Going Greek?

The Greek Theatre - Berkeley, CA

On the heels of the Telluride Town Council’s approval for the Phish shows for August 9-10, another gorgeous rumor rolled into the community – a four-night stand a Berkeley, California’s Greek Theatre.  Phish hasn’t visited this west coast, live music icon since their blistering tour closer in the summer of ’93. The rumored dates for this next dream-like scenario fall within the first week of August, just before Telluride.

The dates I initially heard, August 5-8, wouldn’t seem to make sense due to the necessary overnight commute to Telluride. Or perhaps these dates are real, and they are an attempt to keep excess fans out of Telluride. But the last time the band played a six-night run was some time in the early-’90s, and that just doesn’t seem feasible – at all. Needless to say, regardless of the actual dates, Phish may be visiting the Bay Area and not playing Bill Graham’s outdated and overcrowded Shoreline Amphitheatre for the first time in over a decade, and even the chance of that is great news!

The Greek Theatre - Berkeley, CA

Once again, the immediate mission becomes tickets. If you thought Telluride’s 9000 person limit was small, slice off another 500, and you’ve got the Greek Theatre’s 8,500 capacity. (But considering that 1,500 tickets per night will be set aside for “locals” in Telluride, it seems that Colorado would be the harder ticket.) An aesthetically gorgeous, general admission, locale atop a hill on the campus of University of California, The Greek Theatre is designed after an actual Greek amphitheatre; rounded and made of stone. There are no seats, just stone bleachers and lawn seating somewhere up in the stratosphere, though the lawn is coupled with a stunning vista of San Francisco Bay.

Shoreline '98

It’s about time the band made a stop in the Bay Area, proper. Not since 1996’s visit to Daly City’s Cow Palace, has Phish played anywhere besides Shoreline, (aside from one special night at The Fillmore). But a multi-night return to The Greek would make up for all those empty years in droves. This run should remain “in theory” for a while, because once Mike wraps up his solo tour, Phish will drop their June dates, leaving us guessing about August for quite a while. But as long as we are guessing, How about two or three nights at The Gorge to open the west coast swing? Then head down for four in Berkeley and then out to Telluride. What year is this again?

These intimate settings continue one of the best trends of Phish 3.0, the “we’ll play wherever the fuck we want” factor. From the Fox Theatre to Fenway, and from Asheville to Indio, and from the band’s current focus is clearly on quality of experience, rather than maximizing financial gain. With four nights at The Greek, the band would sell 34,000 tickets; with two nights at Shoreline they would swarf that with 44,000. The bottom line is that Phish doesn’t care about getting bigger anymore. Their fanbase is here to stay for as long as they will playing music, so they might as well make their concert environs ideal as possible for everyone  involved. So far, so good, and with a potential return to The Greek, it’s getting better all the time.


Jam of the Day:

Halley’s > Tweezer > Bug” 10.8.99 II

The beginning of the Nassau’s fourth set in Fall of ’99.

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3.13.93 Balch Fieldhouse – UC, Boulder,CO < Torrent

3.13.93 Balch Fieldhouse – UC, Boulder CO < Megaupload

3.13.93 Boulder,CO Poster

This one goes out to Justino!

I: The Landlady, Funky Bitch, Bouncing Around the Room, Maze, Fee, All Things Reconsidered, Split Open and Melt, Contact, Llama, Wilson, Run Like an Antelope

II: Suzy Greenberg, Tweezer, The Lizards, It’s Ice, Glide, Uncle Pen, Big Ball Jam, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Fast Enough for You, Hold Your Head Up > Love You > Hold Your Head Up, Tweezer Reprise

E: My Sweet One, Amazing Grace, Big Black Furry Creature from Mars

Note: Fishman wore a suit and tie for this show

Source: Unknown

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757 Responses to “Going Greek?”

  1. Mr. Completely Says:

    Remain in Light is another strong argument.

    see I think Dogs is the only great cut on Animals

    Dark Side I am burned out on, can’t analyze it honestly. I still love Great Gig, the ending sequence….

    not that into side 1 of Abbey Road but it also has the overexposure issue

    no electronica album has ever held my interest. I liked that album but never went back to it after 6 months. just my taste in music.

    “Exactly, I kinda see things like that as a means to an end, not the end itself…”

    absolutely true. They are intended as an entry point, and easy “hey I just want to listen to some Dead from era X that’s all top shelf stuff with no fuckups or sound problems” – not something that is the go-to GD music down the line.

  2. brother Says:

    perfect albums:

    Radiohead – Kid A (OK Computer almost)
    Beattles – Abbey Road
    U2 – Achtung Baby
    Smashing Pumkins – Gish
    Talking Heads – Remain in Light
    Led Zepplin II and IV
    Grateful Dead – American Beauty
    The Who – Who’s Next
    Pink Floyd – Dark Side of the Moon (the most perfect album ever)

  3. brother Says:

    oh oh…..and Public Enemy – It Takes a Nation of Millions

  4. Marshall Says:

    DSOTM is as close to perfect as anything I can think of.

  5. brother Says:

    last one…..Metallica – Master of Puppets (….And Justice for All, real close)

  6. Marshall Says:

    @ brother – Even Better Than The Real Thing could be removed from Achtung Baby and it would be a better album (but then you’d need to rearrange the order so that One doesn’t come right after Zoo Station).

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    “@mr.c how are you gonna hate on”

    not hating on anything. I like those songs. I just think they’re a falloff.

    “There is a HUGE difference between an album with all perfect songs and a perfect album.”

    not to me.

    that’s the difference in our definitions. And that’s why I have never heard a perfect album.

    There could have been other songs to fill those slots that are better, more memorable songs.

    I have hit the “skip” button for those songs before, and that’s the bottom line for me

    same thing for Jack on Lost

    they needed someone in that role but they could have written it better esp. over the middle seasons

    Lost is far from a perfect show, though it is still my favorite

  8. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Bitches Brew

  9. Marshall Says:

    Master of Puppets is also very close to perfect, I agree.

    Again, I’m not saying that there’s anything wrong with the album format, just that it was a product of a particular era (one that we all grew up inside of) and that the times are a changing. Our grandkids will not be listening to albums. They might appreciate some that we convince them to listen to, but (I’ll say it again), just like landline telephones, albums will die (but those that already exist will live on forever).

  10. brother Says:

    Wow, that is most definitely true @Marshall, always thought that. Could bring Ultraviolet or something later into the #2 slot.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    Remain in Light is the only one that’s been put out there I can’t think of something I think is a flaw. Sometimes I’m not in the mood for The Overload, and The Great Curve is a little too long I think.

    That might even be a smaller critique than the drum solo on A Love Supreme…very close to perfect

  12. Marshall Says:

    Paul’s Boutique is a GREAT example of why the album format is worthy.

    But, if the audiences stops listening to the format, then what’s the answer?

    I was merely suggesting that releasing songs, one at a time, or a few at a time, is an option. I like Lycan’s idea of 5 EPs.

  13. Lycanthropist Says:

    MR. C
    I see what you are saying I suppose..

    Its just for me when assess albums as a whole, I don’t do it track by track. I listen from start to finish and assess the journey as a whole.

    I think it is important for albums to have some breathers or some humorous songs in between the more memorable pieces.

    For instance I think Meddle works better as is than say this playlist:

    Dogs, Welcome to the Machine, Fearless, Echoes, Atom Heart Mother, Mother

    now those above songs are some of my five star Floyd tunes, you can sub out as needed. The point is, that while I think all those songs are better than other Floyd tunes, I don’t think they work together.

    Just my POV

    as you said, its a very subjective thing.

    You are on the individual merit side of things and i am on the greater whole side of things.

    both sides represent at equal value.

  14. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    whats wrong with dsotm?

  15. Marshall Says:

    @ brother – and you’d need to replace the album version of Who’s Gonna Ride … with the “radio” version, which was a lot better IMO.

  16. lastwaltzer Says:

    llfa I love the way Mr.C says he doesn’t think their is a perfect album and now everyone is going through their collection trying to find “THE argument”


    t it also has the overexposure issue

    thus it being all subjective

    I could sit here and tell you all the albums I thought were perfect (the band self titled, John Philps- wolfking of La, velvets self titled etc) but ITS ALL SUBJECTIVE llfa

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    I think In A Silent Way is a much closer to flawless album than Bitches Brew fwiw

    but Bitches Brew is genius

    perfect example of how an album doesn’t have to be perfect/flawless to be great beyond great

  18. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    the thing about dsotm is that while each individual song can stand on its own musically, the album still benefits from being listened to as a whole. it has the best of both world, imo, and as far as writing, production, concept, and execution, ive never heard a better album period.

  19. Marshall Says:

    Another good “use” of the album format was Operation: Mindcrime (remember, I was an 80s metal head).

    The more I think about it “concept albums” are really the only truly good uses of “albums.” But this is just my shitty opinion.

  20. Lycanthropist Says:

    and to counter argue myself

    i guess that a perfect album would be perfect across the board.

    but then does perfect = great?

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    Just wanted to chime in that you guys are all freakin’ cool…I learn a lot just listening (or reading, I guess).

    not really versed enough to comment on the most perfect album, but i definitely am picking up some good views.

  22. lastwaltzer Says:

    whats going on is close to perfect but then comes “save the children” which on a road trip led to me and my gf yelling singing “fuck the babies” i guess you had to be there……..

  23. Marshall Says:

    Back to my point … of the thousands of albums that exist, only a small minority actually exists as a cohesive collection of songs. The large majority are simply tracks glued together.

    If Pink Floyd hadn’t been “constrained” by the 60 minute album format, what would have been the result?

  24. Lycanthropist Says:

    I will say something that I consider a STAND OUT album is an album that I don’t skip anything on.

    And there are very few of those.

  25. Uncle Ebeneezer Says:

    Greetings, BB….For the record, Headhunters is a great album to rep on a beach cruise.

    What’s the good word, Lycan? How’s the experiment going?

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