One Crazy Summer

8.10.10 - Telluride, CO (G. Lucas)

From Memorial Day through Labor Day, Phish will travel the long and winding road of Summer 2011. Totaling 30 shows right now, and with one more announcement on the horizon, this will be the largest tour the band has undertaken since their return. Granted their are breaks in between the four portions of shows, but when the band plays together this much within a short period of time, magic begins to happen in a different way. Regardless of how well Phish is playing at the time, there is only so far their jamming will go in the context of a 14 show tour like last fall. But when you combine nearly 35 shows within one season of playing, musical trends develop, improvisational themes emerge, and styles of play become crystallized as a portrait of a point in time.

Summer '93 (Pollock)

Think back to the longer tours of the mid-’90s when the band toured incessantly. The iconic months of August ’93, November ’94, and December ’95 didn’t pop out of nowhere, rather they were a direct result of extensive touring and constant improvising night after night after night. And while Summer 2011 can’t replicate the group dynamic that arose over a 54-show fall tour in 1995, the countless shows that comprised the winter, spring and summer of 1993, the number of shows does correlate much more with summer tours of the late ’90s.

Phish’s 1997 Summer Tour consisted of 38 shows (19 in Europe), Summer ’98 equaled 33 shows (9 in Europe), Summer ’99 clocked in 23 shows (3 in Japan), while the band’s Summer Tour of 2000 was comprised of 25 shows (7 in Japan). Add the 30 shows already on this summer’s slate with a few more around Labor Day, and Summer 2011 lands right in the same ball park as many well-loved summers of lore. Over the course of these previous summers, though less so in 2000, distinct jamming styles developed with such focused playing. Could we be looking an earnest stage of musical change this summer? With the tightness, creativity and momentum of Fall Tour and New Year’s Run in tow, alongside successful side-projects from Trey and Mike, the band could be on the brink of quite the memorable season.

7.4.10 - Alpharetta, GA (W.Rogell)

Starting in Bethel, slated through UIC in mid-August, and rumored to end in Colorado around Labor Day, any way you cut it, Summer 2011 is shaping up to be a monster. With that much time on stage together, things will happen that are unplanned, go unspoken, and will bring surprise to everyone, band included. This amount of playing, though broken up into four segments over three months, will still provide a certain density of improvisational minutes unseen by the band since their return. Might we witness some of their most impressive playing thus far in this era? In my opinion, the odds are high. Broken into legs of 18 shows, a three-show festival throwdown, and nine shows, where the treasures will arise is anyone’s guess. And legitimate theories could be posed as to why each of  the three scheduled segments will blow up. Whether it be classic East Coast venues and the most shows at once, a super-sized festival, or the inspiration of west coast nature, each part of summer seems to have its own perks and potential. Pick and choose where you must, but remember, it’s about the shows you hit, not the ones you miss! (Most of the time.)


Jam of the Day:

Twist -> Izabella” 7.31.98 II

A classic summer nugget from Polaris ’98.

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7.20.1998 Venura Co. Fairgrounds, Ventura, CA

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Ventura 1998

Highlights of Ventura ’98 include the opening “Bathtub Gin” (Riverport’s little brother), “Drowned -> Makisupa,” a rare appearance of The Who’s “Sea and Sand,” and “Harry Hood.”

I: Bathtub Gin, Dirt, Poor Heart, Lawn Boy, My Sweet One, Birds of a Feather, Theme From the Bottom, Water in the Sky, The Moma Dance, Split Open and Melt

II: Drowned -> Makisupa Policeman > Maze, Sea and Sand, Prince Caspian > Harry Hood

E: Sexual Healing* > Hold Your Head Up, Halley’s Comet


Source:AKG c568eb (OTS, pointed at stacks) -> Aerco Pre-Amp -> Sony D-8 @ 48KHz


521 Responses to “One Crazy Summer”

  1. Kaveh Says:

    @ Kaveh
    you have the sbds from Sept. ’03 Warfield run?

    ^ I do not. I’ll have to look up and see who the Friends were for this run.

  2. SillyWilly Says:

    So, if anyone can come here and pass my Trusts and Estates exam on Sunday May 8 at 830AM I’ll pay your way through the Western Leg…



  3. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Calling “Jersey Sub vs. Wegman’s Sub” a competition is like calling “Harlem Globetrotters vs. Washington Generals” a world championship.

  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    no, but since I can’t hit SB9 I am including him in my devious plans. if nothing else it’ll make the drive down there less boring 😉

  5. DukeOfLizards Says:

    If you’re looking for people with knowledge of trusts, you’ve come to the right fanbase!

    Although I would offer something hettier than cash, brah.

  6. sumodie Says:

    one thing i hate about beer drinkers at shows is the douche who thinks he can…piss on the floor in the empty row right behind me (SPAC ’10)

    I won

    If only talkers made me as immediately aggro as (attempted) pissers

  7. KWL Says:

    fuck jersey!!!!

  8. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Fuck people with three-letter handles.

  9. SillyWilly Says:

    that could be an interesting Law problem

    Did I just create a contract by offering to pay one’s way through the western leg if they could take and pass my TnE exam?

  10. KWL Says:

    let’s just say i’m not exactly on the Bear diet, so i’m not the one to judge which meatsticks are better tasting. a weg sub does offer the right ratio of calories and cost when on the road, however.

    the OG 3 letter handle

  11. SillyWilly Says:

    when people fight over food:

    my belly wins.

  12. Fly Says:

    Fuck you!

  13. P.S.H.S. Says:

    just heard on around the horn that MSG is getting renovated this year, interesting….

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    sumo, that’s the worst. horrible story time!

    at coventry my wife and her crew had tarps, lawn chairs, and whatnot for their little space set up. during one of the setbreaks my wife, in a long flowing white skirt, sits down into a chair only to find that someone had pissed in the chair during the set. full seat of piss, now transferred to her clothing. effing gross.

    luckily, one of her friends had brought jeans into the concert area for later when it got cold so she had something to change into, but that’s definitely up there on the list of bad piss stories in my book.

    fucking coventry, man.

  15. Jtran Says:

    Silly’s avator is the real winner here

  16. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    it is a multi-year renovation that starts this year.

  17. Fly Says:


    Unless you’re in the Korean prefecture of northeastern Jilin province and two locals are fighting over who makes a meaner Cold Noodles with Dog Meat.

  18. DukeOfLizards Says:



    But in an apples-to-apples sub-off, nothing beats a quality Jersey deli.

    Order by number, please.

  19. SillyWilly Says:


    that story seems to be the perfect vignette for Coventry.

    Hemingway, with half his head, is up there smiling.


    i win as long as i make it out to the sea.

  20. Mike in Austin Says:

    My Gorge ’99 night one was frustrated by some smashed guy there who was drinking copious amounts of Everclear from a REI Nalgene bottle with his friends that kept apologizing to us because “he doesn’t get out much”. We named him “rooster boy”

    Shouting out stuff like “You Go Girl!” during the Divided Sky pause. I said to my friends, who goes to a Phish show and gets smashed?

    When he took to trying to grind his hips into any girl within 20 people around him, we had to leave the area.

    I look for introspective quiet bane smokers at concerts. If you’re holding a notepad in your hand during the concert, I want to be next to you.

  21. KWL Says:

    fuck jersey!!!

  22. SillyWilly Says:


    that’s true.

    But, if I was in Jilin province, I probably wouldn’t understand that dog was in the food.

    I’d assume it was chicken.

  23. KWL Says:

    i’d rather have a hoagie in nebraska

  24. SillyWilly Says:



    you don’t like corn on your sandwich?

  25. Mr palmer Says:

    Renovations have been ongoing like t3 said. They were actually going on during this years run.

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