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. angryjoggerz Says:

    Speaking of best jams of the Holiday Run:,0,1715406.story

  2. kayatosh Says:

    greetings, friends. decided to start the day off w/ heavy things from 12.27. trey’s lightning fast on this one. gonna spin other holiday highlights today. thanks for the inspiration, miner et al. peace

  3. kayatosh Says:

    vick looked pretty good. missed two or three passes, including the big one at the end. made many pinpoint passes. i’ll take him as our starting QB next yr. GB was the better all around team. Birds were missing their starting middle linebacker and that allowed GB to run the ball effectively. could have gone the other way w/o those two missed FG’s. oh well. was supposed to be a rebuilding yr. for the birds anyway.

  4. Kaveh Says:

    @Jdub – Happy Birthday.

    @Miner…got to work, plugged in, started the day with 12.31 Rock and Roll and then jumped to Sand, Disease and Ghost. Then read today’s post. Fit perfect. Thanks.

    Atlanta here we come; better be ready.

  5. Kaveh Says:

    @kayatosh – Congrats to your Eagles on a great year; and to Vick. If not MVP; comeback player of the year candidate.

  6. gavinsdad Says:

    no comment on Eags. still salty.

    >Theme’d alert: upon closer inspection, check out the MSG Tweez, specifically 13:10, for the Theme tease. seems like the Triz wanted to head that way regardless.

  7. kayatosh Says:

    I’m just a casual fan, Kaveh. got nothing invested in the birds. Football is grueling to watch. so little action, so many commercials. I did enjoy the vick comeback yr, though. added some excitement for sure.

    This 12.27 mtns. in the mist is $$. patient, soft. gorgeous page and trey exchanges. I also enjoyed the mike’s more this time round. my negative view of the mike’s may have been due to the depleted condition i was in when i first heard it. and this mound isn’t a disaster. very hard song. and they come close here.

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Did some serious headphone listening yesterday myself. Not gonna mention the Hood because we all know it’s the real deal. Was impressed with the Bathtub Gin from 12/30. This one has been brushed aside but it’s worth mentioning for sure.

  9. kayatosh Says:

    Listening to this tasty phish, stiffens my resolve to get to some shows ASAP. maybe i’ll be more inclined to travel come spring.

  10. kayatosh Says:

    palms, i enjoyed that gin as well. at least a $$ shot.

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    sorry about the beat down your johnnies took on saturday…

  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    also, I’d add the Woosta Stash as an laudable effort, if not a stellar one. nice urgency in that one with some melodic leads from the trza

  13. Robear Says:

    12/30 ‘Gin’ = the goods!

    Top of the mornin’ all. Seems like we’re back to a good mood about the NYE run!

    My biggest gripe? did it really have to end? after they really hit their stride, we wanted more shows 😛

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ND is a good team. Shot the lights out. Johnnies were due for a let down after hot start to BE play. Cuse on wed . Uh oh

  15. lastwaltzer Says:


    that mist was real nice and placement was perfect. Really liked how that followed up ‘its ice’. I have still yet to finish the run but I think the sets i’ve heard all have a real nice flow to them and this a great example of that.

  16. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Spinning 12/27 I this Am, like a lot of folks it seems.
    Huge Roggae. Dark Star sounding in a big way. I hear a lot of Dead in this one.

  17. lastwaltzer Says:


    I def. hear the feats influence, like I was saying the blues and americana stuff is being played really well. I really think they are gonna turn on a lot of people who missed em in 1.0 due to the roots music sound to a lot of the stuff they’ve been playing.

    The shuffling beats all sound really tight too. Like on the wolfman’s from AC or from this run the GBOTT, fishman has really been playing these types of rhythms well.

  18. Robear Says:

    about time for some new avatarses.

  19. lastwaltzer Says:


    Tottaly agree on the grateful dead feel to Roagee, I’ve been hearing that since DC, kind of like a bird song.

  20. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Mike really leading the Roggae jam early on.

  21. Guyute117 Says:

    Cuse is in the MF’n house Mr P!!!!!

  22. gavinsdad Says:

    for the record i was never sour about anything related to the NYE run. i was sour about makisupa policeman ;P

  23. lastwaltzer Says:

    while were putting things on the record: trey tottaly should have taken another shot at “cold water” when he had that cold, would have sounded great.

  24. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Pretty unreal Heavy Things upon first listen. If that Trey solo doesn’t make you happy…

  25. Spasm Waiter Says:

    @Matso- what you said (re. Heavy Things).

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