AUGUSTA – Steve Goedeck says Phish’s impending visit to the 8,000-seat Augusta Civic Center is no surprise.

“Well, I would like to say it’s happening because this is, like, their home,” he said. “Maine is kinda their home turf, so the shows that happen here are always just magical.”

Goedeck, who owns Cosmic Charlie’s on Water Street in Augusta, said Maine is the second home to at least one band member.

“I just think, with (drummer Jon) Fishman living here in Lincolnville, and their free shows at Amy’s Farm back in the day, this is kind of their home state,” he said.

Phish will open its first-ever Augusta show at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.

Tickets are sold out, perhaps because Augusta is a unique venue for the internationally known Vermont-based jam band.

In the mid- to late-1990s, Phish regularly sold out multiple nights at big-city arenas such as Madison Square Garden, and repeatedly drew as many as 85,000 people to remote festival locations.

The group continued packing mega-venues during its first spate of touring after a two-year hiatus from 2000-02 and could’ve easily continued to do so after taking another break from 2004 until last year.

However, on its current tour, Phish is treating fans to more intimate shows in small towns such as Manchester, N.H., Amherst, Mass., and — on Tuesday — Augusta.

The band last came to Maine in November 2009, playing the Cumberland County Civic Center in Portland.

“That was a killer show. Unbelievable,” Goedecke said.

In 1997, 1998 and 2003, Phish played pairs of six-set concerts at Loring Air Force Base in Limestone that attracted approximately 65,000 fans each.

While some people can’t warm to the idea of thousands of post-hippy revelers descending on their town, Goedeck is anxious for Phish to return to Augusta someday for an even larger event.

“I tell you, the economic impact is just incredible,” he said.

And then some. Phish’s three Limestone concerts brought approximately $1.5 million each to Maine.


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