Doubling Down?

12-30-2011 (Graham Lucas)

Amidst the many rumors spiraling through cyberspace regarding Phish’s 2012 touring plans, two have taken hold and seem to have some legs. Coincidentally, the two stands that seem to be materializing are located in each coast’s gambling mecca—Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Each of the rumors have been semi-corroborated by a Las Vegas newspaper reporter and Atlantic City’s mayor, giving them a bit more substance than your everyday Internet hearsay. Since both are seeming somewhat likely at this point in time, let’s take a closer look at the buzz.


LAS VEGAS: March 30 – April 1 ??

Vegas, Baby?

Phish only played on April Fool’s Day in their early years, the last time coming in Portland, Oregon in 1993. If this strongly rumored run goes down, this would mark the first time in 19 years that the band would perform on this made-for-Phish, prankster holiday. Just yesterday, Las Vegas Sun columnist, J. Patrick Coolican tweeted, “Phish fans: Source sez negotiations for a 2/3 nite VEGAS run APRIL FOOLS DAY have taken new intensity. 80-20 likely, sez source.” This tweet aligns with what I have been hearing from multiple sources, thus a return to the Thomas and Mack Center seems like a distinct possibility.

While I am always down for Vegas Phish, the timing on this stand seems a bit quirky. Mike is playing with his solo band at Jam in the Dam in mid-March and then playing another date in London on March 18. Trey will be focused on his symphony tour until March 10th. These two factors alone, regardless of what Page and Fish are doing during, would preclude much practice time before the first show on March 30th. Could they pull it off with but a ten-day buffer? Of course. Might the run turnout straightforward and contained as a result of the time crunch? Quite Possibly. It seems like latter-day Phish benefits from practice even more so than in previous eras, as their lives are diversified more than ever. These Vegas shows would be just the 5th, 6th, and 7th,performances since Labor Day 2010, and practice would seem more necessary than usual. We shall see what develops.


ATLANTIC CITY: June 15 – 17 ??

Atlantic City

While Phish headlining at Bonnaroo is another rumor that has been circulating with strength, this three-day Atlantic City run would represent a Phish-only “festival” at Bader Field. Atlantic City’s City Council has already approved festivals for June 15-17 and June 24-25, and the mayor alluded to the former being a “jam band” festival that is expected to attract 30,000 fans. With Starr-Hill, Coran Capshaw’s sister company of Red Light Management, slated to throw these events (the other of which, allegedly, features a “rock band”) it is but a forgone conclusion that Phish will play these dates. Further confirmation comes in the fact that that the Dave Matthews Band, who brought their Caravan tour to Bader Field last summer, will not be returning for either of these dates. Many fans have taken all of this info, put one and one together, and booked hotel rooms for this weekend.

This run could conceivably come at the end of a short run in May and June (with Bethel rumored for Memorial Day weekend) and, if so, AC would be a great place to end a tour. As I discussed last week, three-night stands were Phish’s bread and butter last year, and another trifecta in AC—like Halloween 2010—seems like a great time for all. With all hotels in close proximity to each other, the post-music part of this “festival” would take place in the casinos and hotels up and down The Boardwalk rather than in campgrounds and RVs—a different mid-summer twist. And if you poll the fan base, I think you’ll find few fans who didn’t have a blast in Atlantic City last time around, so here’s to hoping this one comes to fruition!


Jam of the Day:

Help -> Slip -> Bag” 4.1.86 II

In honor of a possible April Fool’s Day show, here was how Phish opened up their second set of 4/1/86’s “Festival of Fools” at Hunt’s in Burlington—the classic “Help -> Slip -> Bag.”

[audio:,,] Tags: , ,

396 Responses to “Doubling Down?”

  1. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I played lacrosse from 4th grade through freshman year in college. Then i decided i liked partying with stoner fucks more than hanging out with douchebags Where i grew up, everyone played. No one played baseball.

    That study wouldn’t surprise me though.

  2. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Mostly agree, @rt, from the technical guitarist standpoint.

    He still shows flashes of brilliance though. Waves first solo from Bethel sounded like a totally different guitarist. One of the few recent times I’ve heard him drop a couple “holy shit” licks.

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    The mishaps at msg have left a sour taste. All in all, 2011 was the best sounding year to date, since ’09.

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    Lacrosse has clear ties to prep. And prep has clear ties to drug abuse.

    Painting in really broad strokes here but every single prep kid I’ve ever known (seriously) is hunter Thompson jr. And many of those kids played lax (author note: so did I in hs).

  5. Robear Says:

    repost for the geologists:

  6. sumodie Says:

    If Phish plays Vegas on 3/30-4/1, here’s some possible guest sit-ins:

    Garth Brooks
    Lionel Richie
    Rod Stewart
    The Australian Bee Gees

    as well as Branford Marsalis, Corey Glover, and Galactic

    Where’s Kid Rock when you need him?

  7. Gavinsdad Says:

    My buddy Tom Ryan was captain at Bowdoin and played pro lax for Philly. You remember that guy with the dreads? That’s him. You probably also saw him at shows….he’s put down some miles.

  8. Kaveh Says:

    I played La Crosse in college freshman year…and those guys like to party. Nothing too crazy, but LOTS drinking.

    Hell, I’m from a town called La Crosse, and it isn’t even played there, except at the University.

  9. Kaveh Says:

    I keep spelling lacrosse the wrong way. Habit. Carry on.

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    what a gyp. only two wulf songs today?? 😉

  11. rivertrance Says:

    Very good point Duke. I agree completely.

    That Waves Bethel solo was like someone was sitting in for 3.0 Red that looked like him. New ideas and styles. Flying fingers. Really top shelf stuff.

    I would also put the Waves > Undermind up there. Cat was just shredding that shit up there.

    Dug the octave work in the SBIX Reba but ya not like back in the day where you could tell all the players in the audience by the cats with their jaws on the floor.

  12. sumodie Says:

    Just makes me wish they gave more love to keeping their chops up to form

    Clearly Trey’s passions have moved on. But at least with him (seemingly) healthy & happy he may yet surprise us and dig deep again

    For now, we just have to give Trey the space to do his First Tube dance

  13. rivertrance Says:

    Feeling very white trash and mid west right now. Like I said never known one cat that played lacrosse. Not even sure anyone plays it here.

    I am white trash and Midwest though so I guess I should be OK with that.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    doesn’t take a player to have had your jaw on the floor bitd
    who feels it knows it

  15. rivertrance Says:

    No doubt Sumo. Trey is like Shaq now. He wants to act and rap but has no interest in keeping his weight down and his game shape up for the one thing he is actually amazing at playing basketball

    Write indie rock, yes
    Turn TAB into easy listening, yes
    Turn grass into rings, yes
    Write musicals, yes

    Shred guitar like a true professional dedicated to his instrument and profession, fuck no

  16. Mike in Austin Says:

    I’ve been to La Crosse.

  17. dusty Says:

    I played lacrosse since middle school through college lax in MD. No surprise. Most good players are baked. Kinda like bball.

    Lax used to be a privileged game of private schools. Things have changed a little, but those private school circles are still the best. Also the lamest in many ways. Lax is a one of the best sports out there I have to say. Wish it and hurling would pick up in the US.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    repost from last night (previous thread):

    and so concludes the single greatest night of my life. saw greensky bluegrass @ WCL in philly and it was sublime. hit me in the heart. An amazing group that should not be missed.

    Thank you, Robear.

    Impeccable group sound. Bluegrass perfected and the ability to slide and glide in an out of tunes, w/ some out of nowhere funk/electronica breakdowns. this band has chemistry; the segues are buttah. no drummah all buttah. great use of effects w/ acoustic instruments. White Freightliner – aced. Smokin cover of When Doves Cry, tear jerking cover of Bruce’s AtlanticCity. didn’t know it was bruce till ryan told me on the ride home. struck a chord in me for sure. tears on cheeks.

    the mando player is $$$ and had a very touching voice. strong guitar player, as well. all great players, great voices.

    fun taking it w/ gdad and calpain, my buddy ryan, and gdad’s fine friends. gdad is the good glue; he brings it all together. halftime in the alley was enlightening. jah live. let the music hit you.

    peace to gdad, calpain and all the brethren.

  19. Mike in Austin Says:

    Trey is in a transitional part of his life and doesn’t want to kill us. I think he just wants to walk the earth. You know, like Caine in Kung Fu: walk from place to place, meet people, get into adventures.

  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Love this BlackByrds album AJ dropped a week ago or so. Donald Byrd is becoming my favorite jazz player. His bands are so tight and funky. Can’t get enough. I’ll take all the recs you smart jazz guys got. Have Electric Byrd and Ethiopian Knights already.

  21. SillyWilly Says:


    nice reference, Dusty.

    hurling isn’t anglican enough to ever pick up here.

    can’t be playing inferior paddy games, here, dusty.

  22. DukeOfLizards Says:


    My interpretation (rationalization?) is that, while yes his chops appear to have fallen by the wayside, he’s also gotten a lot more mature with his leads. Cut the fat, so to speak.

    Case in point is the SBIX Mound solo – was it technically difficult? For the most part, hell no. But that is as close to melodic perfection as I can remember hearing in a live setting.

  23. El Duderino Says:

    @ MiA

    Good way of looking at it!
    You’re probably right, he’s over the “rockstar” syndrome

  24. El Duderino Says:

    and his chops are better than anything in 2.0

  25. kayatosh Says:

    donald byrd, word.

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