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. old dude Says:

    jerry, we miss you man. please come back.

    me still likes phish thought … are they still around?

  2. jOHN Says:

    Just wondering, seeing as how i saw people talking about the moedog show in st. augustine this summer, what do phish fans on this site think about moe? I’m a pretty young kid and I never saw the dead w/ Jerry or without, but other than Phish Moe is my favorite band in the world. They remind me of Phish, but without the grounding musical effect of Page. Just wondering what people think of them.

  3. guyforget Says:

    They are awesome…i saw the halloween show in philly in the early 00s where they did Dark Side of the Moon. It was sweet, and they are supposed to be real good guys too.

  4. Los Says:

    moe. sucks

    Dead suck

    Grateful Dead rock

    pHISH r the kings!!!!!!

  5. Brimley Says:

    Moe is definitely a quality product…check out their Bonaroo late night set from ’02 or ’03 and you’ll see what’s up…Listen too much though and the jams seem to be very similar in structure..haven’t listened to them in a few years though…

  6. guyforget Says:

    ^^agreed Brimley

  7. leftoflefty Says:

    i was at the greensboro dead tour opener. i have to say i was not impressed at all. it was definately lacking leadership.

  8. EL Duderino Says:

    My favorite Dark Star is 2/13/70 Fillmore East. The most psychedelic IMO!!!

  9. whole tour! Says:

    no band can touch phish imo….that being said, moe is a great band. i started seeing them in like 97 and i’ve watched them mature and progress. they keep getting better and more polished. i haven’t seen them live in few years, but from what tapes i’ve heard, they sound great. when i saw they were playing with ratdog in my backyard, it’s a no brainer, i’m so there. would i travel thousands of miles to see them like phish in june? no, but they still shred!

  10. Pencilneck Says:

    Seen ’em a few times, and each time i was impressed at how much better they were than the last time. Good stuff. Doesn’t make me fiend for it for some reason. Good tho.

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    Fire show will be the phire for sure because fans that wanted tix got tix with minimum amount of hassle due to TicketsNow being subpoenad for their scalping info the day before that show went on sale. They had to lay low for at least a day and it worked out perfectly for us. Also I’m going to be there and I’m kind of a big deal. People know me.

  12. Walfredo Says:

    I like me some moe. I saw them in 1996 for the first time and caught all 3 nights of there Great American Music Hall NYE run. It was really fun. Seen them a half dozen times probably since- but none since 1999.

    They are definitely a good time and worth checking out when in town. Both guitar players shred- and they actually write pretty good songs- especially in the world of jam bands. Al Schnier is a funny dude.

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    @El Dude I am now listening to that 2/13 Star :o)

    If you like dark stars this is kind of the introductory survey:
    – any from 4/69 such as Live/Dead, my fave is DP26 version (4/27)
    – 11/8/69 (DP16) ragged but brilliant segue-fest
    – 2/13/70 one of the very finest, no doubt
    – 10/31/71
    – any of several huge Europe ’72 ones such as the huge Rotterdam beast (5/11) or the one on Steppin’ Out <– very underrated official release
    – Veneta 72
    – 12/6/73
    – 2/24/74

    Almost any Dark Star from Fall 72 (such as DPs 11 and 36) or Fall 73 is going to be well worth your time.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    ..and 10/29/89 Miami is the best post-1974 Dark Star easily – a scorching blast of chaotic psychedelia – Greensboro 91 is nice too, with Bruce H

  15. voopa Says:

    moe. ROCKS

  16. Mr. Icculus Says:

    ive always enjoyed moe shows when they were in town. But im not going to far outta my way to catch one. I would have to say WSP has been my crutch post phish. Panic is very danceable, a more fuller sound of music than phish, and JB sings with alot of soul in his voice.
    But they are no PHISH!!!!!!

  17. Doc Says:

    Speaking of Branford and Dark Star, I’m checking out 3/29/90, the best DS post-1972, imo.

    I haven’t seen any incarnation of the Dead, or whatever they want to call themselves, since I heard Bob sing Touch of Grey and West LA at the ’97 Furthur Fest. Never again, I said. And I didn’t.

    The band was all about Jerry. They need to realize this and hang it up for good. I say this as someone who spent five great years seeing them.

  18. old dude Says:

    Bingo – i never heard of you. and i would know, cuz i’m in the know.

    didn’t realize they were called Fire. Hope they don’t play Fire. I was listening to 11.17.97 Hampton last night thinking how that’s one of my least favorite JImi Are You Experienced songs. What about a Red House? Can I get a Third Stone? or at least Manic Depression.

  19. old dude Says:

    Red House with Gordeaux on vocals.

  20. old dude Says:

    also hopefully they don’t pull a local blues artist on stage just b/c in Chicago. I mean, i like Sugar Blue and all, but i want my three songs back.

    Unless it’s Buddy Guy. that guy makes me smile.

  21. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    i enjoyed moe. for a while, and i still do to a certain extent but i kind of realized that their jams are definitely planned to some extent, you can see it onstage.

    that being said however, they have some MONSTER jams. no doubt. and good writing too. i saw them a few times and thouroughly enjoyed myself, but i just dont think they can touch phish. they were a decent temporary phase to wait out till phish reunion.

    and hate to bring up old news but i haven’t been home in a few hours, but as far as the 6.19.04 piper goes, about every maybe 4 or 5 months i decide that i HAVE to give it another try because all this hype has to be for some reason.

    today was one of those days, after i left my last comment.

    it isnt as bad as i remember, and the parts towards the end definitley do pick up steam and peak in a great way.

    but there is a lot of times where theres nothing going on musically. don’t get me wrong, silence and modesty are a KEY part of great jams, but only when accompanied by the proper textures and contexts. i think between like 8:45 and maybe 13 minutes or so theres stuff happenening but theres nothing happening, and not really in a good way. i guess trey is my biggest beef, and its probably because it was 2004. but in what could have been a decent part of a rather chill, silent jam, trey was doing stupid stuff, and playing chords that were not in good taste to the conversation that was developing.

    i am all for “nothing happening” but it has to sit right, and maybe its just personal to me. for example, twist from 6.14.00 (LP4) is one of my favorite jams of all time and theres very little happening, in the most powerful way imaginable. then again, its probably not fair of me to compare trey in 2004 to trey in 2000 is it.

  22. voopa Says:

    @old dude

    I saw the The Tubes at small fest here on Sunday…the encore was Talk To Ya Later > 3rd Stone From the Sun. Good stuff! Roger Steen still tears it up.

  23. voopa Says:

    Oh, and they did a shout out to Vince, which was really nice.

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    i love that on this board even disagreements are usually thoughtful and on point – now I want to go listen again to those minutes you mention. That particular kind of jamming is perhaps the most subjective though. It’s easy to agree that an improvised thick groove or crescendo is great, but soundscapes are really in the ear of the beholder IMO.

    but I am a big fan of a dissociated dynamic in jamming so what you hear as discord may seem like intriguing weirdness to me, with neither of us being demonstrably “right” & strictly a matter of taste

    there is one really famous abstract phish jam everyone loves that leaves me cold – I will never admit which one it is ;o)

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    @old dude: now you do. How about a little Fire on the Mountain?

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