Musings On June

After much anticipation, Phish has finally satiated us with a slate of ten shows comprising the June leg of their first summer tour in five years.  As yesterday passed, things finally began to come to fruition.  Hampton is now less than two months away, and Summer ’09 is only five months out.  Once again, we have Phish to look forward to– and everything feels different again, different as in way better!  I, for one, had a very hard time focusing and accomplishing anything non-Phish related today.  From the moment the dates were posted, and in fact long before that, there was little else occupying my mind other than the question of summer tour.  Now that we know where the scenes will be in June, let’s take a closer look.

photo - Adam Foley

photo - Adam Foley

One of the first things I noticed when looking at the dates and on-sales is that Ticketmaster has been shut out.  The band is now using Live Nation to sell their tickets, hence the selection of venues. Without using Ticketmaster, Phish had to select venues that don’t have exclusive contracts with Ticketmaster, most likely why we will be heading to Jones Beach instead of Darien, SPAC, or some of their other classic haunts.  I am not fully aware of what venues have contracts with each company, but I do know that while using Live Nation, they can’t play “Ticketmaster venues.”  It remains to be seen if the change in corporate sellers will result in an increased availability of tickets to real fans.  Interestingly enough, Ticketmaster’s scalping little brother, TicketsNow, has taken all summer tickets off of their site, leaving only the Hampton shows.  Maybe we are making some progress here!

6.28.95 Jones Beach (Joe Madonna)

6.28.95 Jones Beach (Joe Madonna)

Now to the dates themselves.  The tour kicks off with one of only two two-night stands, at Jones Beach in Wantaugh, NY.  Having not played the Long Island Amphitheatre since Summer ’95, this seems like an odd beginning.  Fans have already complained about the poor sound at the venue, though when the sun is setting with water behind the stage, the setting is quite serene.  These should should be a fun way to rev up again.  After the opening couplet, Phish will travel north to play only one night at Great Woods in Mansfield, MA.  It’s pretty surprising that the classic Phish venue, first visited in 1992, opening for Santana, isn’t getting two to the dome.  Having played two night stands in ’94, ’95, ’99, ’00, and ’04, I thought two shows would be a given. Yet, it seems that Phish is trying to keep it simple on the first go round, which is probably best for the long haul.  There will be a classic Phishy “Cannonball Run” down I-95 after the Mansfield show, as the circus heads for Camden, the site of so many great memories.  70% of the cars on the road all night will be packed with lit up Phishies, and filled to the gills with summertime accoutrements.  The one night in southern Jersey, hosted by the Philly nitrous mafia, will cap Phish’s first four-night run since coming back.

Asheville Civic Center

Asheville Civic Center

Everyone will have a day off to make the drive down to Asheville, NC for what is sure to be one of the hardest tickets of the tour.  With the Civic Center holding only 7,654 people, this stop is virtually inexplicable.  As fun as the intimate show will inevitably be, why would someone make the decision to create another ticket fiasco?  It is a Tuesday, so that should soothe some of the potential crowd, but you can bet Asheville doesn’t know what it’s in for with thousands of ticket-less fans sure to flood the small mountain town.  The show should be phenomenal once inside, but that is gonna’ be a challenge. Following this show are five open days, two presumably to be filled by Bonnaroo when the lineup in announced on February 3rd.  The tour can be split into the pre and post-Bonnaroo sections, with five days carved out for the clusterfuck festival.

Fox Theatre, St. Louis

Fox Theatre, St. Louis

After Phish and their fans emerge from Manchester, TN, they will move out to another special indoor show. Returning to the Fox Theatre in St.Louis for another Tuesday night special, this time only 5,060 fans will get to witness what is sure to be one of the standout shows of the tour.  Although this night will be amazing, there will be a lot of fans scratching their heads at this decision as well.  To put the size in perspective, Radio City fits 6,000; but the context doesn’t necessarily compare.  New York City on a weekend for the first shows after Big Cypress created one of the highest ticket demands in recent memory, with people flying in from all over the country.  But The Fox on their comeback tour, albeit in St. Louis on a Tuesday, is gonna’ be a scarce stub.  Lots of fingers in the air here, as the band could fill the arena with their guest list if they wanted to.

Deer Creek

Deer Creek

Yet, instead of complaining, fans have the option of taking the week off, skipping the two smallest and the two biggest shows, and hopping back on at Star Lake in good ol’ Burgettstown, PA.  It’s great to see Phish returning to a place of so many spectacular musical moments, ready to create new ones on the first night of the leg’s closing four-night run.  The second show will bring us back to the cornfields and campgrounds of Noblesville, IN in a highly-anticipated one show return to Deer Creek.  A venue with so much Phish history, mostly in the form of multiple night stands, will only be getting one night of action.  You can bet the house, however, that it will be one of the most exciting nights of the summer!  There will be no time to camp, however, as the the tour will head directly north to Alpine Valley.  The classic pairing of Deer Creek and Alpine lives on!  Tour will wind up at Alpine Valley for two nights of fun in the northern sun.  With so many great shows having gone down at Alpine, and with multiple tours having ended at the great wooden amphitheatre, it certainly feels like a nostalgic home for the scene.  With its sprawling parking lots and endless people, this will be a fun way to wrap up Summer ’09: Leg One.

So there you have it–  what we have all been waiting for– Phish Tour!  Ten shows confirmed; ten nights of summertime bliss, and that is only half of it.  Phish is back in action and the universe is looking up.  Here’s to a phenomenal 2009 with endless potential! Cheers, all.

=====

SUMMER ’09 RUMOR MILL: If everything with Rothbury works out, don’t rule out a headlining slot for one or two nights between July 3-5th, a little more than a week after Alpine.  This announcement would obviously come later as the folks up there are still sorting things out.

=====

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY:

6.29.95 Jones Beach, NY < LINK

1995-06-29gnThis is the sequel to the show up for download yesterday, and Phish’s last performance at the amphitheatre that will inaugurate Summer ’09.  A monster “Free > Bowie” highlights this night, along with a juicy mid-set YEM. The first set is solid all the way through, closing with a tasty ’95 Melt.

I: Runaway Jim, Taste, The Horse > Silent in the Morning, The Divided Sky, Cavern, Rift, Simple, Split Open and Melt, Carolina

II: Free > David Bowie, Strange Design, You Enjoy Myself, Acoustic Army, A Day in the Life

E: Theme From the Bottom

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42 Responses to “Musings On June”

  1. @snigglebeach
    I was unlucky using TM when they went on sale but my brother got us two for all 3 nights

  2. Hey Guest. TM OWNS TICKETSNOW!!

    they bought the company about 2 years ago now. TM is simply scapling their own tickets so yes, they make much more money off of people who purchase their tickets from TicketsNow in stead of TM. I know 2 people that got tickets that morning.

    Though both went on T3 internet connections and counted the time down using time.us.gov

    it does appear that the band and red light would like to get away from TM for just these practices. i hope they start their own ticketing company and bypass the current system all together. hey we can dream cant we?

  3. Long time reader. Love your articles. Especially the one about how bonnaroo will kick ass!
    The way I see it, Mr. Miner, is maybe , just maybe one of the custies that may have a ticket, or get one for bonnaroo will be completely speechless after Phish melts their faces, and be inspired to be a part of, in some way, the next great american jam band. After all if Trey hadn’t went to see The Grateful Dead, we may never of even had the delight to see this great band that has come to be known as Phish.
    I have faith in music, and how it can change one person with just one riff or song.
    Although I had my first experience at The Dead in 2004, I was once one of the n00bs that really didnt understand “the scene” or what the dead were all about, but after that July weekend in Noblesville, I was forever changed and entirely grateful.

    This was off subject, but I really want you to know I appreciate all of your posts. And I one day too hope I can see Phish live and tell my kids about how great my favorite band was.

    Peace and Love my phriends!

  4. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    @snigglebeach

    I was one of the lucky ones.

    I had two computers going and was convinced I had no shot. Refresh, refresh, refresh on both, then one popped right up with 2 for all three nights. I hit refresh on the other as I was typing my info into the first, and the queue was 21 minutes.

    It was all lucky timing. And it was a pretty damn good day.

    With that said, I’m not holding my breath for repeat successes. I think most people will be disappointed again, or will have to pay out the nose. The biggest problem that I see has nothing to do with Live Nation v. Ticketmaster (the brokers have better geeks with computers than the corporate monolithes). The bigger problem that Phish had contol over is the 4 ticket max in the lottery. That means half as many lottery winners if you assume that the lottery allotment is approximately equal to Hampton’s.

    I’m just thankful I’m old, for once, because I expect that’s the only reason I’ll be able to see runs of shows anymore. I’ve been at this long enough that I’m old enough now to pay for tickets, flights, etc. Never would’ve happened like that when I was 19.

  5. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    @cason

    I saw the Acoustic/Electric show in Asheville on the first Trey tour from the rail, with my water bottle on the front of the stage.

    That’s the only time I’ve been close enough to catch and maintain eye contact with Red while he was playing. I was stone cold sober, and it honestly felt like he was playing to/through me (and the smoking hot 20 year-old hippie chick immediately to my right).

  6. @In Flagrante

    I caught that Ashville show too. My first Trey solo experience. It was truly something special. First set Roggae>MWSITY brought tears and second set Will It Go Round in Circles & Sand nearly blew the roof off!!

    It’s fantastic that the boys are showing love to a rad little NC mountain town. I lived just down the Blue Ridge Parkway in Boone for a while and know first hand how many seriously awesome kidz live in that little corner of the country.
    You have got to know that Phish is playing there because they really WANT to play there. Think about that the next time someone is spewing some “Phish doesn’t care about their fans” crap/nonsense. Yes, it’s going to be a hard ticket, but they are bringing the party to the people!!!

  7. So conventional wisdom says Phish at Rothbury over the 4th of july, but I just had an epiphany. Phish should play High Sierra. Not gonna happen, but it would be sick. GIMME SOME WESTERN DATES!!!

  8. why cant phish play hear again?

    http://phishthoughts.com/

    that venue is only 2 miles from….

  9. i meant here:

  10. I’ve noticed in buying tix for other shows that live nation has a slower site in general so we will see if that hurts us or helps us against brokers. So far as Phish letting you buy 4 per show, I think they are trying to help people get tix for their phriends. It’s a bummer to have friends who aren’t going to be with you at Hampton. Also, keep in mind, some of these venues hole twice or three times as many as Hampton so it wont really be half as many people getting them.

  11. trigas@indiana.edu Says:

    I don’t know what the comment about tickets now taking tickets off the site was all about…..just checked and they have tickets for every show from $100-$600+….what the fuck is up with that. Isnt this a direct violation of the message on phishs website…no resale for over face value or the ticket will be voided…….somebody needs to step up there game and take of this bullshit. How can they even have them on sale on Jan 13 when they are not on sale. This is totally unacceptable.

  12. i just got on ticketsnow a ticketmaster company they have tickets for sell for every show on the summer tour even the fox theater im just venting frustration like everyone else i did the lottery to atlest try im thankful i got my tickets for hampton on shitmaster but its just crap that they are selling tickets already and they even have them i dont understand what the hell is up everyone has said it before the fan the real fans are the ones getting screwed for the most part and of course the prices are outragious compaired to face value a lawn ticket at alpine or deer creek over a 100 dollers bs is what it is u got money hell u can get a ticket those arent the fans they go to say they saw phish and try to od in the parking lot five hours before the show hope they do and drop a ticket good luck to all for the shows peace

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