Tuesday, February 3, 2009

What A Day

Note: In the wake of the gravity that yesterday held, and the days previous to it, this is a largely over due piece that should hopefully make up for my lack of effort on this page.  

The obvious "big" news yesterday was that Phish will be headlining Bonnaroo Music Festival 2009 in Manchester, Tennessee.  They will be playing a two set performance as well as a "late evening" set. The second momentous announcement was the cancellation of Langerado Music Festival in Miami, Florida.  The significance obviously being that Langerado was a staple for being the kick off event of the festival season, it was a huge hit last year for those in attendance, and was slated for the same weekend as Phish's reunion in Hampton, Virginia.

Where to begin...the Bonnaroo announcement presents an interesting twist to my touring plans.  I already have the previously discussed Hampton.  Now in addition to that I was lucky enough to get Knoxville, Deer Creek and both nights of Alpine.  I am looking around for Asheville, but considering I got shut out at 10:00:03 on TicketMaster, I don't see extras being easy to come by.  Supporting any kind of scalping of Phish tickets is not on my bucket list.  So, the search continues. (Anyone with anything, my email is theadames
mith@gmail.com, haha) 

Anyway, back to Bonnaroo, the question is, does one want to drop $250 on a semi-lackluster line up to see two sets of Phish and a "late-evening" set?  Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of great acts on that bill, my music taste is as diverse as the next person, but $250 would support a complete Western tour.  I can see those other acts anytime, and have seen most of them before.  I am wondering if patience for more announcements will pay off.  The rumor mill is throwing around the idea of Red Rocks for 4 nights in August.  This would indicate a Western tour is in the works. Decisions...

Langerado.  My poor festival has officially gone down in flames.  As a South Florida native, this is a sad day for our music scene.  Mainly because this was a very predictable progression.  As soon as I heard they were moving the festival from Big Cypress into Miami I knew it would be a disaster.  Many shared in my discontent and vocalized it via message boards, websites and blogs.  Then the lineup came out.  Despite being decent over all, it just wasn't enough to draw people out that will have to book flights or drive 100s of mile, reserve hotels in the city (during college Spring Break weekend), pay for taxis and late night tickets, and shuffle around inner-city Miami.  To be honest, I am not quite sure what they were thinking.  It seems that Evan has either given in to the corporate side of festival planning and promotion, or he has completely lost touch with the pulse of the concert goers Langerado aimed to attract.  In an interview with Billboard.com, he claims, 

"The economy just really took us for a hit, because not everybody can afford to come down for the weekend in South Florida.  It's tough right now."

Although I partly agree with him, I feel a lot of it really has to do with the quality of the product.  The economy certainly did not effect sales for Phish tour.  I predict the other big festivals won't struggle either as long as they supply the proper line ups.  I am rather upset about this because it is the music fans that lose in the end, not the promoters and organizers.  On top of that bands that had planned their tours around Langerado are now hosed as well.  It's just not a good situation, and one that could have been avoided.  Many of my friends at home were settling for Langerado because they were shut out of Hampton.  Now they have nothing and are out the service fees from their Langerado tickets. 

Ok, time to return to a positive topic. Phish Summer Tour.  I posted the dates when they were released, but never talked about them.  This is going to be a good one, so here it goes...Things start off with a two night run 6/4 and 6/5 at Jonas Beach Theatre in Wantagh, New York.  The next two nights, 6/6 and 6/7, complete the North Eastern run with gigs at Comcast Center in Mansfield, Massachusetts and Susquehanna Bank Center in Camden, New Jersey. All four of these dates look very promising and I regret not being able to make it to any of them.  

The boys take a one day break after Camden and come back with a very hyped show at the Asheville Civic Center in Asheville, North Carolina on 6/09.  The next night takes us to the newly renovated Thompson-Boling Arena in Knoxville, Tennessee for what I hope is a taste of pre-Bonnaroo greatness.  There is a break in the tour for Bonnaroo here.  To go or not to go...  

Almost a week later comes a sure to be gem of a show at the Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Missouri on 6/16. Another one day break and the Pennsylvania gets its dose at the Post Gazette Pavillion in Burgettstown on 6/18.  I jump back on tour 6/19 with Verizon Wireless Music Center in Noblesville, Indiana.  This is followed by two tour ending shows at the infamous Alpine Valley Music Theatre in East Troy, Wisconsin.  

The tour totals 11 dates, spans over 17 days and visits 9 states and venues.  As of now I am attending four (hopefully 5) of the dates.  I will be accompanied by my touring buddy Chris for all these dates, my buddy David for Knoxville, and hopefully more if tickets can be had.  This page shall serve as documentation of my experience on tour.  Expect more posts in the future.            

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