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Friday, June 1

Editorial: Phish Summer 2012 Tour Preview/Opinions

With Phish Tour 2012 right around the corner and as we wait, holding our breath, we here at Phish and The Dead wanted to go over some guidelines and expectations for what we know will be 33 nights of total-extreme madness and bliss comnbined in a jambalaya of soupy goodness and musical love.  6 months is a long time and a lot can happen in that during such a space, a void, i.e. Change.  To begin on a rather dark note lets just think about who has passed since Phish performed last.  We have the Great Levon Helm, the songstress Whitney Houston, Camel Walkers and disco King/Queen - Robin Gibb and Donna Summers.  Doc Watson, RIP. The Phish covered MCA - Adam Yauch of The Beastie Boys.  The soulful diva Etta James. Earl Scruggs- and his perpetually on fire banjo. American Bandstand's Dick Clark- and the little known but great Australian Pop Icon Greg Ham (Men At Work).  This is the sad news. But all apart of life.  The happy news is that Trey can throw a baseball from the pitcher's mound to home-plate, and the play he helped co-write, Hands on a Hardbody is headed off to Broadway.  Speaking of Trey, well, he has a solo album, 
one of the indie influenced kind- thank you Peter Katis- coming out this Fall.  Mike hit up The Dam, might not've been the only thing he hit up while there.   Fishman reminded us all that with a crowd of happy Ben and Jerry fed phans, there is NO SUCH THING as too much cowbell.  Page has been enjoying fatherhood, but hasn't been a complete void, and his side will be RAGE SIDE come June 7th - this I have no doubt.
A lot would argue that MSG 2011/12 was weak.  I diasagree, but won't throw those shows in my top ten concerts.  Many would agree that "Steam" was a little too new and a little too composed to be the New Years Eve Gag- I tend to think it was a rushed decesion, but that's my opinion.  There were some interesting collaborations since Phish Toured last, with Trey playing with The National and Mike with Jackie Greene.

  • So where does this leave us?  
  • What do we want out of Summer 2012?  
  • What do we realistically expect?  
  • And who has my extra for Bill Graham :)
1.  Phish will come out the gates on fire, as they did last year at Bethel.  For I believe the Worcester shows will be 2 to be remembered.  Make note, they are playing a lot more indoor venues for a traditional Summer Tour and this will lead to a different vibe from every aspect.  Expect the engine to be firing on all cylinders from the words 1...2 1,2,3... 

2. There will be a slight deviation in song choices.  Per Page's RS Magazine statement it sounds like they are going to be taking some songs out of the locker.  Dusting off some rare treats that come Dick's wont be so dusty anymore.

3. Bonnaroo is going to be a highlight.  There I said it.  Not a highlight for the Roo- we knew this already, but a tour highlight.  I think they bring it.  Shit, it's already brought as far as I'm concerned.

4. The Fourth of July, in NYC for all intents and purposes should be a blast, and their NY run will be epic, and fun.

5. I outlined the mid-west as the meat and potatos of Leg1 and I still believe this true, but just like the NFL and any given Sunday, Phish has the way making any night very very special.

6. At first I wasn't thinking too highly of the Atlantic City, Bader Field Shows.  Now I will leave you with, I DONT KNOW.  (Truly I have no intuition on these shows at all) Except on small footnote: IT IS NOT A PHISH FESTIVAL!

7.The Deer Creek>Alpine Valley 2012 will be stuff of legend.

8.The West Coast is getting some Love, and SF will be awesome even if they open the first night with Possum and close out the nights in this order: Night 1. "Lovin Cup"   Night 2. "Tweezer Reprise" Night 3. "First Tube" - ah but that wont happen...not in the City By The Bay...or will it?

9.Missouri is stoked. And DarkStarlight will be a show I am sorry I cannot attend.

10.Welcome aboard Oklahoma.  Shit, ya'll might even go to the NBA Finals- so what-a-year!  Question: Oklahoma fans- which do you prefer: Phish @ The Zoo or the Thunder winning the Championship? 
(See the city, see the zoo anyone?)

11. With my weak Bama roots, I am glad they are gettin' Dirty this year. "SOLD OUT"  Those Southern Runs are oh so fun, Charlotte is hot, but the real firestorm will be in Hotlanta!  -we knew this.

12. Dick's will be a good night cap and all....but let's not compare it to 2011.  Ok, that's impossible.  Let's try to NOT compare it to 2011, but secretly wish for an all "H" show.  Come on...I dare you to create a full "H" song setlist.

Look for some new songs, some tasty covers, amazing tributes and again a Summer of solid madness that will leave every last one of us wishing for more shows, a Fall Tour, Halloween....and Thanks Jim James, New Years in NYC..... 
[are you watching closely]

See you on tour:
Sammy Martin

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