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. garretc Says:

    I wouldn’t say we lose, maybe just, DNP perhaps?

    Cause it’s not a win, but we’re on the west coast, it can’t really be a loss!

  2. sumodie Says:

    I may finally catch Further at one of their final stops, Worcester MA on 11/19

    Or I could still be floating high from Phish -we’ll see…

    Really hoping that 12/28-29 Phish in Worcester rumor pans out

  3. garretc Says:

    Ah, word. I guess I misread the vies. Yeah, Russo is fucking awesome to watch back there! That show makes two in a row right at the front, and it’s hard not to keep focusing in on him back there… He’s like an octopus or something! It’s always really funny when he spots his cymbal crashes by moving his whole body in time with the music, just to get his head turned a couple degrees… (Note: that last sentence may not make sense if you don’t know what I’m talking about…)

  4. Mr. Completely Says:

    places like Reed that own the bandwidth can set whatever policy they like re: torrenting. it’s not just the legality – torrents use a shitload of bandwidth

  5. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Who cares about safety precautions in an Anatomy lab? Not this guy, but I should probably study them anyways.


  6. garretc Says:

    @Mr. C

    Yeah, that totally makes sense. Luckily I apparently haven’t been blocked, as it suddenly started working again… But we’ll see if I’m actually pushing my luck or not…

  7. Mr. Completely Says:

    i’d say keep it 100% legal for at least a month and see if anyone says anything @garretc

  8. sumodie Says:

    as Miner said earlier…

    Infected Mushroom, Shpongle, & Hallucinogen at NYC’s Hammerstein on NYE


  9. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Hammerstein is literally across the street from MSG on the 8th avenue side.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    ok some listening I did today clinches it

    next time I have like 1 or 2 songs to sell some random rock fan (not already into improv oriented music, I mean) on Phish, I’m going straight to Fall 1995.

    straight swaggered-out shred-bombing mindfuckery

  11. sumodie Says:

    Hallucinogen over by 5am on NYE?

    I’ve learned that many a NYC club says it closes at 5am but in reality often stays open till 9-10am or later

  12. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Which shows or tunes Mr.C

    I actually just started the 12/7 Split Open ironically enough. 17 minutes of meltage.

  13. Mr.Palmer Says:

    12.7.95 that is, of course.

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

    10.21 and 12.15 sbds

    I’ve spun them both before but not in awhile

  15. dognamedwilson Says:

    Just started 11.06.96 for the first time

    SOAM opener

    Here we go….

    :mr green:

  16. Mr. Completely Says:

    12.14 I mean

    big Melt in that show too

  17. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Watching Jon Stewart on Bill O’Reilly is entertaining.

  18. bdognamedwilson Says:

    Dammit. Emoticon Fail.





    And shit like that

  19. jdub Says:

    Just successfully DLed my first torrent and am converting the flac as I type. It was pretty easy as everyone says. But I still don’t have a clue regarding all the other stuff related to torrenting. In due time I suppose.

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    Heyall – Sure there must be some old school Ninja Tune heads on here for sure. They just released their super XX box set and in honor of it King Cannibal did a big mix for them that is ill. Covers so many genre’s of music and tunes, really heavy and contemporary sounding too. Linky to it above.

    Ninja Tune were so crucial in the day, have not followed them as much lately, but they always had some big tunes about and their finger on the pulse. I was always more of a Warp/Planet Mu/Mo Wax kinda fellow myself, but love me some Ninja from time to time.

  21. Mr.Palmer Says:

    12.14 is Stashteca? Two sick shows. Of the handful of videos i have, both of those are included. Love the Hood from the Nebraska show.

  22. yematt Says:

    Hey BB – I’ve mentioned this before but I have been working on a multi themed mash up of interweaving some my favorite phish jams. The list of segments I pulled is somewhat long, but a lot of them vary in length. I’m still tweaking parts and swapping some out but I just drafted my first copy if anyone wants to take a listen:

    It’s about 50 mis long. and didn’t get put a few of my other favorites but i’m still trying to work them in.

  23. Drew Says:

    tweezers all week? hell yeahhhhhhhhhh.

  24. sumodie Says:

    @jdub: congrats on successfully torrenting

    make sure to ask Santa for a new hard drive 8)

  25. angryjoggerz Says:


    My new mix, a retrospective of 20 years of all things Ninja Tune is released November 16th, but for those of you with Ninja XX boxset (pictured below) it can be downloaded right NOW using the codes provided in your packaging. I’m very happy to hear all the feedback on it has been more than positive so far, as this approach to mixing isn’t to everyones taste.

    “This mix was constructed on planes, trains, hotel rooms and in the studio throughout the months May, June, July using vinyl, CDs, Wavs and a DAT in Ableton Live and Logic.

    A suitably diverse number of locations, formats and tools for a diverse label like Ninja Tune. A label that spans two thirds of my life, from putting DJ Vadim records on my christmas list (Santa decided to go with Dr Octagon – Instrumentalyst instead) to being turned away from a sold-out show to celebrate the tenth Ninja birthday, i’ve truly grown up to the sounds of this label’s catalogue.

    Ninja’s history being so entwined with my own only makes a project like this harder. An ignorant person may not feel guilty about leaving out something from Bogus Order’s Zen Breaks whose record was used for the static sound of needle hitting vinyl that appears a few times in this mix or for leaving out Drome. That problem is then compounded by the next – everyone knows the classics – Timber, Witness, Dark Lady… they’ve been on countless mixes before, but they need to be in here.. perhaps.. perhaps…. perhaps the way out is to get creative with these, to put a new spin on them. Ninja has a rich tradition of getting creative behind the turntables, from Coldcut’s groundbreaking ‘ 70 Minutes Of Madness’ Journeys By DJ mix to the diverse Solid Steel series, so why not try and up the ante a little?

    So three months and a little over 250 tracks later I arrive at 74 minutes of music mixed, blended, sliced, diced, torn up and finally rendered to audio. A lot of classics, personal favourites, some slept on and a few exclusive acapellas and instrumentals care of the Ninja family. Sure there are some classics left off – The Crow immediately springs to mind, but as it stands this is The Way Of The Ninja’, not only a Ninja Tune retrospective but the sound of my last 20 years.”

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