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. c0wfunk Says:

    @silly that’s very much how i felt, though I only saw 94/95 vintage Jerry, very much on the way out.

  2. SillyWilly Says:

    serious, AJ?

    thats chilling, man.

    like goosebumps chilling.

  3. angryjoggerz Says:

    Nope. Just being a smartass. Interesting question, though. I got a very paternal feeling from him, and usually tried to keep my eyes on him when I was looking that way. Gentle for sure.

  4. c0wfunk Says:

    funny thing is – I remember reading when I was 10 in 1986 that jg had gone into a coma, and then I somehow got the idea that he was dead. It was maybe 6 years before I realized I was wrong, even through all the touch of grey madness etc.

  5. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    underrated hip hop album – brand nubian: one for all

  6. SillyWilly Says:

    llfa, aj.

    you got me.

    im just thinking about how much of a difference personalities in a band reflect in the scene.

  7. joe Says:

    and all for 1…reading that from dancing fool just instantly popped into my head.

  8. c0wfunk Says:

    once again, inherent risks noted – I was just thinking – SCI very much brought that americana + improv vibe to their shows. Nershi’s tunes like Barstool, Restless Wind, Rhythm of the Road all of that bent.

    Leftover Salmon did the same. Both are obviously in the past at this point, but a fairly recent past, relatively.

  9. Gavinsdad Says:

    @silly: there’s really no “missing out” with the GD. Your heart is in the right place so keep sifting thru the years.

    Garcia was, and continues to be, the sad Buddha, giving voice to the sounds of storied America, and joyfully suffering…or sufferingly joyful…take yer pick. Nobody channeled our group emotions like JG. Bobby D runs a close 2nd IMO. Miss JG dearly.

    And silly…do what AW does and find yourself a rare early 90s JGB version of “tough mama”. Now that was a tune I was always on the lookout for.

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    evenin’ all

    a couple of things:

    1) that BP photoshopping thing is effed the fuck up. I saw that pic on today and actually had the thought, “wow. that’s their command center? more impressive than I expected…”

    2) great synchronicity there, AW. omens that come nestled in the bosom of college girls should never be ignored.

    3) love the Yonder video. Infamous Stringdusters are for real too which makes it that much cooler for me. they are one of the new torch bearers for grassy music, imho.

    I think that’s it for now.
    system updates may follow.

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    hey joggerz

    how’s that ex-girlfriend of mine been treating you? you keeping her in line?

  12. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    surprised at the lack of (early) outkast love on here

  13. KWL Says:

    miner, review the alpine show under the name ‘Dirkensen’

    ^that’s hilarious… the hate mail from miner reviewing a show he was not at will be epic

    also, fuck bp

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    “omens that come nestled in the bosom of college girls should never be ignored.”

    There is some real wisdom in these words.

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    T3 – too funny. She’s good, though, thanks for asking.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    and don’t forget about the fugees: the score. i know you all love that album.

  17. SillyWilly Says:


    I sort of was turned onto the improvisational rock and roll scene around 2003.

    As I learned and listened more over the next year, Coventry came and went, and I think I probably listened to more Dead than Phish for awhile.

    I think that sad beauty is naturally appealing to me. Sort of speaks to a different part of me than Phish.

    So, thank you for those heartfelt words. I guess what I wish to say is that I understand the Dead, and you all are right I should listen more because I am missing out if I don’t

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    “I don’t know if the folk/americana sound will ever truly make a comeback. ”

    It’s huge here in PDX, man. there’s a whole scene. not in a jamband context though


    Jerry was straight Gandalf, yo

  19. joe Says:

    my big rap years were from around 1986-1995. outkast and fugees outside of that time period but still managed to make it into my rotation.

  20. Gavinsdad Says:

    I missed the convo so sorry for the barge but:

    the first Wu banger.

    “yo, where my Killa tape at?”

    sick, ruthless, grimey shit. They could never recapture it again.

  21. voopa Says:

    BP sucks at Photoshop too.

    @ silly, I always thought of Jerry as kind of a father figure, since mine passed in ’85. Comforting.

    I should figure out how to digitize my copy of Backstage Pass…that needs to circulate.

  22. SillyWilly Says:

    Pickathon looks pretty cool, Mr. C. Thanks.

    Ill have to think about what I think of the health of the American folk scene.
    There ARE always social issues to sing about.
    Sometimes, I wish the Christian/Old Testament element would leave the folk scene. (And maybe it has for the most part, Im really not versed enough in contemporary folk to know)
    And even if Christian/Old Testament themes would leave, I don’t know if the old medium of folk music should continue to be the vehicle for criticism. I guess if it produces results.

    I’ll re-think what I think of folk. Not something I’ve thought about in a while.

    and Gandalf, now thats an apt comparison.

  23. Robear Says:

    OPR pawns face!

    way to go dub-step

  24. Halden Says:


    You in the band your name links to?

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    Gavinsdad knows too.

Leave a Reply