Archive for September, 2008

Maybe In March

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 30, 2008 by Mr.Miner

When will the next show be? How many on the tour?  Where will they play?  Are they going international?  The story goes on an on.  Rumors are an ever-present part of the Phish landscape; they exist because we want them to.  Everyone wants to guess, refute, and predict just where the next cosmic conference will be.  With so-called reliable sources ranging from “a friend who knows Page’s brother” to  “someone in the music industry,” everyone gets their word from someone who “knows.”  As rumored dates come and go, your expectations rise and fall as well, so what have “people” have been saying?

photo - Danny Clinch

photo - Danny Clinch

Maybe in March.  Maybe in the summer.  Maybe in March in Europe.  I have heard all of those from different people within the last little bit.  In March they have venues booked, so they say.  Hampton, MSG, Philly, and Boston?  Maybe so, maybe not.  Phish has been known to book venues, just in case, and let the dates sail on by. As weird as Europe sounds, it would make sense that the band would want to play some smaller scale “warm- up” shows before stepping on stage in a rowdy arena.  Their initial comeback into four high key arena gigs didn’t work out so well. Maybe so, Maybe not.  They’ll just wait until summer, and practice a lot.  Make a new album and come out loaded with new material.  Maybe so, maybe not.

It’s all just words until we read it on Phish.com, but it is always fun to speculate.  Just another area where Phish imitates life, rumors are everywhere.  Pervading all areas of celebrity and entertainment, politics and sports, circles of friends and extended families, rumors live everywhere we turn.  But when it comes to Phish, rumors get the heart pacing a bit faster than the latest US Weekly, and create that feeling in your stomach when you really think that they may be true.  Announcements could come at any time, especially if they are playing in March.  Who knows?  And that is the fun of this all.  Except for the insiders, everyone is grasping for the same knowledge, like Colonel Forbin looking for The Book.  As Bob Marley once sang, “Oh, time will tell.”

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY: 6.11.94 Red Rocks, CO SBD <LINK

One of the standout shows from a standout summer, this well circulated FM Broadcast soundboard source is quite crispy.  A setlist looking like it was written by a fan, the Phish came with no-nonsense on this evening.  A staple of every collection, this one is a must own.  Grab it now if you don’t have it!  (Also, I am uploading a remastered Nashville source, and will link it at the bottom.)

I: Wilson, Chalk Dust Torture, You Enjoy Myself, Rift, Down With Disease, It’s Ice, Tela, Stash

II: Also Sprach Zarathustra > Run Like an Antelope, Fluffhead, Scent of a Mule, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, Maze, Contact > Frankenstein

E: Suzy Greenberg

Last “Frankenstein”, 07-26-91

TIMES TURNS ELASTIC REMASTER 9.27.2008 <<LINK ACTIVE

This remaster, though I do not know how the original was altered, sound significantly more balanced in my opinion.  This is just the second “set”.

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Time Turns Elastic Download

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 29, 2008 by Mr.Miner
9.27.08 - Nashville

9.27.08 - Nashville

Trey and Orchestra Nashville 9.27.08 (whole show) <<LINK

TIME TURNS ELASTIC REMASTER <<LINK

I. “XL” J. Mark Scearce, “Divided Sky,” “Concertino” Don Hart, “Orient and Occident” Arvo Part, “Le Tombeau de Couperin (prelude)” Maurice Ravel

II. Times Turns Elastic

Movement I: Magnets and Revolutions, Ruby Shaded Sea

Movement II: Submarine, In Long Lines, Violet, Violet, Summer Sound Shower, Splinters of Hail, Funnels, Carousel


In and Out of Focus

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 29, 2008 by Mr.Miner

In and out of focus, time turns elastic

In and out of focus…

In and out of focus, time turns…

Music exists as a medium that mirrors the human experience; a way to evoke wordless feelings, a way to talk when language can no longer describe.  In the truest sense, this was the essence of Trey’s orchestral opus, Time Turns Elastic. Debuted in Nashville’s historic Ryman Auditorium on Saturday night, Trey’s autobiographical piece narrated the story of his past few years, while obliterating traditional boundaries of classical music.  Standing humbly, center stage with his Languedoc, Trey wove melodic and lyrical tales of his life within the rich musical tapestry of an avant garde orchestra.  Very much a part of the orchestra’s palate, rather than playing on top of it, this performance focused on the music as a work rather than someone playing guitar.

photo - Bill Kucinski

photo - Bill Kucinski

With an elegant program specifically designed around Times Turns Elastic, Orchestra Nashville played a first set of relevant orchestral pieces.  Opening with an introductory piece without Trey, director Paul Gambill, then then welcomed him to the stage for a breathtaking rendition of Divided Sky.  Playing in an incredibly delicate and understated fashion, he worked his way through the Phish classic that was presented as a straight piece of the program with no specific introduction.  He then sat in as part of “Concertino,” with a with group of two mandolin players, and played acoustic guitar while sitting in the back row as part of the orchestra- one of the most ego-less things Trey has ever done on stage.  The set featured two more symphonic pieces, the last, “Le Tombeau de Couperin,” a Ravel piece that greatly inspired Trey and influenced the opening movement of Time Turns Elastic, as Gambill explained. Yet, the evening was focused on the music after intermission.

Surprisingly subtle, and distinctly non-Phishy, Trey delicately played through the debut of his piece with a clear sense of deep emotion.  Yet, as we are accustomed to hearing Trey speak to us through his cosmic guitar fury, this time he had over 25 people to help him share his thoughts.  This changed the dynamic of the concert, a story was told collectively as opposed to his upcoming tour, which represents more of a monologue.  As life, Time Turns Elastic contained a distinct ebb and a flow to its emotional color, moving through playful and pensive, uplifting and somber segments.  Comprised of two movements, the first instrumental, and the second, complete with whimsical poetic verses, this performance was one of the most unique nights of Trey’s musical journey.  As lyrical segments emerged, lending a Broadway-eque feel, Trey sang delicately, using as his voice as yet another instrument to add to the symphonic whole; an instrument, interestingly enough, often more prominent than his guitar.  Staring into his magical space above, Trey shared his words in a gentler way, greatly divergent from his arena-rock norm.  Taking a complete 180 degree turn from a normal Trey-based event, the spotlight was less focused on him than ever, despite his stage positioning.

photo - Bill Kucinski

photo - Bill Kucinski

In and out of focus, time turns elastic

In and out of focus…

In and out of focus, time turns…

Sounding like the musical backdrop to a dream, Trey provided heartfelt accents and melodies to the music, as his notes seemed to float on the orchestra’s musical ocean, navigating the forty minute piece.  The second, and far longer movement, saw Trey layering his self-reflective symbolic poetry over the music, each part having its own name, though there was no break in the music.  Picking up momentum during the last segment, “Carousel,” Trey’s guitar became far more prominent and pronounced as the piece built to its final peak.

In and out of focus, time turns elastic

In and out of focus…

In and out of focus, time turns…

photo - Bill Kucinski

photo - Bill Kucinski

Though poetry can be interpreted in countless ways, being someone who wholeheartedly believes that Trey, despite his repertoire of side projects, is truly all about Phish, this is my take.  This consistent reprise of this verse, and accompanying melody, throughout the movement brought out the meaning of the tale.  From the time around Phish ended, he has moved in and out of focus, grappling with the various realities that have confronted him.  Yet, with every part of unfocused life will inevitably come the counterpart of living in a directed and intuitive way.  We become lost and then find ourselves again, and Trey has found himself again.  Time is what we make of it, often stretched and pulled to extremes, as life’s challenges and successes bring us on the universal roller coaster.  Through these times, he never lost sight of his heart; he never lost sight of Phish.

And when its time, the landslide

will free what froze inside

While all around the rocks collide

You finally see the lines

That point toward the light that

never dies

photo - Bill Kucinski

photo - Bill Kucinski

The landslide has come.  Time is thawing the frozen part of Trey’s life, the part that has always made him the happiest.  As he pondered his future throughout the past years, the light and hope of Phish, that would bring him back into focus once again, never died.  Like the sun of your soul, while it can get shaded, it can never be extinguished.  As we all anticipate the future of Phish, the future of our own musical journies, we can feel assured that Trey is right there with us and just as excited as we are.

And this life, it’s bending and

swelling around me

Turning and peeling into the

mist around me

And the winds all rising in the west

around me

And the carousel turns into

breath around me

In and out of focus, time turns

elastic

Time turns….

The final lyric of the piece suggests hope- hope that life again will turn another page and the winds will lift us back into the sky.  Breathing life into a once lifeless force, hope is bringing Phish back again.  Time turns; we turn too.  The light never dies.

TIME TURNS ELASTIC CLIPS

Clip #2

Clip # 3 (Unembeddable)

DIVIDED SKY

Trey @ Nashville FLACs

Weekend Nuggets

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 27, 2008 by Mr.Miner

DOWNLOAD OF THE WEEKEND:

8.9.93 The Masonic Temple, Toronto, ON SBD

Masonic Temple - Toronto

Masonic Temple - Toronto

Back by popular demand, another performance during Phish’s hallowed month of August 1993. Filled with top notch musical communication and a set list that is purely delightful, this one is sure to put a smile on your face. Enjoy this ear candy in crisp soundboard fashion!  With must hear versions of classics, Tweezer and YEM, some rarities, and a Dude of Life appearance, this show from north of the border is a great snapshot of one of the best-ever months of Phish.

1: Chalkdust Torture > Who Knows* > Chalkdust Torture, Mound, Fee > Split Open and Melt > Glide > Nellie Cane > Divided Sky, Memories, The Squirming Coil

2: Dinner and a Movie > Tweezer > Tela > My Friend My Friend, My Mind’s Got a Mind of its Own, You Enjoy Myself > Smoke on the Water > You Enjoy Myself**, Contact, Crimes of the Mind#

E: Rocky Top

*First time played. **With “Psycho Killer” parts. #With the Dude of Life.

VIDEOS OF THE WEEKEND:

10.31.94 Run Like An Antelope – Glens Falls, NY

4.4.98 Hood jam – Providence, RI

The Fun In Phish

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on September 26, 2008 by Mr.Miner

For all of the psychedelic madness and insanely heavy music produced by Phish, the four band members never lost their sense of humor.  Possessing an incredible duality of serious musicianship and lyrical on-stage absurdity, they never took themselves too seriously.  Grounded in a humble perspective coming from over a decade of grassroots touring to make it, Phish never let their success get to their heads- at least not on stage or in public.  Always maintaining a certain gaiety to their shows, the band fostered a community feel of amusement and silliness around their entire scene.

Throughout their two decades of touring, these four loons from Vermont that started all this, somehow never lost their looniness.  Almost as silly as the day they began, Phish was always in it for a good time.  Can you believe that Fishman still ran around in a dress twenty years later?  That’s not an act- that’s in his blood.  From day one, Phish was about having fun.  From mushroom-induced Oh Kee Pah Ceremonies in college to antics, comical lyrics, and onstage banter throughout their career, a thread of pure unadulterated fun ran remained consistent.  Often worked right into the sinister mind-fucking, the humor of Phish always reminded you to not take yourself so seriously.

Examples of this spirit abounded.  Take the “secret language” back in 1992, when the band gave musical cues to the crowd to, literally, do something at that moment.  From yelling Homer Simpson’s “D’oh!” to falling down and pretending to die, these commands could provide subtle humor directly within the heat of the moment.   This language was woven through intros and jams throughout their career.  I remember being at Deer Creek once, and Trey gave the “fall down and die” signal.  After doing it, and getting up, I watched the uninformed peoples’ utter dismay and confusion at what just happened- it was pure comedy.  Trey described, and laughed, at this phenomenon in one of his language explanations in a ’92 show- it was like the band was getting us in on their jokes!  Collectively, we would mess with the people who were just coming to shows for the first few times.  Nothing mean, just fun.  Classic Phishiness.

Then you had Jon Fishman.  One of the most amazing drummers around, the guy pranced around in a dress and goggles for his twenty years, belting out songs that sounded as good as you or me in the shower.  With a career total of well over 100,000 stage laps ran, a Fishman song placed deep in the second set always provided comic relief to a show that was challenging your grip on reality.  If you were teetering, these interludes almost forced you to laugh with the sheer absurdity of the spectacle coming right after a huge jam.  After a while I grew tired of Fishman songs- I thought they shot musical momentum directly between the eyes- but the band never got sick of it!  Certainly providing laugh-out-loud humor for most all in attendance, Fishman continued hamming it up until the end.  At some point I gotta’ say, more power to him.

Then there were all the festivals, designed largely by the band themselves.  It was Phish’s idea to revolutionize the concert experience by hosting us for an entire weekend, and providing interactive entertaining activities for all,  covering the concert grounds.  They created those festivals in their own spirit; the same spirit in which they created their music, and shared that spirit with whoever wanted to come.  With such generosity, Phish was like the Salvation Army for Fun.  Anyone could come and take as much fun away as they wanted, no questions asked.  Not many bands are so proactive in providing entertainment and comedy for their fan base.  Usually, its just the good ol’ rock and roll.

Let’s not forget the Gamehendge mythology.  No, not the serious Grateful Dead-type mythology about muses, ladies with fans, and cryptical envelopments, but lizards, and multibeasts, Tela and Icculus.  Colonel Forbin stepped into another reality where he needed to help the lizards find a book of life’s secrets to restore order and seize power back from the evil King Wilson.  Read-Icculus!  Yes, we all know the story- but come on!  It’s second nature to us at this point, and we don’t even think twice when they play songs about such fairy tale magic, it’s just Phish.  But the very essence of Trey’s senior thesis is more silly, then sacred.  Not that there isn’t a moral to the story, but you understand.  The juxtaposition of such serious musical composition and childhood story-telling is what makes Gamehendge so unique, and in the end, so Phishy.

You also had the other songs, the ones written by Trey and Tom in their early years.  The songs, themselves, were fun, and often straight up ridiculous.  Think of the lyrics to these songs: Reba, Gumbo, YEM, Harry Hood, Contact, Run Like An Antelope, Cavern, Tweezer, David Bowie, Ghost, BBFCFM- I could go on.  Notice how almost all the songs I listed were significant jam vehicles, and the same juxtaposition of musical depth and lyrical humor emerges.  It was like Phish wanted to balance out their monster jams with some fun and comedy to provide a well-rounded experience.  It is certainly one part of why they appealed to so many people, and not just the niche fan bases of today’s “jam bands.”

Throughout the majestic and incredibly accomplished musical career of the band, the members of Phish kept it real.  Whether Mike was talking to fans in the parking lot, or Trey was telling jokes and making himself laugh on stage, Phish was always synonymous with fun.  Whether Page was serenading us about smelling colors and Fishman was imitating Prince or Syd Barrett, or the band performed a Rotation or Big Ball Jam, no show went by without some laughs.  Reflecting who the guys are as people and what their goals were when they got into this, the world they created was more fun than Mr. Wonka’s- it was candy for the mind.  Phish’s ability to reflect all aspects of the human experience within there hours was always astounding, and regardless of how deep the band dove on any given night, even when they brought you down the darkest alley, there was a Meatstick or a Mockingbird right around the corner.

==========

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY: 12.7.95 Niagara Falls, NY << LINK!

Not exactly a diamond in the rough, this one is a fan favorite from the classic month of December ’95. With a first set that had a great Slave and a then-rare Guyute, the set was full of classic Phish songs. Yet, as usual, the true psychedelia was left for set two. Opening with as nasty of a Split as you’ll ever hear, and with huge versions of Fog That Surrounds and Reba, the set was already great before ending with a fierce Mike’s> Weekapaug. If you don’t have this one, grab it now!  I’m off to Nashville to check out Trey’s new orchestral piece!

I: The Old Home Place, The Curtain-> AC/DC Bag, Demand, Rift, Slave to the Traffic Light, Guyute, Bouncing Around the Room, Possum, Hello My Baby

II: Split Open and Melt, Strange Design, Fog That Surrounds, Reba, Julius, Sleeping Monkey, Sparkle, Mike’s Song-> Weekapaug Groove*, Amazing Grace

E: Uncle Pen

*Unfinished, spiraling into a space jam (with digital delay loop)

Club Phish

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 25, 2008 by Mr.Miner
Blane

7.13.00 Nagoya - photo: Blane

By the time the late ’90s rolled around, Phish had become a massive entity and musical force of nature, whose live shows contained a large scale production.  No, there were no pyrotechnics, (except on 7.4.00), but the crisp sound and elaborate, other-worldly, lighting rig gave the shows a fantastical feel- something outside the realm of conventional reality.  Half the fun was being overwhelmed by the size of the music and the show, as Mike’s bass filled your chest, and Fishman provided your heartbeat.  The monstrosity of what happened on stage was mind-altering.  After seeing the band so many times in arena and amphitheatre settings, when Phish played small clubs, the experience took on a whole new feel.

No longer was Phish a mechanical monster opening its razor sharp jaws to the pavilion, but a ripping band on stage playing music.  It all seemed more intimate and real- the monstrosity was gone.  Instead of silhouettes in smoke and magical lights, you actually saw the faces of the band members and watched them communicate.  That massive production was scaled down into the size of your average concert, and for Phish, that changed the course of the evening.  Everyone in the room felt more connected in the same experience, unable to escape to the lawn or the corridors if the desire struck.  The focus on the visual candy that was Kuroda’s light show was absent, changing the majestic appearance, but often intensifying the music that showered the crowded floor from a much closer proximity.

6.9.00 On Air East - Tokyo

6.9.00 On Air East - Tokyo

Not only was there an alternate aesthetic to the experience, the music actually sounded different.  With far less space for the music to travel, the band often played more notes in their phrases.  Conversely, when playing on huge open-air festival systems, the music often slowed down to a crawl to allow the music to bellow forth and cover the extensive fields.  This phenomenon was often most translated through Mike’s playing.  Instead of playing his spacious wide open bombs that resonated through your imagination, he tended to play more complex melodic lines, keeping your ears alert as his glue held the bands diverse musical patterns together.  Although some counterexamples to this trend can be found in the initiation of the Summer ’97 funk in Europe, over the course of their career, this held true. (See Ghost video below for a great example of the “club style” that I am describing!) Moving the improvisation along a different course, some jams played in clubs you would never have heard at MSG or Hampton- they wouldn’t have translated.

Along with all of these experiential differences, there was also a distinct difference in the vibe of the crowd.  Usually taking place in an international country, or a special club like The Fillmore or Roseland, for which people gave an arm and a leg for a ticket, there existed an enhanced sense of mutual respect.  With only a few hundred to a few thousand people present for the music, tickets to these shows didn’t fall into the hands of the folks who stood around, distracted others, and talked during shows.  A more focused musical audience, especially in Japan, was one of the supreme perks of club and international Phish.  People weren’t there for the lot, or to sell drugs- people were there for Phish and Phish only- the vibe was pure.  Friendliness was contagious at these shows, as every person felt the same privilege to be in attendance; egos tended to fall by the wayside- “We’re all in this together, and we love to take a bath,” took on a whole new intimate meaning.

Instead of dispersing all over the land of the brave and free, after these international club shows, most fans would reunite at bars and nightclubs to carry on the festivities together; a sort of traveling party.  Often, band members would slip in, further shattering the barriers between the fans and band.  Americans mingling with Japanese and European heads using the international language of Phish as common ground; ’twas a beautiful thing.  Without the concern of police harassment due to overwhelming numbers of hippies, you could navigate the cities in your post-show euphoria without a care.  The world was your oyster- checking out places you’ve never been by day, and capping each evening with a hearty dose of Phish.  Is that not the perfect vacation?

In the grand spectrum of Phish experiences, the small club show was an irreplaceable gem that not all fans got to take part in.  Therefore, for those of you who haven’t seen a club Phish show or even heard much club-sized Phish, I have put together Miner’s Picks: Club Phish.  With seven hours of small-sized Phish highlights from 1997-2000, this sampling should give you a taste of what Phish does when contained in a smaller tank.  Enjoy!!

DOWNLOAD MINER’S PICKS: CLUB PHISH PT. 1 <<DOWNLOAD NOW!!

DOWNLOAD MINER’S PICKS: CLUB PHISH PT. 2 <<DOWNLOAD NOW!!

1. The Moma Dance 7.1.98 Den Gra Hal, Christiana, Copenhagen

2,3. Jam > Cities 6.20.97 Archa Theatre, Prague, CZ

4,5,6. Chalkdust > Ghost > Oblivious Fool 6.13.97 SFX Center, Dublin, IR

7. Tweezer 7.9.98 Zeleste, Barcelona, SP

8. Bathtub Gin 7.8.98 Zeleste, Barcelona, SP

9,10,11,12. Disease > Carini > Tatse > Disease 2.17.97 Paradiso, Amsterdam

13. YEM 6.9.00 On Air East, Tokyo, Japan

14,15,16. Antelope > Contact, Sand 6.13.00 Club Quattro, Nagoya, Japan

17,18,19. Stash > Ghost > Saw It Again 6.19.97 Arena, Vienna Austria

20. Free 7.6.97 Spiaggia di Rivoltella, Desenzano, Italy

21. Down With Disease 6.15.00 Big Cat, Osaka, Japan

22. Ghost 7.3.97 Serenadenhof, Nuremburg, GR

23. Wolfman’s Brother 6.24.97 La Laiterie, Strousbourg, FR

24. Ghost 7.2.98 Christiana, Copenhagen

25. Runaway Jim 6.16.00 Zepp, Osaka, Japan

26,27. Tweezer > 2001 7.1.98 Christiana, Copenhagen

28. YEM 7.2.98 Christiana, Copenhagen

Ghost jam 7.6.98 Lucerna, Prague, CZ

Free: 2.16.97 Warstesaal, Koln, Germany

========

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY: 11.11.98 Van Andel Arena, Grand Rapids, MI

Another show that flew somewhat under the radar in an amazing Fall tour of 1998, this show has a little bit of everything.  A ripping opener of Punch followed by a slow as molasses, Gumbo started the show with a bang.  But it’s all about the second set of this one.  Opening with a 25-minute ripping Halley’s Comet that explores some maniacal territory while also containing plenty of grooves, this set is one of the best of Fall ’98.  This Halley’s immediately stood out as a huge tour highlight, as the end gave way to some lighter fare in Simple > Walk Away.  With an impeccable Limb by Limb and a disgustingly groovy, lesser known, Ghost to end the set, Phish hit a winner on this evening.  Check it out.

I: Punch You in the Eye, Gumbo, If You Need a Fool, Sleep, Tela, Birds of a Feather, Theme from the Bottom, Julius

II: Halley’s Comet, Simple > Walk Away, Limb by Limb, When the Circus Comes, Ghost

E: Contact, Rocky Top, Funky Bitch

======

In other Phish Thoughts news, notice the “Miner’s Pick’s” clickable download links all along the right column of the front page.  You no longer have to scroll or click through the site to find the entire Miner’s Picks Series. Cheers.

Take Me To Another Place…

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on September 24, 2008 by Mr.Miner

Aside from amazing music, great times, and great friends, Phish provided us with something even greater- an alternate reality.  A realm where the most pressing issues were tickets, dance space, and finding your way from venue to venue on the maze of interstate highways, Phish tour provided a break from every day monotony, real-life problems, and cumbersome responsibilities.  Yet, the funny thing was, time spent on tour was as real, if not more real than many days spent at the office, at school, or at work. It was here that you were living.

“Waiting for the time when I can finally say
That this has all been wonderful but now I’m on my way.”

photo - Otar Taktakishvili

photo - Otar Taktakishvili

In an alternate take on this lyric, a friend once explained to me that this line represented leaving all that crap behind, and heading out to Phish tour.  Instead of bittersweet feelings, this song should evoke feelings of excitement and celebration, in line with its musical direction.  I always found that interpretation to be thought provoking and pretty spot-on for my own life.  On tour, whether for a weekend or a month, you were genuinely following your heart; your deep desire for human transcendence through music- a portal for your soul to reach the divine.  Wasn’t that more real that than what you did at work every day?  You never listened to tapes of meetings, recalling the feelings they evoked in you- that might be masochistic.  You get my point, you were following your passion.

“We gotta get on the road, destiny unbound.”

photo- Laurie Gough

photo- Laurie Gough

There was nothing like a long road trip to Phish with some friends and some weed to leave your problems in your dust for a while.  Watching the fields of Iowa, or the desert of Utah, the farms of western Pennsylvania, or the coast of California fly by your car window- your consciousness slipped into your subconsciousness while the Bowie > Cities > Bowie provided the soundtrack for your journey.  Your thoughts drifted into a state of nothingness as your imagination took over.  The open road was inspiration, eternal possibility; perfect interludes between cosmic evenings of music and inward exploration.

“The passion that sparked me one terrible night
And shocked and persuaded my soul to ignite”

And each night, nothing mattered except every note coming from the stage.  Life-sized Phish grooves as imposing and alive as any thing in the “real world” dominated your evenings and mind.  Tomorrow didn’t matter as you danced like you had never thought you could; realizing this was it; this was you.  Discussing setlists you had just lived through, and basking in the post-show glow, this is what spoke to your soul.  Some people from back in that other life just didn’t understand, but now it didn’t matter.  All that mattered was finding your friends and your spot for the show, and raging it for all you were worth.  Embracing the privilege of being in front of the Phish, nothing else mattered when Trey dropped the the opening lick of Mike’s, or into when the band exploded into a Tube jam.  Those “time and space”-less moments were the fabric of our dreams.

“The winds will lift you into the sky above
Where you will see a trail of treasure, memories you love
A rainbow record of the thoughts, the moments you’ve enjoyed
Arcs behind the earth as spectral colors in the void”

Some of our most treasured memories still come from the adventures of Phish.  Whether in the venue, on the road, at a hotel or campground; these were our “trail(s) of treasure.”  High times, cruising the country, living the dream with an unparalleled soundtrack.  We have file cabinets worth of colorful memories at this point, and we are about to write some more.  But, when it is over, what will remain are the eternal feelings, memories, and music. So even when life gets crazy, we have the respite of our minds to return to these times, and derive the power to persevere, the power of the void.

========

DOWNLOAD OF THE DAY: 8.6.97 Riverport Amp., Maryland Hgts, MO

Surrounded by The Gorge, Alpine, and Deer Creek, this Summer ’97 gem often flies under the radar.  With a killer first set sunset combo of Twist > 2001 > AC/DC Bag, followed by Yamar, YEM, the was place buzzing by half time.  Another 20 plus minute Ghost exploration highlighted the beginning of the second set, while one of the best Antelopes from the summer took it home, this show full of amazing improvisation from start to finish.  With a tight Stash tucked in this one as well, it’s the best show from Summer ’97 that you haven’t heard.

I: NICU, Stash, Beauty of My Dreams, Twist > 2001 > AC/DC Bag, Yamar, You Enjoy Myself

II: Runaway Jim > My Soul, Ghost, Prince Caspian, Cars Trucks Buses, Sample in a Jar, Run Like an Antelope> Makisupa Policeman* > Run Like an Antelope

E: Julius

*Instrumental, with Page on Theremin and Mike on mini-drum kit.