The Wild Cards of Summer

As speculation continues about the path of this summer’s yellow brick road, potential venues can be split into three categories – the ones we know the band will hit, the ones we hope they will play, and a handful of wild cards. Of course everyone hopes for a return to Red Rocks and The Gorge, and we have already heard that the band will visit Deer Creek, Alpine, and SPAC, but the wild card venues will provide the spice and variety of tour. The band will no doubt hit their staples from Star Lake to Shoreline, but here are a few old haunts that would be great to revisit along the path of Summer 2010.

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Coors Amphitheatre – Chula Vista, California

Coors Amphitheatre - Chula Vista, CA

Miles from Mexico in the California desert sits one of the best kept secrets in live music – Coors Amphitheatre. An open-air venue (with no roof on the pavilion) boasts booming, unhindered sound, spectacular vistas, and many large cement platforms ideal for dancing. With little to no security presence, the west coast vibe permeates this venue, allowing people the freedom to roam and smoke what they please. With three visits to this desert locale in ’99,¬† ’00, and ’03 it’s about time Phish find their way back this San Diego gem along a more extensive western run.

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Walnut Creek Amphitheatre – Raleigh, NC

Walnut Creek '97 DVD

A consistent stop for Phish from the mid-nineties through the post-hiatus years, this venue oozes Phish history. Hosting more than a couple standout shows, highlighted by 1997’s deluge that turned into one of the band’s defining performances of the summer (7.22.97) and ’95’s extended psychedelic trek of “Runway Jim > Free,” Walnut Creek seems like a no-brainer addition if the band turns towards the mid-south. This Phishy venue is more than primed for the band’s seventh visit of their career.

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Sandstone Pavilion – Bonner Springs, KS

Sandstone Pavilion - Bonner Springs, KS

Though not exactly in a major market, Sandstone – now known as Capitol Federal Park – also boasts that huge, open-air sound that brings a far greater clarity to Phish’s music and makes for a much more enjoyable aural experience. Once roofs are involved, sound moves into nooks and crannies and has to find an escape to the lawn, but at venues such as Sandstone, Chula Vista, and The Gorge, the music bellows naturally, creating a different sound, audible even on recordings. Boasting standout shows in ’98 and ’99, and solid efforts in 2000 and ’03, Sandstone Pavilion could be a nice kick-off to a second, western leg of summer tour.

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Lakewood Amphitheatre – Atlanta, GA

Lakewood's New Ownership

Having hosted no less than eight Phish shows between 1995 and 2003, Lakewood has seen more than its fair share of epic jams. Several Lakewood highlights need no introduction – 6.15.95’s “David Bowie,” 7.23.97’s “Ghost,” considered one of the all-time greats, the legendary “Ghost > Slave” from¬† July 4, 1999, and the first set “Tweezer” of 6.24.00. And these are just the creme de la creme. Lakewood and Phish have never combined for a lackluster show, combining for a great run that could continue this summer if the band gives the south its proper love.

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Blossom Music Center – Cuyahoga Falls, OH

Blossom Music Center

A non-assuming tour stop lies just outside of Cleveland in the charming Blossom Music Center. Designed with a sharply sloping roof, and a fully wooden interior, this unique venue provided a respite from the cookie-cutter amphitheatres that plagued Phish tour during the summer of 1995 and fall of 2000. The band actually first visited this stage back in the summer of ’92 as an opener for Santana. Phish will inevitably be around Ohio this summer, so my vote goes for a return to Blossom.

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Jam of the Day:

Mike’s > Simple” 11.16.94 II

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A vicious segment from November ’94, and this time, the “Simple” is where the real action takes place.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

11.14.94 DeVos Hall, Grand Rapids, MI < Torrent

11.14.94 DeVos Hall, Grand Rapids, MI < Megaupload

Trey, NYC, 4/1994 (C.McGann)

Trey, NYC, 1994 (C.McGann)

This smoking show from the middle of November ’94 goes out via reader request to Brehonq! Check the “Bowie” for some quintessential psychedelia of the era.

I: My Friend, My Friend, Scent of a Mule, Guelah Papyrus, Split Open and Melt, Bouncing Around the Room, The Landlady, Maze, Lawn Boy, Cavern

II: Peaches en Regalia > David Bowie, Yerushalayim Shel Zahav > Slave to the Traffic Light, Poor Heart, Julius, The Old Home Place*, Nellie Kane*, Sweet Adeline, You Enjoy Myself

E: Golgi Apparatus

*acoustic

Source: Unknown

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804 Responses to “The Wild Cards of Summer”

  1. phan91 Says:

    Senor Miner,

    I might suggest one of my favorite stops on the 03 tour, USANA Amphitheater, West Valley Utah. The place was brand new in ’03 and the sound was incredible, I was front row for that show, and Chula that tour, both have become favorite venues after that run.

  2. jimd1975 Says:

    What about the Garden State Art Center now known as the PNC art center. They always played great shows there and seemed to have a lot of fun there. It is also a homecoming for Trey an Page as they were both born near there and the surrounding area is a lot nicer than camden the usual summer jersey stop. camden shows are always good though.

  3. Budsticky Says:

    I don’t care what they do this summer as long as they end up in Miami for New Years. Seriously..do they need to go anywhere else? Why not just make this an annual thing. As a Florida native I hereby give up every single Phish show on every single tour as long as they keep hitting Miami 4x every 12/28-12/31.

  4. Buzz Aldrin III Says:

    If you can get one of the available tickets to the private concert at the Orpheum Theater in Boston in a few days you are one lucky person.

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