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

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330 Responses to “Step Inside”

  1. Mitch Says:

    I’m having a piece of shit, aweful freakin day. Anyone have a good joke or funny link?


    p.s. I emailed drygoods and they said joy boxes are no later than the 23rd.

  2. Marshall Says:

    Cincy is starting to pull at me. Can’t …. re … sist …. must …. see …. phish.

  3. Marshall Says:

    Have you heard the prison joke?

  4. albert wakler Says:

    Casino Boogie!!

  5. Marshall Says:


  6. KWL Says:

    that Doc Ellis LSD no-hitter video from yesterday is seriously funny.

    if you missed it:

    starting pitcher: you sucka!!!

  7. Mitch Says:

    What’s the prison joke?

  8. albert walker Says:

    you’re just trippin man

  9. KWL Says:

    whoa Mitch, posted that w/out seeing your comment.

  10. KWL Says:

    I just scored a touchdown!

  11. Marshall Says:

    “I just scored a touchdown.” That’s some funny ass shit.

  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Prison Joke!
    Prison Joke!

    AW, I’m with you on Torn and Frayed. If they pull anything into the repertoire (consistently) from Exile, I think that’s the one. It was definitely the “phishiest” take they did on anything during the set. at the same time, my vote is for IJWTSHF to be kind of like Have Mercy as a landing pad from serious face melting.

  13. Marshall Says:

    Fishman tells the Prison Joke during the encore of 4/11/91.

  14. Mitch Says:

    Haha that doc Ellis was money

  15. Mitch Says:

    Well somebody tell it already. I don’t have that show with me.

  16. albert walker Says:

    that’s what I said after relistening also

    figured a real psychedelic melt in with that cool groove

    chick vocals def are a major part of the song but I think it would still work well as part of jam
    I think we will hear one also

  17. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    Well, Cobo (if I make the call) or Cincy (for sure) will be my first indoor Phish show since Rosemont 2000. Basically 9 years+. I am so freaking excited. Everything has come together for me for these shows. I was going to have to pawn my daughter off on my mother for the weekend, but then low and behold, my ex’s sister decides to come into town and without me saying a thing, my ex wants to keep my daughter so that she can hang out with her cousins. Score! Now I don’t even feel bad about ditching my girl to see Phish (admittedly would have only been the 2nd time this year for the ditching….both times to see Phish).

    I am with AW regarding Alaska, definitely an underrated song. Beauty of a Broken Heart is way up there for me too. I think some were brought down by it at Fest8 because that set had so many new tunes in it (Stealing Time, Party Time, Ocelot, Beauty, and TTE all in one set!). I, being a thoroughgoing Phishhead had all of the summer shows on the iPod, so I knew those songs as well as any other. Others, not so much.

    I’ve listened to all the bagging on Weekapaug here, and I got to say, I love the song. It totally gets me dancing. I wouldn’t mind it being de-coupled from Mike’s so that it could come whereever in a set. I think that would make it interesting. For all those that say the ‘paug doesn’t rock, I direct you to 18 minutes of bliss better known as set 2 closer NYE 1997.

  18. Marshall Says:

    Mitch. I’m putting it on my mediafire page right now. Let Fishman tell it to you.

    A couple more seconds and I’ll post the link.

  19. Marshall Says:

    I only have three files, look for the 4/11/91 file. It’s just the joke.

  20. BigNasty Says:

    I posted Cobo tix earlier…they are gone. Some lucky bastard in Toledo will be getting 4 free tix in the mail early next week. Karma be good – need the NYE shows!!!

    Mitch – did you see the opening skit on The Office last night? Funny ass shit…Dwight sneaks up on himself….the wife and I were rolling on the floor.

    You can watch on line at NBC dot com…the Murder episode.

  21. Marshall Says:

    Watch Anchorman for a couple of laughs. Maybe more.

  22. Marshall Says:

    ::::High Five:::: to BigNasty. Your NYE tix will come your way.

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    fyi Rupp torrent is working fine form this end

  24. BigNasty Says:

    hope so!

  25. GuitarPicker420! Says:

    @marshall – scotch, scotch, scotch

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