Step Inside

3.1.03 (Unknown)

3.1.03 (Unknown)

While daydreams of Indio’s idyllic pastures still dance in our heads, and we have barely digested the festival’s eight sets of music, next week Phish will take their show inside the cement confines of fall tour – the moment many have awaited since this comeback materialized. Summer shows are irreplaceable, but as days get shorter and nights grow longer and colder, Phish’s music has traditionally changed as well. Darkening with the season, Phish’s most cerebral and ominous music has sprung from these concrete battlefields of the mind. Thus far, aside from the Hampton comeback and the specialty shows in Asheville, Knoxville, and The F0x, Phish 3.o has been an outdoor affair. As we step inside this week, it will be quite interesting to see if the new joy-infused Phish will follow their old patterns of nature. My guess is that they most certainly will.

12.28.03 (J.Pinsky)

12.28.03 (J.Pinsky)

Throughout their career, the band has proven to be masters of infusing the vibe of their surrounding directly into their music. We have experienced this already in this era. Just recently at Festival 8, but also at Red Rocks and The Gorge. Wide open, slowed-down explorations defined the vast surroundings of these three venues. The band’s festival playing became more relaxed and bass driven, but perhaps the greatest modern illustration of this mood-matching phenomenon was the first show at The Gorge. The majesty of that evening’s music was summoned directly from the spirit of the Columbia River. But when Phish brings there show inside, another type of story will most likely be written.

Entering an arena is like entering the jaws of Phish – there is no escape. No running to the lawn to chill out if things get hectic, just concrete walls and and metal railings. When the almighty power of Phish’s is contained within four walls and a ceiling, things can get crazy. The sheer amount of energy bouncing around the room makes fall shows so much more concentrated and powerful than anything on the summer circuit. Richer in hue, even the lights seem more magical as they beams into every corner of the room rather, creating a more inclusive experience.

12.30.03 (Unknown)

12.30.03 (Unknown)

Space becomes more limited, making finding your happy place a bit more difficult; adding yet another step to your mission. Suddenly, mid-sentence the lights go off. And inside, it actually gets dark! The experience begins. Mike’s thumping bass lines envelop the room while swallowing your brain, as opposed to the summer, when they drift off into the evening air. Trey’s tales of darkness and beauty sound far more crystalline when captured indoors. Fish’s drumbeat pulsates at the heart of it all, instinctively driving the four-man symphony, while Page’s melodies and effects enrapture your ears. No cool breezes waft in from the side of the pavilion when things get hot – this atmosphere can turn more frightful than carefree summer nights – and Phish’s playing has always followed.

12.30.03 (Unknown)

12.30.03 (Unknown)

Phish would never play 12.28.98’s “Carini > Wolfman’s” at Deer Creek. One could not conceive of 12.29.94’s “Bowie” popping up on a sunny evening at Shoreline. The madness of 11.23.97’s “Bathtub Gin” doesn’t happen at Vernon Downs, and the Vegas ’98 “Wolfman’s” certainly could never make an appearance at any Verizon Amphitheatre in any state across the nation. Hampton ‘97 wouldn’t jive with The Gorge, and The Island Run didn’t carry the a tropical vibe; that mythical energy was born into two classic super-structures in Nassau and Providence. Needless to say, Phish has always played differently indoors. With more of an urgency and an intensity; their music has often approached a deranged underworld rather than the lucid dream states of summer tour. Following the course of nature, their music adopts a different feeling when escaping the biting Northeast November air and stepping into Phish’s lair; shedding layers of clothing into a big pile, preparing for the fire.

A proverbial sixth element, Phish’s music adheres to the earth’s rhythms. As each season has its place in the calendar, as does each style of Phish. As we careen towards our first New Years Run in six years, fall tour will provide the launching pad for Phish’s newest celestial excursions. By Charlottesville, we should have a much better sense of where the band is musically heading, as this tour will be the first with no pressure. Throughout 2009, Phish has returned to prominence and reached a comfort level unseen in ages. With these conditions in place and without any monkeys on their backs, their creativity is bound to blossom. These mysteries will begin to unfold in a matter of days, as fall tour has finally arrived. Step inside!


Winged-music-noteJam of the Day:

Stash > Free” 11.30.97


A distinctly “fall tour” segment of improv from Worcester ’97.



11.7.96 Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY < Torrent

11.7.96 Rupp Arena, Lexington, KY < Megaupload

Fall 1996 (Unknown)

Fall 1996 (Unknown)

A quintessential show from Fall ’96, this Midwest run was the time the tour really began to heat up. With the momentum of their Halloween run with Karl Perazzo behind them, the band headed west to forge grooves on their own. The “Bathtub Gin” is one of the jams of the tour, and anchors the entire show. This one is a keeper!

I: Chalk Dust Torture, Weigh, Rift,  Guelah Papyrus, Stash, Waste, Guyute, Free, Tela, Character Zero

II: Suzy Greenberg, Bathtub Gin > Hold Your Head Up > Bike > Hold Your Head Up, You Enjoy Myself

E: Frankenstein

Source: Unknown

Tags: ,

330 Responses to “Step Inside”

  1. Marshall Says:

    No downloading required, you can just stream it from the site at the link above.

  2. HarryHood Says:

    Indoor YEM vocal jam

  3. Marshall Says:

  4. Chuck D Says:

    On yesterdays topic of the direction of Mike’s Song: Perhaps it needs to become the closer of a set of songs. Kinda like it was the opener for Mike’s Groove with Mikes > H20 > Weekapaug, maybe something like Split > All Things Reconsidered > Mikes could become the norm. That would change the vibe of the song a lot IMO. Maybe Mike could reconnect with it if the format changed a bit and the (mission impossible?) jam was the true peak rather than a launching point for H20 and groove.

    …Just a thought. This is “Phish Thoughts” right?

  5. Neemor Says:

    I’d like to revisit the often touched on topic of sleeper shows for a moment.
    With Miner’s post today on indoor shows I am in complete agreement that indoor shows are a different beast altogether.
    But I think we can even consider a subset to that, and it’s a subset that we haven’t really been able to enjoy in quite a few years due to the massive venue size that Phish had to perform in during the 2000’s.
    I’m referring to the small venue.
    This Fall has some real gems and wading though my memory banks, smaller venues tend to provide hotter sets and insane setlists that I think is in direct relation to the intimacy of the setting.
    (The Fox theater this Summer may be an exception to the rule, as it was rather standard musically.)
    With some real throwback rooms on the docket including Cobo, The War Memorial in ‘Cuse and the Quad C, mixed with the fact that the boys are currently playing in an otherwordly fashion, we are in for some FIYA! (To borrow from Fish and the Hartford Soundcheck.)
    To bring the topic back to sleepers, while I think that the potential of these smaller venues is astronomical, I think it is Portland that will be the true monster on the tour.
    Consider, if you will, the timing. This show will be spun out of the raucous confines of a two night run in Albany, the site of epic throwdowns in Phishtory, including a tour opening twosome in the Fall of 2000 that spawned not only my favorite tour opening cover of all time (Mellow Mood), but also what I consider one of the great first sets ever (9/9/00 Set I) and a classic Sand that changed the song forever, with Michael Ray on Trumpet.
    With that kind of momentum, the boys will be playing at their peak, for sure.
    After the show in Portland is done, they will have a couple of days to catch their breath before heading into the World’s Most Famous Arena, so the feeling that they will let it all hang out in Maine is palpable.
    Phish and her fans love the CCCC. From the experimental 12/11/95 (Dog Log extravaganza with Warren Haynes) to the solid two night stand in 1999 in the run-up to Cypress, and countless other great Maine shows along the way before they could fill the Civic Center, Maine is clearly a little corner of the world where our boys feel right at home.
    11/29/09 will be the next moment in a long string of time where Phish emerges from the cities of the northeast, kicks back, slows down to fit the atmosphere of the Maine woods and sets of to terrorize the minds of those in attendance.
    This show will be the sleeper of Fall Tour ’09 and will be remembered for a long time.
    Mark my words.
    Or maybe it’s just because I got my ticket coming in the mail!
    Anyone else think there will be another candidate more worthy this Fall?
    Let’s hear it…

  6. beepaphone Says:

    Finished listening to Party Time

    Chill. Very hypnotic at times…reserved for a specific kind of mood.
    I like it.

    “The world could use one less beer-bellied dancer” tee hee

  7. HarryHood Says:


    Neemor mentioned the 9/9/00 Albany show. Would it be possible to do this a DOTD? This show was the closest that I’ve ever been to the stage (6th row) and I certainly share the Neemor’s enthusiasm. That whole show was straight fire and as a tour opener it would be a nod to the upcoming tour. IMO.

  8. Neemor Says:

    What is the point of those mixes….to sort of create your own matrix, bring instruments up or down in volume?
    I don’t get it…

  9. Birddog Says:

    Neemor you got me thinking –

    Im going to be in Portland Thanksgiving weekend but alas with my kids…

    …but they love Phish

    are 9 and 10 too young for a show?

    dont want to traumatize them but man that would be somthing they would never forget

  10. Chuck D Says:

    Volume up and down, balance left and right for each instrument.

    I think it was a direct response to people saying the SBD downloads suck. Their way of saying: here, you try to make something that is going to make everyone happy.

  11. Marshall Says:

    @ Neemor

    At The House of Live Phish they let you be the mixing editor. You could do whatever you wanted with it. Some people did funky stuff like turn down everything but the bass, so you can only hear Mike and nothing else.

    I tried to mix mine so that it sounded “good” to me.

    The individual tracks available were: Bass, Drums, Keys, Guitar, Page Vox, Trey Vox, Audience, and there was a Delay track. You could pan left/right and adjust the levels of each track separately. I’m sure there was more you could do but that’s what the instructor showed me how to do. We used ProTools and a mixing board.

  12. BTB Says:

    Off for a weekend of winning a 5th consecutive B10 championship. Not that that means anything anymore.

    Paug is dead!!!!


    Later Players

  13. Marshall Says:

    Hmm … 4:50 pm est. Time for a New Belgium Two Below.

  14. Neemor Says:

    I want to find one where it’s just AUD, that would be neat.
    The one of just Mike playing is very weird…totally exposes him.
    Exposed Mike is a strange thought. Sounds cool, but not really listenable.
    I think 9 and 10 might be too young for the inside venue at CCCC, small house, nowhere for the kids to turn….IMO

  15. Robear Says:

    at house of Livephish, they were saying”

    “People for a Louder Mike, have a louder Mike!”

  16. Robear Says:

    Birddog, too traumatic, no. Too smokey, yeah, most likely. Those little indoor sheds can fill with cigarette smoke, and quick. That’s what this dad decided.

  17. KWL Says:

    nice, Marshall, that sounds awfully tasty. I was in South Carolina (that’s where you are, right?) in August and was pleasantly surprised to discover that New Belgium had made its arrival in the state not too long before…

  18. T. Leo Says:

    Amen BTB!

  19. Marshall Says:

    Yes, KWL, I’m in Greenville, about an hour south of Asheville NC. You know the drill if you ever head this way.

  20. sumodie Says:

    I look at indoor & outdoor phish as yin and yang -I wouldn’t want one without the other. I did catch Asheville and Knoxville, so my indoor itch isn’t quite as strong as with some others, nonetheless I do feel it’s time to return to these phish bowls.

    After reading Miner’s excellent write-up and the first page of comments, I was struck by how weirdly disturbing it seemed to be celebrating the inside of these large, often hideously drab, concrete bunkers. Alas, these architectural monstrosities are all we have, and so I too cannot wait to rage inside them. Thank god the beauty that is MSG is on fall tour -a true queen among arenas.

    Saw MMW put on another face-melting show last night in North Adams, MA. They still amaze the hell out of me after all these years -been seeing them almost as long as Phish. These guys sure know how to play to the outer limits of their instruments.

  21. Marshall Says:

    If Miner can write it, Robear can say it. The man gets Phish, the phish scene, and all that goes along with it. A true veteran fan.

  22. SOAM Says:

    They’re going get the motha fuckin groove on …….I m pumped for that Twist-I know I ‘m gonna get…

    spoke your name………………..

  23. SOAM Says:


  24. beepaphone Says:

    Nice, Sumodie…myself, GP420, and I believe msbjivein are all catching the MMW show in less than a week in Indy…its nicely sandwiched between the Cobo and Crown shows. I haven’t seen MMW since ’04. Pretty excited.

  25. albert wakler Says:

    what’s the over under for shows until Trey drops a Torn and Frayed

    I would say saturday Cinci

    Party Time

    I love Windy City. With a little work I think this could be a great Page tune.
    Speaking of Page. Beauty of a Broken Heart has been great in 2009.

    I love Alaska as a 1st set song also. RR version had some real nice moments in the jam, and it is fun as hell.

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