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. Neemor Says:

    Cut bait….with……whom?

  2. ChefBradford Says:

    They’re out to get ya, neem

  3. jdub Says:

    Neemor what’s the meaning behind neemsbane, I’ve seen it a bunch but missed its origins

  4. garretc Says:

    @jdub, it’s an herb with restorative properties. A magical plant if you will. Very popular amongst blackboarders…

  5. Selector J Says:

    Man I didn’t even hear about that EQ until you guys brought it up. For shame, geologist.
    here’s a link to the USGS showing a map with today’s earthquake. You can zoom in on the location more and click on the big ass blue square to get some more info. SOme of it is real techy but interesting nonetheless.

  6. Neemor Says:

    I really wanted herb one night.
    HHood had six…..yes….SIX strains.
    And was rubbing it in.
    He offered to name one after me.
    We had been discussing how bud gets it’s crazy nomenclature.
    Silly, but it certainly stuck and stuck fast.

  7. garretc Says:

    So neemor, your saying that neemsbane is… sticky? Bahaha!

  8. Neemor Says:

    I do not think that this means what you think that this means.
    How can you say that you have a nomenclature when you do not know what a nomenclature is?
    I have to go.

  9. KWL Says:

    “Now eat your veggie burrito and smile dammit!”

    parenting 101 right there.

  10. Neemor Says:

    Sticky Icky.
    I finally got some.
    Now, to continue that trend this evening with a far more challenging subject….

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    “Date (Ho!)”

    ^^^ post of the day

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    going with 7-2-97 tonight, neemor?

    get ur ‘bane on, amirite?

  13. Selector J Says:

    it was relatively deep (11 km) so that dampens the shaking quite a bit. so that’s good news. all in all looks pretty mild.
    one more EQ link:
    shake map showing estimated severity.

  14. jdub Says:

    Blackboard is starting to grow some roots,

    Keep me posted on the Neemor in New haven tour, there are four of us who will probably be stopping for some new haven pie

  15. whole tour! Says:

    getting my bane and banana bread beer buzz on….fo sho!

  16. KWL Says:

    I have just learned that I have some PEN in the datebook for Columbus day weekend.

    Worst. News. Ever.

    I have 6 months to figure out how get out of it. Not going to be easy. Better get started:

  17. Marshall Says:

    Continuing my review of 2004:

    Show #2 – Vegas

    set II

    Camel Walk – for the first time I can clearly hear how gone Trey’s voice is. SHOT! Ordinary CW hindered by Treys vox issues. Transition to Wilson could be heard at end of CW but they don’t pull it off, instead finishing the song and then beginning Wilson fresh. The Wilson is sick in a good way, affirming my opinion that this show is actually first rate (if you can give Trey’s vox a medical pass) > Little Drummer Boy? Really? I guess this is when Fishman dons the dress that makes sound – or maybe just a hint of what is to come (turns out the finish Wilson). HYHU – fishman musical suit.

  18. garretc Says:

    I think I’m understanding the concept behind “PEN”, but can anyone enlighten me as to the exact meaning?

    And thanks for the endorsement Mr. C! I was fairly proud of that one myself…

  19. whole tour! Says:

    pen…uncle pen

  20. Marshall Says:

    Gonna forego reviewing Fishman’s antics because they never define a show as good or bad, just merely Phishy. Will pick up after he’s done. I will say that these stage antics killed what was othewisw a stellar performance (Jibboo, monster Twist). I know it’s trademark Phish, but it brings the party to a halt.

  21. Marshall Says:

    Show #2 – Vegas
    set II

    now that Fishma is done we can get back to serious b’ness. How to relaunch? Ahh. Waves. Yes. Way to ease into it real smooth-like.

  22. Marshall Says:

    Trey’s voice can support Waves. The song doesn’t have a lot of lyrics anyway. Good choice! (hope they play Waves more in 2010).

  23. garretc Says:

    I must say, I listened to Timber for (somehow) the first time the other day, and I love it! Possibly one of my faves, the chorus in particular really gets me goin…

    The whole song makes me think of “Sometimes a Great Notion”, what with all the logging and such… Great book, one of my all time faves, btw. Took me ages to get through, but loved every minute of it!

  24. Marshall Says:

    Waves ends prematurely for Lifeboy. Would have like a longer jam, but that will come later in the summer I guess. Don’t think Lifeboy should appear this late in a second set; not after the fishman interlude.

  25. Robear Says:

    DOTD? (sound quality)


    Didn’t feel today’s earthquake, though the lights blinked. I’m a bit inland.

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