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. KfL Says:

    seriously selector. today is my first nobane day in months. bad decision obviously.

  2. KfL Says:

    what i meant to say was, srsly

  3. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Not defending DMB

    Just playing Some Devil’s advocate.

  4. TrippingBilly Says:

    so you guys don’t like dmb? why not? it’s not that different from phish. aren’t the crowds basically the same type of people too?

  5. bouncin fan Says:

    Does custy Mitch own DMB bootlegs?

    Must have shows

  6. bouncin fan Says:

    No bane day

    That’s just crazy talk

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    sorry to hear that kFl. no bane days can be rough.

  8. vegas wolfmans Says:

    There are no shit tents on DMB tour.

    Love the facebook post Miner. I may quit too.

  9. KfL Says:

    (decision reversed)

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    speaking of which…
    see you all tomorrow.
    don’t let the hype get you down.
    the truth will set us free [from DMB]

  11. KfL Says:

    just went over to etree to see if i could grab a tab 99 show or two

    nice timing

  12. Selector J Says:

    sorry just got caught up reading about the demise of gene ween on hidden track. Not good.

    @t3
    No reggae DMB that I know of. I’ll keep looking, though :mrgreen:

    I was in to DMB until they sold out. I remember being done with DMB when I saw Ants Marching on MTV. True story. Ha! I’m beyond custy… To be fair, I was a freshman in high school… and of course, my parents who were not hip to what’s hip hooked me up a year later in ’96 with NYE tickets to see DMB at Hampton Coliseum. Ugh. I was so bummed. Don’t remember too much except the crowd booing Soul Coughing.

  13. mitch Says:

    Vegas wolfmans! That’s the one I was confusing for poo g til he said he lived out west. Knew it had two names in one…

  14. mitch Says:

    Selector, anyone else at that time woulda been pumped. Good effort on your rents part ya know?

    AW, send me b+p and I’ll mail you some dmb boots

  15. William H. Bonney Says:

    http://www.gotchamediablog.com/2011/01/office-andy-rollerskates-to-dave.html

    I do know one big Dave Matthews fan.

  16. mitch Says:

    But the discs will be different brands. I’m mailing my own back to get rid of them and keep your blank cd-rs.

    Just a fair warning. Cause your 3 cd-rs are worth like what, 10 cents now?

  17. mitch Says:

    I meant get rid of the ones in my cd book. (previously burned) Not like I buy cheap cd-rs in case anyone was confused.

  18. mitch Says:

    I. Have. DMB. Bootlegs.

    😯

    Stop it

  19. KfL Says:

    can robear post as mitch too? because that would make it totally worthwhile

  20. Selector J Says:

    “Selector, anyone else at that time woulda been pumped. Good effort on your rents part ya know?”-mitch

    Seriously cool of my folks to do. They totally meant well and really-really thought I’d be stoked.

    The worse part was when I saw the TM tickets I thought for sure they were Phish @ MSG for a split second. (Because what parent wouldn’t send their 16 yr old on an 8 hour trip to NYC for NYE to see a drug infested concert?)

    It took all I had in me to not be a dick about it. It’s not like my 16 yr old self was doing anything incredible for NYE anyway.

  21. KWL Says:

    robear mandated weekly spin of providence rr>carini complete

    which makes this day complete

    night kids

  22. jdub Says:

    @KfL, bane withdrawel the day after can be a bitch. Hopefully you didn’t take out on the fiancé while doubling up on the booze 😉

    Damn that was one long day. Just getting in from work after starting at 7. Lurked for a second and read some of the the dmb meltdowns. Ain’t gonna happen. A small part of me wants to see it happen just to witness the mass freakout amongst the hahdcores. But really now…

    I just don’t see Phish playing their first festival in the northeast since #%^@&~•* and inviting those guys. Hopefully this is just some silly rumor gone bad.

  23. butterflyeffect Says:

    wow, just hilarious shit going on today

    this board is too good

    trippingbilly, you are my hero

    catch you all in the manana

  24. butterflyeffect Says:

    oh and @garretc, if miner doesn’t post tomorrow, it’s time for mr. miner’s phish thoughts thoughts part deux

    peas

  25. ChefBradford Says:

    How did this particular rumor even get out? I’m pretty sure Phish was not mentioned any-fucking-where. The official DMB site stated,
    almost a week ago, that they want to do these multi-artist, etc, shows

    six days later, everyone goes apeshit? really?

    If it’s real, and you don’t like it: don’t go

    pretty fucking simple

    it’s not my ideal setting for Phish, but it wouldn’t turn me away from them forever, and certainly doesn’t have me asking other people to pray that everybody in DMB gets in an accident like the sax player

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