All in the Family
Portsmouth, VA. The end of another long, strange trip. The final show of this summer’s first leg, on Sunday Phish arrived at by far the most intimate venue of the tour (~7,000) on Father’s Day. This tour has been somewhat unconventional in that its strongest shows (Bethel2, Pine Knob, Blossom) were bunched at the beginning, whereas most tours tend to gather strength as they progress. The phenomenal Charlotte gig threw a huge kink in that narrative, but Raleigh, while fun, failed to fully capture Charlotte’s momentum. Their signature festival event of the summer, Superball IX, is just around the corner. Would Phish coast to the finish line, or go out with a bang?
By Elayne Best (@jugglerswithfire)
Seeing Phish at Walnut Creek Amphitheater has been like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get. Historically, shows have ranged from spectacular (7/22/97) to uninspired (6/25/00). So what would we get on 6/18/11? The night before was a standout in performance for this summer tour. How would they respond in a venue with as mixed quality of performances such as Walnut Creek?
Tour packages including party bus shuttles, hotel, restaurant accomodations and even side tours to wineries and ballgames are available for Phish's California, Denver, and Nevada shows for the western leg of Phish's summer tour from a new operator, Greg Yance of Bobby D-Tour.
More information is available on their website. Greg describes his service as "a hybrid of [the recently blogged about "party"] charter bus services combined with [tour package operator] Consider it Dan."
Leaving the driving to Bobby D-Tour seems like a good alternative to rental cars and "do it yourself" accomodations for those flying to the west coast for the end of Phish summer tour.
Samba in the Rain
Wednesday night in Georgia, Phish played like a nostalgia act—a band older than its years, still possessing sharp technical skills but almost utterly disinterested creatively. Like a great boxer who tours the country knocking out pretenders in exhibition bouts, or a veteran stage actor who spends 15 years playing the same part in a hit show, Phish this night seemed to be a band with great powers that was fully satisfied with pleasant mediocrity.
Tonight's live stream from Alpharetta, GA has been postponed until 8:00 pm due to thunderstorms in the area.
Though last night's show didn't start until after 8:00pm, the stream went live at 7:00pm. Phish tweeted, "We will not be starting tonight's Phish stream until 8PM EST due to thunderstorms"
Presumably, this means the show will start later than last night's 8:15pm start time to allow for people to get the stream working properly after it goes live. EDIT: Live as of 8:10pm enjoy!
Reports from the area indicate a ferocious storm with heavy rain, high winds, and even some downed trees.
Read On for Pictures from venue.
Another charter bus service, Rock & Bus, has begun to provide "party bus" service to summer tour Phish shows.
Owner Numann Akram tells us "We're offering buses from all the surrounding cities. Our model works on demand so we go where the fans are. Think you have enough fans in your town to get your own bus? Email us and we'll add your town to the list. These buses are luxury charter motorcoaches with all the amenities. We think this is a great way to extend your Phish experience to and from the show."
More information is available at the Rock and Bus
An entire nation turned it's eyes on Phish last night as the band embarked on their second official stream. First, a couple notes on the stream itself....
Phish doesn't do anything poorly. Ever. They are meticulous in their planning and building their own streaming platform with nugs.net is an absolute win. People in the past have calmored for a partnership with iclips or spoken highly of the recent VEVO offerings, but Phish have maintained complete control and produced a great result. As far as the technical side of things goes, last night seemed to be even more rock solid than the shows over NYE. It's the internet, you're sure to encounter a few hiccups, but last night was well exectued and much appreciated. BTW, if you were one of the scumbags who was watching via a re-stream, seriously?
On to the music.