Phish added one more piece to their massive summer puzzle of 2011 yesterday, announcing a dream-like West Coast stint at the beginning of August and a three-pack to follow at Chicago’s UIC Pavilion—a venue rich in Phish history. Totaling 30 shows for the summer at this point, the season’s most recent addition looks to be the most intriguing leg of all. And adding a twist to things, the band worded their announcement ambiguously—they did not state that these would be the final shows of summer, nor did they say that there would be another announcement—leaving many fans wondering if UIC marks the end of the road.
Could Red Light possibly wait for another cycle of on-sales to release more dates? Yes. In fact, in response to an email inquiry about any further shows, Red Light respectfully wrote back “We are considering a small amount of dates around Labor Day, but will be a minute before they are confirmed.” Really? Let’s look at the situation here. August’s tour had been rumored to travel back to the East Coast, hitting venues such as Hartford, SPAC and Jones Beach. But with a supersaturation of Northeast Phish shows this summer, and only one of them sold out, perhaps management nipped those in the bud and replaced them with a Labor Day run. Perhaps Labor day will be in Colorado. But let’s throw speculation out the window for now and look at what is officially on the books, because this run looks to be the peak of the summer!
After one year off, the band will return to The Gorge on August 5th and 6th to kick off the second leg of Summer Tour. Opening up on the most stunning stage of in nation, get ready for two nights of wide-open Phish jams like only The Gorge can provide! After a quick day off, on August 8th Phish will finally play the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles for the first time in their career after years of ongoing rumors. With a capacity of 17,376 (and The Gorge’s 20,000+), nobody should have any problems finding tickets to the first three nights of tour. But the next couple might be different.
Fans will hit the road immediately after the Hollywood Bowl show, because the very next day Phish will arrive in Lake Tahoe on the California / Nevada border for a two-night stand at Harvey’s Casino make-shift 7,000 person amphitheatre on August 9th and 10th. Located in a leftover parking lot with bleacher seating at the back, Harvey’s Outdoor Amphitheatre may prove to be a bit more difficult to grab tickets for. Though the venue, itself, may be a bit roughshod, Phish will visit another beacon of West Coast nature in Lake Tahoe, and fans will enjoy two days in mountains with rental properties and hotels on the lake during a spectacular time of year.
Following another day off, Phish will head from Tahoe to San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park to headline the city’s Outside Lands festival on Friday, August 12th. Headlining the other two nights will be Muse and Arcade Fire, and though the schedule has yet to be released, you can check out the full lineup here. And there’s still rumor floating that the band will also play a solo show at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco the following night.
Phish may bookend a summer that will open with three shows at Bethel Woods with three shows at UIC Pavilion in Chicago. These shows will mark the band’s first return to UIC’s intimate environs since a legendary three-night stand during Fall ’98. Phish also played two standout shows at UIC in 1994—6.18 and 11.25—and will undoubtedly add to their legacy with a three-pack that could close out the touring season. Moving into Chicago’s gritty, undersized venue for the final nights of summer with a tour’s worth of momentum is the recipe for the perfect storm; an end-of-tour blowout of the highest degree.
Tickets requests are now open for an unusually long, two-week period ending April 25 at 11:59 am est. The Gorge and Tahoe are full General Admission shows and cost only $50 each. The Hollywood Bowl has tiered pricing at $60 and $45 for reserved seating only, and UIC will be $60 for reserved seats or GA floor.
Jam of the Day:
“Sneakin’ Sally” 8.7.09 II
A gem from Phish’s last visit to The Gorge.
DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:
11.7.98 UIC Pavilion, Chicago, Illinois
My favorite of the three nights in ’98, primarily because of the other-wordly improvisation that took place within “AC/DC Bag > Ghost.” Secondary reasons include a blissful, classic “Reba” and a darkhorse “Mike’s that gets the show underway with some dirty funk grooves. During an awesome fall tour, the shows at UIC were among the best, and they are all available for download in Phish Thoughts’ Audio Archive.
I. My Soul, Mike’s Song > Driver, Brian and Robert, The Wedge, Limb By Limb, Fikus, Billy Breathes, Beauty of My Dreams, Weekapaug Groove
II. AC/DC Bag -> Ghost, Reba, Farmhouse
E: Guyute, While My Guitar Gently Weeps
Source: Flacs: Audio Technica 815 (shotguns) > Sony SBM-1 > DAT (@ 48 kHz), MP3s: Schoeps