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. plord Says:

    Ok damn, I wasn’t planning on being in NYC but that may be too much to resist. and I can crash with my brother in law in midtown. Completely doable.

    Uh, if I can score tix to both shows.

    and get the wife’s approval for a third show run in one year.

  2. Selector J Says:

    @ Miner
    Gotcha. I’ll put the word out for those 3-days.

  3. plord Says:

    Speaking of, _Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates_ is far and away my favorite Robbin’s book, if only for the excessively high number of “I can’t believe he went there/they let him publish this” moments it visits across the course of 3 continents and a thousand snippets of timeless prose.

    “People of zee wurl…relax!”

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    @plord tix for hallucinogen go onsale friday at 12 eastern via TM

    @Selector – thanks buddy. OBO

  5. Mr.palmer Says:

    NYE gonna be steamed? Video and audio? Sweetness. Will take the sting away if being only 20 miles away and not attending. Hope those 1/1/11 & 1/2/11 rumors are true as well.

  6. jdub Says:

    Miner you must be pinching yourself. You’ll be working 9 to 5 on News Year.

    I think I might indulge myself, I just happen to be doing New Years with the friend that distracted me from Phish in the late 90s because he was hardcore raver. A date with Lucy might be in order.

  7. Stupendous a.k.a The Beasel Says:


    just realized that VLC plays flac files flawlessly w/o any conversion needed.

    If u knew disregard if ya didnt know well now you know…

    ~carry on

  8. Jtran Says:


    I might have missed it, but I read that ACL will be streaming, not NYE

  9. Jtran Says:


    Mind linking me to the Hallucinogen NYE info?

  10. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Jtran- your probably right, i was skimming through comments real fast.

  11. Oldskool Says:

    Anyone else surprised that Dry Goods charges immediately for Coral Sky pre-orders? I am used to an authorization and then not a charge/settlement until the product actually ships. I thought it is illegal to settle money for an order without fulfilling.

  12. Mr.palmer Says:

    Officially requesting a Ten Tweezers for Friday this week.

    Miner’s favorites , spanning all eras.

  13. BingosBrother Says:

    “Speaking of, _Fierce Invalids Home From Hot Climates_ is far and away my favorite Robbin’s book”

    +1 friend. My all time favorite book.

  14. Lycanthropist Says:

    hmm I would have to say Jitterbug Perfume is mine

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    looking for info about the acl stream I stumbled upon this ad for an ACL android / iphone app. Looks like our favorite foursome featured there on the right isn’t it?

    This also gives me the opportunity to talk about my eternal love for my new Droid X.. What an absolute dream this thing is.

  16. Rivertrance Says:

    I’m sure most of you are going to Atlantic City but will any of you be attending Hulaween? Lurker and first time poster wondering if there are any SCI fans besides Cowfunk that post on the BB. I’m flying out to Colorado for the benefit myself. Can’t get in to see Phish but seeing all that bluegrass should be stellar.

  17. c0wfunk Says:

    I’ll have to pile on for fierce invalids. Big switters fan I am.

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    “hallucinogen party goes til 5 am in nyc…looks like this will work quite well ”

    funny, that doesn’t even need to be the name of a musical group or act for it to be true that night

    Traveler books sound interesting

  19. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Still can’t access bt.etree- anyone else having this problem? Thanks

  20. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Another Roadside is TR’s masterpiece IMO. #2- Fierce Invalids.

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    I like to picture Jesus as a figure skater. He wears like a white outfit, and He does interpretive ice dances of my life’s journey.

  22. joemeg Says:

    bt.etree came back for me today. It came back for a lot of people yesterday. I had read somewhere that is depends on your ISP whether or no it is back for you yet. I’m guessing your get it back soon.

  23. BingosBrother Says:

    Another Roadside is very pertinent to todays discussion. You wanna talk about faith and religion, thats a good book to read.

  24. vegas wolfmans Says:

    I like to think of Jesus as a mischievous badger.

  25. Mr.Miner Says:

    Agreed that roadside attraction is a BEAST- and tr’s first I believe…confirmation? (Pun intended)

    @C that party goes well into the next day 🙂

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