Sleeper Shows

Shoreline '03

Shoreline '03

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.

Toyota Park - Chicago, IL

Toyota Park - Chicago, IL

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.

Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN

Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN

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.


Shoreline '03

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.



6.16.95 Walnut Creek, Raleigh, NC < LINK

6.16.95 Walnut Creek, Raleigh, NC < TORRENT LINK

1995-06-16gnThis 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]

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159 Responses to “Sleeper Shows”

  1. Manny Phresh Says:

    Listening to 7/29/03 Burgettstown. Anyone else agree this was the best show post-hiatus.

  2. EL Duderino Says:

    it was my favorite of ’03

  3. Mdawg Says:

    When they released the second part of the tour, the Toyota Park show reminded me of the 1997 run from Denver CO > Champaign IL > Hampton VA. That Assembly Hall show at U of I was sick. Highlights were a super long 2001, and the Wolfman’s > Makisupa Miner was talking about. Toyota Park might be similar in that regard???

    Chi-Town baby!!!

  4. shpongleyez Says:

    Wish I could hit that Chicago show. But definitely stoked to be able to hit a Shoreline sleeper!

    This ’95 Walnut Creek show is completely donkey-tron bonkerstown. Driving from Miner’s to Marin I found myself having a hard time keeping the tires off the line due to the madness. When a Free comes from the fog and haze…Well, there’s just nothing like it!

  5. Frankie Says:

    Tried once to turn a friend onto Phish using the Left Nuts JIM… bad idea! 🙂

    Much love to Trey and his family… so sorry to hear this…

  6. Frankie Says:

    Soooo far from home… Soooo far…

  7. JMelby Says:

    As the dates kept coming in all I could think about was the ’94 & ’95 snooze you loose tours, like WV Gamehoist, ’95 pre-Halloween Louisville. I really like when Phish makes you think out what shows are really worth going to. The closest isn’t what it’s about. You need to look over the whole tour and decide which you think are going to be “the Ones”. Right away I was with you in Shoreline and Chicago. Still looking for a cheaper flight for Shoreline.

  8. GuyuteFlu Says:

    toyota park has been getting bagged on by everyone since the date was dropped and i just sit and smile cause i know it’s going to be sick. they will be dropping fatty jams with plenty of room to roam. not to mention that lollapalooza ends the 9th so there could always be some artists sticking around…? also, what sleeper jams are you calling at these sleeper shows? epic wolfman opener or some gamehendge beats at toyota is my call.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    That Jim is one of the best jams from Summer ’95- a summer filled with psychedelic madness–

  10. Frankie Says:

    I agree Mr. Miner… Although my favorite jam is 6.14.95 Mud Island Tweezer.

    Summer 95 is great! 🙂

  11. Dr SF Jones Says:

    Mr. Miner- I was wondering if you had posted the Jim from 11 29 97 any where on this site? I would really love to give that a listen.

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Manny I am psychotically stuck on 6.19.04 at this point for best 1.5 era show, and 6.20 right after it….but that one’s great too

  13. msbjivein Says:

    @Manny, I 1,000,000% agree that the Burg ’03 show was the best post hiatus show! My jaw was dropped pretty much the whole show. That was THE BUST OUT show for pt.2. Wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the BUST OUT again in Sober Tour ’09!!!

  14. snigglebeach Says:

    Good post Miner,

    I am stoked for the Knoxville show. out of 6 shows i will see this summer, it is the only indoor show. I def. prefer indoor shows. Kuroda’s work is wasted first set at any outdoor shows. Sometimes harder to puff, but that is usually not a prob anyway.

    No beer there either, sweeet. less drunk fools. shorter bathroom lines, no body spilling on my back.

    Speaking of which, any of u smart folks know how severe the laws in Tenn. are regarding pot. Just curious, Up here in Mass. it is just about legal, so i need to stay on alert when i am traveling this summer.

  15. thepurplehumpbackwhale Says:

    im surprised not to see a shoutout or mention in today’s article of trey’s sister who died of cancer yesterday.

    and DR SF Jones, just go on man everythings there. although, its been having some problems lately.

    and mr completely… i have to disagree about 6.19. let me just say that is the most overrated piper EVER. its a TYPICAL 2004 jam and everyone thinks its good because its 32 minutes long. length does not = good! i just don’t get it! there are a lot of great post hiatus jams but thats just not even in my top 10.

    6.20’s saratoga jam is good though.

    now that ive put a warrant out for my own death in the phish world, im going to retreat to my shelter underground for a year. good day

  16. msbjivein Says:

    “NO Drunk Fools in Knoxville”
    I seriously doubt that. Don’t forget your headed to the south. There will be a lot of whisky flowing out of flasks that show. Should be a killer show either way. Have fun. That’s one I can’t make.

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ humpack- couldn’t disagree more. That 6.19 Piper is FAR from ANYTHING that has EVER come out of Piper. What show are you listening to? 😉

  18. R1 Says:

    I’m listening to Taste from Binghampton 12.14.95 – where did this alternate arrangement with extra lyrics from Fishman come from? Am I just forgetting an older version that is no longer played, or was this a one of a time thing?? Anyone?

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ yes- The Fog That Surrounds- (Precursor to the arrangement they officially called Taste in ’96). Played throughout ’95.

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    “I agree Mr. Miner… Although my favorite jam is 6.14.95 Mud Island Tweezer. ”

    ^^ NO question!!

  21. panic66 Says:

    @R1 …..Its called “fog that surrounds” ws the version before “Taste”

  22. Dave Says:

    I really think the 6.19.04 Piper is the highlight of ’04. Not my favorite jam ever but in the context of that year and even that run it was head and shoulders above it’s peers. Just listening to the first set and second set of that show is like listening to two different bands to me. They tapped into something during that setbreak (insert drug related joke here).

  23. msbjivein Says:

    Where’s SOAM?? I’m sure he’s a big Taste fan w/ all the Fish singing. lol!

  24. elbows Says:

    Miner, Good call on the sleepers, though maybe I’d add Star Lake to the list as well. I hope and pray that Chicago is amazing; due to the fact that it’s my hometown show and that tickets are so available, I’m taking everybody I know who hasn’t seen Phish but has heard me babbling about them for the last twelve years. My dad, my cousin…C’mon Phish, prove to them that my wanderings and obsessions are justified!

    My best wishes to the Anastasio family. I hope Trey can use music to grieve and heal, and stays strong and healthy in the face of such shitty circumstances.

  25. msbjivein Says:

    My best wishes to Trey’s family also. That’s horrible. I lost my older brother in ’98. Phish shows really help me get through those first couple yrs. I’m sure Trey will use music to let out built up emotions. No words can describe what he’s feeling only music can.

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