What’s dominating the rumors for Halloween night’s “musical costume”? Phish has a long tradition of covering an album front to back during its Halloween shows. In 1998, it played the Velvet Underground’s Loaded at the Thomas & Mack. Earlier this year, band members Trey Anastasio and Page McConnell hinted at ending the musical costume practice and doing something new—and given Phish’s attempts to throw off the scent in the past, they could have been just trolling the faithful. (Anastasio also recently leaked out a photo of him playing to a Bob Marley poster.) The band’s “phans” have been predicting or nominating perennial favorites such as anything by Led Zeppelin or The Allman Brothers Band (which played its farewell show on October 28), Michael Jackson’s Thriller and the mythical The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday(aka Gamehendge), Anastasio’s unreleased student album.
Are tickets available? Only on the secondary market, where tickets for October 31 are at press time averaging about $500 each. If you decide to pony up, use StubHub, which guarantees against counterfeit tickets and has a local office. Cheaper tickets abound for the November 1-2 shows.
A cheaper, albeit less experiential option: You can watch from home. Webcasts will be offered the whole weekend, with a wide variety of options (standard definition and high definition) and bundles (one-night webcast or multi-night webcast—with 10 percent off discount). More info here.
Speaking of, will there be a lot of security and police? MGM Resorts had no official word on beefed-up authority presence, but you should anticipate it—MGM Grand will not risk losing its gaming license for a concert. During a three-night run in upstate New York last July, more than 200 people were arrested, mostly on drug charges.
Will ushers enforce assigned seating? No clarification was given by MGM, but it’s anyone’s guess. Tickets not earmarked for the general admission floor list specific seat numbers, but Phish shows commonly permit an open-seating policy.
Where will the tailgating and vending occur? It’s unlikely phans will be able to establish a Shakedown Street—the Grateful Dead-inspired makeshift vending area where people sell and buy pipes, grilled cheese, T-shirts, tickets and, yes, drugs—in the MGM Grand parking garage. You may spot vendors hawking their wares either on foot discreetly inside the MGM or somewhere off-property.
Should you wear a costume? Phish encourages it by way of its Halloween-night costume contest. Just make sure to visit one of the three photo booths at the arena, where you can take (and print) a photo and upload it to the band’s Facebook page. Get the most “likes” by November 1 and you’ll win a Phish New Year’s ticket package. Remember: no masks in the casino and no toy weapons on property.
Phish October 31-November 2, 7:30 p.m., sold out. MGM Grand Garden Arena, 702-891-7777.