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. albert walker Says:

    that’s pretty exciting BK
    nothing like your first show

    they have a way of being hot ass one’s

    mine was 8/14/93 World Music Theater

    to this day one of the best I ever saw

    many of my friends it was UIC 6/18/94

    another scorcher

    could get a rager man

  2. Luther Justice Says:

    You have plenty of time to prep him. Start w/type 1 and then move him to the type 2 over time. Nothing cheesy about spinning Phish on the way to the show. And unlike other bands, it seems wearing Phish attire to the show is not considered cheesy. With Phish, normal rules don’t apply.

    It’ll be awesome if your dad becomes a Phan after all of this. I’d love to share that bond w/my dad but he’s more into Conway Twitty & Elvis. He told me he likes to know when a song ends.

  3. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah AW I am definitely excited. I just love that I am seeing Phish for the first time in a two night run: That way, if they are off the first night, the second night has the possibility of being a rager.

    I really like that theory – First shows always slay. I certainly hope so!!!!!

  4. Angryjoggerz Says:

    albert walker: we have the same first show! Respect.

  5. Angryjoggerz Says:

    BK, that is awesome about your first show. Your dad sounds pretty great to be taking you as well. Fun.

  6. ohhphee Says:


    I’m a little envious of you. Not in a bad way. I was 25 when I saw my first

    show in Champagne ’95. You got a hell of a head start, relatively speaking.

    Congrats, man! Definitley get your pops to listen to some beforehand – he

    might just surprise you.

  7. Angryjoggerz Says:

    checking out the sneakin sally from 4/2/98 right now. wowzerz.

  8. Luther Justice Says:

    Enjoy you will your 1st shows padwan BK. Enjoy you will. You enjoy myself.

  9. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah it will be a great time, I am definitely looking forward to it.

    It’s strange, because my dad really isn’t an avid music listener. I mean he’ll listen to The Beatles/Rolling Stones/etc “Classic Rock” stuff, but not much else.

    Let’s see if these shows open his musical horizons a bit! 🙂

  10. Luther Justice Says:

    If he likes the Stones, why not start him w/the Exile set?

  11. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    That’s a good idea Luther, thank you. Although, I’m not even sure he’s heard Exile. I will try that though, just need to find a time when he’s free to listen to music

  12. Luther Justice Says:

    Yeah, you don’t want to push it on him. It may be the shows themselves that pull him in.

  13. Mitch Says:

    Neemor is in the house and just told me about btb fest. My summer just got rerouted I think.

    Mr Palmer, get your ass in the city. Showtime is 11:30.
    Randomreader, you alive? Wanna see live music tonight?

  14. Luther Justice Says:

    Trans Siberian Orchestra isn’t just for Christmas anymore – just saw an ad for their spring tour. Let’s hope that distracts the scalpers from our shows.

  15. Mitch Says:

    Purplehumpbackwhale? NYC folks? Live music?

  16. Luther Justice Says:

    Are you coming to BTB Fest Mitch?

  17. Luther Justice Says:

    BTB’s ranch is becoming the BB field of dreams!

  18. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Jesus! I didn’t realize tonight was Kung Fu night in NYC. Damn Neemor and Mitch, i needed to know about this earlier. You can’t expect me to remember something from 2 weeks ago.
    Plus, i’ve had about 6 drinks and about to get baned. There will be no more commuting into NYC for me tonight. have fun guys!

  19. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Is Sugar Shack in 7/8 time?

  20. SillyWilly Says:

    Howdy, all!

    gary’s over here tonight.

  21. gary Says:

    I’m over at Silly’s tonight.

    anybody got any extra bane?

    cause you dudes just ain’t that funny without it.

  22. SillyWilly Says:


    gary and i thought it’d be funny to both post from the same room.

  23. Mr.Palmer Says:

    @BK- Thats great that your dad is willing to drive 90 minutes to MPP on consecutive days to take you to see Phish. Hope you both have a great time.

  24. gary Says:

    i still got a pizza in my back seat if anyone else wants to come chill.

  25. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Yeah Palmer I really appreciate him doing this for me. I hope he has a good time.

    Oh, and I mis-calculated: It’s only a 40min drive

    Even better!

    What up @Silly/Gary?

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