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. Los Says:

    For 2003…

    My fav is the nassau show due to the tweezer>Soul shakedown, followed closely by the star lake show…than 7/30 set I

    For 2004…

    Its all about the SPAC…both nites were the shizzle!

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Miner btw I am unable to DL the MF links @ the summer ’95 article – it says “no resources” available. 95 is a year that I have not listened to enough…

    @humpback – I do love the Piper jam from that show, I think it contains a lot of fascinating and distinct themes in a nice succession and remains interesting throughout. I’m no fan of long jams just for the sake of longness…

    But 6.19 also has a sick Walls and that stunning Song I Heard The Ocean Sing, and the sleeper tunes Jiboo and Limb. Those last two songs get lost in the discussion. I think Trey’s playing on those 2 is among the finest in-control melodic soloing I have ever heard from him. His tone is absolutely perfected and the phrasing is exquisite.

    In Miner’s excellent Warfield and Terrapin ’98 writeups he made a point which has stuck with me and I think is relevant here. I forget the exact words but the idea was that by fully accepting and acknowledging the Dead’s influence on Phish they were able to move beyond a kind of denial and start playing in styles they had kind of avoided because they didn’t want to sound “dead-like.” I know a classic example of this is Destiny – not really a great song IMO but the stated reason they dropped it was that it sounded too “Deady.” Or consider 46 Days, a rocked-out song in the country-blues power chord vein the Dead mined so deeply over the years…

    …anyway what I have been noticing is that I think this avoidance and acceptance thing applies specifically to Trey’s playing as well. I totally understand why for so long he avoided any hint of Jerry-esque playing and rightly so. But in the last decade he has started to add a few Garcia arrows to the quiver I think.

    Now I’m not taking this very far. I don’t think he started “playing like Jerry” in any deep sense. I mean I think he has started doing some things specifically in terms of tone (very cleanly shaped longer notes with ringing purity) and intricate midtempo melodic soloing (the infinite-staircase exotic scales thing, ascending and descending and then jumping scales) that for me are very evocative of Garcia, especially in combination. It’s not that he didn’t understand it before or couldn’t do it, I think it was conscious avoidance.

    Anyway that’s the kind of soloing I hear in the Jiboo and Limb from 6.19…and 6.20 is a pretty great show too

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    mediafire links should be all fixed now…my account had been drained…all up again

  4. SOAM Says:

    Is it true they are doing the soundtrack to Forrest Gump 2 and will be playing the album in its entirety in Knoxville and post gig there is a dukes of hazard marathon at the local drive in–totally stoked-stocking up on cheap whiskey-some low grade sid and hitting the road with a carton of gpc’s taboot


  5. SOAM Says:


  6. Dr SF Jones Says:

    @humpback- thanks dude. last i checked phishows was down and before that i couldn’t unzip the file, but just pulled the whole show and everything seems a go. thanks again.

  7. Mr.Miner Says:

    re-post of ’95 madness!! Links all work–

  8. SOAM Says:

    minor your 411 on the hooch scene has been disputed….

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^^ what are you talking about?

    @ Completely- ’95 is some outlandish psychedelia that cannot be missed!!

  10. SOAM Says:

    Duerdino’s post at 7;44 april 30

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    thx miner looking forward to it – when I started building a phish collection I concentrated on 93-94 and 97-98 and have been working outwards from there…I think 11-14, Red Rocks and the LP releases from that year are all the 95 I have…

  12. Mr.Miner Says:

    “Hate to tell y’all but Trey is puffing herbs, which is a good thing IMO. He’ll be fine.”

    ^^ who did you hear this from, b/c i have MANY sources that say the exact opposite…Not saying that I’m right, just curious

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    Completely- go get 6.26.95 SPAC – i think its on here somewhere- THAT is some madness.

    On second thought, I don’t think its is, but I’ll post it for download tomorrow.

  14. SOAM Says:

    an extremely dosed to the gills lot wookie laid that on him-I need to know by 4:20

  15. msbjivein Says:

    Heading to NOLA today!!!!!!!!!! Ain’t no place I’d rather be.
    PBS&Page Sat!!!!!!
    @Jay We’ll keep you posted
    Have a good weekend all!

  16. Frankie Says:

    @Mr. Completely
    I would start with the Miner’s Picks compilations as well… Summer ’95 & December ’95. So many good jams! Check it out! 🙂

    Then it’s cool to put the jams back in the context of the shows they were played in…

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    grabbing the summer ’95 comps now

  18. Frankie Says:

    Do you know the 12.2.95 Tweezer? It is such a must-hear! That is the december 95 sound for me right there! Such unbelievable energy…

  19. Metzoleom Says:

    Thanks Miner, got prt 1!

    Hey guys n gals, first time long time.
    How would you experienced folks compare the scene at Hampton 09 to the scene of 95?
    Obviously size is not comparable. But in terms of vibes and fringe elements?
    It seemed to me to be at least slightly improved from the millenium/2.0 scene…
    What do you expect for this summer?

  20. old dude Says:

    i don’t hear what Piper-geeks see in that song, any version. or rather, i don’t see what you hear?

    it makes for interesting segue out of . lyrics are cooly abstract, i guess. outtro is maybe best part. but the rest? meh.

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Frankie – nope – on further review I have 11.14, 10.31, 12.31, 12.1, 12.14 and the RR run, I think that’s it from 95, perhaps some fragments and filler.

    On 94 and ’97 I’m in the “filling in the edges” stage – I have most of the key famous stuff and a bunch of “average” for the era shows, some of which I’ll need aud upgrades for at some point. Almost to that same level on ’93, ’98, and ’99.

    So the big hole is basically 95-96 – I have similarly few 96 shows at this point

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    @old dude – not a big fan of Piper per se tho the short ones (e.g. hampton) have nice explosive energy. But the point of Piper IMO is that it reliably led into massive jams. I’m always ready for the “song” to be over and the jam to launch.

    It’s basically a booster rocket. Basically just loud and fast once it gets going, but takes you right out into space.

  23. Frankie Says:

    @ Completely
    🙂 Yeah me too, i still discover new stuff…
    It’s a lifetime of finding new gold nuggets in the archives…

    Really grateful for Mr. Miner’s site for that as well…

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    It’s very exciting and fun for me because I am starting edge close to having a functionally complete GD/JG collection across all eras…not meaning I have every show/source, I don’t want them all…but I have heard almost every show in circ from 1968 to 1978 and most of the even decent ones through ’91 and have good sources for the ones I want to keep, or can easily get them. I still have a lot of listening to do, I don’t know what I already have top to bottom- right now I’m listening to a beautiful & interesting ’69 Dark Star I only played once before. But the end is kind of in sight.

    So the fact that I’m just leaving the shallow end of the Phish pool is great – plus of course they are still making more good music! So there’s still a huge amount to explore.

    (not to mention other genres of course)

  25. whole tour! Says:

    ashe > knox!

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