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:

    hm that was probably 2003 and he was certainly chasing at that point

    he had a rough night that evening though and probably needed to be consoled -> some hippie stole a slide off the stage that apparently had belonged to the big man..

  2. guyforget Says:

    good day all. too much dead talk, although i’d rather talk about the dead than fenway.

  3. c0wfunk Says:

    on a completely other topic -> I just got my hands on the original mix (mfsl) of Quadrophenia and I friggin love it. I haven’t heard this album in a while but this is substantially different from the cd remix I had before.

  4. msbjivein Says:

    In Jamaica Bobby had his wife and kids there hangin w/ him all weekend. His wife’s a freakin hotty probably half his age. While his girls were out on a jet ski during sound check he just sat there starring out into the ocean watching them while busting out CATFISH JOHN!!!

  5. SOAM Says:

    Bob’s old wife (Frankie) tried to shoot him once..guy got a lot of tail. period.

    the shirt I remember was “Fat man rock-Skinny man spits”

    I hope everyones wife and girls dumps their sorry asses-more tix for the swords

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    lol .. no way .. hampton was a serious sausagefest ..

  7. guyforget Says:

    my gf actually has begun to hate phish since the hampton announcement because after 5 years of not really listening that much, i’ve been on a rampage. bringing her to her first show at shoreline, and i hope i have not ruined it for her!!

  8. Chalkdustin Says:

    I’ll never understand the lack of chicks at Phish shows.

  9. SOAM Says:

    Welcome to hell forget.
    Red Sox
    and now Fenway Phranks.

    I’d consider a transplant-it’s not to extreme to just quit the job, sell the pad and get back home where you belong, and don’t you run off no more.

    Its fuckin on.

  10. c0wfunk Says:

    I think anyone would hate phish if they had to follow me around right now – I’ve been on a serious binge for the last 6 months; been trying to keep it to myself / in the headphones as much as possible.

  11. SOAM Says:

    Chalks-it takes a brain (albeit a small one) and a little creativity to dig and understand this band.

    sweet cans and a tight ass does not make a phan but it does make a companion to ride.


  12. Pence Says:

    My wife is going to her 1st show at Chicago. She says she doesnt like them but i can always see her slightly bobbing her head when they are deep in jam. Nobody can resist the groove. She also likes to party, so im sure she will like them more after the show in chitown baby. Im going to knox>roo>DC>Alpine and chicago. I tell her that it will be good to have the time off from each other for a little. I tell her that after that time away Im going to love her clean beautiful body after 2 weeks of dirty hippy chicks! 😉 Another tip would be to tell her to have a girls weekend. My wife is going to NYC while im on the mini loop from TN to WI. I cant wait and neither can she. I dont think I will ever forget 2009 as long as I live. Its turning out to be a spectaular year.

  13. Jay Says:

    Ditto c0wfunk, all in the head phones, or early morning while the gf still sleeps, and in the car on my long ass commute to and from my job.

    My gf says she is starting to worry about me because I am so obsessed. She shakes her head when she sees me sitting there with my head phones on and I have this big shit-eating grin on my face and my eyes are welling up.

    They just don’t understand. Nothing else matters!! Can’t wait for Fenway.

  14. SOAM Says:

    I saw Bob once in Worcester and the place caught on fire during the first song.-I was bummed until I saw the hot dog/sausage truck and the Irich bar across the street.

  15. Dr SF Jones Says:

    “I don’t even try to argue with the unenlightened anymore.”

    That is so true. Back in the mid 90’s I used to try and turn on some of my friends who had “good taste” in music to the magic of Phish. Some of them got IT, others were indifferent and others were completely reluctant.
    I helped to create one major fan in my brother, and then I pretty much figured that my work was done.

    My wife can’t understand why I pretty much exclusively listen to the same band every day. I tell her that I love IT and that’s pretty much it.
    There’s no way to really explain IT, but she can’t hear IT, and I can’t teach IT to her, so fuck it….

    She leaves me alone and that’s sweet.

    I have no advice for you guys that are spending cash on tickets though. That has got to be a tough sell if your wife doesn’t get IT….. Best of luck to all.

  16. guyforget Says:

    Pats = old and done
    Bruins = I’ll give you that one, Chara is nasty
    Red Sox = still chasing 26
    Fenway = i’ll give it props, it’s not the ballpark’s fault…..

    i am missing back east more so than ever this summer, go figure. RR eased that pain quite a bit. i’ll take the 7 shows in 10 days out west and be thrilled.

  17. guyforget Says:

    Ditto, Jay and Pence. i’m convinced that once she sees them, she’ll get it. she’s a musician too, for christ’s sake!!

  18. guyforget Says:

    one of my best friends’ and his wife go to any local east coast DMB shows as thier “thing to do without the kids”. This is a guy who i brought to see phish (12/29/97 MSG!!!!!!!) before he ever saw DMB. Can someone please attempt to explain to me how on earth that can possibly happen??????

  19. msbjivein Says:

    Guyforget, It’s called “Pussy Wipped”

  20. wanderin Says:

    @ mr. icculus

    I find myself wondering the same things sometimes. She now says if their music gets you fired up then I will be happy to go and enjoy a concert with you. Thats all I can ask. Sometimes they just need to experience it themselves, or, figure it out themselves.

  21. Pence Says:

    omg 10-30-98 manteca just came on random through the ipod. That shit is unreal. I dare anyone to not like the funk. roll the windows down pump that bass and im Crab in my shoemouth. I say Drivin my shoemow

  22. guyforget Says:

    msbj – i wish it were just that, but he’s a bigger fan than she is!!!

  23. msbjivein Says:

    Guyforget, HMMMMMMMMMMM maybe just maybe he the bitch in the relationship??? Just kidding. What you need to do is take him to Phenway for Phish then he can go to DMB right after. Maybe he’ll see the light!

  24. c0wfunk Says:

    I’ve had mixed results with phish evangelism, but mostly I’ve learned to keep quiet. I’ll never forget when I worked in my step brother’s tint shop in DC and was rockin some summer 96 gems while things were crazy and hectic one hot summer day. At one point the head tint guy who was a little high strung went over to the tape deck, pulled out my tape, threw it across the room, and yelled “i’m not trippin on acid, I’m not at a concert, and I’m sick of calliope music”….

    but then there’s my sister who married an old dead head and I’ve gotten them both very into phish, they were at big cypress and have seen as many shows as they could. It was the strangest feeling going to visit the fam I show up and my mom (very straight), sisters, nephews, neices all sitting around listening to “icculus” (the one with the hakeem rant and the Save your Life Save your Life “you may be standing on a skyscraper”) on the deck cooking up dinner. Such a surreal life this is sometimes!

  25. guyforget Says:

    no, phish is after DMB, and he called me yesterday and i thought it him going to be busting my balls Sean Avery style saying something to the effect of “oh, i see phish is cleaing up DM’s sloppy seconds”. I would have loved that fucking debate!

    And yes, he’s the bitch in it. trust me 🙂

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