Springfield Massachusetts is Fall Tour’s Epicenter

If you live in Springfield, MA you are at the mid point of all the fall tour’s shows (except the first two venues not in the north east).  It is here you will be able to pretty much do the entire fall tour and still be able to drive home after each show to sleep (I know, it’s impractical for AC and Maine but it’s certainly possible).  
Phish has carved their fall tour through the north east as many predicted.  I had all these dates up last week but I was still holding out hope that these wouldn’t be the only dates.  So, Phish return to Colorado for their 9th show in the state in less than 1.5 years–then they skip over about 3/4 of the country to go to random South Carolina (which is a cool state to go to) and then up to the safety of their New England turf.  There is also supposed to be a Thanksgiving run (Hampton and Philly) and then an NYE run in MSG–These should be announced before the Fall Tour gets under way.
Since Phish has returned there has been the growing curiosity of why they have been staying away from the west coast.  Often you will hear “where’s the west coast love”–I laughed with others at that sentiment saying, “sorry Phish hates you”.  I defended Phish with a post just a few months ago–I said how their fan base is most concentrated in the north east and the fans there are far more musically and Phishtorically receptive.  However, after the recent tour announcement, I am stunned just how concentrated the concerts are becoming in the north east.
While the rumors were coming out, I heard vague ones mixed in about Chicago, Madison, Cincy and Minnesota–these didn’t ahve set dates like the north east had but I figured they wouldn’t go straight from Colorado (again) and dart right to the east coast.
Is it that they don’t care for being that far from home any more?  Are they just sick of long bus rides?  The date selection couldn’t have been chosen purely for monetary reasons–they are playing pretty small venues (6.5k being the smallest and 14k being the largest)–they know they could sell out places in California, Oregon, Chicago or Florida.  Is this what it’s going to be like until Phish leave us for good?  A few nights in the middle of the country and then a mini-tour in the north east?  This may be the case.  Phish obviously doesn’t have the stamina to tour like they used to, and I understand that–but putting their last 9 shows of a short tour within a 4 hour radius seems absurd to me.
I am from the Chicago area, not a bad place to be when it comes to Phish–certainly better than the west coast.  I can fly and drive pretty easily to anywhere (I drove to Telluride and flew to Indio easily), however, with this tour’s announcement, I find it hard to justify spending hundreds of dollars to see a couple of Phish shows again.  I basically drove to Telluride (and, yes, it was beautiful and amazing) to see two of the year’s weaker shows only to drive through the night back to my home turf and see four of the best shows of the year.  I’m scared to spend hundreds on lodging, tickets, transportation, food, alcohol and other miscellaneous things again if Phish is both – A- playing as inconsistently as they have this year and -B- feel no desire reaching out to people that don’t live west of Pennsylvania.
I’m not saying I’m mad at them–I just don’t fully understand it anymore.  Obviously they can do what they want–and I am very grateful that they are choosing really really cool venues.  Who am I kidding–If they won’t spare a moment on this dog faced boy, maybe this dog faced boy is just going to have to bite the bullet and see all of you in Atlantic City–what a cool place. 
(yes that was a cheesy pun, but look at their tour logo posted at the top here)