Maybe So, Maybe Not: The Thrill & Concern Over Phish @ Wrigley

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the chatter reached new heights this winter
, Phish at Wrigley Field was clearly a hot button among fans.

Now that it's official -- June 24th and 25th -- speculation will no doubt continue.  This is not just a new venue for Phish, it's a new stadium, in the beating heart of one of the most vibrant urban communities in the country.  To say there are strong emotional attachments to events that occur at Wrigley is an understatement.

First, I'm going to go out on a limb here.  Doubters scoffed at Phish's ability to fill a giant baseball stadium.  Personally, I have observed demand to be soft for Phish in the 3.0 era aside from obvious landmark shows and severe underplays.

But I think these are going to be "hot tickets" and we'll see an instant sellout (there will likely be at least three pre-sales before the general public gets a shot at them).  That said, I also think tickets will be available to savvy fans quite easily.

Since tickets will need to be procured and arrangements made, let's take a look at what might make these shows historically significant (or not).

Maybe So - This conversation begins with Wrigley itself.  Having recently celebrated its 100th birthday, it is drenched with an amazing psychic energy -- as a baseball venue, it possesses a kind of folksy, noble beauty.  The structure itself is living history and, despite recent upgrades, it has strong visual and emotional ties to the past.  Being in a place where people have been experiencing highs and lows for so long means something.

Maybe Not - The words above were written by a lifelong Cubs fan.  I can see if you weren't quite so wrapped up in the team and its mythology, that this might hold less currency for you.  There may even be some of you who (gasp) actively hate the place.

Maybe So - Nevertheless, there's something about the first time Phish plays a venue, especially one that's been around forever, that seems important.  It's a grander feeling that often carries over into the performance or perception of a show.

Maybe Not - Although no amount of grand feelings can overcome the fact that a baseball stadium does not equal a music venue.  There will be some seats that are painfully far from the on-stage action, and where the sound may not even be able to penetrate.

Maybe So - If anybody can make this sound situation work, it's Phish's audio engineering crew.  Plus, a stadium is inclusive -- a big space to assemble your crew in and around.

Maybe Not - So bring on the noobs? I think it's safe to say there will be many people seeing Phish for the first time at this gig, folks that might not even consider Phish if it weren't at Wrigley. I'm already seeing interest from locals that I never would have imagined.  Remember, Anastasio made quite a name for himself outside of his traditional right here last Fourth of July weekend.  Could be a target rich environment for scalpers, speculators and those trying to get their people in.

Maybe So - In any case, Chicago is a great place to gather.  As we saw with Fare Thee Well, it's a great meeting place for geographically dispersed friends.  Manageable and affordable flights from either coast are plentiful.  It's an easy drive from most of the Midwest. Without any Southern dates on the docket, it is relatively accessible for those folks as well. There are abundant places to stay at all price points -- you may even know someone who lives in the neighborhood.  There's a lot of the city's culture to drink in.

Maybe Not - Yeah, but there are many great places on tour.   The Gorge jumps out for sure...

Maybe So - But the tour is light on weekend stands in destination cities.  The Gorge is not an easy place to get to.  There's always Dick's, but that seems to be removed from the tour proper.  All in all, this in not a lengthy tour for the band.

Maybe Not - After Dead50, maybe there's some Chicago fatigue for out-of-towners.

Maybe So - But let's take a look at why Chicago was the perfect city for Dead50.  The options for post show, pre show, even show Eve will be tremendous.  Although nothing can compare to the utter transformation the city went through for Dead50, I fully expect another veritable cottage industry of events come June, with legit musical talent and creative bookings.  Because of Wrigley's location, with so many bars and clubs literally steps away (others a short walk, train or cab ride), in some ways the intensity could be amplified.  There will be some great choices, and it won't be such a shlep to see them.

Maybe Not - Sure but the city location means no lot scene.  Wrigley doesn't even have a lot.

Maybe So - Sure if you're talking about tailgating, but energy around the park on game day is always off the hook.  This should be a truly unique experience.  And if you're really looking for a lot scene, feel free to jet down to Indiana, where the band will follow these shows at the venue formerly known as Deer Creek. (Or stick around, a Jerry Garcia Symphonic Celebration will be held in nearby Highland Park on the Sunday's BYOB picnic style).


So there's lots to consider.  One thing is for sure, there'll be plenty to talk about in the months leading up to the event.  Stay tuned here for news as it breaks.

An online ticket request period is currently underway at and will end Sunday, February 21st at 11:59pm ET. Tickets will go on sale to the public beginning Thursday, February 25th. Specific on sale information for each show is available at

Phish Summer 2016 Tourdates

06/22 Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN
06/24 Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
06/25 Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL
06/26 Klipsch Music Center, Noblesville, IN
06/28 The Mann Center, Philadelphia, PA
06/29 The Mann Center, Philadelphia, PA
07/01 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
07/02 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
07/03 Saratoga Performing Arts Center, Saratoga Springs, NY
07/06 Cross Insurance Arena, Portland, ME
07/08 Xfinity Center, Mansfield, MA
07/09 Xfinity Theatre, Hartford, CT
07/10 Lakeview Amphitheater, Syracuse, NY
07/15 Gorge Amphitheatre, George, WA
07/16 Gorge Amphitheatre, George, WA
07/18 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
07/19 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
07/20 Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, San Francisco, CA
07/22 The Forum, Inglewood, CA
07/23 Sleep Train Amphitheatre, Chula Vista, CA
09/02 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
09/03 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO
09/04 Dick’s Sporting Goods Park, Commerce City, CO

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