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. willowed Says:

    They are just so freakin’ fat AW

    It’s almost comical. One dude had a Pizza delivered to his house every day for over a year, He didn’t even have to call.

    They would just show up and deliver it.

  2. albert walker Says:

    Was thinking of songs I haven’t caught that are in 3.0 rotation

    Alumni
    Scents
    Lengthwise
    Birdwatcher
    Walfredo

    Not many

  3. albert walker Says:

    Think how many fat ass Americans are chilling eating potato chips watching even fatter people get worked out to death on tv

    I’m shocked that show hasn’t killed someone

  4. willowed Says:

    Time to get fired up about the nation.

    let’s se what the Prza delivers.

  5. KfL Says:

    AC 2001

    check this shit out again. trey’s staccato licks are all over it. brilliant playing, so jazzy. the section that starts with staccato and concludes with descending runs is just $$$$.

    the staccato jamming on the new years run had nothing to do with trey. it had everything to do with the other 3 jumping on board with him.

  6. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @willowed
    Pigging out while watching biggest loser is like drinking or puffing while watching intervention: mean, kinda obnoxious, and completely makes the viewing experience better

  7. KfL Says:

    funny how you can start to hear trey playing those staccato licks at various places in fall, without the full band treatment

    never thought anything of it at the time, now it jumps out instantly

  8. voopa Says:

    No, SOTU for me. This is why I downloaded the Wing catalog today.

    About to move on to Sings ACDC…tears in my eyes.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    funny how you can start to hear trey playing those staccato licks at various places in fall,

    ^ forever. not just fall. but def all over fall. always pops out as heady Trey crack….

  10. willowed Says:

    watching intervention with a bottle of wine is one of my wifes and my guilty pleasures

    and yes Kfl

    That was a special 2001. I loved everything about AC..That was up there

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    im spent. anyone wanna guest post for tomorrow? book is taking all my energies right now…some sort of themed playlist?

  12. willowed Says:

    Miner, I know you love the Phish blue grass jams. 10 best blue grass jams of 3.0 😉

    Totally messing around

  13. albert walker Says:

    Best phish jams to yoga too

  14. albert walker Says:

    Phil and phriends 99 post

  15. willowed Says:

    I yoga’d to BBFCFM on repeat once.

    I made my center my bitch during that session

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    “Where Have All the Acapellas Gone?”
    A Retrospective

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    did a series on the P & Phriends a year ago, maybe two? they are up there though…

  18. angryjoggerz Says:

    One and Done in 2010

  19. voopa Says:

    Ten Big Ball Jams for Tuesday

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    bowie article def coming willowed, just a matter of when

  21. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Top 10 Tunes that Dave and the Phishes Should Play This Summer

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    one and done being…

  23. mitch Says:

    HOLY SHIT! not wings the band, WING!!

    ^LLFA

    trippingbillies post

    LLFA

  24. angryjoggerz Says:

    I still like the Ten Under 10 in 2010 theme. Hot condensed funk.

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    seriously though, Miner, if you need a DOTD, can I recommend the following:

    Saturday, 07/02/1994
    Garden State Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ

    Set 1: Golgi Apparatus, The Divided Sky, Guelah Papyrus, Fast Enough for You, Scent of a Mule, Tweezer -> Lifeboy, Sparkle, Tweezer Reprise

    Set 2: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Mike’s Song -> Simple -> Mike’s Song -> Yerushalayim Shel Zahav > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Maze, Sample in a Jar, Slave to the Traffic Light, Highway to Hell

    Encore: Rift
    Notes: Weekapaug included teases of Antelope (including lyrics) and 2001.

    remembering venues today reminded me of Holmdel. great little shed where they’ve thrown down more than a few good ones. I recall the above show very fondly. the second set ripped with a huge Mike’s Groove. not sure if you’ve ever highlighted that one…

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