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. tela'smuff Says:

    @AJ – i kept an eye open for ya at Pitchfork. Although i have no idea what you look like, it was fun nonetheless. some serious heat right?

    highlights – LCD, Here We Go Magic, Local Natives, Panda Bear, last song of Wolf Parade, Pavement, Modest Mouse.

    actually liked most everything i saw with Surfer Blood getting the only “meh”.

  2. El Duderino Says:

    The best weather in the Bay Area is Sept – Oct.

    Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival is probably SF’s best event

  3. Mitch Says:

    you remember the camera I picked up? 12x zoom, 1080p, gps, etc

    Panasonic ZS7. Also has a leica lens which apparently is quality. I dunno much about cameras but was rated really well.

    only drawback is that i need conversion software for the hd video to make them mac compatible. didnt research that feature well enough but i wanted the gps so whatevs.

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    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.

    ^ i dont comment on Lots. But where we were, security was ultra lax. Raging stairs, puffing joints, et al…and we were within the first 15-20 rows

  5. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    1300 a month for a 1 bedroom??? that’s a steal!

  6. Mitch Says:

    ^what dr p said.

  7. angryjoggerz Says:

    Tela, was there, loved it. Did yo ulike Panda Bear? Seems eveyrone was hating it around me, but I enjoyed. Did not translate too well for that set period, though, imo.

    Im the tall guy with the beard, shaggy hair and dark rimmed glasses. Easy to find, haha!

  8. Guyute711 Says:

    @ El Dude
    My roomate and I were jamming out to those discs you burned friday night. It felt like I was back in Alpharetta. It’s great when you can actually hear all 4 instruments on a recording!

  9. El Duderino Says:

    1,300 One bedroom in Chicago is a phatty apt.

    In S.F. or NYC forget it. More like walk-In closets

  10. angryjoggerz Says:

    The Dude speaks truth.

  11. El Duderino Says:

    @ guyute711

    Bring some more of those blanks tomorrow night. We can burn some of the stuff I’ve given to Leo over @ Leo’s

  12. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Repost pseudo-pimping, finishing up Friday

    Any Telluriders still looking for accomodations?

    If I can get some folks together I can get a deal on a cabin here:

    a good number would be ten folks to lower to cost considerably. sleeps 12 camps 1000s (camping also an option.)

    Part of my extended family so I play by all of the rules and terminate with extreme prejudice inapropriate behaviors.

    Serious folks email me justino AT azheads DOT com

    If I can’t get a quorum I will wave off and go with plan B, a bivouac position on the side of hill behind the park.

    I need to decide by Friday So spread the word or buck up and get on the bus.

    It’s go time!

  13. El Duderino Says:

    @ Phamily

    Looks amazing!!!

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    That looks so nice. Telluride will be awesome, no doubt, have fun all!

  15. YborCity Says:

    @El Dude 1800 for 10 weeks (i think i got a discount since I’m subletting it from a friend of a friend) for basically a dorm room. I have a bedroom but i share bath and kitchen with 4 other residents.

  16. El Duderino Says:


    Why are you out there?
    School, Job?


  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    NY times did a thing about room sharing etc this weekend and recs the , which looks legit. I did this in Paris and loved having a place with kitchen, neighbors, being part of the hood, etc.

  18. snowbank Says:

    Loving today’s post Mr M, mostly because I have not been to any of those venues… something to look forward to.

    I’m hoping my next new venue experience will be at T&M…

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    will do El Dude

  20. YborCity Says:

    @Dude – I got a job with the US Commercial Service for the summer. I saw a flyer on campus at school one day during the spring, filled out an application and got a call two days later. Everything just fell into place. It’s been an awesome summer.

  21. angryjoggerz Says:

    Also, that site is a good one if you are looking for places to stay for the Greek, cheper than hotel.

  22. tela'smuff Says:

    @AJ – nice i think i saw you like, all the time, all 3 days. 😉

    had a blast. picked up 3 posters and lots of swag from the various labels.

    i had quite an experience during Panda Bear. Towards the end of Wolf Parade i puffed some kb by myself and got zoned quickly. Thankfully Wolf Parade decided to enter into some insane jam, of which i never saw coming because i had basically dismissed their set up to that point. as i sat in my chair, perfectly positined for the Panda Bear>LCD set, blissfully floating thanks to WP, when Panda Bear dropped a set that semed to be for me, and me only. I was totally in the space, body & mind, that called for that PB set. At the time, I considered it a top concert experience. Since, I’ve heard nothing but hate for that set. I can see why with the humidity and blazing sun, but for me, it was perfection.

  23. angryjoggerz Says:

    Man, Tela, wish I was with you then. I ditched my hater friends and got into the same business as you, space warrior styleee. Next time.

  24. angryjoggerz Says:

    My buddy had a table in the vending area, so it was great to be able to chill there from time to time, have drinks, get some shade, spend some duckets on soul and afro business.

  25. kayatosh Says:

    glad to see hersh gettin props. spacious, no hassles, nice setting, great dance “floor”, good sound. don’t remember seeing much of the stage (was behind the sound tower), but didn’t need to.

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