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. ChefBradford Says:

    I retract the last post. Came off very dickish. Sorry.

  2. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I wasn’t knockin the lyrics, Chef. I said they make me laugh. “The winds will lift you up into, the sky above..” They way these are sung with the melody and music is very Tap-like.

  3. ChefBradford Says:

    mmm, yeah, I can see that. But I still like to listen to them, despite the tongue-in-cheekness

    There really is no justification for even debating Phish lyrics, is there? I think we all get what we want out of them.

    Oh well. Just for the record, I’m still happy that “skyballs and sacskrapers”

  4. ChefBradford Says:

    Not that “skyballs and sacskrapers” anything, just that “skyballs and sacskrapers”.


  5. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I heart Phish Lyrics

  6. ChefBradford Says:

    ha, hell yes Palmer

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    i’m out chef, have a good night. must sleep

  8. ChefBradford Says:

    ditto, Palmer. Peace, all

  9. BTB Says:

    If anybody is still up…Click on my BTB Tab for my Blossom Music Center Wook Blazer Goof.

  10. halcyon Says:

    LLFA BTB you are a funny dude.

  11. neemor Says:

    Whole Tour:

    “BANE of the weasel
    for biting is fun!”

    Well done, sir.
    ‘Bane time here. Second straight night.

  12. neemor Says:

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

    That is a good feeling.

  13. halcyon Says:

    Phish Sneakers

  14. neemor Says:

    I love ‘Wook Blazer’.
    Takin fashion tips from the Lieutenant his self.

  15. BTB Says:

    Are those custom VANS Pollock’s?

    Also, anyone looking for some funny shit, the Facebook group “I Hate Wooks” has 2 really funny Wook pics. Of the 20 or so, 2 are really funny.

  16. neemor Says:

    The funk jam in 12.4.09 YEM is overlooked.
    Classic locked-in funk.
    Kicked off by Mike footbell.

  17. neemor Says:

    Gnashing 12.4.09 YEM funk jam.

  18. BTB Says:

    Speaking of 2.0- I have to go back and find some of those 20+ minute BOAF jams and see if those held the test of time. I used to love them, but haven’t listened to one in a while.

  19. neemor Says:

    Suggest it highly in my condition

  20. halcyon Says:

    Rolling Stones in Brussels.

  21. neemor Says:

    Birds from ‘IT’ seems like it was memorable.
    I’m not sure why that sticks out for me

  22. BTB Says:

    Neemor, the Mike Footbell was cracking me up in Cincinnati. He was dropping those all over the place. Particularly in the YEM’s if I remember.

  23. halcyon Says:

    I don’t think they are custom Vans, someone used EMEK’s prints on their shoes. Found it on jamtopia.

  24. halcyon Says:

    Ween Live Covers….don’t know if the link is still working

  25. neemor Says:

    Mike footbell makes me happier than Page’s Theramin.
    I said it.

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