Summer’s Swan Song?

The Gorge '09 (Graham Lucas)

Phish added one more piece to their massive summer puzzle of 2011 yesterday, announcing a dream-like West Coast stint at the beginning of August and a three-pack to follow at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion—a venue rich in Phish history. Totaling 30 shows for the summer at this point, the season’s most recent addition looks to be the most intriguing leg of all. And adding a twist to things, the band worded their announcement ambiguously—they did not state that these would be the final shows of summer, nor did they say that there would be another announcement—leaving many fans wondering if UIC marks the end of the road.

Hollywood Bowl - Los Angeles

Could Red Light possibly wait for another cycle of on-sales to release more dates? Yes. In fact, in response to an email inquiry about any further shows, Red Light respectfully wrote back “We are considering a small amount of dates around Labor Day, but will be a minute before they are confirmed.” Really? Let’s look at the situation here. August’s tour had been rumored to travel back to the East Coast, hitting venues such as Hartford, SPAC and Jones Beach. But with a supersaturation of Northeast Phish shows this summer, and only one of them sold out, perhaps management nipped those in the bud and replaced them with a Labor Day run. Perhaps Labor day will be in Colorado. But let’s throw speculation out the window for now and look at what is officially on the books, because this run looks to be the peak of the summer!

After one year off, the band will return to The Gorge on August 5th and 6th to kick off the second leg of Summer Tour. Opening up on the most stunning stage of in nation, get ready for two nights of wide-open Phish jams like only The Gorge can provide! After a quick day off, on August 8th Phish will finally play the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles for the first time in their career after years of ongoing rumors. With a capacity of 17,376 (and The Gorge’s 20,000+), nobody should have any problems finding tickets to the first three nights of tour. But the next couple might be different.

Harvey's - Lake Tahoe

Fans will hit the road immediately after the Hollywood Bowl show, because the very next day Phish will arrive in Lake Tahoe on the California / Nevada border for a two-night stand at Harvey’s Casino make-shift 7,000 person amphitheatre on August 9th and 10th. Located in a leftover parking lot with bleacher seating at the back, Harvey’s Outdoor Amphitheatre may prove to be a bit more difficult to grab tickets for. Though the venue, itself, may be a bit roughshod, Phish will visit another beacon of West Coast nature in Lake Tahoe, and fans will enjoy two days in mountains with rental properties and hotels on the lake during a spectacular time of year.

Following another day off, Phish will head from Tahoe to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to headline the city’s Outside Lands festival on Friday, August 12th. Headlining the other two nights will be Muse and Arcade Fire, and though the schedule has yet to be released, you can check out the full lineup here. And there’s still rumor floating that the band will also play a solo show at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco the following night.

UIC '98 (Pollock)

Phish may bookend a summer that will open with three shows at Bethel Woods with three shows at UIC Pavilion in Chicago. These shows will mark the band’s first return to UIC’s intimate environs since a legendary three-night stand during Fall ’98. Phish also played two standout shows at UIC  in 1994—6.18 and 11.25—and will undoubtedly add to their legacy with a three-pack that could close out the touring season. Moving into Chicago’s gritty, undersized venue for the final nights of summer with a tour’s worth of momentum is the recipe for the perfect storm; an end-of-tour blowout of the highest degree.

Tickets requests are now open for an unusually long, two-week period ending April 25 at 11:59 am est. The Gorge and Tahoe are full General Admission shows and cost only $50 each. The Hollywood Bowl has tiered pricing at $60 and $45 for reserved seating only, and UIC will be $60 for reserved seats or GA floor.


Jam of the Day:

Sneakin’ Sally” 8.7.09 II

A gem from Phish’s last visit to The Gorge.




11.7.98 UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Megaupload < Links

UIC 1998

My favorite of the three nights in ’98, primarily because of the other-wordly improvisation that took place within “AC/DC Bag > Ghost.” Secondary reasons include a blissful, classic “Reba” and a darkhorse “Mike’s that gets the show underway with some dirty funk grooves. During an awesome fall tour, the shows at UIC were among the best, and they are all available for download in Phish Thoughts’ Audio Archive.

I. My Soul, Mike’s Song > Driver, Brian and Robert, The Wedge, Limb By Limb, Fikus, Billy Breathes, Beauty of My Dreams, Weekapaug Groove

II. AC/DC Bag -> Ghost, Reba, Farmhouse

E: Guyute, While My Guitar Gently Weeps

Source: Flacs: Audio Technica 815 (shotguns) > Sony SBM-1 > DAT (@ 48 kHz), MP3s: Schoeps


656 Responses to “Summer’s Swan Song?”

  1. BrandonKayda Says:

    Looking forward to tour

  2. Jtran Says:


    Thanks. Do you have any knowledge about the nicer camping areas in the “official camping”?

  3. sumodie Says:

    In ’09 we camped onsite (not VIP) at the Gorge -the scene was waaaaay chill, the best ever

    Besides campground staff FINALLY relaxing (compared with my experience in 99 & 03) it’s all about whether Mother Nature opts to fry your skull or not. Thankfully in ’09 she opted not to -temps were perfect

    Stayed in VIP camping in ’03 and wasn’t that impressed

  4. sumodie Says:

    Gorge overhead map:

  5. Gavinsdad Says:

    I’ll miss the pretty but get the gritty.

  6. butter Says:

    Jtran – i think sumodie is right that it doesn’t give you much (vip onsite camping), might be a bit closer to venue

    cleaner bathrooms i think, with less lines for showers

  7. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    What’s up BB? Gorge is going to be hot, in all senses of the word. Can’t wait. Tahoe looking quite possible. Was even harboring some hopes of UIC, but airfares are brutal from Seattle. They could come down though. We’ll see what the ticket gods say. Know I’ll have support if I can make it there.

  8. sumodie Says:

    The link to the aerial map I posted outlines the onsite campgrounds as well as the offsite places like Wildhorse and the (state park?) campgrounds along the Columbia River

    Onsite general camping was not loud in ’09, at least away from Shakedown. Peeps raged, fo sure, but west coast stylee, not like us obnoxious east coasters

  9. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Also, with VIP camping at the Gorge, can people still come in to see you? Or don’t you get a bracelet or something? That would be a bummer. I’ve always just done regular camping. In ’09 we stayed in Moses Lake, which was nice, as long as you have someone who didn’t eat chocolates to drive (thank you mrs. tzaras)

  10. mitch Says:

    im pages back but reading where i left off. its not hard to get into vip when shakedown is shakin and you have a couple friends in vip. re: gorge

  11. mitch Says:

    nvm. browser was freshy like a pair of socks 2 for 5 in the lot.

  12. mitch Says:

    i’m pretty much a go for a hotel at the gorge. consider it dan was so choice. i love camping and all but there is 0 protection from the sun and if i’m traveling from out here, it’s gonna be with my backpack and thats it. canopy is a must there imo.

  13. Robear Says:

    Beautiful Russian woman want to meet and marry me…

    according to Skype.

  14. Jtran Says:

    Good call on the CID.

    No packages announced yet, but could be a way to go to avoid having to drive while being able to stay inside.

  15. garretc Says:


    I hear beautiful russian women love going on Phish tour. That’s probably why!

  16. albert walker Says:

    good deal.

  17. Robear Says:

    garretc, you may be onto something. beautiful russian woman. on tour. improve ‘M to M’ ratio.

  18. Robear Says:


    how can we solve the tax debacle in this country?

  19. garretc Says:

    Hey BB, anyone that’s leaving Seattle on the 4th wants to give this guy a ride to the Gorge?

    If you notice my avatar, I’m still innocent, albeit somewhat annoying, but I’m yet to become the evil iron fisted dictator I’m destined to become… Also proven non-wook!

  20. garretc Says:


    Get rid of taxes! Poof! No tax debacle!

    Thank you Republicans!

  21. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    @garret, stay tuned. Let’s be in touch. Need to know how many people we can carry, but would like to help the youngin’s. Have a seat saved for Silly too if he can make it.

  22. garretc Says:


    Cool cool, thanks! Was gonna ride w/ Jtran, but then he went all custy and decided to “hang out with his gf” instead of planning around my scheduled… Screw that guy anyways! LLFA

    But yeah, keep me posted.

  23. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    @robeat, get rid of Republicans. Corporations pay their share of taxes, no debacle. I don’t speak politics though so I don’t know.

  24. mitch Says:

    Get rid of taxes! Poof! No tax debacle!

    ^i think the young one is on to something

  25. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    @ garret, I think a BB meetup in Seattle on the 4th is definitely indicated. Would love to set something up at a pub here.

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