Coffee With Ian

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Feb 20
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NY outdoor venues for Phish that are NOT Jones Beach

Since Phish reformed in 2009 after a 2004 breakup, they have played a total of two venues in the NYC Metropolitan area.  Jones Beach in the summer and MSG in the winter.

At first, the concept of playing Jones Beach was awesome, since I had never seen them there before.  However, after attending 3 of the 5 shows they’ve played there since the return, its time to check out other options.

1. PNC Bank Arts Center, Holmdel, NJ.  Phish played there 7 times, including 2 night runs in 1999 and 2000.  It is rumored that they’ve been banned from ever returning, by either the town or the venue, although Trey and Mike have played there since with other non-Phish projects.  In more recent years, PNC Bank Arts Center has banned tailgating at select shows, and the Phish people would not allow a show that banned tailgating.

2. MCU Park (formerly Keyspan Park), Brooklyn, NY.  Phish famously opened their “final” tour at this minor league baseball stadium in 2004 with 2 shows, and a special surprise guest appearance from Jay-Z.  It is a fun venue, near the rides and attractions of Coney Island.  The only issue is the tiny capacity, and security not letting fans move from the field to the seats, even though both sections were general admission.

3. Red Bull Arena, Harrison, NJ.  The new home of the Major League Soccer New York Red Bulls (at one time known as the Metrostars).  It is a 20,000 seat soccer stadium like Toyota Park outside of Chicago where Phish has played the past two years.  Red Bull is yet to host a concert.  An earlier design of the stadium was supposed to have a permanent concert stage like in other MLS parks, but Red Bull didn’t want it.  Whether they will allow concerts altogether is another question.  It is easily accessible from NYC by the PATH train.

4. Citi Field, Flushing, NY.  The home of the Mets.  It seats 42,000, one of the smaller parks in Baseball, but possibly considered by Phish as too big for them.  Phish played 35,000 seat Fenway Park in 2009, but probably wouldn’t have if DMB, who shares a management team with Phish, wasn’t already there the previous two nights.  Citi is a better fit for Phish than the bigness of the new Yankee Stadium, and this is coming from a Yankee fan!

5. Central Park, New York, NY.  There are two main music venues at Central Park.  One is Summerstage at Rumsey Playfield, which is too small for Phish.  The other is the Great Lawn, which has a large capacity, and is only open for a small number of concerts each year.  If Phish were to play there, it would be a one time only event and tickets would likely be free.

6. Randall’s Island, New York, NY.  It is an island between the Bronx, Queens and Manhattan.  It does not have a permanent music venue, but hosts concerts and festivals at times.  To be honest, I’d rather go back to Jones Beach than hit Randall’s Island for a show.

7. Any indoor arena.  Sure, they’d fit the band, but come on, they’re INDOORS during the summer.  I do hope that Phish plays Nassau Coliseum and the new Prudential Center sooner than later, though.

What other NYC area venues would be good for Phish to hit on a summer tour that I missed?