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. P.S.H.S. Says:

    don’t know why i started thinking of this today but i’ve titled it:
    “Lot Nudity is Dangerously Hilarious: Two short stories”
    part 1
    I was at bonnaroo in 04 with a bunch of people in a sweet RV. one of my buddies met a stripper from MN on the first night. her plan was to get necked on saturday and get her body painted, awesome! it was even better when she showed up on saturday ready to go, awesome! she just wanted me and my buddy to go with her to hold her stuff and be her bodyguards, deal! We spent most of the day taking pictures of her with other people and then selling them herb, awesome! we made a killing, she got jealous of the money we were making. when we returned to the rv to re-up, she helped herself to one of my other passed out friend’s belongings that fell out of his pocket. his girlfriend got PISSED! not awesome! she was about to pummel this naked painted stripper. apparently she scared the shit out of the stripper, because when she started to run away, my buddy noticed that she had sharted. poop all the way down her leg! Hilarious!

  2. Fly Says:


    If you made it to northeastern Jilin province without knowing Mandarin or traveling with someone who knew Mandarin, you would deserve all of the Cold Noodles and Dog Meat you could eat.

  3. sumodie Says:

    @T3: luckily my story remained piss clear, sorry to hear yours wasn’t 🙁

    For the record, I desperately wanted to be the piss guy at the Greek last summer, but like an idjot I succumbed to social norms and lost 4 freakin tunes while waiting in line (thankfully only set 1 but still….)

  4. albert walker Says:

    Believe me when I say this

    You don’t want the guy taking notes in your section

    Fuckin tempo

  5. KWL Says:

    i guess the joke is on me, b/c 4 white losers from vermont keep making me go back to my least favorite state in the union, year after year after year


  6. Chuck sweD Says:

    “If you’re holding a notepad in your hand during the concert, I want to be next to you.”

    at hampton 09, this spun wo0k was annoying the shit out of my buddy in the GA pit, so i offered to trade places with him for the sake of maintaining group sanity. the kid keeps pulling out his note pad and writing down lyrics over and over (twist around THAT way, if YOU twist around!! THAT WAY. twist around THAT way) in persistent epiphany mode then looking around to see if anyone else realized the same realization… behind my amused smile, it was rather annoying.

    moral of the story: not all note pads are good.

  7. Mike in Austin Says:


  8. BingosBrother Says:

    From our friends at CoventryBlog. mucho gracias.


    This was a latenight set during the Great Went, that took place the morning of August 17. All four members of Phish played keyboards/synthesizers (with occasional vocal forays), sitting on the back of an eighteen-wheeler, which was parked near the entrance to the concert field. There was a small lighting rig. Earlier in the day there were a few thousand rave-style fliers circulating ambiguously advertising a “Disco” featuring MC Neoncellgap, DJ LeMore LaLip, etc, and you can hear some announcements to that effect at the end of the set. Also of note : brief footage of this set can be seen during the film “Bittersweet Motel”, during the Great Went “2001” montage.

  9. Mulitbeast Says:

    @PSHS – Hilarous. Bring on part II!!

  10. Mike in Austin Says:

    This is true. Never underestimate how a spun wo0k can mess up something good.

  11. Slicksasquatch Says:

    ASIHTOS is possibly one of my favorite tunes in the catalog . Way underhyped. I asked Trey to play this when he was getting on the bus at the grove park inn after ashville. Absolutely love this tune.

  12. sumodie Says:

    Guy taking notes > texters> video dorks > beer spillers > talkers > pissers/vomiters

    I’ll take note guy any day 8)

  13. Guyute711 Says:

    It may be just me but I have my doubts that Jersey has the best subs in the union. Just doesn’t make sense.

  14. SillyWilly Says:


    I’m just loving the fight between the Duke and the King

    A Civil War between BB Nobles

    because one day I’m going to play them off each other like this…

    KWL, I had a hoagie in jersey and it was hands down the best sandwich I’ve ever experienced.

    then, later,

    Duke, Man, I had a Wegmans and I honestly thought I had died and gone to heaven.

  15. P.S.H.S. Says:

    part 2:
    i was at the dead at jones beach in 03, the night gordon got beat up 🙁
    there was some real shady deal going on next to my car. a lot rat was trying to shake down a custie noob, who was young, but knew he was getting scammed. things got heated, and i had to get involved because the lot rat was going to get physical with the youngster, not cool! just then a naked 50ish hippy jumps out of his van and knocks the lot rat the fuck out! Dangerous Nudity! the lot rat lossed his cell phone in the process which i kept. he called later in the night and we all had a good laugh at his expense, and reminded him that he got knocked out by a naked dude! Hilarious!

  16. gavinsdad Says:

    it’s HOAGIES down here. south jersey is bordentown and south. i was raised up in N. Jersey with subs and heros. Wife is a “philly girl” and i been with her 14+ years and the first time i had a roast pork/sharp provo/broccoli rabe hoagie i went to heaven and never came back.

    fuck Wegmans is more like it. get you in and bend you over. and serve you shitty ass sandwiches. my wife was incredulous that there were Wegmans sandwich supporters. you better not let on around her or you’ll get the double roofie.

  17. gavinsdad Says:

    it is gonna fucking rain cold cuts friday june 10. know that.

  18. Guyute711 Says:

    So I get a Weggies sub and roofied, that’s Bi Winning!!!

  19. SillyWilly Says:


    well, I wish I was hitting Camden, then

  20. Fly Says:


    Word, brother, missed a step there. I blame the Chinese acrobats.

  21. Mr palmer Says:

    Maybe an Italian hero. Jersey or BK is the place. All about the bread. It’s a hero btw. Not sub, hoagie, or the ridiculous grinder. Come on people.

  22. Guyute711 Says:

    I’m gonna bring some liverwurst to the Ball. You can’t beat a sandwich that has spreadable pork on it.

  23. gavinsdad Says:

    does anyone else get that feeling in them when they cant hit shows? i’ve heard it’s the ones you hit and i can get with that…but knowing that i cant hit Bethel OR the Superball is frying my nuts like you cannot believe.

  24. Mr palmer Says:

    Gdad. I’ll bring a sandwich from n jersey , you have yours from s jersey, and Kfl can bring his wegmans schwagmich and well see what happens.

  25. SillyWilly Says:

    imagine being the original Earl of Sandwich

    a whole style of eating food is named after you

    and people centuries after your death in a rebel nation will be arguing over how to name your namesake.

    he’s probably pretty proud up there.

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