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

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804 Responses to “The Wild Cards of Summer”

  1. albert walker Says:

    just got a new vinyl copy of an old favorite
    if anyone has not heard it and digs jazz guitarists I’d check it out
    had not heard it in years and forgot how rippin this shit was

    George Benson- Witchcraft 1973

    Al Harewood: Drums
    George Duvivier: Bass
    George Benson: Guitar
    Mickey Tucker: Piano

    01. All Blues
    02. Witchcraft
    03. Love For Sale
    04. Lil’ Darlin’
    05. There Will Never Be Another You
    06. Oleo

    this is a live recording from 73 and it is hot as shit

    some of the best guitar based jazz I ever heard

    the piano player is fuckin nasty also

    great stuff

  2. voopa Says:

    Nice, aw.

  3. Selector J Says:

    @chef: I totally would if I could find it. Unfortunately, I think it’s long gone. We were doing that when “Tales From The Punchbowl” first came out.

  4. Neemor Says:

    garret, that sounds like the story I told not too long ago about listening to Antelope in the car with buddies with some neemsbane talking about the visions that danced in our heads..
    Good stuff.

    My Oysterhead was at the Tsongas Arena in Mass.
    I don’t know who opened, but they blew my effing mind.
    Then Trey pulled out his Matterhorn and the shit hit the fan.
    That thing made noises like I’ve never heard before or since.

  5. Neemor Says:

    Trey in rougher times:

  6. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    So we’re supposed to get 20-24 inches of snow tomorrow.


  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    one of my favorite Claypool albums is Les Claypool and the Holy Mackerel. There’s some seriously messed up stuff on that one. and I mean that in the best way possible.

  8. whole tour! Says:

    i’m having banana bread beer for the first time….this shit is good!!

  9. gavinsdad Says:

    this post was brought to you by the Great Went Wolfmans:

    bethel bethel bethel….not seeing that place rumored yet but i went for GRAB a few years back and it was as idyllic as the Blossom looks in photos. would love to hit the blossom.

    wrapping up work….then to the neemsbane procurement facility before heading home.

    seeing some new blood on the blackboard…welcome.

  10. Selector J Says:

    Man, I totally forgot about that Matterhorn. It’s thrashing could only be matched by that which PeTA surely unleashed upon seeing it.
    Screw PETA. Bring back the M’Horn, Trey. And maybe cover Southbound Pachyderm with it. I know we’re mixing animals songs and animal parts but whatever… that would rule.

    1st time w/ banana bread, wt? where you been? that stuff is chronic. kinda jealous, actually. I can’t even remember my first time.

  11. garretc Says:

    Mmmmmm, banana bread beer… That sounds delicious!

  12. Robear Says:

    Hey ya’ll.

    HOpe it was a good day on the board.

    Been at work all day.

    It looks like my GF was following along today.

    Any feedback re: the quality of today’s download? I have a copy from phishows and am wondering if this one’s an upgrade.

    With my slow internet and restrictions, it’s counterproductive for me to give everything a test.

    Thx. in advance.

    Time for the neemsbane.

  13. Selector J Says:

    oh banana bread BEER. totally misread that. that’s understandable… and good to know. kinda thought that recipe could go either way.

  14. whole tour! Says:


    it’s all good!

    i’ve def had banana bread before….
    this beer is blowing m mind
    it tastes so damn good!

  15. gavinsdad Says:

    Les is playing at Jam on the Dam this march…along with UM and a handful of others. Anyone heading over? I was really trying to get back to Amsterdam this year in the Oct timeframe but if Fest X happens over Columbus Day weekend I may need to make that happen.

  16. whole tour! Says:

    and i love banana bread.
    this beer is borderline dangerous…lol

  17. Neemor Says:

    “1st time w/ banana bread, wt? where you been? that stuff is chronic. ”
    “oh banana bread BEER.”


    Robear, your girl was lurking?
    Did the tear in the space time continuum cause the Earth to crash together and seismically shift this afternoon? To the tune of a 6.0?

  18. gavinsdad Says:

    i’m that dude that closes his eyes and throws his arms up in the air and just radiates BLISS when he hears music like the Went Theme. you will always be able to spot me….i am sunshine in those moments…say what you will about this Theme….it’s pure joy right here at my desk. Sometimes i can’t even believe i saw music like this…

  19. Neemor Says:

    I vote for BackPack Man outside of Albany.
    Screw that Eurotrash. I still don’t really know what that means.
    Amsterdam will always be there, and I say that out of pure jealousy at the way you do the awesome things you do.

  20. Neemor Says:

    I didn’t get to see the sunshine this past autumn.
    I only saw you in the dark beer hut outside the Garden.
    No way to tell how shiny you were…

  21. Neemor Says:

    Can I just say how proud I am to have the term ‘neemsbane’ taken off like it has?
    Ridiculous, really.
    Is anyone aware of how many inside jokes currently reside in this space?
    We might as well be speaking German at our meet ups this summer.
    (Or ‘wookease’ for those who speak German).

  22. Neemor Says:

    Hope no one got hurt in the earthquake.
    Saying a little prayer.
    And going out on another date…
    Different girl.
    I’d ask you guys to wish me luck, but we know how that turns out so…..let’s try it ‘without’ this time.
    Date (without)

  23. garretc Says:

    @Neemor, I hope we won’t be seeing a Date (Ho!) on the setlist anytime soon!

  24. gavinsdad Says:

    at TAB you’re gonna get the standard “i like the way you Dos it Big Red” type of get down from me. love me some TAB and hornz.

    Neemor….big conflict with that rumored Albany date(s)…i’ve already got something in PEN in the olde datebook. sucks. we’ll see how it all shapes up and you’re right…amsterdam isn’t going anywhere. if they do albany fest, gorge and indio between july and oct a divorce is imminent. i’m gonna have to cut bait somewhere.

  25. Neemor Says:

    I am clearly all alone.
    Why does this always happen to me.
    Why am I always the guy out of sync with the rest of the world.
    Everytime I go out…no traffic.
    Go to the mall….no lines.
    Try to purchase neemsbane….dry town.

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