Phish‘s touring rig has always been a living, breathing entity that changes and evolves over time. From the growing collection of effects pedals and amplifiers to incorporating household items like Jon Fishman‘s Electrolux vacuum cleaner and Mike Gordon‘s power drill, maintaining a fun and fresh sound collection of sound equipment is part of The Phish from Vermont‘s playful character.
Eight years ago today during a performance at Merriweather Post Pavilion in Columbia, MD in 2013, Fishman broke out a new toy during “Scent of a Mule” that would go on to become a staple of their live performances to this day—the Marimba Lumina.
Created by synthesizer pioneer Don Buchla, the Marimba Lumina is a MIDI controller that lets musicians play electronically produced sounds on a control surface based on the layout of a marimba. The addition of the instrument to Fish’s rig has allowed him to add melody and texture to the band’s performances, and it has been featured prominently in virtually every “Scent of a Mule” since, as well as in various Type II improvisations.
Related: Phish Surpasses $50M In Career Box Office Earnings At MSG Following 2019 New Year’s Run
Watch pro-shot video of the performance that night featuring the Marimba Lumina debut–the solo starts around the 6:00 minute mark.
Phish – “Scent Of A Mule” – 7/14/13
Trey Anastasio has also taken a liking to the instrument in the years since. No strangers to switching instruments during their live shows, Phish has incorporated the Marimba Lumina heavily into their “rotation” jams, particularly during recent summer tours. The guitarist also utilized the marimba mallets in roughly half of the band’s 2016 shows, including each of the last three.
Check out the video below of the band’s instrument-switching jam during “You Enjoy Myself” during a 2016 show in Hartford, CT, featuring Mike on keys, Page on bass, and Trey rocking out on the Marimba Lumina.
Phish – “You Enjoy Myself” Jam – 7/9/16
[Video: Andrew O’Brien]