Selfless Symphonies

1.1.11 (Adam Seper)

I spent a good deal of yesterday re-spinning the highlights from the New Year’s Run, and — man — the top-notch jams are as good as anything the band has thrown down since their return. Combining an ego-less improvisational ethos with well-polished, end-of-the-year chops, Phish crafted several eternal excursions that will forever bring us back to the first juncture of decades in the 21st century.

“Harry Hood,” “Ghost,” “Seven Below > What’s the Use?,” “Simple,” “Tweezer,” “Sand,” and “Twist” — all vintage Phish jams, and — interestingly — they all explored different musical territory. Illustrating the diversity of Phish’s current skill set — and their improvisational marksmanship when diving deep — these jams gave us a legitimate signpost along the road of modern Phish. Gone is rock-star Trey (though his part of “Ghost’s” peak almost crumbled the walls of The Garden), and what has emerged in Phish’s most successful endeavors is a collaborative jamming in which all members build directly off each others’ phrases in a sublime, subconscious spiral. In each of the aforementioned pieces, leads were traded at times, but the most triumphant passages occurred when the band merged into a selfless musical orb. Instead of layering independent ideas atop each other, the band continuously reached points of effortless cooperation as if controlled by a single mind.

12.27.2010 (A. Hill)

Perhaps the most immaculate example of this subliminal musical mastery came in Worcester’s “Harry Hood,” in which the band echoed and finished each others’ thoughts and phrases as naturally as a river flows through the woods. Playing with an ego-less virtuosity, the band scribed a new-school symphony for life, itself. “Ghost” — the unquestionable jam of The Garden — combined smooth and collaborative interplay with a phenomenal, whole-band peak that Trey laced with top-level, guitar catharsis. “Simple” drifted into an enchanted, so-connected-it-sounded-composed segment, in which Trey picked up a subtle offering by Page and — together — they transformed the phrase into the heart-melting theme of the full-band conversation. Other examples of this transcendent cross-talk came in “Sand’s” opening staccato-crack and deep into “Tweezer,” where the band’s most successful sequence featured all members lending only partial phrases to an overall, experimental, whole. “Seven Below” tapped into this collaborative jamming immediately, as Trey comped the band’s patterns with subtle brushstrokes that eased him into the overall mixture. And before long, the entire band found themselves in a musical chase through some of the most patient and tightest jamming of the year, coming to an unprecedented peak in a mash-up with “What’s the Use?” “Phish stretched the boundaries of “Twist’s” jam structure while exploring meticulous textures using the same fluid communication featured throughout the week.

12.30.10 (Graham Lucas)

Within the context of these next-generation jams, Phish bid adieu to 2010 and welcomed 2011 to the world. Though the sets were not all perfectly written, and the New Year’s Run, at times, seemed a bit pre-packaged, when the band chose to take musical risks, they came up with nuggets of gold every single time. And a handful of elite jams played over the final days of the year represent legitimate high points of the modern era. For me, transportive improvisation has always defined the magic of Phish shows, and when peering through the portals provided over the holidays, the state of the band could not look brighter as we move into the next decade.


Jam of the Day:

Tweezer” 12.30.2010 II




12.30.2010 Madison Square Garden, NYC

FLAC Torrent (via etree), Mp3 Torrent, Megaupload < Links

12.30 (AJ Masthay

I: Cities, Chalk Dust Torture, Gumbo, Quinn the Eskimo, Halley’s Comet > Camel Walk*, Maze, Driver, Bathtub Gin, Fat Man in the Bathtub, Timber Ho, Golgi Apparatus, Character Zero

II: Tweezer > Light > Theme From the Bottom > My Friend, My Friend, Axilla, Fluffhead, Boogie On Reggae Woman > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Suzy Greenberg

E: Run Like an Antelope, Tweezer Reprise

* w/ PA issues

Source: Schoeps mk41> KC5> M222> NT222> EAA PSP-2> SD 744t (@24bit/96kHz) – (taper: taylorc)

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517 Responses to “Selfless Symphonies”

  1. Robear Says:

    Coconut Almond Fudge Chip, R.I.P. best flavor eva’

  2. lastwaltzer Says:

    damn robear that sounds good………..didnt even know it existed.

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Go Ducks!

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    just checkin’ in…what uuuuuuuup?

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    I’ll Rainforest Crunch your Coconut Almond Fudge Chip (and I love C.A.F.Chip)

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    remember that one? yum.

  7. Mr. Palmer Says:

    old school. Chunky Monkey anyone?

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    Chuck trying to make sense of crab in my shoemouth….funny stuff

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    i love chunky monkey to this day. That one is still rockin…

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I remember when Phish food came out. It was so imperative to buy it immediately. What a tool!

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    I also used to work at a Ben and Jerry’s in college…I could name flavors all day…it was all about — literally — stepping into the freezer (walk-in) to eat chocolate covered, frozen cookie dough and other treats, not to mention ganking half full tubs of unsold-in-stores ice cream flavors like Vanilla Fudge Brownie…we all worked there so baked it was hilarious…

  12. EL Duderino Says:

    I know I’m gonna lambasted for this…

    Cherrie Garcia

    It’s simple for a Ben and Jer flavor and it’s a CLASSIC

  13. butterflyeffect Says:

    lol @ rainforest crunch

    that is def some old school shit, crazy ass multi-colored carton

    i think that shit had a tucan on it

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ^^ what a place for a bunch of stoners to work. Classic.

  15. EL Duderino Says:

    Cherry… sorry I’m really under the weather

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    Cherry Dude – “Cherry”

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    😉 hahahahaha

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Nothing wrong w/ Cherry Garcia IMO. tasty stuff.

  19. butterflyeffect Says:

    phish food is actually one of my least favorite ben and jerry’s flavors

    cherry garcia has grown on me, it’s not that bad

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    get well soon, dude 🙂

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    i dig the Phish Food…any icecream with marshmellow “fluff” in it is good by me 8)

  22. EL Duderino Says:

    Thanks Miner

    4 days now… It seems to be doing something different almost daily

  23. EL Duderino Says:

    The B&J Vanilla is the most dense/rich vanilla out there…

    I like the simpler ice creams… Big Breyer’s fan too

  24. joe Says:

    extra whip hits from the industrial cannisters too I’d imagine.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    El dude’s gonna send the SLF friend out to get his sick ass some Ben and Jerry’s now! not a bad idea, huh?

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