We have nothing against the Dodge Theatre. We love the Dodge Theatre. But when it comes to jam bands like Widespread Panic, we prefer wide-open, outdoors-y venues that help us cope with the peyote buttons we probably just ate. Because, face it: The only way to enjoy Widespread Panic — or Phish or The String Cheese Incident or Hot Tuna — is to be in the throes of a powerful hallucinogen that makes you forget about trifles such as melody, song structure, and your 8 a.m. sales meeting the next day. And when that happens, you want to be outdoors, so you can twirl aimlessly, gaze at cosmic tracer bullets, and watch the marshmallow unicorn give birth to the trumpet-playing star-monkey. The Bonnaroo Music Festival is always good for that sort of thing. So is Flagstaff's Pine Mountain Amphitheater, where Widespread Panic had their last Arizona show, in 2007. The Mesa Amphitheater would have been cool, too, but something called the Wellness & Benefits Fair already booked the place. Sigh. Better forego the peyote and stick with the Dodge's delicious Long Island iced teas, lest the unicorn go into labor on rows of rigid bucket seats.
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