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.


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.



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.



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.



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.



Tweeter Center, Camden, NJ 7.30.03 II


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.



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.



The Spectrum 11.29.03 II

Circa '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.



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”

  1. EL Duderino Says:

    @ spasm

    teeth dreams are strange

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    great post, miner.
    definitely a jam that grew on me over the years.
    i know it’s not a classic like these, but the 1.1.11 version fit that set perfectly.

    life affirming stuff department:

    about a year ago my wife and I made the decision to pursue an international adoption from the country where she served in the peace corps ( i know i mentioned it here). long story short, our own baby has delayed that process (in the best way possible, of course) but we know that we will adopt at some point in the future. here’s the super good part of this though: yesterday my sister called me with the amazing news that she and her family (she and her husband have two daughters ages 9 & 13) have decided to adopt from Haiti. they want to share their love with a little one who needs it and they thanked us for inspiring them towards international adoption.

    totally blown away over here right now. really happy for my sister and her family and in awe of the gift they are giving a little soul. i know it is not something most people can do, but if you have it in your heart, consider what an impact you can be on the life of a person who would otherwise never know the privilege that we enjoy by living here in the US, even if you can only donate to the amazing organizations that make stuff like this possible (those are just two examples). it is easy to complain about our government, our economy, and everything else but when you put it all into perspective, we have more than enough to give to others if only we allow ourselves.

    i know many of you have experienced this even in the phish world where what you put out there begets what you receive in return. the important thing is for us to take those little experiences and magnify them onto the bigger stage so that we can make a difference in the lives of those who truly need it.


  3. Spasm Waiter Says:

    homoNazis are equally bizarre.

  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    re: My Soul
    the last two shows that have had My Soul openers are:


    gee, do you think it is a good sign when it is the opener? 😉

  5. EL Duderino Says:

    congrats on the new addition to your family T3PO!
    The rebel alliance can always use another droid

  6. Spasm Waiter Says:

    T3- Super cool story man. Keep telling it. I just saw a great movie about a family in Brooklyn who has 3 adopted children and what they go through as a unique family with 2 lesbian Jewish mothers. Called Off an Running. Pretty cool self discovery themes.

  7. Spasm Waiter Says:

    KWL- Big day for your Sabres. Hope they get it done. Pens a little flat last night.

  8. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    good luck with the MRI, spaz.

  9. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Thanks bud. I am sure it will be fine. Fingers crossed.

  10. SillyWilly Says:


    awesome, man.

    My girl has an adopted sister (who is a Phish head…well, she was, now she’s going all “mom” on everyone.)

    and my girl has at least 6 adopted cousins that I can think of right off the top of my head.

    really makes her family so interesting.

  11. KfL Says:

    watched the first half (2 hrs) of spike lee’s 5 year update on katrina/when the levees broke last night, called ‘if god is willin and da creek don’t rise’

    came out on video last week. recommended.

  12. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    this is just fantastic. silly, hipsters! you aren’t ahead of the curve on anything!

    teh funny:

    Your dad went to dance parties before you did. Long before you were grinding up against some poor hipster girl wearing an American Apparel jazz jumper at a Steve Aoki concert, your dad was showing honey dips his hip swivels. Every move you make, including that slightly hunched arm dangle seizure shake you do, he did first. The only person with more patents on originality is Thomas Edison.

    So hipsters, next time you’re rocking a tank, poppin’ some molly and headed out for the night, remember this…

    your dad was the original dancing machine.

    P.S. – Take a fucking shower already, you sweat when you dance and I don’t want to have to smell you the next day when I’m trying to enjoy brunch.

  13. lastwaltzer Says:


    Congrats! I hope to adopt in the future.


    thanks for the reminder forgot that was even made. I really enjoyed the first mini series


    and i was at the philly twist back in 03, second show’d

  14. BTB Says:

    Silly – are you using my Trey Whale photo or is that the original?

  15. Guyute711 Says:

    Let’s go Buffalo!!!!

    By the way Roloson is a fraud.

  16. BTB Says:

    TIII – congrats!

  17. halcyon Says:

    Morning folks….

    T3 Congrats. Funny that you post that as we were just talking about adoptions, and international adoptions the other day. I was listening to a podcast which talked about these mixed race foster children in the Ukraine. Single unwed mothers in the Ukraine are looked down upon, and they often give these children up for adoption. We were looking at an agency in Colorado which works with international adoptions.

  18. Kaveh Says:

    Good morning everyone.

    @T3: Congrats! Great news for your sister and family.

    It is easy to complain about our government, our economy, and everything else

    ^ And when Leg II dates were going to drop. 🙂

  19. BTB Says:

    Cactus makes his bass sound like he’s playing a video game in this Alpine Twist.

  20. angryjoggerz Says:

    Speaking of hipsters, in my fit of music compiling, I have put together yet another comp – this time of contemporary “rock” stuff that is also a little weird, a little spacey, a little beautiful, a little loud and a little psychedelic. I guess this music could be considered hipster, though as a 37 yo father and salaryman, I hardly think I count. Anyway, great early spring and summer music – I am really loving this comp and think/hope that many of you will too.

    Sort it in your itunes alphabetically by song name for the intended flow.

    [abc02] Wooden 4.2011
    Alphabetically ordered strange and psychedelic rock stuff.

    Alter Ego – Tame Impala
    Chromorocker – Exploding Star Orchestra
    Country Report – Deakin
    DDB – The Psychic Paramount
    DedNed – Gonjasufi
    In the Dark of the Night – Michoacan
    Inchworm – Battles
    Inn Keeping – The Sea and Cake
    Insects – Woodsman
    Moon Lagoon Platoon – Magic Lantern
    No Future Shock – TV on the Radio
    Not a Young Man Anymore – Dean & Brita
    Passenger – Benoît Pioulard
    The Shrine/ An Argument – Fleet Foxes
    Star Blanket River Child – Blackbright Morning Light
    To Clean – Woods
    Without You – Junip
    You Can Count on Me – Panda Bear
    Your Doppelganger – Black Moth Super Rainbow

  21. sumodie Says:

    @T3: Is this your first show? Was re-seeded at etree last night

    4/25/90 – Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN

  22. Monsterpus Says:

    BTB- I checked out your blog, went right to the Wook section. Funny stuff!

  23. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    sure is, sumo!

    I still have the original cassette I owned of the sbd (definitely no tapers at that one!) but will certainly grab the seed.


  24. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Great story. I have two internationally adopted cousins myself.

    Any cc holds out there?

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    “Chronic headaches had led to an MRI scheduled for today. ”

    Best of luck Spasm. Had a headache every day for 3 months last year and went through a whole buncha shit only to get no answers. Went away eventually, but was driving me nuts for a while. Now my brother is getting them along with quite a few heads that I know. Sounds crazy, but seems like some of us are being prepared for some new world, or we’re sensitive to whatever is happening here. Hope you get better.

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