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?”

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  1. phatty mcgee Says:

    My third show was the Great Went when i was 17. I’ve been to every Phish festival since except Coventry. The feeling you get when you’re there with 60.000 other people who are all there for the same reason is unparalleled in life. Especially when the band is one as unique and special as this. Even after all their success it just feels like we’re all in on this big secret that no one else gets – if they got it, they’d be here!

    I AM EXCITED!!!!

  2. phatty mcgee Says:

    aaaaaand cut to third paragraph of Miner’s “The Festival” (linked above) post to see how i blatantly plagiarized his words. I guess thats why i usually lurk and not post…hehe. Miner you put it beautifully and i cant wait!!!

  3. ColonelJoy Says:

    This announcement releases all the pent up envy I had for others that were able to make Hampton…Fenway…DC….Alpine…RR….

    On paper, could be the sickest ever.

  4. Matso Says:

    In all likelihood, this will be the first Phish festival that I’ll miss. With only a few vacation days remaining, a 12 hour flight between me and the west coast, and somewhat constrained funds, it’s doubtful. This almost stings more than missing out on Hampton tickets.

    Ever the dreamer, I have to ask nevertheless: how far is Indio from LA?

  5. ColonelJoy Says:

    I have no idea what album they will cover.

    If I could choose, it would be Tangerine Dream’s: Force Majeure

    If you haven’t listend to this album, check it out for the jedi-guitar, quite similar to Trey in many ways. They could smoke this late 70s, pre techno, electronic masterpiece, but there isn’t any lyrics, so I doubt it will go down.

    Either of the first two Band albums are quite likely, or maybe we’ll finally get that Zeppelin w/Page…yummy

    People keep bringing up the Exile, but Sticky Fingers or Let it Bleed would be better stones calls, imo.

  6. freshtracks420 Says:

    To answer your question Matso, no, Indio does not appear to be too terribly far from L.A. from looking at a map….got me curious though…where are you? A 12 hour flight is a long way! I am seriously so stoked to hear this news though…as a resident of Oregon, this is definitely driveable for me…the 1st west coast fest + the first 3 day Phish fest + 1st Halloween show since ’98 = this Phish fest is going to be just about O.O.C (Out of Control)!! Have been fortunate enough to have been at all the prior traditional Phish fests with the exception of “Oswego ’99” and “IT ’03” as well as the last 2 Halloween shows, and I’m thinking that this might end up being the best yet!! Yes, I WILL save the date…see ya’ll there!

  7. bunitingi Says:

    GOTTA be Thriller. GOTTA be. And if they jammed it out to Sirius and back, taking the little pop songs and giving them long cosmic groove jams, it would be heavenly. I swoon at the thought.

  8. Powder Lips Says:

    Thriller is a bit too obvious and I think it would be hard to pull off vocally.
    King Crimsom, I think would be a good choice. I also like David Bowie- Low. I could see the band picking something lesser known to its fan base like Pavement, My Bloody Valentine.

    So many options to consider like the Rolling Stones, Neil Young, Zappa, Sonic Youth, Beck, Black Sabbath, The Band, AC/DC, Hendrix, Paul Simon, Smashing Pumpkins, Police, Queen, U2, etc.. i think Thriller and the Stones are the Vegas favorites right now. Springstein is pretty much a worse case scenerio.

  9. julesmac Says:

    at the risk of sounding morbid, or obvious — Thriller, finally — any doubt?

  10. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    “a diluted east coast mania” -> that’s one of the best and most accurate turns of phrase I’ve heard in quite some time.

    Setting up the city on the left coast, in 3.0, will be significantly different than fests past.

    I momentarily reconsidered my current plans for my first left coast shows at Shoreline and Gorge, but now I’m thinking MORE MORE MORE.

    My Halloween dream = Appetite.
    Honorable mention = Aja.

  11. worthlesswampyfool Says:

    When is the imminent announcement of fall tour? After summer2.0 obviously but, with only Chicago tickets left I’m already itching for Fall Tour and “Save the Date.”

    Never been west of Denver. I hope most of the tour is out west since it would allow and give me an excuse to see what the left side has to offer. Pacific NW, the mountains, the desert, Vegas!, SF, LA, SD. So much to see and Phish will take me there!!! and if not I will at least see PHISH!!!! (and SoCal)

  12. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    I’m thinking that, based on the re-emphasis on rock, that we will here a Stones album. I would love to hear Exile because it has so many great songs and is nice and long. I would love to hear them play Shine a Light or Let It Loose. Alternatively, Sticky Fingers would be outstanding too, a really rocked out Can’t You Hear Me Knockin’ with the Giant Country Horns? Dead Flowers as a nod to Trey’s past problems? Either way, it will be my first halloween since Quadraphenia, and that damn near blew my mind.

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    My vote is for some Zappa. The Grand Wazoo, Overnite Sensation, or (dare I dream?) Joe’s Garage would be amazing. I can just see Fishman out front on Dinah Moe Hum. Ha!

  14. Pence Says:

    For those of you that dont have google Maps, or Mapquest….Indio is about 2 hours from LA, and San diego. Could we ask for better? I dont think so. Weather, and surroundings, is so crucial at festies.

  15. RobAins Says:

    Would love to see them do a Zappa album too. Sadly, Zappa’s wife/estate/etc will never let that happen unless they get PAID

  16. sumodie Says:

    “Save the Date” – Someone pointed out on PT that the Coachella Valley (~Indio CA) is the date capital of the US, producing over 95% of all dates grown in this country. Another clue or just another obsessive phanner?

    And why didn’t we lose another state yesterday? (NH disappeared Saturday) Is Sunday a day of rest from eliminating states too? 🙂

  17. Jon Bailey Says:

    East Coasters. I have been looking at flights for the last 2 days. I am based in CT. So I have three airports to choose from.

    The best deals I am seeing is 300.00 round trip. Most likely out f NY into palm Springs. This is not that bad.

    I hvae been looking at this trip from a big picture point of view. Honestly, my toal coast if I go which I will) will be around 1,000 out the door.

    This gives you plenty of time to start saving. I have a wife and three kids so it will be tough for me to save as well.

    The great thing for me is I have a totally understanding wife (loves the band, just can’t do the travel anymore) Before I got married I told my wife there is one thing that she has to let me have in the relationship…….Live Phish Shows. Nothing better than having a wife that will let you take off for 3-5 days at a clip. Leaving my 6 – 4 – 2 year old at home with her with no help!!

  18. Pencilneck Says:

    I have to go this, ’cause if they play Thriller and I’m not there, I’ll never forgive myself.

  19. nonoyolker Says:

    Halloween + Festival = HOLYSHITIMAYHAVEPOOPEDALITTLE! This be a jam that we need not miss. I am going to start digging in the couch cushions for some extra coin.
    Thriller – probably way too obvious. Phish don’t really do obvious. Would be sick though.

  20. Mdawg Says:

    Will this be the LG? The longest gig? (Clifford Ball bonus disc)

  21. Go Cats! Says:

    I’m pretty sure the Knoxville show was not “the largest indoor venue in their history”. In fact, in 1998 they played Rupp Arena in Lexington, KY. Rupp holds 24,000 for UK basketball games. So if you add in the floor seats, I bet it was closer to 30,000.

  22. Mike M Says:

    Here’s my dilemma….A 4 year-old son who is already talking about this Halloween costume and trick-or-treating route and a baby daughter’s first Halloween. Finances and time off would not be an obstacle.

    Family or Phish? Never been faced with this kind of decision before. Please weigh in.

  23. Jay Says:

    I’m with GuitarPicker420, I think it will be The Stones. Exile, LIB, SF are all good choices. Beggars Banquet would be nice (Sympathy for the Devil!!!). Aftermath with Paint it Black and Under My Thumb is another good choice.

  24. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    FYI, folks.

    Indo, should the festival be there, is just about 4 hours west of Phoenix. A longer, perhaps less thought about, but certainly more scenic approach.

    It may be better logistcally speaking. Just a little G2 for those unfamiliar with the region.

    Looking forward to this one.

  25. Jay Says:

    That is a tough one Mike M. I think if you take the time to explain it carefully to them they might grow to understand. This of course means your wife already understands 🙂

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