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 themselves  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. locust the lurker Says:

    is it a technical climb, cowfunk?

  2. BingosBrother Says:

    @BK : i think its on the front page.

    @AW : I’m down for some Crucial.

    @T3 : I damn near wore a Shawn Kemp jersey to Toyota. Way too tight though.

  3. butter Says:

    spinnin Dylan – “Ballad of a Thin Man” from Highway 61

    this song can reach out and touch you

  4. halcyon Says:

    Another member of Big Star has passed away 🙁

    RIP Andy Hummel

  5. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    I’m in the kitchen with the tombstone blues

    That’s all.

  6. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hey folks. Been out for a bit. Busy but lurking.

    Really enjoying the MOTM from Alpharetta. That first set is one of the best of the run, methinks.

  7. Spasm Waiter Says:

    How much would the nitrous-wook in the sewer have given for one tasty HOTPOCKET?

  8. YborCity Says:

    @Spasm – Ask Jim Gaffigan

  9. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    @butter. One of my top 3 albums ever. Blonde on blonde is there too.

  10. tela'smuff Says:

    that Friday the 13th show was fun. top version of Meat. madness afterwards.

  11. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    5-13-94 Friday the 13th as well. Roofless Phish!

  12. sneven Says:

    Last Friday the 13th show:

    Friday, 11/13/1998 CSU Convocation Center, Cleveland, OH

    Set 1: Chalk Dust Torture, Wolfman’s Brother, Roggae, Ginseng Sullivan, It’s Ice, Cars Trucks Buses, Farmhouse, Water in the Sky, The Sloth, Run Like an Antelope

    Set 2: Down with Disease, Sample in a Jar, Dirt, Birds of a Feather, Meat, Harry Hood

    Encore: Good Times Bad Times

    I was there… that was an AWESOME RUN!!!

    Setlist looks tame, but trust me, 2nd set was decent heat! That DWD ranks in my top 5 (maybe 7, dunno), and Meat, Hood was great too.

    Next night in Cincy was the Police “So Lonley” show, with plenty o Phishy-ness… fits comfortably in my top-5 1.0 (attended.)

    Check it sometime for a fun listen “Bruno was late for work today… got too drunk in the flats last night…”

  13. voopa Says:

    7-15-98 was another Meat > Hood show. Some cross-pollination too (a la Boogielope). Tweezer gets all the attention from that show, but the whole 2nd set has great flow.

  14. butter Says:

    love blond on blond too

    what up Tzara’s

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    blonde on blonde is great indeed. Just did a spin through bringing it all back home which is another fav. Recently discovered the basement tapes too. Good stuff

    @locust – it’s not a technical climb, no it’s basically a crawl and a scramble to the top. I’ve gotten my dog almost all the way up.. iirc it’s about 8 miles 1 way out there. 4 miles or so to the wilderness area, another 4 after that.

  16. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Doing good butter. Summer’s supposed to be the slow time at work, but not happening yet.

    Compulsively checking my e-mail to see if my friend got our T-rides yet. Any day now.

  17. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Flying down to the bay in 12 days. Yes!

  18. sneven Says:

    for everyone on the “no PHiSH” bender.. I’ll post a few links over the next few… fun stuff;)

  19. sneven Says:

    some of my fav Bela.. make sure to watch 2 of 2 right after…

  20. butter Says:

    cool, we are locked and loaded for that trade Tzara’s

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    “You know there’s something happening here,
    but you don’t know what it is….”

    Got to see one of the I think 2 GD performances of that tune in 88. Excellent. Should have kept that in rotation instead of Queen Jane…I bet someone probably freaked Bobby out by explaining the closeted-gay subtext of the song

    it had a great creepy vibe live

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    o hey you’re getting your Telly pass @butter? Tzaras is trading? Excellent! Remember, I confirmed his non wook status. You can move ahead.

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    diving back in to first half of Leg 1 highlights – everything holds up well so far. Very enjoyable. Just finished Hershey dance-party Tweezer…

  24. Mr. Completely Says:


  25. butter Says:

    i bet that was sick live Mr. C

    yea Tzaras and i have a clean Greek for Telly trade all set up

Leave a Reply