After an extensive run down the eastern seaboard, hitting up all the classic sheds, Phish will wind up the first leg of summer with their return to Atlanta. Visiting Encore Park in Alpharetta, for the first time, fans will find this venue setup perfectly for a tour-ending party. With an over-sized GA orchestra “pit,” there will actually be the ever-elusive dance floor right in front of the band! Seats don’t even come into play until the “100” section of the venue, behind the first moat of the pavilion. Only one of strip of seats will line the inner pavilion before an undersized lawn rounds out a rather intimate 12,00o person amphitheatre, 7,000 less than Phish’s usual stop in Lakewood.
This medium-sized landing point for summer’s first leg seems to be an alteration of the classic cookie-cutter shed. While still bearing the Verizon Wireless brand, Atlanta’s design team had some foresight, putting removable chairs in the lower pavilion, creating the potential of a huge GA orchestra section, something that should be a staple at every venue built going forward. With open space to throw down, and a fully-oiled Phish, sixteen shows into tour, Atlanta has the makings of a tour ending gala.
The July 4th weekend is part of five two-night stands during leg one, as only six shows will float alone. Catering to less travel for everyone, Atlanta provides a final destination weekend for fans from all over the country. Coupled with SPAC, Alpharetta comprises the north-south highlights of the first leg, and, arguably, the four most-anticipated shows of June. But there are a few others.
What started as a down-low highlight has blown up into one of the most anticipated shows of tour at nTelos Pavilion in Portsmouth, Virginia. With a tiny capacity of 6,500, and a first come, first-serve GA policy, one can be sure people will be lining up long before doors open for this gig. With rail spots at stake, there will be a mad dash to the front where people will sit for hours before showtime. With everyone able to go anywhere, dance space could materialize nicely at the smallest show of June. Located on the water in Southeastern Virginia, only a stones throw from Hampton, Portsmouth is one of only two sold-out shows of the first leg, the other being Great Woods, and looks to be a special Tuesday night.
Two weeks later, Phish will make their return to Canandaigua, New York for the first time since the infamous “Theme >Tweezer > Reprise” set during Summer ’95. An out of the way stop on a Tuesday night spells a recipe for free tickets, but, simailarly, CMAC looks like the quintessential show that many will skip in favor of continuing south from Merriweather to Raleigh. The combination of rural New York, a Tuesday night, and many heads moving south, creates a forecast for a standout show.
While the venue nor locale are anything special, everyone knows Camden will blow up – it always does. One of the other shows that looks like a gem-in-waiting is the band’s return to Walnut Creek in Raleigh, the site of so many momentous Phish shows dating back to ’94. Coming in the last four-pack of tour, the band will be firing when they return to the familiar environs, and this could materialize as an indelible tour highlight. We can sit here and predict all night, however, sometimes that’s all there is to do when there’s only 58 days left before tour.
Tick, tock…tick, tock…tick, tock…
Jam of the Day:
A dip into darkness during the first set of Lakewood.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
4.12.92 After The Gold Rush, Tempe, AZ SBD < Megaupload
I: Golgi Apparatus, Uncle Pen, Stash, The Lizards, The Landlady, NICU, Fee, All Things Reconsidered, Foam, Take the ‘A’ Train, David Bowie
II: Llama, Fluffhead, Sparkle, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Magilla, Ya Mar, The Squirming Coil, Cold as Ice > Love You > Cold as Ice, Possum
E: Memories, Fire
Source: SBDTags: Summer '10