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)

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319 Responses to “Straight Across”

  1. Mr.Miner Says:


  2. guyforget Says:

    did any of you guys on here ever meet up in Hampton?

  3. dyda Says:

    can’t i live while i’m young?

  4. Los Says:

    Damn Miner!!!! Thats sweet! I thought I was lucky in that Im going to at least 12 shows…

    Glad to know you will be reviewing from a first hand perspective…

    It seems I missed a lot of dialogue and gots a lot to read…

    Apparently Wax was a douche again, huh?

  5. guyforget Says:

    i’ve worked for my small company for 12 years now, and they actually expect me to take my vacation time each year for phish tour!! They thought that all ended at Coventry, but they get a kick out of it that i’m back at it!!

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    anyone have a cool topic idea for tomorrow? If so, email me at

  7. guyforget Says:

    whatever you choose to write, you can send it my way for a proofread! 🙂

  8. 119 2 you n me Says:

    What in the hell is going on here? I haven’t been been on this board in a week, and it seems chaos has ensued. Wax, you are a rambling self-absorbed terd sandwich. I spent a ton of my hard-earned “imaginary” dough on my Hampton trip, and have absolutely no regrets. I’ll see you guys this summer. Also, if I can find time later, I’ll be sure to write a second draft of this blog for everybody.

  9. Wax Banks Says:

    Sorry about the personal attacks, folks, though I stand by my first comment in substance if not pique. I’m out. Stay healthy.

  10. old dude Says:

    since everyone is in various states of pissed-offedness already, get a load of this jackass:

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    leaving us with “pique”….thanks buddy…

  12. Pizza Says:

    I’m a little late on this post but I would still like to comment. It’s pertaining to the post earlier in the week about the sound mixing and Page. Let me just say first off that I am a Trey guy till death. The fact that the Paul mixes where always a lttle Trey heavy never bothered me all that much because he was the one I wanted to hear the most. Now fast forward to March 9, 2009, I’m in Virginia Beach going over the weekend with one of the only people that I feel I can really talk Phish with, who also is a Trey guy. We both found it really odd that we were talking more about Page than anything. Talking about how it seemed Trey had taken a step back and become a little more reserved while Page has stepped up and been able to be himself a little more. We contributed the role to a number of different things, none of them being the the fact that it was someone else mixing the boards. I have to agree with you that it had to be a part of the way Page sounded because it was such a huge difference. We disscussed that he might have more confidence now after the solo album, the fact Trey might have realized how muh he dominated the band and is allowing the other members to showcase their sound. I think all of these items come into play in this disscusion. All I know is Hampton sounded awesome and whatever they did that weekend they should keep doing it! Although I did tell my Va Beach friend that I would never publicly say Page had a better weekend than Trey. LOL

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ Pizaa- that’s the thing- I’m a Trey guy to the end to, and never minded Paul’s mixes- until I heard Hampton…I mean, Page was always a little in the background, but if you listened you could hear him. But at Hampton, I just remember several momenets where everything was so equally prominent, it was straight sonic bliss….

  14. Wax Banks Says:

    You’re welcome, buddy.

  15. Billy Breathes Says:

    I have Section 102, Row 4 to Darien Lake. Looking to trade for similar seats to Deer Creek or Alpine. Lemme know…

  16. Bandnana Says:

    PIZZA as long as you think it to yourself you never need to say it. I can’t believe somebody rolled onto this board with that kind of negative crap. Especially to make the comment about 1st drafts. Why are u here then? Miner’s site rules, and its one of the only places for solice at this horrible ticket ordering time. Good luck to everyone on all future order attempts. Oh yeah, wax off dbag.

  17. Powder Lips Says:

    Glad to hear someone hooked it for you Miner, you have more fun at the shows than anyone I know. I was able to get through via the internet for friday (the 4 day pass wouldn’t load). A bit of advise to all- the web browser google chrome-seems to be quicker. overall the phone seemed to work best this time, both at the same time makes sense to me. The rest of the shows will def be easier and it sounds like phish will be around, might not have scored this time around, but lots of other shows to go for, and who knows whats on the horizon, fall, halloween, NYE, europe, Japan, Australia, Egypt, Pompeii, ???. red rocks is obviously an amazing place to see phish, but some of my favorite show experiences have been at some of biggest shit hole venues in country, the new recession phish is going to bring every night no matter where theyre at.

  18. Read Icculus Says:

    …and let us not forget about Hawaii.

  19. jshields Says:

    Anybody know if Live Nation is going to have a waiting room before any of the on-sale tomorrow? I vaguely remember them doing something like that for the Mansfield show after the site crashed the day before.

  20. wall05 Says:

    Hope people had some luck today.

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    cheers powder lips….way to score old school style!

  22. ma Says:


    well said…. being genuinely happy for others is so wonderful.


    it’s funny how i really had no intentions of doing RR ( did hampton, will do asheville, and knoxville ), but tried like everyone else….deep down, i knew that if i did score, i would divvy them up between some friends in denver and you, a person whom i have never met but looked forward to doing a kind favor…a simple gesture to say thanks for all that you do.

    i know many others would have done the same…that’s the beauty of this site.

    congrats to all….i’ll be trying the outlets tomorrow.

    for the purpose of saying thank you….i like so man

  23. ma Says:

    one final thought…

    how ironic today to come home, check the mailbox, and see my knoxville tickets just sitting there…

    have a good night all!

  24. cottle Says:

    Just heard back about the Denver crew. No tickets to be had out there either, not online or at the outlet. Apparently the local outlet sold out after three people, and two of them were employees of the store? That sucks they can’t get ticks to their hometown show. 🙁

  25. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    what is to stop phish from playing a week long run of shows again at the fox in atlanta for fall tour?

    i’d think if they are willing and able to do fox st. louis, asheville, and red rocks….then why not fox atlanta again?

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