The Overall Experience

7.4.10 - Alpharetta, GA (Wendy Rogell)

The perfect Phish show experience is a combination of music, space, sound, and people. While any combination of these can produce the show of one’s life, the more ingredients that are present on any given night enhances he experiential quality of that show. In venues like Merriweather and Jones Beach, one must sacrifice everything for a small sliver of dance space, while at some GA shows, people can situate themselvesĀ  in any spot they desire. While the music makes up the vast majority of any show experience, these other intangibles can make or break an absolute throwdown. During Leg I, the following five venues combined the most of these facets, providing the highest quality show experiences of tour.


1. Hershey Park Stadium, Hershey, PA – 6.13

Hersheypark Stadium (M.Ladd)

With a revamped sound system and a rubberized cover for the field, this intimate stadium that once drew the scorn of fans has been reborn as the ultimate Phish venue. With a total GA policy, large groups of friends congregated in prime real estate to rage the show together. With no barriers to space, spontaneous dance pits emerged all over the field as Mike’s larger-than-life bass lines cut the air like thunder. With easy access to wherever one had to go, Hershey Park takes home the award for The Best Venue of Leg I. Phish responded to the positive vibrations with a greatest-hits dance party in a liquid second set


2. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Alpharetta, GA – 7.3 &4

7.4.10 (W.Rogell)

A massive GA dance floor sprawled out in front of the stage for the tour’s final weekend. Completely flat concrete made dancing desirable, while a wristband policy kept, at least, the most timid fans from getting down to the floor. One section of seating provided direct sight lines to the stage before a small lawn dotted the back. The copious dance space and free-for-all floor more than made up for somewhat compromised sound that resulted from the super-high roof, designed for air circulation. Nonetheless, I’d be happy to see a return to Alpharetta scheduled next summer.


3. nTelos Pavilion, Portsmouth,VA – 6.15

nTelos - 6.15 (ctankcycle)

With a complete GA policy like its next-door neighbor, Hampton Coliseum, nTelos Pavilion was the smallest venue of tour with a capacity of only 6,500. And you couldn’t give tickets away. The GA policy caused the seat-less floor to grow over-crowed by setbreak, pushing many fans into the seats. But with no one caring where you were at anytime, this venue on the water provided a most enjoyable experience and a unique setting for Phish. The undersized tented pavilion felt crowded, though the lawn was sparsely populated. A random stop to say the least, a great time was had by all.


4. Susquehanna Bank Center, Camden, NJ – 6.24 & 25

6.24.10 (J.Thomas)

Sure, the “Susquehanna Bank Center,” as its been called the for the past few years, is part of the cookie-cutter amphitheatre series, but it is one of the best. Boasting ample nooks of space and a notably lax security force, one can pretty much wind up wherever he wants in Camden and it’s gonna’ sound great. A far less regulated scene than most east coast sheds, everyone finds space to blow it up in one of Phish’s most eventful east-coast stops.


5. CMAC Pavilion. Canadaigua, NY – 6.29

This undersized and uniquely designed amphitheatre got a face-lift since Phish’s last visit in 1995. With an up-close and personal pavilion that placed a lot of fans close to the stage, security remained notably non chalant. VIP boxes turned into mini GA dance clubs, and the stairs and aisles were fair game for ballistic raging. The sound was loud and clear inside, though I can’t speak for the lawn. All in all, the way this venue integrated into the surrounding natural landscape made it one of the most enjoyable stops of tour.


Jam of the Day:

Split Open and Melt” 6.25 I

A first-set walk on the wild side in Camden.




6.12.2010 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH < Torrent

6.12.2010 Blossom Music Center, Cuyahoga Falls, OH < Megaupload

Official Blossom Poster

One of the dark-horse shows of tour, Blossom offered a strong sequence to open the second set, including one of the jams of tour in “Number Line.” The first set featured, perhaps, the finest “Mike’s Groove” of the summer.

I: Look Out Cleveland*, Ocelot, Water in the Sky, Stash, The Ballad of Curtis Loew, Sample in a Jar, Time Turns Elastic, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

II: Rock and Roll > Harry Hood, Backwards Down the Number Line > Twenty Years Later, Instant Karma!**, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Waste, Character Zero

E: The Squirming Coil

*debut, The Band, **debut, John Lennon

Source: Schoeps mk4v> KCY> Sonosax SX-M2/LS> SD 744t (@24bit/96kHz)

Tags: , ,

648 Responses to “The Overall Experience”

  1. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    Atmosphere used to play a lot in Madison. Good times. Also love UGK when I’m feeling southun…their song One Day was on repeat for me for years…

  2. lastwaltzer Says:


    your in Ashville right? I’m going to smokey mountain national park after deer creek and going to be there for about a week. I’m thinking I may venture in NC for a day hike, anywhere close that you would say is mind blowing?

  3. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Tesh appears for the seond day in a row

  4. El Duderino Says:

    Palmer has been gone all day!

    You out there Palmer???

  5. El Duderino Says:

    @ LW

    You stopping by Charlotte???

  6. albert walker Says:

    I need to make a digital copy of my old Chi Banging tapes

    psychodrama and crucial conflict and shit

    Old school Chicago gangster

  7. Aquaman Says:


    Only now my friend!! We all knew that show was hot from day one. Best tour opener ever.

    I still can’t get over how pumped up our section was when they finally made it through Maze and came to the “landing spot” at the end of the song.

    High fives and screams all around.


  8. albert walker Says:

    Sample dirt

    Back to back in the second set

    That sucks

  9. locust the lurker Says:

    Listening to Cars Trucks Buses headed headlong for my first listen to the Real Gin. Think I’d better stop this train (sorry for the mixed metaphor) for a bane break.

    No 2010 CTB’s yet, eh?

  10. El Duderino Says:

    CTB needs to be stretched out for a first time!!!!

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    BK shoot me an email….

  12. vegas wolfmans Says:

    I was at that show (11/13/98). Great DWD. I remember little else.

    ::searches for 11/13/98 source::

  13. lastwaltzer Says:


    Probably not, I haven’t checked the mileage but thats got to be another 3 hours east, no?

  14. locust the lurker Says:

    I was just thinking the same thing, Dude. Definitely has the potential for it.

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    if you’re up for a long hike it’s worth getting out to The Shining Rock – a big outcropping of milky quartz up off the parkway. If you want to stay a little closer, I’d still suggest the same place – black balsam – which is a spectacular hike with 360 degree views. its’ right about mile marker 420 on the blue ridge parkway.

    Otherwise, the smokies and the mountains of asheville are basically the same terrain

  16. BingosBrother Says:

    Pretty dope hip hop outfit from the Dudes new neck o the woods. Quality.

    I pimped the Clipse record Hell Hath No Fury earlier today, but I must pimp it some more. My fave record from the last 5 years. So raw.

  17. BrandonKayda Says:


    What’s your email?

  18. c0wfunk Says:

    about 2 hours from avl to charlotte.

  19. El Duderino Says:

    @ LW

    Yeah that’s about right.

  20. lastwaltzer Says:


    I’m looking for a long hike, I’ll right that down thanks.


    word, yeah looks like it may be close to 4. Although I see this crowders mountain out your way looks sick. If your up for a trip across the state, i’ll be chilling if you feel like hauling your ass up a mountain.

  21. Mr.Palmer Says:

    what did i miss. idie and hip-hop talk?

  22. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Speaking of DWD- How hot is 12/29/97? Listened earlier today and wished I was wearing protective head gear. I love forgetting about huge jams and having my mind blown on relisten.

    Miner- No love for Blossom?

  23. lastwaltzer Says:

    Alright kids I’m out……………………just don’t forget…………..

    Most people are afraid to talk about death but not afraid of driving a car.

  24. BrandonKayda Says:

    R&R->Free from MPP is SERIOUS. Love the jam out of Rock and Roll – very mellow before they move into the Moby Dick themed-jam

  25. c0wfunk Says:

    @lw you’re looking for “the shining rock wilderness area” and it’s a good full day trip out to the shining rock itself.

    It’s a 50 foot or so tall giant quartz rock that from a distance looks like a snow covered cliff.

Leave a Reply