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)

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648 Responses to “The Overall Experience”

  1. c0wfunk Says:

    love me some queen jane – much better song than thin man imo ..

    so I haven’t had any bane on this little vacation (I’m in Florida), we were almost out so decided to just leave it at home for the return. it’s been since hmmm last thursday (except for a little brownie beach day yesterday) amazing how different everything is when it’s all in such clear focus. I was actually able to stay up til 4:30 last night (this morning) working without going totally unconscious in my chair. So surreal this reality thing.

  2. sneven Says:

    with all the hip hop talk today… one of my fav bands covering such: pGroove – 2007 We Don’t Care @ All Good Fest (crappy footage, good tune)

  3. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Yep, and heading down to W Seattle to hook up uncle eb with his Thursday Greek. It’s my good deeds day.

    8/22/93 broken arrow ?!?! Hold on gotta ffwd.

  4. joe Says:

    Tzara’s Ghost, heading up the bb make a wish foundation. nicely done.

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    great music never stopped and hsf in that show. Jerry’s first weekend with that new guitar there. I quite enjoy a good phil broken arrow too 🙂 remember him singin that for me at deer creek 2000 – the “unofficial 4th night” of the 3 night phish run there. That was a dixie chicken fest I think.

  6. c0wfunk Says:

    do you feel what I feel?
    Can we make it so that’s part of the deal?

  7. BingosBrother Says:

    Tzaras Ghost is the BB’er of the day. Way to go, you deserve it.
    Hooray for Butter!

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    at the risk of the eternal chastisement that occurs when I bring up SCI – did ya’ll see they’re broadcasting all of their upcoming shows on the interwebs? Maybe phish will take a cue..

    (insert comments about how they need money etc etc)

  9. c0wfunk Says:

    stumbled upon this earlier on the facebook..

    jerry + bobby + los lobos + this land is your land. Good stuff. Yes Bobby is wearing a barrette.

  10. joe Says:

    are they charging for it? (assume so because of the need the money comment).

  11. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Maybe phish will take a cue..

    — just a matter of time IMO. They will charge for them i bet though, which is fine. Is SCI charging for theirs? Since the sbds are leaked illegally everywhere another revenue stream via webcast seems like a great idea. How much is a fair cost per show? $10, $20?

  12. joe Says:

    here’s one of jerry, bob and phil doing she belongs to me accoustic

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    “love me some queen jane – much better song than thin man imo ..”

    I have a hard time judging. I head Bob sing QJ approx 473,000 times and it was fairly apparent a lot of the band lost interest in it at about version 20. The early GD versions of the song were about 6 minutes long and quite fun, but it became a downer tune for me.

    Hm I prefer the Dylan version of Thin Man as well…I guess I just disagree

    “8/22/93 broken arrow ?!?! Hold on gotta ffwd.”

    What a nice moment.

    There’s a redonkulous jam out of Corinna into drums in that show. I’m a Corinna basher as much as the next guy but that jam is legit. Phil gets into some crazy angular, cubist groove that I have never fully wrapped my mind around.

    My last Autzen show.

    “do you feel what I feel?
    Can we make it so that’s part of the deal?”

    As much as I like Phil’s version, the original of this tune is at another level. The Daniel Lanois production on it is amazing. A longtime favorite song of mine.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    That She Belongs To Me is great.

    Only version after ’85 I beleive.

    Such a great Dylan cover…

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    Why do I not have Broken Arrow on this iPod?!?!?!?

    stupid non-telepathic devices.

  16. joe Says:

    I liked the corinna jams. kind of a “techno” sounding thing, or as much so as a dead song could be.

  17. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    @joe, bingos, y’all are makin me blush stop it. Anyway butter and I are saving each other’s asses.

    @cowfunk. I do like that Jerry acoustic sound from the new guitar, but glad I can choose my spots, not hear it all the time. Tough to get any edge in tbs music. Kinder gentler Dead.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    oh good lord.

  19. c0wfunk Says:

    need to hear the original I guess. I’m pretty The Band ignorant. (just discovered the basement tapes after all)

    I could see how a million queen janes, each with a million “won’t you come see me” would get old.

    yes SCI is charging .. it’s in dets:

    “Want to try it out by purchasing a stream of a single show? That will coast you $7.99. However, you can bundle the shows for a lower price, such as buying the three Red Rocks streams for $15 or pick up three streams from Horning’s Hideout for $20, which also includes streams of other acts on the bill.

    You can also get this year’s concert streams by picking up the all-access pass for $45. But if that still doesn’t quench your SCI thirst, pop for the $60 premium all-access, which includes every show and one show poster, or up it to the $100 premium all-access and get every show plus signed posters from each venue.”

  20. joe Says:

    what exactly is the she belongs to me video from?

    also for those into that sort of thing, the old letterman clips with Bob and Jerry from 1980 or so on the links on the side are priceless, both the interviews and performances.

  21. c0wfunk Says:

    yeah tzara’s – that guitar is nice, but only sometimes. I asked around here about it a while back and most didnt’ seem to like it much… That’s one of hte nice things about living in the future – we get to decide what to hear and it’s all there!

  22. c0wfunk Says:

    charlotte 95 corrinna jam w/ brucie is probably the highlight of that last year.. Say what you will about the song but the band always seemed to bring energy to it and seemed to enjoy playing it (judging from the recordings)

  23. zzyzx Says:

    Cool! Someone posted a video of the scary robot props from Yonder’s set. Hornings is such a weird place…

  24. c0wfunk Says:

    is that she belongs to me vid the one on backstage pass?

  25. c0wfunk Says:

    @z did you get woken up by the peacock screams? Such a crazy experience. Hornings is so gorgeous! Would love to go back some day.

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