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. angryjoggerz Says:

    “BB merit badge should be a poop tent”

    Yes.

  2. Selector J Says:

    Halloween it is!
    Let’s make this happen, posterkid.

  3. KfL Says:

    mitch

    did you get the same 2 promotional emails from dry goods i did today? still cu$ty free in 2011?

  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    careful, mitch. I might bomb your email with questions now. whoops. bad choice of words considering my new hot avatar.

  5. Robear Says:

    If there were ever a dmb song… Halloween ain’t bad

    This Trippingbilly may be legit

  6. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Proudest Sleeping Monkey > Let Me Lie In Our Graves

    $$$$$

  7. angryjoggerz Says:

    Win the future, bitches.

  8. Robear Says:

    KfL,
    Fortunately they didn’t have the shirt I liked since it sold out like the token shirt did last year… Wait, no, no I didn’t buy anything and yes I got the email (scratches neck like tyrone biggums)

    T3, I don’t mind. I just drop that email when I can to offset my custiness

  9. albert walker Says:

    99 tab jibboo went huge

    Love that tour

  10. TrippingBilly Says:

    am I missing something or are you guys doing inside jokes? the DMB song is called “Proudest Monkey” what’s with the sleeping part? same with “Lie in Our Graves”

  11. mitch Says:

    ^shit

    Posted as Robear again.

    That was me again

    And back to talking like this.

  12. Selector J Says:

    Recently EP was h3tty in 94.
    Of course, I grew up in VA… as a super custy.

  13. burblelover415 Says:

    @Robear: Is the 5:00 free crack give-away??

  14. KfL Says:

    wait, so now not only do i have to keep up with everyone’s multiple personalities, i also have to figure out when robear is robear and when robear is mitch?

    it’s hard keeping up with the bb, damn.

  15. Selector J Says:

    mitch…
    you’re imploding my multi-verse.

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    whoa. either mitch hijacked robear’s profile or somebody spiked my beef stew at dinner tonight.

  17. mitch Says:

    I like what duke is doing here but I can’t make fun of you for being a DMB custie til you name a song I don’t get the joke for. D’oh!

  18. Selector J Says:

    I picked the wrong day to quit sniffing glue.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @selecta
    whatcha got lined up for us this week? I start looking forward to the morning attack o’ the roots on about monday. maybe you can play some reggae-ified dmb* and phish tracks due to the big news.

    *does this exist? I have the Dub Like an Antelope thing but not sure if dave has gotten the treatment too. I’m kinda proud that I have no clue on this.

  20. mitch Says:

    Sorry all. Dude stays left into all my inet devices whenever he leaves town so I’ve got his stuff memorized cause I do it by accident for a few posts. This time I stayed logged in by accident. (robane)

  21. angryjoggerz Says:

    While some of my fellow fLegionaires tiptoe around admitting that they actually like DMB, I am going to just step forward and say they suck.

  22. bouncin fan Says:

    Time to spin 99 TAB

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    Miner’s Merriweather profile is the best thing he has ever written

    that place is pure ass

    ~~ a completely drive-by ~~

  24. mitch Says:

    AJ,
    Haha that’s funny

  25. bouncin fan Says:

    Acoustic guitar
    Sax
    Violin

    That is fuckin wrong

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