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. c0wfunk Says:

    knoxville’s also a wednesday night in tennessee..

  2. msbjivein Says:

    Whole tour, I believe Jay means after the economy gets back on it’s feet that some of these cities won’t want to put up w/ Phish and their crowd. Right now they’re pretty muched forced to bring in what ever they can.(They can’t be picky at the moment) I could see this happening in places like RR maybe SPAC. But all in all I think most cities will welcome Phish back w/ open arms. Especially if we help some of these cities get through this hard time. Only time will tell. Personally I want Phish to play places like RR and SPAC every summer for ever!

  3. Chalkdustin Says:

    I was a little shocked to hear that Chicago didn’t sell quickly, to tell you the truth. I got tix through the lottery, so I don’t know how things went. Was it sold through a different site? What was done to make sales harder for scalpers?

  4. Pence Says:

    Fenway should be the one that they simulcast. I can see it having the same feeling as the Phish in brooklyn dvd. What are the odds some of the dave matthews guys come out during the phish show, and vice versa.

  5. msbjivein Says:

    Pence, Phenway will be a great show to simulcast! Personally I hope Dave and band stay away from the stage. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Dave stumble out on stage and butcher a vocal of some cover.

  6. Frankie Says:


  7. Jay Says:

    @frankie said:
    “I was curious, will you tour with The Dead this summer?”

    No, The Dead are done for me. I stopped touring shortly after Brent died.
    I still listen to them frequently but only pre 1991.

  8. SOAM Says:

    Frankie-most deadheads have put that war pig to bed–I mean its borderline depressing and those gigs will be half full-they will be giving tix away

  9. dyda Says:

    I’m going to see The Dead in Wilkes-Barre on the 22nd (smallest show of the tour) and at Rothbury this summer. I’m too young to have been around for the (g)olden days. I’ll take what I can get, you know? I hope most people there are trying to have a good time and not wishing it was something it can never be again… and for that matter I hope the band doesn’t strive (and fall flat) trying to recreate something that is gone. Should be a damn good show given the talented lineup. I’m excited, if that counts for anything…

  10. dyda Says:

    and if that’s the case soam, then that just means more space for me. heh. old timers at gigs. maybe it isn’t a bad thing that they’re retired from the scene.

  11. SOAM Says:

    Jay -I would encourage you to try 10/1/94, 6-26-92, all of Albany 93 (Casey Jones and Comes a time)-3/17/93-There are some diamonds in the rough. 5th Night Nassau 94-…10-14-94

  12. Jay Says:

    Now if Kimock was playing with the Dead instead of Warren, then I might have reconsidered. Kimock definitely can channel Jerry.

  13. Jay Says:

    I also prefer seeing DSO for my Dead fix 🙂

  14. Frankie Says:

    That’s what i thought… it seems like kind of a nostalgia act for people who never saw the original band… i wish they didn’t use the name though… it’s sad really…

    I read this cool book a long while back called Deadheads by Linda Kelly full of stories of people who toured and their experiences… I was 16 in school and it made me dream of that lifestyle…

  15. dyda Says:

    then again there’s something to be said for going out and seeing live music of any kind. i like the jambase motto of ‘go see live music.’ so what if it isn’t spectacular. come with a positive vibe and hope to ‘spread it round’ (sorry). at least you’re out and experiencing music in its truest form.

  16. dyda Says:

    ah yes, i do really like DSO and am gonna see them at least once this summer. agree about kimock too, but i like the allmans. will be seeing kimock this summer too.

    there are some pics in rolling stone from the allman’s recent two week stand at the beacon. one is warren with clapton and at first i mistook him for trey (trey and page did sit in at some point too)

  17. dyda Says:

    yeah i think i prefer ‘the other ones’

  18. SOAM Says:

    Hate to be a wet blanket -but at best Bob should be in a club with Kimock playing no Jerry tunes and Phil with Warren and Jimmy at 3000 seaters, again playing no jerry tunes.

    But if you can get off -I dig it

    one time they were playing Keep on growing>Passenger> Masons and I felt it but hen we got a china doll -phil on lead vocals and it was gone

  19. Frankie Says:

    I agree, it’s all about your personal experience! Live music is the best and cannot be recreated through any kind of technology (yet)! The waves of sound and the way it travels through space, the crowd and your body can never be recreated through a recording i think…

  20. Frankie Says:

    My problem is taking the name and the legacy and selling it like the original when really it’s not… it’s like Led Zep without Robert Plant, it just wouldn’t work… but you know people would be to see it and that the thing…

  21. Chalkdustin Says:

    I’m going to see the Dead in Chicago and I’m looking forward to it. I know it’s nothing like the good ol’ days, but as someone who wasn’t around when they were THE band, I’m ok with that. Dyda, you said it- live music is where it’s at for me and I’m stoked to get a little groove on.

  22. Frankie Says:

    I meant would PAY to see it…

  23. dyda Says:

    heh yeah dig it.

    it’s also a chance for me to check out our minor league team’s building.

    i guess it’s also my variation on the “i want to see a show and i don’t care if i have to pay whatever extra from a scalper”.
    my take is “i’m not paying a scalper at all and i want to see the show so whatever i don’t care about spending the cash”

    those Bs keep on rollin’. still think washington is your main challenge…

  24. dyda Says:

    yeah, more like selling zep without bonzo! (brock sampson’s password: john bohnam rocks)

    i intentionally didn’t mention their appearance on the view for that reason. don’t try and sell it as something that it clearly is not.

  25. msbjivein Says:

    I like to go see RATDOG a couple times a year. I don’t go looking to see a dead show. I go and take it for what it is. It has it’s moments pretty much every show. I enjoy hearing Bobby play his tunes along w/ Jerry’s. Ratdog w/ Kimock was as close to Dead sound as I’ve heard. I would probably make a point to see The Dead if Kimock and only Kimock was touring w/ them.

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