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. Henry Says:

    Theme 12/28/03 melting my brain

  2. KWL Says:

    and to return to a discussion from long ago, Wilber gets it right (imo) by drawing on different bodies of thought to answer different questions, but gets it wrong (imo) by thinking he has found the final answer or the ultimate truth of the world–that *his* assemblage of different theories and concepts is the *only* and *correct* way the world can be apprehended and approached.

    truths are contextual and contingent… (and plural).

  3. guyforget Says:

    Lazy Chair 7/30/03 here…

  4. guyforget Says:

    my bad easy. mind previously melted

  5. KWL Says:

    fwiw @Silly, i totally lifted that from Deleuze (the tool thing). He has a book called ‘what is philosophy’ (with Guattari) that talks about this directly (among other places).

    a concept is a brick–it can be used to break a window or build a house.

    the question is not ‘is it true’ but ‘does it work’

    etc etc

  6. KWL Says:

    oops, that last post was misleading. don’t think the ‘brick’ and ‘does it work’ quotes come from that exact book. but he does talk about concepts as tools there…

  7. KWL Says:

    BK, love your perspective on many things. you’re on the right track my friend.

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    Maybe you guys can help me out with a philosophical problem I’ve come up against in law school:

    The role of the attorney in the US system of law shields him or her from any kind of ethical responsibility for the results of a case.

    The argument goes like this. A verdict issued by a jury is “Justice.” The jury finds the truth, so their conception of the truth must stand as truth for society. Attorneys must advocate for their clients with utmost zeal regardless for their personal feelings about the “rightness or wrongness” of their clients’ cause. In this way, justice will be established when a jury decides which of two arguments is best.

    I don’t like this theory because it assumes that every attorney is equal at that every client will be represented with equal skill.

    This is blatantly false as a big corporation can afford better attorneys than say a single plaintiff affected by the corporation’s pollution.

    The other argument is that the only valid view of justice is your own, so lawyers should only take those cases that they believe will help forward their own personal agenda for justice.

    How do I navigate what to do?

    I can’t zealously advocate for manufacturers of carcinogen, and yet I can’t represent only those causes that I think are worthwhile because my views might not always be right.

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    Right on, KWL, I’ll try and read that book this summer.

  10. guyforget Says:

    “This is blatantly false as a big corporation can afford better attorneys than say a single plaintiff affected by the corporation’s pollution.”

    Silly, i hear you. But i feel the above claim contradicts your explanation of the jury system you outline right above. If a plaintiffs attorney is at the very least, competant, than he should be able to argue his client’s case competantly.

    The jury will hear what’s “right” and base their consensus “vote” accordingly.

    Wicked moral dilemna, however.

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    @KWL I concur 100% with your statements on p23 concerning theory as conceptual tools, you are a wise fellow and well spoken

    and at one point Wilber did not make the mistake of thinking of his system as final or complete, but offered it as another step forward – however he has now apparently made that fatal claim, I guess. Certainly his followers treat him that way. And anyone that allows people to be “followers” has serious problems.

    however I disagree with the common interpretation of Wilber, that his main contribution is the meta-contextualizing of different thought-systems into a structure that relates them. His approach does do that, and as long as you take if for what it is, I think it remains the most powerful and flexible approach of its type.

    The main contribution of Wilber is that to engage with his system, whether to try to learn from it or refute from it or both, he requires as a postulate that you engage in non-academic, non-rational forms of behavior. Specifically, you have to learn to meditate, in some way or another. You have to exercise, or do yoga or tai chi, or something physical like that. And you have to engage in the world, via service or activism. Those are the other three quadrants.

    If you’re just talking about the Wilber theories, or reading them, or thinking about them, you’re only doing 1/4 of the work at most and basically are completely missing the point.

    Transcending the bounds of rational or analytical thought, in everyday practice, is the whole point.

  12. guyforget Says:

    ^^philosophical, i meant, not moral…..

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    FWIW I totally disagree that all truths are relative. Speaking of bricks, if you throw a brick through a window, the window will break, regardless of what you call the brick, the window, or the act of throwing, or what any of that means to you.

    That may be a trivial point but it’s exactly where this kind of philosophy goes overboard for many people. Some people become convinced everything is relative. I think that’s nonsense. Physical reality is real, not constructed. Physical reality includes a lot of biology, right up to the conscious threshold, probably about at the level of lower (limbic) emotions. Meaning and interpretation are constructed, certainly…but for instance, mating instincts themselves are not.

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    Oh yeah, guyforget,

    I forgot to say that i don’t believe that what the jury hears is always the truth.

    For example, I represented several clients and somehow I messed up their faxes (I thought they sent but didn’t realize I had to get a confirmation receipt. I never had used a fax machine and thought I knew what I was doing), so I had to testify that it was my fault so my clients’ cases could move forward.

    One judge listened to my story and decided to let one of my clients cases go forward. A different judge heard the same story on a different day and didn’t let my other case go through.

    just didn’t seem like justice to me.

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    FWIW in the books of Wilber’s I find most valuable, for instance the giant tome Sex, Ecology, Spirituality he specifically makes the point that he does not claim to have created any final, totalizing system, and in fact spends a fair amount of time insisting that his work is merely another step along the evolutionary chain.

    So he did retain clarity at least until some point.

  16. guyforget Says:

    First thing, Really, you’ve never used a fax machine?? That’s something in itself!! 🙂
    Your error had no impact on the argument of the case, it was a semantic error and that, in my opinion, is a larger fault in our legal system.
    I run a business, and that would be the equivelant of a contract being voided by a judge without the jury’s opinion because there were grammar errors in it.

    Is that a good comparison?? Not sure if that comes acorss the same way i see it in my mind..

  17. jdub Says:

    Some late night philosophy again, I agree with you completely about Wilber Mr. C. That is what drew me to his concepts. He doesn’t have or claim to have the answer, he has just developed a method to look at the world that is pretty inclusive. Unlike Faucault (or most philosophers), who has lots of theories but no practical application to use his theories in reality, the integral movement has created a map that is structured to change as the universe changes. His map is the most expansive that I know of, and it is very practical for everyday living.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Silly, that legal theory strikes me as incredibly stupid. But then, I have low regard for any form of Platonism, which is what that sounds like to me, with this ideal “Justice” out there somewhere in the ether.

    I’m sure very few practicing attorneys have much respect for that idea either. Just sounds like a bunch of academic BS to me.

    However don’t argue fundamentals with people who have power over your future, until after you have taken control of that future for yourself. It’d be nice to think that they would respect your differing views, and maybe they would…but just be careful with that.

    You might just want to smile and nod and move along, and get out into the real world, where such froofy ideas plus $3 will get you a tall Starbucks coffee and that’s about it.

  19. KWL Says:

    great discussion tonight. much appreciated.

    @silly, for me, as someone in the trenches with a group of historically marginalized people (economically, environmentally, socially, politically), I know that lawyers are always needed for struggles for justice. always. part of my work this summer will be to help a group of lawyers new to the area i work in–but i wish i had their skills (then i wouldn’t be helping them, i would be doing their work myself).

    the problem for the lawyers, though, is that their work is pro bono. it has to be. because, well, marginalized people don’t exactly have the money to pay them. i get ‘paid’ through grants (or rather, i survive!). the lawyers don’t get paid anything, they donate their time. (i also teach when i’m not here, so don’t feel sorry for me, i’ll be fine financially.)

    certain lawyers have been working in this area their entire careers, and it has been their primary focus–yet all the work here is pro bono. I’m not sure how they did/do it, but they do (i would be happy to tell you more about this ‘struggle’ that i haven’t defined, and to put you in touch with some of the lawyers who work on/in it… we can do that via email if you want).

    so to more directly answer your question, i don’t really believe in any rational or abstract conception of justice. our world is a messy place, structured by various relations of power… from where i sit, we need lawyers, good ones, to help fight for lost rights and to reverse injustices…

    and, i think i would take issue with some of your phrasing. you wouldn’t necessarily only be following ‘your’ idea of justice. when you work in political struggles, you start to learn from the people in the trenches alongside you. sure, maybe you came to a particular issue because of your pre-conceived notions of what is right, but believe me, when you start working on the ground, you will learn. it won’t be you directing what happens (choosing what equals justice), you will begin to become part of a broader struggle… if that makes sense.

    sorry for uber long post.

  20. SillyWilly Says:

    Yeah thats a great comparison.

    yeah, i really have never used a fax machine. im 23 and its just never something ive had to do.

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    fax machines – the pinnacle of 1980s technology. they oughta be banned.

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    fantastic post on the realities of justice by KWL!!! you are killing it tonight!!!

    I grew up around the social justice movement of the 70s – lawyers are 100% necessary and so, so valuable – also true in the environmental movement, which is so powerful out here where I am now.

    But yeah the point that you should learn the values of justice from the people you’re helping – very very insightful

    KWL wins BBer of the night I think

  23. jdub Says:

    I don’t think he claims he has discovered a universal truth or that he currently thinks his system is infalible. He has accumulated a loyal following and is attempting to apply his system to as many disciplines as they can; politics, medicine, psychology, architecture, and business are a few that have benefited from his mapmaking. As well as individuals trying to become more whole in their existance. He hasn’t totally gone off the deep end.

  24. guyforget Says:

    Mr. C, absolutely. My new office i just opened here in PDX is psuedo-fax free. Meaning, i can recieve faxes, to my email, just can’t send them. there are better ways to do that now. Just so funny to hear that somebody has never used one

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    @Mr. C,

    thanks for your advice about not arguing with people who have power over my future. I often feel that most my professors would rather not talk about these things. They always want to show us the how of what we do, and not the why.


    I would love to be in touch with you and the lawyers you work with.

    My email is falkwilt at gmail

    I want to learn how people like you have made a life doing good.
    One of the biggest worries in my life is how to do something good (that i will feel good about) AND still be able to pay off my loans and support a family (if thats in the cards) and that sort of thing.

    I see what you mean about working for broader struggles, too.

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