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. lastwaltzer Says:


    I’m having trouble seeing how that would be possible. Did they already own land? No bills to pay? Did they farm all they’re own food?

  2. lastwaltzer Says:

    and by they’re I’m meant their, obviously……

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    for two great recent biscuit shows in FLAC check the end of yesterdays coimments. BB exclusive..

  4. bingosBrother Says:

    What is this shit in my pocket? Here, you have it.

    8/1/98 was a very special show for me.

  5. SillyWilly Says:

    I don’t know why I thought of this but I recall reading about this guy who made a living off making sketches of dollar bills.

    He kept getting charged with counterfeiting and his response was this is art and no DA would follow through.

    Thought it was a fascinating study in art theory.

    People would pay him like 10 bucks for a picture of a dollar bill.

    It was cool and interesting for the statement he was making on the arbitrariness of money.

  6. lastwaltzer Says:

    Anybody heard “Moss” yet? looks like it leaked yesterday.

  7. joemeg Says:

    Silly, it probably will take a couple of days. My connection is cable, but here in rural Maine even cable is not the fastest.

  8. Guyute711 Says:

    Dammit Lycan why did you have to mention TTE now we are doomed.

  9. kayatosh Says:

    please friends, stream this Sailing Shoes (the last track) by drew emmitt. sooo sloow and sweet

  10. SillyWilly Says:

    No worries. You’re doing me the favor! Thanks for telling me, Joemeg.

    and thanks for doing this.

    this is really cool of you and Im very grateful.

  11. El Duderino Says:

    Is Drew Emmit doing the “Sailin’ Shoes” ala Sam Bush???

  12. kayatosh Says:

    check it, el dude. you will likey. drew’s voice is truly $$$.

    so much catchin up to do here. been dicking around w/ TV and convos with my man and my mom.

    first day back. shattered, scattered. like the stones song

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    barter mostly…for consumables…they were living in the Florida Keys, basically camping. Doing a little guerrilla agriculture and bartering the crop; decent herb was at a premium in FL back then. Gathering food themselves – fruit from trees, spear diving for fish and rock lobsters.

    of course this is the same guy who saw the ‘best Morning Dew of his life’ at a show where the song was not, technically, actually performed at all. So it’s possible he hallucinated the whole thing, but it sounded plausible when he told the story

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @el dude
    yes, but a much gooeier version that the bluegrass ripper sammy does

  15. lastwaltzer Says:

    “of course this is the same guy who saw the ‘best Morning Dew of his life’ at a show where the song was not, technically, actually performed at all. So it’s possible he hallucinated the whole thing, but it sounded plausible when he told the story”Mr.C

    so what your telling me is this guy is completely unreliable 🙂

    I could see it up to a point and I’m sure there are people out there doing it just seems a little unlikely. Anyone who had done it and not documented and then turned said documents into a book is a fool (IMO).

  16. sumodie Says:

    my torrents are paused -back on late afternoon. i tend to torrent all nite, sporadically in daytime

  17. c0wfunk Says:

    always love a good sailin shoes. There’s so many gems off robert palmer’s first album.

    setbreak of 8/1/98 now 🙂 looking forward to revisiting the 2001>magilla>2001 in a bit

  18. El Duderino Says:

    this version is a cross between Lowell and Robert IMO.
    too slow almost

  19. c0wfunk Says:

    nicetweezer too iirc in the spirit of tweezerfest week

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I think I shall be revisiting the Seven BeGhost from Albany last fall this afternoon. yes, that should do nicely.

  21. Mr. Completely Says:

    oh come on @waltzer

    actually it is not that uncommon a story among the rainbow clans, not at all

    the rainbow family has had an alternate infrastructure in place for decades now, once you know people it is very easy to live totally off the grid

    i was kind of downplaying it in my reply but I’m actually quite sure they really did it, I doubt it was even all that hard for them

    and writing a book about it is the kind of thing that someone would do who cares about money, which he obviously doesn’t. it wasn’t a stunt or even something I think they really thought through ahead of time

    ever since semi-rejoining society his whole life has been dedicated to helping autistic children, he runs a very successful nonprofit for that purpose and still lives a life of intentional near-poverty

    he just doesn’t give a crap about owning things

  22. Mr. Completely Says:

    living without money is one of the core values of the rainbow family, such as they exist

    it’s acknowledged as being difficult, and ‘green energy’ is needed to accomplish certain things, but separating yourself from money for at least a short while is seen as a very positive step you can take towards realizing freedom

  23. SillyWilly Says:

    One of my goals in life is to live in intentional near poverty.

    Not like I am now, haha (law school)

    I think it’d be cool to make decent money doing something worthwhile, but to give it all away.

    as long as Im not hurting a wife or my parents or sister or something.

    I just want to see if I could really do it. Could I really resist the money if it was available?

  24. sumodie Says:

    a retro comment of mine, but i dont think much about indoor vs. outdoor phish

    my axis of excitement revolves around good venues/bad venues

    amused that this convo has arisen again, but mostly im psyched cause it means theres fresh phish a comin

    cant wait!

  25. joemeg Says:

    I spent almost a week on a rainbow farm in 95, after phish Halloween and before the next show in Atlanta. And I can definitely see how someone could live for 18 months without touching money.

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