Should We Stay Or We Go?

As summer tour rumors and sets of fake dates continue to swirl around cyberspace, let’s look at a few venues that, in my opinion, Phish should and should not return to thru the lens of the dancing fan’s experience.

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Let’s Go Back!…

Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre, Alpharetta, GA

Alpharetta 2010 (Wendy Rogell)

This smaller amphitheater, new to the Phish circuit last year, replaced Lakewood as the hot spot in—or in this case—outside Atlanta. With a massive. seat-less, GA “floor,” Verizon Wireless provided ample dance space and flat ground, two things that are always at a premium on summer tour. Though the security could have managed the the over-crowding of the floor more effectively, everyone still found their spot for the July 4th stand last year. Removed from Lakewood’s seedy environs and placed in suburbia with all hotels and restaurants within miles of the venue, Alpharetta is the perfect place for Phish fans to take over for another weekend. And rumor has it that we will return come June.

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nTelos Pavilion, Portsmouth, VA

nTelos Pavilion 2010 (C.T.Cycle)

Set up with a large cement dance floor in front of the stage, much like Alpharetta, Portsmouth’s intimate 6,500-person nTelos Pavilion one ups its southern counterpart with a total GA policy. Set right on the water in southeastern Virginia, the freedom to roam this undersized venue provided wonderful respite from the yellow-clad, security guards who plague summer tour.

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Hershey Park Stadium, Hershey, PA

Hershey Park 2010 (M.Ladd)

Overhauled with a bumping sound system and rubberized dance floor since Phish’s last visit in 2000, Hershey Park—once scorned by fans— provided, arguably, the best concert-experience of 2010. With a total GA policy and ample room for groups of twenty or more to throw down together in prime real estate, dance pits popped up all over. The powerful, open-air sound and endless personal space make Hershey high on any list of venues Phish should play again.

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Venues That Should Jump Off Tour:

Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD

Merriweather 2010 (Graham Lucas)

Despite the fact that Merriweather Post is a historic venue that Phish tears apart, it is at the bottom of the barrel in terms of fan-experience. The lower pavilion is patrolled by teen-aged girls who are backed by inner city bouncers, ready to kick people out of the pavilion (or the show) as if they have a quota to fulfill. Treating their paying customers with utmost disrespect, the security staff at the venue should, honestly, all be fired. A venue where crossing a painted lines is cause for banishment or ejection, there is barely room for enjoyment at Merriweather. The side sections of the pavilion are removed visually and acoustically from the stage, and the lawn may as well be in another county. If I had to pick my least favorite venue on summer tour, Merriweather would take home the first, second, and third place trophies. There is not a single part of the Merriweather experience I find enjoyable, and the staff is there to ensure it stays that way. If I had one tour-based request to be granted by Red Light, it would definitely be to get Phish (the #&@!) out of Merriweather forever.

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Jones Beach Amphitheatre, Wantagh, NY

Jones Beach 2010 (Mitch Ladd)

After a fourteen-year absence from the Long Island venue on the water, Phish has played a two multi-night stands at Jones Beach this era, totalling five shows. But if they care  about their fans’ experiences, they should not return. Run more strictly than a military academy, anyone in the lower pavilion is another zone where one is reprimanded if they cross painted lines, and are implored—sometimes physically—to get back in their row. Moving into the stadium seating, the audience becomes so far removed from the band once in the second deck, I can only imagine the ants on stage from the upper deck perspective. With no space anywhere in the venue, fans are forced to stand side by side while watching music meant to move your body. When leaving Jones Beach ’09’s three-night stand, it felt like being freed from a cage and let out to prowl on summer tour. There are plenty of locales for Phish to play in the New York metro area, so let’s leave this one behind.

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The Greek Theatre, Berkeley, CA

The Greek 2010 (W.Rogell)

Though Phish played some of their most impressive shows of the year at this Bay Area icon, the experience, itself, was far from ideal. With a total GA policy, very few fans went to the steep lawn that is hardly in the concert, causing an incredibly overcrowded situation in the free-for all amphitheatre. Thankfully, The Greek has the best acoustics on the planet, because any real dancing was all but impossible. As people flooded the venue in the early afternoon to hold down space, it created an unnecessarily annoying situation. A beautiful place to visit, I see no need for Phish return to a venue in which people are packed together like sardines and any official attempts to ameliorate the situation are non-existent. With proper strategy and aggressive territoriality, one can make The Greek happen to some extent, but for those of us who need more than a square foot of room, it just doesn’t cut it. The next time Phish visits the Bay Area, they should finally get with the program and play a stand at Oakland’s Oracle Arena, formerly named Oakland-Alameda Coliseum when it was the stomping ground of The Grateful Dead.

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Jam of the Day:

Reba” 10.18.94 I

A re-post of a classic version.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/ph94-10-18sbd.d2t04.mp3]

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

11.26.1994 Orpheum Theatre, Minneapolis, MN

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

Fall '94

This beast from Fall ’94 boasts, likely, my favorite “Bowie” of all-time and “Slave” made famous by A Live One. A classic night through and through, this show goes out via reader request to Dan A! Enjoy this one of a kind adventure.

I: My Friend, My Friend, Possum, Guyute, If I Could, Foam, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Poor Heart, Cavern

II: Halley’s Comet > David Bowie, Sweet Adeline, The Lizards, Sample in a Jar, Slave to the Traffic Light

E: Rocky Top

Source: DAUD/OTS AKG SE 10’s > Marantz PMD-700@48kHz

Tags: ,

817 Responses to “Should We Stay Or We Go?”

  1. butter Says:

    yes a wook blazer, identical to trey’s covered in cu$tie badges

    i’m out for a bit

  2. fat bastard Says:

    listening to some killer JGB, the jerry garcia collection volume 2. someone posted it last night, thanks its awesome. listen to “sitting in limbo” and turn it up

  3. angryjoggerz Says:

    I saw some amazing examples of Grateful Dead business casual at the Greek. Like regular button down in front, and fully on steal your face with herb plants all over the back. Steal your Business Caz.

  4. fat bastard Says:

    the percussionist is killing me right now. in a good way

  5. Snigglebeach Says:

    Where was that link Fat Bastard????

  6. kayatosh Says:

    I remember getting badges in day camp. At the time, i was fairly into it. but phish badges? I was dubious, then I saw them. pretty cool, especially the lot ones, but I am to old to actually put in the effort to get one. I do like the burple badge.

  7. Snigglebeach Says:

    I chased back and found it

  8. Robear Says:

    I want a round room at the end of the day.

  9. angryjoggerz Says:

    come on, someone on here must have some photoshop skills enough to whip up some mock ups on a BB merit badge. You know you want to.

  10. mitch Says:

    I got permission from miner to make em last year but we never decided of a logo on here. So I didnt.

    Speaking of, what happened to BB shirt #2

  11. joe Says:

    vague shirt Idea. Chalk writing on school type BlackBoard with a school type of outline with Minerisms or something like that.

  12. joe Says:

    “pimp ride through the galaxy” (or whatever that phrase was), etc.

  13. lumpyhead Says:

    crack-like grooves..

  14. lumpyhead Says:

    machine-gun bass

  15. fat bastard Says:

    i think the merit badges are idiotic. unless your 16 then i guess it might be cool

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Bonnaroo, Coachella, Lollapalooza, Gorge (labor day) DMB fests. Phish at Gorge w/ them. no Watkins Glen for DMB. This is speculation on my part. I have zero insight.

  17. voopa Says:

    I downloaded the Wing catalog today. Literally LMAO. I could compile it all into one volume and put it on my mediafire. Let me know.

  18. TrippingBilly Says:

    hmm…
    why didn’t my first post show up?

    I saw on a dmb board earlier today that phish people are freaking out about a possible co-headliner thing for the festival dates dmb is supposed to be doing this summer. that would be so great!!! I have seen dmb 14 times and never have seen phish so that would be really great to be able to check them out!

    so what do I need to know about phish if this happens? are they really as “jammy” as people say? I’ve only heard a couple of albums that my friend’s older brother had when I was in high school. are all of the people at the concerts really messed up like people say? I bet that’s an exaggeration.

    sorry for the questions, but this seems like exciting news!! thanks for the information in advance!

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    voopa,

    I hope you mean the tv show 😉

  20. voopa Says:

    Not Wings the TV show

    Not Wings the band

    Not Winger

    Fucking Wing

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Hey Guyutent,

    Cuse is getting embarrassed by Seton Hall at the Dome, incase your interested. 😉

  22. DukeOfLizards Says:

    @Mr. P

    The first three, + ACL maybe?

    I know virtually nothing about how the process works, but I would imagine that if DMB is taking the year off, then their “back office” is also taking the year off as well. Which means that it’s way more likely that they sign on to play large, self-contained, multi-artist festival.

    I reiterate: I know very, very little.

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    oh. is that supposed to be better, voopa? 😯

  24. willowed Says:

    Watching biggeslt loser makes me feel sad.

    Should I be working out right now? Fuck it, pass me the BBQ Chips.

  25. albert walker Says:

    I love when they cry on biggest loser

    The lack of food starts making them crazy

    $$$

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