Twisted Tuesday

10.30.10 - Atlantic City, NJ (Dave Lavery)

One of the songs that has taken a distinct step backwards in this era is “Twist.” Debuted in Summer ’97 along with a host of new songs, “Twist Around,” as it was known then, became an instant vehicle for improvisation. Phish crafted exploratory jams from the song immediately, both in Europe and in America during its first summer. The song continued to be a mainstay launch pad through the 2.0 era, producing such diverse masterpieces as the Island Run “Twist,”(4.2.98), Fukuoka’s Japanese space symphony (6.14.00), and SPAC’s heaping dose of psych-inspired robo-funk (6.20.04). “Twist” was always one of those songs whose dip into the unknown enhanced by the multitude of directions that the jam could take—and Phish often played contained versions as well. With no preset course, “Twist” developed into one of the band’s most diverse jams through the late ‘90s and the post-hiatus era.

Fukuoka, JP 6.14.00

But since Phish came back three years ago, they have reeled in the song considerably. In fact they played one of “Twist’s” most abstract modern excursions at Hampton’s comeback run, as the song sank into murky textures before segueing into “2001.” More often than not, however, the band has used “Twist” as a vehicle for contained, jazz-like improvisation. Essentially, we know what we are getting when “Twist” starts these days, and that is a drastic shift from the song’s former lives. Aside from Denver’s “Low Rider” jam, “Twist” has been a straightforward piece whose differences have lied only in tempo and licks rather than musical direction. Today, let’s dip back into a few lesser-known versions that highlight the intrigue the jam once contained.


7.5.97, Como, Italy

This was the fifth version of “Twist” ever played, and it took place at a free, one-set show in a gorgeous outdoor locale in Como, Italy. With their stage on the sand at the side of a lake with mountains in the background, Phish played a sunset set for anyone who cared to join. In this “Twist,” the band builds into thick, rhythmic interplay, gradually seeping from their own infectious funk into a jam on Deee Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart”—a quality, lesser-circulated nugget from a game-changing tour of Europe.



7.29.97 II, Phoenix, AZ

When Phish got back to the US, they continued to push the boundaries of “Twist” throughout its youth. This version—the next after Como—came one week into the US Summer Tour, and showcases boundary-pushing psychedelia. Using his raw tone and soloing style of the era, Trey locks with Mike to lead the band into a twisted, multi-tiered standout jam that is often left behind by listeners in favor of other, more established favorites. (Excuse the windy audience tape.)



7.4.00 II, Camden, NJ

Kevin Shapiro’s recent soundboard drop of this “Twist” from July 4, 2000, in Camden, allows us to hear the jam’s subtle intricacies unlike any audience tape ever did. The band gets far away from the song in this jam, entering a completely alternate milieu and finding a unique theme deep into the adventure. Dark and exploratory while remaining wholly cohesive, this jam is one of “Twist’s” shining moments. Resolving into “Slave,” this two-song combo punctuated a stellar set of holiday Phish.



7.18.03 II, East Troy, WI

When the band came back in 2003 and got into more abstract playing, “Twist,” occasionally transformed into a platform for increasingly dark encounters. In this version, plucked from deep in the second set at Alpine Valley, Phish spawned an extra-terrestrial spacescape that took more than a few concert-goers by surprise. Trey continued to solo over a blanket of dark ambiance, a gorgeous juxtaposition, as he joined his mates in maniacal sound sculpting. Switching to uncompressed growls with uncompromising fury, Red meshed with piece seamlessly as the band smoothly jammed back into the song’s groove.


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545 Responses to “Twisted Tuesday”

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  1. stapes Says:


    I remember getting the tape of it’s debut on 6/14/97 from Dublin. Handful of first timers that show.

    Have always preferred that original intro to the song.

  2. Eric Says:

    When was the Camden 2000 Twist released as a SBD?

  3. gavinsdad Says:

    @eric – live bait 4

  4. sumodie Says:

    Camden 00 Twist>Slave available as part of Live Bait 4 at LivePhish,637/Phish-Free-mp3-download-Live-Bait-04.html

  5. sumodie Says:

    recently discovered that 7.18.03 Twist, probably my fav pick from that Alpine show. Whole show also at LivePhish

  6. Boghog2001 Says:

    I like the modern Twists. Great band interplay as Trey, Page and Mike play with call and response. The timbre of the instruments the way they play Twist now allows Page’s piano to stand out. The Hollywood one blew my mind thus summer listening to Page. It’s also been paired with Piper for some awesome segments (Denver!) I think Twist embodies the detailed and contained jamming of this era. Remember when Mike said on his hotline that the jams are deeper now when they stay in the chord progression rather than veer off? I think Twist is the perfect example.

  7. Cable Hogue Says:

    Was Trey playing slide on the 7/4/00 Twist? Sure sounds like it, but I’ve never seen him do it…

    July was a good month for Twists, eh?

    I’m addicted to 11/14/97 Twist>Slave. I can never get enough of that.

  8. Guyute711 Says:

    Was hearing Plasma a bunch and now my new song that keeps popping up is Sleep Again. This song has really grown on me.

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    if this post doesn’t pull soam out of hiding I don’t know what will.

    another classic twist is the one from W-S ’97. you know, that boxset deal they put out? yeah, just another classic jam 🙄

  10. Guyute711 Says:

    Hey phoamm, you out there? Just wondering what it’s going to feel like when Boeheim passes Dean Smith Wednesday. 🙂

  11. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    pretty sure of yourself there, g711. hoyas are playing pretty well right now…

  12. Guyute711 Says:

    Yeah, they look pretty good. Fab’s back and Cuse is preparing to cut down some nets. 30,000 in the loud house is gonna be a tough out for the Hoyas.

  13. Luther T. Justice Says:

    During the 12-6-97 Twist, I was amazed when Page & his piano were lifted above the stage & twisted around. I had never seen the band do something like this for a normal show and there was nothing like it the rest of the show. I didn’t find out until afterwards, it was just me. The Tweezabella that proceeded Twist and the liquid I ingested were just that good.

  14. Robear Says:

    Lol @ LTJ

  15. phoammhead Says:

    ah shit . . . really, G$. i won’t be thinking about that with heels v dook on the line.

  16. voopa Says:

    Twist Post! Excellent Miner, perfect soundtrack to this rainy day.

  17. Kaveh Says:

    @Miner: Thanks for the tunes today; looking forward to it.

    Good morning BBers!

  18. sumodie Says:

    pretty sure these rankings are based on attendance numbers only. couldn’t find the complete list so I just pasted what was listed here:

    Pollstar’s top worldwide amphitheaters, including venues of local interest (location is in parentheses, followed by venue’s major metropolitan market).

    1. DTE Energy Music Theatre (Clarkston, Mich./Detroit)

    2. Red Rocks Amphitheatre (Morrison, Colo./Denver)

    3. Filene Center at Wolf Trap (Vienna, Va./Washington D.C.)

    4. Riverbend Music Center (Cincinnati, Ohio)

    5. Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion (The Woodlands, Texas/Houston)

    6. Greek Theatre (Los Angeles)

    7. Klipsch Music Center (Noblesville, Ind./Indianapolis)

    8. First Midwest Bank Amphitheatre (Tinley Park, Ill./Chicago)

    9. Time Warner Cable Music Pavilion (Raleigh, N.C.)

    10. Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre (Maryland Heights, Mo./St. Louis)

    12. Susquehanna Bank Center (Camden, N.J./Philadelphia)

    15. Bethel Woods Center for the Arts (Bethel, N.Y.)

    16. PNC Bank Arts Center (Holmdel, N.J./Newark)

    45. Rumsey Playfield (New York City)

    51. Saratoga Performing Arts Center (Saratoga Springs/Albany)

    54. Nikon at Jones Beach Theater (Wantagh/New York City)

    55. Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain (Scranton, Pa.)

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Happy Parade Day! Canyon of Heroes, bitches!

  20. thedayman Says:

    its a shame first midwest bank amphitheater (the old world music center) made that list. place is a dump with terrible sound and terrible surroundings, and no tailgating allowed taboot. i’m so glad phish has said nah to that place in 3.0

  21. Kaveh Says:

    @Miner: the Italy Twist is an excellent choice. Never heard that version. Thanks for sharing!

  22. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Totally agree, Señor Miner! Twist has transformed into a vanilla ice cream cone dessert treat. not much at that.

  23. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    What Kaveh said. Loving the Italian Twist!

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    BOAF by KW & Al

  25. halcyon Says:

    What up friends.

    Psyched to listen to some Twist today. Just what I need to get this day started. Thx miner.

    Hope everyone is doing well.

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