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. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Alternating Foster’s and Coors Light Phrosty Boys.

    Nothing like the weekend leftover grab bag.

    Cheers boys.

  2. KfL Says:

    stone cali belgique ipa

    classin’ it up for the 2nd PP

  3. Kevin Says:

    I liked the Minneapolis 99 show as well, but for whatever reason think more fondly of the (night before?) in Ames. Haven’t listened to either in years, so I don’t know why I feel that way. I just remember a ripping Antelope and Slave, both of which floored me at the time.

  4. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Sam Adams Winter Lager

  5. willowed Says:

    Raising a virtual glass with the BB

    Cheers bitches

  6. willowed Says:

    Need to run. Enjoy the game

  7. KfL Says:

    gettin ready to spin some new stuff for the first time, stoked

    lloyd miller & the heliocentrics, shuggie otis, & dub colossus on deck

  8. lastwaltzer Says:

    which shugie you got kfl?

  9. KfL Says:

    inspiration information

  10. ChefBradford Says:

    Jim Beam

    glug glug glug is one of my favorite sounds

  11. lastwaltzer Says:

    Nice, enjoy! AW turned me on to that a few months a go. That is some funky shit, in case you don’t know shugie is playing everything but the string and horn parts on that.

  12. lastwaltzer Says:

    in fact i’m gonna throw it on now, its been a minute.

  13. YborCity Says:

    I just spun the top off of a bottle of Jim Beam as well, Chef. Great minds think a like.

  14. ChefBradford Says:

    *clink* my friend, *clink*

  15. EllJefe Says:

    Getting ready to go play soccer @ 845. Expected temp 30 degrees. Hard to get psyched for this. Looks like no pub run after. Hot totties? Shuggie is the Bomb though. Inspiration Information was on high rotation last summer.

  16. guitarpicker420! Says:

    Moonshine monday for me.

  17. MisterChristian Says:

    Dogfish Head 90 Minute IPA.

  18. lastwaltzer Says:

    lighter fluid

  19. KfL Says:

    haven’t had 90 in way too long

    diggin this shuggie

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:


  21. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    when did KWL become KfL

  22. Mike in Austin Says:

    From Twitter: Why do Auburn cheerleaders look like they are 15 with turtle necks? Oregon cheerleaders look like seasoned 23yr old strippers.

  23. DukeOfLizards Says:


  24. lastwaltzer Says:

    i’ll never go back to georgia

  25. KfL Says:

    when i proved i was more of a phish nerd than the rest of you losers

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