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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Jam of the Day:

Mike’s > Simple” 11.16.94 II


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



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


Source: Unknown

Tags: ,

804 Responses to “The Wild Cards of Summer”

  1. Panda Says:

    Pine Mt Amp in Flagstaff, AZ anyone?
    They way Phish is drawing right now they could play this place, espiecally on a weekday!

  2. willowed Says:

    My home venue is the Meadows. Hartford, CT. I apologize in advance for this shit hole of a venue.
    The great thing about this place is, the three times Phish has played it, they destroyed the pace!
    At least I have the Oakdale. That palce is money!

  3. gratefulcub Says:

    Neemor, did you sleep last night?

    Great time with 7.1.97 last night, so I listened to the 7.2.97 Stash on the way to work this morning. They should have retired Stash on the spot and admitted that no matter how hard they try, they will never do it better than that. Slow and lazy without ever losing steam, and that’s a hard place to find.

  4. Henry Says:

    What about a VA Beach show? Haven’t been there since ’99…

  5. BTB Says:

    Flagstaff would be dope

  6. gratefulcub Says:

    I would love to see some Hampton dates on a fall tour. So many great moments there over the years. The shows recently have been the reunion shows, and while that was the perfect venue, the shows don’t hold up as great because of the time off. Then there was the travesty in 04 that we shall not speak of.

    Some end of Fall Tour impossible tickets to get and 97/98 style Hampton shows would be grand.

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    Blossom rocks. Cleveland rocks. The Cuyhoga Valley rocks.

    My girlfriend’s sister is having a baby in a week or so, and she saw Phish at Blossom in 2000. She got kicked out. (runs in the family, my girl almost got escorted out of tom petty after she popped a squat and peed right in front of a guard after he told her not to. i talked the guard into letting her stay. i dont know how.)

    Anyway, if they played at Blossom we could bring the newborn into the fold. A Baptism of sorts.

  8. BTB Says:

    ^ I was at above mentioned Blossom show. Dancing on the Rage side at the age of 16 or so. Good Maze and FMS!!!

  9. willowed Says:

    Damn Silly,
    What kind of crew are you rollin’ with? Note to board, if you see Silly and crew at a show, run the other way.
    I’m just messing around. Full throttle at shows is the way to go!

  10. SillyWilly Says:

    BTB, do you have that show? I would love to give it to my gf’s sister as a lullaby CD for the baby

  11. gratefulcub Says:


    She pissed on the lawn?

  12. SillyWilly Says:


    im the most blissed out, laid back show goer you know (except if i drink wine i start crying)…my girlfriend, though, well…perhaps everyone can meet us one day at a show.

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Silly.. was this during the Petty classic “Won’t Back Down”?.. ok that was a bad joke. I apologize.

  14. Marshall Says:

    I think it’s time I tackled ’04 in its entirety, front to back. They only played 18 shows (not counting Letterman)and I’ve only heard the two SPAC shows.

  15. jdub Says:

    The meadows in hartford is my home venue as well, regardless of the cookie cutter nature of the venue and low rent location Phish has tore it up all three times they’ve played.

    Thanks for the info on Blossom. That would be an excellent mid week stop on tour. From the arial view it reminds me of a small, woodsy festival location. The Ives Concert Park in Danbury CT is a similar but smaller venue designed for orchestra performances. The stage sits on a structure the juts out into a pond with a gently sloped lawn surrounded by trees.

  16. SillyWilly Says:


    facing the stage on the right side of the pavilion is a wooded area.

    we walked to the portapotties, big line. girlfriend says “im fuckn goin over there.” and got that look in her eyes. i said, “don’t do it.” she said “watch your nuts. im goin.”

    at that point i knew i better just go for look out purposes. sure enough she starts walking towards the trees. a guard said, “hey, don’t go over there.”

    She smiles sweetly and says, “ok, sir.” stops. he turns around she books it for the trees.

    drops trow. starts pissing. guard: “hey what the fuck are you doing?” gf pulls up pants: “nothing now, sir.” guard looks at me. i shrug. he says, “get her out of here.”

  17. Marshall Says:

    Problem is, I have the SBDs from LivePhish for the two SPAC shows, and lo and behold, those are the only two shows in Miner’s archive.


  18. BTB Says:

    I had the Blossom 2000 show at some point, but no not anymore.

  19. gratefulcub Says:

    Marshall, don’t be a self hating Phish fan. Don’t do that to yourself.

  20. gratefulcub Says:

    Why are those the only two in the archives?? huh? huh? think about it;)

  21. Marshall Says:

    Let’s just say I’m a student of history.

  22. BTB Says:

    Silly Willy – what’s funny, is there are a million places to piss at Blossom. I’m actually amazed she got busted. It’s a ‘wide-open’ venue. no pun intended.

    Whereas most venues have a wall or blockade to entrap concert goers, Blossom just kind of extends back into the forest. Probably super easy to sneak in to if you get there around 3pm. But you’d miss out on the lots and PH tix are apparently free these days…

  23. gratefulcub Says:

    You are a better man than I Marshall. Just, when you get to Hampton, lose the second set like conservative historians lose all the stupid shit Reagan did.

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    phishows has them all. can’t vouch for the sound, but judging from the comments you’re already getting, audio quality does not seem to be the main issue here.

  25. gratefulcub Says:

    Have a good one guys, it’s off to work now.

    Silly, whew, I thought she pissed on the lawn, which would not have been cool.

    9:30 might be too early for me to fully appreciate the 7.2 Wormtown reprise, especially from my office waiting on a conference call to start. Worlds are colliding, Costanza style.

Leave a Reply