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. MiA Says:

    Rotation through the UberList created Sand > Quadrophonic Topplings > Roggae.

    Well done randomizer. Well done.

  2. voopa Says:

    Back at the Chicken Shack
    Misty Mountain Hop
    Bye Bye Foot

    Of course camping is the cheapest option for Tahoe…stayed at Emerald Bay State Park in ’11 which was a tricky drive post show, but an amazing spot. Plenty of cheap rentals too…I may have a crib or two available for BB’ers this time around, we’ll see.

  3. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    lol i thought you guys wanted new songs?

  4. gavinsdad Says:

    American Movie is excellent. Nice call.


  5. garretc Says:

    Come now DF, with all the stoner fucks hanging around here you expect consistent thoughts from one day to the next?

  6. MiA Says:

    > Lemonwheel Gumbo > Sanity.

    All the hits. All the time.

    Might have to intervene in this one to force the Lemonwheel Tweezer.

  7. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Finishing up my first Pliny ever right now. As advertised. About to wash it down with a Heady Topper for comparison. Bet none of you guys have ever done that.

    Take that Enjoy By-ers.

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    garret, i have no expectations

  9. garretc Says:

    Attaboy DF

  10. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    other than i expect dick’s to be better than last year’s dick’s, or i want my money back.

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    Coven! American movie is awesome! Love that.

  12. poop goblin Says:

    Fuck new songs

    I just want less sterility and more unbridled all over the place manic creativity I kept hearing in corn cobbs pix

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    how can you expect dick’s to be better than last year? Especially since you love the sand so much—that’s 3 straight nights of the sickest music. oh, and I may be going to dick’s now, so its not about that 😉

  14. MiA Says:

    Mike is awesome in that movie.

  15. MiA Says:

    Good to hear Miner!

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    miner, because i wasn’t there last year

  17. MiA Says:

    That Sand “in-person” was even better than what makes it to the recording. It roared through the stadium and the lights were fantastic.

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    is dick’s not gonna be good this year? should i do SF instead?

  19. Jtran Says:

    work officially OKed VT july trip for me, so in for SPAC

  20. MiA Says:

    Stage 1:

    She/he doesn’t get it / isn’t cool with it / it is a point of contention

    > Stage II:

    I lie about / hide my true passion for Phish from my significant other

    > Stage III:

    I don’t have a significant other.

  21. Jtran Says:

    do SF instead

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    This will be bizarro tour.

    Jones Beach and Merriweather will be the hottest run.

    Ya never know.

  23. bouncin fan Says:

    I”d say toss up but SF run will be twice as expensive.

    6 of the best shows have all been at DIck’s though. that’s a tough trend to go against.

    plus Trey knows he’s built up a little new legendary tour spot. I think he’ll slay it again. especially being most likely the summer closer coming off a bit of a break.

  24. BNCB Says:

    Do the whole tour Df. Make a mini documentary and post cat photos from every town on Instagram.

  25. bouncin fan Says:

    phishfork is a lock for a good run cuz even if Troy shits the bed there will def be some great music during the day to catch

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