The Rhythms of Nature – Revisted

As we head towards Fall Tour 2010, I thought of a piece I wrote during the first weeks of this site – in July of 2008 – that fits congruently with this time of the year. In the months before Phish’s return, I dreamed of fall tours past and their stark contrast to the amphitheatres of summer. This fall, as we move into even smaller venues than we’d ever imagined during this era of Phish, some of the ideas in this article resonate louder than ever. In addition, with the limited readership over the initial stages of the site, many may have never seen this at all. Either way – enjoy – fall tour is just around the corner!


11.21.09 (W.Rogell)

While being smack dab in mid-July with dreams of Phish on the mind and the ten-year anniversary of Summer 98 upon us, one can’t help but reminisce on the wistful days of summer tour. Arriving to the lot early on a sweltering day at Lakewood; meeting up with friends in the dirt lot across that little bridge on the back side of the venue; kicking it until show time. Chilling at a campground down the street from the Deer Creek, needing only to roll a few hundred yards to the show, knowing it would be a killer. Running into buddies at rest areas along I-95 in the wee hours of a humid night and swapping analogs for the next leg. Driving through the breathtaking wilderness of Washington state only to find that The Gorge is by far the most awe inspiring site on your journey – and Phish was about to play two nights there?! Sleeping nicely in your air conditioned hotel room while the 90 degree day passed by, awakening at four to start your day with a shower > show. A hearty evening (and morning) of partying, talking Phish, listening to tunes, joking about and discussing life typically followed. Summer Tour was everything people cracked it up to be and then some, but Fall Tour was so much better.

12.3.09 (W.Rogell)

“What!?” One might say? Yes, fall kicked summer’s ass – no question; every time. There are so many reasons to support this claim. First of all, there were simply way less people on tour, making your secret-agent Phish mission that much more clandestine. Fall brought outside responsibility to many, whether this meant either school or jobs, and they couldn’t sacrifice a month. The weekend warriors popped up across the country for Friday and Saturday shows, but the core of people that dropped everything for Phish decreased noticeably in the Autumn months. The big east coast shows always sold out, but those out-of-the-way shows took on a whole different intimacy; Boise ’99, Vegas ’97, Utah ’98, Las Cruces ‘99, to name a few. At many southern and western shows, regardless of the year, one could walk up to the front of the floor without crushing anyone’s vibe. These shows were different – they were playing to you and not New York City.

Fall tour possessed an unparalleled intensity. Four cement walls contained the almighty power of Phish – the power of the universe. The sheer amount of energy that bounced around the room made fall shows much more concentrated and more powerful than anything on the summer amphitheatre circuit. Even the lights were and richer – more majestic – and their beams reached everyone in any corner of the arena. Fall tour existed in the jaws of the Phish and no one could escape to the top corner of the lawn if things got too hectic.

11.21.09 (W.Rogell)

Depending on the venue, space was scare, making finding that place needed to take it all in just a bit more challenging; another step in your covert operation. Suddenly the lights went off – it all began. Mike’s Modulus bass lines filled the room, and your brain, instead of drifting off into the warm summer evening. Trey wove tales of darkness and beauty in the most crystalline tone. The drumbeat pulsated instinctively at the heart of it, driving the four-piece symphony, while Page’s twisted melodies around the others. No cool breezes wafted from the sides of the pavilion if things got hot, and concrete and metal surrounded our existence. This was a darker atmosphere than your blissful summer night, and the band’s playing certainly followed.

Phish would never play a show like 12.28.98 – “Carini > Wolfman’s” – at Deer Creek. One could never imagine the 12.29.94 Providence “Bowie” popping up at Shoreline. The 11.23.97 Winston-Salem “Bathtub Gin” doesn’t happen at Vernon Downs,  and the madness of Orlando ’95’s “Stash > Manteca” extravaganza doesn’t happen at a Verizon Amphitheatre in any state across the nation. Hampton ’97 could not have occurred at Virginia Beach, and The Island Run didn’t carry the mellow vibe its moniker implied. Rather we were confined by two concrete super-structures while blessed with the four sacred nights of music. My point is, Phish played differently indoors. With more of an urgency and intensity; their music likened a deranged and boisterous dream state rather than those lucid nights of summer. As Phish jams followed the natural course of the seasons, their music adopted a different feeling when escaping the biting Northeast November air and stepping into Phish’s lair. Piling layers of clothing onto a seat, one prepared for the fire.

12.31.09 (W.Rogell)

Sure, there will always be counter examples to this trend – some, not-so-ironically, corresponding with severely inclement weather – Walnut Creek ‘97, Columbus ‘99 (“Ghost > Free > Birds”), Darien Lake ‘00 (“Drowned > Crosseyed”). Then there is every show from Summer ‘95, each characterized by terrorizing, abstract improvisation. But regardless of any of these aberrations, Phish dove the deepest during fall tour and the tapes will prove it.

Being a force of nature unto itself, a proverbial sixth element, Phish’s music often correlated with the forces of the natural world. As each season has its place in the year, each style of Phish had its place as well. Careening towards New Years, fall tour provided the celestial launching pad for Phish’s culminating journeys of the year before they capped it with a four-night fiesta.


From Phish.Net: The Phamily Poker Classic in Atlantic City

Take a Chance

“The Mockingbird Foundation is excited to announce THE PHAMILY POKER CLASSIC, a no-limit Texas Hold’em Tournament in Atlantic City to take place in the Tropicana’s poker room on the afternoons of October 30 (tournament) and 31 (final table). There will be both cash and non-cash prizes, and some of the $120 ticket price (the “buy-in”) will benefit the Foundation. This event is being graciously organized by Phish fan Kevin Young, with the assistance of others including Foundation volunteers, and none of us are benefiting financially from this event. For more details and to purchase tickets, please see the event’s website. If you play, you will not miss any Phish. So please, make a hand for Mockingbird, and don’t delay in purchasing tickets, as this event is expected to sell-out. It is unlikely that tickets (seats) will be sold at the door.”


Jam of the Day:

Tweezer > Kung > Tweezer” 12.8.95 II

Fuck it – we’re going for “Tweezers” all week here on the Jam of the Day. Monday and Tuesday came from Fall ’96, and today we dip into the iconic month of December 1995 – the 8th in Cleveland to be exact. The beginning of the second set started with “2001,” then dropped into this monstrous jaunt.




11.16.1995 West Palm Beach, FL < Torrent

11.16.1995 West Palm Beach, FL < Megaupload

11.23.96 (R.Gitzel)

The year before Phish played their famous Coral Sky show in the fall of 1996, the band visited the Auditorium in West Palm Beach for an indoor affair along their scorching road of Fall ’95. Two guests joined the band to close the night after a second set held up buy stellar versions of “Bowie” and “Hood.” Butch Trucks sat in on drums for “Possum,” while Margaritaville legend Jimmy Buffett joined the boys for Van Morrison’s “Brown-Eyed Girl.”

I: Cars Trucks Buses, Runaway Jim, Jam*, Horn, Mound, Ya Mar, Simple > Timber, Guyute, Funky Bitch

II: A Day in the Life, David Bowie, Lifeboy, Uncle Pen, Ha Ha Ha > Harry Hood, Hold Your Head Up > If I Only Had a Brain > Hold Your Head Up, Amazing Grace, Possum**

E: Brown Eyed Girl ^

* A new band/audience chess match started at this show. The opening chess moves were made during a short jam that followed Runaway Jim and featured Trey on percussion.

** w/ Butch Trucks on drums / ^ debut, w/ Jimmy Buffett

Source: Unknown

Tags: ,

767 Responses to “The Rhythms of Nature – Revisted”

« Previous12345678...3031Next »
  1. revise your despise Says:

    My first 6 shows were indoors (Cinci and NYE ’09) and my last 7 were this summer. I must say while this summer blew me away, I can’t wait to see phish indoors again. The energy for an indoor phish show is unmatchable! See you guys in AC!!!

  2. joe Says:

    my go to tweezer lately has been from Nassua 03. Can’t stop listening to it. Popped up in my rotation a few weeks ago and has had the top spot since.

  3. joe Says:

    awesome action photo at the bottom of the post today too!

  4. Al Says:

    Speaking of “Go-to” Tweezers:
    definitely the LIVEPHISH vol. 11 and 8 versions from Denver 97/11/17 and Camden 99/07/10. The Camden one is simply majestic and spacy.

    Some “Go-to” Bathtub Gins:
    from the Post Hiatus era are definitely 2003/02/14 (L.A.) and 2003/02/22 (Cinci) and the Gorge 2009/08/07.

  5. garretc Says:

    Still an indoor Phish virgin… Wouldn’t it be nice to break that at the Warfield??

    (Fingers crossed…)

    Or New Years would be pretty cool too…

  6. pkael Says:

    Uncle Ebenezer’s Phish Thoughts

  7. joe Says:

    Phish and Poker with a side of drinking. A mashup of my biggest vices. getting the shakes just thinking about it.

  8. revise your despise Says:

    “Phish and Poker with a side of drinking. A mashup of my biggest vices. getting the shakes just thinking about it.”

    Agree that phish and poker are two of my favorite things in life. I just don’t know if I can waste percious recoup time to play in it. Does anyone know what time the tourney starts?

  9. Cushion Convector Says:

    Moring BB. Looks like Tweezerfest is in full swing on here! Streaming the JOTD as we speak.

    @Dr. P-if you are out there I appreciate your recommendation, some real good stuff.

    Found this article which may be appropriate for the BB (Occipital gamma activation during Vipassana meditation
    B. Rael Cahn, Arnaud Delorme, and John Polich
    Cogn Process. 2010 February; 11(1): 39–56. Published online 2009 December 16. doi: 10.1007/s10339-009-0352-1.
    PMCID: PMC2812711)

    ^^^^The findings suggest that long-term Vipassana meditation contributes to increased occipital gamma power related to long-term meditational expertise and ENHANCED SENSORY AWARENESS.

    –lesson for the day, next indoor phish show, try some meditation and see what happens. Let the setting influence your set.

  10. ThePigSong Says:

    great write up- wish I had plans for some Phish this fall..

  11. Cushion Convector Says:

    Man the JOTD really went there and back again.

    @Miner, nice work. This article is a a must-read for any non-phan. Getting excited just thinking about the upcoming tour even though I won’t be hitting any shows, unless 12/28 pans out.

  12. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    cool, Cushion. I’ll have to track that one down

  13. c0wfunk Says:

    just into the first midsong jam of the jotd tweezer – first impression is Wow this song has slowed down. Always interesting to hear the groove songs before the birth of the groove…

    I alwyas loved the the “ch ch” mouth percussion in these old versions.

    Arena phish is where it’s at. Summer phish is fun and gorgeous but the energy feedback cycle works best inside the sheds. Now putting that big energy of this band back into the little sheds this fall will likely lead to some very interesting results.

  14. c0wfunk Says:

    hm I don’t think my use of the word “sheds” is proper there, substitute something more arena-like in there. Not even through 1 cup of coffee yet tho and the other half of the hippie speedball is still to come so I have an excuse 🙂

  15. Cushion Convector Says:

    Dr. P, I dl ‘d the .pdf if you want me pass it along. let me know

  16. c0wfunk Says:

    interesting first peak section, nice trey and page back and forth. The trey noodles during the rhythm hits section are fairly unique. The page-monster movement once this settles down is kinda quirky and cool – sounds like Trey was tempted to move to loop / drumkit land but never quite made it over. Always love me a good Kung and the launch back into Tweezer with the terrifying fishman screams has a great energy. Nice stuck in the mud slowdown at the end – I always love when Tweezer ends like this.

    We’ve come a long way with the jamming since 1995, but this is a pretty cool step in that evolution.

    Hearing the word “tweezerfest” will always make me think of the 5/7/94 bomb factory. If there’s anyone left in the world who hasn’t heard that masterpiece, a sea change in phish’s sound and evolution, a moment of eternal breakthrough. Please, go listen as soon as you possibly can.

  17. Jtran Says:

    Great write up today Miner. Didn’t catch it the first time around, appreciate it more now then I would’ve then.

    Thanks for the Bisco torrent as well (for those that didn’t catch it, last page of last night’s comments…2 recent shows, SBD FLAC)

  18. Kurt Says:

    I also get slack from my friends when talking about how indoor shows are better/more intense, love this write-up, ck5 comes to life and those bass bombs just explode, first show was at the crown, whoofth, cant wait for charleston

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:


    so, I had this dream last night where I was checking out DMB setlists and they had played a four song set which included four 30+ minute versions of songs. guess my phish desires are getting clouded by other discussions of late.


    two very cool charts

  20. Lumpyhead Says:

    Charleston is going to be my first indoor.

    Couldn’t have asked for a more encouraging post, Miner.

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Piling layers of clothing onto a seat, one prepared for the fire.

    this line reminds me of so many show experiences. you’d be out in the cold, cold, cold, cold, cold and then the heat of the venue would hit you like that wave that spills out when you open up an oven. then everybody in your crew would pile their coats, sweaters, etc. onto one seat as everyone shed the layers they had needed only a few minutes before. plus that heat wave would sometimes unleash in full whatever it was you had ingested, bringing the night to a new level which would only get better as the boys hit the stage. good times.

  22. Kurt Says:

    oooh^ as far as the meditation goes, didnt really do any of that til the 5 years dry spell, but for a high school convocation they brought a hypnotise (sp?) in and i got to participate. while on stage, and high from bane cookies, he told a group of us that on the count of three we would stand up and balarena dance in front of our entire school, i thought no way ill just sit/sleep here in this state, on the count of three i was pirowetting all over the stage tip toeing and arms arched overhead, crazy mental shit i didnt know existed, left school at lunch time to head to cinci (2-21-03) what a day

  23. c0wfunk Says:

    dig the charts – a lot of beers I don’t know there. I like the “mack” and “daddy” section of the bottom left of the rap chart

  24. Dr. Pronoia Says:

    yeah Cushion, I’d like to read that. Can you post a link?

  25. c0wfunk Says:

    I always find meditation a lot more effective when fully entrained on a nice morning dew or harry hood. Takes me 10-15 minutes to get where 60 min of silent meditation goes.

« Previous12345678...3031Next »

Leave a Reply