The Road Ahead

After a whole lot of waiting, Phish finally dropped their fall tour dates last Friday, confirming many long-standing rumors and providing a couple surprises as well. The band will hit the road for 13 shows a little more than two weeks after Festival 8, starting in the Midwest on November 18, but remaining largely in the Northeast -here’s a preview.

header2The kick-off of Fall ’09 at Cobo Arena in Detroit, MI, though speculated upon, still surprised most fans. The iconic 12,191 seat venue was made famous by KISS in 1975 when they recorded their breakthrough album “Alive!”there. Having recently hosted a homecoming from the glam-rockers less than a month ago, Cobo Arena will host Phish before getting torn down later this year to expand Cobo Convention Center.

Cobo Hall - Detroit, MI

Cobo Arena - Detroit, MI

Following a rare-off day following the tour opener, the band hops south to Cincinnati for a two-night stand in the venue formerly known as “The Crown.” Phish has included The Crown on their tour docket consistently since Fall ’98, making these their sixth and seventh shows in the arena. Highlights from shows past include ’98’s “Bowie” and “YEM,” ’99’s “Sand,” “Limb,” and “Split,” and ’03’s “Bathtub Gin.” A building with a definite Phish-friendly legacy, this marks the band’s third twin-bill at The Crown; a Friday/Saturday combo that will certainly pull fans from all over the country.

War Memorial - Syracuse, NY

War Memorial - Syracuse, NY

From Cincy, Phish will stop in Syracuse, NY for an intimate Sunday night at the 8,000-seat Onondaga War Memorial. A staple of the ABA and AHL circuits, Phish visited the under-sized venue during their hallowed month of November of ’94. Coincidentally, KISS is the only major rock act that routinely stopped at the venue better known for minor league sports and professional wrestling events. This one should be exciting! Following another day off, we bounce down to Philly to begin the highly anticipated east coast blowout. This high-key run starts with Phish’s first visit to the new-school Wachovia Center – across the street from The Spectrum. Philadelphia Phish never disappoints; and after a glorious past at The Spectrum, expect the band to christen their new Philly home in fine style.

Times-Union Center - Albany, NY

Times-Union Center - Albany, NY

Only taking one day off on Thanksgiving Day, Phish will start working off their turkey the very next night, starting a third two-night stand at “Knickerbocker Arena” in Albany. Another historic haunt that has been violated by corporate sponsorship, this building has hosted many classic nights of Phish dating back to the historic 12/9/95 gig that included one of the top “YEMs” ever. The site of two tour-ending stands in the falls of ’97 and ’99, these upcoming shows will be Phish’s tenth and eleventh on Pearl St. Albany has always blended well with Phish, and this post-holiday stop looks to follow in that tradition.

CCCC - Portland, ME

CCCC - Portland, ME

The very next night, instead of making an expected stop in Worcester, MA, Phish surprised everyone by announcing a trip north to Portland, ME ‘s universally-loved Cumberland County Civic Center. Beginning with their first solo gig on 12.30.93, the 9,000 person room hosted five shows through ’99 and some truly epic Phish. A phenomenal room for a show, this Sunday night affair deserves a circle on everyone’s calendar.



With two days to rest-up and relax, Phish finally returns to Madison Square Garden. Arguably the greatest Phish venue in the land, the band hasn’t stepped foot in the 34th St. mecca since their first comeback on 12/31/02. These three nights at The Garden – December 2,3, and 4 – are the “no-brainer,” “Get-Your-Ass-There-At-All-Costs” shows of the tour. In a building where Phish has dropped many career-defining nights of music, the prodigal band shall return for three more monster-sized shows laced with big-city psychedelia.  And to cap off the tour, Phish flies south to Charlottesville, VA – home of their Red Light Management – in a move reminiscent of Winter ’03’s Greensboro finale. This year’s ending installment takes place in John Paul Jones Arena, University of Virginia’s brand-new basketball facility that opened in 2006 and holds over 15,000. This show not only concludes the tour, but also tops Phish’s only four-night run of Fall ’09. Though the tour is a relatively quick jaunt, almost every show will be a high-profile affair with more than a few guaranteed throw-downs. And when Phish steps indoors, the entire game changes; so watch out!


11.18.09 Cobo Arena, Detroit, MI
11.20.09 U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, OH
11.21.09 U.S. Bank Arena, Cincinnati, OH
11.22.09 War Memorial at Oncenter , Syracuse, NY
11.24.09 Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA
11.25.09 Wachovia Center, Philadelphia, PA
11.27.09 Times Union Center, Albany, NY
11.28.09 Times Union Center, Albany, NY
11.29.09 Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME
12.02.09 Madison Square Garden , New York, NY
12.03.09 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
12.04.09 Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
12.05.09 John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA

The  ticket “lottery” is officially underway. The ticket request period will end this Friday, October 16th at 5:00pm EST.

Tickets go on sale to the public beginning Friday, October 23rd, with additional dates going on sale Saturday, October 24th. For full show and ticketing information, please visit

Winged music note=====

Jam of the Day:

Bathtub Gin > 2001 > YEM” 12.2.99 II


A sparkling section of improv from Phish’s first show of December ’99 at The Palace in Auburn Hills, MI.



12.2.99 The Palace, Auburn Hills, MI < Torrent

12.2.99 The Palace, Auburn Hills, MI < Megaupload

The Palace - Auburn Hills, MI

The Palace - Auburn Hills, MI

Here is another tour-opener from the Motown area. This one got going quickly with highlight versions of “Antelope” and “Free” in the first frame, and heated up in earnest after the break with the smoking segment of “Bathtub > 2001 > YEM.”

I: Runaway Jim, Farmhouse, Heavy Things, Roggae, Run Like an Antelope, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Poor Heart, Sample in a Jar, Free, The Squirming Coil

II: Boogie On Reggae Woman, Gotta Jibboo, Bathtub Gin > Also Sprach Zarathustra >You Enjoy Myself > Little Drummer Boy

E: Bold As Love

Source: B&K 4023’s > V2 > D8 @ 44.1

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227 Responses to “The Road Ahead”

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  1. Baxter Says:

    I’m so lucky to live in the N. East, and I am going to be in Albany for Thanksgiving anyway. Love Portland the most though, saw my first Dead show there in 83. Always brings back fond memories!

  2. Kenny Powers Says:

    Miner, just wanted to say i absolutely LOVE the venue pics you post here. I use them for the album art for my show recordings, they even display on my portable FLAC player as long as I resize them close to the 120×120 resolution of my Sansa player.

  3. Jen Says:

    I’m so torn. I think I’m just going to focus on getting to the MSG shows (a 5 minute walk from where I live) even though I want to do Philly, Albany, and Portland too.

    Mr. Miner, I don’t think you ever added your newest Miner’s Picks to the Miner’s Picks section on the right hand side of the screen. I wanted the 2nd leg of summer tour and had to search for it yesterday. Just looking out! Thanks for the great site!

  4. pabalive Says:

    Miner – when I saw CCC on the tour date list, I knew I had to be there. I was at 12/30/93 and have vivid memories of this epic show. This is an absolute “come hell or high water” moment for me. I will be in Portland.

  5. beepaphone Says:

    @ Kenny – Me too – Unless theres a Pollock available, or something noteable happened, i.e. Springsteen onstage etc. etc. etc.

  6. BTB Says:

    The Cobo Arena is one hell of an venue to have a dog show

  7. Neemor Says:

    Boy, as if I could get any more pumped for Fall Tour!
    Now I’m effin amped.
    Only question is: is it possible to hit ’em all?
    That ‘Cuse show looks dy-no-mite!
    They all do.
    Miner, that’s not fair.
    My boss already hates Phish, you’re simply taunting me to drop my job and go West to kick this thing off…..
    Hot damn.
    Fingers crossed for the lottery.
    Good luck, guys.

  8. BTB Says:

    I was originally planning to do Syracuse, but after further review, there’s no way I’m driving from Cincinnati to Syracuse. It would be fun, but ultimately exhausting. If I had plenty of vacation time, I would do it, but it’s just a bit much.

  9. ColonelJoy Says:

    Would love to revisit my first show venue and hometown at CCCC, but it isn’t possible. Rest assured, 1st night philly, 3.5 hours from where I’ll be living, is my B-Day show….my first ever B-Day show….and Phish wants to make me happy

  10. Neemor Says:

    That line “additional dates going on sale on the 24th” has me pretty excited, too.
    Looking back at the ’99 Fall Tour, and others. I’m sure, there are usually more dates including my “hometown” show, Hartford.
    I really get the vibe that more shows will be added to this tour when the dates are worked out.
    Just looking at events planned at the XL Center in Hartford, there is nothing posted from 11/29-12/2 on their trip from Me to NYC.
    I’m starting a rumour right now that 11/30 or 12/1 will be in Hartford.
    Miner, any current rumour of the like?

  11. morecowbell (aka jay) Says:

    I I could go to only three shows this fall tour I would pick Detroit, Syracuse, and Portland

  12. Neemor Says:

    And finally;
    The JOTD 12.2.99 Also Sprach is a straight-up dance party.
    Thanks to Michael “Soft G” Gordon.

  13. Neemor Says:

    aka jay.
    That’s nice to say but, MSG?
    And the history that the Knick provides?
    There’s no way to narrow it down, if you really look?
    Or at least it’s really tough.
    I could skip Cincy. And maybe Philly.
    But that’s about it.

  14. Neemor Says:

    And don’t forget the Hartford throwdown on 11/30!

  15. morecowbell (aka jay) Says:

    That’s nice to say but, MSG?

    The reasons for my choices are:
    1. Seen many MDG shows (Dead, Phish, etc…).
    2. Never been to Detroit, the venue will be destroyed, and it’s the tour opener.
    3. Was born and raised in Syracuse. Seen some epic SWM shows. Syracuse will be a sleeper show IMHO. Would also love to visit my ol’ homestead (been many moons).
    4.CCCC is just a magical place. Never been there and love Maine. Another sleeper show.
    5. I only have 3 shows to see in my what if scenario and want to experience three vastly different venues, cities, and vibes.

  16. morecowbell (aka jay) Says:


  17. Highway Bill Says: is all good. Different flavors for sure, but all tasty treats.

  18. Neemor Says:

    I guess I didn’t take thee personal aspect into my silly statement.
    Obviously, we’d all like to hit them all if possible.
    I think the idea that Cobo will be destroyed afterwards is pretty telling, too.
    The boys might bring a wrecking ball in the form of an epic Piper>Roses are Free>Sanity>YEM. I agree on the sleeper aspects of ‘Cuse and definitely Portland.
    I think ME goes without sating. 9,000 lucky phans.
    Sorry to be so “confrontational” so early…

  19. mrfergie Says:

    @ Neemor – I can only hope for a Hartford show as well, nice little hometown gig for me as well. As of right now due to an impeding wedding I’m only going to make it to one of the MSG shows…

  20. sumodie Says:

    Portland’s CCCC is the venue that introduced me to rock n roll back when I was a wee one in high school. I saw my first concert ever in that very concrete bunker in 1983 -the piano man, Billy Joel. Sat in the 6th row and was completely blown away by the experience (years later, my Mom, who was with me, told me she warned her friends next to us not to toke up in front of me -what a bummer! Lol -gotta luv Moms).

    The ’80s saw my musical tastes evolve rapidly, but no Dead at the CCCC for me. By the time I liked the Dead they never came back to Maine (no Oxford Plains Speedway for me…sigh…I got Highgate instead).

    I saw a string of bands at the CCCC in the ’80s that I never listen to today (quality highlights would be early REM & INXS, Pretenders, YES). Then in the summer of 1992, inspired by Blues Travelers’ first album and a feature article in Rolling Stone, I had my first encounter with Vermont’s Phinest at the very first HORDE show, held at the CCCC no less.

    At the show I distinctly remember lots of hippie dudes in overalls, one of whom offered me L on the street outside (whoa! Though not inexperienced, I chickened out because I knew friends from work were going and I was afraid of my worlds colliding). I also distinctly remember seeing these two gorgeous women dressed to the hilt exotically floating around throughout the venue -now I know they were on E. Nothing like first impressions! But I disgress…

    Musically, I was sure Blues Traveler was going to be the show closer, since I thought their debut album was the most popular of the 5 bands. But noooo, that turned out to be Phish, the wacky VT band I vaguely knew of, whose album had a disturbing Cro-magnon guy on the back cover holding my grandmother’s vacuum cleaner. WTF!?!

    Was I instantly won over? No, but I do recall how intensely folks in the audience reacted to phish’s music, especially all the ones in overalls (overalls as fashionable dress at a rock concert were new to me) spinning in the hallways and dancing like madmen (there were some madwomen too). Sparkle, of all tunes, is the only one I distinctly remember.

    Though I didn’t get IT until my 2nd show (8/20/93 Red Rocks), I will never forget that first HORDE show at CCCC. For that matter, I have fond memories of all my shows there (even Loverboy, sort of. Did I just admit that?), so you’ve probably guessed by now that I’ll be in Portland again on 11/29/09. Dare I say Dog Log?

    Thus ends sumodie’s trip down memory lane…hope you’re on holiday today too.

  21. Neemor Says:

    Good stuff, Sumodie

  22. Neemor Says:

    I have a t-shirt somewhere of that HORDE Tour.
    Phish logo is at the bottom of the back.
    Under four or five others.
    1 1/2″ tall.
    Funny how far they’ve come.

  23. sumodie Says:

    That line “additional dates going on sale on the 24th” has me pretty excited, too.

    Not to be a downer, but that means that some dates go onsale the 23rd, some the 24th. It doesn’t mean that new unannounced shows will go onsale.

    But I dig your enthusiasm!!!

  24. MakisupaSecurity Says:

    I thought about it and I’m just going to try for Albany. Although I know that Portland show is be a throwdown. Maybe if I can score a cheapie and shack up somewhere.

    Being from RI I’d LOVE LOVE LOVE a stop at the Providence Civic Center. ( we refuse to call it the Dunkin Donuts Center, although many have reluctantly started calling it ” The Dunk ”
    They’ve completely overhauled it so if anyone has seen a show there before is in for some new adventures.

    *sigh* island tour.

  25. sumodie Says:

    Miner, just wanted to say i absolutely LOVE the venue pics you post here. I use them for the album art for my show recordings

    Me too.

    One of the more unusual ck5 lights pic that I’ve seen recently can be found by following Miner’s link above:

    “And when Phish steps indoors, the entire game changes; so watch out!”

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