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”

  1. full tour: ANNOUNCED! Says:

    ^ i feel sorry for her “boyfriend.” Wow! that guy really has his hands full with that prize winning specimen. I’m glad they don’t show her face cause i can only imagine…yeeech!!! Who does she think she is talking down to phish fans like that. Like we want that refried dead tour anyway. geez…

  2. Camman Says:

    i agree completely…. people like i here i think is what drove Jerry to OD…. fortunately, i feel and believe that the whole phish expirience is completely different of that from the Dead (i hate using the word scene) i just can’t wait to get my first taste….

    “‘Cause a week is a month and an hour, a day”

  3. Henry Holland Says:

    As for the nOOb thing….I avoided Phish because I constantly read “weak Dead imitation > boring 20 minute one chord jams”. I was flipping channels one night in 2001 and saw Bittersweet Motel on IFC and decided to watch. You know what converted me? Waste of all things, because I thought “Oh, OK, that have a good songwriting vibe going on”. I went out that weekend and bought Hampton Comes Alive for $35 and that was that.

    FF to 2004 and I did the Brooklyn > SPAC run. First night in Brooklyn sucked because of the rain, but I enjoyed the second show. What did me in was the first night at SPAC. When Trey hit those first notes on the Reba opener, I’ve never seen a crowd go berserk like that. I left that night just floating. The next day in the lot, I had a…..religious experience? Nah, I’m a total atheist….an awakening? a moment of clarity? where some issues in my life came in to focus and when I got back home to Los Angeles, I changed my life around to where I’m content with it these days.

    Is Phish going to sound like they did in (my favorite period) 1994 & 1995 when they come back? Not likely, those days are gone forever, but IF Trey is healthy and focused, they will be amazing. I’m trying hard not to have expectations, just surrender to the flow. Now, if they’d only announce the West Coast leg…..

    Mr. Miner, is it possible to add a preview function? I never know if my HTML stuff is going to work.

  4. bunitingi Says:

    Personally i LOVE new phans. Who wouldn’t want to be next to somebody either playing Phish on a stereo or heaven forbid at a show when someone gets their mind blown in the way i did one evening when a friend sat me down and played me an Antelope that was quite literally a revelation.

    As far as a letdown, sure anything is possible. But i remember in 96 when i started to burn out on the band. It seemed it just wasn’t hitting those peaks from 94-95. And then came 97. The band never did do what they did in 94 again, and i know some older phans who never recovered, but what they changed into was i felt truly glorious! If you’re worried the band will never play another hampton 97 show, probably not. But they may in fact equal the gloriousness in a new sense.

    And besides, why not get insanely excited? If i were at the show, i would want to stand in a room with a crowd losing their MINDS and not shrugging and detached.

  5. Dave Says:

    All these posts today speak to me on so many levels. As somebody who is about to hit 30, I totally missed Phish in their two previous incarnations. I don’t know what happened because I play guitar, love jamming, and appreciate slow building songs. Anyway, the last year for me has been a total awakening in terms of what is possible by 4 dudes tuned into each other. Having the luxury (or curse) of 15 years of albums and live recordings at my disposal is almost overwhelming. Ironically, I think find their post hiatus work some of my favorite. I know to many, that is like saying I really dug the Division Bell more than Dark Side of the Moon but I think that is the joy of music. Different strokes for different folks…and Phish have a ton of different strokes. So as I eagerly await my virgin Phish show (west coast please), my heart melts imagining how I will react to a YEM or Tweezer Reprise for the first time.

    Also, Mr. Miner…thank you for letting me experience the past so vividly through your posts. I am interested to see you breakdown of the shows real-time when the tour gets rolling.


  6. Camman Says:

    this may be a stupid question….

    but having your mind blown by phish while listening to a recording through headphones is different then having your mind blown seeing them live, right?

  7. Dave Says:

    I haven’t been to a show and I can say yes. That goes for most artists…I think it has to do with the feel of the bass frequencies on you body.

  8. Tadcaster Says:

    I live in NH and my favorite word is Popemobile.

    When thinking about Phish this time around I harken back to Trey on Charlie Rose getting emotional, saying “I Love Phish more than anyone.” He is healthy, happy, and ready to respect The Phish and these Songs. He will be nimble, accurate, Smiling, and animated.

    Camman – you will feel a tremendous swelling of communal energy when IT is happening. It is unmistakable and you will grin and think, “Holy Shit!” (the band will be feeling it too).

    And then you will want to go again and again. And that need to go again and again won’t stop when you get older.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    what is a preview function?

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    That’s the thing that looks into the microscope to check your status.

  11. Camman Says:

    i figured that was the case.. i can’t wait to FEEL phish instead of listen to them.. to FEEL the opening notes of Weekapaug…

  12. Tadcaster Says:

    Oh I almost forgot too, Camman – you’ll say “Holy Shit” several times in reference to the light show. Ohhhhhhhh, the light show.

  13. Camman Says:

    ohh the light show? ive heard of our man ck5… but have only seen minres pics and some vids off of youtube…

  14. BingosBrother Says:

    I saw Camman with a ticket stub in his hand!

  15. Camman Says:


    I Just saw an Asteroid Crash! and nothing burned….

    it made me wonder…..

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    Camman- youre gonna freak out. listening to phish is one thing. Seeing them live is not the same. you don’t truly understand phish until you see them. But youve gotten pretty damn close….

  17. BingosBrother Says:

    Merry Phishmas to all, and to all a good night. Especially Dan. Buck up little camper.

  18. Camman Says:

    this is as close as ive gotten… just get past the first 30 seconds or so, it stops skipping

  19. Camman Says:

    and i did talk hours on end with my chem teacher last year who’s first show was Halloween 1995

  20. Dan Says:

    Just reread the article itself, how can you predict such overwhelmingly amazing things when you have no idea if the jams will be any good or if their new songs suck or not?

  21. bunitingi Says:

    As blown as my mind was hearing that Antelope, it was my first actual concert in Chicago ’94 that made me the blistering phanatic i am today. It was hands down he greatest concert experience i had ever had up to that point in my life. Shows on headphones are AWESOME. Still are. Live and in person is life changing.

  22. Camman Says:

    Dan.. how do we know….

    Because nothing about Phish truly sucks.. some stuff is better then others… but we’ll let the guy urinate in our ears any time…

  23. Dan Says:

    ‘the guy’?

    Okay, maybe I’ve lost hope because a) I didn’t get Hamptons and b) I’m disappointed in the summer tour I was planning to follow start to finish. But really, you’re not going to get lucky like this every time. If Phish continues with their venue choice in the name of suffocating the scene that they clearly dislike, everyone will end up disappointed at least once.

  24. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ Just go. You’ll find tickets. I went to hundreds of Phish shows with someone who never had a ticket and never got shutout. If you need help finding tickets on your, give me your number, I’ll do my best. Don’t stay home and bitter. Maybe you won’t get into Asheville or the Fox, but you will definitely get into every other show. those are 20,000+ places.

  25. Camman Says:

    sorry for the typo Mr. Dan…. the short summer tour isnt about suffocating the scene, other wise they wouldn’t be playing at Bonnaroo. I would say a 12 show tour is pretty good after not playing together for 5 years. Yea ud i was bummed i didnt get into hampton either! everyone who got denied was.. but it didnt ruin Phish for, you knew going odds were you wouldn’t get a ticket.. even to the sunday show…you can still follow summer tour man, its up to you to make happen. Will the scene is welcoming.. its not goin to babysit you or me from show to show… why are you being so down on a band that you claim has bright so much into your life? whats the deal danny boy?

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