Halloween In the Desert?

6.16.09 The Fox (B.Kisida)

6.16.09 The Fox (B.Kisida)

2009 just keeps getting better!  As we anxiously await the second leg of summer tour- with the return to Red Rocks, The Gorge, and so many classic venues- Phish has completely diverted everyone’s attention by announcing a three-day, Phish-only, Halloween festival- presumably at Empire Polo Fields in Indio, Ca.  The California desert outside of Palm Springs, after the hot season and surrounded by mountains, will provide an idyllic setting for the longest festival of the band’s career.  While there has been no “official” announcement of its location, all reliable sources are pointing to Indio- site of the annual Coachella festival in Southern California.  For all of those treks made to the easternmost tip of Maine, this time, the circus will come left for the first-ever west coast Phishfest.

The Great Went

The Great Went

For those who thought Bonnaroo marked the end of Phish festivals as we knew them, here is your response.  With reports of eight sets over three days, Phish is upping the ante with their most extensive celebration to date.  Needless to say, the Phish festival has returned!  We will finally reenter those vibrant playgrounds of lore, that hold musical possibilities as vast as the sky above them.  Unlike Bonnaroo, there will be no sitting through lackluster hip-hop sets awaiting our musical adventures- 72 hours of all Phish, all the time!

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

Whether it takes the form of a huge jam, an innovative art installation, a carnival ride, or a post-show dance party, Phishy energy will overflow at the most anticipated event since the band’s comeback.  With at least another summer leg before traveling to Indio, the band’s playing come Halloween will likely have evolved to far deeper places.  Take these factors and place them in the outskirts of the desert, and we’ve got the recipe for a sublime psychedelic experience.

The Great Went (D.Clinch)

The Great Went (D.Clinch)

Beyond the ideal specifics of the weekend, the spirit of the Phish festival will once again descend upon us.  A care-free plane where nothing matters except fun, friends, and Phish, we will once again step foot into a super-sized dream where wishes do come true.  Combining the vast surroundings, the overwhelmingly friendly vibes, and festival infrastructures that out-did any, some of the most surreal moments of the band’s career have come at their larger-than-life festivals.  The Clifford Ball, The Great Went, Lemonwheel, Oswego, Big Cypress, IT, Coventry, and now….Halloween ’09- the greatest tradition has been revived.

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

6.16.09 (B.Kisida)

Stuffed somewhere in the middle of those eight sets, Phish, by all assumptions, will don their first musical costume since Vegas ’98, when they nailed their second-set cover of Loaded.  A rite that was absent for the band’s final years, Phish will reignite one of their most-loved customs in their first year back.  Though we can postulate forever on which album they will choose, the band has had a knack for picking out gems we would have never considered (e.g. Remain In Light and Loaded). The answer to this question will unfold under the desert stars only four months from now.

Indio, CA

Indio, CA

The presumed locale of this year’s party will create a completely divergent feel to the many weekends in the Northeast.  With the weather likely to cooperate, a stunning geography, and a diluted east coast mania, this may be the most blissful experience yet.  We will build ourselves a small Phish city to live in for three days straight – west coast style.  And if staying on site isn’t your thing- though for Phish festivals it’s the general m.o.- there are luxury rentals aplenty only miles away.  To make everything even better, the band has finally chosen an “admit-all” site for one of their super-hyped holiday shows, and tickets won’t be a stress on anyone.

As the calendar is about to turn to July, and we are busy finalizing our plans for the end of summer, we have yet another shining moment waiting in the distance.  With Phish back in our lives, everything has taken on a whole new contour with shows upon shows coming up and plenty of new music to listen to in the meantime.  Circle October 29th through November 1st on your calendars now, because this is one you won’t want to miss.  Reviving two of their most time-honored traditions in one fell swoop, these won’t be your average Phish shows- that much is guaranteed.

Trick or Treat?



6.10.2009 Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN < TORRENT LINK

6.10.2009 Thompson-Boling Arena, Knoxville, TN < SENDSPACE LINK


Official Knoxville Poster

In the largest indoor venue in their history, with a capacity of over 24,000, Phish threw down a powerful show on campus at the University of Tennessee.  The second set versions of “Bowie,” Reba,” and “Hood” are all show highlights.

I: Runaway Jim, Punch You in the Eye, Ocelot, Foam, Train Song, Undermind, Mike’s Song > I am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, The Squirming Coil, Character Zero

II: Get Back on the Train, Waves > A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing > David Bowie, Army of One, Reba, Hello My Baby, Julius,  Cavern, Harry Hood

E: Frankenstein

Source:  Schoeps CCM 4 Lg (ORTF) > Sonosax SX-M2 > Sound Devices 702 (24/48)- Taper: Dennis Tyler

(Remember, if you absolutely can’t torrent, hit me up with an email explaining your situation for a direct link)

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243 Responses to “Halloween In the Desert?”

  1. Frankie Says:

    Tweeeeezerfest ’94!! YES!!! Huge cornerstone on the wall!!

  2. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    @Steve – I beg to differ re: DC Set 2 not starting until Tweezer. The Twist is the best jam of the night, the jam out of SIHTOS is nice too, the Drowned was OK, but like I said, it led into the best jam of the night. Tweezer > 2001 was a dance fest.

  3. mikesaysno Says:

    anyone notice that Maine is the only state that doesnt swell with cursor on it?

  4. Steve Says:

    A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Drowned and Let Me Lie. BUZZ KILL! Twist was sweet. Got down to the stage at the start of 2001 so I loved it but Alpine the next night was straight energy, old school style.

  5. company Says:

    I am so low on laundry that I’m wearing part of 2008 Halloween costume

  6. pebbles Says:

    Sorry, Steve-O, but Saturday at Alpine was really, really pedestrian when you stack it up to the DC show, or the Knoxville show. Trey was playing sloppily, PYITE and Ya Mar felt like train-wrecks waiting to happen, 1st set featured a “farmhouse” (so not “straight out of ’93), and the whole thing seemed a little lackluster to those of us out in the crowd.

    (And, while we’re on the subject, that crowd was definitely not straight out of 93, except that a lot of the obese frat-boys in the crowd and the obnoxious drunk girls they were making out with were probably born that year.)

    You might have tried to say that Alpine 2 was better than DC (it wasn’t), or that Knoxville was (it could have been), but I think your 93 nostalgia is both inaccurate and misplaced. To be fair, you’re not the only one whose memories of ’93 are hazy….

    Alpine 1 was good, a 6.5-7 out of 10 for Summer 1. Deer Creek, Knoxville, Alpine 2, and Camden all blow Alpine 1 out of the water, though– better setlists, cleaner playing, more creative jams, and better energy all around.

    At least that’s how it appeared to me from the crowd and the SBs.

  7. RunawayJam Says:

    Crap, I just got pulled into the ocean!!! I guess that’s better than getting eaten by ants!

  8. RunawayJam Says:

    For the record, I’m putting a vote in for The Soft Parade as well…in the desert of California…perfect!

  9. RunawayJam Says:

    Though I wouldn’t mind hearing them do Music from Big Pink by The Band!

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    “Alpine 1 was good, a 6.5-7 out of 10 for Summer 1. Deer Creek, Knoxville, Alpine 2, and Camden all blow Alpine 1 out of the water, though– better setlists, cleaner playing, more creative jams, and better energy all around.”

    ^^ Yup. No Question. I’d add Bonnaroo 6.14 to that list in a heartbeat

  11. oneshowatatime Says:

    @mikesaysno – no, maine is just the same for me. but i just started noticing the different animations today. this morning when i logged in from work it was red ants devouring various states, now i see there’s a ship that comes and sails off with Wyoming and Ohio. what other animations have there been besides those two?

  12. pebbles Says:

    @1show@atime: NH, ID, OK and WV all sprung a hole and deflated as the first animation.

  13. Steve Says:

    Was in the crowd too for all three, down low. No comment on the crowd configuration. I’m 35, fat and bald now too but that shouldn’t matter should it. Pedestrian? Come on. Never said anything about Alpine 1 being the best of tour just of that 3-day run. Camden and Knoxville were great. Subjective argument that I’m in the minority (still shocked by that) , but my crew were in consensus that Alpine 1 took the 3 night run at DC and Alpine and we’ve been seeing the boys play since 92. Never said the show was all 93 but it felt like it too me. All in all first shows I’ve been too in 5 years and I loved all three but Alpine 1 was the stand out to me.

  14. Zandeq-P Says:

    I was at both nights AV and thought #2 was definitely a lot more musically interesting.

    Steve: perhaps you just prefer more straight-ahead-rock Phish without the exploration? Cause we didn’t really get any in that show…

    Not that it wasn’t a ton of fun to see Phish perform some of their most renowned songs and compositions…but the second night featured far more improvisation, long tucked away bustouts, and better musical execution and cohesiveness.

    I will say this: the Lizards from night I was awesome. Particularly after the disappointing version at Camden…

    Other than that though, night II eats night I’s lunch IMO.

  15. Walfredo Says:

    Quit stack ranking shit I promise it’s subjective.

  16. pebbles Says:

    Walfredo, nobody’s really stack-ranking anything– just putting some shows into tiers. I think you’d have to be tripping pretty hard not to notice how sloppy and uninspired A1 is, compared to the other shows listed.

    no matter how much you promise, there is an objective element to critical analysis. if there weren’t, there would be no reason for us to all agree on how good this particular band is.

    Steve, you were up front you said? Have you given the soundboards a listen? Sometimes I’m unduly impressed with shows when I sit right up front– the sheer volume makes it hard to pick out sloppiness (I was shocked when I listened to the GW sbs and discovered that the show wasn’t as tight as a drum– because it sure sounded that way from the 6th row!) and the excitement of being right up front can overwhelm your critical perception.

    Also, please don’t think I was knocking on fat people (I count myself in that demographic). I was knocking on fat, 19-year-old frat boys who come to Phish shows to score drugs, yell like a bunch of idiots at inappropriate times, make out with their hogzilla-like girlfriends, trample our clean blankets, step on our feet, and just generally suck up valuable tickets, lawn space and oxygen. Many of us older fans have grown more ample over the years but still respect the scene and have half a clue what is up. I could find it in my heart to be patient with the younger fans, but I have a creeping suspicion that most of them will be going to see DMB or Tom Petty at their home venues next weekend, and won’t even notice the difference in the bands on stage… from here on out, I’m trying to stick to weekday shows– the crowds seem far, far chiller.

  17. stimbuck Says:

    Could be too obvious, but The Joshua Tree is nearby…

  18. RunawayJam Says:

    Stimbuck, good call…for some reason, I never thought of that!

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