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”

  1. Aquaman Says:

    I was out for a while today…can someone re post the source code?

    If it’s anything like the tech discussion of the broken watch it’s waaaaaay in my wheel house.

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    jesus would make a sweet ninja

    excellent call

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ok, so if any of you haven’t read Christopher Moore’s book Lamb, please go get it. Great takes on the whole religion thing with a large dose of humor dolloped right on top.

    now I’m going to have the King Missile song “Jesus Was Way Cool” running through my head all night.

    Jesus was way cool
    Everybody liked Jesus
    Everybody wanted to hang out with him
    Anything he wanted to do, he did
    He turned water into wine
    And if he wanted to
    He could have turned wheat into marijuana
    Or sugar into cocaine
    Or vitamin pills into amphetamines

    He walked on the water
    And swam on the land
    He would tell these stories
    And people would listen
    He was really cool

    If you were blind or lame
    You just went to Jesus
    And he would put his hands on you
    And you would be healed
    That’s so cool

    He could’ve played guitar better than Hendrix
    He could’ve told the future
    He could’ve baked the most delicious cake in the world
    He could’ve scored more goals than Wayne Gretzky
    He could’ve danced better than Barishnikov
    Jesus could have been funnier than any comedian you can think of
    Jesus was way cool

    He told people to eat his body and drink his blood
    That’s so cool
    Jesus was so cool
    But then some people got jealous of how cool he was
    So they killed him
    But then he rose from the dead
    He rose from the dead, danced around
    Then went up to heaven
    I mean, that’s so cool
    Jesus was way cool

    No wonder there are so many Christians

  4. Aquaman Says:


    GA all the way.

    I had to explain to someone recently…No dude, GA IS the upgrade.

    He didn’t get it,.

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    man, my html-ing has been horrid lately. apologies for the rampant italics above.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    see if this posts…just nerd humor

    script type=”text/javascript”}
    if (!(typeof worldHasEnded == “undefined”)) {
    } else {

    and hidden in comment tags

    “if the lhc actually destroys the earth & this page isn’t yet updated
    please email to receive a full refund”

  7. jdub Says:

    Thoughtful post BK, God is an enigma for sure. I find it curious how God brings out good and evil in people. But that only makes sense since there is no good without evil. People who are so sure of the explicit goodness of their actions (and inherent evilness of others) are also going to express a disturbing darkness in their ignorance.

  8. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    the video is much better than just reading the lyrics

  9. Billy88 Says:


    This is going to be the toughest Ryder cup for the US…….ever. Tiger has never really been himself at the Ryder and had far from a great record in either president cups or ryder cups. Phil…..not a good year. I think that Zach is the best of the four picks. I see Furyk, Kuchar, and Stricker as the anchors.

  10. Aquaman Says:


    Laterz, my mind blowing BB buddy’s.

    Daycare calling…..


  11. jdub Says:

    T3, that is hilarious. And I haven’t seen the video yet. Comedians are so cool.

    If it’s alright with JC it’s alright with me.

  12. Aquaman Says:

    One last…….


    All hail Phish, ‘Bane and golf.

    And if you can combine all three, more power!

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    later, Aqua

  14. P.S.H.S. Says:

    I can picture Jesus from the Family Guy as a ninja. He’d still hav his public access show, just with a katana

  15. BrandonKayda Says:

    I agree @Jdub – Strange how people can act under the influence of a God.

  16. oldskool Says:

    I like to picture Jesus in a tuxedo t-shirt 😉

  17. Mr. Completely Says:

    great song lyric, A+

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    a ninja in a tuxedo shirt would be sweet too

    managing a large site go-live from home without VPN access but with a fever ain’t the best way to spend a day, I have to admit

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    yay! that’s two A+’s for me today from mRc! I’m giving myself a sticker

  20. Brimley Says:

    Everyone listen to 09/22/00 today in honor of the greatest 2000 show no one talks about…. First rate from DWD opener > Meatstick-alope finish…

  21. jdub Says:

    would Buddha stand a chance against JC in a cage match?

  22. Emperor Palpatine Says:

    I like my Jesus as Baby Jesus.

  23. P.S.H.S. Says:

    If the Ryder Cup was being played in the US, we would slaughter. Links golf bothers me, but it is a new course, the 2010, we have a chance. We also have the best player in the world (for now) Nh born and raised Matt Kuchar!

  24. SillyWilly Says:

    I just had one of the most interesting thoughts I’ve had today….

    Why do we love

    Because we can re-live tours! Of course, there’s the collecting thing and just sharing music, but I think there’s way more than that.

    I mean, think about it!, 10 years ago is long enough for most people on that tour not to remember too many details.

    The appeal of the Project 94 is that we can do it all again! or at least one of them

    I gotta keep downloading…

  25. P.S.H.S. Says:

    ^kuchar holds the course record at the place I work, Owls Nest GC, a 63. The only person capable of breaking it is probably Kuchar

Leave a Reply