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.


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.



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”



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!”



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.



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.



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.



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.”



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.



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.



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.”



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.



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.”



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.”




2001” 6/8 II, Darien Center, NY


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


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


The Curtain With” 6.10 I, Camden, NJ



Limb by Limb” 8/16 I, Chicago, IL


Wilson” 7/3 I, Watkins Glen, NY


Mound” 7/3 I, Super Ball


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

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ph2011-09-02t21.mp3] Tags: , ,

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

  1. P.S.H.S. Says:

    aj, do i have to unzip (7zip) these rar files? pulled the fire up and can’t open it

  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    They should open up, do you have stuffit expander or something?

  3. P.S.H.S. Says:

    no, new laptop. had 7zip on the old one. when i dl the file it tries to open on itunes and nothing happens (windows 7)

  4. angryjoggerz Says:

    not sure, mac guy here

  5. P.S.H.S. Says:

    ok, i’ll try stuffit

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    multi band festis are the schwill

  7. butter Says:

    12.31.11 II Party Time is red hot

  8. angryjoggerz Says:

    Damn, Derrick Rose.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    Trey is playing LA March 10th. March seems doubtful to me.

  10. butter Says:

    Party Time, Light > Golden Age

    i love this set on replay still

    big time

    i hear the awkward rhythm’s as the rest of the band tries to still catch up with Red and admit/they’re playing Golden Age

    but you get some more plinko acid spaz funk outta the deal

  11. butter Says:

    its like Fish and Trey are playing two diff rhythms and Trey is singing to yet some other rhythm ……

    all sorts of wackiness

  12. Foul_Domain Says:

    I think Trey and the band were on diffefent pages during that segue. Trey pushed it too hard and too early. I say that mainly because Light was not going well up to that point. The band was completely disconnected, imo, and Trey couldnt seem to settle down. Things just started getting interesting when Page went to the theremin.

    For me, this was the worst part of the run. The Light jam was just getting good when Trey aborted it. How could he not be feeling it at that pont? This is what bothers me about that segment.

  13. butter Says:

    that was a knarly jam out of Golden Age

    upon 2nd spin, its not so much Trey who aborts that jam…he’s holding a sustain, Page is switching rigs and Mike and Fish just fall out…

    but from a quiet MSG moment, Theme’s intro is perfect

  14. Foul_Domain Says:

    On the other hand, I listen to the Piper and feel nothing but optimism for 2012.

    Im not worried, even though I feel that the NYE run fell short.

  15. Foul_Domain Says:

    I hear you @butter

    Trey is a good fall guy

  16. butter Says:

    ^i respectfully disagree Foul

    it was a 12 Minute Light, the space they were exploring pre theremin was pretty rare aire for 3.0, no it didnt have a theme, but that was part of its beauty to me

    Page is killing the grand this whole set

  17. butter Says:

    great Trey solo in theme

  18. Foul_Domain Says:

    okay, Im gonna have to relisten. Only listened to the stream, and I thought the band had trouble hooking up before the theremin section.

  19. butter Says:

    Heavy Things – ok you guys got me

    Treasurereprise and I had a good — pre internet hate acknowledgement laugh

  20. garretc Says:

    Then you are clearly a better human being than me, butter, because I have to admit that hearing Heavy Things start up may have been the only time I’ve audibly groaned at a Phish show…

  21. butter Says:

    i’ve learned to roll with the punches and not waste valuable show time hating Trey’s setlist choices

    and i admit 30, 31 had its head scratching moments

  22. butter Says:

    like AW says 96 after 95, we were all like “what the fuck is wrong with Trey”

    and flat out, not trying to be heady, but i was a Ghost hater

    i didnt need no new slow funk song

  23. Foul_Domain Says:

    I think that a somewhat structured setlist might not be a bad thing. At least to establish some sort of flow.

    12.31 set 3 was very poor.

  24. joe Says:

    I still hate heavy things cuz it was what they chose to play for the tv audience from big cypress. (I wanted a highway to hell cover) and for being a radio single – I feel a little similar about BOAF but much less venomous . The Worcester version of heavy things (and maybe fest 8?) Have slightly redemeed it in my eyes to a point that I don’t loathe it

  25. Little Buddy Says:

    The Golden Age transition is frustrating. Mike and Fish find a bombastic groove with Page waiving his hands above the rumble. I think Trey fell off before the others found that groove and then couldn’t get back on it so he forced the Golden Age. It didn’t bother me in the building, but upon relisten it’s a bit torturous. If Trey could’ve found his way back into the grrove that Fish and Mike found that things could’ve really lifted off.

    I’m glad to see that alot of this run is now finally getting some props because I had a blast and thought set 2 of 12/29 was genuinely great, but Trey killing the Light was a bit of a shame.

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