The Beauties of Summer

6.26.04 Alpine (Morst)

6.26.04 Alpine (Morst)

With summer tour just around the corner, things are setting in motion.  Ticket re-releases are happening, mail orders should be coming in the mail soon, and our routes to Boston have been planned.  On the verge of embarking on the first full tour in five years, excitement fills the air of spring.

Summer tour is a uniquely blissful experience.  Combining daytime summer fun with the all-night Phish parties, life becomes a vivid and cyclical barrage of the senses as you roll across the country.  Traveling open-road-nvfrom state to state overnight or during the day, life becomes a singular mission- get to the show! Reminiscing over so many summer tours past, I came up with a short list of things that are special and unique about summer Phish tour.  Let’s keep the list going in Comments all day and see where we get to!

1.  The ability to walk in to the show with nothing but a t-shirt, shorts and your ticket

sunset_awesome2. The nightly sunset jam

3. The Hari Christnas that rage the lot at Star Lake

4. The drive from Alpine to Deer Creek, or vice versa

5. Kicking it in the lot post-show, casually gathering your wits

6. Sunrises- whether on the road, camping, or wherever you may be

7. The the west coast drives (though not totally applicable this year)

535015279_45f58f1cfd8. Deer Creek campgrounds and their “nitrous-is-ok” policies

9. Succesfully finding an few open sqaure feet to rage in the Alpine pavilion (they are few and far between)

10. Freely puffing joints on the lawn during setbreak

11. Raging RVs for festivals

12. The woods and setting of SPAC (and Merriweather)

rv-solar13. Summer evenings in uptstate New York

14. Camden’s post-show open-air drug market

15. Finding backroads to avoid the traffic

16. Deer Creek “Antelopes” and Alpine “Tweezers”

17. The sound at open-air venues like The Gorge or Sandstone or any venue without a roof

18. Looking out at the water at Jones Beach while Phish grooves fill the air

gatorade19. The “Yamar” opener

20. The ability to see all your friends raging during the first set

21. The unexpected lot tan (my wife’s contribution)

22. “Rebas,” “Rebas,” and more “Rebas”

23. That first post-show beverage- beer, water, Gatorade, or otherwise

24. How Kuroda’s lights pop out when its just getting dark

25. Hearing “Divided Sky” – whenever it shows up


R1’s DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY (Written by contest winnner- R1)

12.31.98 MSG, NYC < LINK


For my final download, I bring you another reader request. This one from cOwfunk.

The final show of 1998. My 21st birthday show as it just so happens.

Phish @ MSG

Phish @ MSG

I think one word sums up this show: Joyous.  The music is just incredibly jubilant. Starting the night off with the highly-anticipated Prince cover “1999,” Phish came right out and explained the manner in which we were meant to party that evening.  This number set the cheerful tone for the night. And what tune brings a larger smile to one’s face than “Mike’s Song?” This one has an early, triumphant peak before a lovely and enchanting, mellow jam ensues. The classic Mike’s Groove is wrapped up with a “Weekapaug” that contains a “1999” tease and bodacious bombing from Miguel.  The “Ghost” features a bright, layered groove that kept the light mood afloat.  It never really enters into murky territory . Crowd-pleaser “Ha Ha Ha” had everyone laughing with mirth and the sing-along ending to “Cavern” closed things on a high note.

1998-12-31mo“NICU” reintroduced the same gleeful tone to open the second set. “Tweezer > Cities” is a definite highpoint of the night.  This “Tweezer” is a patient, undulating seether that, like the “Ghost”, for the most part keeps its distance from the realm of the truly grimy. Yet the jam does seem to take a turn to the darkside just before making an immaculate segue into a damned sexy “Cities.” A hot “Antelope” with another “1999” refrain and a raucous “Frankenstein” left the crowd giddy.



The special New Year’s third set was kicked off by a “Runaway Jim” that mounted with intensity right along with crowd’s excitement for the countdown.  Now, the “Auld Lang Syne” at a Phish NYE extravaganza has repeatedly proven to be a singularly emotional moment for me, and I’m sure many of you hold it in similarly special regard.  The lights come up to let you see everyone, you’re hugging your dear, sweaty friends, an enormous grin on your face (perhaps a tear in your eye) and you can’t imagine being ANYWHERE else in the world.  This is sweet JOY.  Enough said.  A quintessentially merry Phish song, “Simple” is disrupted for several minutes by balloon-bursting, but ironically develops into a a pretty dirty, snarling jam. These were some highlights from a great night in Phistory!

I would like to thank Mr. Miner for allowing me to contribute to his site. I’d also like to thank everyone for their show requests and kind words. It’s been great fun, but I must admit I am happy to be done with the responsibility! See you all in 16 days!

I: 1999*, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Ghost > Ha Ha Ha, Cavern

II: NICU, Character Zero, Tweezer > Cities > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Run Like an Antelope, Frankenstein

III: Runaway Jim > Auld Lang Syne > Simple,  Harry Hood, Tweezer Reprise, Llama

E: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

* debut

Source: Schoeps CMC641 > Lunatec V2 > Apogee AD1000 > DAT

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207 Responses to “The Beauties of Summer”

  1. tdcuse Says:

    One of my favorite shows. This was show #5 all time for me – and a few days later I was on my way to London to do a semester abroad (“Think of London…small city…dark…dark in the daytime…”) I found that out to be true. And about 2 months later my friend came to visit me out there with 3 discs in tow – labeled 12/31/98. That Hood got so much play on my discman walking around London, riding the subways etc, – the discman actually crapped out about a week after I got home. Don’t know what I would have done without it over there. This is not the best show I’ve been to nor is it my favorite, but it is the one that means the most to me.

  2. tdcuse Says:

    Summer tour faves – playing a little game called “Goin’ to the Show” On the road to the next show you look into cars you’re passing and try to figure out if those people are – you got it – goin’ to the show.

    you play it only by saying “goin’ to the show.” Example: Car passing…”Goin’ to the show?”

    Answer….”Goin’ to the show.”

  3. wvbrdr Says:

    On the 2 for 3 note, I remember the 97 Darien lake show, my buddy and I were selling beers in the lot before the show “1 for 3, 2 for 5” when all of the sudden he calls out “3 for 2”. It seemed like the whole lot stopped walking and ended up coming over. So we hooked up everyone with 3 beers for 2 bucks. Why not. We still laugh about that to this day.

  4. wvbrdr Says:

    wondering, right now, what new experiences I will have now that I’m in such a completely different place in my life that I was during my last (42nd) show in 2000.

  5. worthlesswampyfool Says:

    favorite things about summer tour #452) PLAY IT LEO!!!!!!

    see you all on tour!

  6. steve-o Says:

    Deer Creek – walking back to the campsite after the show along a two-lane road (one way each way,) narrowly dodging dump trucks while trying to not fall in the ditch…

    people “mooing” while waiting in foot traffic to get in the venue…

    skipping Alpine for an extra day at deer creek, dosing on Jerry’s Print on an off day, and laughing hysterically at Dead Creek campground till morning…

  7. SandyMcTube Says:

    festival feet and tan lines from chacos and tevas!

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