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”

  1. KWL Says:

    and thanks robear. tell me more about this dude in maine. i will scrupulously avoid your advice on marriage, but he sounds like he might be the kind of person i want to go through.

  2. KWL Says:

    @Silly, Foucault was involved in different political movements in France during his career (including for prisoner’s rights), but those more concrete concerns didn’t tend to make it into his writings, which always stayed pretty theoretical, centered around questions of power (hence more diagnosing the problem–how does power work?–than coming up with solutions–how to fashion different forms of power?)

  3. KWL Says:

    but, robear, I may not be against driving across the state (there are 2 people in grand junction who are important to my work and I might be able to arrange to see them then) if, say, i get some floor space in your hetty hotel accommodations… or some such arrangement… like a ticket… haha.

  4. SillyWilly Says:


    yeah I understand his work was basically Nietzschean and immensely valuable for the new perspectives it offered.

    The only gripe I ever have with the Nietzscheans is this: Yes, nothing has an inherent meaning and that values do not have a objective meaning, but that doesn’t mean you can’t establish values that can be subscribed too.

    Albert Camus came the closest for me when he wrote: “If you said nothing has any meaning you would be right, but there is still something that has meaning.”

    Foucault is immensely valuable for his insights I just wish he could have given us some direction.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    That’s good to know about Foucault’s personal life.

    I think many of the descriptive philosophers/historians were very good people.

    I guess, personally, I want to hear their conception of the next step….just a little direction.

  6. Foul_Domain Says:

    Hey guys n girls…

    I dont normally believe in this kind of thing, but I am desperate and could use some positive vibes up here.

    My wife just called and said my dog is really sick. All of a sudden, he just keeled over and wouldnt get up (hes only 3). She just rushed him to the after hours vet and he is now on an IV drip – they still dont know what is wrong with him, but he is still in bad shape and they are keeping him overnight. This might sound silly, but he is like our child. My wife and I have not been able to have a kid after 4 years of trying, so he is like our baby. To make things worse, Im 2000+ miles from home and my wife is hysterical. I just feel like shit right now. I hate not having control of the situation.

    Like I said, Im normally not one to really believe in ‘good vibes’ working – especially over the internet from people I have never met – but at this point I am desperate.

    I hate this feeling. Any positive thoughts/good vibes would be much appreciated. His name is Marley (Yes…after Trey’s dog)

    Thanks y’all.

  7. SillyWilly Says:


    Hang in there, man.

    I’m sure the vets can figure out whats wrong with him. They’ve got control of the situation. Marley’s in good hands now.

    we’ll keep thinking about you.

  8. KWL Says:

    i hear ya… Foucault would just say… well, I don’t know what your particular circumstances are, so how could I suggest what you do next? the ‘solution’ is just as contextual & contingent as the problems…

    not very satisfying, I know.

    I do think he’s right though. there are no universal answers. the answers have to be worked out in practice, in particular contexts, and that is damn hard work.

    Foucault would also say that if anyone is offering you THE answer… watch out, it’s dangerous. (that’s how power works, after all. power creates what is True… if there is a universal answer, watch out).

  9. KWL Says:

    sorry to hear that @foul… wilson, tela, & piper (my cats) send their best…

  10. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Foul –

    Marley will be alright, hang in there.

    The dog is a fighter, and the vets are taking good care of him anyhow.

    Positive thoughts sent your way. Keep us posted

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    congratulations @brandon! we’re all stoked for you, obviously. Sounds like you even realize you have a pretty chill dad. A lot of guys your age would take that for granted. What he’s doing for you is pretty cool, you should try to figure out something cool to do for him in return.

    @Silly – I think your critique is on point. However even if pointing out the problem is only half the battle, half is a lot. Take partial wisdom for what it is – better than nothing, right? A step forward.

    I believe the next step can only emerge from the unforced action of evolution, not be called into being by academic discussion or theory. That is, for all we know, the chaos we see around us in the world could actually be the Next Step starting to happen right now. It just looks all fucked up from the inside.

    But we need visionaries, to help us understand what the possible outcomes are, and what steps we can take in the now to bring them into being. Maybe you are one of those visionaries, and we are all waiting on you. Or maybe it is someone that you will help along their path.

    I think academic thought and theory are extremely limited in utility when it comes right down to it. Yes, they help us understand the problem, and perhaps formulate possible courses of action. But when it comes to choosing right action from among many possible paths, it comes down to insight and judgment.

    So I urge you to simply decide for yourself what you think the next step is.

  12. Foul_Domain Says:

    Thanks guys.

    I knew I posted my personal baggage for a reason. I really do feel better already.

    This place really is theraputic. I truly believe that.

  13. SillyWilly Says:


    you summarized precisely what I believe. Each separate circumstance should be viewed as separate different problems.

    FWIW, I do believe in deconstruction. I believe that it can be taken too far like when people hold up deconstruction where we used to hold up something like Enlightenment ideals or nihilism or something, but I think it gave us some valuable tools for analyzing our problems.

    The point you made is an important point to remember when reading the descriptive philosophers. Thanks for your conversation.

  14. sumodie Says:

    also……. sumodie did you really put in 1001 requests??

    Duuuude, when have I ever stretched the truth here on the BB? Of course I put in 1001 PTBM requests. Like, what else are Facebook friends good for?

    Sorry, I couldn’t let that comment go

    @Foul: hope your dog Marley pulls thru

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Foul_Domain – that is very stressful and no, as both a parent and pet owner, I do not think your feelings are silly or overstated at all.

    No one ever has control of the situation when it comes down to health crises. The vets will do what they can. They are dedicated and brilliant people.

    Are you, or your wife, located somewhere that other BB’ers are in residence? Perhaps someone could offer assistance that is more direct than vibes.

    However, I will send those thoughts Marley’s way, and yours, and your wife’s. Peace to all of you.

  16. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Completely – Yeah I definitely wouldn’t take that for granted, too fragile of a thing for that. I can’t believe how some people I know treat their parents, really blows my mind. I’m not trying to stand on a soapbox or anything but those people are fucking morons.

    I really enjoy the Philosophy discussion that happens on here every few days, really eye-opening stuff for me personally.

  17. sumodie Says:

    So BrandonK is hosting the Merriweather after party? Maybe a BB sleep over?

    Here’s hoping the PTBM gods give BK some PAV seating!!!

  18. Foul_Domain Says:

    Thanks MrC.

    Actually, were in Canuckland, so probably not too close to many other BBers, but what an extremely nice sentiment. One problem is that Im in Clagary and she’s in Toronto, so that is adding to the stress.

    Thanks for all you good vibes. You people never cease to impress and amaze me.

  19. KWL Says:

    for me, if you take Foucault for what he is good at (analyzing different forms of power–discipline, in addition to other forms that he called biopower, governmentality, and others), he’s pretty damn good.

    his theories/concepts are tools, just like anyone else. good at some things, not others. Go to Foucault when you want to analyze the functioning of power relations.

    some of his stuff may be obvious today, but it’s like when AW is talking about some hip cats back in 1962–they sound like everyone else, but what you don’t realize is that they were the first to do it, & everyone copied them.

    also, the BB is def therapeutic.

  20. guyforget Says:

    Evening. Just dropping in. Got sick new headphones today as delayed xmas gift and went with 7/30/03 as first listen. Didn’t think that show could get any better, but…they deliver again.

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    @Mr. C:

    I completely agree with you about the fact that academic thought can only take us so far.

    I will also try to make the best decisions I can with the information I am provided.

    I often wonder about where our justification comes from for assigning values to different decisions.

    More to the point: We almost choose. Before I can make my decision, I ask what is the best decision?
    Can we decide that one choice is “better” than another?

    What I like about academic discussion is that it provides an easily accessible arena for thinking about how to make a decision. For example, I don’t have a lot of friends that could talk to me productively about how to make a decision. The nice thing about philosophy is I can go to a book and read about what other people thought. Not that they are automatically right because they’re published. But, they are sharing something.

  22. guyforget Says:

    hah, my email was wrong. that’s not my color!!

  23. SillyWilly Says:

    almost = all must….i dont know how i messed that up

  24. KWL Says:

    i think we agree on a lot there, Mr C.

    most academic theory should definitely not be looked at for guidance on the future… most of it is past oriented, after all: it studies what already happened.

    i think i am in a unique position re: theory though, because i am actively involved in political movements. so academic theory is only useful to me to the extent that it helps me in concrete struggles.

    hence my view of theory as a set of tools.

    use what works for whatever situation you’re in, don’t waste your time on what doesn’t. (and maybe what doesn’t work today will work tomorrow, and vice versa.)

    guess i just always stick up for the likes of Foucault, because his brand of theory (with others like Deleuze, not so much w/Derrida) is what i cut my teeth on, so to speak.

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    Thats a good way to put it, KWL

    “theory is a set of tools”

    i really like that.

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