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. Robear Says:

    time to re-invigorate!

    There are ALWAYS extra tickets to every show! I got 2 tickets for NYE ’95 @ MSG the day of. got a new year’s ’94 the day of.

    We need a BB plan:

    the exp. ticket hunters and the ticket-less need to exchange info. cell numbers, etc. We all hunt for tickets and meet at ‘Will Call’ about 6 p.m. to make sure everyone has one. We post a couple cats full time at will call, a couple by the entrances, and a couple to roam the lot.

    Have a phone tree, so as soon as tickets are found, a central person marks it down. ( I don’t think we could end up with too many!)

    LET’S DO THIS!!!

  2. halcyon Says:

    I am intrigued as todays DLOD is a glimpse into the future. Miner how are you able to bring a show to us from 2012? 😉

  3. Robear Says:

    ^he’s good like that,

    he’s chill like that

  4. G-Man Says:

    “security remained notably non-chalant” at CMAC. Really? I left there thinking “awesome facility, too bad security ruined it for so many people.”

    The lot was like a demilitarized zone. I’ve never seen so many cops. Witnessed 3 arrests in the lot. Witnessed 2 inside. During the show, security walked up and down the stairs in our section, yelling at and occasionally removing people trying to dance in the aisle. This went on for the whole show, including flashlights in your face during the 2nd set.

  5. Guyute711 Says:

    That’s it Robear, fire up the troops!

  6. sumodie Says:

    @Light b/t: Time for a new question -there’s several folks here that will certainly pipe up when leg 2 only tix start arriving. I know, it’s a bit nerve wracking

  7. SillyWilly Says:


    you’re a mother f’in genius.

    Im not really experienced, but I love talking to kids on lot.

    I’d do it.

  8. zzyzx Says:

    “You wouldn’t happen to know if there are plans to update it, or who would be the catalyst if it was updated? ”

    I would happen to know but unfortunately, being on the board of the Mockingbird Foundation, my information about that isn’t something I can share…

  9. BTB Says:

    the 2012 show was strikingly similar to the 2010 show. Good they at least made it back to Cleveland.

  10. sumodie Says:

    The undercovers outside CMAC were laughingly obvious. Inside, my section had no problems whatsoever with security. And I had an easy time driving into/out of the show -over the years I’ve learned to almost always take back roads, CMAC no exception

  11. fee4zy Says:

    z- you and your secrets

  12. BTB Says:

    Client Mockingbird Privilege – c’mon Willy that’s law school 101 bro

  13. Robear Says:

    hellz yeah! silly’s coming to the Greek!

    i’m serious people’s! we’re not taking this lying down!

    yBOr, Voopa, I’ll email you my number. Uncle Eb, email me your number

    humboldt rob at g mail dot com

  14. sumodie Says:

    Today’s blog condensed into 3 words:

    General admission rocks!

  15. Guyute711 Says:

    BTB, you going to DC?

  16. Robear Says:

    by the time everyone on this board walks into the Greek,

    the BB will affectionately be known as:

    ‘The Ticket Vultures’

  17. Robear Says:

    lol @ sumo.

    been saying that since my first Hampton show in ’98

  18. bhizzle Says:

    Hershey was great. I loved the lot, I loved the music and I loved exiting the lot within minutes of getting to my ride. The things I didn’t like about Hershey was, at first, finding the bathroom and, secondly, having to climb under the railings to get under the bleachers. And, of course, the bad luck of our boy LB.

    CMAC was fine. But how does a venue not have enough parking? Not that walking the mile from parking at the JC Pennies didn’t do my beer belly any good, but c’mon. Also, when we did get in the lots, mad cops every where. I didn’t find security inside to be too bad. Atleast they let us remove the seats.

  19. Robear Says:

    watching 12/30/09 I

    ‘Soul Shakedown Party’

    i’m pumped. no weeping outside the gates for the BB kids. we’re all getting IN!

  20. Robear Says:

    what up bhizzle?

    any leg 2 stops for the beer belly?

  21. zzyzx Says:

    It’s so cute when people first start looking for Greek tickets and they think these can be manifested 😉

  22. zzyzx Says:

    (actually I don’t know how long you’ve been trying… I’ve just seen a lot of people start there over the past few months. Some have been rewarded, many others have given up…)

  23. sumodie Says:

    CMAC was fine. But how does a venue not have enough parking?

    Pretty common for many a venue. Add Hartford and MPP to the list

    I always show up with plans A,B, & C from google maps for dealing with driving/parking issues (still don’t use GPS as I don’t like being told what to do)

    But, that does suck having to walk all the way back to the shopping area from CMA -was surprised to see folks hoofing it back there post show

  24. Robear Says:

    did u just call me ‘cute’?

    there are always extra tickets on lot. we just have to be the ones that find them.

  25. sumodie Says:

    did u just call me ‘cute’?

    @rbear: That’s what all the honeys called you as they walked by the MIA Waterwheel table -word has spread I guess 8)

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