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Published: 2013/07/03

Phish to Debut New Stage Setup Tonight

Photo by Dave Vann© Phish 2009

Phish will debut a new stage setup this evening, according to Rolling Stone. Trey Anastasio told the magazine, “This tour, we’re going with a new stage setup. At least where I stand, we won’t need to put any of the other instruments in monitors. We moved the drums into the middle because I had drums coming through the monitors. The idea was to get a clear-as-possible sound of the other three guys, because when we’re playing, I listen to them as much as possible. The other 50 percent of the time, I’m listening to the room.”

Bucking normal rock trends, for most of their career all four members of Phish performed onstage in a side-by-side configuration. Many speculate that the band’s unique stage setup was the result of playing so many gigs at Burlington, VT’s Nectar’s, a club whose stage was particularly narrow. It also represented the communal vibe of the band’s jamming style. Phish shook things up in 1999 and 2000, placing bassist Mike Gordon and drummer Jon Fishman in the center of the stage to represent their new groove-oriented focus. When Phish returned from a hiatus in 2002, they adopted a more traditional rock-and-roll setup, with Anastasio in the center and Fishman positioned behind his bandmates. As a nod to their classic period, Phish reverted to their original state setup when they reunited in 2009. Their original stage configuration inspired at least one band, Incubus, to adopt a similar setup.

In his recent interview, Anastasio also mentions that he would love Talking Heads to reunite. “I was just going for a walk and really excited about the fact that the four of us were trying to get back together, and the thought that popped through my head was, I wish I could talk David Byrne and Tina Weymouth and Jerry Harrison and Chris Frantz to be going out for one tour with just the four of them because of how good this feels,” Anastasio says. “It made me think – just drop the arguing and go out on tour quick, before something happens like it did to Pink Floyd. Don’t wait too long. Bands are chemistry. They’re nothing but chemistry, in my opinion. I don’t think it would go away, you know. And I think they could [do it]. I know that from personal experience.”

Anastasio also says the band will debut some new lights and that the “four of us are texting each other 30 times a day.”

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