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. butter Says:

    he couldn’t believe the sound that was coming from 4 guys

    wow, I should have done this sooner

    he is 57, his first Phish show will come 2nd leg 2010

  2. jdub Says:

    @Butter, that is pretty cool.

    How have all your parents reacted to your involvement in phish and the subculture that surrounds. Mine have always treated it like a childish fad. They tend to take life way too serious. Just curious what others have experienced.

  3. guyforget Says:

    “he couldn’t believe the sound that was coming from 4 guys”
    that was exactly what got me the first time this heard of this religion many years ago.

  4. butter Says:

    everyone has to be ready for it, for themselves to be open to it to really get it

    there is no substitute for an open mind, everyone is ready at different times

  5. jdub Says:

    @silly, kwl, Mr.C, guyforget, others I’m missing; your discussions sometimes go a bit over my head as I am not nearly as well read as you guys. I always enjoy reading and sometimes partaking in your philisophical dialogues. Wish we could do it face to face.

  6. guyforget Says:

    thats hogwash jdub, we’re all on the same level.

  7. KWL Says:

    very cool butter

    jdub, i always appreciate your contributions. i analyze everything, and then i analyze it again, more critically. that is what i do. i have taken a few steps this year towards becoming more experiential and less analytical (in terms of my own life and happiness–in my work, i’m still the same analytical person, b/c that’s what i’m needed for…). i have yet to find someone else out there who combines my brand of analysis with something more experiential, like say meditation. i am just now setting out on the path of combining these things in a way that works for me.

    09 phish and the BB have definitely been huge factors in me becoming more mindful, meditative, living in the moment, etc. pretty awesome.

  8. SillyWilly Says:


    i value your insight immensely.

    you have a way of basing your advice in your experiences and its very accessible.

    I’ll be at Toyota Park>Cuyahoga Falls, then Deer Creek>Alpine>Jones Beach…will you be at any of those?

  9. guyforget Says:

    I’m currently reading the “deepest” book i’ve read in a while, and that’s “Moneyball”. Great read btw, if you’re into a new philosophy of baseball!

  10. jdub Says:

    Phish is most definitely an acquired taste. And it doesn’t taste good to everyone. Just like good jazz, there is much more to the music than initialy is apparent, even to seasoned listeners. A newcomer can very easily be overwhelmed by the insane amount of different notes being played at rapid speeds. My parents truly think it is just drug music, like you have to be high to get it. Not saying certain substances don’t enhance the sound.. but regardless, there isn’t much that holds my interest these days yet phish gets me fully engaged.

  11. KWL Says:

    everyone has to be ready for it, for themselves to be open to it to really get it

    there is no substitute for an open mind, everyone is ready at different times

    ^100%. hard to get this sometimes.

  12. KWL Says:

    i wish i had this board 10 years ago.

    i would be so much smarter now.

  13. jdub Says:

    Thanks for the kind words all.

    @KWL, it’s hard to turn the brain off for a few minutes. My biggest barrier to meditating regularly is that I often revolt against the thought of not thinking. There is always something else to do or day dream about. But meditation can do wonders for your mind as well as body. I highly recommend it. T’ai chi is better for me because it is a full body and mind meditation, since I like to move it works well with my mentality.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    @jdub I don’t think you are stretching at all. Your very direct point is one that I totally agree with and well worth reiterating during heady discussions like this. That’s the point I’m trying to make re: Wilber – stop talking and thinking, and try other modes of being. They have value equal to that of rational understanding – and without them, your view can only be partial.

    However @Silly you are by necessity in an academic environment now so it’s not inappropriate for you to be heavily invested in that particular wavelength. For now. As long as you take breaks.

    But the analytical mind is a very, very thin slice of the self, and far from the most highly evolved available state.

    @kwl I didn’t think you implied that. I know what you mean by bastardization exactly, that’s what I have the problem with, the extension of the original valid ideas outside their appropriate domains.

  15. jdub Says:

    ^Likewise KWL,

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    same for you @kwl since your work is analytical in nature, it’s not something to be rejected, but to be placed in balance

    agree with jdub that activities like yoga, tai chi or qi gong are often easier entries to meditation for highly intellectual people, compared to sitting meditation, which is kind of the deep end for that sort of person: “ok, stop thinking…now!” um…

    to bring the convo full circle, I might point out that Wilber describes various meditation techniques (including the physical ones above) as tools – exactly the way you describe theories. I think of them as “mental (or psychic) technology.” You never have to buy into the dogma that comes with them.

    Treat them as science. They say: try this, and see what happens. Give the results your own interpretation. That should fit pretty well with your outlook right?

  17. KWL Says:

    However @Silly you are by necessity in an academic environment now so it’s not inappropriate for you to be heavily invested in that particular wavelength.

    words of wisdom.

    if i get back to the classroom & start talking about meditation i’d probably get thrown out. i’m there to teach critical social analysis, not advise on spiritual pathways.

    now, my own journey is a different story…

    but, re: that journey, i never had the space to go a different route while in a heavily academic environment where i had to prove myself (i.e. grad school). now that i am distanced enough from the rigors of classwork and the demands of the professor, i can begin to branch out in new directions, to try to find a balanced life for myself.

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    Thanks for the convo everyone

    I have to go to bed. Have a good night!

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    and @jdub to be 100% clear

    your input on these conversations is of great merit – it is both wise and articulate

    this kind of mentality is absolutely of equal value and indeed necessity compared to the hyperintellectual outlooks we’ve been discussing – and both views (and others) are absolutely required if we want to build up an accurate understanding of life and reality in all its unimaginable complexity.

  20. KWL Says:

    ahh, very nice.

    i agree 100% C.

    i have actually begun meditating over the last year. Not much, but i have started it. and yes, it is challenging. maybe i should look into those other avenues mentioned…

    but i’m totally on board with the idea that they are tools, or techniques. ways to work on yourself, to fashion yourself. to become… better? different? who knows, but at least to become. to undertake the journey…

    f the dogma… the question is not ‘is it true’ but ‘does it work…?’

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    …sorry im falling asleep at my computer, but you all are great for the deep insights you provide. its so cool that people who only know each other virtually can share so much. i really learn a lot here.

  22. jdub Says:

    Re:Wilber, I hear you Mr. C. I have learned a lot from Wilber but do get turned off whenever anyone becomes a preacher. He may be bordering on that status.

    Tomorrow is first day of spring, how great is that! I played hookie today after lunch when a buddy came by my shop with some high grade, keif crushed bane in his dugout. We ended up in the woods, hiking. Next thing I know he is naked, jumping in a pond. Some cold as water. God bless him.

  23. KWL Says:

    in my limited experience i have experienced the ways in which meditation can be a powerful tool, a way to discover something, to effect a change…

    multiple paths to knowledge, any single one by itself won’t be as rich, or rewarding

  24. Frankie Says:

    Just came back from this great little bluegrass show and i’m hyped… gotta love the power of live music!

    Mr.C, just saw The Bad Lieutenant, the new Werner Herzog movie with Nicolas Cage the other day and i couldn’t stop thinking about your Hair is a Bird picture… Ahahaha! Nic Cage is ruined for me…

    11.2.96 Crosseyed>Antelope on the way back… such a ride!

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah @kwl that’s a great final point there, then I am to bed, to try to shake the end of this flu

    it’s all about finding the right tool for the job

    critical theory
    strategic theory
    programming logic
    pagan ritual
    internet discussions

    each is the right way to approach certain situations and concepts and wrong for others

    using a given theory to try to understand a domain where it doesn’t apply is one of the most common errors…people pick one view and use it as a lens to view all of reality, they use just one set of metaphors for everything

    it’s just not that simple I think

    peace all

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