The Pre-Season

6.2.09 -Jones Beach (W.Rogell)

With tour dates released for the summer, we have officially moved from the off-season into the pre-season of summer Phish. With dates ahead, life always feels just a little bit different, and sometimes quite a lot. Though the shows are not for two and a half months, the anticipation has already begun. Coming in waves, the events of the pre-season include mail order, hotel reservations, flight planning, on-sales, ticket trading, and the final phase which generally comes within a week of the first show – bouncing off the walls. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. The game has just begun.

Phase I: “Mail” Order – The crown jewels of most everyone’s mail order this year will be The Greek and Telluride. Anyone who actually scores these shows early through the lottery will be livin’ excessively large with little care for the rest of the pre-season. All of the east coast shows should be pretty easy scores any way you cut it. The demand for Phish tickets has gone down the tubes in this latter era of the band’s career, with every show of 2009 (except a select handful) having virtually (and often actually) free tickets floating around the lot. Down in Miami, tickets were worth as much as the palm trees on Biscayne Blvd. would pay for them. The only tickets I see going for even face value on lot are Portsmouth, Merriweather, Deer Creek, and July 4th. All others should be easy pick-ups on the days of shows with little legwork.

This brings up the legitimate question, for other than special occasions, should fans bother to mail order and endure Ticketmaster on-sales just to pay the falsely inflated price for tickets amounting to $60 a stub? It’s always nice to have tickets in hand far before the shows, trust me, but if I told you how many tickets I ate in ’09 because I got crappy mail orders and literally couldn’t give them away – forget about it. Throughout last fall, and for most of last summer, tickets were hardly an obstacle to overcome. This entire situation is quite ironic considering the insane ticket-hype that plagued the community around Hampton and before Summer ’09.

But damn, those Greek and Telluride tickets are gold.

The Ticket Conglomerate

Phase II: On-Sales – As most fans will take the route of trying to score online or in person, the dates that tickets go on sale to the public represents the second hallmark of tour’s pre-season. In the super-saturated computer age where thousands flood online sites, the retro technique of getting your ass to an outlet has come back into fashion like Izod shirts. When Red Rocks tickets dropped last year, the most successful folks were those at regional counters pulling four-day passes. But regardless of your choice of method, these on-sale dates can be stressful mornings resulting in huge celebration and, often, equally huge frustration. This year, however, while The Greek and Telluride will be gone within sixty seconds, the proximity and abundance of all the east coast shows should make scoring these tickets rather feasible.

Plan Your Trips Wisely!

Phase III: Planning – Hotels, flights, and road trips…oh my! Planning Phish tour is an ongoing process that begins for some people before dates are announced and for others, the week before taking off. With a few cases of odd routing this year, Phish has left people with a couple “fly or drive for quite a while” situations, causing select flights to gradually fill up with Phishy travelers. In an extreme case in point, all flights from Oakland into Telluride, proper, on August 8th are already sold out; not to mention the quickly-filling flights to the surrounding mountain airports. Always open to last-minute improv, planning tour travel in advance can sometimes be half the battle. Hotels, rental properties, or campgrounds; flying, driving, or riding, whatever your choices may be, proper planning prevents poor performance. Many of our parents taught us that valuable lesson long ago, and never has it held more true than on tour.

A Typical Fan Within One Week of Tour

Phase IV: The Excitement – Tickets are secured, your plans are made, and the sun is shining, what could go wrong? For a good while, the groundwork is in place for your summer run, and the adrenaline palpably begins to bubble. Everyday chores seem a bit easier, and colors seem to glow a tad brighter as your circled date approaches. That date you’ll jump in a plane, train or automobile, and head right out of town. During this final phase, one can be prone to sudden surges of energy, and memory loss mid-sentence, as your soon-to-be reality plays, involuntarily, inside your head. But soon enough, your “everyday” dissolves, and you venture out to the nomadic playground of Phish. For a month, a week, or a day, time is all relative. It is the ritual that holds ultimate importance – being present to receive the music, to experience the magic.

And these have all just begun, the phases of pre-season Phish.


Jam of the Day:

Split Open and Melt” 7.1.95 I

A furious piece of improv from Great Woods ’95.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.



7.22.97 Walnut Creek, Raleigh, NC < Torrent

7.22.97 Walnut Creek, Raleigh, NC < Megaupload

7.22.97 - Official DVD Releas

Keeping up with the theme of summer Phish, here is the epic Walnut Creek ’97 show that featured one of the greatest second sets of a extensive, two-continent tour. After a lightening bolt near the top of the lawn caused an early end to set one, the band came out within a colossal storm and ripped a set for the ages. Included is one of their best transitions of all time between “Disease” and “Mike’s.” This second set is one flowing musical highlight, and often overlooked is the stunning “Harry Hood” encore. It’s hard to believe this show hasn’t been previously featured. Enjoy this gem!

I: Runaway Jim > My Soul, Water in the Sky, Stash, Bouncing Around the Room, Vultures, Bye Bye Foot, Taste

II: Down with Disease > Mike’s Song > Simple > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Hello My Baby

E: When the Circus Comes, Harry Hood

Source: Neumann km84i’s


656 Responses to “The Pre-Season”

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  1. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Nice post Miner

    7-22-97 is a great show

  2. trigas Says:

    HAHAHAHAHA wisconsin does have roads with letters instead of numbers….silly cheese heads.

  3. Marshall Says:

    Missed all of yesterday’s posting. Feel like I missed a day of life.

  4. marcoesq Says:

    Just checking in before work…after 1 day, tied for first in the bracket pool!

    although I had georgetown going to the final…

  5. marcoesq Says:


  6. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Where’s my jams of the week? Fiend.

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    somehow I am only one point behind you. looks like G-town’s going to hurt you in the long run as your “best score” is hurtin’

  8. Jam On Dude Says:

    Amen on the travel piece, it’s going to be a wild ride.

  9. jdub Says:

    Fun write up today Miner. We all seem to be experiencing the pre season jitters as we strategize, find money for tickets, and think of ways to convince significant others that such and such dates are doable. I haven’t entered the lottery yet as I am working out the best way to secure pavillion seating. A great argument has been made to bypass the lottery and visit an outlet to ensure best possible seating. Backup plan would then be to wait untill last minute to find greatly reduced tickets online, and a last resort would be scooping up any cheap ticket and using ninja like skills to settle into a prime pavillion spot.

  10. Willowed Says:

    Good morning boys and girls.
    I would like to thank TIIIPO’s Fighting Irish and Miners Hoyas for ruining my chance at winning the bracket!

  11. jdub Says:

    The Big East is getting wooped and spoiling many brackets. Let’s hope Syracuse doesn’t dissapoint.

  12. BTB Says:

    OHIO OHIO OHIO OHIO – great game. But I still wouldn’t send my children there! Very proud!

    Excellent pics today Miner

  13. Chalkdustin Says:

    Miner, great post for a Friday. Cute pic for Phase III- Phishheads in the making.

  14. InAMinute Says:

    Big east hypedown the toilet. Seems like they beat up on each other too much over the last three months.

  15. Willowed Says:

    I love how miner dropped the 5 P’s on us this a.m. Freakin’ great.

  16. jdub Says:

    My brother in-law is an OU alum and was at the game last night. I am happy for him as those experiences are what make this tournament so exciting.

  17. BTB Says:

    The 5 P Postulate….excellent job Willowed

  18. Willowed Says:

    Miner you forgot to add one thing in Phase IV
    Home and family life tend to get a little hostile. The wife seems to get more and more pissed as the dates arrive.
    I am kidding
    I have a good one here at home. She’s actually pretty cool with the whole thing!

  19. HSV 007 Says:

    Great post as always Mr. Miner.

    Cant waint for the ATL dates in the new venue. The last 7/3 & 7/3 ATL shows were stupendous & I am super excited to hear the boys take it on again. 11 years…wow

    Awesome Raliegh 97 show today. It was raining so hard in the 1st set the runoff under the pavillion was flowing over my feet. 2nd set is the fire. Soaked to the bone & dance yourself dry.

    “We’ve got…skyscraper, and it sings a pretty tune…”

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    what’s everyone listening to today?

  21. marcoesq Says:

    You’re right TIII, my “best score” may hinder my run down the stretch. I just have to count on my upset picks since my overall winner won’t differentiate me enough from the rest of the pack

    Ok folks, off to big job interview…wish me luck! It’s been a lot of work and preparation hopefully for a big payoff today

    Boss thinks I’m going to meet realtor so lets keep this quiet 🙂

  22. jdub Says:

    @T3PO, have you DLed Mike’s Pearl St show? I haven’t gotten a chance to DL any of his shows, anyone have an opinion which one sounds the best.

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    good luck, marco!

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    Morning, all!

    3 of my sweet 16 went down yesterday. bummer.

    Oh well, hope today goes well.

    Beautiful day again here in Wisconsin. I love waking up to the birds singing outside my window. That means spring is here!

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I listened to the Pearl St. show last night. even though the notes say it sounds muffled in the 1st set due to security issues, it sounded fine to me (but I’m not really too well versed on that aspect of the whole thing). I can’t provide any comparison as that’s the only one I’ve listened to thus far.

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