2009 just keeps getting better! As we anxiously await the second leg of summer tour- with the return to Red Rocks, The Gorge, and so many classic venues- Phish has completely diverted everyone’s attention by announcing a three-day, Phish-only, Halloween festival- presumably at Empire Polo Fields in Indio, Ca. The California desert outside of Palm Springs, after the hot season and surrounded by mountains, will provide an idyllic setting for the longest festival of the band’s career. While there has been no “official” announcement of its location, all reliable sources are pointing to Indio- site of the annual Coachella festival in Southern California. For all of those treks made to the easternmost tip of Maine, this time, the circus will come left for the first-ever west coast Phishfest.
For those who thought Bonnaroo marked the end of Phish festivals as we knew them, here is your response. With reports of eight sets over three days, Phish is upping the ante with their most extensive celebration to date. Needless to say, the Phish festival has returned! We will finally reenter those vibrant playgrounds of lore, that hold musical possibilities as vast as the sky above them. Unlike Bonnaroo, there will be no sitting through lackluster hip-hop sets awaiting our musical adventures- 72 hours of all Phish, all the time!
Whether it takes the form of a huge jam, an innovative art installation, a carnival ride, or a post-show dance party, Phishy energy will overflow at the most anticipated event since the band’s comeback. With at least another summer leg before traveling to Indio, the band’s playing come Halloween will likely have evolved to far deeper places. Take these factors and place them in the outskirts of the desert, and we’ve got the recipe for a sublime psychedelic experience.
Beyond the ideal specifics of the weekend, the spirit of the Phish festival will once again descend upon us. A care-free plane where nothing matters except fun, friends, and Phish, we will once again step foot into a super-sized dream where wishes do come true. Combining the vast surroundings, the overwhelmingly friendly vibes, and festival infrastructures that out-did any, some of the most surreal moments of the band’s career have come at their larger-than-life festivals. The Clifford Ball, The Great Went, Lemonwheel, Oswego, Big Cypress, IT, Coventry, and now….Halloween ’09- the greatest tradition has been revived.
Stuffed somewhere in the middle of those eight sets, Phish, by all assumptions, will don their first musical costume since Vegas ’98, when they nailed their second-set cover of Loaded. A rite that was absent for the band’s final years, Phish will reignite one of their most-loved customs in their first year back. Though we can postulate forever on which album they will choose, the band has had a knack for picking out gems we would have never considered (e.g. Remain In Light and Loaded). The answer to this question will unfold under the desert stars only four months from now.
The presumed locale of this year’s party will create a completely divergent feel to the many weekends in the Northeast. With the weather likely to cooperate, a stunning geography, and a diluted east coast mania, this may be the most blissful experience yet. We will build ourselves a small Phish city to live in for three days straight – west coast style. And if staying on site isn’t your thing- though for Phish festivals it’s the general m.o.- there are luxury rentals aplenty only miles away. To make everything even better, the band has finally chosen an “admit-all” site for one of their super-hyped holiday shows, and tickets won’t be a stress on anyone.
As the calendar is about to turn to July, and we are busy finalizing our plans for the end of summer, we have yet another shining moment waiting in the distance. With Phish back in our lives, everything has taken on a whole new contour with shows upon shows coming up and plenty of new music to listen to in the meantime. Circle October 29th through November 1st on your calendars now, because this is one you won’t want to miss. Reviving two of their most time-honored traditions in one fell swoop, these won’t be your average Phish shows- that much is guaranteed.
Trick or Treat?
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
6.10.2009 Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN < TORRENT LINK
6.10.2009 Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN < SENDSPACE LINK
In the largest indoor venue in their history, with a capacity of over 24,000, Phish threw down a powerful show on campus at the University of Tennessee. The second set versions of “Bowie,” Reba,” and “Hood” are all show highlights.
I: Runaway Jim, Punch You in the Eye, Ocelot, Foam, Train Song, Undermind, Mike’s Song > I am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, The Squirming Coil, Character Zero
II: Get Back on the Train, Waves > A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing > David Bowie, Army of One, Reba, Hello My Baby, Julius, Cavern, Harry Hood
Source: Schoeps CCM 4 Lg (ORTF) > Sonosax SX-M2 > Sound Devices 702 (24/48)- Taper: Dennis Tyler
(Remember, if you absolutely can’t torrent, hit me up with an email explaining your situation for a direct link)