera perused the ornate detail of the Boston shrine. The imagery was backed by Fenway’s organ playing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” yet when the song ended, the camera flashed to the organ player who cracked his knuckles and readied himself before delving into a baseball-infused rendition of “Tweezer Reprise!”  Merging America’s two favorite pastimes, the interpretive cover played for the rest of the video as images of the ballpark graced the screen.  With an artistic preview of the stadium that they will soon demolish, Phish once again, infused the community with unparalleled adrenaline and excitement.

It seems that a week cannot go by without another significant development in the Phish world.  Whether it is ticket on sales, added shows, or tour planning, Phish 3.0 is officially under way!  With the addition of Fenway, Phish will play the first real stadium show of their career in one of the smallest and most storied yards in the land.  With a capacity of just under 40,000 without the field, this shouldn’t be the hardest ticket of the summer, but these days that’s not saying much.  But the intriguing question of what lucky fan will pull Fenway’s single red seat amidst a sea of green remains to be answered.

Fenway Box Office (C.Harris)

Fenway Box Office (C.Harris)

People have already begun to speculate if this will mark the beginning of the stadium Phish era, and I’ve got to say I seriously doubt it.  If there is one thing that this summer’s slate has proven to us, it is that Phish 3.0 will play where they want and when they want.  They are choosing only their favorite locations, regardless of size, and booking them.  I don’t think that this show has any predictive value in terms of where Phish will play in the future- they simply wanted to play Fenway.  And to be honest, this show just jumped to the top of the must-see shows list of the summer.  Fenway or The Fox?  Oh, the decisions!  Directly connected to their renewed mission of putting music first, the band is taking liberty in playing unique venues that will inspire them.  I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again- no band can match their music to their surroundings like Phish, and with so many diverse surroundings comprising this summer, the band should respond in diverse and dynamic fashions.  From The Fox to Bonnaroo, and from Asheville Civic Center to Fenway, this summer will be sprinkled with some of the most unique Phish shows in a long time.

In addition to the huge summer kick off party at Fenway, Phish also tacked on a third Jones Beach show on Tuesday June 2nd, increasing the summer total to 27!  With these additional dates, it sure seems like the band is as excited for the summer as we are.  With a night off in between the first and second Jones Beach show, Phish will stick to their practice of not playing more than four nights in a row- a pattern that will assist everyone involved.

Fenway Park at Twilight

Fenway Park at Twilight

Armed with a new album and a renewed sense of purpose, May 31st represents the the turning of the next page.  Hampton was where the band got their sea legs back with concise, direct jamming, and Fenway is when the Phish will begin to swim the ocean waters again.  In one of the most exciting locales of their career, you can be sure the band will come out in Boston ready to conquer the world once again.

With only two months to go, Summer ’09 is shaping up to be quite the special season- not only because Phish is playing again, but because they are playing exclusively great venues.  Meaningful for their role in the Phish history, or their own place in cultural history, these venues were chosen with utmost care and creativity, creating the most diverse tour in ages.  Fenway, Red Rocks, The Gorge, The Fox, Asheville Civic, Bonnaroo, Deer Creek, Alpine, Merriweather, SPAC- the list goes on and on.  It all sounds to good to be true.  But truth be told, with the band playing in center field, Fenway will become our very own field of dreams.


Tickets requests for Fenway and Jones Beach can be made here now through this Sunday, April 12th at midnight Eastern.  Fenway tickets will go on sale through eTix, which looks very likely to crash on Saturday, April 18th at 10 am Eastern.  Jones Beach’s new first show goes on sale Friday, April 17th at 10 am Eastern via Live Nation.



7.2.98 The Grey Hall, Christiana, Copenhagen, DK < LINK

7.2.98 The Grey Hall, Christiana, Copenhagen, DK < TORRENT LINK

phish-copenhagen-98“Ghost > Jim > Caspian, YEM”- the four song second set.  With the most cohesive frame of Europe ’98, Phish closed the curtain on their three nights of magic at The Grey Hall.  The improv throughout this set was phenomenal, highlighted by “Ghost” and “YEM.” Throw in a first set versions of “Theme” and “Fluffhead” with the debuts of “Meat” and “Fikus,”all in a Scandinavian barn, and you’ve got quite the show.  Check it out; it’s one to be considered strongly by Live Phish for release!

I: Birds of a Feather, Cars Trucks Buses, Theme From the Bottom, Brian and Robert, Meat*, Fikus*, Shafty, Fluffhead, Ginseng Sullivan, Punch You in the Eye, Character Zero

II: Ghost > Runaway Jim > Prince Caspian, You Enjoy Myself

E: Simple


Source: Schoeps MK4 (FOB; mics in a hat) > VMS IO2b > KCY > DA P1 recorded@ 48

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286 Responses to “Play Ball!”

  1. Frankie Says:

    Won’t you step into the ballpark?

    Wooooaaah! I was just listening to 12.3.97 and right at the time i was reading this article, the Bowie intro came on with all the “Take me out to the ball game…” teases… Weird!

  2. Chalkdustin Says:

    “Won’t you step into the ballpark”

    Now that’s a good t-shirt idea.

  3. Frankie Says:

    It’s yours! ;o)

  4. SOAM Says:


    Fenway 5/31

    sunday shindig

    I don’t want to hear one dbag bitching about sound or seating

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    jay your premise includes “the mass influx of touch heads” – aka a huge mainstream boost because of a number 1 hit. Maybe that’s in store for phish, but in the music industry of today I really don’t see it. It would take that influx to bring this band to the next level of “banned” from everywhere they play now (why do people think they’ve been banned so often – it’s only been a few rare isolated occasions).. It’ll take a while to wear out their welcome on the arena and summer shed circuit, which includes most of phish’s mainstays.

  6. dyda Says:

    cool beans or wicked neat

    i’m so going to the moogseum next time i’m down that way
    (carolinas are as far south as i go)

    what else is there to say? this is so freakin’ sweet!

  7. Frankie Says:

    Different band, different times…

    Thanks so much Mr. Miner for the Christinia show! Those are great… Love Europe ’98!!


  8. c0wfunk Says:

    dyda our plans include a performance space too, though that’s a few years away -> and taboot we intend to make the museum an interactive destination in itself

  9. Jay Says:

    @c0wfunk said:
    “jay your premise includes “the mass influx of touch heads” – aka a huge mainstream boost because of a number 1 hit.”

    Sorta. My premise is that Phish’s popularity is already at the touchhead level for the Dead and will grow from there. Pulling this out of my ass but it seems for every 1 person that scored a ticket 10 did not. Tickets for every venue this summer sold out in less than 10 min. I have never seen anything like it. So, you have a venue that holds 20K and 40 -60K show up, Cities will start thinking twice about inviting them back. Now, this popularity might settle down and be manageable by next near but I doubt it. This conversation we are having right now is the exact conversation my fellow deadheads and I had back in ’86. Most thought the Dead would never play stadiums back then either.

  10. Pete Jones Says:

    For what it is worth I think it would be VERY cool to see one member of Phish at each base for the Fenway show. Just sell the seats and get security to keep fans off the grass. (No pun intended) Fish can be at home, Trey at 1st, Page at 2nd and Mike at 3rd. I imagine the pitchers mound meetings to discuss things in between songs. Perhaps sound and light monitors could be near the backstop. It would provide for a unique look to what has to be a unique show. Just my two cents. I will not attend as I am a Floridian with a family, but I will imagine it as it happens and perhaps download a no-spoilers if it remains an option.

  11. EL Duderino Says:

    The legend has had time to grow. The hype will eventually die down.

  12. SOAM Says:

    Jay no way in Hell are phish as popular as the dead were-you could not get a ticket to Rich Stadium for the dead (80k seats) and every football stadium in the country.

    The issue with Phish is Technology and Ticketing-the system blows and when someone can get tickets he/she gets way more than they need because they don’t trust ever getting more and they know heads barter.

  13. c0wfunk Says:

    I see your fears, but I agree — the hype will die down and by next summer we’ll be about where we left off.

  14. msbjivein Says:

    Thankyou Mr. Minor, Again a great topic for the day. I agree this will be one of those shows not to miss.(like Ash,Fox,RR,Gorge ect) Even though I won’t attend this one I’ve book my summer completely up already. This WILL be an historic show at an historic venue. I agree also that this isn’t a sign of things to come. I believe by Fall all the hype will die down. If it hasn’t then watch out for a stadium tour.

    Cowfunk, Great article on MOOG. Sounds like an awsome idea can’t wait to visit it someday.

  15. Jay Says:

    I never had any problem getting Dead tickets to stadiums. I toured with the Dead for about 5 solid years (40+ shows per year) and off and on before and after that 5 year span (10+ per year) and the only time I had a problem getting a ticket was for the ’89 Hampton Warlocks shows (second night), The only reason that was a problem was because it was stealth and you had to buy the ticket at the venue. I was too late getting there from Syracuse to get tickets to the second night but got 1st night. I eventually got a ticket in the lot for the 2nd night 🙂

    Anywho, I never got turned down for mail order either. And if I did need to go to ticketmaster, I got a ticket as long as I was near the head of the line at the outlet location.

  16. Chalkdustin Says:

    Things may die down in the fall, but if/once they announce a Halloween or NYE show, the fires will be burning again and the same demand will start all over. I think it’s reasonable to think that summer 2010 (too soon to be talking about that?) will not be as wild as 2009, but that’s a full tour vs. one or two special holiday shows. In any event, it’s difficult to really predict what the future will bring. This new album may bring even more new phans on board keeping demand up- who knows. Economics was one of my least favorite classes in school, but I know there’s no equation for the supply and demand of Phish (if someone wants to write one, be my guest). Only time will tell…

  17. Jay Says:

    And if these summer shows (or even all of 2009) become legendary as I think they will be, then demand will only go up and up and ….

  18. SOAM Says:

    Touring creates networks and hookups-doing five shows a tour and only knowing the dudes you went with made it more problematic. I have seen people shut out of Giants, RFK and Foxboro. Buffalo may have been an exaggerration

    my real point is that people don;t get what they need-they get the max amount allotted and it creates shortages

  19. Chalkdustin Says:

    Exactly Jay.

  20. Frankie Says:

    @ Jay
    I was curious, will you tour with The Dead this summer?

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    Alpine =40K – that sold out pretty quick!

  22. whole tour! Says:

    nice post miner! fenway and boston and phish go hand in hand. tradition! after phish is done with fenway, they won’t need a demoltion crew as it will be rocked off the foundations.

    i don’t think cities will have a problem with more fans showing up with or without tickets. Maybe red rocks, but every other city…all these extra fans will be spending cash in the cities…be it on food, gas, hotel, local attractions ect. It’s like any other major sporting event….people show up for the party in the city, but few go to the game. Kinda like the gatorbowl game here in my hometown. People are welcome to show and party and spend their cash in the community.

    no doubt phish is more popular than ever, but the ticket problems are from internet only sales being hacked by scalpers.

  23. Frankie Says:

    Oh just found out the tour is starting next week sorry… I was just wondering if Deadheads would want to do that tour with the ticket prices and Jerry gone… anyway…

  24. whole tour! Says:

    look at chicago and knoxville….huge venues that didn’t sell out in 2 minutes because scalpers were kept at bay.

  25. Frankie Says:

    I think Fenway Park will sell out pretty quick too, even though Toyota Park took a while to sell out just because it’s an historic event, the start of the tour and in the northeast! Anyway, we’ll see april 18th…

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