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. Chalkdustin Says:

    Damn, I take a break from this to do my taxes and look what I miss. What the hell happened?

    @ Miner, I am so glad you got RR! All the summer shows? Way to go, man! Nobody deserves that more than you!

  2. cottle Says:

    Oooooh. Phish at the Fox would be crazy! I used to love those tapes from Fall 95! I saw the Allmans play that place on my 18th birthday. I can’t even imagine a Phish show in that building.

  3. cottle Says:

    Speaking of…those would be great downloads of the day, if they haven’t been posted on here already.

  4. nonoyolker Says:

    Christ all mighty, one crazy day at work and checking in to see all hell broke loose! I want to know where Wax Banks is at all times so i can avoid him. What a screaming self-righteous cocksuker. Way to put that prick in his place miner. Dudes like that are the huge downside of the internet. Everyone gets a soapbox, some people are fucking ballbags and think that their opinion actually matters. Anyway, no more negativity. Congrats to all who got tix! Glad you got the full tour miner, hope bump into you on the road! This is the Revenge of the Nerds v3.0 sucka and this tour is going to be the heat!!

  5. RobAins Says:


  6. cottle Says:

    Damn Rob, that hurts to read that.

  7. dyda Says:

    we gotta get on the road, destiny unbound

  8. Chalkdustin Says:

    What a douchebag. Burn in hell.

  9. PeteB Says:

    So sad to read Rob. That dude is gonna get hit by a bus one day. His karma is dried up.

  10. brewcrew87 Says:

    regardless of how anyone did with the onsales today- its not worth moping if you didnt get red rocks- go for a different show it dont matter where you see phish, as long as youre there- im having some cash flow problems and all i can afford is post gazette, but im happy i got something

  11. Mugician Says:

    Right on brewcrew. I’m still spinning from my lottery winning. I’m gonna see Phish: it’s fucking unreal. If I could, I’d go to my hometown shows (RR), and the rest of the tour for that matter, but cash is all gone these days for me, I’m freaked that I’m even seeing them once! Seeing that “Congratulations! You have purchased the following tickets…” was probably the best thing that’s ever happened to me, other than my music and discovering Phish in the first place. Rock on everybody! Have fun, stay safe, and get groovin’ on Spring sunshine goodness (snowed 2 feet here in Boulder today).

  12. RobAins Says:

    I hope he gets hit by a comet, Harpua 7.16.94 style

  13. dyda Says:

    or eaten by a giant iguana

  14. Mitch Says:

    So I just jumped on here and only went a couple pages back to catch up… Damn people. PTour in the house today or what?

    Yes, I am bummed. Yes my friend was in his computer lab next to a dude that scored tix and put them on ebay right away for 2250. Yes it all sucks and ticketmaster fucks us and people dont care about looking out cause they had to pay a lot for Hampton and etc, etc, etc.

    How about this… Instead of bitching, how about we do something about it. Any lawyers in the house? This tm shit has to stop, but I’m tired of just complaining. Now is the time to make it happen. If the bands cant fight it, a different avenue must be taken.

    Congrats to those who scored! I was on multiple computers at work behind corporate DNS servers that were lagging me about 10 seconds and my timing didnt work today. By the time I got bored of the spinning gear I opened another tab and got denied due to me having multiple windows open. (first time I’ve actually had that happen tho I’ve heard about it a lot)


    In other news, I’m looking for really high res, really good shots from Hampton. I wanna have a collection to print at my local CVS. I wont post to my site or anything. If anyone cares to share, I’d like them.

    Miner, You wanna kick down some that you got from people?

    p.s. wax, you’re being a douche today. yes, we will all live another day and I didn’t read all comments so I may be out of my element. but shit dude. appreciate that its a bummer. if nothing else say “yeah dudes, that sucks.”

  15. Wilson Says:

    My prediction: lots of the (understandably) frustrated West Coast pholks will wind up with Gorge tickets tomorrow, and everyone’s blood pressure (including mine) will come back down a bit.

    That said: they should add another Shoreline date. One CA show is starting to look a little obscene, expecially after the mail-order massacre of ’09.

  16. voopa Says:

    The closest participating Blockbuster is 30 minutes away from my home…I plan on showing up there on Sunday about 40 minutes before noon (Shoreline sale time)…if it looks shady, I’ll book ass back home and try for phone/web…most likely, I won’t leave Blockbuster without tix…hopefully nice pavilions! We’ll see..

  17. Wilson Says:

    hey Voopa, you talking bay area outlet? i’m looking for one, and would consider trying that, but I’d go on a killing spree if some employee screw’d it up.

  18. Bandnana Says:

    @MITCH likewise on the multiple windows open thing. Thats the first time I ever got a message saying my order was reserved in multiple windows. I also thought it was strange that it was “reserved in multiple windows” but was not reserved in either of them, lol. I have always opened multiple browser windows and had it work. Apparantly now if you want to do that, you have to open up totally separate windows, not just tabs. Is there anyone out there who had this happen before today? I’m doing the super sleuth thing on every aspect of this ticket nonsense, not like it will help. But, spread the hope! Good luck all! There has to be a way to break all those damn ticket scanners at the gate.

  19. Bandnana Says:

    Didn’t somebody just do that in the bay area?

  20. guyforget Says:

    voopa, so funny you say that about some employees screwing it up…
    so, i was luck enough to score 2 four day passes, if you didn’t read back, soo…
    12MDT=11PST right now….cool. Living in AZ, we’re all accustomed to being considered MDT, since we don’t observe Daylight savings. So….

    Me and one other dude are the only ones waiting, and as the clock stuck 11, we were like “yo, dude….it’s 12 mountain time….” and he was like, no it’s not…..”

    So, to his credit, he comes running over, checks the TM console and is like “oh shit, you’re right, i’ll be damned..!”

    So, he hustles processes our orders, and we both made out. As me and dude were leaving the store after becoming instant phish buds while waiting, i said to him “if that dude would have been busy or been a dick about us tellling him it was time and we missed out tix, i would have went fucking postal in that joint”

    All good, but sort of a funny story..

  21. The guy show should die in a horribly painful way Says:

    The most important thing you can do is sync your clock to Ticketmaster’s so you can refresh at the exact on sale time.

    Why doesn’t the band switch to will call only tickets? Why did they get rid of the mail order system that didn’t regularly screw us over?

    See you guys at Starlake.

  22. guyforget Says:

    ^^i meant wilson…

  23. voopa Says:

    Heh. Wilson, I’d take guyforget’s advice from earlier in this thread…seek out the least heady outlet and go there…I’m betting that no other phans will be at the site I’m hitting…but we’ll see!

  24. Wilson Says:

    saw your eariler post Guy, you’re cleaning up man, even with the drama.
    I’ve been shut out this year. 0-9 on pre-orders, NOTHING online.
    Expecting better luck tomorrow… but who knows. If Sunday comes and goes and I don’t have any tickets, maybe its just not meant to be this year.

  25. AintNoTele Says:

    That message board makes me sick…and thats only one of many. Leeches…

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