A Summer Finale?

The Gorge '09 (A. Headington)

One lingering question regarding summer tour remains, even after all the tickets have gone on sale: Where will the tour actually end? If we are to believe things as they stand, Phish will play their west coast and Midwestern shows, and then invite everyone back the east coast for two random midweek shows at Jones Beach. This plan seems just a tad strange, leaving everybody hanging in the New York area after a Wednesday night finale. Since when has summer tour ended on a Wednesday? This routing, however, does leave the door wide open for a day off on Thursday followed by a weekend multi-night farewell. And there have been some rumors floating around.

One of the scenarios that has been circulating in cyberspace has Phish making another trek up to Limestone, Maine to put an exclamation point on summer 2010 in old-school fashion. While the timing seems to work, with the possibility of one or two days between Jones Beach and a potential festival, the question remains if this mature incarnation of Phish will bring their traveling caravan and their families up to the edge of America for a weekend party. A relic of times gone by, arguments both for and against a return to the hallowed Air Force Base in Loring, Maine make sense. On one had, Limestone is piece of Phish history, defining many summer weekends, and the band’s return to prominence wouldn’t be fully complete without a 3.0 festival at Limestone. We had The Great Went and Lemonwheel in the first go-round, and IT in the second. It is only natural to head back to the vast magical playground of legend, allowing east coast fans to drive, not fly cross country, to a Phish festival.

10.30.09 - Indio

That being said, that was then and this is now. Limestone is a sacred slice of Phish history, a place in time and space where pieces of our hearts and souls reside forever. Those days of traffic, camping, rainstorms, Northern sunsets, and endless blue skies can never be recreated, so why even try? Phish is older and so is their fanbase, we’ve been there and done that – thrice. And who wants to deal with the logistics of getting up all the way up there again? Plus, without a party-based scene for the band, what would be the perks of being in the middle of nowhere for a couple of nights, when they can stay in posh hotels playing elsewhere. With stronger rumors of Indio on the horizon for October, it’s hard to believe that Phish will throw two festivals in three months, and with the ease, bliss, and resorts surrounding Southern California’s Empire Polo Fields, why would they try anything else?

Jones Beach "Stadium"

An original set of dates that leaked just before the official tour announcement included two Radio City shows following Jones Beach. However, any chatter of a two-night stand at New York City’s iconic theatre has fizzled out. Unless things are being kept incredibly under wraps, the likelihood of these materializing seems very slim. So the question remains, are we bidding adieu in the stadium surroundings of Jones Beach, or will something be added to end an extensive summer in style? A leg that features Phish’s marquee shows of summer – The Greek and Telluride – and their two most classic summer venues in Deer Creek and Alpine, deserves a better ending than the overcrowded and over-patrolled environs of Jones Beach. But whether or not anything will actually be added to the tour is completely up in the air. But for now, the rumor mill spins on.


Jam of the Day:

Reba” 7.3.94 I

Another standout ’94 “Reba.” This one contains an extended and sublime quote of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow.”




9.27.95 Cal Expo Amphitheater, Sacramento, CA < Torrent

9.27.95 Cal Expo Amphitheater, Sacramento, CA < Megaupload

Fall '95

Fall '95

The first show of the long road of Fall ’95 featured five debuts and a new arrangement for “Taste.”

I: Wolfman’s Brother, Rift, Free, It’s Ice, I Didn’t Know, The Fog That Surrounds^, Strange Design, Chalk Dust Torture, The Squirming Coil

II: Cars Trucks Buses*, AC/DC Bag, David Bowie, Billy Breathes*, Keyboard Cavalry*, Harry Hood**, Hello My Baby*, A Day in the Life

E: Possum

*Debut, ^ new arrangement of “Taste,” **Unfinished

Source: (F.O.B.) Schoeps MK4

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733 Responses to “A Summer Finale?”

  1. Mr. Palmer Says:

    i’m a NE guy and i’m pulling for a west coast festival. Who wants to shlep up to Maine? Not me.

  2. lumpyhead Says:


    With all due repect, and I am in my mid 30’s with a family, all the complaints about traffic and rain and mud and being so remote…blah blah blah….isn’t that ALL PART OF IT?! I have sat in hors of traffic in VT and in ME….i’ve got muddy and wet…..but the sun also shines and the lines are fun…take it all for what it is…when else you gonna be able to party on your car with a bunch of strangers/friends and have the cops just direct you along…then ONCE YOUR IN….the excitment, you’ve weathered the storm….and we celebrate and wait anxiously for those first notes….the sun breaks throught the clouds….IT is alll worth IT….the second annual runaway jim 5K race…the looming enticement of the tower ((((shivers)))….LIMESTONE NEEDS to happen…PHISH knows this….they are welcome at Loring ANYTIME…..see you there in August.

    Indio and the posh hotels and cushy lawns and easy airports….are always there for all the other stops on tour…this is an outdoor summer fest…a magical playground where ANYTHING goes…this is NEW ENGLAND PHISH…IN THE WILD!!!!

    DO IT!!!

  3. Little Buddy Says:

    I think zzyzx has it right. It just doesn’t seem like they can get enough people up to Limestone after saturating the NE with shows all summer. I really don’t see a NE festy happening. I’d like to be wrong.

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I still think Radio city gets done that weekend after Jones beach. There is your tour closer.

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    all this talk about the mess in limestone .. was it festival a traffic mess? Because my memories of the lemonwheel are of a relatively short traffic stop after a beautiful drive up through maine .. nothing like big cypress or VT and by phish standards and with that many people quite a smooth operation..

  6. lumpyhead Says:

    remember….not EVERYONE has been to LIMESTONE.
    Many have heard the myths and tales.
    Many “older heads” will still make that trip.
    MANY new young faces who missed all or some of those magical maine weekends will make the trek.
    I am confident they could still pull 50+ up there…
    YOU wouldn’t go??!?!?

    do IT!

  7. albert walker Says:

    no way for me

    too much bullshit getting in and out
    waste two vacation days just getting there and getting home

    not saying they have to play Indio again (even though that would be great), but venues with similar easy access are the only way to go

    maybe I’m getting old but I’ll take my festival without all the hassles

    Indio was such an enjoyable weekend and the perfect local for a festival

    next year we just need the Phish to step it up to some festival style jamming and we will be in business

    laterz ya’ll
    off to work

  8. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    IT was pretty dense traffic, but nothing like Cypress or the-festival-which-shall-not-be-named

  9. AbePhroman Says:

    Limestone was fine. I don’t care where it is as long as it’s in the east. I’m not flying across country for 2-3 Phish shows.

  10. BTB Says:

    I would argue it’s easier to fly across the country then it is to get (and wait) into Limestone.

    Limestone kills too much time. Great place. Just probably not the way to go anymore.

    Can’t they find a 50,000 festival venue in the east?

  11. pagesidehighschool Says:

    with a day off anywhere on the east coast is reachable. they seem to like virginia these days

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    easier, maybe, cheaper, no way.

  13. jdub Says:

    I agree with zzyzx. I was just spending some time with the Phish Companion and noticed the inverse relationship between NE festivals and summer tour stops. Not to mention, like Miner stated, they should move on from the expansive and remote Limestone playground. That time has passed. 2010 should be about family and creating new experiences in new places. I could see something similar to Oswego happening, a closer NE festival or something out west or Midwest, which would tie into historical trends. It’s a shame that they don’t make Indio a festival home base but I think they’ll come back to it. They should revisit Limestone, maybe for a New Years Festival. That would nuts!

  14. AbePhroman Says:

    Yeah I’m down for the Pocono rumor. I’m just poor and it’s not worth it for me to go out west when I’m hitting 13 east shows relatively easy. I’m greedy over here.

  15. neemor Says:

    Morning, all!

    I agree with zzyzx and Little Buddy.
    There’s no way I could make that weekend happen after doing all of these shows.
    However, that’s a ‘me’ thing, not a Phish thing. They may just do it because the dates are available and because they want to throw it down for us…
    Remember, too that the ‘over-saturation’ (give me a break!) of New England is happening in June, this rumored festy would be in August.
    May happen.
    Who knows.
    Remember, too, that just when you think we’ve figured it out……WHAM!…..something different.
    I would have to break up with my girlfriend to make it happen, though, so….


  16. neemor Says:

    I wonder, too if that Osage Park venue in Ark. will be ready….?

  17. neemor Says:

    “They should revisit Limestone, maybe for a New Years Festival. That would nuts!”
    ^ and cold!

  18. jdub Says:

    @Abe, we have been spoiled here on the East Coast. Even more reason for them to go west.

  19. kayatosh Says:

    yo, yo, yo, everybody. what up? g’sdad– keep me posted on your camden plans; would love to coordinate and meet up. still looking for camden night one. i got a lawn seat for camden night two. also, g’dad, how you gettin to hershey? maybe we could road trip? peace yall.

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I really hate to be picky about wherever (if at all) they choose to do a festival. Living in the Northeast we get the lion’s share of shows and are convenient to many of the other stops along the path. We already enjoy the “embarrassment of riches” here in the northeast, so I’ll just wait to see what they come up with and plan accordingly.

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    “They should revisit Limestone, maybe for a New Years Festival. That would nuts”

    Bring your sweater, may be a tad chilly. 🙂

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ^^neemor beat me to it.

  23. zzyzx Says:

    neemor – when tickets are still available the next week for just about every shed, the market is over-saturated. It means that fans are choosing to blow off shows within a short drive of their houses because there are more shows in their area that they can afford/have interest to go to. Especially with a – likely – east coast fall tour and – VERY likely – MSG NYE run, you can’t go back to the same well too often, not in this economy.

    And Abe, “The phans back east want a fest too,” well the fans out west would like a show or two that has accessible tickets and it looks like we’re not getting that. When I have tons of friends who currently will not be seeing Phish in 2010, it’s hard to feel bad for the east coasters who only are getting dozens of shows and not a festival on top of that.

  24. nonoyolker Says:

    Phish seems like the only “business” that is recession-proof. They could filll an end of tour festy in the northeast easily. Fans may choose to blow off close shows, but i doubt many northeast fans would blow of a festival (myself included)

    I do feel bad for west coasters on the tour schedule. Your “west coast swing” is laughable. Not even a night at Shoreline, no Gorge, nothing… Seems rough for you guys

  25. Stupendous Says:


    I said it before but i think that the video for summer tour (sync swimmers
    & fishman) is a hint of RCMH shows…
    The return to Indio would be worth not seeing them in Summer for me…
    one can hope!

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