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

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767 Responses to “The Rhythms of Nature – Revisted”

  1. BrandonKayda Says:

    Hey Silly!

    How have you been doing? How’s school going (it started up a while back if I remember correctly)

  2. oldskool Says:

    Dear 6 pound 8 ounce baby Jesus

  3. SillyWilly Says:


    Johnny Miller would probably think he can break it and then sign a major broadcasting deal just so he could talk about setting course records everyday of his life.

    “Remember when I was at Oakmont…”

    Well, at Oakmont I…”

  4. SillyWilly Says:

    Howdy, BK!

    Im good.

    Mostly hungry.

    Lawschool makes me hungry.

    How are you man?

  5. BrandonKayda Says:

    I’m doing good – been writing new compositions for my music theory class that I think have turned out nicely. School has been going well, really enjoying history class/music theory/chemistry (teacher always brings up a bunch of philosophical quips in there – interesting)

    Excited about this weekend. I’m seeing a musical with a bunch of people, 3 of which I have never met before, and one of those 3 listens to Phish – which is awesome!

    I hope you’re doing well – good luck with school

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    I like to think of Jesus as a mischievous badger.

  7. Selector J Says:

    re: ACL

    ACL has two things going for it, in my view.

    1) It’s a 2 hour set in the year 2010. Gives them plenty of time to get settled in and then maybe take a few really deep.

    2) Haterz. Not surprisingly, they are getting absolutely no love from ACL people. The local media hypesters have just flat out ignored them. Not even patchouli jokes! I read an “writers’ recs for ACL” article the other day and of the 4 people, 3 recommended going to see The Strokes at that time and the other 1 just skipped the timeslot all together.

    The media hypesters are one thing, but there is also a ‘Personalized Schedule’ feature on the ACL website where you pick which bands you’re going to and then it tallies up everyone’s total. (Just hover here to see totals.) Phish is getting embarrassed. They’re a headliner and they’re running 15th in total ‘votes,’ neck and neck with the likes of afternoon sets with Pete Yorn and Blues Traveler. The Strokes have twice as many votes (14K to 7K).

    Haterz are a good thing here. The majority of the smallish crowd will be phanners since all the college kids will be reliving middle school with The Strokes and a good chunk of the yuppies will pack it in and beat the traffic since no one told them to stay for Phish. Hopefully, this also leads to Phish playing with a Ray Lewis-like chip on their shoulder…

    That said, it all hinges on Miner NOT showing up. 😉

  8. punkmug Says:

    lurker Punkmug checking in.

    I just heard 12/16/95 Lake Placid Mike’s>Simple>Weekapuag for the first time. wow. :::serious freaking goosebumps:::

    Carry on.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    Hallucinogen / Shpongle / Infected Mushroom playing NYC on NYE!

    Rock the Phish show > head over Hammerstein for the Hallucinogen set.

    I like the plan.

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    yeah, not gonna pay the money for a 2 hour set in Texas. I hear the festival is absolute misery / custerfuck unless you have VIP pass on top of it all…

    I’ll meet y’all in Colorado.

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    that being said. I have 3-Day passes to offload if anyone needs em…

  12. Mr. Completely Says:

    it’s like Miner’s own personal version of heaven

    you might want to snag that lottery ticket you’ve had your eye on today

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    LOL I’m sure you’ll have noooooo trouble unloading them after that sales pitch you just laid down

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    plus, I think they are streaming the show from what i hear…

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    lol @ C… yeah, i figure if Selector has some peeps in TX that needs em….

  16. plord Says:

    Tanuki Jesus. Love it.

    Who’s read Robbins’ _Villa Incognito_?

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    religion is just an excuse to oppress, persecute and kill and feel good about it for the leaders.

    for the people its just something to believe in, because they need it to feel good.

    Religion is used to feel good.

    I use “Harry Hood” instead.

  18. Lycanthropist Says:

    I have Plord

    one of his funniest

  19. BrandonKayda Says:

    I have not read Villa Incognito, but I have read Jitterbug Perfume and I loved it. Incredible, perspective-changing book.

    I am currently reading Skinny Legs and All by Robbins, but stopped in the middle and now I’m lost llfa. Gotta go backwards down the chapter index.

  20. Selector J Says:

    No Miner? 3 things going for it!
    Sorry to hear you won’t make it, though. Was hoping to look for your Kobes at The Parish after party with Conspirator and Archnemesis… Next time.

    “I hear the festival is absolute misery / custerfuck unless you have VIP pass on top of it all…”

    It is.

  21. Lycanthropist Says:


    just finish that book already!


  22. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    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.

    ^ That, my friend, still amounts to work.

  23. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    I thought religions were more about who has the better invisible friends.

  24. BrandonKayda Says:


    I really do – I’ll get on that right after I read a short story my friend sent me to read – Genesis and Catastrophie by Roald Dahl.

  25. BrandonKayda Says:

    In George Carlin’s (RIP) words:

    “Religion convinced the world that there’s an invisible man in the sky who watches everything you do. And there’s 10 things he doesn’t want you to do or else you’ll to to a burning place with a lake of fire until the end of eternity. But he loves you! …And he needs money! He’s all powerful, but he can’t handle money!”

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