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. ub40 Says:

    now there’s an automated reply on the phone “please be advised there are no more tickets for phish at red rocks” wtf?

  2. bhizzle Says:

    There should be no connection between TM and TN. It is a conflict of interest.

    Mail your congressperson!!!!

  3. gills Says:

    remember ticketsnow was supposed to stop putting tickets on there like that.. the vp of ticketmaster said so after bruce started to bitch
    we all took it in the ass

  4. youenjoy09 Says:

    @ A-Glide – wow, did that really happen? what a jackass

  5. Chalkdustin Says:

    This is just nuts. How on earth are normal people supposed to get tickets??

  6. gills Says:

    only chance was to be at a local outlet even then you were prob screwed

  7. wizzle1986 Says:

    they have us all by the balls and it hurts

  8. cottle Says:

    It’ll be interesting to talk to my Denver peeps later and see if anyone was able to score tix through the local outlets. Watch…by this time tomorrow, there’ll be about 800 – 1,000 tickets up on the internet on the “secondary market”.

    C.R.E.A.M. that’s what it all boils down too.

    At least I’ve got Asheville and Knoxville.

  9. Los Says:

    I think locals at local outlets got the majority of tickets

  10. gills Says:

    this takes half the fun out of the whole experience. Cant wait to hear phish’s response this time on

  11. Chalkdustin Says:

    I can’t believe NONE of us got tickets.

  12. cottle Says:


    Not if it’s anything like the first leg of the Summer tour.

  13. Devo Says:

    Got two for each night of red rocks. Used the old fashioned telephone and got lucky!

  14. old dude Says:

    at least with the staggered onsale dates the pain of castration was short and sweet.

    although, it also means getting snip-snipped a few more times…

  15. In Flagrante Delicto Says:

    @ Devo,

    Finally, one success story. Congrats.

  16. guyforget Says:

    HOLY SHIT. I just went to the FYE store on the campus of ASU and there was only me and one other dude there for tix. I just scored 2 for each night RR, had tix in my hand by 12:02!!!!! I tried to to 4 4day passes, but the guy said TM had a policy of only one transaction per customer, no exceptions!!!!!! Sorry for all that didn’t score, but i recommend going to outlets in the future!!!!!

  17. Chalkdustin Says:

    Nice work, guy! Way to go!

  18. cottle Says:


    I’m glad someone was able to pull some!

  19. gills Says:

    thoght u had to be local gues that was local enough

  20. gills Says:

    @ guyfogot you have to take over the no spoilers gig if miner lost. lol

  21. guyforget Says:

    no dude, any FYE store. I called yesterday, and they are “not allowed to give out specific information”, but he said if they are on sale through TM, then FYE has access to them…

  22. Pence Says:

    Gills There wont be a response to it. Seems to me everything went smoothly, I didnt get any “errors”, there was just to high of a demand

  23. guyforget Says:

    Miner is a Jedi, he’ll be there…..

  24. DC Says:

    got 2 4 night passes
    I guess I should not have jumped the gun with my taxed stub hubs
    well at least my friends will be getting in at cost

  25. old dude Says:

    what’s FYE store?

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