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Phish: Back on The Train (Relix Revisited)
With the latest round of summer Phish tickets on sale today, we’ve decided to look back to the June 2009 Relix and Mike Gordon’s captions of some photos taken at the group’s Hampton reunion shows in March.
Opening night, March 6: I really liked the light show. Chris Kuroda came up to me after the first day and asked, “Was it too flashy?” I said no, that I really liked the strobe effects. Sometimes there were patterns on the stage that were strobing from one to another in different colors. I went so far as to say that during the sober-era of Phish that the light show made up for it for me.
Team huddle: I don’t think we always had a huddle. Sometimes we had something like it, but in the past we often just sort of made our way onstage. This represents the newly re-infused love between the four of us, and wanting to make a moment of it. It was a good feeling. Throughout everything that happens in the band, through starting and ending and breaking up—key moments, huge arguments or whatever it is—we’ve always got the four of us to walk though life with as companions on this ride.
Soundcheck, March 7: We had all seven kids there for the first time ever. It is part of the new vibe: Less intoxication and debauchery and more family. I mean we always had family but I guess that’s true of how we see each other, too. We’re people to have dinner with rather than to party down with, and that doesn’t make for a less intense relationship or even a less intense jam. Maybe it’s more intense in a sense because we’re not clouded and can better sense the subtleties of what’s happening in our relationship.
It’s alive, March 8: [The keytar] is James Brown’s. Page got it from an auction, I think. There are these great DVDs of The Old Grey Whistle Test [the BBC music program] and we were watching one a couple of years ago when I was touring with Trey where Edgar Winter is playing that thing during “Frankenstein.” What he’s playing is almost a full size keyboard strapped onto his body, even bigger than this, but anyway it’s part of the vibe.
Bouncing back, March 6: It’s funny [because] when Trey and I are jumping on the trampoline,I always see him behind my beat, like he’s jumping higher. But then when I see pictures, our feet are always the exact number of inches from the trampoline. And I don’t know if that’s because people have 100 pictures and they choose the one where we’re at exactly the same height, but that just seems remarkable because it looks to me like we’re out of sync. Maybe that’s symbolic of other things, of various aspects of our relationship—where it seems like we’re out of sync, but we’re actually perfectly in sync.
Mike’s view: When we were playing onstage at Hampton, I would look over at Page and see him just as the guy I’m playing chess with every few weeks and [I’d think], “Oh yeah, now we’re doing this again.” Even though the concert, in some ways, is probably more intense than the chess game. Although there were certain games in there that got pretty intense.