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. Luther Justice Says:

    Ah, cassettes…

  2. YborCity Says:

    @Voopa – Selling ’em to get cash for a miracle greek

  3. Lycanthropist Says:


    i didnt know you were in a band..

    shoulda told me i woulda checked it out..

    i mean i am going to once it quiets down around here some…

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    thanks lycan. yeah we formed around januaryish. only have 2 shows under our belt so far (which are both on youtube) but we should be playing a lot bunch during the school year

  5. voopa Says:

    lol Ybor!

    I ain’t payin’ no $300 so if I only get to see night 1, then that’s what it is. I’ll couch tour Fri and Sat if it comes to that.

  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    Sorry, one other hip hop lp of note: Digable Plantets – Blowout Comb. Shit is good.

  7. jdub Says:

    Good evening BB

    I listened to Dylan’s A Hard Rains Gonna Fall many times in my youth up through now. But probably haven’t listened to it for a couple of years until this past weekend. Sitting back, properly relaxed, Dylan’s timelessness struck me in an immense way. Considering I have a blue eyed son and a darling young one the song took on a whole new meaning to me. Really blew me away, brought man tears as I thought about my children as they enter this harsh world and the hard times we have ahead of us. This is why I love Dylan, every time I dip into the well the something new strikes me based on my current circumstances. Of course Garcia/Hunter tunes have that timelessness in spades. I should do some reconnecting with the Dead during the lead up to the Greek.

  8. tela'smuff Says:

    listen to last minute of St Elmo’s Fire by Brian Eno on Another Green World and tell me this isn’t pretty darn close to Trey’s Tela guitar part at the end.

  9. angryjoggerz Says:

    ok, really, last one. Shopping Carts Crashing by Antipop Consortiuum is just sick sick sick.

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    @jdub, a few days ago i mentioned that i thought a hard rain was possibly the greatest song ever written.

  11. sneven Says:

    anyone watch Deadliest Catch tonight? Waaaay “better” than last wek.


  12. jdub Says:

    @Ybor, read about your shitty news last night. Total bummer man. Keep your head up and something just may come your way. And @Voopa, i am pulling for you big time to land a couple miracles.

  13. joe Says:

    too late joggerz for me. I just got sucked into a public enemy vortex that might last a few more days. guess I will join in the phish fasting for now with something from the other end of my own musical spectrum.

    I like Nike but wait a minute…

  14. jdub Says:

    @DF, yeah that song has always been a powerful one for me, which made it even more poignant this time around. Really quite amazing that such a young kid could write lyrics that resonate so profoundly on many levels. And his delivery just puts it in your gut. Love me some Freewheelin Dylan.

  15. Gavinsdad Says:

    @jdub: serious words. Now go rustle up “dear landlord” offa John Wesley Harding. Man that one gets me in the gut

    @ajoggerz: blowout comb…very overlooked on the production front. The lyrics were so so slangy in that de la code sort of way…would have loved an audience with butterfly just to get some insight…that sulaiman verse is tight too. Also always loved “Myrtle ave/j train/with the pick in my hair” lyric…quintessential Bklyn right there…

    So jealous of you peeps at the Greeks and telly. Keep your minds open and lock in your time there…those types of experiences are gifts…wish I could be out there to help grustle some tix too…voopa man…I’m crossin em up for ya….be tenacious….go solo…look for the straight older peeps….the entertainment industry heads…the boyfriends whose girls bailed at the last second….prime time is an hour before show time….find the bustling corner….find the nasty intersection….choose your pitch wisely….mine has always been an extremely cocky “i will pay for your extra”…none of that cash or trade shit….get to the point…people have em….they need to be stunned into letting them go and they need extreme unsketchiness with a hot commodity….make the transaction fast and clean. Godspeed to the ticketless…really buckle down and focus. To me, and these are just words but….if I didn’t have a wedding to attend the Greeks are a “no miss”. Telly pretty close too.

  16. KWL Says:

    the master reveals his method

    night y’all

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    “leaving on a jet plane>fuck the police (still to the tune of leaving on a jet plane)”

    ok, i’d like to hear that

    I still like jonathan coulton’s ‘baby got back’ when it comes to funny acoustic guitar covers of rap songs

    “The cassettes I had of those shows were FM sourced, so yeah.” yup. KLCC simulcast, Eugene’s stereotypically goofy community radio

  18. joe Says:

    it actually starts and ends with an ‘original song’, “man in the boat” (to reference a conversation from a few weeks ago).

    so it goes: man in the boat>leaving on a jet plane>fuck tha police>man in the boat. – same 3 chords for about 10 minutes. Never claimed to be good. 🙂

  19. Gavinsdad Says:

    C – also poke around for Biggie flowing over the Dre beats (deep cover, g thang, dre day). 100% gold.

  20. garretc Says:

    Greetings denizens of the blackboard! Hope all is well with everybody! On my way home from a family rafting trip, had a great time! Can’t wait to get home and shower off three days of nature though…

    Turned on my phone, checked email, saw an email about Greek extras, got my hopes up, saw the asking price at $300, hopes were promptly dashed… Sigh…

  21. joe Says:

    I’d have to think long and hard to pay $300 for a Phish show. (even if I had the money) But I’m poor and cheap when it comes to spending money on shit like that, so it’s just not part of my mindset.

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    my quick rap loves

    the coup
    dead prez
    mos def
    p.e. (got iTunes shuffled into “If Charlie Parker Were a Gunslinger There’d Be a Whole Load of Dead Copycats” yesterday, the equivalent of winning the lottery)

    if anyone hasn’t hear dead prez or the coup and would like to, let me know and I’ll zip some up for you. rebel music

  23. Gavinsdad Says:

    Word @Joe…that is alotta do re mi. RCMH was the toughest ticket I ever faced and even then I only was prepared to part with a Benjamin…which I did…after some really hectic pavement pounding.

  24. garretc Says:

    @Mr. C

    I could go for some zippage if ya don’t mind! Thanks!

  25. jdub Says:

    Yeah, I figured I’d be fine catching a bunch of east coast shows and bypassing the Greek>Telly. Not that I had a choice really. But damn as the time draws near I so want to be there. The music will transend and the scene should be as bright as ever. I will have to live vicariously through BBers with SBDs a great companion.

    Been to Cali twice. My first time I took a solo road trip from San Diego to San Francisco, visiting friends in both locals. I can’t help but think of my solo day trip to Berkley these days. I meandered through the streets high, checking out my architecture idols Greene and Greene as I happened upon a classic of theirs, talked to some homeless in Peoples Park, and ultimately found myself up on a hill above the Cal football stadium looking over the entire bay area as the sunset over the ocean. What a beautiful buzz for this lifelong east coaster on a mission to connect with my favorite era of American History, SF in the ’60s.

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