Straight Across

Equilibrium: a state of balance between opposing forces or actions.

In "Line" at Hampton (J. Kravitz)

In "Line" at Hampton (J. Kravitz)

Equilibrium is the state that Phish attains when things are flowing subconsciously- in from the universe and out through their instruments.  It is this state that is sought every time the band steps on stage; sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t- but the ride of discovery is half the fun.  Phish has utilized different techniques throughout their career in a constant attempt to achieve this musical balance.  From their famous “Fill in the ‘Hey” hole” jamming exercise to their collegiate Oh Kee Pah Ceremonies; from “the Blob” that formed Billy Breathes to their collaborative funk grooves, Phish has continually strove to reach a musical equilibrium.

3.8.09 (Unknown)

3.8.09 (Unknown)

One of Phish’s techniques used to achieve this balance throughout most of their career was their “four across” stage set up- Fish and Page turned in slightly and looking at each other.  Absent from 1999 to 2004, the band came out at Hampton in their original stage set up- the one we grew up with.  This was clearly an intentional return to the band’s on-stage roots, and the decision carries a certain significance and symbolism.  Set up as four equal parts, all next to, and able to see, each other’s eyes, the “old” Phish was back.  As the band reconnects with many of their early musical habits in 2009, the switch to the old-school lineup aligns perfectly with this rejuvenation.

3.6.09 (Unknown)

3.6.09 (Unknown)

At the first show of 1999- June 30th at Bonner Springs- the band took the stage, for the first time in their career, in a new arrangement.  Fish was placed on a riser behind the band- the conventional spot for a drummer.  Mike was brought front and center, while Trey was bumped to stage left.  Quite disorienting at first, the band remained with this set up all the way through 2000.  Mike’s prominence in the music, and a physically-tighter rhythm section were going theories as to why the switch was made at this time.

When the band came back from their hiatus, there was another on-stage shape shift.  Trey returned to his place in the middle of the band, able to better communicate with everyone, and Mike assumed his former spot on stage left.  Meanwhile, Fish remained behind the other members in the same position.  The band carried this arrangement throughout the 2.0 era, and it seemed like the “line” was forever gone.

Fast forward five years- we enter The Mothership.  Re-acclimating ourselves to the foreign, yet familiar, surroundings, when glancing up at the stage, we are struck by the “line” again!  Initiating the old-school vibe before a note was even played, Phish was returning to their roots.  The stage looked normal again, and when the band came out with “Fluffhead,” everything seemed to be falling into place.  This was the band we knew!

"Contact" (J.Kravitz)

"Contact" (J.Kravitz)

Phish has always been a musical phenomenon- four equal cogs that, when working together, equal far more than the sum of their parts.  Musical balance is key to this transcendence; absorbing the ideas of all four band members equally- questing for that moment.  With their return to the original stage set up, the balance of Phish’s music is once again physically manifested.  Lined up as peers, each member is an equal part of the greatest whole on earth.  The band’s original arrangement will likely trigger their original stage dynamic and style of communication.  We began to observe this already at Hampton.  As Phish continues to forge a new musical path, they will do so with revitalized energy, a dedication to practice, and an enhanced physical balance.  With this recipe, the result will be an aural equilibrium that will provide many an adventure in IT.



Hampton – Photo: Jeff Kravitz (insidecelebpics)



phish-red-rocks-946.10.1994 Red Rocks < LINK

6.10.1994 Red Rocks < TORRENT LINK

Everyone knows about the stellar 6.11.94 Red Rocks show with the great FM SBDs that have circulated over the years.  This show was the night before.  A classic second set was anchored by the epic beautiful combination of “Curtain > Tweezer > Lifeboy,” and capped with a vintage ’94 “Hood.”  “Demand > Bowie” added some beef to the openeing frame.

I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Sample in a Jar, Nellie Cane, Demand > David Bowie, Lizards, Cavern, Julius

II: Axilla [Part II], The Curtain > Tweezer > Lifeboy, Sparkle, Possum, HYHU > I Wanna Be Like You > HYHU, Harry Hood, Tweezer Reprise

E: Sleeping Monkey > Rocky Top

Source: Nuemann TLM 170i>DAT [Set 1: Sub-cariods; Set 2: Cariods)

Tags: , ,

319 Responses to “Straight Across”

  1. Wilson Says:

    i guess my question is: anyone know of a San Francisco outlet that is reliable?

  2. guyforget Says:

    Wilson, yeah, my luck this round has been unbelievable. i was actually hoping to have some extras to kick down, but they are all accounted for as of now. As i’ve said, any extras i may end up having are going to this board.
    Better luck with your next efforts dude…

  3. AintNoTele Says:

    Do the outlets have to be near the venue, or any outlet? My local publix is a ticketmaster outlet but they said their computers only have a slight decrease in lag compared to home PC’s. This is to say they know the show is sold out a fraction of a second earlier or can get your foot in the door a second earlier. So do you hope the clerk is quick on the draw, or act faster from home? The gorge would be a birthday show and I would love to get tickets, I just don’t want my fate in someone else’s hands…any suggestions? Will the gorge be as tough?

  4. AintNoTele Says:

    Oh yeah, 4 friends bailed and I have their lawn tix for Star Lake for face if anyone needs them

  5. Wilson Says:

    Thanks Guy. Ive never been shut out of a show I wanted to see. Ain’t gonna let these three be the first in 15 years.
    As my buddy told me: “The fat lady hasn’t even left the dressing room yet.”

  6. guyforget Says:

    The outlets should have a dedicated TM console, that has direct access to whatever they want until it sells out. the one i watched the guy use today was not a pc, but some other type of computer running some DOS looking tm software….

  7. AintNoTele Says:

    Does dedicated console mean no waiting room type stuff? Kind of like a direct access?

  8. guyforget Says:

    and i’d just like to reiterate, anything i’m saying is all speculation and heresay based off my sole experience at my outlet today, so i am by no means an expert. only thing i’ll stick by is indeed finding the least heady, most off the beaten path outlet..

  9. Wilson Says:

    used to have GREAT luck at TM outlets back in the day for Stones tickets. Always got tix in the first couple rows (until about 1999, when those tickets got real expensive).

  10. AintNoTele Says:

    Just trying to cover my bases, thanks for the input. The pressure is just so intense!

  11. VTBowie89 Says:

    Ain’t no tele– I will gladly take the 4 lawn tix for StarLake off your hands. Plus, I will send you at least a case of your favorite beverage…..This friend won’t bail on you down here in Hampton…….How can we work this out?
    Also, I believe that what Guy said is correct–it’s almost as if they operate an older MS-DOS internal system…you may have luck shmoozing with the location manager, and just asking questions in a nice (however desperate we may be) way…..

  12. c0wfunk Says:

    my wife came up with a plan that involves me quitting my job and going to the gorge at the end of the summer. It was hard to argue. One more ticketmaster wrestling match .. maybe it’ll be a tiny bit easier?

    the fox atl would rock the hizzie .. love that room!!

  13. Davey Says:

    Livenation has tickets for The Gorge up on their website as well as ticketmaster. Anyone know which one will be the best bet? I’m guessing TM but I’ll try them both.

  14. c0wfunk Says:

    hm you have to figure less people know about the livenation sales – are they from the same pool? Their website locked up just browsing around so I’m sure it’ll choke tomorrow.

  15. Davey Says:

    I’m settled on going to FYE tomorrow. In the meantime I’ll be calling the TM number and trying to get through. Here’s hoping it works.

  16. Mugician Says:

    Davey, did you not score on the lotto?

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    i got an extra friday gorge- need to trade it for saturday

  18. Chrispy Says:

    Need first three RR’s.

  19. brandofunk Says:

    TELEFUNKEN with Gary Brown

Leave a Reply