Play Ball!

Fenway Park - Boston, MA

Fenway Park - Boston, MA

With a timely announcement coming on Opening Day of Major League Baseball’s 2009 season, Phish confirmed the rumor that they will start their summer tour at Boston’s Fenway Park on May 31st.  After a stint in the minors in ’04 at Coney Island’s Keyspan Park, Phish is being called up to the bigs to open up the ’09 season!  Another video announcement highlighted the unique features of the historic ballpark at 4 Yawkey Way, as a camera perused the ornate detail of the Boston shrine. The imagery was backed by Fenway’s organ playing “Take Me Out To The Ballgame,” yet when the song ended, the camera flashed to the organ player who cracked his knuckles and readied himself before delving into a baseball-infused rendition of “Tweezer Reprise!”  Merging America’s two favorite pastimes, the interpretive cover played for the rest of the video as images of the ballpark graced the screen.  With an artistic preview of the stadium that they will soon demolish, Phish once again, infused the community with unparalleled adrenaline and excitement.

It seems that a week cannot go by without another significant development in the Phish world.  Whether it is ticket on sales, added shows, or tour planning, Phish 3.0 is officially under way!  With the addition of Fenway, Phish will play the first real stadium show of their career in one of the smallest and most storied yards in the land.  With a capacity of just under 40,000 without the field, this shouldn’t be the hardest ticket of the summer, but these days that’s not saying much.  But the intriguing question of what lucky fan will pull Fenway’s single red seat amidst a sea of green remains to be answered.

Fenway Box Office (C.Harris)

Fenway Box Office (C.Harris)

People have already begun to speculate if this will mark the beginning of the stadium Phish era, and I’ve got to say I seriously doubt it.  If there is one thing that this summer’s slate has proven to us, it is that Phish 3.0 will play where they want and when they want.  They are choosing only their favorite locations, regardless of size, and booking them.  I don’t think that this show has any predictive value in terms of where Phish will play in the future- they simply wanted to play Fenway.  And to be honest, this show just jumped to the top of the must-see shows list of the summer.  Fenway or The Fox?  Oh, the decisions!  Directly connected to their renewed mission of putting music first, the band is taking liberty in playing unique venues that will inspire them.  I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again- no band can match their music to their surroundings like Phish, and with so many diverse surroundings comprising this summer, the band should respond in diverse and dynamic fashions.  From The Fox to Bonnaroo, and from Asheville Civic Center to Fenway, this summer will be sprinkled with some of the most unique Phish shows in a long time.

In addition to the huge summer kick off party at Fenway, Phish also tacked on a third Jones Beach show on Tuesday June 2nd, increasing the summer total to 27!  With these additional dates, it sure seems like the band is as excited for the summer as we are.  With a night off in between the first and second Jones Beach show, Phish will stick to their practice of not playing more than four nights in a row- a pattern that will assist everyone involved.

Fenway Park at Twilight

Fenway Park at Twilight

Armed with a new album and a renewed sense of purpose, May 31st represents the the turning of the next page.  Hampton was where the band got their sea legs back with concise, direct jamming, and Fenway is when the Phish will begin to swim the ocean waters again.  In one of the most exciting locales of their career, you can be sure the band will come out in Boston ready to conquer the world once again.

With only two months to go, Summer ’09 is shaping up to be quite the special season- not only because Phish is playing again, but because they are playing exclusively great venues.  Meaningful for their role in the Phish history, or their own place in cultural history, these venues were chosen with utmost care and creativity, creating the most diverse tour in ages.  Fenway, Red Rocks, The Gorge, The Fox, Asheville Civic, Bonnaroo, Deer Creek, Alpine, Merriweather, SPAC- the list goes on and on.  It all sounds to good to be true.  But truth be told, with the band playing in center field, Fenway will become our very own field of dreams.

***

Tickets requests for Fenway and Jones Beach can be made here now through this Sunday, April 12th at midnight Eastern.  Fenway tickets will go on sale through eTix, which looks very likely to crash on Saturday, April 18th at 10 am Eastern.  Jones Beach’s new first show goes on sale Friday, April 17th at 10 am Eastern via Live Nation.

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DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

7.2.98 The Grey Hall, Christiana, Copenhagen, DK < LINK

7.2.98 The Grey Hall, Christiana, Copenhagen, DK < TORRENT LINK

phish-copenhagen-98“Ghost > Jim > Caspian, YEM”- the four song second set.  With the most cohesive frame of Europe ’98, Phish closed the curtain on their three nights of magic at The Grey Hall.  The improv throughout this set was phenomenal, highlighted by “Ghost” and “YEM.” Throw in a first set versions of “Theme” and “Fluffhead” with the debuts of “Meat” and “Fikus,”all in a Scandinavian barn, and you’ve got quite the show.  Check it out; it’s one to be considered strongly by Live Phish for release!

I: Birds of a Feather, Cars Trucks Buses, Theme From the Bottom, Brian and Robert, Meat*, Fikus*, Shafty, Fluffhead, Ginseng Sullivan, Punch You in the Eye, Character Zero

II: Ghost > Runaway Jim > Prince Caspian, You Enjoy Myself

E: Simple

*debut

Source: Schoeps MK4 (FOB; mics in a hat) > VMS IO2b > KCY > DA P1 recorded@ 48

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286 Responses to “Play Ball!”

  1. mr. icclus Says:

    Dyda where are you from? Im from the pittsburgh area.

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    Hey Miner,

    Obviously ,since I have been pimping it here on your site, this Christiania show is one of my very favorites.

    I’m interested to hear how it compressed since IMO this FOB is the single finest I have ever heard. I’d be glad to reseed the lossless version if anyone is interested in that. It’s quite incredibly great sounding – the clearest Trey amp tone I have ever heard on a recording.

    And a big THANK YOU MR MINER for all the work put into the music you put up on this site. I caught up on torrents last Friday, and spent our first beautiful weekend of the Oregon springtime pumping that amazing Summer ’98 mix out in the yard. It was perfect – really just exactly perfect – we all loved it, 4 yr old Mason sang along with Ghost and danced in the front yard to 2001, etc…

  3. dyda Says:

    i just liked the variation of the phrase ‘holier than…’

    all good 13: moe, sts9, umphrey’s, dso, robert randolph, ymsb, les, keller, galactic, lotus, kimock, oteil/murawaski/kreutzmann, ratdog, ben harper, tea leaf, bridge, etc. (hoping for perpetual groove, medeski martin & wood, benevento/russo too)

    granted there are some repeats from rothbury…

  4. dyda Says:

    yeah i actually live within the city limits. dormont is like two blocks away though

  5. Frankie Says:

    Well, good music is good music! 🙂

    I remember reading these interviews with Trey and the band he wanted to see every night was Rage Against The Machine…

    Then in another interview he’s drving around listening to Slayer and then talking about King Sunny Ade and Fela Kuti..

    The only sit-in i would want for this summer is Ernest Ranglin on a 15 min. cover of Surfin’ or Congo Man Chant!! 🙂

  6. whole tour! Says:

    your one of the cool ones that gets it mr. completely. i love the gd and phish and they went hand in hand for me over the years. unfortunately, some folks refuse to expand their mind and horizions. at most of the torrent sites i constantly have to defend phish from older deadheads who diss phish at every opportunity. it happens constantly whenever there is a phish discussion, you generally won’t see phish fans talking trash about the gd. respect is a 2 way street and generally phish fans are more respectful in my experience.

  7. dyda Says:

    ah yes, spring! nice to see some vibrant green again. but it friggin snowed here last night and is still crapping some lake effect flurries on us right now.

    perhaps the venue has something to do with the superior sound quality? europe… they might have had different house pa speakers that we aren’t necessarily used to seeing here stateside.

    someone want to look into making some tour shirts praising this site?

  8. dyda Says:

    hey yeah, there’s another one that slipped my mind. really looking forward to king sunny ade at rothbury.

  9. Jay Says:

    @Mr completely said:
    “We probably sold each other things in the lot at some point”

    Most likely as I was always selling in the lot. Only way for me to afford staying on the road for 3 weeks straight 🙂

    “I was listening to one of my late 70’s GD mixes yesterday, and it’s still my favorite music of all time”

    I always seem to navigate to GD music from ’73 and ’74. Just so many shows that if you were of age during that time, you did not want to miss any ofthose shows. Llike Phish ’09 will be 🙂

  10. whole tour! Says:

    damn…..king sunny is doing roth? i know he’s at the roo. king sunny is amazing! he was a heavy influence on trey. there would be none of the 20 minute tranced out ‘sand’ or ‘jiboo’ jams if not for king sunny…..his afro tranced is sick! i wish i could see him!

  11. Bandito Says:

    @Jay – although I was not ‘of age’, or even born yet, my favorite GD to listen to is from ’73 and ’74. Really clean, jazzy sound, Keith is outstanding, and there are so many big, wonderful, Eyes of The World from that era…

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    @wt! – that’s true now (phish fans are cooler and more openminded) but really, in the early and mid 90’s it was a 2 way street, like a fucking idiotic dick-measuring contest, My Band Is Better Than Your Band bullshit. “Trey plays faster than Jerry!” “Phish is kid music!” such tiresome crap.

    I think a lot of older deadheads have really gotten old in the sense of not being into anything new in their lives. A lot are also defensive about the current state of affairs in Deadland, which I find to be rather sad.

    But I first got into Phish pretty young. I was 15 at my first Dead show in ’85 and that will always come first for me, but I first head Phish on tape in ’88 or ’89 and saw them in ’90. I didn’t become a really serious Phish fan til the late 90s but it wasn’t like I was coming into it cold, it was more like “oh wow they’ve gotten a lot better and more diverse, this is more like something I could be really into.”

    One of the best things about the Dead for me was how it led to other music: jazz, bluegrass, new orleans etc. So the idea that it should I should be exclusively into them always just seemed stupid and oblivious to the point.

  13. dyda Says:

    rothbury: dead, dylan, sci, willie nelson, jr gong marley w/nas, zappa plays zappa, disco biscuits, black crowes, sts9, gov’t mule, ymsb, les, grace potter, king sunny, lotus, hollingsworth, moseley law sipe droll, matisyahu, flogging molly, railroad earth, etc etc

  14. SOAM Says:

    8/9/95 last good bobby show

    sorry imo

  15. dyda Says:

    hell yeah man, phish opened up my musicality so much and it was already kind of broad. totally agree with that sentiment. i mean phish is my favorite, but how many other bands have been mentioned today alone?

  16. Chalkdustin Says:

    Phish is like a gateway drug for me. Opened me up to so much, yet still so much I want to learn about and hear. There have been some good suggestions on this site of artists and bands I’m not familiar with and I’m writing them all down. One of these days I’ll have a download-fest and give them a listen.

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Jay – I didn’t mean late 70’s above those other eras, I just meant any peak-era dead, when they were firing on all cylinders. I could spend time equally on any of the 3 great GD peak eras: ’69-70, Summer 72-74, or late 76-spring ’78. My favorite tours are fall ’73, summer ’74, fall ’72 in that order.

    I was actually surprised at how well that late-70s mix went down, I hadn’t listened to it in a couple years. I usually go for the earlier stuff you mention but wanted something a little higher energy. It has my favorite Scarlet > Fire, one I hadn’t listened to in ages.

  18. dyda Says:

    actually now that i think about it, it was all the diverse covers that helped get me in to phish when i started off. more horns please. 7.12.91 (livephish 19) was one of the first shows i owned.

  19. Asher Says:

    Phish @ Phenway is going to rage. I wonder if any of the boys are Sox fans. Trey is a life long Flyers fan which always made shows at the Spectrum extra special. Vermont to Boston isn’t that far a drive. Can someone out there dig up Trey, Mike, Page & Fish’s personal fav baseball teams?

  20. msbjivein Says:

    Hey SOAM, Jamaica was a good time. As well as some good music. Bobby on the beach is priceless. I was standing in the ocean while listening to Darkstar!(on a head ful of L) Plan on going again next Jan also. There’s not a lot of love for Bobby from a lot of heads. I don’t get it. But then again I never got to see Jerry. maybe if I hade seen jerry I wouldn’t like Bobby either.

  21. dyda Says:

    his short shorts are a turn-off

  22. msbjivein Says:

    I think he’s learned his lesson w/ the daisy dukes. He’s into capri pants now. But he still sports the muscle shirt. I hope i can sport a muscle shirt when 60 some odd yrs old. My fav Bobby look is the old school cut off sweatshirt look.(neck and sleeves cut off) That’s a classic!

  23. Jay Says:

    1st Dead show ’81, first Dead tour Summer ’85, first Phish show ’89, first multi show run for Phish ’93, Never did a full Phish tour. Seeing them this year (counting Hampton and assuming 3 day run for New Years) 16 times.
    This is the year to see as much as you can. Thhis is the year we will all look back as legendary/epic.

  24. msbjivein Says:

    Try 4 day run in Miami!!!!!!!!!!!! You skipped some fall shows.

  25. Weyoun42 Says:

    Can’t say whether this is any indication of a favourite team for Trey or not, but, scroll all the way to the bottom of: http://www.chicagosportsreviewimages.com/C309237325/E20060721114009/index.html

    I especially like the last close-up of his glove. Priceless.

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