These are really the first truly accessible Phish shows in Colorado since the band reunited in Hampton, Virginia nearly three years ago. Getting tickets to Red Rocks in 2009 was cutthroat, Telluride last summer was nearly as tough a ticket and though the 1STBANK Center last October isn't a tiny room, tickets were still hard to come by for some nights.
Not this summer, though. With concert seating of up to 26,000 inside Dick's Stadium, everyone and their dog who wants to be at these shows will be at them -- including many first-time (and likely future longtime) Phish fans will also be in attendance. So in the spirit of our U2 survival guide from May, we've put together a little primer of what to expect this weekend for tour vets and noobs alike for this weekend of Phish-Dick's.
The parking lot of a Phish show is a big part of the whole experience of seeing this band. Lots open at 3 p.m. each day, and despite the heat, they will fill up with hoards of people tailgating, likely a few food and drink vendors here and there. For you first-timers: Yes, everyone is in a pretty damn good mood, and no, the '60s didn't make a comeback (don't make jokes like that, either). Make friends with your neighbors, go for a walk and try a few microbrews you've never heard of from the cooler of the guy selling them at the end of your row. Also keep an eye out for fan-created shirts, hats and drink coozies riffing off of band lyrics, song titles and other bits of Phish lore. We've also caught wind of a new trend toward other collectables like hat pins, coins and even bobble heads of band members.
It's also no secret that Phish lots have a pretty steady underground marketplace of illicit substances ranging from some weed to pretty much anything you can imagine. Be careful, as this is Commerce City, and small town cops with big budgets and nothing to do will be out patrolling.
For a good idea of what to expect, check out this video from two weeks ago in Chicago: