More Than Fun

508836127_44cdb2be4eConcerts are fun.  Parties are fun. Carnivals are fun.  But Phish was so much more than fun.  If fun was the primary thing we drew from this band, would we all be rearranging our summers to hit as many shows as possible?  If fun was the only thing we derived from Phish, they would have been like any other crazy Saturday night.  But they weren’t.  There was something intangible for all of us, something more than fun, that kept drawing us back to those arenas and amphitheatres for years on end.  There was something strangely personal about the whole Phish experience, as if the band was sometimes playing to you and you, alone.  That connection we all felt inside; to the music, the experience and to the moment kept us yearning for just one more taste.  Whether that taste came the next day, the next weekend, or the next tour, we knew that taste was coming and we awaited it like we awaited nothing else.  Yeah, there was something more than fun going on.  And now, that next taste is in reach once again.

3181882151_d0fea0a7871That late-night jolt of life that came last fall; the mystery that gripped our soul when the lights suddenly went black; that bursting sensation at the peak of the most grandiose Harry Hood; the sense of adventure when another Tweezer jam opened; the silence that fell over every crowd at the start of a Slave jam; these things were far more than amusement.  Those tranquil inner moments or those times you felt like you were going to explode; balancing on the cusp at the onset of every Bowie or the sea of bliss that sailed with each Reba drop, this was not the stuff of birthday parties and pin the tail on the donkey.  This stuff was serious, our car’s odometers and our former bank accounts can attest to that.

The reason why Phish 3.0 has revitalized the community and brought us all backwards down the number line is because we know that whenever we next see Phish, whether at Hampton, Jones Beach, Alpine Valley or beyond, we will have an experience that no one in their same mind could simply describe as fun.  We know that when we find ourselves in front of the Phish, that special place inside that has been closed for so long will reopen.  We will feel different. We will be different.

3176382295_a7653d1791This even helps explain why Phish tickets are at such a premium today.  Everyone wants a part of what’s left to come, because the experience provides us with so much more than fun; something with which to dream.  Stir your best friends, post-show parties ’till way past sunrise, road trips, and mayhem into the mix with the transcendent live experience, and Phish tour magically morphs into one constant and reliable “Fun > Magic > Fun” segue.  And it’s about to start all over again.  With a blank canvas, Phish will paint a new self-portrait that will also serve as a mirror reflecting our own growth and change since Coventry.  As Phish steps to each stage during this upcoming year, spawning new jams while revisiting old ones and evolving into the future, there is one thing you can be sure of, it will be far more than fun.



8.17.96 The Clifford Ball SBD < LINK


The Clifford Ball

Taking care of yesterday’s unfinished business, here we have the final three sets from The Ball.  Highlights include a divine afternoon “Reba,” a beautifully crafted second set capped with a “best-ever” version of Slave, and an adrenaline-laced third set with a “Tweezer” centerpiece, that left everyone wanting just a little bit more.

I: The Old Home Place, Punch You in the Eye, Reba, Cars Trucks Buses, Lizards, Sample in a Jar, Taste, Fee, Maze, Suzy Greenberg

II: The Curtain > Runaway Jim, It’s Ice, Brother*, Fluffhead, Run Like an Antelope, Golgi Apparatus, Slave to the Traffic Light

III: Wilson, Frankenstein, Scent of a Mule**, Tweezer, A Day in the Life, Possum, Tweezer Reprise

E: Harpua#

NOTE: Before the second set, the Clifford Ball Orchestra played classical music by: Debussy: Nocturnes (2 movements), Ravel: Pavane Pour une Enfante Defunte, Debussy: Claire de Lune, Ravel: Tombeau de Couperin (2 movements), Chavrier: Joyeux Muse, Faure: Pelleas et Mellisandre (2 movements), Stravinsky: The Firebird (2 movements). *With Ben & Jerry singing a verse. **With a Fishman solo instead of the typical Page/Trey duel.  #Without the “Ooom Pah Pah” opening and cut short before finishing.

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189 Responses to “More Than Fun”

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  1. Fluffced Says:

    Thanks! I was tweekin after yesterdays first night download that my collection would be without the second night. But you came through again miner.

    As an everday reader I’d like to thank you for your consistently beautiful lens into the past.

    Let the Phun Begin, again!

  2. c0wfunk Says:

    Seems like there was always this feeling out on phish tour that it wasn’t just fun, it was *important*. Like we were involved in some Secret Mission From Jah. Like the magic we were experiencing and communing with was somehow vital to the progress of the universe.

    A buddy of mine once argued very convincingly (at a bonnaroo with some complete strangers) that because our world’s general consciousness is full of so many negative experiences, those of us with the opportunity to create positive ones have a moral obligation to make those experiences as full and rich and frequent as possible, in order to balance out the negativity. It’s an obligation we should all take very seriously in our pursuit of crazy fun madness and spectral cosmic magic!!


  3. camman Says:


    once again thanks for this excellent daily dose of phish. Even though i haven’t seen the band yet, i know that feeling, to an extent, that you were talking about above. i can’t wait to get out on tour and do the ashville through fox stratch of the tour. as for the 2nd day of the clifford ball, much love for posting it today. i woke up today thinking about that reba and how page just nails the opening chords to car trucks buses the millisecond reba is done. on my recording i can hear they chuckle before the jam gets going. a great
    great show!


  4. HSV 007 Says:

    Well done again Mr. Miner. Your posts take me back to a golden age & give me great hope for the next round of this journey (T-minus 51 days). I dont know exactly why, but reading the synopsis of so many past shows, many of which I have attended, brings back such a rush of emotion. Hitting the melody chord during Hood, the opening stacatto Trey lick from PYITE, the feeling that Mike’s part during Tweezer Reprise may very well eat the entire building…..all bring tears of joy to my eyes. I really can’t explain it logically unless you have been there.

    Going on tour, for no matter how long, was & still is important. From the trials & tribulations of all the travel arrangements, to the allocation of funding & tickets, to the nervous anticipation sitting in the lot before the show….these shared experiences bring us all together as a fan base. From the unbridled excitement when the lights go down, to back slapping & high five-ing a complete stranger after a super hot Tube or Split (insert any favorite tune here), to the hugs & fist pumps after a super sick encore. These experiences, at least for me & my best of friends, are complete & utter bliss.

    Thanks again Mr. Miner. Keep up the great work. Maybe we’ll see each other at Hampton. I’ll be the guy up front, titleist visor on, bursting with happiness & dancing a hole in the ground.

    “nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile….”

  5. bhizzle Says:

    cOwfunk – your buddy has some deep thoughts. I liked that statement.

    It’s so odd how Miner’s article reminds me of how positive most of this scene is and then yesterday, reading PT, how negative it can be (thread titled “the most disturbing thind you saw in the lot”). I was mad at myself for reading it, finding so much trash can actually happen. I think I was curious because there hasn’t really been anything disturbing coming into my view at any time during all my time spent in the lots just having a complete “ball”. The only episode that could come close to being disturbing was 95 Dead at the Knick when we were waiting to get inside and this tore up dude deciding he couldn’t hold the vomit back any longer and it went flying all over this chick’s shoes. She rightfully got pissed and stomped away and then the dude screamed “want some more baby”!

    Anyway, here’s to the positive vibrations….cheers

  6. Little Buddy Says:

    This past summer my wife and I tried to figure out a way to “baptize” my son., Since we don’t belong to any church or believe in any organized religion, it was a bit of a challenge to figure out how to present our belief system to our family and friends. I ended up writing the ceremony myself and we held it at my wife’s parents house. Many of our family members are Christian and I think they were a bit perplexed by the fact that they were not invited to a church for a “baptism” (we ended up calling it a welcoming ceremony). At any rate, I tried to explain to our family members and friends that although we do not attend church, or pray to god in a traditional sense, we feel very connected to the spiritual world and that we find our connection through music (both playing music and going to shows). I didn’t mention Phish specifically, but since my wife and I have been to over 350 shows combined I think many people who were there understand what I was getting at, and many probably didn’t. But what Miner is speaking to today, is exactly what I was getting at during this welcoming ceremony. Music, and Phish does it better than anyone I’ve found, can be mystical, especially when it is presented in free form improvisational jams. It is the mysticism behind Phish that brings us back and has largely shaped my belief system. I think this is almost impossible to understand unless you experience it yourself, but Miner certainly lays it out there better than anyone else I’ve heard or read. I guess the only thing left to say is…Amen! I can’t wait to take my little boy to great woods. My experience will certainly change, having my son there, but we have always taken him everywhere we go and Phish shows will be no different. We’ll make a run by ourselves too, but I know that Phish jams already float through my little boys head all the time and I can’t wait for his little tiny brain to soak up the live stuff. Again…Amen!

  7. Coleman Says:

    Looks like the mediafire link is hosed.

  8. John Campion Says:

    I’m a long time reader of this site. Everyday actually. This is one of my favorite posts Minor. Great job. And thanks.
    I’ve been listening to this band for around 15 years now.Phish still ROCKS! Still makes my jaw drop! Still gives me goosebumps! I have made many friends and had many adventures because of Phish. I will always have the memories of Phish past, and look forward to the boyz return. So with Hampton almost here, i am ready to soak it all in again. My jaw is ready to drop. My skin is ready for goosebumps. My heart is ready to rock.

  9. AbePhroman Says:

    Phish rules.

  10. Tadcaster Says:

    Great Stuff Little Buddy, I’ve been trying to articulate similar thoughts for some time.

    My wife recently started going to a church and comes home refreshed, invigorated, and with a new outlook. She achieves this by sitting in this silent, sacred, place and listening to a really good pastor.

    I don’t get that experience at Church, but I sure do at shows. I come away feeling the exact same way she does. I need to get to a show periodically to re-center myself. Close my eyes and to paraphrase the Harmonica Guy, “get to that place in my soul.” Seriously. I am a better man for a good while after a positive show.

    Trey did it for me at the Orpheum last year, no doubt.

  11. jerzeykid Says:

    Hey Miner, any chance at Went soundboards?

  12. Liam Says:

    mediafire issues I am having

  13. SOAM Says:

    Bottom line-few things in life provide the juice that you need to get off-as important as it is for me to get a nice rip on-the older I get the more I realize I need the live show expereince-not the dope- to really get off. I have done it all-in regards to touring and partying and while when I was younger I just couldn’t wait to score and rage I now know and realize that what is most important is that feeling that you get when the music starts and you are with your bros or alone and all is right with the world-even if it’s only for a few hours. A form of true happiness-to me is when I’m at a gig-everyone is smiling-The band is on and the music starts to wash your soul. That’s it right there-Phish shows are like car washes for your soul.
    Punch>My Soul>GBOTT 3/6/09 Opener. see you there

  14. camman Says:

    jerzeykid.. he posted a link to the went a week or so a go, check it out. it was a weekend nug if my brain is niot mistaken.

    Heres a question for all the tour veterans… in preparing for a tour is it better to listen to phish 24/7 and be prepared for any possible outcome they might play, or listen to them as litle as possibloe so the new music will fall on fresh ears? is it possible to be burnt our or over induldge when it comes to the music of the band?

  15. Jeff Says:

    thanks Mr Minor – i have been trying to put into words for my wife, why it’s important that i obtain tickets for the whole summer run. you just did it for me. well done!

  16. RobAins Says:

    Camman: To each his own I suppose. I for one find myslef going through year long stretches of nothing but Phish, and then I’ll pull back a bit and listen to other stuff. (Very varied, everything from House Music to newer Indie stuff – all by way of having been exposed to such a wide variety of musid Phish plays)

    As for your question, I’d have to say listen to as many shows/era’s as possible. As great as it’ll be to have them back (including the Ross Compressor) I have to think it’ll still be a little different. Whatever they play in 2009 is going to be fresh music, even to the most seasoned tour veteran. From reading some of your other posts on here, I know you’re fixing to pop your Phish cherry, and that is AWESOME! You seem to have a handle on their history and shows, etc….. I know I’ll be listening to mostly Phish as we get closer and closer to Hampton and Summer Tour. Just don’t listen to them in the lot 🙂 jk

  17. lanser Says:

    out of 130 i cried my eyes out at 120. because it is way more than fun! way more.

  18. camman Says:

    Thanks for the Advice Robains! The Fox theatre show, which is the closest one to one the tour, will be taking place 5 years to the day after I first heard Phish. For me, the music is an absolute drug. I’m hooked. I hate referring to their music as a drub, because it is such an amazing, giving, blissful gift. It’s a gift we’re all about to get again. I feel pretty well versed in the history of the band. I have 60 or shows on my pod ranging from 1990 all the way to ’04. The first year or so of listening to them was pretty moderate (I’ll admit hoobastank and disturbed were the bands that owned me back then) 2009 and beyond will be different and I think that the change we’ll see will be better. I think we’ll see maturation in the band, a great mix of the pre and post hiatus sounds. The jamming will probably be similar to ’03, but with the Ross back. Since I won’t be seeing them until June, I’ll probably lay off them for a month or so, and by that I mean tone it down to listening to them 60 to 70% of them time and then go back to jamming 24/7 as usual… I sear I have no friends because I’m always listening to this fucking band at school. It makes the day go by easier anyways. I’m at the point in my relationship with phish were im content with my stash and am ready to add some new shows to it. God, how fucking sick is this summer going to be? No better way to spend my summer trip after graduation! Hell yes, boys timed this perfectly.

  19. doctorfret Says:

    in preparing for a tour is it better to listen to phish 24/7 and be prepared for any possible outcome they might play, or listen to them as litle as possibloe so the new music will fall on fresh ears? is it possible to be burnt our or over induldge when it comes to the music of the band?

    I don’t listen to any Phish the day of a show. I’ve found that listening increases expectations for that night and possibly a letdown. I also learned to listen to music at a low volume before the show so the concert sounds huge and rockin’. I once went to a show in a ride with the stereo from hell and that night, Phish sounded like they were playing out of a tin can. Take care of those ears!

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    Music is my religion and PHI3H is the best priest in the universe.

  21. Mr.Miner Says:


  22. camman Says:

    haah doctor fret…

    i’m sure one day i’ll be telling my grandkids that phish stole my hearing and they’ll look at me perplexed and walk away. Thanks for the advice though… i havent gone with phish for a whole day in at least 3 years. If my show happens to be bonnaroo, and it looks like it will be, how will i protect my ears? bands will be playing 24/7. I’d only be ther for phish.. so do i jsut camp out until showtime and then sprint to the stage 😛 i’d like to be in the epicenter for my first ass kicking if you know i mean

  23. RobAins Says:

    Ear Plugs. If you spend a liitle more money than what it cost for cheap ones, you can get ones that simply lower decible level whithout compromising the high end. (Cymbals, etc…)

  24. Max Cascone Says:

    This is one of the best and most concise explanations of why we do this. I feel that your writing is expressing what so many of us feel but can’t elucidate correctly, especially when talking to the uninitiated. This one, as well as “Mid-week Momentum” really speak to me. The ideas contained therein could be a very good start to the “how to get your significant other to get into phish” thread.

  25. bhizzle Says:

    I have been in that “Baptism” situation for the last two years. I was raised a Christian and attended services every Sunday until my brother and I had conflicts on Sunday (sports and what not). And now that I don’t have those conflicts I find it hard to attend, but for different reasons. Therefore, I currently don’t have a church to just drop in on and have them baptise my child. In addition, my “baby mama” was not raised a christian and therefore is not all that concerned as I am at having our baby baptised formally. Your story has given me an idea and maybe something I could propose to my “baby mama”. She does believe in a higher spirit, just a different prophet. Thanks again for the idea and for sharing something personal.

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