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. BTB Says:

    That was probably my favorite write up I’ve read of yours Miner. Very good. Thanks.

  2. butter Says:

    Well Marshall – I’ll be golfing everyday for the first week of tour cuz I’ll be on vacation in Maui…..i don’t get to play everyday at home 🙁

  3. Marshall Says:

    ^ Nice.

  4. Spike2518 Says:

    I love Phish wish I could see fall tour every boogie for me I like to boogie have a great weekend I love Phish 🙂

  5. Neemor Says:

    Nice story. PB.
    Kids that like Phish are awesome. Sounds like she’s got a good ear.
    My daughter is twelve (Cassidy) and loves her some Phish and I never pushed it.
    It’s fun music for kids, they seem to be able to relate.
    Mine loves Water/Sky, Fluffhead, NICU, etc.
    Makes me proud(er) to be a dad.
    So, PB, you said, “another trophy wife”, does that mean that yours is a trophy also?
    In that case, you get the high five, my friend!

  6. Neemor Says:

    “every boogie for me I like to boogie”
    Well said.
    Aren’t those the lyrics to Party Time?

  7. gratefulcub Says:

    Neemor, that looks like fun, so I will go ahead and supply the Cincy setlist:
    Set 1: Weekapaug, Stealing Time>Moma, Limb by Limb, Billy Breathes, Theme, Antelope>Cincinnati

    Set 2: Jiboo>Sand>2001, Roggae, Piper>Fluffhead>Frankenstein

    Encore: Waste

  8. BTB Says:

    I’m going to need 1 more for each night of Albany if anybody has extras??

  9. gavinsdad Says:

    you guys are getting me stoked. miner you are getting me stoked. love the containment (is that a word?) of indoor…always darker, always nasty…

    havent been inside since philly 11/20/03 so it’s only appropo that i start back inside with 11/24/09 philly. pumped.

    @ gratefulcub: i’ve done a bit of speculating about attendance here, fan base shrinkage, etc but i never considered your point. thanks for bringint it up. many of us here are “older”, have new responsibilities…we all wanna do as much as we can but at least grabbing a few instead of a whole tour is where we net out. i think it makes those we can get to very special. for me, the minute the first note hit at my first show this summer (jb2) i blocked out everything around me and just FOCUSED. can’t wait to do the same indoor in a couple weeks. oh yeah…MSG kills.

    ps….that Jibbo>heavy things from 8 growing on anyone else? i was pretty impressed with the Jibbo exploration.

  10. Neemor Says:

    There’s that Roggae.
    STFTFP fills the second slot first set Cincy, also?

  11. EL Duderino Says:

    Man, I tell ‘ya. I’m a true believer now of 24/96 files…

  12. Spike2518 Says:

    Phish shod make kids book about there songs I tell my girls storys before bed about fluffhead & Wilson they love it have a great time on fall tour boogie down 4 me pls I love Phish happy happy all my friends

  13. gratefulcub Says:

    Did you not read the Rolling Stones article in January of 2010 that mentioned how phish fell into a routine of repeating second set first songs during fall of 09? Thought someone of your phish interests would have picked up the RS with phish back on the cover. C’mon Man

  14. jay Says:

    el dude, you listening to those HD Flacs on a hi-end stereo? Can you notice the difference through computer speakers?

  15. Neemor Says:

    I hope Icculus has it in the cards that Portland’s setlist looks something like this after the 29th.

    Monday, 12/11/1995 Cumberland County Civic Center, Portland, ME
    Set 1: My Friend, My Friend -> Ha Ha Ha, Stash, Prince Caspian, Reba, Dog Log, Llama, Dog Log, Tube, McGrupp and the Watchful Hosemasters, Julius, Cavern

    Set 2: The Curtain > David Bowie, The Mango Song > Taste That Surrounds, Scent of a Mule, Harry Hood, Suspicious Minds > Hold Your Head Up, Funky Bitch
    Encore: While My Guitar Gently Weeps

    Notes: Prince Caspian was preceded by Trey discussing how Portland was supposed to be Elvis’ last show so this song was for his kid, the prince. The Dog Logs were part of Trey’s announced “Dog Log” album and were preceded by Trey coaching the audience’s reaction. Dog Log had not been played since August 2, 1993 (217 shows). Tube was played as a thank-you for helping out with the “album.” Funky Bitch and WMGGW featured Warren Haynes on guitar.

  16. ThePigSong Says:

    @Tele They are in my neck of the woods tonight. Good to hear they ‘killed it’.

  17. Neemor Says:

    lol Cub
    Spike, how does the Story of Fluffhead go?

  18. Marshall Says:

    CK5 quote from this year:

    “The kids say ‘Phish 3.0’. It’s new no matter what it is.”

    He’s clearly reading what we (or people like us) are writing/saying. Probably means the band has an idea of the pulse too.

  19. jay Says:

    how does the Story of Fluffhead go?

    Once upon a time there was a man called Fluffhead with a horrible disease…

  20. Marshall Says:

    Since this is indoors talk, I can’t help myself with all the CK5 quotes:

    CK: I think the only way to answer that question is that it’s just so fantastic that we’re back. They’re playing so well. They’re making some mistakes like everybody is, but who cares? This is bonus. You know what I mean? I heard some people complaining the other day about the show in St. Louis and I just thought to myself, ‘Hey, c’mon. At least they’re here. Gimme a break.’ Complaining. Last year or two or three years ago, this was finished. Over. Done. So, here we are again. It’s just so special. I think the band’s feeling it. They just seem happier than I’ve ever seen. Everyone’s just so happy. It’s unbelievable. I just think it’s great. I think they have their stellar nights and they have their normal nights, just like any human beings. They’re trying their best every night. It’s just great that they’re up there trying. I love it.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    when I was in college I studied in London for a semester and one night while drinking and hashing in our flat I introduced some friends to Phish. Along with playing some analog tapes that made the trip across the sea with me, I told them the story of Gamehendge. Over the course of an hour or so, nobody spoke and afterwards I had converted a few people.

    I look forward to putting my [future] children to bed with tales from Phish songs…

  22. Spike2518 Says:

    @ neemor I try to make it a very fun story I make alot of it up but my two girls love it then when they hear it they have so much fun I’m a single dad & there mom does not like Phish so iffy 2 make it fun now we they come over they ask how if fluffhead it fun 4 me & them FLUFFHEAD!!!

  23. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Adding to the kids talk. My 2 older ones( 5 and 2 1/2) make my put on “Bag it , tag it” everytime i get in the car with them. They love singing that line. They never want to listen to the jam though:( Needless to say, i’ve listened to the 1st 4 minutes of numerous Reba’s hundreds of times in the last 6 months. Things could be worse i guess.

  24. EL Duderino Says:

    @ Jay

    Computer speakers are not going to do it justice. The next best thing would be headphones, you can tell using those.

  25. beepaphone Says:

    Miner’s write up…
    the Jaws of Phish – Mike’s thumping bass lines envelop the room while swallowing your brain

    And I didn’t think I could be more excited.
    Thanks Miner!

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