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:

    @Mr C,

    Wilber totally turned me off when i read him, but i have much respect for the non-academic part of his argument, and if anything gets me to open one of his books again, it will be that…

    and i think you are right about truths not being relative, but also wrong. truths are constructed. that does not mean a brick won’t break a window when you throw it if you call it something different. that critique of the construction argument is an artifact of the science wars, when Sokul the physicist (i think it was him, could be mistaken) said why don’t i jump out this window, since gravity is constructed, i won’t really fall and die. complete bastardization of poststructural thought. (but that is not to say that many, MANY people didn’t bastardize poststructural thought while championing it, instead of criticizing it like Sokul).

    If you’re not familiar with Bruno Latour, he might be an interesting read for you. He is eccentric, and sometimes pretentiously annoying, but as far as i can tell he shows how the ‘facts’ of ‘science’ are constructed, in a very material sense (check Laboratory Life or Pastuerization of France off the top of my head). Latour is NOT just another Foucault or Derrida. Similar in some senses but completely different in others. Latour is a materialist (i would also consider you a materialist), he takes reality just as seriously as any idea

  2. KWL Says:

    ha, thanks C, i’m flattered

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    no – but my impression is that some of his followers have gone off the deep end and he hasn’t rebuked them sufficiently

    but I have tuned out the soap opera in recent years

  4. guyforget Says:

    Silly, we do need good attorneys, so thank you the effort you’re putting forth that alot of us don’t have in us.

    However, don’t sell your soul, and become one of the others we all despise, including you, i presume?

  5. SillyWilly Says:


    I have come across some lawyers that are clearly in it for the wrong reasons, but I have also been in contact with a lot good ones. Several of my professors are some of the smartest, most insightful, kindest warriors ive ever met.

    people who are seriously talented and working for some very good causes.

    I won’t sell my soul!

  6. KWL Says:


    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.

    that’s the issue ain’t it!

    there are 2 lawyers i have in mind who might be good for you to talk to, both based on Denver… I will be seeing one of them again on April 3, I can talk to him then. I’ll make a note, but make sure you remind me!

    hit me up sometime at keith dot lindner at gmail

    hopefully we can catch up on tour this summer too.

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    for sure, KWL!

    thanks a lot!

    It would be great to pick your lawyer friends’ brains, just to see what they were doing when they were in my position, and to ask them the path they took to get where they are.

  8. guyforget Says:

    Nice work, Silly. Kudos.
    Funny side bar: one of my best friends is a real estate and land attorney, and every time he tries to uphold the american legal system in any argument or conversation (outside of his area of practice) i aways simply remind him, regardless of the company we’re in, that he’s a real estate attorney, and if I’m ever buying a house, i’ll be sure to call him to review my contract. That usually shuts him up and gets a good laugh. So, you can interpret that however you’d like, but i know my point.

  9. KWL Says:

    one is young, real up and coming, the other just retired (took a judgeship actually), has been doing this stuff since the 70s. i don’t have any personal favors to call in with them, ya know, but i’m sure they would be willing to talk to a young lawyer who is probably much like them at 23. would probably be real interesting to see how their perspectives differ, with one at the beginning of their career and the other at the end.

  10. SillyWilly Says:

    That is funny, guyforget.

    One of the most interesting things about the first year of law school has been watching my friends find their niche in the law. Some people I never pictured are going into things like Tax Law or Patent Law. they find an area they enjoy and run with it.

    We need insightful people working in all professions.

  11. KWL Says:

    also Silly, i think it’s pretty damn great, and not that common, for you to even be thinking about stuff like this… i second those kudos.

  12. guyforget Says:

    yes, but the title of “attorney”, “lawyer”, or “esquire” doesn’t afford you to speak profoundly in all things legal. Please remember this piece of knowledge you heard from some random dude on a phish message board in March 2010. 🙂

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    Oh yeah, KWL, I don’t mean to sound like I need a favor. I’m set with a summer job and everything. I’d just ask them everyday questions like things I should be thinking about in order to pursue a path like the one you and your friends have taken.

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    guyforget: I’ll remember that. I think my gf would make sure I remembered the first time she noticed me doing something like that.

  15. guyforget Says:

    Nice, we need them around for one reason or another!!

  16. jdub Says:

    The problem I have with science and philosophy in general (and it is my problem) is that a lot of time is spent trying to define everything. While defining helps to understand and convey ideas/facts to people the process of defining can cause a loss of presence. I’m just as confused about the universe and the human condition as the next person but I do know that the simple concept of presence and experiencing the moment in full awareness is really all there is. For me, it is very overwhelming to critically think about all of my actions, all the time. We as people do best when we are fully engaged and are as open to moment as possible. That is when we make great decisions that aren’t biased or hurting of other people.

    If one acts in as fully aware state as possible (aware of ones own body, mind spirit, as well as the body, mind, spirit of our culture and planet) then good things happen. What else is there.

    You can tell me if I’m just stretching to be involved in convo that is much easier done face to face

  17. (Formally Known As) BrandonKayda Says:

    Goodnight BB

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    By the way,

    Thank you, Mr. C, KWL, and guyforget, for being willing to talk about these things.

    I know I often take things deep, but I really learn a ton from what you guys have to say.

    You guys are great for spending time with me.

  19. KWL Says:

    @Mr C, i think i implied that you were bastardizing poststructural thought on the last page. not what i intended to do, much respect to your arguments and insights as always. You are our resident sage.

    just like i said, Foucault & Deleuze et al. are near & dear to me because they were the first to show me that one can think differently 8)

  20. butter Says:

    just played a bunch of Phish for my Dad for the first time

    everything from Albany Ghost to Exile torn and Frayed

    too some old rocky top

    he is coming to sunday Alpine

  21. jdub Says:

    Goodnight BB, way to get yourself and your dad to a couple shows this summer. As a 33 yr old I wish my dad would experience a phish show with me.

  22. SillyWilly Says:

    Thanks to jdub, too!

    good night, BK!

    maybe i can make it Merriwether.

  23. KWL Says:

    i’m always up for it Silly. or at least when i have time, like when i’m snowed in like tonight 😉

    add jdub to that list too.

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    you’re not stretching anything, jdub.

    that was a great and candid contribution from your own perspective. i think it very relevant to the conversation.

    I could learn something from your thought. I spend too much time analyzing my actions. I have a hard time acting when I should just pick something and go.

  25. butter Says:

    he loved Weekapaug

    KDF, Backwards down the # l, seems to love the new school pop rock songs

    doesn’t surprise me, he loves Chuck Berry, Beatles

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