Summer Musings


Summer Tour 2013

There’s nothing like a fresh set of dates. Despite the accuracy of the rumors you had the previous week, once he band posts their schedule, the time between now and then is posted on a virtual countdown timer that we all carry with us to some degree. Whether you are planning on hitting every show or just a few, downloading every show or hearing them when you do, the infusion of new Phish music douses our collective consciousness with vitality and life force. When dates drop, all of this gets brought to the surface again and everything gets jacked up for a few minutes or a few hours, depending who we are, in anticipation of what is to come. And this year the band has changed it up.

Instead of splitting up their summer into a two-pronged attack, Phish’s first tour of their 30th year is a month-long stretch spanning both coasts and evoking the feel of a late ‘90s summer circuit. Starting in Maine and finishing in Los Angeles, the band will play 22 shows with a 3-day encore in Colorado over Labor Day Weekend. I’d go over all the venues one by one, but Hidden Track has got that covered. What immediately stands out to me upon looking at the docket is the plentitude of multi-night runs and the long-overdue, west coast love. Making things easy for travelers, all but five shows are in the context of multi-night runs. And with all due respect to the east coast, 3.0 mainstays such as Jones Beach, Merriweather and Alpharetta, the golden stretch of this summer runs down the left coast for a change.

The Gorge '09 (W.Rogell)

The Gorge ’09 (Wendy Rogell)

To cap their month of touring, Phish will fly from Chicago to Washington State for 13th and 14th shows at The Gorge, and their the fifth and sixth of the modern era. Since 1997, every time the band has ventured into the Columbia River Gorge they have reaped some of their most creative exploits of their respective tours. There’s nothing quite like seeing Phish at The Gorge, and who knows how many more times they will go back? Taking two days off the band will hit up Lake Tahoe for a mid-week twin bill. Although the venue at Harvey’s amounts to a parking lot, being in the mountains for the other 20 hours of the day will provide quite the worthy tour stop. The band’s 8/9/11 show at Harvey’s remains one of the universally underrated shows of this era. The band will head back to the Bay and back to Bill Graham Civic Auditorium for a late summer three-pack that looks to be quite the end-of-tour blowout. With a standout show under their belt in the building, the band returns almost a year to 8/19/12 for three more shows that are in prime position. Instead of playing the intimate arena at the beginning of a tour, the band should come in a well-oiled machine—see Dick’s last year. Phish will hop down to LA and close their tour with one show at Hollywood Bowl. Marking their second show under the visually electric shell, the band will play a one-off show in the glitzy surroundings of the music industry’s epicenter.

As an encore to the tour, the band will play their annual, end-of-summer date at everyone’s favorite soccer stadium in Commerce City, Colorado—a stand-alone, three-night run at Dick’s over Labor Day Weekend. The band’s first two stands at Dick’s have provided some of the strongest music of their respective summers, and I see no reason why that trend would stop now. With a month to go deep, the band will showcase what they found over the course of the season in the Rockies of Denver. The thinner summer schedule suggests the fall tour that everybody assumes is right around the corner, but one thing at a time here.

8.19.2012 - Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (Ken Scelfo)

8.19.2012 – Bill Graham Civic Auditorium (Ken Scelfo)

Two other runs that jump out at me are the opening weekend and Chicago. The the obscure tour-opener on July 3 in Bangor, Maine is a no-brainer must-see show. Nothing else needs to be said about that. With one day off, the band will back that up with a three pack at SPAC over the holiday weekend. This run has throwback written all over it, and Bangor’s date is reminiscent of The Ballpark in Old Orchard Beach, ME on July 3, 1994. The second attention-grabbing destination shows are in Chicago over the second weekend of July. Taking place at Charter One Pavilion on Northerly Island looking back at the city, this venue will be a first for Phish, but I’ve only heard great things.

Additionally, Phish will dip into Canada right after SPAC to good ‘ol Molson Amphitheatre in Toronto, the site of two shows in ’99 and ’00, for the first time since 2000. It is good to see them return to the over-sized GA floor at Alpharetta and leave Lakewood a fixture of the ‘90s. This month-long jaunt is rounded out with routine tour stops at PNC, Jones Beach and two nights at Merriweather.

Tickets requests are available now for just under two weeks. More on the tour as things get closer. Good luck in the lottery and take the brief Summer Tour Poll below.

7/3 Bangor Waterfront Pavilion – Bangor, Maine
7/5-7/7 Saratoga Performing Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, New York
7/9 Molson Amphitheatre – Toronto, Ontario
7/10 PNC Bank Arts Center – Holmdel, New Jersey
7/12 Nikon at Jones Beach Theater – Wantagh, New York
7/13-14 Merriweather Post Pavilion – Columbia, Maryland
7/16-17 Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre – Alpharetta, Georgia
7/19-21 Northerly Island – Chicago, Illinois
7/26-27 Gorge Amphitheatre – George, Washington
7/30-31 Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harveys – Stateline, Nevada
8/2-4 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium – San Francisco, California
8/5 Hollywood Bowl – Los Angeles, California
8/30-9/1 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park – Commerce City, Colorado

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763 Responses to “Summer Musings”

  1. neemor Says:

    Brand-spanking new slf down for whatever.
    Great poll question.
    Allowed me to reflect on the fact that I get to show this Further-Tour Vet what PH tour *looks* like!
    She’s been doing her homework, I’ve been feeding her ears ice cream.
    Such a joy to bring a down chick on the road to a Summer show.
    Can’t wait.

  2. Sumodie Says:

    Föllakzoid tourdates remaining (to clarify some earlier questions):

    Mar 13, 2013 Austin, SXSW Fest at Holy Mountain Backyard on Wednesday
    Mar 14 2013 Austin Psych Fest presents: LEVITATION
    Mar 16 2013 Austin Psychedelic Light & Sound Official SXSW
    Mar 19 2013 Brooklyn, NY BYM RECORDS RELEASE SHOW
    Mar 20, 2013: Brooklyn, NY Death by Audio (w/ The Holydrug Couple)
    Mar 21, 2013: New York, NY Mercury Lounge (w/ The Holydrug Couple)

  3. neemor Says:

    I need to be here more often.
    I have no idea what that means^.

  4. Sumodie Says:

    Neemor! Check my orange for some interesting music like Föllakzoid, a modern space rock band from Chile. Some of us have been going nuts exploring modern psych bands in the off season

  5. voopa Says:

    Could I really be seeing 8 west coast shows this Summer? Sweet!

    I was surprisingly unphased by the dates yesterday, probably more to do w/my upcoming procedure than the dates themselves. Or I was expecting another venue they haven’t played yet like the previous 2 years. Either way I’m warming up now…figured out financing at least for some of the preorders, so hopefully the rest will work out as easily.


  6. jonacho Says:

    So is the festi out for summer?
    Doesn’t seem likely or smart to announce separately.
    Perhaps a fall fest in a warm locale?

    pretty excited to line up chi>gorge>bgca>dicks tour on this end.
    I suppose my wife is an angel, actually

  7. aburtch Says:

    Bummed they don’t come anywhere near North Carolina this year. The past couple of summer shows in Charlotte were stellar.

  8. Leo Weaver Says:

    Hope everything goes well re: surgery @voopa…best vibes sent.

    So what’s the deal with SPAC, besides “the lawn sucks” and “don’t lose your car!”? Looks like that’s my early season set of shows. Not sure if I’d fly into NYC or Albany but would need a ride either way. And what’s the deal with accommodations? Like willowed, I’m not a wook and have cash.

  9. MisterChristian Says:

    looks like summer is a botch for me. Fingers crossed for Fall.

  10. Guyute711 Says:

    Fly into Albany and try to get balcony seats Leo.

  11. DryIceFactory Says:

    Morning kids. I’ve been losing it for the last 16 hours thinking about how good we are going to get it in Bangor. CENTRAL MAINE TWEEZER B*TCHES!!!!!

  12. Eck Says:

    BANGOR? I hardly know her! 😉

    07.03.94 was my first show…nice to see the tour opener on a weekday up in Maine…the way Life SHOULD BE.

    Bangor > Sat/Sun SPAC > Toronto > San Fran > LA +8

  13. kayatosh Says:

    “Whether you are planning on hitting every show or just a few, downloading every show or hearing them when you do, the infusion of new Phish music douses our collective consciousness with vitality and life force.” — Miner

    ^^^ The guy’s good. on pt.

    spinning 8.5.11 RnR. Could be my favorite jam of 3.0. i know it’s just waving of hands to some, but that theremin action and the butter segue to fire on the mtn., woops, meatstick is $$$+.

  14. kayatosh Says:

    “Whether you are planning on hitting every show or just a few, downloading every show or hearing them when you do, the infusion of new Phish music douses our collective consciousness with vitality and life force.” — Miner

    ^^^ The guy’s good. on pt.

    spinning 8.5.11 RnR. Could be my favorite jam of 3.0. i know it’s just waving of hands to some, but that theremin action and the butter segue to fire on the mtn., woops, meatstick is $$$+.

  15. Calpain Says:

    any philly BBers trying to swing PNC? (plans for JB and MPP already locked down)

  16. kayatosh Says:

    the hitting every show folk have to be a scant few in this era. That is a herculean effort.

  17. kayatosh Says:

    I’m down for doing PNC, calpain. always the ? to stay over or haul home that night? i’m not the the post show driver, but i’d be a happy co-pilot.

  18. MiA Says:

    I just realized my $1525 ticket request did not include Gorge pre-order either. This is getting expensive.

  19. ren Says:

    Don’t forget about your Fall budget MiA!!!

  20. neemor Says:

    Thank you, sumo…so much going on musically.
    I find the East Coast a bit light, but glad the West Coast is getting that love again.

  21. Sumodie Says:

    For my Tame Impala concert musings, check the last page of the previous post

    Poop G, yeah, I figured my Impala thoughts would be taken as more negative than positive, because I also agree with your Impala comments like:

    “Washy waves of rollin psych with numerous interesting guitar tones and feels on every track”

    So you think Impala and ‘similar’ bands like Animal Collective will never be tight bands…? Interesting perspective….last night I was wishing I had seen AC recently or that I could see a whole slew of modern psych bands like in Austin in order to absorb & contrast their various live performance styles

    In no way am I looking for Impala to reproduce their studio work exactly (actually they did play their studio work very well). Guess I feel bands can perform more cohesively even if they’re a loose shambling outfit.

    To simply my prior comments, go see Impala!

  22. Sumodie Says:

    SPAC balcony is the waaaaay to go. I was in the regular Pav the first two nights last summer but didn’t feel I had the breathing room to dance till the third night in the upper balcony. All is more relaxed up there and the sound & sight lines are great

  23. kayatosh Says:

    dang! Boogie On 8.5.11 — $$$. major head bobber. plinko jam ftw!

  24. kayatosh Says:

    flirting w/ the spac idea. generally discombobulated re. which shows to catch. in a relaxed tizzy.

  25. roberto luongo Says:

    I do agree Sumo given he creates all the recorded music himself and it’s quite layered there probably is a bit of them developing a live sound. I’ve heard even from their last tour they seem more comfortable on stage.

    but I do feel that their style of psych uses the tight ass great drummin as a anchor to let the others wash and wave away. the looseness kinda adds to the feel. and ya MGMT and AC I feel have similar styles. they aren’t trying to be Zappa or late era FLoyd or mid 90’d Phish. more MBV, Spaceman 3, or SOnic Youth. kinda that a bit off the rails waves of psych sounds. doesn’t quite work polished.

    just my .02c though. I’m not much of a musical historian. just the vibe I picked up from seeing MGMT, AC, and now Tame Impala.

    Follakoid def had the tighter trance minimalist style live. different vibe. but very cool.

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