[We would like to thank Denny Kinlaw, user @SaintAndrew, for last night's recap, his first Dick’s show. -Ed.]
Some venues simply flaunt their status as beacons of musical heritage upon the American landscape: the mythic aura of Madison Square Garden, the sublime scale of Alpine Valley, and the dingy intimacy of Hampton Coliseum all come to mind. To enter these venues is to enter into the mythos of rock n’ roll history. For Phish and their fans, these venues represent not only the ascendancy of a band that labored most of its career in the shadows of more commercially celebrated acts—with Phish finally “making it” on the main stages by 12/30/1994 and utterly destroying them by 12/30/1997—but stand out as perennial havens for a band that continues to achieve improvisational high-water marks thirty years into its career. While Dick’s Sporting Goods Park will never elicit the type of hushed reverence these historic venues tend to evoke, nor will anyone ever gasp with stilted breath “It’s magnificent” upon entering Dick's (See Gorge), it simply is the most important outdoor venue for mapping Phish’s shape-shifting achievements in the 3.0 era.
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