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:

    Miner, interesting perspective today! Love a little reading that makes me think a bit! Good stuff.

    Best of luck to everyone today. My original plan of having a few friends also try to get tickets fell through (figures), so it’s just me attacking TM today. Good for the rest of you, bad for me. If I, by some miracle, get extras, you’ll all be the first to know!

    Also, I think it’s a sign that on the radio today I heard “Touch of Grey” and then when it was over, switched to another station and it was on again. “WE WILL GET BY!!!!!!”

  2. shpongleyez Says:

    Nice topic, well executed. So glad the original line(-up) is back in form.

    Psychedelics & Phish = Peanut Butter & Jelly.

    So says Miner. Maybe even on this site at some point?

  3. cheese Says:

    i will never forget the demand from 6/10/94 – surreal

  4. Mr. V Says:

    Good luck with tickets today everyone.

  5. eric Says:

    Good luck on tickets folks.

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ youenjoy- thanks so much man!

  7. RobAins Says:

    Do they go on sale at 12 EST or Mountain???

  8. Selector J Says:

    Et tu, Miner? Just read yesterdays post rumor mill post… What’s up with hating on Texas? Weak sauce, people. Weak sauce.

  9. snigglebeach Says:

    2 eastern time, or 12 mountain

  10. Chalkdustin Says:

    or 1 central

  11. snigglebeach Says:

    how do they keep time on the Space Station???

  12. Bandito Says:

    I have to agree….sykes+phish+first show at the gorge? You’ll be loving it!

  13. guyforget Says:

    anybody going to FYE stores tm oulets?

  14. bhizzle Says:

    2 pm EST

  15. bhizzle Says:

    GMT for spacestation

  16. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    @youenjoy09…..thbest way to do it is work your way up to the delics. if your hitting both gorge shows, you might just wan’t to puffin at your 1st show, because it’s quite overwhelming in itself. then for night 2 when you know what to expect, then dose out moderately. this method worked for me with positive results and lifelong memories.

  17. bhizzle Says:

    word WholeTour…

    maybe I missed it, but would this be your 1st time on pyschedelics? Because that is a whole other story!

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    @ye09 if ur experienced tripper i’d say go for it, gently the first night. smaller dose and don’t take it till you’re in the venue. dropping earlier in the hot sun can lead to wipeout. take whatever is the smallest dose you think of as worth taking, the minimum required to get you all the way “there” but go for it. Then the next night get ur puddle on.

  19. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    @bhizzle… my first phish show was 11.02.96….i just puffed some dank goofy grape from gainesville, and the show still floored me. on 7.23.97 i ate my first square meal at a show and the hidden door opened up for me. it was perfect. little jimmy was off to camp! peanut butter jelly time jamfest…..i still try and mix it up 30 some odd shows later…..nevericsson had a bad time 🙂

  20. WHOLE TOUR! Says:

    *never had a bad experience….mainly because of the boundless joy and energy from both the band and crowd.

  21. Chalkdustin Says:

    As someone who has never really done anything at a Phish show other than puff, do heavier drugs make the show better, so to speak? I did all the Hampton shows completely stone sober and I’ve never been so moved and had such a memorable experience. Just wondering what your opinions are.

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    from previous days thread:

    @hairy pood: here is unverified list of PDX area TM outlets:

    I found it on the Intertubes so it MUST be true.

    Pick a place out of SE i.e. not Hawthorne Fred Meyer or other place that will be covered in hippies. I have previously had good luck at Joe’s (formerly GI Joes) outlets cause ppl think of it as redneck place. But any non centrally located outlet should be good.

    ++++++++ PORTLAND REPRESENT ++++++++++

    @ hairy, asher, jer, youenjoy09, themanatee, wizzle etc

    we should meet up at a show or something. Is anything good happening?

  23. bhizzle Says:

    My opinion is do what you feel as long as you remember the golden rule. Personally, there has only been one time I have never drank or puffed or anything for a show and I still enjoyed myself. But I must admit I do enjoy my extra curriculars. Not to enhance the music or anything. I just like cold beers on hot summer day or puffing and kicking back or dropping to laugh my ass off and to see shit.

  24. bhizzle Says:

    It would be nice to have a link for showing who plans on going to what shows like the tix trading link.

  25. snigglebeach Says:

    Never been to gorge. But from what i see…

    How could you not trip. Seems like a chance to really connect to the beauty this planet has to offer.

    I guess you can get to the same place without the hallucin’s, But with them, brings an additional layer of euphoria that most of us here know, but can hardly explain.

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