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. bouncin fan Says:

    given the length of the jams and my wife working on a grant stalled out at the 95 providence dwd

    plan on pickin it up again here in a few

    def interested in hearing that. never have.

  2. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    tIII, i need help, but not with sci

  3. Michael Kang Says:

    You da man, T3!

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Got a check in the mail today for daycare reimbursement…5k… nice.

    Except when you realize that you spent 19k on it last year.. Life is expensive.

  5. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Dear Rey,

    Please don’t tell the same joke every night for the whole tour (just to screw with us). Thanks…

  6. Mr. Palmer Says:

    “Please don’t tell the same joke every night for the whole tour (just to screw with us). Thanks…”


  7. MiA Says:

    I’ve fortified the UberList. Too little St. Denis Reba in it, as well as others.

    Needed a 12/28/03 Frankie Sez in there too.

  8. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Actually, as per that interview, if he thinks we want him to tell the same joke every night, then he won’t. So, pretty please, play Possum every single night. Also, use of the word persnickety in a sentence= -2.

  9. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ^kids are expensive

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    That’s breaking the rules, MiA. One version per song. I went Lowell Reba, ymmv, obv.- and we know where your allegiances lie on that… Almost threw that Frankie in there but I also wasn’t going for canonical, so there’s no sample, bouncin, etc. Still playing couldashouldawoulda on a couple (like which hood to include – probably should have gone Worcester) but overall I like where it ended up. And it was confined to what I had on that one cpu which further constrained the exercise.

  11. Mr. Palmer Says:

    T3- I was spinning the Waves on your playlist assuming it was Bethel night 1 until I saw the song length.. Waves soundcheck FTW.

    Can’t understand why they keep going back to SPAC for these 3 night runs when Bethel seemed to be such a huge win for everyone involved in 2011.

    I’d be a lot more fired up for a 3 show run at Bethel then Spac. You can actually enjoy a show from the lawn at Bethel also…so I hear..

  12. bouncin fan Says:

    could be phishie rumor Palmer but I heard the owners basically said no more phish. we trashed the lawn.

    in our defense the place had a shit ton of rain and was pretty wet when we got there

  13. MiA Says:

    The Hampton hood is a good one.

    I’m renaming my list as ÜberGalaxy S3 list.

    It’s just like the first list but better and more customizable.

  14. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Chicago will suck, don’t come

  15. IrieWalton Says:

    So let me get this right, the owners of the site that housed Woodstock (aka the greatest mud fest in music history) is upset that a band’s fans, who cites many of Woodstock’s artists as influencing them, had too much fun on a wet lawn. Hmm…don’t know if I buy that as the reason, but if it is talk about calling the kettle black.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Lol bethel lawn night 1 was probably the worst experience I’ve ever had on a lawn. Have never been on a lawn since.

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Bethel was pretty new at the time ( maybe a year old) so perhaps I could see that. At this point though, I would think they are over it. Plus, no band they have playing up there can bring in the $$ that Phish does over a long weekend. I’m sure it pays for the new sod they would have to lay down.

    Yeah, I heard positive things about those on the lawn at Bethel. I wouldn’t know.

  18. BingosBrother Says:

    Murder capital of the world. Not safe for rich white kids.

  19. IrieWalton Says:

    Also just came across this clip on reddit from I don’t know when of Trey and Warren back stage somewhere talking music theory and then shreddin’ Funky Bitch.

    Definitely worth 8 minutes of your time.

  20. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Plus there is a gigantic hipster thing going on as well… Don’t want to be anywhere near that… Wooks and Hipsters don’t mix.

  21. gavinsdad Says:

    Little older than that @palms I was up there for PAF/GRAB in ’06.

    Best venue…gotta be something else beyond lawn trashing. Can’t figure out what.

  22. bob dylan Says:

    Found this on gothamist. PHiSH does indeed get dropped in the strangest places.

    Funny article about dick numbing spray. (I’m bored at the train station, ok?)

  23. bob dylan Says:

    Being found in the strangest of places was a reference to a link someone posted last night for the record.

  24. bob dylan Says:

    Gotta read back on why you guys think PHiSH isn’t playing at bethel. That was one of the raddest venues ever. Even AW was spun playing with balloons with kids.

    What was wrong with the lawn DF? I dug it there more than anywhere besides the gorge or deer creek.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Bob- don’t need to read back very far, just brought it up at top of this page.

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