Our National Pastimes

4198_1152308280374_1007653377_30464754_3849393_n-21We now sit on the brink of Summer Tour, with just over three days left until we congregate in Boston, and interestingly enough, this will be the second consecutive summer tour that is starting at a baseball stadium.  Phish has been called up from Keyspan to Fenway this year, due to their super agent, Coran Capshaw, and they are primed to make their major league debut.  Forging two subcultures of America- Phish and baseball – the Fenway opener may be more appropriate than meets the eye.  While Phish’s psychedelic scene and baseball’s mainstream crowd may seem on different ends of the spectrum, the two cultures are far more similar than they appear.

fenway_park_home_plate_and_green_monsterA striking connection between the Phish fans and baseball fans are their love of statistics.  What songs were played; how long since the last version; how long was the jam; how many shows have you been to; what songs have you seen and how many times?  The list of numbers goes on and on, not so different than the national pastime’s fanatic following of home runs, RBIs, ERA, batting average, on-base percentage, strikeouts,WHIP, and what not.  Yet it’s not just how these numbers accumulate, but how each group obsesses over them like fiends.  Fantasy baseball leagues thrive on people’s desire to follow the numbers over the internet, and, ironically, this was the same original premise of Phantasy Tour.  In each scene, fans will both glorify or criticize their heroes, depending on their performance on a given day, and they’ll make damn sure their voices are heard by someone.  Grateful Dead aficionado, David Gans, once made a coherent analogy “Why Grateful Dead Shows Are Like Baseball Games,” and I’ve always thought the comparison to be spot on.

Phish @ Keyspan Park - 2004 (MSJ)

Phish @ Keyspan Park - 2004 (MSJ)

Both cultures come from rich traditions whose participants value and honor their past.  The Boys of Summer, speaking of either Phish or baseball players, come from a lineage who forged a path for them to follow.  Whether referencing former heroes of the diamond or the stage, the best became cultural icons of their era.  Jerry Garcia, Joe DiMaggio, Jimi Hendrix, Willie Mays, John Lennon, Jackie Robinson, Miles Davis, Babe Ruth- these people were larger than life, transcending their sport or art and defining a place in time.  With a certain charisma and flair for the dramatic, sectors of society gravitated around these symbolic figures who pushed their art forward.

phishfenwayThe season of summer is a centerpiece for both Phish and baseball.  Tours and games, reassuring fixtures of every year’s middle season, are always there to provide us with that fountain of youth; that magic reminding us of how life used to be.  A double-header in the sun or a psychedelic adventure under the stars- both are spiritual endeavors that remind us of an innocent place inside of us; that kid who just wants to have fun all day.  And so we go- to shows and to games- to feel that idyllic innocence and to discover what will happen, again and again, for a lifetime.

Stage at Fenway

Stage at Fenway

Both Phish and baseball are ways of life with their own rites, ceremonies, and innate, underlying credos.  Steeped in history, fans of each like to sit around and talk shop all night, while time stands still.  Debates, arguments, and smack talk are the fabric of both conversations; but in the end it is the process that is remembered rather than the results.  Eternal bonds that could never be broken are formed within each culture-friendships- companions on this ride.

And the funny thing with both Phish and baseball is that some just don’t get it.  What’s the big deal?  Why the obsession?   If people aren’t into them, they couldn’t care less, and sometimes, therein lies the beauty.  Often thought of as mere concerts and games- nothing but recreation- the magic in both Phish and baseball lies within the hearts of those who believe in their ethos.

These timeless entities will converge in only three days, when we migrate to Fenway to see Phish battle The Green Monster in a showdown that is guaranteed to be an instant classic!



6.22.95 Finger Lakes PAC, Canandaigua, NY < TORRRENT LINK


Summer Tour '95

Often referred to as simply the “Fleezer” show, this second set is downright nasty.  In a summer of experimental jams, this “Tweezer” ranks right up there.  Dominating the entire second set aside from an opening “Theme,”  this “Tweezer” winds through many stages of improv, including a section of  The Who’s “My Generation.”  A true beast in every sense of the word, this one holds a special place in Summer ‘956 history.

I: Sample in a Jar, Scent of a Mule, Ha Ha Ha, The Divided Sky, Guelah Papyrus, It’s Ice, Strange Design, Maze, Cavern, Sweet Adeline

II: Theme From the Bottom > Tweezer > My Generation* >Tweezer > Tweezer Reprise

E: Acoustic Army, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

*The Who- first time played

Source: DAUD/OTS Schoeps CMC5/mk4 > Aerco > Casio DA-R100 @ 48k

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240 Responses to “Our National Pastimes”

  1. ColonelJoy Says:

    Yes, Completely, I have a son, twenty months old…his name is Pedro. One of the great joy’s of my leave was that I got to dance with him to the Hampton shows….his favorite song….Bouncin’, when Bouncin’ came on the little dude went into his play chest and gabbed a tamborine to play along with it…no shit.

    Special forces Sergeant Majors are bad ass, for sure. SF dudes are generally chill….it’s the poges who arn’t/

  2. camman Says:

    in all seriousness, does someone want to hook me u with a fox for under $100? it’ll be my first show and STL is practically my back yard. email me at:


  3. HarryHood Says:

    I’ve always felt pretty safe in Beantown compared to other cities, but I guess roaming around at night tripping on Salvia could be a bad idea. Glad it turned out ok for you though…….

  4. ColonelJoy Says:

    Now that, whole tour my friend, is a Bad Trip.

  5. ColonelJoy Says:

    BTW, I called my bro at Fenway and left a message for him to check out the House of Blues when he gets off work.

    I bet the rumor is true. It will be Dave and Phish together, jam fest….a totally sick show that I would bust my 7:57 TTE nut to see:)

  6. SOAM Says:

    Passenger opener–destination seen unclearly
    what is a man-deep down inside, but a raging beast with nothing to hide.

  7. bhizzle Says:

    An email was sent to me from LiveNation Red Carpet:

    Dear Valued Fan,

    As a special thank you for showing your interest in Live Nation® VIP programs, we would like you to be among the first to be offered access to our limited Live Nation® Red Carpet Packages.


    In addition to two (2) great seats in the first ten rows of our most popular amphitheaters, our Red Carpet ticket packages include:

    VIP Parking to get you in and out quickly
    Access to the venue’s VIP Club with private bar and bathrooms
    On-Site Concierge specifically for you
    Pre-show Venue Tour for a behind-the-scenes view of the venue
    Artist Merchandise as a memento from your Red Carpet experience
    Packages are first-come-first-served and for select markets only”

    I checked their consert listings and Star Lake was on there and a couple others for Phish. When I entered to “purchase” the cost was $540/ea.

    For shits and giggles I checked what it’d be for VIP for Cruefest and prices were $245/ea.

    Shitty that LiveNation has scalping power like that.

  8. ColonelJoy Says:

    Actually, Passenger would be a great choice for a Dead tune. Page could kill Brent’s organ parts.

  9. ColonelJoy Says:

    bhizzle, you are a valued fan, man.

  10. ColonelJoy Says:

    I wouldn’t mind paying $500 for a killer seat if I knew at least $200 of it was going towards tuition for a montessori school for Fishman’s kids…but it ain’t.

  11. Chalkdustin Says:

    Valued fan = anyone with a credit card. I got one too, but didn’t check out the prices. $540 each? Holy shit, no thanks.

  12. Chalkdustin Says:

    ^^ and I know there are chicks who are into message boards, downloading, and stats.

  13. Jack O Roses Says:

    Re: the blabber at PT re: a secret show.

    Anyone have details? Or can we call bullshit on this?

    …Or, do I need to take off work tomorrow, book a flight to Providence, and get myself to Worcester?

    I’d like to think I can make it till Sunday night, but If they’re playing tonight – in a secret, smallish venue – I MUST be there. 😉

  14. snigglebeach Says:

    yeah this is killing me too.

    not a long ride to HOB, But sounds like fantasy. worried that i will pick wrong either way. if i go ,it will never happen, but if i stay home i could be reading about the show i passed up.

  15. voopa Says:

    Ah yes, Ellis D…

  16. HarryHood Says:

    @ Jack

    If I lived in town, it would be worth the walk/drive over to check it out. I don’t think I’d fly into town early or drive several hours though for a PT rumor

  17. msbjivein Says:

    Secret unannounced late night show at Walmart isle 15!!!!!!

  18. msbjivein Says:

    ^^Heard this from a friend who’s a friend of a friend of Kuroda’s dog. Seriously

  19. mr. icculus Says:

    Did anyone else get the Fenway tickets like MIner displays at the top of the page. Mine are not nearly as cool. What a bummer but i guess it wont matter in 3 days!!!!

  20. mr. icculus Says:

    @Miner are those your tix? Were will you be at Fenway in the stands or on the floor?

  21. Jack O Roses Says:

    Thanks guys, for talking me down. I really didn’t want to go to Worcester if I didn’t need to. I’d end up running into the ex-girlfriend. Wouldn’t be a good scene. ;-P

  22. msbjivein Says:

    On my way to Walmart now!!!! Whooooooooo!

  23. old dude Says:

    Walmart’s new logo is “live better”.
    Sounds like they’re walkin the talk!

  24. old dude Says:

    clean up…..aisle 15.
    faces melted…..aisle 15.

  25. msbjivein Says:

    “attn: Walmart shoppers, There has been a change in the secret unannounced late night show. There has been an accident in isle 15 the secret unannouced late night show has been moved to lawn and garden area. Thankyou for shopping @ Walmart. have a nice day”

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