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. gavinsdad Says:

    greek light and all of set 2 commence. thanks for the nudge.

  2. kayatosh Says:

    live peter tosh. last performance

  3. gavinsdad Says:

    something in the air that nite at the Greek! (ocedoc powers)

  4. garretcorncob Says:

    Yeah Kaya, I love the Tahoe Light, definitely could have slotted into my list.

    Another one of the best jams I’ve been in the building for, although that list grows by leaps and bounds, thankfully.

  5. MiA Says:

    A great Canadian Stash… from back when $.62 bought a Canadian Dollar and $20 bought all the sushi you could eat on Robson.


  6. angryjoggerz Says:

    Finally people not shit talking the Greek, I thought I was in bizarro world the past few weeks. Sheesh.

  7. Jtran Says:

    must’ve been nitrous

  8. BNCB Says:

    AJ, Greek basher may have been Waste Sign Guy. Not sure, but could be grain of salt’d.

  9. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    greek: plenty of good music, but a huge pain in the asse festival.

  10. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    Just booked the train ride from SF up to Tahoe (& back).
    who’s up for get’n loaded in the observation car?

  11. BNCB Says:

    On Cue!

  12. roberto luongo Says:

    ya only greek gripes

    are hard to dance on stairs. tarp nazis. and I almost had to kill a young white hat for bitchin at us for taking up too much space

    music, peeps, good times, and sound was $$$$$$

  13. Jtran Says:

    more troy videos from cbs

  14. roberto luongo Says:

    oh ya and not too big on waiting in line

    but damn we had a choice spot nice 3. perfect sound dead center. tons of room.

    early waterwheel entrance ftw

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    Me and my friends just got a spot in the dance trench all three nights and killed it. Plenty of space, good people all around, really great vibes, Ocedoc, Cities, Simple, Light, Slave, Hood. First contact with the real life bb’ers, walk back to hotel, good food, BART from airport to Berk. Was awesome all around for this guy.

  16. garretc Says:

    Nah BNCB, Waste sign guy was dognamedwilson, not this apparently unrelated Wilson

  17. garretc Says:

    Sucks. New name waiting on moderation, had to stick with old faithful.

    No points for guessing what the change entails…

  18. angryjoggerz Says:

    Button nose?

  19. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    awesome clips from cbs there. Good Troy.

  20. MiA Says:

    Cobb yourself…

  21. roberto luongo Says:

    for me Greek is like Red Rocks. great sound. great venue in theory. but in the end spun hippies and concrete stair style venues just are a bit uncomfortable.

    great fuckin sound though.

    didn’t notice the flat dance moat. surprised it wan’t more packed.

  22. gavinsdad Says:

    i dont shit talk the music from the Greek. twasn’t there. i get the same chills from this show that i did listening on couch tour. that whole set just unfolded lovely across the internet and bb.

  23. Luther T. Justice Says:

    2 eyes made out of coal?

  24. gavinsdad Says:

    what a nasty fucking set

  25. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    those who are down on Troy should watch those CBS bonus clips. they’ll warm ya up a little.

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