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. marcoesq Says:

    sorry, forgot the link;!qaxmFqiPiEw.&treq=2&SessionID=yLzGX

  2. snowbank Says:

    Ticket Liquidators already has tickets for sale for Miami… what am I missing?
    Thanks for the writeup Mr Miner. I have not been indoors since ’97 and was a little tepid to the idea. Your write-up got me stoked go back indoors…. which used to be my preferred venue. As I got older, I liked the open air and space of outdoors more.

    Looks like I will get to make the comparison again. I bought tickets on eBay for 12/4 for waaaaay too much moiney. Still hunting for 12/3…

  3. Corey Says:

    @ Neemor

    Admit it, you just put Manteca in that setlist of yours b/c of my post in the last round regarding my Manteca sign during the DOTD show (that Mr. Miner posted AFTER I mentioned it) — C’mon. 🙂
    That’s right, I made a Manteca sign, referencing Dizzy and everything. Guess Fish likes bikes better than Mongo.

    Synchronicity indeed…speaking of which, how about that Police cover in Cincy many years ago? That was fun.

    I’ve been waiting for that tune -Manteca- forever. At least I got How High the Moon at Darien this year. Wish they got back into the jazz tunes…Donna Lee, Phase Dance…let’s go Phish.

    @ JerryTimber

    Finally someone commenting about Rupp. What a show. Ya’ll should be commenting on it. Wait a minute…how many of you have seen a show in KY anyway? Louisville Fall 95 smoked, and in my biased opinion was way better than the Halloween show that followed. Forget The Who, how about that Shaggy Dog?


    And…as I said in the earlier round of posts, who’s driving to Cincy from Beantown? Anyone?

    Related note: I hadn’t received my 1st night Cincy ticket yet, so I called “The Bastard.” Apparently, my ticket was sent to (and returned from) a completely different addy up here in Somerville. Gosh, I hate automated ticket purchases. Any others with this kind of snafu happening last minute?

  4. marcoesq Says:


    I don’t know if ticketliquidators is a huge organization of scalpers but the don’t actually sell you “tickets” to the shows, you show up with a credit card and ID at the door and they let you in with some type of receipt. Downside is that you don’t have a nice ticket to save but you save a ton of money.

    So they don’t actually “have” tickets to Miami right now but they” let you buy them and then you just show up with your ID and stuff to get in

  5. EL Duderino Says:

    For those who are having trouble with Miner’s Rupp Arena torrent/download, One went up @ the other day.
    Here you go…Nak CM300’s /Pzm 30 D’s – In lossless format no less.

  6. Neemor Says:

    I don’t recall the Manteca mention, but I do remember you wishing the Rupp show a Happy Anniversary before Miner posted this morning. Well timed.
    This show IMO is not better than Halloween ’95. Let’s not be ridiculous.
    One of my most favorite cassettes early on. I guess it helps to be a Who fan and a Quadrophenia fan in particular.

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Sorry Corey, but as good as that Louisville must have been (skipped that one between the Palace and Halloween shows) the first and third sets of 10-31-95 alone hold their own:

    Icculus, Divided Sky, Wilson, Ya Mar, Sparkle, Free, Guyute, Antelope, Harpua


    YEM, JJLC*, ADITL, Susie*

    E: My Generation (acoustic)

    *HORNS, BABY!!!

    but adding in the costume set tips it over the top. I will grant you that 10-29-95 is super sweet, but I can’t let you say it was better than Halloween 😉 Oh, did I mention that the YEM was 45 minutes of pure fire?!?

  8. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    great minds, Neemor, great minds…

  9. beepaphone Says:

    Haven’t made it through Party Time quite yet, but so far, I freaking love “In a Misty Glade”…strange song…I know…but listening to it 3rd time in a row right now.

  10. Robear Says:

    In ’98, ’99 Fall tours, heads would congregate upper level, Page side and do a $1 entry ‘pool’ every night to guess the second set opener. Anyone remember that? Half the money from the pool went to the WW, half to the correct guess. Would be a fun thing to re-kindle this fall.

    ‘I feel winds’ blowing me toward Cobo. Any pre-show meet-ups? Inside meet-up at Waterwheel for sure! There are two booths, I’ll be at one.

  11. Robear Says:

    Type III, between Wings Stadium, The Palace and Rosemont, we could have been car-pooling!

  12. marcoesq Says:

    @Robear: were you the one’s doing that at albany and nassau?

  13. BTB Says:

    Robear – I think some people are meeting in Detroit at the Detriot Brewery about a mile from Cobo.

  14. marcoesq Says:

    10/30/95 YEM, top 5 best ever…

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Seriously, Robear!

    I just did my Phish stats recently and I actually have more shows in MI than any other state.

  16. Robear Says:

    I tried to participate when I got in, but wasn’t the organizer.

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    the other thing that tips 10-31-95 over the top? One of the best Phish quotes ever:

    “Everyone know Wookies can’t play chess!”

  18. Robear Says:

    thx, BTB. I’ll try to catch the early birds. I go into the venue around 4:30.

  19. Robear Says:

    The ‘1st’ indoor ‘Split’ will be fun 🙂

  20. llamalee Says:

    sorry have been just catching up on reading today and would like to comment about 12.7.97. listening to that show i always felt like it had to have been orchestrated or scripted. it doesnt sound like they’re improvising at all through the show but playing a set piece, one of my favorites. my 2 cents

  21. Marshall Says:

    Since, Robear has mentioned split, I’m throwing up my “Split’ mix from The House of Live Phish for any of you who haven’t listened to it that might want to. For some reason they did not post any of the Split mixes on the official download sit at Maybe they will soon. Anyway, here’s the link

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Indoor song= Maze

  23. Birddog Says:

    FMS @ MSG!

  24. Marshall Says:

    Well, I take that back, it looks like my mix finally did get posted.

  25. Robear Says:

    11/1/09 = phantastic day of music

    Indio ‘Tweezer’ looms large.

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