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:

    just having fun. for some reason, that little matchbox riff popped in my head listening to the ‘Hood’. 10 year old daughter. pop radio in the van.

  2. EL Duderino Says:

    OK back in the bed…

  3. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Nassau ’99. Is that the Rocky Top> hydrogen> Julius encore? That was a fun show.

  4. Jtran Says:

    Gonna spin 7/31 and 9/10 sometime this week.

    Didn’t check setlists, just chose from the above recs.

  5. Gavinsdad Says:

    Thanks again. Couple months of listening here on gdad time.

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    gotcha, b/c i’d bet dollars to doughnuts that Trey was not onstage at Worcester thinking about matchbox 20 😉

  7. EL Duderino Says:

    Krispy Cream Donuts

  8. voopa Says:

    Yes it was Palmer!

  9. Moby Dick Says:

    never been a fan of Phish Food

    Americone Dream and the Chubby Hubby are my favorites

  10. Moby Dick Says:

    whoops forgot to refresh before responding.. guess i am late to the Ben and Jerrys discussion

  11. Robear Says:

    maple covered old fashioned donuts

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    I need a copy of that show @ voopa. Probably havent heard it since that night. I remember a collective WTF during that encore. Only time hydrogen wasnt teamed up with Mikes groove.

  13. voopa Says:

    I have an aud or 2…I’ll check bt.etree in a bit and see what’s active.

  14. Jtran Says:

    Can I get a BB name > real name match for whoever just FB friended me?

  15. kenny powers Says:

    it’s either that Albany show (or both nights) where the AUDs i have are terribly echo-y and crappy sounding. hopefully the ones i have are not the best.

    10/2/99 Taget center was tits too

  16. Jtran Says:

    Actually think I figured it out

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    Minneapolis Nov 1999

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    target 99 = bomb

  19. Jtran Says:

    Anyone wanna drop a summer 98 and/or summer 95 rec on me?

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    7/1/98 christiana

    6/26/95 SPAC

  21. angryjoggerz Says:

    target 99 = bomb

    ^ one of the best shows I have ever been to. Killer Piper alert.

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Most people tend to overlook ’99 as great year. However if you ask mist to name a few of their favorite shows , a ’99 is almost always near the top. That’s even discounting the cypress factor.

  23. willowed Says:

    “Think Willowed or someone said they heard a whiff of that tune teased in the Hoodster.”

    Gdad you have it all wrong. I hear Bubbly by Colby Collait in the Woosta Farm House. 😥

    Hangs head in shame and walks away kicks rock.

  24. willowed Says:

    Which is not much better

  25. willowed Says:

    Can I get a BB name > real name match for whoever just FB friended me?

    If it’s that kid Willowed, don’t accept, that kid is a total fuckin’ noob…….
    wait, what.

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