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.

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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”

  1. Willowed Says:

    Good luck Marco. Tear that interview up!!

  2. BTB Says:

    If I can get Monday July 5th off, this cat is going to Hotlanta. If not, I’ll curl up in a ball and post on the blackboard with the other addicts

  3. SillyWilly Says:

    Listening to the 7-25-93 show Miner posted a few days ago.

    I like the different Wilson sound. It’d be cool if they put some new spins on some old songs.

  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    not sure what kind of job you have, but most companies that give paid holidays off recognize the 5th as the holiday this year since the 4th is a Sunday.

  5. Willowed Says:

    I would like to thank all you guys who started that Star Wars chatter a few days back.
    I have today off from work and I am contemplating having a little Star Wars Marathon.

    I am about to waste a perfectly beautiful day sitting inside watching all the “classic” star wars movie. Thanks for ruining my day BB. With out that chatter a few days back, this would have never entered my head!
    A New Hope is on in 3….2…..1

  6. Chalkdustin Says:

    As someone who lives in Wisconsin, but is originally from Chicago, the whole number versus letter labeling has always confused me. Be prepared to be enlightened:

    “In the United States, county highways are denoted in various ways, differing by state. In states like Wisconsin, county highways are marked with letters—in Wisconsin with 1 to 3 letter combinations (ie: C, CC, or CCC).

    Each county in Wisconsin maintains its own Country Trunk Highway (CTH) system, where routes are designated by letters instead of numbers. While the designation of some county highways may cross into two or more counties, any individual letter will appear many times in different parts of the state. The County Trunk Highway designations can be one-, two-, or three-letters in length. This system has its beginnings in 1921 and by 1924, each county in the state laid out a system of county-maintained routes, exclusive of the state trunkline system—but without legislative authorization. Then in 1925, the Wisconsin state legislature authorized the system, which had been in place already in some counties for more than four years.”

  7. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    JOTD is killer…takes the edge off my poor showing in the first round. First round isn’t that important though; none of my teams going far got knocked off

  8. SillyWilly Says:


    where in Wisconsin are you? Im in Madison.

  9. AbePhroman Says:

    The way to avoid eating extras is to only buy one. I just ordered one for most shows and 2 for a couple if my girlfriend is going. While it’s nice to have extras for friends, I’m sure they can find them. I’m just OCD and would like to have them in hand. I hate driving all over the nation without a ticket, haha.

  10. BTB Says:

    Type III, I work for an entrepreneurial company. I work during Church if I have too! There’s only 3 of us, so I generally work on “fake holidays”.

    I know that is a bummer, but I rather do that than work for a corporation. If we’re busy that week, I’ll have to work. If not, hotlanta.

  11. ColonelJoy Says:


    Where do you live in Wisconsin? I’m movin’ to Brewcity in May…looking forward to it very much. I need some S2 on the area….that’s army speak for intel…

    Very excited that I have 6 shows in my vacinity…plan on being on the rail for opening night in Chi-town…

  12. Chalkdustin Says:

    Silly, I’m in Milwaukee, but I love the scene in Madison. A lot of great bands always rolling through.

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    Yeah, Madison is great. I just moved here in August and I absolutely love it. Between here and Milwaukee there’s plenty of music to keep a poor head occupied.

  14. Chalkdustin Says:

    Col, that’s great to hear. Milwaukee is an awesome city. If you need any tips, feel free to email me at joolee8503 at yahoo dot com.

    We lucked out here in the Midwest. Probably hitting the same 6 shows as you this summer.

  15. verno329 Says:

    The download of the day is one of my favorite second sets ever, definitely one of the best I’ve ever attended. If you haven’t heard it, get this at all costs!

    And yeah, I’m bypassing the lottery this time. I’ll try for pavillions for Raleigh and Charlotte thru TM and Atlanta I’ll make a decision on as the dates get closer.

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    blind me with ambition
    like a razor to the throat…

  17. KWL Says:

    ‘A Typical Fan Within One Week of Tour’


    fun write up today miner

  18. KWL Says:

    a re-request from last night. i am popping the question in june:

    the special lady friend will soon become the soon-to-be-wife lady friend. after 10 years, i think it’s about time.

    anyway, i’m going to need a ring. diamonds are out. want to be as socially and environmentally ethical as possible.

    has anyone went this route? any advice? anyone know any artisan jewelry makers who source their materials responsibly?

    any thoughts appreciated.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Trey’s solo in Bye Bye Foot has a Comfortably Numb feel to it to me, though not quite as triumphant (if that makes sense)

    (if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m listening to the DOTD)

  20. BabyBigPerm Says:

    listened to to that NoHo show last night. Was the guy near the bar?–lotsa “thank you’s” in the mix. Or maybe his buddy was just REAL grateful to be hearing Mike Gordon play…

  21. BabyBigPerm Says:

    Good write up Miner. I like how you addressed the ticket situation and trying to be proactive.

    I might do the outlet thing myself. NO ONE goto the BRONZE BODIES outlet in Severna Park. I call dibs. Figure I can work on my tan then get tickets.

    YEAH BOyieE!!

  22. BabyBigPerm Says:

    It’s Friday! I am going to avoid cardboard boxes today. Can risk losing my job on my day off, ya know?

  23. Worthless Swampy Fool Says:

    Great post Miner! Very pumped for June

    @ KWL

    Obviously a very personal issue, but our thing is to not buy too much NEW stuff whenever possible. So my wife picked her ring out of an estate sale. Recycle and frugal taboot! Just an option to consider.

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    there’s not many places at Pearl St. that would be far from the bar. it’s a 700 person room with the main entrance in the back just left of the sound board. the big bar is out in the hallway right there. there is another full bar on the stage left side of things.
    my buddy and I were standing about 10 feet in front of the soundboard and we were only about 15-20 feet from the stage. sumodie was up on one of the raised platforms in the back which is probably the only place you wouldn’t hear a lot of “thank yous”
    if he was where I think he was, he’d have people near him saying thank you a lot all night.

  25. Worthless Swampy Fool Says:

    Oh and CONGRATS!

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