Tag Archives: Eugene

Phish Double Header in Eugene

Before the world went to shit this is how things should have worked out. Phish announced the release of their new album Sigma Oasis. A few months later Sigma Oasis would be released and then kick off summer tour 2020. This summer tour would open with two nights at Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene. I was stocked to have the tour opener in my back yard and for two nights no less. Not my first time seeing Phish here either so I was looking forward to getting back.

To the south was the Willamette valley farm area.

This was originally schedule for July 14th and 15th 2020 but due to covid-19 it was schedule for the following year on July 13th and 14th 2021. As the year went on and the new date came near, things didn’t improve with covid so it was reschedule a second time for fall tour 2021. This time the show proceed and I was grateful to have Phish touring again. With such a long gap between tours staying in town and making this a mini vacation was an easy choice.

Continue reading Phish Double Header in Eugene

Trey Anastasio Hult Center for the Performing Arts Monday, December 10th 2018

It was back in the spring of 1999 that Trey did hist last acoustic tour that I remember. He has toured extensively outside of Phish but I can’t remember the last time he did an acoustic set. In 1999 Trey was touring with a trio. He would play two sets, first was all acoustic and the second was with his trio. Unfortunately I missed this show when he came to the 9:30 Club that May.

Dec. 10th 2018 Hult Center

That show I was really excited to see and disappointed I missed. That entire tour has gone down in the book of legends because of what it was. Being almost 20 years that I know of since he last did this I wasn’t as excited the second time around. It would be great to see him perform live but the novelty of an acoustic show wore off. He did it before and in much smaller venues. This time around his fame and popularity allow him to upgrade the tour. He even referenced playing at the Hilton Ballroom in Eugene and staying at the hotel that night. Now he is playing the Hult Center for the Performing Arts down in Eugene. Quite a step up from the 9:30 Club.

I took a half day to make sure I could get down to Eugene in time for the performance. It is only 2 hours from my house so theoretically I could have left work and made the show but I thought better to not risk it. The half day allowed me to run a few errands and arrive in Eugene with plenty of time before the show.

The entrance is down an ally. I missed it the first time especially at night.

First stop was some food and beer at Falling Sky Brewing. A nice brewery that honestly is hard to find. I walked around the entire block looking for it. It is actually down the alley that splits the block. A small place. Lots of long benches and a few high top tables. Brewing operations are off to the right. They where definitely brewing beer that night. The whole place smelled of malt

A well rounded brewery but they certainly specialize in malt forward beers. They actually have a list of all the beers they have brewed each year, the batch number and totals for ingredients used. You can see the trend towards more hop and then a switch to more malts in the past couple of years. Balanced selection of beers but again, mostly favoring malts. They offer food as well but a limited menu. Its a seasonal menu and the burger I got that night was good. It went well with my brown ale.

After some food and beer sampling it was just a short walk to the venue. A large crowd had formed outside the venue and in the lobby. Phish fans had descended on the Hult Center and were taking it over. A really nice venue with comfortable seats and not a bad view in the house. Just a really beautiful space for a performance. It was a huge stage with just a single rug, chair, side table and two guitars.

The song selection was what I would call “typical” for an acoustic show. See Trey’s early ’99 work and the performance he and Mike did in 2010 in Broomfield, CO for the Fourmile Canyon fire relief fund. Not all songs will fit the acoustic formula so in actuality the song selection is pretty limited. Still a good performance and song selection with interesting takes.

One thing that I really enjoyed with this show was the intimacy and the banter. Since it was just Trey on stage he was relatively chatty compared to a typical Phish show. We got some insight into the songs or how they came to be or where they where created. Trey told a story from I believe it was from back in 1993 at the Hilton Ballroom. Apparently it was a good show and Trey made an announcement about an after party in Jon’s room 637. Jon was a good sport about it and they had a good after party that night. This kinda of banter you just don’t get with Phish in a large arena.

A great trip down to Eugene to see Trey. I wish the crowd was a little more respectful of the venue. They also talked constantly and everyone kept taking flash photos. But the beer was cold and the food good. The Hult Center is a great place to see a performance and I look forward to Phish coming back to Eugene one day….really anywhere in Oregon would be fine.

Set 1 (start time 8:57pm)
1. Waste
2. We are Come to Outlive our Brains
3. Limb by Limb
4. Brian and Robert
5. Lifeboy
6. Farmhouse
7. The Inlaw Josie Wales
8. Bliss
9. Billy Breaths
10. Sample in a Jar
11. The Wedge
12. Mercury
13. Mountains in the Mist
14. Cool Amber and Mercury
15. Back on the Train
16. Water in the Sky
17. Joy
18. Strange Design
19. Steam >
20. Backwards Down the Number Line >
21. Blaze On
22. Down with Disease
23. Chalkdust Torture >
24. Say it to Me S.A.N.T.O.S. >
25. Chalkdust Torture
set over at 9:44pm

Encore (starts at 9:46pm)
26. All of These Dreams
27. If I Could
28. Talk
29. The Horse >
30. Silent in the Morning
31. More
house lights at 10:05pm

Copyright Aren Vandenburgh 2018.

Two Nights of String Cheese Incident Cuthbert Amphitheater July 2018

String Cheese Incident doesn’t tour nearly as much as they use to. In fact they took a break for a couple of years before getting back together and hitting the road on a limited basis. Now they do way more festivals and multi-day stints in cities instead of being on the road for months at a time hitting a bunch of different cities. When it was announced that they would be playing two nights at the Cuthbert Amphitheater in Eugene I had to get tickets. It has been a minute since I last saw them for NYE in Denver and I wanted to check them out again on the west coast.

My plan was to pack as much crap into two days as I could and be back to work on Monday. I started with a hike to Silver Falls State Park. I saw a picture of this park on my computers login screen and I needed to see this place in person. A great hike and an awesome time. I actually timed things pretty well that day. Checked into the hotel, took a nap for a while and then I was off to see the show. It was so awesome having the ability to just walk to the venue and not worry about a car.

The venue is an interesting one. A small outdoor amp hither it has its charms. First the stage faces the sun so as an audience we get shade cover long before the band. There is no back to the venue either, just the forest behind. This comes into play at night when the sun goes down and the lights can project onto the trees. Adds an interesting element to the standard light show. On the upper ring of the lawn you can have low back chairs. Then there is your standard blanket lawn and the seats. Classic ballpark stiff, narrow and pretty uncomfortable seats.

The show was not sold out but as the night went on the place got pretty packed. It was a total general admission which was really cool. First night I spent it pretty close stage right in the seats. This is why I know they are so uncomfortable. The show this night and the next were both kick ass performances. In fact I thought both shows where better then the recent Dead & Co. show I saw and dare I say it, each individual night of SCI was better too. Just such a great time jamming out with the band and the crowd. It was such a good vibe both nights. During the second night’s performance I spent most of set two lounging on the lawn. There where so many kids running around and babies too. Lots of babies. I never remember it being so family friendly but as time has gone on, just like Phish shows, the fans got older and are bringing their kids.

An interesting venue and a great couple of nights outside.

After the first night I was hungry for food. I didn’t get anything before the show because I was napping and during I just didn’t see any vendor that interested me. For a somewhat large city it has limited options open late. I was disappointed I couldn’t walk to something. On a Saturday night everything was closed by 11pm, right when the show ended. Every time I am in a smaller city I always run into this problem. You would think by now I would be use to it.

Sunday I checked out of the hotel and started my day of adventure. Home was only 2 hours away so I told myself I could tough it out and make it home after the show. Saturday started late and Sunday they would start on time. With a curfew of 11pm I figured I had a good chance of seeing the entire show and still making it home at a reasonable hour.

I mostly walked around the city trying to find cool stuff. Sunday was a pretty quite day I most say. Downtown is not that big with these dispersed shopping streets. I did manage to find the Oregon Art Supply and a cool vinyl shop House of Records. I found Miles Davis In a Silent Way here and was super excited about it. One of my favorite all time records. Unfortunately side two is all fucked up so that is disappointing but side A is where its at. I found out later it could be the entire re-issue that is screwed for side B so that’s awesome.

One thing I didn’t do was find a brewery. The entire weekend was hot and I just didn’t have it in me to sit and drink beer. Closest I got was Bill & Tim’s BBQ for lunch where I had a beer. Honestly the BBQ was ok at best. It didn’t really have a smokey flavor I was looking for. Neither the brisket or pork. The sauce was also kinda weak and the meat was dry. They certainly cooked it a day or two before and then served it. Sides were good but overall, pretty disappointing.

I actually had a hard time finding things to do in downtown, it was just dead. I eventually gave up and headed to the venue not long before doors opened. I grabbed my chair and found a nice spot in the shade to relax. By relax I mean take a nap. It was so hot and I had already walked several miles, I needed the break. Plus I knew I wouldn’t make it through the show and then 2 hours driving that night without a nap.

Honestly another banging set from String Cheese Incident on Sunday. It was again filled with some killer jams and just these rolling beats that I love. The light show was great and the weather wasn’t to bad. Certainly after the sun set things really heated up. This time I spent the first set on the left and then during set break moved to the lawn. I was just ready to lounge out and listen to some killer music. Another kick ass show, really good.

I kept watching the time but eventually I left the show early. When the set was over I started making my way to my car. I wanted to beat the crowds out and start my long drive home. Earlier I had picked up a few donuts from Voodoo Doughnuts for a sugar rush and some iced coffee. Thankfully the drive home was uneventful and I made it without issue. I think I got home around 12:30 or 1am. Went right back to bed and was up early the next morning for work. I would have stayed a second night if only I had the PTO.

It was really awesome seeing SCI for two nights in Eugene. There is just something about seeing bands on the west coast. Phish and SCI both seam to have a different vibe out this way and I love it. The town could have been a little better but next time I will venture out from the downtown area. I have a feeling there is more to see, you just have to travel to it.

Day 1

String Cheese Incident Saturday, July 7th 2018
Cuthbert Amphitheater – Eugene, OR

Set 1 starts at 7:35pm

  1. Dudley’s Kitchen
  2. Close Your Eyes >
  3. So Far From Home >
  4. Ophelia
  5. Freedom Jazz Dance
  6. Late in the Evening* >
  7. drums* >
  8. Just One Story
    Set over at 8:45pm

Set 2 starts at 9:22pm

  1. Sweet Spot
  2. The Big Reveal >
  3. Mrs. Browns Teahouse
  4. Stay Through >
  5. Jellyfish >
  6. Willin’ >
  7. Jellyfish >
  8. Lands End >
  9. Glory Chords
  10. Colliding
    Set over at 10:53pm
    Encore starts at 10:54pm
  11. Quine the Eskimo*
    House lights at 11:00pm

* with Jarrod Kaplan on percussion
11:02pm come out to tell us to go away and go home. I believe there is a curfew at 11pm because of the park.

Day 2

String Cheese Incident Sunday, July 8th 2018
Cuthbert Amphitheater – Eugene, OR

Set 1 starts at 7:04pm

  1. Can’t Stop Now
  2. Search >
  3. Could You Be Loved
  4. Falling Through the Cracks
  5. MLT*
  6. Water >
  7. Dirk
    Set over at 8:19pm

Set 2 starts at 8:54pm

  1. Believe >
  2. Song in My Head
  3. Valley of the Jib
  4. Hotel Window
  5. You Wreck Me^
  6. This Must Be the Place (Naive Melody) >
  7. Heads Up jam >
  8. Texas
    Set over at 10:22pm
  9. Can’t Wait Another Day

* with Jeff Pevar on guitar
^ with John Kadelicik on guitar

Phish Matthew Knight Arena October 17th 2014

Eugene, OR concert poster
Eugene, OR concert poster

Nancy and I took a trip out west to visit family, this trip just happened to coincide with the start of Phish’s fall tour.  While Nancy was not thrilled, she said I could go, she knows how much of a fan I am.  I took a few hours out of our trip to head down to the Matthew Knight Arena in Eugene to see the show.  Like always there was traffic getting to the venue and this turned what should have been a 3 hour trip into 4.  I was pissed but there wasn’t much I could do about it.  Once I finally got to the venue it took forever to find my seat but let me tell you, once I sat down it felt good to see Phish again.

I am not even sure how much of the first set I missed but once I was sitting down it didn’t much matter.  The place was not sold out but it certainly was packed.  I purchased my seat rather late so it was on the back of the stage which was perfect for me.  I moved to a more center position and settled in for the remainder of the show.  At pavilions you can only sit directly in front of the stage but at arena’s there is a little more freedom.  I like the change of perspective that comes with sitting directly behind the stage.  I feel like a part of the band, gazing out towards the grow getting the same view as the band.  The lights dance around the arena, its just a totally different experience.

phish_eugene_2014Pretty standard fair would be my opinion of the show.  The one thing that did stick out with this show was the crowd.  While there are usually a lot of hippies, here in Oregon there seemed to be a crap ton more than usually.  In fact I have never seen so many dreadlocks on white people in my life.  Song highlights included Reba and The Squirming Coil from set one.  Coil ended the set and it was again perfect, all the band members leave the stage except for Page who finishes off the song with some great solo piano work.  Before he leaves he thanks the crowd and mentions they love this place but don’t get out here enough.  Living on the east coast I don’t have this problem, I am able to see a ton of shows every year.

Second set was better than the first, standard fair again.  Plasma was a debut for the band so that was cool, traditional a Trey song Phish played it for the first time that night.  Crosseyed and Painless > Harry Hood was a good one.  This Talking Heads cover has certainly been played in the past but not with any regularity.  When it does make its appearance it is a treat.  The lead into Hood Hood which was certainly an above average jam.  Not sure what sparked the band but the jam was great.  For the encore they played Sleeping Monkey along with two others.  Trey remarked that this is Page’s most requested song when they do encores but rarely gets played.  This night it was dedicated to Page with Trey and Page singing duet on the song.  Even the crowd go into the fun and sang a verse.

First west coast Phish and I was not disappointed.  Honestly I think the worst Phish show still beats any day not seeing them.  Yes the show was pretty much the same with only the crowd being a little more hippie then usually.  I can at least check the box for seeing a Phish show on the west coast.  Now they just have to tour Europe again so I can see them play there and check that box as well.

you don't have to go home but you can't stay here
you don’t have to go home but you can’t stay here


Set 1
01. Waiting All Night
02. Free >
03. Poor Heart >
04. Sample in a Jar
05. Strange Design
06. 555
07. Bouncing Around the Room >
08. Reba
09. Roggae
10. Simple >
11. Maze
12. The Squirming Coil
Set over at 9:34pm

Set 2
Starts at 10:04pm
01. Carini >
02. Plasma[1]
03. Farmhouse
04. Halfway to the Moon >
05. Twist
06. Crosseyed and Painless >
07. Harry Hood >
08. Rocky Top
Set over at 11:22pm

Starts at 11:25pm
09. Wingsuit
10. Sleeping Monkey >
11. Quinn the Eskimo
House lights at 11:44pm

[1] Phish debut

First West Coast Phish

I have been seeing Phish for more years than I can remember. One thing I have never done is see them in Europe and on the west coast. As I really started to get into Phish is exactly when they stopped touring Europe. As for the west coast, it has always been just to far to drive.

While Nancy and I were visiting Bobby and Tracy on the west coast I took the opportunity to see Phish for their 2014 west coast tour opener in Eugene Oregon, only 2.5 hours from their house. Full write up later but here is a photo from the first set.