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”

  1. Robear Says:

    Tom, ‘Rock n Roll > Carini’ from Providence ’10 is some peak 3.0 psychedelic jamming.

  2. phoammhead Says:

    but, given what miner has now said and considering the end of that bethel simple again in my head . . . i’m not sure i would say or agree that fish aborts that jam. trey probably looked over at phish and gave a look for fish to begin the week groove beat.

  3. Dr Pronoia Says:

    Respect, Miner

    I’ll keep my ears open as I listen from here on out, but that would mean going back and listening to the chopped or unsuccessful jams which kinda sucks

    But I don’t want to float a theory (hastily worded and not well thought out between patients) and skimp on the data. I’ll try to find something

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    @robear – u get texts over there or email better?

  5. phoammhead Says:

    DrP’s flamin’ up in here! jk, docktor. you started a good convo worth exploring further.

  6. voopa Says:

    Heh, just had a “What song is this?” moment at around the 20″ min mark of the 7/4/00 set 2 opener.

  7. Robear Says:

    for all the hetty gold investors out there:

  8. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    i have said this before and also gotten somewhat flame broiled round here.

    its absolutely true, fishman has dropped out of many jams before the rest of the band.

    even though it opens up fo some quieter jams, a lot of times the rest of the band can continue to be psychedelic and if fishman kept a quiet groove going underneath it’d be incredible.

    thats what i love about some 99/00 jams, fishman had similar opportunities where the band is getting melodic and psychedelic but he choooses to continue a fast paced groove underneath which creates a real phishy sound and a great jam.

    im surprised so many ppl are against this notion that fishman is dropping out of jams nowadays – he really is. it is better in ’11 than it was in ’09, obviously. but we’re talking about 3.0, and its just the truth.

    imagine a slight, quiet but rhythmic tingle on the ride while some of the 3.0 era Simple or DWD jams melded into psychedelia. it would be great.

    dont get me wrong, i love sooooo much of what fishman does in some 3.0 jams. i mean shit, he’s come up with some insane beats during some of these jams.

    but its silly to say he doesnt drop out. he totally does. sorry fish

  9. Robear Says:

    email better. by the minute cell phone = texting rates are Jacked Up

  10. Gavinsdad Says:

    Thx rob.

  11. Multibeast Says:

    sorry to hijack the convo, but I know there are some fellow comic nerds on the BB and you will love this. And to the non comic book fans, still worth watching. A dude named Max Landis goes on “the angriest nerd rant of all time” on the topic of the Death of Superman, a comic run from the early 90s.

  12. phoammhead Says:

    besides given the way that bethel 3 show came off . . . makes more sense that simple was winding down for the groove takeover

    i hear you @purple . . . that’s interesting what you are saying. not sure myself.

  13. Gavinsdad Says:

    Jacked Up! I used to dig that segment.

  14. Robear Says:

    ahhh, back when db’s could tackle receivers as they caught the ball…

  15. Foul_Domain Says:

    Island Stash doesnt get as much credit as it deserves, imo. I fuckin love that Stash. Pure balls

  16. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    @FD – ive recently rediscovered my love for that stash… perfect trasnition into peacefullness from darkness. one of those instances where everyone listening hardly notices the change take place and 2 minutes later everyones like…

    wait what song is this?

  17. RoosterPizza Says:

    Speaking of jacked up…out comes the grav labs. this is the best piece I have owned in a while

  18. P.S.H.S Says:

    Watching deadmau5 concert on fuse, pretty interesting. Lots of hot chicks all jacked up on the x, or is it the e? Any electronic fans out there, what are your thoughts on this guy? Sold out his home town of torontos’ rodger center.

  19. Foul_Domain Says:

    A good Stash is all about tension and release, and that one delivered. The blissful passage is just gravy…such a good Stash!

  20. P.S.H.S Says:

    How do you know that these (electronic) guys don’t just put their cd on the pa, and dance around behind their booths? Are they actually mixing music live? Not hating, I just dont know…

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    How do you know Page isn’t just waving his arms around randomly? Actually, he isn’t. Those are stunt hands. Both of his real hands have steaming Hot Pockets in them.

  22. RoosterPizza Says:

    They are mixing. A good example is the live Tiesto “Elements” performance from Coppenhagen a couple of years back. One of the best live electronic performances I know of.

    They are definitely mixing. The top DJs get to the top because they blow minds with mixes (similar to jams) at smaller clubs, and then work their way up the ranks. It’s not unlike the jam scene at all. That’s my two cents…

  23. P.S.H.S Says:

    Hot pockets make funky noises when dropped on clavs
    ie: tube

  24. garretc Says:


    It depends on the DJ. Some mix live, some don’t. Couldn’t tell you which are which though…

  25. RoosterPizza Says:


    A little random fact is that Trey is not swatting at bugs in the Coral Sky show in the first set. You know what he’s up to…waving those arms

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