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. ChefBradford Says:

    “I didn’t see the Lost premiere last night so I have no idea what happened. Much like the people who did see it.”
    -Stephen Colbert

    sorry, couldn’t resist 🙂

  2. ChefBradford Says:

    “I’m getting Super Bowl fever. It could be because I ate last year’s unrefrigerated Super Bowl chili.”

    –Stephen Colbert

    that dude is the best, possibly only, reason to subscribe to twitter

  3. yematt Says:

    just listened through LIVEPHISH vol. 10 (formally known as 6-22-94) :

    Mike’s Song>Simple>Catapult>Simple>Icculus>Simple>Mike’s Song>Hydrogen>Weekapaug

    it’s just as readicculs on audio as it is on paper! I highly recommend this show. a free listen at lala too.

  4. Lycanthropist Says:

    enjoying a re-read of the Dark Tower right now

    finishing up book 4

  5. ChefBradford Says:

    Wizard and Glass my be my favorite. It’s def up there

  6. ChefBradford Says:

    I really want to pick up the rest of Marvel’s “Dark Tower” graphic novels– excellent work; Jae Lee has certainly matured as an artist since I was a kid collecting X-Men comics in the early 90s

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    In reference to todays title.

  8. ChefBradford Says:

    Wow, well played, Bingos

  9. KWL Says:

    I got on the bus, thanks to the BB, and watched the first 4 episodes of lost this week.

    enough to keep my interest so I’ll keep watching, which is an awful lot to say about a television drama. Maybe kate has something to do with it, i believe robear has pointed out her finer qualities.

    Right now, I’m wishing it were a book though.

  10. yematt Says:

    i completely forgot about that episode! llfa, love always sunny

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    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.

    ^ none of these vegas shows come in the top 10 of 04….straight up.

  12. Mr.Miner Says:

    “SASS has to be not just one of the best 2.0 songs, but one of the best ever songs”

    ^ i agree. when it came out I said it was my favorite song since Tweezer

  13. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    SASS over Ghost then Miner? Wow

  14. BTB Says:

    SLAMMING Terrapin Station from 8.8.1998 – always freaks me out when I hear Trey sing Jerry’s lines. Liking it so far…

  15. BTB Says:

    Television drama, not my specialty, but the ladyfriend has me hooked on Criminal Minds. Last ‘drama’ I was into was ER in the last 1990s. Probably McGyver before that.

  16. ChefBradford Says:

    Holy shit! Something I said was just endorsed by Mr M himself? Holy old hell! Cool!

    I love SASS in its numerous renditions, but the jammed out versions are favorites.

    Mr Miner, I’ve enjoyed all of the numerous song postings in recent days, and some of the DOTDs (I only have so much disk space at present), and I have been very happy to see you giving a nod to all of the late 90s and 2.0 material; that’s where I came of age, Phish-wise.

    Excellent job!

  17. ChefBradford Says:

    BTB- that Phish “Terrapin” does a lot for me, every time

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Scents gets overlooked i think because of when it came out and where the band was at the time. At least thats my perspective. Hard to explain.

  19. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Oh, and Miner – Thanks for the tip on 7-30-03…that Scents is unbelievable

  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    My wife makes me watch Criminal Minds as well. Its not bad.

  21. BTB Says:

    ^totally decent Palmer. I’m shocked I like it.

  22. ChefBradford Says:

    Mr P- I agree, re: the status of Scents. People overlook 2.0 in general, but SASS should not be missed! As I just said, late 90s and 2.0 is where I found my Phish legs, but damn, SASS stands up no matter what

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I was neutral on Scents while going to shows in 2.0. I know a lot of people who thought it sucked. The jam was what kept drawing me in. The Spinal Tap- like lyrics at some points do make me chuckle at times. But, its Phish, silly lyrics are part of the equation.

  24. ChefBradford Says:

    Um, I’m pretty sure they’re a few steps above “Step into the freezer” and “David Bowe, etc, Ub40, etc”, and “I’ve got cymbals, etc”


    they aren’t like TTE

  25. ChefBradford Says:

    huh? Yeah? Not looking for any arguments though. Just an opinon

Leave a Reply