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. flarrdogg Says:

    Some friends made this after Katrina:

    Definitely lightened the mood. I often refer back to it when I’m feeling blue. No happy fun ball, but cool none the less.

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    holy shit, flarr, that’s fucking amazing actually

    it’s so n’awlins! I can’t express it but am in awe of it! next time I am trying to explain why I love that city I will refer to this video – who else would do this after a disaster!

    EPIC WIN!!!!!!

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    BTW all Bears fans have my sympathies.

    that was some ugly-ass ball last night.

  4. ThePigSong Says:

    I think I might actually make it all the way through Phish Destroys America today. I’m onto Simple inside the ‘Groove’ from Walnut Creek, and I must say the tunes have made this the most pleasurable day.

    I should be burnt on Phish by The Duo show tonight.

  5. Mr. Completely Says:


    to get respect, give respect

    alright, out y’all

  6. BrandonKayda Says:

    FALL TOUR!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I am getting seriously excited for this. Just think, they will be so much more relaxed and ready to throw down now that they have really loosened up over Summer Tour and Festival 8.

    COBO will be readicculus

    I am ready for my Funky Bitch!

  7. flarrdogg Says:

    @ Mr C- thanks bro

    @ Piggy- how is the sound quality on that mix? I have (mostly average quality) copies of most of those shows, but would dload if they sounded decent. I’m dealing with a memory space issues, or else I would’ve snatched it already.

  8. ThePigSong Says:

    while I’m at it my .02 on Mikes Groove…
    I remember reading an interview where Mike expressed feelings of detachment from the Groove (which has been referenced here many times). I’m sure that quote had lots to do with how content I am to just hear a lonely ‘Mikes’ or ‘paug, I honestly wasn’t missing it at Eight.

    I also feel the band had no intention of finishing out Mikes. If Weekapaug shows up alone in the next few weeks I doubt it even crossed the bands mind that they were finishing the Festival Mikes.

  9. ThePigSong Says:

    @flarr- It’s advertised as all SBD. I’ve really enjoyed it since I picked it up last spring. There are points where you can distinctly hear someone being turned up or down, but then again it might be my sh*tty set up.
    Overall I highly recommend it.

    I’m sure my neighbors have been oh so pleased to have Mike ‘thumping’ at them all day 🙂

  10. flarrdogg Says:

    excellent- this may completely tap my hard drive, but i’m doing it.
    isn’t this why hard drives were created- to fill with digital music?
    i held out for the longest- couldn’t let all those tapes and cds go to waste, but damn it is so much more convenient this way.

  11. BrandonKayda Says:

    Why would they stop with the normal Mike’s->H2O->Paug now if they were doing it in the summer?

  12. BrandonKayda Says:

    Walls of The Cave kicks ass once Fish kicks into that funky drum-beat

    First time hearing the song (SPAC 04)

  13. ThePigSong Says:

    I don’t think they are going to stop a Mikes>____>Paug; I just don’t think we can expect it everytime.

  14. BrandonKayda Says:

    Walls can open up to some SERIOUS funk in Albany if they play it this Fall tour…im sure you guys know this already…carry on

  15. butter Says:

    Yea Mr. C – I was at the Bears vs 49ers game last night. Thanks for the condolences. That was some mediocre football at its best last night. The Bears just aren’t very good. And for that matter neither are the niners. The Bears still had a chance on the last play to win that game after just an atrocious showing. I did have a great time tho, and brought my daughter to her first football game. That was my second NFL game of the year and the biggest observation from watching the NFL in person:

    The insane speed of the players when in pursuit of a ball carrier.

  16. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    havent commented much lately but a really great post today miner. i spent half a semester learning//writing about the relationship between Art and Place and this would have fit in well.

    for the same class i also wrote about 40 pages about Phish for my final paper
    (i had to cut it down to 10 before i could hand it in though).

  17. Birddog Says:

    say whats the deal with this 12-31-95 Reba?

  18. Robear Says:

    ^birddog, it’s the ‘real’ deal.

  19. albert walker Says:

    one of the nastiest reba’s I ever saw

  20. Birddog Says:

    best Ive ever heard

  21. BrandonKayda Says:

    Insane Reba

    Sloth->Reba ….wow

  22. Robear Says:

    bk, how’s your journey through the mix going?

  23. Robear Says:

    Now I’ve got to spin that ‘Reba’.

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    …and when Robear says “spin” he means SPIN

    “My fellow Americans. As a young boy, I dreamed of being a baseball, but
    tonight I say, we must move forward, not backward, upward not forward,
    and always twirling, twirling, twirling towards freedom. ”

    – Kodos

  25. ThePigSong Says:

    I can’t recommend the Duo to anyone on this board. We stuck it out for seven or eight songs, they all sounded the same to us. I was pumped and wanted to love it but I just can’t get down on the same seven notes on the organ all night.

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