2011′s “Type I” Highlight Reel

8.6.11 - The Gorge (Graham.Lucas)

Phish’s current creativity is far-reaching, seeping into all parts of their show and certainly extends beyond their exploratory jamming highlighted on Friday. I was going to wait until this coming Friday to highlight the band’s best contained, or “type I,” jamming of  2011, but instead, let’s get right to it! This following is how these picks are organized. First, I listed—in no particular order—the band’s strongest “type I” vehicles of the year, and highlighted my favorite version of each. I also noted one or two other standout versions as well. The tracks are simply ordered for playlist listenability. Then, I have a series of “One Timers,” or songs that only blew up once during the year—but that version deserves mention. Enjoy the many tunes, our the continuing look back at the year that was 2011.

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Bathtub Gin” 5/28 I, Bethel, NY

“Bathtub Gin,” though never making into the second set last year, still produced a couple of standout versions and was always reliable for a solid piece of improvisation. My favorite version of the year came in Phish’s second show in Bethel, New York. Closing a spectacular first set, this jam moves into a serious funk jam, eventually blending with “Manteca” and back into “Gin.” One can hear the electricity in the air during this version, as Phish began their conquest of 2011. Honorable Mention: 9/4 Denver—a guitar clinic in groove.

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Reba > David Bowie” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY

The Gorge 2011 (G. Lucas)

Phish played some standout versions of both of these classic jams throughout 2011, and wound up pairing them to finish the first set of Super Ball on July 3rd. Each of these Super Ball versions represent my pick for the top “Reba” and “Bowie” of the year. You can hear the fluidity of the band as they were in top form for their mid-summer festival, specifically, this final show of the weekend. Page and Trey flirt with “Dave’s Energy Guide” as the “Reba” builds into an out-of-character section. The two songs are joined by an ambient, storage-laced bridge. Honorable Mention: “Reba” 6/17 Charlotte—a second set version where the band swims in IT, “Bowie” 6/3 Clarkston, MI—the conclusion of “Disease -> Fluffhead > Bowie”

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Sand” 6/19 II, Portsmouth, VA

“Sand” absolutely blew up in 2011. Every single version, less 12/30’s, was a legitimate highlight of its show. Featuring full-band interplay in every version since its reinvention last Fall, this became one of the anthems of summer. My favorite version came in June’s final show at Portsmouth, Virginia. Getting into a retro-futuristic stop/start funk jam, as well as a “Sand Reprise,” the band’s dynamic, rhythmically-focused imporv truly popped off in this summer highlight. A “Sand” and then some.  Honorable Mention: 8/6 The Gorge—Trey infuses a slight whale call into the groove while the band crushes within the venue’s open air anvirons; segues back into “Tweezer!”

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Run Like an Antelope” 8/6  II, The Gorge, WA

6.5.11 — Cincy (M.Stein)

Though “Antelope” has remained fairly standard throughout 2011, a couple versions expanded beyond the norm. In the Gorge’s version of 8/6, not only did Trey provide a summation of the second set within the song’s intro, the band locked into a slammin,’ yet laid back, jam that oozed with both patience and ferocity. Passing through a “Golden Age” segment of the jam, teasing the final song from the set, Phish came together in this “Antelope” in far more engaging fashion that any other time last year. Honorable Mention: 6/4 Blossom—a quality first set closing rendition.

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Wolfman’s Brother” 8/15 I, Chicago, IL

It seems like “Wolfman’s” has permanently settled into a role as a first set song in 3.0. After taking some of its jams out in 2010, Phish brought the song, largely, back to form but for one or two occasions when it segued into another. My selection for the most engaging “Wolfman’s” of the year is an easy one—UIC’s version from 8/15. After moving through a legitimate funk session, Phish moved into a second jam where Trey initially laid way back in the mix filling in the space of his band mates groove. Gradually he integrated his lines into the music, finishing in victorious fashion. Honorable Mention: 7/2 Super Ball—a fury of funk grooves to get the festival going during its first set.

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Stash” 7/2 II, Watkins Glen, NY

Though “Stash” more often than not provides the first jam of its show, and hasn’t made it into the second set since the band’s return—the noted shows was a three-setter, and set II was essentially set I—Super Ball’s version carried a bit more rhythmic complexity than usual. This “Stash” represented the point where the band began to build momentum for the rest of the show and their late-night Storage Shed extravaganza. A quality moment that is often forgotten about from the last year’s festival. Honorable Mention: 6/10 Camden—a classic, modal take on the jam with quality tension and release.

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Tweezer” 6/5 II, Cincinnati, OH

Though I highlighted the phenomenal Denver “Tweezer” on Friday, most often, the song was a vehicle for “type I” jamming rather than open exploration. In this Cincy version, the band sits into a vicious funk exchange for much of the piece before Trey peaks it with foreshadowing “Crosseyed” licks. Far dirtier and groovier than Denver’s melodic mind-meld, this is the other side of “Tweezer. Honorable Mention: 7/2 Super Ball—a crunchy, mechanical, larger-than-life version dripped from the speaker towers before ending abruptly for “Julius.”

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Harry Hood > Roggae” 9/4, II, Denver, CO

9.2.11 - Denver (G.Lucas / webcast)

“Harry Hood” continued to offer energetic and passionate playing throughout 2011, often finishing sets with cathartic exclamation points. But each of my two picks are versions that were more centrally located in their second sets. Denver’s 9/4 version melds the jam’s modern staccato soundscapes with the airtight, thematic playing of lore to create a new-school masterpiece. A truly triumphant piece of music, no version approached the Denver “Hood” this year. And the “Roggae” that followed harnessed the same vibe as the “Hood” jam, standing out in its own right. Honorable Mention: 5/28 Bethel—more exploratory than given credit for, 8/15 UIC—ended the night on a huge high.

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Slave to the Traffic Light” 6/19 II, Portsmouth, VA

Several times this era, Phish has centered “Slave” in the second set rather than leaving it as the shows denouement. And my pick for “Slave” of 2011 comes from Portsmouth, Virginia, in this exact context. Capping an opening run of “Crosseyed > Walls,” this version was incredibly patient and reached divine levels of interplay. Complete and utter bliss, this rendition is what this song is all about. Honorable Mention: 8/9 Lake Tahoe—another mid-set monster, 9/2 Denver—the conclusion of the “S” show, Trey holds a sacred note for quite some time.

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Chalk Dust Torture” 8/16 I, Chicago, IL

8.15.11 - UIC (M.Stein)

The usually straightforward Phish anthem veered into more than a couple memorable jams in 2011, and my pick for the “Chalk Dust” of the year comes from the first set of UIC’s second show. Roaring to life like few versions have this era, Phish attacked this jam with uncharacteristic aggression, reaching intricate points that were more reminiscent of “David Bowie.” Sparking the show as the third song, this one provided a golden memory. Honorable Mention: 6/3 I Clarkston—a laid-back and patient take on the song to close the first set, 8/9 Lake Tahoe—intense version laced with teases and breaks down beautifully into “Slave,” 12/29 MSG—a fantastic transition into “Hyrogen” amidst a “Mike’s Groove.”

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Backwards Down the Number Line” 5/28 II, Bethel, NY

On a night when the band could do no wrong, they shredded this second set “Number Line” with atypically active interplay for this song. Focused on a whole band conversation rather than Trey’s noodling, this jam gets intricate and quite engaging, easily qualifying as version of the year. Honorable Mention: 6/19 Portsmouth—Trey gets into some Allman—esque soloing while the rest of the band is playing gently accompanying him.

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Crosseyed and Painless” 7/1 II, Watkins Glen, NY

7.1.11 (G.Lucas)

Though it pains me that Phish has decided to use this once prolific jam vehicle as a means to high-speed and aggressive rock playing, they, nonetheless, routinely shred the composed jam to bits. Two versions standout above all others in my memory from 2011, and its no surprise that each contained a little bit extra. My highlight version comes from Super Ball, as an ambient jam led into the song and out of it before a Trey emerged with a cool transition into “Chalk Dust.” Honorable Mention: 8/17, UIC—featured a tripped out interlude between “Crosseyed” and “No Quarter.”

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Weekapaug Groove” 6/8 II, Darien, NY, and 12/29 II, NYC, NY

“Weekapaug” has consistently proven to be more interesting than “Mike’s” in this era, a trend which certainly held true last year. Two versions stand out to me from 2011, the plinko-laced rendition from Darien Lake and the more commanding percussive-funk of December 29th’s version. Since we are all familiar with the recent one, I’ll play Darien.”

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ONE TIMERS:

2001” 6/8 II, Darien Center, NY

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Light Up or Leave Me Alone” 6/14 I, Alph., GA

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Destiny Unbound” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY

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The Curtain With” 6.10 I, Camden, NJ

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Limb by Limb” 8/16 I, Chicago, IL

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Wilson” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY

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Mound” 7/3 I, Super Ball

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Scents and Subtle Sounds” 9/2 II, Denver, CO

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794 Responses to “2011′s “Type I” Highlight Reel”

  1. Little Buddy Says:

    I just had to laugh at Heavy Things it was such a ridiculous choice at that time. Then I danced.

  2. butter Says:

    how could he have fit in Suzy without cuttying off the 20 minute theremin Light ;)

  3. Foul_Domain Says:

    Patience from Trey is the key, imo. This was missing throughout the NYE run, with a couple of exceptions. He seemed to be pushing to get to the next song – Very “un-phish”, imo. I felt like Mike , especially, was wanting some room to breathe.

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    spun Tahoe Light today again, and, wow. That is some dark shit right there. It is the “so, you think plinko is chipper?” jam. Not chipper.

  5. butter Says:

    i even forgot Heavy Things and its NYE history

    our little indie proggy crimson dago

    love that effer

  6. butter Says:

    the end of Ghost, Trey was just outta material

    he wont jam to jam these days

    you knew Sneakin was jamless and 46 days was arena rockin

    i remember the last few minutes of Suzy being off the hook rawkin

  7. Little Buddy Says:

    TreyDHD was definitely in full effect at MSG. He did tear some shit up though. The 46 Days had some umph behind it.

  8. butter Says:

    and then there is a jam idea in Sneakin and FORCEDY 6 days

    jams take up space of arena rockers, i guess

  9. Little Buddy Says:

    I listened to set 2 of Darien 2011 on my run today and the creative fire was palpable throughtout that set. Can’t wait for some more of that!

    I would love if the new year’s stunt this year is a straight up loud as fuck ‘whats’s the use’ with no actual stunt right into auld lang syne (sp?). That would be pretty cheeky and just fucking awesome imo.

  10. Little Buddy Says:

    ^ haha. FORCEDY 6 days made me chuckle

  11. butter Says:

    46 days is slayed

  12. butter Says:

    bed time for kiddo

    Suzy will have to wait

    i’ll listen to Party Time > Theme, rest of the set wont get many respins

    above average 3.0 Theme

  13. Little Buddy Says:

    Looks like its just you and me, Butter. How did that nanny things work out for you? I’ve been enjoying your vibe about the NYE run. I felt very much the same I think. Not the greatest shows but I just get off so much on being free from the daily routine that I had a complete blast. There was enough to keep me happy with Piper, Mike’s Groove, Steam etc. People were really freaking out around here though. I had to break away for a few days.

  14. butter Says:

    our friends baby sitter from Manhattan worked out great Lil Buddy, she was a real sweetie and told us to call anytime were in NYC

  15. butter Says:

    and yep Little Buddy, agree with your last post whole heartedly

  16. sumodie Says:

    hard not to feel some disappointment at msg as the boys finally couldnt improve on their previous tour

    had to happen at some point

    first time i really felt disappointed by the msg fans too

    and now we’re already drooling over rumored 2012 dates

    bring.IT.on.

  17. vegas wolfmans Says:

    and we danced all night…

  18. lumpyhead Says:

    watched that video again…

    to me it looks an awful lot like two syllables, and even a lot like “douche bag!”

  19. dharris Says:

    do a type II 2011 recap!!!

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