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. Marshall Says:

    Wait, the AUD actually had a few glitches when the tracks changed, but that’s the only issue

  2. Selector J Says:

    that Portland show is where Mike wrote about the band eating the pot brownies in his journal which they used for the liner notes, right?
    The end of Guyute is hilarious in a good way. won’t spoil it but it’s funny. especially when you factor in the pot brownies.

  3. Marshall Says:

    @ chef – I went into this with low expectations which means night one met them (the low ones); night two totally surprised me.

    This Hood is way different than what I’m used to hearing. I just had a “what song is this again?” moment. Always a good sign that there’s sone nice type II going on.

  4. ChefBradford Says:

    Agreed, the end of that Guyute is incredibly funny. I don’t remember much of that show, been too long since I heard it. I remember a good Moma, a short jam tacked onto an otherwise usually jamless song somewhere midset, I think.

    The filler on the LP release is killer though. One of the great “Gin”s from summer 98, I believe

  5. ChefBradford Says:

    Marshall- I’ll have to check that one out, and I hope you continue to review the run. I’d like to see what you have to say about the rest of it.

  6. Gratefulcub Says:

    Where is the Gin Filler from? Anyone? Anyone? Ok, Miner?

  7. yesyes Says:

    right on man. i’ve got some good phamily in houston (last concert cafe crew if you’ve ever heard of that place) but seriously need some good vibes of the sort in this area. not to well connected over here

  8. ChefBradford Says:

    Cub, I tried to find the Gin info, but it wasn’t listed on LP. Let me look elsewhere

  9. ChefBradford Says:

    It’s 7/29/98

  10. Marshall Says:

    20 minute HHood encore. Who can argue with that? Not I.

  11. beepaphone 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.’”

    Who else is going to keep us on top of our game?

    What time is it? ‘Bane time HUH!.

  12. Gratefulcub Says:

    Thanks chef.

  13. ChefBradford Says:


  14. whole tour! Says:

    BANE of the weasel
    for biting is fun!

  15. beepaphone Says:

    this site is really the ‘bane of my existence

  16. Robear Says:

    Which ’97 show must I hear first out of the Archive?

    I already snagged 7/10 and 8/9

    About to spin the sbd. of 7/11/00

    I knew I’d heard ‘What’s the Use’ before whence in Miami.

  17. Gratefulcub Says:

    beep, can I chat you up at an email addy? re: Deer Creek Summer Festivities

  18. Gratefulcub Says:

    7/17 Robear. Second set is just about perfect.

  19. beepaphone Says:

    rblack at greenwaysupply dot net

  20. ChefBradford Says:

    Robear, pick a dark-horse show that nobody ever talks about, but which is probably kick-ass, I have nothing in mind, unfortunately

  21. Gratefulcub Says:

    my bad, wrong year. but 7/17/98 is pretty close to perfect

  22. Robear Says:

    Will do, cub.

    Glad the legion of mary talk surfaced. Giving this 5/21/75 show a spin for the first time in awhile. Great quality. Sublimey

  23. Marshall Says:

    @ Robear – btw I’d never heard WTU before Miami. FromTheRoad posted it was My Left Toe and then corrected the mistake after setbreak. That was why I said I thought it was my left toe when I saw you at WW.

  24. gus Says:

    tell me, is this a subtle phish reference? there’s a guy wearing a shirt that says “PHRESH” on it in family guy. it could be, but im not sure.

  25. Robear Says:

    Don’t believe the internet ^ 🙂

    This sbd. source of the Deer Creek 7/10/00 is magnificent!

    Blossom ’95 = one of my favorite shows / memories ( deer creek the night b4 to)

    Daughter’s first show was 9/18/00 at Blossom

    Love that place.

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