With Long Beach only two days away, Leg Two has snuck right up on us! On Wednesday, Phish will embark on a thirteen-show tour over two plus weeks, criss-crossing the nation while hitting a host of venues they’ve never played before. In each year since ’09, the band’s second leg of summer has produced the most significant music of the season. Thus, if this pattern continues, the most memorable jams of 2012 are yet to unfold. Starting in a janky, little-used arena in Long Beach, California, and winding up in everyone’s favorite soccer stadium in Commerce City, Colorado, the second leg of tour looks promising for many reasons.
Momentum: Phish hit a legitimate stride over Leg One, achieving a consistency we hadn’t seen over the past few years. Playing—as a unit—as well as ever, the band crushed their most impressive tour of this era, showing no signs of fatigue over a month-long docket. Their jamming felt fresh and new styles finally took hold. If the band continues to do what they’ve been doing, the fortnight should be a breeze for them, and I think we will all be quite happy with the results.
Venues: Rarely, at this stage of the game, does Phish visit so many new venues in the course of one tour. Over Leg One, the guys dropped in on one new locale, while in half the time over Leg Two, they will play five venues for the first time ever: Long Beach Arena, San Francisco’s Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, Kansas City’s Starlight Theatre, St. Louis’ Chaifetz Arena, and the Oklahoma City Zoo. Phish always gets a kick out of new environs, and I’d bet they’ll be more than a bit enthused to step onto so many new stages, especially in four small markets. For traveling fans, these new stops will provide totally novel experiences, far more interesting than the normal summer amphitheaters. For regional fans, in many cases, Leg Two will bring Phish to their hometown area for the first time in ages! And when Phish plays Oklahoma City, they band will cross off another state in the dwindling list of those they haven’t played. In addition to these new venues, Phish will return to Oak Mountain in Pelham, Alabama, for the third time ever (’94, ’99), and to Lakewood Amphitheatre in Atlanta for the first time since 2003. With Charlotte the only routine venue of tour, Leg Two should be an adventure!
No Fall Tour: Phish announced earlier this year that there will be no fall tour, therefore, this will be the last we see of the band until New Year’s Run in New York City. Because of the upcoming off-season, I imagine that the guys will let it hang out over their final tour of the year. They have been playing with tremendous confidence and a sense of the moment, and I’d expect these trends to continue.
Execution: But for a few fizzling second sets, Phish has been able to execute their game plan on a nightly basis in 2012. Whether that plan included an extended setlist of songs or several connected jams, the guys played with passion, patience, and musical density, resulting in zero shows that were notably off, sloppy or played poorly.
This summer has brought a renaissance to the modern era, and Leg Two is where the shit goes down! See you in Long Beach…
MINER ON JAM ON TONIGHT!
Be sure to tune into “Gone Phishin” on SiriusXM’s Jam On TONIGHT at 9 pm eastern (6 pacific) as I host the first of a two-part show that looks back at my favorite jams of Leg One! The first 90-minute segment airs tonight and the second at the same time tomorrow! Thanks in advance for listening!
20% OFF SALE ON PHISH THOUGHTS BOOKS!
Now through Dick’s you can order Mr. Miner’s Phish Thoughts for only $39.99 plus shipping and handling! I am not going to have many books on tour due to the tough routing, thus your best way of grabbing one is through the site. 600 plus pages, 250 plus photos and hours of entertainment—all for just $39.99! I will try to have some in Colorado! (Please allow a couple days to ship while I am on the road.)
–Tags: 2012, Summer 2012