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:

    i think outlets need to be regional at least. can’t get RR tickets on the east coast thats for sure

  2. gills Says:

    the music stores at malls etc

  3. gills Says:

    thats what i though

  4. Merry Says:

    Nothing. I was in the Ticketmaster system within 30 seconds from Noon. Yeesh, that was really fast. 🙁

  5. ub40 Says:

    it seems the only way to get tix is to get lucky over the phone or be creative with outlets. no sense in even trying online…

  6. AintNoTele Says:

    I hope the gorge isn’t this bad, do you need to call in early and try to keep them on the phone until on-sale time?

  7. A_Glide Says:

    One of my boys in AZ went to an outlet and texted me “Epic Failure”, haven’t heard his story yet.

  8. gills Says:

    look on the other side the rr run would of cost me atleast $2000

  9. gills Says:

    gorge should be easier its a giant venue rr is small in comparison

  10. MannyPhresh2009 Says:

    Bruce Springsteen and his fans made enough noice about that it made national headlines. The nature of the 24 hour news cycle in this country is such that all phish fans need to unite and Phish itself has to take a stand, like Bruce and Pearl Jam have done, against the monopoly that Ticketmaster has over ticketing. Nothing will change, unless we voice our frustrations to the government. I urge you take a few minutes out of your day, and write to your local US congressman and US senator.

  11. ma Says:

    7 minutes? try like 4 minutes..

  12. Chalkdustin Says:

    Gills, that’s how I’m trying to think about this, but I think Gorge will cost me just as much because I can’t drive out there.

  13. gills Says:

    atleast i got merripost, camden and hartford. i make a little run out of that

  14. wizzle1986 Says:

    Phish seriously needs to take a page out of the dead’s book and do a run of shows billed as “Formerly Blackwood Convention” or another “Third Ball” show, or take a page from the allmans and do a month straight at a huge ass venue

  15. whole tour! Says:

    @ain’t no tele….if you call early they just hang up on you…from my past experience at least.

    I even ha an actual human tell me that i was too early (1minute) and she proceded to hang up on me even as i begged and pleaded that she keep me on hold.

  16. RobAins Says:

    A buddy of mine in Berkley got 2 for all 4 nights over the phone. Talked to him over IM, he said it’s a crazy story, too long to do over IM…wonder what that means.

    I’ve heard that over the phone, in the past, you could call in beforehand, and keep saying “refresh” and once the exact on sale time comes, it’ll put you right through. I am not sure at what point of the process you start saying refresh though……have also heard that this glitch in the system was noticed and fixed. A buddy and a shit load of his friends all got their Hampton tix this way though…..

  17. gills Says:

    might be worth getting a part time job with ticketmaster, then atleast you have an in. lol

  18. RobAins Says:

    After reading whole tour’s comment…maybe you say refresh before they have a chance to hang up on you? My buddy said you have to do it when it’s a voice automated program, and not talking to someone live. He also said you have to say refresh a million times…..I have no clue

  19. cottle Says:

    I can’t believe I’m gonna have to do this all over again for Gorge, Merriweather and SPAC. Tomorrow’s gonna be a long day.

  20. whole tour! Says:

    not sure myself rob….i’ll have to try that next time!

  21. bhizzle Says:

    tomorrow is an outlet day fo sho!

  22. guyforget Says:

    definitely go to an outlet. have the primary one (closest to your home), go there early check it out, if it’s got a line, go to your backup (off the beaten path).
    Honestly, this may be the trick to this whole thing. People are such slaves to the web, we sometimes forget about our roots (phone & outlet).
    I said, i’m not even gonna try the web and just go check out the outlet scene, and on a college campus no less, there was just me an one other dude. Bullshitted phish for and hour and half, then we both had our tix within 3 mins of on sale time.

    Don’t know if i just lucked out, but it seemed fail proof today.

  23. wizzle1986 Says:

    ticketmaster is bullshit anyway, i bought Dead ticket to the gorge the day after they went on sale and i got row 42, they still have multiple seat clusters from the 6th row available, bullshit, i obviously didnt get the “best available”

  24. DC Says:

    got red rocks in San Fran at outlet
    only 5 people there and they all got 2 4 day passes each
    def seems the way to go if you are regional and ouside the Colorado area

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    I think the Gorge at regional outlets will be OK tomorrow. just go early and if you can, talk to the peeps @ ctr, make sure they know to be ready right at noon

    congrats to those that got RR, condolences to those that didn’t

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