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. wall05 Says:

    I just hope to score SPAC.

    This waiting is killing me

  2. cottle Says:

    I’m with you Wall, it sounds like a few here did get lucky, but I think that TM controls where most of their tickets wind up. They let a few slip out to the fans, to keep up the appearance of a legitimate business model, but it’s all pretty clear what’s going on.

  3. cottle Says:

    Last week I was doing so good about staying off of phishtoughts during work hours. Now I’ve gotten all wrapped up in the ticket madness, and I can’t seem to stay away. Maybe next week I’ll get back on track.

  4. pd Says:

    cottle and wall05– why is it so hard to comprehend the massive demand for these tickets? some of these conspiracy theories are, i’m sorry, laughable

  5. Chalkdustin Says:

    It’s addictive, man. I can’t get enough!

  6. A_Glide Says:

    Why does the man always have to try and keep me down?

  7. DC Says:

    Tix were tight in 96 at Red Rocks
    13 years since last show there
    1 of smallest venues of tour
    reunion tour
    best venue on tour (in my opnion the US I prefer over Gorge)
    only more than 2 night run

    = insane demand by everyone seeing any shows this summer

  8. SOAM Says:

    I can go to blockbuster video and buy tix tomorrow?

    for real?

  9. guyforget Says:

    call them SOAM, that’s what i did to find out about FYE todya…

  10. voopa Says:

    That’s what says…

  11. RobAins Says:

    What other bands have similar issues? I know the Springsteen had issues but, does this happen to other very popular artists? I’m pretty hesitant to believe that TicketMaster is this completely shady, illegal company, the way some make it out to be. I don’t know. If this continues to happen in the next few days, I might feel differently. But I think it’s important to remember that this is Phish. Playing at RED ROCKS! Aside from Hampton, these have to be the most sought after tickets in Phish history. Might even be more sought after than Hampton. Not to mention that RR is tiny. Even if Phish had the rights to all the tickets, I bet it would have sold out in a similar amount of time.

    That said, this still realy sucks

  12. Wax Banks Says:

    Jesus Christ, guys. (BTW: Are there any women who read this site?)

    So you didn’t get tickets to the rock’n’roll show you wanted to watch, huh? You couldn’t place a single phone call from a thousand miles away – it’s not even long-distance anymore since you’re on your cell, of course – to get $200 worth of tickets to a concert venue hidden in mountains half the people in America have never actually seen before? You’re bummed because you spent an hour trying to get tickets to the same show another, say, fifty thousand people were trying to get to, and now you can never get your precious hour back?

    Grow up.

    (This is the part where someone posts about how I’m ‘tactless.’ OK, go ahead.)

    You don’t need these shows. Nor tickets. Nor this band. You think you do, just like TV fans think they ‘need’ to know what happens to the characters after the finale. Hell, in my weak moments I think the same ridiculous things. But sorry, lads, your incredible quantities of money and time will have to be spent on something else this summer.

    Like shows in a different state, for instance.

    Or a guitar, so you can make your own music.

    I understand that this is a place for immediate reactions and unchecked reflexes – Miner’s stuff all reads like first drafts, that’s fine – but carping about how the Ticketmaster phone service was ‘soooooo sloooooow’ when you were able to use imaginary money to purchase tickets over the phone to a show half a hemisphere away is obscene.

    I do feel bad for anyone who didn’t get tickets. But let’s be serious, guys: this is neither the end nor the beginning of anything at all.

  13. SOAM Says:

    only franchises-I guess some are privatelty owned

    will they let me buy 2 for each show (3) or just one show and done.

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    pd- agreed. The demand is highest ever. every other show will be MUCH MORE mellow from here on out…..

  15. Mr. V Says:

    SOAM – Be sure to check if your local Blockbuster sells tickets as not all of them do. There is a link somewhere in the LN site which lets you know which stores have ticket outlets.

  16. SOAM Says:

    Wax” if you see me coming you better run”

    B. Dylan

    I bet you got one friend and he shits on you behind your back

    There is one in every crowd.

  17. guyforget Says:

    miner, did you score?

  18. Wax Banks Says:

    And for what it’s worth: I got lotteried into SPAC and Hartford, and scored Star Lake tickets via TM the day they went on sale; a dear friend missed all her east-coast dates and got lotteried into three nights at Red Rocks; and a chum has a spare for Great Woods. I was happy when I thought I was going to zero shows, happy when I thought one, happy to try for SPAC and Hartford, surprised that it worked out. None of it makes any real difference, of course.

    Revised Hampton SBD opinion: tight shows, unadventurous jamming, the chops are a lot looser than I’d thought on initial listen. Pleasant but not likely to get much play once the 4-song sets show up. (Or wait, not ‘revised’ opinion at all…)

  19. guyforget Says:

    Obscene amounts of money? I now have 19 tickets for shows this summer, and i’ve spent $1074.30. That comes out to $56.54 per ticket, all of which i will be rocouping except for the one ticket for me for each show.

    Try to see Bruce, U2, the Killers, Britney, Madonna, and any other “pop” star for that cheap, not to mention, most of which are GA ot partial GA.

  20. Wax Banks Says:


    Fortunately my one friend and I are in a coprophilic/-phagic romance, so ‘shitting on me behind my back’ is just what the doctor ordered!

    Seriously dude, am I wrong? I know you’re offended, defensive, whatever. But am I wrong to point out that the vitriol upthread is proportional only to a thoroughly un-Phishy(!) sense of entitlement, and not to e.g. the likelihood of scoring fucking Red Rocks tickets? C’mon.

  21. wizzle1986 Says:

    next Phestival needs to be 4 days

  22. R1 Says:


    You’ve outdone yourself Wax. It’s not about tact. I don’t care about your lack of discretion. I just think you’re a pedantic, self-righteous jerk.

  23. Wax Banks Says:

    Obscene amounts of money? I now have 19 tickets for shows this summer, and i’ve spent $1074.30. That comes out to $56.54 per ticket, all of which i will be rocouping except for the one ticket for me for each show.

    Yes. Someone who can put up a grand for shows without first seeing money in hand has quantities of money that a good fraction of America – never mind half the rest of the world – would be embarrassed to dream about. Hey, I’m with you, if you can afford decadence, be decadent. But let’s not kid ourselves about what it is.


    That’s all I’m really talking about.

  24. Wax Banks Says:


    Tell me more. Specifically about my pedantry – I’ll give you ‘self-righteous’ for free. So tell me how I’m being pedantic. Tell me about my ‘displays of academic learning’ or my nitpicky rules obsessions. Please.

  25. Wax Banks Says:


    Then, if you get a chance, explain to me how a complaint about, say, ‘one-show wonders’ keeping someone from ‘stringing together’ a run of $50-70 rock’n’roll concerts is somehow less laughable than my, let’s be frank, arguably overwrought and possibly disingenuous concern for the ‘little guy’ who’s not going to shows at all.

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