New Year’s Tickets Fly

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on October 6th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Miami 2009 > 2010 (Wendy Rogell)

Yesterday, the last Phish Tickets-By-Mail emails of the year went out, notifying lottery winners of their booty and officially kicking off the final ticket-trading frenzy of 2010. With this weekend’s on-sales, just like that, the end of 2010 is in sight. It’s hard to believe that 2011 is on the horizon; Miami feels like only yesterday. As fall tour kicks off in a matter of days, the Phish scene is in full swing once again. With the band’s second Halloween and New Year’s Run of this era on the docket, we have seamlessly slid right back into a Phish-filled existence. With all of the “firsts” behind us, this upcoming season has the distinct feeling of a musical blast into the future. Ready to move mountains again, less than two years into their return, Phish has infused the entire community with unparalleled excitement, as the next 15 shows drip with limitless potential. With proficiency no longer a factor, this tour will be the first in which the band hits the ground running.

Then Phish will return to the only real venue for a New Year’s Eve blowout – Madison Square Garden in New York City. After not knowing how this era would unfold, things could not look more positive at this point in time. And for that we can be all be grateful. Austin on Friday and Colorado on Sunday…we’re almost there. The final quarter of the year looks like the best one yet!

Congrats to all lottery winners and good luck this weekend in the last Ticketmaster battles of 2010!

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Jam Of the Day:

Disease > Sand” 6.17.10 II

Here’s a scorching flashback to the early summer in Hartford, Connecticut.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

10.10.1991 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR SBD < Megaupload

10.10.1991 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR SBD < Torrent asap

Oregon Ducks

Another retro-nugget from a college town, this show – 19 years ago this week – comes from Oregon, a state Phish may or may not ever play again. If current trends are indicative, the Pacific Northwest, except The Gorge, isn’t even on the band’s radar screen. Here’s to some west coast Phish in 2011!

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Foam, Paul and Silas, Split Open and Melt, Bouncing Around the Room, The Landlady, Runaway Jim, It’s Ice, Eliza, Llama, Memories, Golgi Apparatus

II: Brother, Reba, Poor Heart, Cavern, Run Like an Antelope, I Didn’t Know, Sparkle, The Oh Kee Pa Ceremony > Suzy Greenberg, Fee, Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove

E: The Squirming Coil, Fire

Note: Many copies of this show that circulate include Alumni Blues and Lizards at the end of set I but this is filler from an unknown show.

Source: SBD

Tags: , ,

The Aftermath

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on April 1st, 2010 by Mr.Miner

“dear phish lotto, I hope you die in a fire”

“Never been so stoked to see a $324 charge on his credit card!!!”

“The MO ticket goddesses rejected her…booohoooo”

“TELLURIDE!!!”

“Who’s got my extras…??? i need Phish tix”

“The Phish lottery did me right!!!”

“Phish tickets sucks…No if’s and’s or butt’s about it. It’s a scam like spam.”

“I GOT 2 TICKETS TO’RIDE!!!”

“tickets are for noobs”

“Best birthday surprise ever (revealed at dinner): we won the ticket lottery. See you at the Greek and Telluride!”

“Scored 471 Greeks and 202 Tellurides! YAY!!”

*****

"There Are Two Sides to Everything"

There are two sides of every coin. Regardless of what names one affixes to them – the good and the bad, the happy and the sad, the lightness and the darkness – all experiences are split in two, allowing for life’s peaks and valleys. Yesterday, this dichotomy became evident as as emails rolled back from Phish, pronouncing our pre-season ticket fates. Above were excerpts from my friends’ Facebook status updates, a news feed that was dominated by the swirling emotions left in the wake of the ticket lottery. In a cloud of black smoke, peoples’ dreams of stress-less Fridays were crushed, while many others sung a distinctly jovial tune. As is the aftermath of each tour’s mail order maelstrom, the community is left divided – celebratory and bitter – waiting for this weekend’s public on-sales.

And now everyone braces for a ticket barrage like none in recent memory, as the entire summer tour will drop within two days. Ticketmaster is hosting many of the shows, and everyone knows what to expect from their servers. But the biggest farce of the summer is Telluride’s chosen agent, Tickethorse, who will sell 2-day passes through one phone number and a janky website that will go down like Oceanic 815. The bottom line – get your credit cards and mouse clicking fingers ready. Or plan a stealth getaway to that outlet that you discovered last summer, because after Saturday, all the ticket will be spoken for – temporarily.

Ticket Mania - (P.Tschudy)

Through grassroots efforts, fans always seem to get tickets to other fans, and now with the Internet’s help, it’s never been easier. Between Phantasy Tour, Cash For Your Extra, Phish Thought’s very own Ticket Exchange,and other various message boards, the web is helping the community subvert scalper efforts. While stressing face-for-face exchanges, these fan-run sites do allow people to set their own bargaining chips, providing an friendly, online marketplace for fans to barter with other fans, instead of high-priced, geeked-out guidos with mullets. Since the modern era of Phish has dawned, and largely following Hampton’s (expected) debacle, fans have stepped up to facilitate a fair-trade ticket market, doing their best to intercept scalping middle-men, TicketsNow and StubHub.

But alas, let’s not get ahead of ourselves here people. Tickets haven’t even gone on sale; chill out for just a minute. Nobody is shut out of anywhere. And aside for the Greek and Telluride, any other ticket should be easily attainable for face value or under between now and then. Point being, don’t write off summer plans based on what the lottery spun your way, because aside for these western shows, tickets will be out there!

Jones Beach '09 (W.Rogell)

Regardless of anything else, the conclusion of this weekend’s “official” festivities will bring us into April, as the community shift gears with Chicago’s summer opener only two-plus months away. And that is what is important to keep in perspective. Most of these preseason ticket shenanigans are fueled by emotion in the moment, but in 2009, tickets were the last concern on anyone’s list, so in 2010, the situation should only get easier. The only stubs that should cause a stir in the scalping landscape will be The Greek and Telluride. Otherwise, they’d best be served my sticking to U2 and Hannah Montana, where the demand actually far outweighs the supply. But if not, you know they’ll always be there if you need em!

As we all embark on individual quests this weekend, just remember, everyone will be inside in the end. But, as always, the wait is a bitch.

Best of luck. And remember, all is fair in love, war and tickets. Game on.

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Jam of the Day:

Ghost > Taste” 8.9.97 I

A standout chunk from Alpine’s opening frame in ’97; another audio retrospective of an upcoming summer visit.

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Download of the Day:

8.10.96 Alpine Valley, East Troy, WI < Megaupload

Continuing today’s mini-musical glimpse on Alpine history, here is a re-post of Phish initial visit to their now-staple tour stop in the Midwest. Check out the stellar versions of “Reba” in the first set and the “Hood” in the second.

I: My Friend, My Friend, Poor Heart, AC/DC Bag, Fee, Reba, I Didn’t Know, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, Rift, Bathtub Gin, Cavern

II: Wilson, Down with Disease, Scent of a Mule, Free, Fluffhead, Hold Your Head Up > Whipping Post > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood, A Day in the Life

E: Contact, Fire

Source: B&K 4021 > PSP-2 > DA-P1

Tags: , ,

The Results Please…

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on March 31st, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Holds have been placed on credit cards across the country, and official emails should be following sometime soon. Hang tight folks, and best of luck to all!

12.29.09 - Miami (Photo:Wendy Rogell)

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Jam of the Day:

Piper > 2001” 11.4.98 II

The most memorable segment of Denver’s second set in the band’s follow-up to Utah’s Dark Side escapade.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

2.21.03 The Crown, Cincinnati, OH < Megaupload

The Crown '09 (Unk)

Today we look back on night one of the band’s two-night, post-hiatus stand at The Crown. The opening set features strong versions of “Disease” and “Antelope,” setting the stage for a throw-down second set. Coming off a standout show in Chicago, Phish really began to hit their first stride back during this Midwestern weekend.

I: Wilson, Frankenstein, Down with Disease, Lifeboy, Boogie On Reggae Woman, Run Like an Antelope, I Didn’t Know

II: Mike’s Song > Free,  Waste > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Harry Hood, All of These Dreams, Possum, Cavern

E: Wading in the Velvet Sea

Source: Unknown

Tags: ,

The Ticket Lottery

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on March 30th, 2010 by Mr.Miner

The Phish Lottery Continues

Never have I wanted my credit card to be charged as much as I do right now. The magic digits of $564 are the numbers that would bring me bliss, celebration, and relief. $564 (or $282 if you’re rolling solo) represents the cost of two tickets for The Greek and Telluride. (Or any 10 single tickets, but that’s mere trivia in this instance.) Anyone who gets the privilege to purchase these golden tickets via Phish’s lottery this week will be able to deeply exhale and put their feet up, while everyone else sweats it out. Lottery winners will be automatically freed-up to stab for east coast lower pavilions, or to help friends on the harder missions this weekend. But more than anything, one’s hassle will be over before it ever began.

6.16.09 - The Fox (C.Smith)

Phish tickets are fickle bitches these days. At times costing upwards of $300 in the secondary market for the smallest shows, at many other times, one can’t give them away if they tried. The actual market value of a single Phish ticket fluctuates so greatly in relation to locale, as one can clearly observe this summer. Other than The Greek and Telluride, all other tickets will be easy scores, and the only issue will be lawn or pavilion. If one waits out the initial feeding frenzy, many of these tickets will be for sale on lot for far under the $60 face plus fees value. The same scene took place in 2009, where the only hard tickets (besides Hampton) became the tiny Fox Theatre in St. Louis and the band’s uber-climactic return to Red Rocks, holding only 10,000 people. (Asheville gets an honorable mention, but it wasn’t the same.) For most other shows, one could score a stub for $20 -40 easily, and it was a fair deal leaving both parties happy. It used to be that one could walk to the venue with an extra ticket with no doubt of selling it to someone along the way. But at this point, when trying to sell extras, one encounters far more people trying get rid of their own superfluous stubs than anyone looking to buy one. Except for these special shows when tickets are worth more than gold; it’s quite an interesting dichotomy.

The Greek Theatre - Berkeley, CA

Last year’s Fox show, one case study, turned out to be a very funny occasion. So many people flew across the country and paid top dollar to get into The Fox, and Phish responded with one of the tamest shows of the tour, centering “Time Turns Elastic” in the second set. A decent, yet linear, “Halley’s” jam held the only redeeming value on a night that everyone had circled for months as the “can’t-miss” show of summer. But unquestionably, The Fox represented an exception rather than the norm, as Phish rarely disappoints. And something tells me the band won’t be dropping duds in Berkeley and the Rockies come August.

With only a few days separating us from summer tour’s general on-sales, everyone and their mother (pun intended) will be getting their lottery emails before too long. Over these next two days fans will obsessively check their credit cards, praying for that magic $564 or $282 hold, and before long, we will all know one or two people who scored huge. But in the meantime, all we can do is wait and cross our fingers. With the amount of requests versus the amount of available tickets, the word “lottery” has never seemed so appropriate.

Good luck to all, and may the force be with you. We are gonna’ need it.

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Jam of the Day:

Wolfman’s Brother” 7.26.99 II

The second set opener from Summer ’99′s US finale at Deer Creek.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

6.20.04 SPAC, Saratoga Springs, NY < Megaupload

SPAC 6.19.04

This show concluded Phish’s last gasp of full-blown creativity in 2004. As the band sculpted their unofficial post-hiatus finale over SPAC’s magical nights, they left us with two more shows to remember forever. The band’s first visit back since Summer ’95 proved to be high point of ’04. The second set – “Seven Below > Ghost > Twist, YEM” – contains top-notch jamming throughout.

I: Rift, Julius, Bill Bailey, Won’t You Please Come Home?, Waves, Gumbo, Water in the Sky, Horn, Poor Heart, Drowned

II: Seven Below > Ghost > Twist, You Enjoy Myself

E: Good Times Bad Times

Source: Unknown

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NOTE: I am out of town for a few days at an undisclosed location with very sketchy Internet connectivity. This will effect the site in a few ways this week. First off, there will be no torrents. I will do my best to get torrents of this week’s shows up when I get home. Also, I may not be able to connect for long enough to upload new shows for Downloads of the Day, therefore, I will likely feature shows that were posted a long time ago or went directly to the archive. Things will be back to normal by the weekend. Thanks for your understanding!

Tags: ,

Tickets to Telluride

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on March 22nd, 2010 by Mr.Miner

Town Park -Telluride, CO (M.Chase)

As the mail order deadline rolls around this Friday, the hottest topic in the Phish community has got to be how the hell to score tickets to Telluride. The golden ring of summer stubs, of the 9,000 tickets, only 7,500 will go to people nationwide. After the near-impossible on-sale on April 2, we will all be left to our own own devices, and it may not be a pretty scene. The hardest ticket since Hampton’s ’09 reunion will undoubtedly be the top prize of 2010′s preseason, and here are some of the details.

Over the weekend, an article from The Telluride Watch emerged explaining the 1,500 “locals only” slots which will be sold in unique fashion to prevent resale.

Purchasers will need to present their driver’s license proving San Miguel County residency at a sales venue in order to purchase access to the concerts…For those local residents who don’t have an up-to-date drivers license, other means of proving residence such as a current utility bill or pay stub may also be accepted as long as the bearer can also produce valid identification, confirmed Ronnie Palamar of the Sheridan Opera House and Karen Lamb of Telluride Music.

“Everything is going to have to match,” explained Lamb, later adding, “We’re just trying to make sure the locals don’t get squeezed out.” Purchasers’ names will be placed on the Will Call list and they will again need to present identification at the concert box office in order to obtain a wristband for entry. They will also need to accompany the person for whom they bought a ticket at the concert box office.

For everyone that doesn’t get lucky in Phish’s Tickets-By-Mail crap-shoot, there won’t even be an option to go to an outlet unless your get yourself to Telluride. From Phish.com, here are the on-sale details for April 2.

Tickets go on sale Friday, April 2nd at Noon Mountain time. Tickets can be purchased online at www.tickethorse.com or charge by phone at 866.461.6556. Tickets may also be purchased at the Sheridan Opera House and the Telluride Music Company. Tickets for this show are only available as part of a 2-day ticket for entry to both 8/9 and 8/10. You cannot purchase tickets for individual days.

In case you missed that, the core facts are that the entire nation of Phish fans will be battling online, or on the phone, for 7,500 two-day passes. To make matters all the more complex, Ticketmaster isn’t selling these tickets, rather, Tickethorse, a Colorado-based agency that is bound to crash, will be dropping the Phish ticket of the season. Giddy-up? One can only hope.

Hampton '09 Art

Even with a legit system, 7,500 tickets would be gone in the first 15 seconds, and with a two-ticket limit, extras won’t exactly be floating around the Internet. I would imagine the only viable trade for a two-day Telluride pass would be tickets to all three nights of The Greek, (or two at the very least.) It should be an interesting post on-sale marketplace, as scalpers will have as hard of a time snagging these as anyone; there simply are not that many tickets! In this case, it seems that the lottery, of all places, is the most-likely way of scoring. And that, my friends, is a bleak situation. With the town booked solid, how this will all unfold remains to be seen. If nothing else, it will certainly be an adventure.

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Jam of the Day:

The Curtain > Stash” 6.17.95 I

A sinister exclamation point to set one in Gainesville, VA circa Summer ’95.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.13.99 Great Woods, Mansfield, MA < Torrent

7.13.99 Great Woods, Mansfield, MA < Megaupload

6.6.09 - Great Woods (G.Lucas)

The second night of Great Woods ’99. This summer, Phish will stop at their old-school Massachusetts stomping grounds on Tuesday, June 22.

I: NICU, The Curtain > Halley’s Comet > Roses Are Free > NO2, Lawn Boy, Reba > Carini, Funky Bitch

II: Wolfman’s Brother > Piper > Bug, Mountains in the Mist, Run Like an Antelope, Possum*

E: Tuesday’s Gone*

* w/ Scott Murawski

Source: Schoeps cmc6/mk41 > Lunatec V2 > Apogee AD1000 > Sony D100 (@ 48 kHz)

Tags: , ,

Why Not Simulcast?

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on March 31st, 2009 by Mr.Miner
Hampton (S.Mailer)

Hampton (Unk)

Following yesterday’s ticket discussion, I wanted to address one suggestion that was brought up- simulcasts.  With the ticket situation as bad as it is, and fans being shut out of shows across the country, why would Phish not offer live streaming versions of all their shows- audio and/or video?  While certainly not a substitute for being at the show, this would draw in far more of the community to each concert and provide legitimate Phish experiences for thousands upon thousands of people.  They did it for Brooklyn, they did it for Coventry- why not do it for every show from here on out?

With management’s focus seemingly on the dollar this time around, the idea of paid streaming simulcasts would be another huge revenue stream of virtually 100% profit.  The overhead needed to film the shows would be minimal, depending on how advanced they wanted to get.  A simple one-angle frame of the band would work just fine; one camera on a tripod at the soundboard- something they have done for most of their career.  The organization could then broadcast an audio and/or video feed over the internet-  $5 for streaming audio, $10 for streaming video- and the problem of pissed off and left out fans would be greatly reduced.  Then people would click right over and buy the downloads- cha-ching.  Even if there were no ticket issues, this should be an available service.

"Harry Hood" 3.6.09 (S.Mailer)

"Harry Hood" 3.6.09 (Unk)

It was shocking that Phish didn’t run some sort of simulcast for the comeback show in Hampton- the most anticipated show in Phish history.  And with the current economic climate, this idea would allow many more fans to join in the fun of Phish each and every night.  This will not solve the ticket issue per se, but it would soothe the burn of being shut out, and could be a permanent fixture of 3.0.

This all points back to the question, does Phi$h Inc. care about the fans at all?  If so, something should have been put into action already.  With Live Nation, Music Today, Ticketmaster, and Red Light all in bed with each other, there seems to be a huge music business monopoly forming; one that favors their big clients- and now that includes Phish.  So I stick by my question, is the plight of Phish fans a concern for Red Light Management?  Is it even in their top ten lists of concerns?  I don’t know.

Hampton (S.Mailer)

Hampton (Unk)

This much I do know.  If people were able to have an HD tour package, where they could watch the show unfold in real time every night, there would be a lot less bitterness in the community.  In no way am I suggesting this would be a replacement for the show experience, but it would be a real-time version of “No Spoilers”- everyone would freak out simultaneously.  In addition, providing a substitute for the tour experience for an older and less mobile fan base, this would allow many more people to stay in the loop.  You could order show by show or in a package- just like the LivePhish downloads.  It’s a cash cow staring the organization in the face, and I sincerely wonder why they aren’t addressing it.

Hampton (S.Mailer)

Hampton (Unk)

To refute one possible counter argument, any simulcasting would have zero effect on ticket sales- this much should be obvious.  With such absurdly high demand, tickets would still sell out in minutes, and then Phish could start adding to the stack by selling streaming versions of their shows.  It sure seems like a no-brainer to me.  People could then congregate, party, and dance together- even if it’s not in the pavilion or the lawn.  Hearing the magic unfold defines the Phish experience, and this set-up would allow so many more fans to do just that.  Sure, we know the organization has been pared down to a minimalist structure for the sustainability of the band,  but what about the sustainability of the fans?

Perhaps this is all in the works and we just don’t know it yet.  But if so, why not?  Throw us a bone; why must we live in a vacuum?  The band that had grown so renowned for their intimate fan relations has now outsourced the job to a corporate entity seriously lacking communication skills.  Hell, they only announced that Hampton downloads would be available three days in advance!  The band’s website remains largely stagnant and could be a renewed place of interaction.  A post or two from a band member, even some gibberish from Mike, would go miles in helping things out.  Without the Schvice, and removed from any “formal” interaction with the band, we no longer get a glimpse into their quirky, Phishy world.  I guess we will wait and see.

Hampton (S.Mailer)

Hampton – Photo: Jeff Volckhausen

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NEW HOSTING FOR PHISH THOUGHTS!

logo-hoodHi all!  Thanks to my man AlexanderK, I have finally got Phish Thoughts off WordPress.com onto an independent server.  This will allow more flexibility with adding new features to site, both in content and design.  You should notice no difference at all in the working of the site- except now you can navigate comments using page numbers!  While surfing Phish Thoughts, if you find any missing photos, broken links, missing files or anything at all, please email me ASAP at mrminer@phishthoughts.com.  Thanks!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

12.31.93 The Centrum, Worcetser, MA < LINK

12.31.93 The Centrum, Worcetser, MA < TORRENT LINK

New Years Run 1993

New Years Run 1993

Today we have one of the classic New Year’s Eve shows in the band’s history.  Coming to you by a reader request, be sure you don’t miss out in this FMSBD copy of this evening.  This show features one of the most genius moves in Phish history- segueing out of “Auld Lang Syne” into the debut of the “Down With Disease Jam” before the song had ever been played!  Man, I wish I had been there for this one!

I: Llama, Guelah Papyrus, Stash, Ginseng Sullivan, Reba > Peaches en Regalia, I Didn’t Know, Run Like an Antelope*

II: Tweezer, Halley’s Comet > Poor Heart, It’s Ice, Fee, Possum, Lawn Boy, You Enjoy Myself

III: Auld Lang Syne > Down With Disease Jam#, Split Open and Melt, Lizards, Sparkle, Suzy Greenberg, HYHU > Cracklin’ Rosie > HYHU, Harry Hood, Tweezer Reprise

E: Golgi Apparatus, Amazing Grace

*With Tom Marshall on vocals. #Debut of “Down With Disease” jam; the song was not played. 04-04-94 Burlington

Source: FMSBD

Tags: , ,

TicketShit

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on March 30th, 2009 by Mr.Miner
3.6.09 (J. Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J. Kravitz)

Something’s got to give in this discouraging state of affairs.  Phish tickets have gotten nearly impossible to acquire on actual on-sale dates, and there is no solution in sight.  In a nutshell, this sucks, and many fans are being left ticketless. This weekend, we witnessed the death of online Phish ticket sales, and discovered the only way to score a decent ticket is to be the first in line at an outlet- sometimes.  Although I had most of my tickets, I tried to score tickets for every on-sale this weekend to fill in the gaps and grab tickets and hook up friends in need.  Not interested in buying lawns, I was able to score a whopping two Gorge tickets out of seven on-sales.

This isn’t coming from a place of bitterness-I have my tickets, and for that I am blessed- just one of utter dismay and empathy for those who had similar experiences.  I tried all weekend long to score a decent stub and met with fail after fail after fail- and I consider myself pretty savvy with the ticket thing.  After my multiple experiences this weekend, I thank my lucky stars for having so many friends looking out for one another, because without such a network I’d be out of luck right now.  Yet not everyone has such a network, and these on-sales are their only real chance of getting tickets, and herein is my point.

Page and Trey (J.Kravitz)

Page and Trey (J.Kravitz)

Let me narrate this weekend’s bumpy road, and I bet that some of it sounds quite familiar.  Red Rocks- not a chance.  I never even saw the screen after I selected two four-day passes.  Next day- I tried for Darien while a friend stuck out on Merriweather.  I was never able to access a screen to actually select tickets- not sure why.  Maybe I refreshed one too many times, but I was never let back in, even after restarting my computer- though obviously nothing was left at that point.  There is nothing on Live Nation’s site about refreshing screens.

SPAC- nothing.  I am thrown into a waiting room from which I never emerge. Once I decided to bite the bullet and refresh the screen, tickets were gone.  Live Nation’s server seemed to be jamming every single time, and even when I did get by the captcha in under fifteen seconds, there was always an error message waiting on the next screen.

blockbuster_video_storeMeanwhile, I heard of a friend’s success at their local Blockbuster, and decided that for Shoreline, that would be my plan.  But first the Gorge was going on sale.  Completely defeated and ready to toss my computer out the window, I would attempt Gorge tickets as a mere formality.  But less than an hour before they dropped, a friend stopped by and suggested we look at places to go in the city.  We hopped in her car and sped down to a little Ticketmaster outlet within a store in the Mission.  Upon arrival, there were about nine people there and about a half an hour to go.  I figured we were screwed but decided to wait and be told formally.  In conversation, I learned that eight or nine people had scored four-day passes for Red Rocks there the previous day. Hmmm, I thought, we are going back to the old-school.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

While waiting in line, I realized that our technology has finally outdone itself.  With so many people trying to score tickets against insurmountable odds created by ticket bots, hacker software, and scalpers, online ticket sales for Phish shows are officially dead.  Sure, there will always be stories of the people who were lucky enough to get them- but that’s what it is, pure luck.  Sure, you can strategize until the cows come home, but with zero barriers to entry, when thousands of people all hit the button simultaneously, whoever gets pulled into the system is quite random.  Online ticketing is far too accessible- you can sit in your underwear with your bong and click the mouse, or try order tickets when you should be working.  Back in the day, you’d have to go to a Ticketmaster outlet- it took a lot more effort.  Online on-sales have become no better than another lottery at this point, so we are left to trade and scalp; it’s a bad scene.

As the guy at the outlet furiously ran credit cards and printed tickets, the two-day passes sold out, as expected, with the person before us.  We did manage to score two individual tickets, and now she’s in.  That’s my success story.  But it wasn’t supposed to be the main story- that was coming Sunday with Shoreline.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

I tried for Hartford and landed in another waiting room, then all that was available was lawn- all within about thirty seconds.  Really?!  I got into the system in the first thirty seconds and all that was left were lawn seats- something was going on here.  Unless you got right in at the moment the tickets went on sale, your chances at a pavilion seat were slim to none.  Sure we can all get stubbed down, but it’s all about having your own ticket in your own pocket.

Yet for Sunday I had scouted my plan.  I located a random Blockbuster an hour outside the city, and was heading there early- very early.  Waking up at 7:07, I hopped in my car by 7:30 and was in the desolate parking lot of Blockbuster at 8:30 am- alone!  I had done it, I had accomplished my goal- I was first at an outlet.  I smoked a joint solo just to celebrate my forthcoming pair of 100 level tickets, and sat on the curb with the Sunday Times- blowing up my solo lot scene.  I spoke with the manager, and he was on board with the mission, so I relaxed and enjoyed the morning sunshine for 3 1/2 hours.  About an hour into my personal sit-in, a second guy rolled up, and we shot the shit as we gloated about our situation.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

I checked in with the manager again, telling him about the high demand, the scalpers, and the incredibly time-sensitive nature of his forthcoming task.  He was down, he would do all he could to make sure we were hooked.  Beautiful- or so we thought.

Finally, it was five to twelve, and tickets were about to drop.  As I watched him navigate the computer, I realized how slow he was at each movement and began to fear that his lack of speed would be our doom- but I was first- I knew I would at least get my two.  12:00 hits!  He pulls up two pavilions but has no idea what button to press to try and acquire the tickets.  After about twenty seconds of searching he finally found the “add to cart” button, which I thought was strange for a corporate outlet.  A cart?  Anyhow, as he entered the order, his computer came back with an error message!?  What the fuck?!  I came here to avoid error messages!  And so he started the process from the beginning again, and I knew I was sunk.  By the time he pulled ANY ticket, it was 12:10 and it was a lawn, which we let a third guy have who came up at the eleventh hour.

Fishman (J.Kravitz)

Fishman (J.Kravitz)

I was momentarily livid.  It was so obvious that Live Nation sent their guy to install their computer at Blockbuster, dropped off an instruction manual and left.  The guy confessed to being “very new at this” having only sold twenty tickets ever, and no offense, but it showed- he was totally unprepared for the task at hand.  If I was behind the terminal, I’m confident we would have all walked out with pavilions, but alas, what could we do- he was the guy that worked there.  To make a long story short- first in line, 3 1/2 hour wait, no tickets.  Nice.

What to do now?  I have no idea.  With internet on sales as random as the lottery, outlets’ efficiency subject to staff competence, and a phone system in which we get hung up on, we are left with very little control over our own destiny to score Phish tickets.  It’s reached the point of absurdity, and I have yet to hear a legitimate solution.  This whole paperless ticket trend wouldn’t work for Phish, as you wouldn’t be able to trade or buy tickets for friends unless you were actually going in the door with them.  Though by subverting scalpers, everyone just might be able to get tickets again.

Ironically, part of the problem is the relatively low price of Phish’s tickets.  With a $50 face value, they are sold at a fraction of the cost of any major act like Bruce Springsteen, The Dead, or U2.  Knowing the profit margin available on Phish tickets, scalpers, like vultures, flock to them using ticket bots and mark them up 400-500%.  If that’s their business, how can you blame them?  The incredibly high demand for Phish tickets far outstrips the supply for any given show, driving the true market value of a Phish ticket far above $50.  With such a high demand, they are able to make ridiculous profits on Phish.  In trying to keep it cheap for the fans, the irony is that fans aren’t getting the tickets; it’s a total mess.

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

3.6.09 (J.Kravitz)

So we are left to our networks of friends, trading boards, and scalpers- not always feasible options for everybody.  I am a firm believer that if you go to just about any show and try hard enough, you will always find one.  But it shouldn’t have to be like that; it shouldn’t be so damn hard for to get a ticket to see our favorite band.  But with the band members taken out of business decisions this time around, we are left with Coran Capshaw and corporation Phi$h running the show, and, honestly, they seem like they couldn’t care less.  Sure, they put anti-scalping messages on Phish’s ticket site- but do they actually do anything? Not so far.

ticketsnow-ticketmasterBruce has done something, Trent Reznor has said something, Eddie Vedder pioneered the anti-corporate ticket movement, and Metallica, AC/DC, and Tom Waits have tried paperless tickets requiring credit card and ID for entry.  Yet nothing but silence has come from camp Phish as TicketsNow continues to hawk all their summer shows at absurdly high prices.  It seems clear that Phi$h Inc. likes the hype and these sky-rocketing prices in the secondary market, as the demand to see Phish will only increase with every fan shut out.  In the end, with the millions rolling in, no one cares who is getting the tickets or how they are doing it, this much is plainly obvious.

This is 2009, folks- we can pull up our friend’s entire music libraries on our phones from across the country, we can zap messages to people around the globe instantaneously and locate anything with pinpoint accuracy via hand-held GPS devices, but somehow we can’t figure out an effective system to get tickets in the hands of real fans.  The real question remains, does anyone really want to?

***

To correlate some numbers to this debacle, check out “The Economics of Phish Tickets,” thanks to Posterus Nutbagus!  Here is an explanation of the spread sheet.

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PHISH THOUGHTS TICKET EXCHANGE:

2889100254_8494a287a8Speaking of tickets, The Phish Thoughts Ticket Exchange has been updated for all the new shows!  We have opened up the board to the public- no longer will you need to email for an invite.  Please respect the board, as this is a community resource to get around the secondary ticket market.  Please respect the board and post carefully to make sure you are putting your info in the right place. Please read the instructions on the board before posting.  There is a permanent link to the board on the upper right of the home page.  If you make a successful deal through the board, please send an email with “Great Success!” as the subject line with the details of the deal in the text so we can track transactions.  If you have any questions, feedback, or suggestions, please email mrminer@phishthoughts.com!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

redrocks_right

I am re-posting this classic SBD for the sake of completing our ride through Red Rocks history.  We conclude with a straight up classic- certainly one of the best ever in Morrison.  Enjoy the blistering show from start to finish, as we dream of the end of July.

I: Wilson, Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself, Rift, Down With Disease, It’s Ice, Tela, Stash

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Run Like an Antelope, Fluffhead, Scent of a Mule, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, Maze, Contact > Frankenstein

E: Suzy Greenberg

Last “Frankenstein”07-26-91.

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Ticket Paranoia!

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , , on January 30th, 2009 by Mr.Miner

Staring at the glowing screen with sweaty palms as your heart palpitates; refreshing the screen every second waiting to see that magical “Buy Tickets” button; constantly glancing at the time, moving as slow as Elmer’s glue; it’s all back.  This ritualistic stress has returned as we sit on the brink of Phish’s first ticket on-sale weekend in five years.  This time, it’s not just three shows, but an eleven show run over two days.

201The nerves always become a bit tense in the 24 hours leading up to the moment, as you try to devise the perfect strategy to succeed. Maybe you should open three windows at once?  Maybe you should drive a few states away to a random outlet and score in person?  Maybe you should try to keep the agent on the phone for the right amount of time?  Maybe you should go into work early on a Saturday morning to use their fast Internet connection on multiple computers?  Maybe you should split up the shows with your friends and all try for a separate one?  The options are endless, and the irony is that there is no clear cut “best way” to score tickets in this age.  This fact makes the game all the more fun to play!

1999-10-03gnTicket paranoia- it can be paralyzing! As you lie in bed the night before or sit at work waiting for the few hours to pass, your mind can become numb.  All of a sudden, you find yourself unable to perform any tasks other than refreshing the browser and your mind becomes obsessively one-tracked.  Thinking about, let alone accomplishing, anything else can sometimes be straight up impossible.  Maybe that’s where you’re at right now.

As the time approaches, the butterflies flutter a bit faster while your heart rate begins to steadily increase as if you were exercising.  Refresh.  The clock says 9:57.  Thoughts of Phish, the joys of summer, the warm air in the amphitheatre, the first set under the fading sun, the long carefree drives.  The clock still says 9:57.  Damn! Refresh.  This type of pattern continues for the next three minutes- however it seems like three hours- before that :59 finally turns to :00.

1998-04-04gn210:00.  Now the adrenaline kicks in, as you try your best to control your mouse-clicking finger, making sure you do things briskly, yet carefully.  At this point, your nerves and adrenaline can actually work against your fine motor skills; your body becomes momentarily discombobulated.  But you push through, overcoming as you must.  Damn!  You can’t read that security word- “Why the hell do they make them so hard to read?” you wonder.  You ask for another code word, thinking that this step could be your demise, or mean the difference between a great seat or a lawn seat.  Quickly you type in “design” and “snowbank” as quickly as possible while wondering how the hell they choose these random words. You finally click “Enter.”  Your waiting time is less than 2 minutes. Two minutes!!  You begin cursing in your mind, letting one or two leak out of your mouth. That wheel is spinning forever!  Around and around and around and around, then all of a sudden your wait time jumps down to “less than a minute.”  “Let’s go, let’s go, let’s GO!”, you think to yourself, waiting for that ticket page to appear.  YES!! Like a shaft of light shining on you from above, time stands still as the next screen appears -”Section 103, Row G, Seats 23, 24.”  Booyakasha!  A hundred pound weight lifted off of your head, and your anxiety turns to momentary glory.

2003-02-18gnThere is no time to rest, you have one minute and thirty seconds to complete a couple more steps.  Payment.  Since we haven’t ordered tickets in years, maybe you no longer have your credit card number memorized, so you lay it beside your keyboard.  Looking back and forth between every four numbers, you carefully type in the digits.  Then the expiration. Then the code.  Finally, the shipping.  You know this info by heart and you breeze through, recheck it all and submit your order.  Finally, you can relax.

livenation_logoBut this time there is no time to rest with seven shows going on sale!  Then four Saturday morning.  You’ve got to get your nose directly back to the cyber-grindstone and go for the gold.  Today, all of this will take place on foreign territory- Live Nation.  For years, fans have cursed Ticketmaster for any and every reason, but we all got very used to their website. We no longer needed to look for anything on the screen.  This time through, with a poor user interface, your guess is as good as mine as to how this will turn out.  Live Nation may crash and error out orders with the high demand for all we know- even Ticketmaster did that sometimes.

1997-11-28gnBut with all the different shows going on sale at the same time, the demand will hopefully be dispersed enough to ensure that many people can hook up some stubs.  With the likely ability to only score a couple of shows, I foresee a lot more online ticket trading before the beginning of June.  In the end, if you passionately want to go to any of the shows this summer, besides Asheville and The Fox, your will will get you in.  Just don’t give up, and for God’s sake, don’t stay home because you don’t have a ticket!  This may be against Phish’s “advised polices,” but if you haven’t found a ticket yet, and you really want one bad enough, you will find one on the lot.  Just get there early enough and scour like a madman! Don’t stand like a statue with your finger in the air.  It simply comes down to desire.

Best of luck to all in the newest version of the ticket game; this is only the beginning!

Share today’s ticket stories in Comments!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

9.14.99 BSU Pavilion, Boise, ID < LINK

9.14.99 Boise, ID

9.14.99 Boise, ID

Due to all of yesterday’s talk around this epic show, it has jumped to the top of the pile for today’s download.  Celebrate whatever tickets you get with one of the most exciting Phish sets of ’99.  Only two words needed here– “Bag,” and “Gumbo.”  Enjoy the weekend!

I: Chalk Dust Torture, The Sloth, The Curtain > Waste, Loving Cup, What’s the Use > Wading in the Velvet Sea, Farmhouse, Nellie Cane, Taste, Rocky Top

II: Peaches en Regalia, AC/DC Bag > Gumbo > Down with Disease, Frankenstein

E: Simple, Hello My Baby

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Tickets? Yeah, Right…

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags , on October 15th, 2008 by Mr.Miner
Tom Morrell

photo: Tom Morrell

Answers to the great ticket mystery have started to unfold.  Yesterday afternoon, Music Today began trickling emails out notifying the majority of the 100,000 ticket requesters that they had been denied any tickets.  It seems as though it was all or nothing, as people who got tickets seemed to get their entire request filled.  This seems like a clear an attempt at preventing thousands one-ticketed fans from descending upon Hampton to try to find the other two nights.  It makes sense, but if Phish thinks the Hampton lot scene will anything but a completely laughable ticketless joke, they are fooling themselves.  Unlike MSG, where there is no lot, and you had to walk the streets looking for extras, Hampton has an extensive parking lot and surrounding area that will no doubt be flooded with ticketless masses.

I have only heard about four people I know getting tickets, and one of them got TWO orders filled, so she has four tickets for each night!  Two other “winners” also got their whole order filled, and the third “winner,” my brother, was the only one I know to get a partial order filled, as he only got two for night three. Strictly from an observational standpoint, this system seems like an incredibly random and inequitable way to distribute tickets.  Someone who has never seen Phish grabs their dad’s credit card has the same chance of scoring tickets as a loyal fan who has been seeing them for over decade, and given the band countless thousands of dollars.  In my opinion, this doesn’t seem right.  Rewarding some with six tickets and most with none in a random selection process seems a bit too haphazard.

I don’t have any easy answers, but this is NOT how the situation should be.  Many people will wind up not going to these shows because they will be forced to pay scalper prices in order to get in.  The ticket game is almost impossible to win- with the Phish allotment of tickets virtually impossible to attain; and with Ticketmaster being so entangled in ticket broker relationships that most of their allotment go directly into the hands of scalpers.  Who is left out of all this? The fan!  Us!  It is a jacked up system that has been ingrained for so long, that it seems hard to overturn.  In taking a “strong stance against scalping,” Phish doesn’t seem to care about the reality of the situation.  At the very least, they could have played MSG, a venue with a 20,000 person capacity for concerts instead of the 13,800 person Mothership.  That would have allowed over 50% more people to get into these shows, and they could have played Hampton the following weekend, thinking of the big picture.

The Promised Land

Hampton - The Promised Land- photo: Abhi

The average fan entered the lottery anywhere from 1 to 10 times.  When not getting tickets, they are forced to try to break the Ticketmaster log jam, which as we all know, is almost as impossible as the lottery.  Maybe you’ll be one of the lucky ones to actually get into the server, but by the time you enter in the “code word” and information, you’re out of luck for the other two nights.  With a two ticket limit put into to place to spread the love, this will also ensure that no one will have extras for these shows, forcing our average fan to confront $250-300 tickets for each night.  Let’s say you have a girlfriend or boyfriend, husband or wife- now you’re looking at $1500 for the run- JUST FOR TICKETS!  With the first round of tickets gone, it seems like broker prices are already starting to climb into the $300 range. Once the 18th has come and gone, I don’t even want to know what they will be charging.  This has gotten completely out of control.

What is a shame, is that people who should be inside Hampton, won’t be able to enter due to these exorbitant prices.  I understand that Phish only controls their allotment of tickets, but maybe it is time for them to revisit their ticket distribution model, in order to ensure that fans inside didn’t have to cancel their winter vacation to get in.  My only idea right now is to go back to the original “Grateful Dead” model for Tickets-By-Mail.  It seems like a no brainer.  The reason why there are 100,000 requests, is because any jackass with a credit card can put in a request that matters just as much as any other.  With mail order- you needed to have the cash in hand if you wanted to order tickets.  If that were the case, I’d say that number of “requests” would decrease exponentially.  It’s really the only way to do it.  No one ever got rejected from mail order before- it was about how good your tickets would be!  Although Phish had good intentions, this is a classic case of technology screwing something up that was running smoothly.

Hopefully, this is all due to the massive hype of their comeback, and when they announce further dates, there will be greater chances of getting tickets.  Hopefully, they won’t announce dates one weekend at a time, a process that would ensure a repeat of this exact same predicament.  Honestly, they should have announced all the dates at once so that many people could have chosen what weekends to see, lessening the white hot intensity that is focused on Hampton.  But they didn’t.  So, for us “lottery losers,”  we need to battle an insufficient server and thousands of brokers on Saturday morning, in a virtual sprint for tickets that will inevitably end quicker than Usain Bolt’s Olympic races.  There is no easy strategy here.  All I can say is, think positively, and “Good luck!”- this ain’t no walk in the park.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY: 6.18.94 UIC, Chicago IL SBD < LINK

UIC Pavilion

UIC Pavilion

A popular favorite from the Summer of ’94, this is one that everyone has heard.  One of the best shows of the tour, this first set is filled with Phish favorites, and the second set is for the ages.   Peaches, “Mind Left Bowie” kicks off this epic frame, and before long, amidst a dark twisting Tweezer, the band reprises the Mind Left Body jam at the the peak of this set highlight.  Pausing briefly in Lifeboy, the rest of the set explodes with an energetic YEM, and a set closing Chalk Dust. This is a classic- in soundboard form- enjoy!

I: Wilson > Rift, AC/DC Bag, Maze, The Mango Song > Down With Disease, It’s Ice, Dog Faced Boy > The Divided Sky, Sample in a Jar

II: Peaches en Regalia > Mind Left Body jam > David Bowie, Horn, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Tweezer-> Lifeboy, You Enjoy Myself, Chalk Dust Torture

E: Bouncing Around the Room-> Tweezer Reprise

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Tickets, Tickets, Tickets!

Posted in Uncategorized with the tags on September 13th, 2008 by Mr.Miner

With the release of Trey’s fall tour shows, the ticket game has once again commenced.  Trades, sales, brokers, miracles, service charges, convenience fees- all those things we haven’t considered for four years are back again.  Message boards and Craigs’ List sites are filled with offers to buy, sell, and trade.  Trey tickets have now made it to EBay for fan bidding wars, while many ticket broker sites have significant allotments of tickets.  There are two specifically sought after tickets on this tour that have been focus of the many transactions and requests- Roseland and Higher Ground.  Roseland, originally slated for Port Chester, NY,  sold out in minutes on the day of pre-sale, and with the heightened interest from many New Yorkers, the Ticketmaster release didn’t last much longer on Friday.

Higher Ground is a different story.  With a capacity of only 500, these tickets were gone faster than Port Chester for pre-sale, and to make it even harder to obtain, there were no further online sales for this show.  The only way of snagging tickets was in Burlington, at the Higher Ground box office on Friday morning, with a limit of two per person.  A friend of mine went down an hour early, but people had been lined up since 3 am for the release.  No dice.  Clearly a special show in Phish’s hometown, as well as a benefit for Trey’s Seven Below Arts Initiative, a program to fund and advance arts education in Vermont, this show is hyped as a Burlington family and friends event with endless Phish possibilities.

With both of these shows now sold out, broker tickets are going for Roseland between $90-200, while Higher Ground tickets are anywhere between $200-$400.  One question I have been pondering- with the exclusivity of the Burlington release, how do scalpers have all the tickets?  It just doesn’t make a heck of a lot of sense.  A counterargument to this overall ticket conundrum would be, “These are all small venues- there just aren’t that many tickets.”  Yes, I hear that, but this is mostly an extended regional crowd trying to grab these few tickets for Trey on his special comeback tour, not the totality of Phish nation.  That would be another monster.

What does this all foreshadow for obtaining Phish tickets when they do come back?  First of all, they are going to be expensive.  These Trey tickets, when all said and done, were $50 bucks out the door.  You figure that Phish could easily charge $75 bucks with charges included; no questions asked.  It may be less, but it may not be.  Combined with the increasing cost of gas these days, for both cars and planes, touring in a post 9/11 world looks to be considerably more expensive than it was back in the day.  And then there is the incessant ticket demand- the demand that the brokers feed off of.  Everyone remembers the comeback shows at MSG and Hampton- those tickets were nearly impossible to get your hands on, flying out of brokers hands for anywhere between $300-500 each.  Are we heading for a scenario like this for the upcoming return?  Possibly.  This is why it is important for Phish to choose their comeback wisely. But regardless of their decision, I doubt that Phish is going to step on stage at a festival in front of 90,000 people for their first show back- so prepare yourself to play the ticket game once again.

In 2003 and 2004′s comeback, brokers played a major part in the ticket distribution for all shows, often scooping up most of the tickets on release day and then reselling them for far over cost.  The demand for Phish tickets will be greater than ever- there is now a whole generation of Phish fans who have never even seen the band live!  And while this may mean good business for scalpers, it means major headaches for all of us.  Oh, how I long for the days of postal money orders and the traditional mail order system.  At that time, you needed the cash in hand to mail order, and if you did, you were rarely denied. This was largely because there weren’t 20,000 teenagers using their parents’ credit cards flooding the pre-sale system trying to score tickets like today.  With the advent of technology, scoring tickets has actually become more difficult- pretty counter-intuitive isn’t it?

Anyhow, as transactions continue to take place from now through the end of Trey tour, we will not only be preparing ourselves for the musical return of Phish, but also the return of strategizing, scheming, and figuring out how to secure your stubs for entry into the grandest musical theater on earth.  It’s all part of the game of Phish; get ready to play again!

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

4.17.92 Warfield Theatre, San Francisco, CA <<LINK!

On their smoking west coast Sping ’92 run, Phish stopped in at one of San Francisco’s most storied venues for the first time.  Making their debut at the 2,200 person Warfield Theatre, Phish played a keeper.  Following an all-star first set comprised of all classics, Phish leapt even deeper into the fray with the second set.   As the theatre’s curtain opened, revealing Page’s brother lying in a bathtub onstage, the band ripped into their new song “Brother” as Phish crew members continuously jumped into the tub!  Classic.  Also featuring a YEM, Fluffhead, and Tweezer, this widely circulated soundboard recording gives you a clean and crisp snapshot of Phish amidst one of their most revered old-school runs.

I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Sparkle, Stash, I Didn’t Know, Cavern, Reba, Maze, Bouncing Around the Room, The Landlady, David Bowie > Catapult > David Bowie > Catapult > David Bowie

II: Brother, You Enjoy Myself, Fluffhead, The Squirming Coil, Tweezer, Uncle Pen, Cracklin’ Rosie, Tweezer Reprise

E: Golgi Apparatus

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