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. Mike in Austin Says:

    Huh. I think his chops in 2.0 were pretty good. Until Vegas. There was BV, and AV for Phish 2.0

  2. Kaveh Says:

    Forgotten what a gem the Hood is from MadTown 98.

  3. angryjoggerz Says:

    Mr. Palmer:


  4. dusty Says:

    I spent a few months in Dublin during the finals a few years ago. playing ice hockey and lax growing up I thought I knew what tough sports were. Not even close on so many levels.

    Hmm…Paddy Powers Phish off lot betting for the Gamblor tour. I hear they are adding a paddle boat on the miss and a Indian casino outside LA.

    Greensky ah yeah. I forget how dispersed we all are sometimes. Cost of living in the hills with the tweakers. I assume the Dobro player wasn’t drunk. I also thought the banjo player was the strongest the few times I’ve seen em….but its them as group that does it. Love the covers, I recall catching a sweet child of mine somewhere.

  5. Gavinsdad Says:

    BlackByrd wasn’t up but thats money from around ’71. Im sure it’ll get upped in due time. I was never much of a vinyl digger but I found some nice gems. A nice weird jazz funk fusiony album by Donald is “street lady”…it’s on spotify…check it…a couple of the tracks are really nice.

  6. halcyon Says:

    Happy Thursday!

    John Medeski in Providence and Cambridge for those nearby and are interested

    Friday, January 20: Medeski + Dave Zinno + Bob Gullotti Jazz Trio at Fete Music in Providence, RI.

    Saturday, January 21: A rare and very unique solo set at The Lilypad in Cambridge, MA.

  7. Gavinsdad Says:

    A full band effort last nite @dusty. They gave off great vibes too…it took the venue over rather quickly.

  8. rivertrance Says:

    I can put up links later Palmer but if you can find him I think you’d really dig the Freddie Hubbard from that era on CTI

    Red Clay 1970
    Straight Life 1970
    First Light 1971
    Sky Dive 1973

  9. dusty Says:

    funny Hal. I was just talking yesterday to a friend about John’s solo tour this spring at a VA club. Looks like my 25 bucks guess is going to be high.

    Highly recommend seeing John on the grand.

  10. rivertrance Says:

    Black Byrd I believe is 73. it’s when Byrd went head first into the really accessible funk jazz. I believe it’s the highest billboard ranked jazz album of all time. Mid teens or something.

    The electric byrd stuff is great but doesn’t get quite the love cuz it’s kidna a “me too” album copying ideas Miles was presenting at the time. More dirty and psychedelic than the blackbyrd era stuff.

    Even though others may have been the true pioneers of the late 60’s early 70’s fusion style (Miles) they are amazing spins and are def some of my jazz favs

  11. angryjoggerz Says:

    Here are all of the Blackbyrds albums

  12. Gavinsdad Says:

    @palmer – what AW said about those Freddie hubbard albums. Donald’s contemporary. Go back a few years and be sure to listen to a precursor of sorts…Horace silvers “a song for my father” 1964 blue note goodie

  13. rivertrance Says:

    That’s funny the blackbyrds the band. Thought he was talking bout the album.

    Blackbyrd is also an insanely funky poppy soul jazz record by Donald Byrd from 1973. Highly recommended. Also one of the most heavily sampled albums of all time.

  14. Gavinsdad Says:

    ^forgot the “with blue mitchell on trumpet part”

    I’m liking this jazz resurgence here….I kinda od’d really hard on jazz a bunch of years back when blue notes “rare groove” series came out….mid 90s. So it’s refreshing to be jumpin back in a little

  15. Gavinsdad Says:

    ^i was actually talking about the album AW. But I dig blackbyrds too…rock creek park and all those funky bits

  16. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Dovetailing off the Hubbard recs – a few other choice cuts from CTI:

    Idris Muhammad – Power of Soul
    Eumir Deodato – Prelude (including the OG Also Sprach) and Deodato 2
    Stanley Turrentine – Sugar

    and my personal favorite

    The CTI All Stars – California Concert, with George Benson, Billy Cobham, Freddie Hubbard, Stanley Turrentine, Ron Carter, Johnny Hammond, Hubert Laws, Hank Crawford, and Airto Moreira engaging in collaborative hand waving of the most random variety.

    There is a pretty decent CTI collection floating around the ‘nerd, FWIW.

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    Donald Byrd – Black Byrd

    Purists howled with indignation when Donald Byrd released Black Byrd, a full-fledged foray into R&B that erupted into a popular phenomenon. Byrd was branded a sellout and a traitor to his hard bop credentials, especially after Black Byrd became the biggest-selling album in Blue Note history. What the elitists missed, though, was that Black Byrd was the moment when Byrd’s brand of fusion finally stepped out from under the shadow of his chief influence, Miles Davis, and found a distinctive voice of its own. Never before had a jazz musician embraced the celebratory sound and style of contemporary funk as fully as Byrd did here — not even Davis, whose dark, chaotic jungle-funk stood in sharp contrast to the bright, breezy, danceable music on Black Byrd. Byrd gives free rein to producer/arranger/composer Larry Mizell, who crafts a series of tightly focused, melodic pieces often indebted to the lengthier orchestrations of Isaac Hayes and Curtis Mayfield. They’re built on the most straightforward funk rhythms Byrd had yet tackled, and if the structures aren’t as loose or complex as his earlier fusion material, they make up for it with a funky sense of groove that’s damn near irresistible. Byrd’s solos are mostly melodic and in-the-pocket, but that allows the funk to take center stage. Sure, maybe the electric piano, sound effects, and Roger Glenn’s ubiquitous flute date the music somewhat, but that’s really part of its charm. Black Byrd was state-of-the-art for its time, and it set a new standard for all future jazz/R&B/funk fusions — of which there were many. Byrd would continue to refine this sound on equally essential albums like Street Lady and the fantastic Places and Spaces, but Black Byrd stands as his groundbreaking signature statement. ~ Steve Huey

    Recorded at the Sound Factory, Los Angeles, California on April 3 & 4 and November 24, 1972. Includes liner notes by Gertrude Gipson.

    Personnel: Donald Byrd (vocals, acoustic & electric trumpets, flugelhorn); Fonce Mizell (vocals, trumpet); Fred Perren (vocals, electric piano, synthesizer); Larry Mizell (vocals); Roger Glenn (saxophone, flute); Joe Sample (acoustic & electric pianos); David T. Walker, Dean Parks (guitar); Wilton Felder, Chuck Rainey (electric bass); Harvey Mason (drums); Bobbye Porter Hall, Stephanie Spruill (percussion).

    A1 Flight Time 8:30
    A2 Black Byrd 8:00
    A3 Love’s So Far Away 6:00
    B1 Mr Thomas 5:15
    B2 Sky High 5:59
    B3 Slop Jar Blues 6:00
    B4 Where Are We Going?

  18. angryjoggerz Says:

    ^ cut and paste

  19. Jtran Says:

    Blackbyrd, the album river is talking about

  20. Gavinsdad Says:

    Speaking of samples, can one of you boys school on on some Ron Carter? Only one I have is Yellow and Green which was kinda meh

  21. kayatosh Says:

    second what GD said about greensky’s vibe taking over the room last night. they brought it hard, and there was a palpable euphoria in the room. great sounding room and cool folk on board.

    you all have inspired me to spin some jazz CDs. best one of the past few I’ve heard: Miles Davis Water Babies.

    back on the phish today — gr. Went wolfman’s spinnin currently.

  22. Jtran Says:


    If possible I suggest the 2/14/03 Gin for afternoon listening. Great version.

  23. rivertrance Says:

    Piccolo from 1977 is pretty hip GD

    Carter plays solos on the piccolo bass throughout

    Piano, drumbs, and two bass players

    Pretty slick album.

    All Blues from 1973 is also a sick run through of some killer blues vibed tunes.

  24. Kaveh Says:

    Donald Byrd – Black Byrd

    ^Commencing. Thanks @aj.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Wow. Thanks for all the recs and drops.

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