Like a lot of you, I am on the edge of my seat, wondering when Phish will announce their Summer tour. As usual, there are a lot of rumors as to where they will play. The two largest rumors about where Phish may play this summer includes Wrigley Field in Chicago and Telluride, CO.
Most of the buzz around the Wrigley Field rumor was reinforced by this article out of Fox Chicago. The online Phish community figures this will be their summer opening show. They did it with Fenway, why not Wrigley? Could this be a new trend in Phish summer tours? If it did in fact open the tour up, chances are they would move onto the normal summer staples of Deer Creek and Alpine Valley from there with multiple night throw downs, neither venue ever disappointing.
Fenway Park and Wrigley certainly look awesome on paper and in the pictures (like the one from Phish.com to the left), but many would argue that they are very inconvenient in a number of ways to see their favorite band. One of the issues, at least with these two old ballparks in the middle of large cities, is the parking. Both of these venues have satellite parking. A lot of people cringe at the idea of parking miles away, taking a train or a bus, only to do the same thing after the event.
Another issue is that the sound in completely open air venues usually lacks everywhere except for directly in front or behind the soundboard, we saw this with both Fenway and Toyota Park in 2009.
Telluride, rumored to be played August 9th and 10th, would certainly be a cool place if true. Apparently the locals and the local businesses really would enjoy Phish to come. The chatter surrounding Phish playing here
seems to be coming from a lot of sources.
I’d say it’s probably quite likely that both of these venues will be played.
Along with rumors on venue are rumors of when Phish will start the summer tour. Most say it’s without a doubt going to start in early June, with a second leg coming around August. Much like last year, the first leg will have a concentration of eastern and mid-western dates, while the second leg will have some focus on the west coast venues.
A venue I would like to see Phish at is one that is being constructed right now, Osage Creek Performing Arts Center (how long until it’s the Verizon Wireless Center?) in Fayetteville, Arkansas. An article in the Fayetteville Flyer shows artist’s renditions of the amphitheater and says that, while it officially opens in the spring of 2011, they are hoping to hold a couple shows there towards the end of this July. The Fayetteville Flyer also mentions that on Osage Creek Performing Arts Center’s Facebook Page many is rampant “speculation and demand” for Phish to play there. I suggest you click the article’s link and take a look at the pictures.
Last summer’s first leg of dates was officially announced by Phish in early January. It’s now about the beginning of March and people are getting antsy to make summer plans. The dates have to come out any time now, so keep an eye out. Once they are, we can speculate about what we can expect from each venue. I think it’s safe to say that they will play SPAC, Alpine Valley, Deer Creek, Merriweather Post Pavilion and Great Woods along with some other Phish summer staples.
Hopefully this summer Phish can continue on their pattern of growing every tour and show since their reunion at the Hampton Coliseum almost exactly a year ago. Early summer 2009 was safe, playing the songs
correctly. Late summer tour was about getting out there and trying more Type II jamming and segues (see Red Rocks 7/31/09 II where it was apparent Phish was coming back as a different band than they were just a month earlier) along with a couple Phish bust outs (Col. Forbin’s>Mockingbird, Harpua, Psycho Killer, ICCULUS). Fall Tour, while not too much different from Summer Tour 2.0, showed Phish trying to extend the improvisation past what they had done a couple of months earlier in the year (see 11/28/09 II 50+ min 7 Below->Ghost from Albany, NY). The NYE run was a mix of everything they had done that year; a lot of standard and well played first set songs, some extended Type II jamming (Tweezer!), Phish bust outs (Jesus Just Left Chicago, Tela, Soul Shakedown, NO2, Corrina), Phishy playfulness (Boogie on Reggae Woman->Run Like an Antelope…a must hear!).
The recent TAB tour Trey is just coming off of hopefully shook even more post hiatus rust off his fingers and he will be coming to really play this summer. The only 2 things I really think they need to continue working on is Trey’s tension and release with the band, and their thickness that they have seemed to lost in songs like Ghost, Tube, Contact and other funk staples.
That all being said, I CAN’T WAIT TO GET ON THE ROAD!
This post’s related shows and DOWNLOADS:
5/31/2009 Fenway Park, Boston, Ma
8/11/2009 Toyota Park, Bridgeview, IL