Pronouncing It In Several Ways

12.29.09 (Wendy Rogell)

Though Phish has many protean songs whose jams reach differing musical realms, few launchpads hold such diverse possibilities as “Twist” every time out. Since the song debuted in Dublin to kick off Summer ’97, “Twist” jams have never held a predestined path, while leading the band into many different musical pastures. Covering all ground, from groove to ambient soundscapes and rock and roll to avant-garde quasi-jazz escapades, “Twist” has always featured dips into the musical unknown. The versatility of the song is clearly illustrated when looking at some of the seminal (and obscure) versions.

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Desert Sky Pavilion 7.29.97 II

This early version of the song, during the first week of the band’s US Summer Tour in ’97, immediately illustrated the jam’s propensity for psychedelia. Entering a dark and abstract jam amidst a summer best-known for funk music, this new song did’t always lead into chunky grooves.

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Nassau Coliseum 4.2.98 II

Nassau '98 (livephish)

One of the most iconic “Twists” ever played, this blissful escapade in melodic space-groove remains a defining relic of Spring ’98’s Island Run. No other versions touches the convergence of rhythm and catharsis that this one does, and the melding of the two elements created one of the driving, danceable, and smoothest versions ever played. On this night, “Twist” touched the divine.

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Big Cypress, Florida 12.31.99

Big Cypress

As the band got a few songs into their midnight set at Big Cypress, “Twist” whispered into the Florida night. A gorgeous rendition that featured a hypnotic melody over a soft ambent backdrop, this “Twist” provided an introspective journey as we passed into 2000. Combining with “Caspian,” this version soothed the soul as we seeped deep into night.

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Drum Logos, Fukuoka, JP  6.14.00 II

If the Island “Twist” represents one peak for the song, this jam from Fukuoka, on Japan’s southern island, is unquestionably the other. In a tiny club, Phish played the most cerebral and coherent ambient music of their career; a nuanced and delicate conversation that could have only happened within such intimate environs. This version likens a silk carpet on which the audience rode into outer space. Well known as part of LivePhish 4, this “Twist” is one of the band’s timeless jams that never gets old.

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Tweeter Center, Camden, NJ 7.30.03 II

7.30.03

When Phish came back from for the second phase of their career, they continued to push “Twist” into new places. During an era when the band took musical risks like they were going out of style, “Twist” was often the beneficiary of such exploration. This churning and sprawling rendition represents the full-throttle, psychedelic experiments of Summer ’03 and one of the darkest jams of the tour.

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Alpine Valley 7.18.03 II

Only weeks before the aforementioned Camden odyssey, Phish had a close encounter with extra terrestrial lifeforms while engaged in this space-aged, mind-control experiment.

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The Spectrum 11.29.03 II

Circa '03

11.29.03

One of the few defining jams of an underwhelming Turkey Run, this “Twist” got quite melodic before gradually descending through a sequence of groove, into an uncompressed dungeon of guitar terror. A stellar snapshot of post-hiatus jamming, a growling and unexpected segue into “Simple” brought this menacing sequence back into the light.

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SPAC 6.20.04 II

SPAC 2004

Part of Phish’s last burst of creativity the second time around, this “Twist” stood up with “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” and “Piper” as the brightest stars from an unforgettable weekend at SPAC. This multi-faceted version featured furious full-band, bass-led grooves, that saw Mike going beserk before the band brought it down and Trey’s delicate rhythm licks revved the second half of this summer highlight—a truly elite rendition.

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1,870 Responses to “Pronouncing It In Several Ways”

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  1. beepaphone Says:

    That 7/29/97 version has been my favorite Twist for a while now. I know that show is typically known more for the Antelope, but if I could take one song from that show onto a desert island in the sky…….

  2. bird Says:

    lurking on the night shift, with the forklift

  3. bird Says:

    and if it’s all night,
    it got to be all right!

  4. BrandonKayda Says:

    4am here – havent slept yet

  5. bird Says:

    4am here, too. Just taking “lunch”

  6. bird Says:

    or breakfast, or brinner, brunch, lupper. Some sort of meal anyway

  7. beepaphone Says:

    I’m adjusting my sleep schedule to get ready for my all-nighter out at the UIC box office.

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    lupper!

  9. bird Says:

    Hey Miner. Sent some Paypal the other day. Avid reader, modest lurker for 2+ yrs. Thanks for all the work. Much appreciated

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    thanks bird. saw that. much appreciated buddy!

  11. Matso Says:

    Anyone else prefer the original Twist arrangement? I thought it used to work really well as a second set opener (eg. 7/12/99) with those big isolated chords and Mike’s big bass line. The post-Farmhouse arrangement smoothed out the song rhythmically, but lost some of the drama too.

  12. Foul_Domain Says:

    There are a few Phish jams that I will never forget my first listen, and Island Twist is one of them. Completely blew me away.

    Not a bad little light show from CK5 either. Although they could have played that jam under my life-sucking fluorescent office lights and it would’nt take away from the face-meltage one bit.

    Great piece of Phish history right there!

  13. laurville Says:

    Woooo!

  14. Cable Hogue Says:

    Lately my favorite Twist is 11/14/97…but I haven’t heard a couple of these. Looking forward to checking them out.

    Thanks Miner.

  15. Foul_Domain Says:

    First listen on this 6.20.04

    at about 6:00 you can start to tell that Gordeaux is in the mood for some heavy hitting.

    Thanks for these, Miner. A few new ones for me too and this is a great start.

  16. Fly Says:

    Nanjing women have listened to the Fukuoka Twist more than women in all other Chinese cities combined.

  17. DukeOfLizards Says:

    Craaaab in my shoooe-mouuth

  18. Fly Says:

    Hehe. Always wrap it up.

  19. gavinsdad Says:

    thanks for the selections Miner.

    Twist convert here…didn’t always love the tune (RCMH 2000 anyone?) and i didn’t really understand it’s loping pace etc. Since I was never really that much of an archival listener…sure I listened to what I was given and LP releases and all that I never really got the broad interpretations of the song. This board has helped. When “drum logos” came out my one good Phish-show-going friend was pushing it *and* the Twist and I was just like, “meh…2000? i’d rather listen to older stuff”. i didn’t understand why they’d release a “modern” show at the time.

    now i know.

  20. gavinsdad Says:

    was also converted to My Soul on this board as well (think it was LW about two years ago (!) who pimped the Great Went version which i can’t say anything bad about whatsoever).

  21. EL Duderino Says:

    I’m surprised the The Palace 11/06/97 Twist isn’t up there…

    Love IT!

  22. EL Duderino Says:

    The question is, do you prefer the old intro version or the updated intro.

    I like the old intro better, but I’m nostalgic like that.

  23. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Hwy Folks- Been out of the loop for a spell. So busy with work and life. Chronic headaches had led to an MRI scheduled for today. I am a little nervous but will be so relieved when it comes back negative. No herbals have led to some INSANE dreams complete with homosexual nazis, many false buckteeth for me and other bizarre scenarios. Cannot wait for May 5 bane re-entry.

  24. KfL Says:

    today is a good day for SOAM

    whooooooo!!

  25. DukeOfLizards Says:

    I dig the new intro. Love the “sneak attack” Twist rising up out of another jam’s ashes.

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