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:

    Bands that I was seeing live in 91 were mainly small-time, local, college-touring acts (Beanland, Solar Circus, Uncle Mingo, The Grapes, Jeff & The Johns, Roadside Attraction, Left Exit, Widespread Panic, etc., many of which played at least 50% covers). I was also seeing “major label” acts then too, of course. But had I been exposed to Phish, I feel like the same thing would have happened to me that eventually happened to me because it really is the music of Phish that makes a difference to me.

  2. Highway Bill Says:

    @ BTB

    ..epic for sure.

  3. BTB Says:

    Cinci 03 – best memory was a guy in a parking garage with a deep fryer making egg rolls. That guy had a line around the corner. Must have made $2,000 slanging some egg rolls before and after the show. I

  4. Highway Bill Says:

    …Trey kickin’ ass and taking names.

  5. Marshall Says:

    My first two shows were outdoors. It was my third show (Fox Theater, 11/9/95) that was the turning point for me personally. The “indoor” factor probably contributed heavily.

  6. Neemor Says:

    I know I may take heat for this, but I don’t think tey actually arrived until 1994 or so.
    I now love their music prior to that (’92 was good for example), but a lot of non-fans still used to walk out of their shows until 94ish. Some of their music and antics and playing, to the uninitiated was very inaccessible.
    I would almost say that they found ‘IT’ when the Dead died…..
    Flame on.

  7. BigNasty Says:

    COBO Tickets:
    I have a meeting in Chicago next Wed/Thu and cannot make COBO.
    Tickets are free…
    2 GOOD tix in section A5, row B, seats 4&5
    2 in section C17 Row O seat 14&15

    Anyone from SE Wisconsin going? Take theses tix and miracle someone in! Tix are on Milwaukee Craigslist, I think you can email me at:

    sale-xxzak-1464362980 at craigslist dot org

    Need to get these off my hands to improve my odds at NYE tix…karma.

  8. halcyon Says:

    Last indoor show … Denver 2003. Last one before that, December 1998 MSG.

  9. Marshall Says:

    Listening to 10/13/91, I think they band had IT already, but there wasn’t that critical mass (geography, fanbase, CK5 moving lights, etc) yet to send the band into the stratosphere). The ingredients that the band brings were there; they’ve added many more layers and flavors since then, but the basic ingredients, the foundation if you will, was there (to me at least).

  10. Phamily Berzerker Says:


    A gal who will put up with my shit for 17 years and still share a house/ family/bed/life/shows with me is a trophy. She inspired me to get off of my ass and start running at 36. She gives unceasingly to to family as a unit, a far better parent than I and great example. She can and will eat the face off of any frontline retail/customer service rep to get what she feels is fair. She has taken me down in one of my psychotic states and I got 50 pound and longer reach over her. Gets pukey drunk at friends’ weddings after combining weed with cosmos or champagne. She is the CEO of our house. The missus would never consider the title for her, but rather some of her associates, as we do not likely befriend those of grandiose vanity and no one like that is inside the inner circle. Played designated driver more than her fair share. She understands my indulgences where safe. I think she’s a looker taboot. A trophy in all categories by my standards which cand be exceedingly rigorous.

    Where we live is the land of real trophy wives. I know a few, some are good people, some are total See You Next Tuesdays, sorry lady PTers. That is not why we live here though.

  11. Robear Says:

    Do I hear a little ‘Cities’ vibe near the 6:30 mark of ‘Free’

    Rest of the board: “Robear is hearing things again”

  12. Robear Says:

    halcy, NY ’98, one of my favorite times with the boys.

    Phamily B, nice story about your significant other. congrats on finding IT in this crazy mixed up world!

  13. Neemor Says:

    That’s really cool of you.
    :::Standing applause:::
    That’s the spirit that makes this all worthwhile to me, but it is very far between at points.
    There is no lack of that kind spirit here on Miner’s Thoughts.
    Well done.

  14. Neemor Says:

    I might be in love with your wife.
    Just kidding.
    Sort of.

  15. Robear Says:

    re: Acoustic set at F8

    I had a tape of the ‘Bridge School Benefit’ from ’98 when Phish played acoustic. I remember thinking, ‘This is neat, but not necessarily their strength’

    Giving the F8 set a re-listen, it’s like ‘These guys are right at home’.

    Another tip of the hat to blown expectations.

  16. gratefulcub Says:

    What KISS song will they play in Detroit?

    I don’t think any of them are worth playing, but that’s just me. I just have a sneaking suspicion that one is going to show up.

  17. Birddog Says:

    I received this from a good friend and thought I would share – some real gems in here

    Eleven years ago the popular rock band Phish set off for a 21-date fall tour that is arguably the best run they ever played. Fall ‘97 saw the band finally embracing their success and adding elements of whitebred funk throughout many of the strong jams that seemed to come out of nowhere each night. Nasty doesn’t even begin to do it justice. Phish wasn’t into giving their tours names, but Fall ‘97 quickly was given the “Phish Destroys America” moniker by fans, thanks to a controversial Ames Design tour poster used to advertise the tour opener. The title fits the tour perfectly, as fans were treated to many nights of Treynal Destruction. This is a compilation of songs from Fall ’97 that was made by a fan. All of the segues from song to song are flawless and all the songs are also soundboard quality. This is a must have for any Phish fan or anyone that appreciates incredible funky improvisational music!

    DISC 1:
    1 Halley’s Comet (11/22/97)
    2 Tweezer (11/17/97)
    3 Ghost -> (11/17/97)
    4 Johnny B. Goode (11/17/97)

    DISC 2:
    1 Tube -> (12/7/97)
    2 Slave To The Traffic Light (12/7/97)
    3 Timber Ho (11/28/97)
    4 It’s Ice -> (12/7/97)
    5 Swept Away -> Steep -> (12/7/97)
    6 It’s Ice (12/7/97)
    7 Theme From The Bottom (12/29/97)
    8 Fluffhead (12/29/97)

    DISC 3:
    1 Down With Disease -> (12/11/97)
    2 David Bowie -> (7/30/97)
    3 Cities -> (7/30/97)
    4 David Bowie (7/30/97)
    5 AC/DC Bag (12/30/97)

    DISC 4:
    1 Runaway Jim -> (7/22/97)
    2 My Soul (7/22/97)
    3 Reba (11/17/97)
    4 Black-Eyed Katy (11/28/97)
    5 Run Like An Antelope -> (12/29/97)
    6 Possum -> (12/29/97)
    7 I Can’t Turn You Loose -> (12/29/97)
    8 Possum (12/29/97)
    9 Harry Hood (7/22/97)

    DISC 5:
    1 Wolfman’s Brother -> (11/19/97)
    2 Makisupa Policeman (11/19/97)
    3 Gumbo (7/29/97)
    4 You Enjoy Myself -> (11/28/97)
    5 I Didn’t Know (11/28/97)

    DISC 6:
    1 Jam -> (7/22/97)
    2 Mike’s Song -> (7/22/97)
    3 Simple -> (7/22/97)
    4 I Am Hydrogen -> (7/22/97)
    5 Weekapaug Groove (7/22/97)
    6 Drowned -> (12/11/97)
    7 Roses Are Free -> (12/11/97)
    8 Big Black Furry Creature From Mars -> (12/11/97)
    9 A Day In The Life (12/7/97)

    DISCS 1 & 2:
    DISCS 3 & 4:
    DISCS 5 & 6:

  18. T. Leo Says:

    That Rupp Arena show was magic. Thank you for posting it Miner, I have been looking for a good copy of it for a while.

  19. beepaphone Says:

    torrents being bunk today…can’t get this Rupp show going

  20. Neemor Says:

    ‘Rock and Roll All Night’ would be the obvious choice if they were to play a song.
    However, i think more likely that they nod to the band with a simple tease of ‘Detroit Rock City’ or ‘Shout It Out Loud’ or ‘Lick it Up’.
    God, I hope they don’t play an entire song.
    Or maybe I do.
    A big fat tease/quote would be really cool, like Ghost>Low Rider (Quote) 2/26/03.

  21. gus Says:

    wow, just bought Sharin’ In The Groove, lovin’ the Wailers version of Makisupa.

  22. Snott Says:

    Very well put. I think Hampton was really a blur, I know I was just caught up in the emotion of being there.
    It’s about to get real serious in Fall/Winter.

  23. KWL Says:

    here here BigNasty

  24. KWL Says:

    Robear is hearing things again…

    Robear is talking to himself again…

  25. gus Says:

    oh my god and acapella poor heart!

Leave a Reply