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. garretc Says:

    I have no idea on the sound Robear, but my download of the download of the day was missing Maze, soooo… Yeah

  2. Marshall Says:

    I can see Trey’s voice being shot after a tour, but these Vegas shows are happening after a three month break. Not sure what gives.

  3. Gratefulcub Says:

    Napolean, there was no order in 04. it was, “What do you want to play now? Lifeboy to close? Sure.”

  4. ChefBradford Says:

    Sorry, Robear, didn’t get the DOTD

    Anyone else play the “Twist” from yesterday’s post only to find that it lasts about a minute or two?

  5. garretc Says:

    Llfa @ “Napolean”… New avatar perhaps, Marshall?

  6. Gratefulcub Says:

    Things happen in Vegas. A couple of 8 balls, Bambi and Kandi, and 36 hours have passed. No sleep, no food, lots of whoopin and a hollerin, and suddenly it’s show time, and you have no voice, no setlist, and you forgot to practice.

    What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. (Unless you record it and sell it on your website)

  7. whole tour! Says:

    ^ amen!

  8. Marshall Says:

    Lifeboy is well-played though. Love the interplay between the keys and guitar. Really is a beautiful song, music-wise.

    The Horse > Silent. Man they’ve really decided to put the kibosh on this set. It started do strong, with 40 minutes of dance grooves only to be upended by this disjointed collection.

    I do like Page’s vocals in Silent though.

  9. whole tour! Says:

    I’ve now moved on to a beer product from out Robear’s way…

    EEL RIVER i.p.a.

    certified organic goodness

  10. Marshall Says:

    The irony “you’ve found your voice, it brings me to” when Trey had lost his.

  11. yesyes Says:

    im just down in san marcos always lookin for some heads to chill with.
    any shows you catchin comin’ up? keller this weekend??

  12. Gratefulcub Says:

    Any of you portland kids familiar with the 98 portland summer show? I am going by setlist and length of songs, but it looks like something I have to have. I am downloading the version now, but the quality is usually less than stellar.

  13. Marshall Says:

    Loving Cup! This will close the set surely, likely in even better style than Taste did the first. Page helping fill out the vox. This rockin’ anthem never fails. Wonder what the encore will bring.

    Still liking this show. I think it holds it’s own. Where night one failed, night two has delivered (even with the shotty vox).

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    Any of you portland kids familiar with the 98 portland summer show? I am going by setlist and length of songs, but it looks like something I have to have. I am downloading the version now, but the quality is usually less than stellar.

    ^^ do yourself a favor and buy the LIVEPHISH release. You don;t know this show….for real? Tweezer>California Love? Come on now…

  15. Gratefulcub Says:

    Nevermind!! It’s a live Phish release!! I’m excited about work tomorrow now. I am going to have tunes and tunes and tunes.

    I am so wrapped up in the summer of 98. I’m a geek.

  16. yesyes Says:

    ’98 portland has been one of my absolute favorites recently

  17. Gratefulcub Says:

    I’m not good enough to see Portland, and know it off the top of my head. And, I have never heard it except on your Summer 98 mix. Which, again, I say thank you.

  18. yesyes Says:

    recently… naw… its always up there

  19. whole tour! Says:

    you can stream that livephish portland 98 on


  20. Gratefulcub Says:

    “You don;t know this show….for real? Tweezer>California Love? Come on now…”

    I feel like the guy in class that didn’t read the book. And the professor just gives you the look that says, “I am not even going to waste my time on you, I will see you again next semester.”

  21. Marshall Says:

    Hood encore. Good choice – not heavy on the vocals and delivers a knockout punch usually.

    Interesting, dark, intro before the opening lyrics. Crowd erupts once the song kicks in – I guess Fenton Willians finally delivered something to see.

    They nail the odd-time part with the time change.

    I think I’m done with the review. Anyone looking for a 2004 show that delivers, night 2 of Vegas will fill that slot nicely. If I were walking out of the arena I would be saying, in the words of Robear, “another win for the home team!”. Looking forward to the third night.

  22. Selector J Says:

    naw. can’t do Keller either. it’s on a Saturday.
    might go to this reggae show at Ruta Maya on the Thurs. the 18th.
    bunch of local acts but they’re not bad. Fayuca, Don Chani, & McPullish. McPullish operates as a producer on the international reggae scene but no one knows who the hell he is here in Texas. I know the dudes in Don Chani and McPullish is a good friend so I try to support them when I can.

  23. whole tour! Says:

    “I feel like the guy in class that didn’t read the book. And the professor just gives you the look that says, “I am not even going to waste my time on you, I will see you again next semester.”

    You just described my experience this semester!
    I am totally the guy who never reads the book.
    not that book at least…

    i read the fucking book all the time! lol 😉

  24. ChefBradford Says:

    Marshall, I might have to actually venture a listen. I’ve literally never heard anything positive about the 04 Vegas run.

    I remember reading a review that began something like “A visibly haggard Anastasio…”

  25. Marshall Says:

    @ Miner – feel free to force everyone to listen to the second Vegas ’04 show tomorrow, if you feel like it. The AUD from Phishows was good quality.

Leave a Reply