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. InAMinute Says:

    @ Marco – I remember Tom coming out to sing we’re not gonna take it – that was a really fun show. It’s amazing how many times they play Nassau. Though those fall 1999 shows were very different than the ’98 Island tour – similar to how the November 2003 Nassau show was VERY different from the 2/28 show.

  2. El Duderino Says:

    @ Ghost

    Yes. prefer an aud over a compressed FM signal

  3. kayatosh Says:

    I’m with ya, InaMinute. YEM is the only thing i spin from that show.

  4. voopa Says:

    GhostDog- FM compression varies, but is typically 128 or 256Kbps. A good lossless AUD will trump almost every time.

    Kaya- Jack Riley is a good man.

  5. kayatosh Says:

    oh wow, voops. cool. I have a few of his recordings. the 10.29.2010 is especially good, esp. for a boomy room. aud. has no boom. I didn’t bother to get the LP sbds. can’t imagine they sound better than this aud.

  6. Robear Says:

    Wow, this Camden ‘ Twist ‘ $$$

    There are many fine aspects to 3.0 jamming. However, patience isn’t one of them. Listen again to this 7/4/00 interplay fest.

  7. kayatosh Says:

    yep, robear. i was loving that twist yesterday. really great.

  8. GhostDog Says:

    Gracias folk… seems not much worth the time tracking the lossless FM>dat recordings vs. the mp3 (ie from the archives) unless they are the pre FMs.

    Are there any other preFMs out there for FTAs other than from Bonarroo? How about pre FMs from the Went or Wheel?

  9. poop goblin Says:

    and many times Robear the fine jamming of 3.0 is accompanied by that retro patience

    Miami Tweezer (def of focused, thematic, patience jamming IMO)
    Dick’s Tweezer
    Gorge RnR
    Greek Light and Simple

  10. kayatosh Says:

    Little buddy, if you’re out there, hope things turned out Ok w/ your boy.

  11. InAMinute Says:

    Oddly quiet the last few days vis-a-vis dates. What is the word?

    Kaya – where’d you listen to that YEM? Have never gone back to listen to any of that show?

  12. Robear Says:

    Two burning ass questions for two of my favorite things:

    Coach Bellichik, where the fuck is the talent to surround Brady with?

    Trey, what happened to the patience in your music?

  13. Robear Says:

    Totally Poo G! When it’s there, it’s our favorite. From the fan angle, it looks like pulling teeth to get it sometimes.

    SBIX III was the most patient ‘show’ since return, IMO

  14. Mike in Austin Says:

    I’m not an audiophile, but the disadvantages of FM is it’s usually capped around 15KHz. Unlike 20-20K that most systems shoot for.

    While that is a disadvantage to losing full spectrum of the original, you do get stereo seperation, lack of wind, other problems that they deck may create (diginoise f’instance) or just poor placement of microphones or blocking by other rigs.

    “From the Archives”
    8/15/1997 – 6-8 PM – WENT FM – KA2XZE
    The Great Went – Loring Air Force Base – Limestone, ME

    Source: prefm-dsbd dat>rme96/8>cd wav editor>mkw>shn.
    Seeded by: mikey k. t34mbtp/ thanks and enjoy.!!!!

    Disc 1 (67:22)
    1. Sign-Off (0:32)
    2. Bathtub Gin (10:29)
    (8/16/96 I – Clifford Ball – Plattsburgh AFB – Plattsburgh, NY)
    3. Kevin (0:36)
    4. Halley’s Comet > (13:58)
    5. Alumni Blues > (2:50)
    6. Letter to Jimmy Page > (1:07)
    7. Alumni Blues (0:39)
    (8/17/89 III – The Front – Burlington, VT)
    8. Kevin (0:46)
    9. Spock’s Brain, (5:38)
    10. Reba (15:08)
    (5/16/95 – Voters For Choice Benefit – Lowell Mem. Aud. – Lowell, MA)
    11. Kevin (1:08)
    12. Fixin’ to Die (6:37)
    (11/19/94 Soundcheck – Indiana University Auditorium – Bloomington, IN)
    13. Kevin (0:37)
    14. Vocal Jam, Dog Log (7:09)
    (10/14/95 Soundcheck – Austin Music Hall – Austin, TX)

    Disc 2 (56:54):
    1. Kevin (0:39)
    2. Swing Low Sweet Chariot, (1:51)
    3. The Curtain (With) (12:33)
    (8/29/87 II – Living Room of The Ranch – Shelburne, VT)
    4. Kevin (0:35)
    5. Narration > Divided Sky (15:37)
    (11/15/91 I – Trax – Charlottesville, VA)
    6. Kevin (0:39)
    7. Camel Walk (6:06)
    (7/25/88 III – Nectar’s – Burlington, VT)
    8. Kevin (0:50)
    9. Harry Hood* (13:34)
    (4/18/92 II – Wilbur Field – Stanford U – Palo Alto, CA)
    10. (0:18)
    11. Scarlet Begonias (4:04)
    (Grateful Dead – 9/15/85 II – Chula Vista, CA)

    Disc 3 [48:07]:
    1. Trey, Bruce Burgess [0:33]
    2. Fluffhead [9:34]
    10/31/86 I – Sculpture Room – Goddard College – Plainfield, VT
    3. Kevin [1:43]
    4. YEM -> Jam % [31:44]
    5/5/93 II – Palace Theater – Albany, NY
    5. Kevin [4:29]

    * = with “Linus & Lucy” tease

  15. Robear Says:

    Greek 3, set 2, patient.

    SBIX ‘Asihtos’, patient.

  16. kayatosh Says:

    InaMin: I thought it was on my portable FLAC player. however, when i went to check the player for the info., i couldn’t find the track. can’t find it on my external either. mystery. did i imagine hearing it this am?

  17. poop goblin Says:

    anyone that hasn’t spun the Miami tweezer in the last 6 months or so go hit it

    it will blow you away how smooth, slick, and patient all 4 members run through that bitch

    agreed on SBIX III Robear

    everything fell into place that day. great 2 setter.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    will spin miami tweezer today. i have spun it in the past, but can’t place it in my mind. you’ve been pimpin it for years. well done.

  19. Mike in Austin Says:

    I heard a very patient Reba in Cincy this summer. Which is far too rare.

  20. Robear Says:

    @miner, finally hitting up this GW ‘Birds’. Holy Moses! Gadzooks man, it’s so sick.

  21. poop goblin Says:

    not too many jams in 3.0 I would point to Trey as being the leader and most important force

    SBIX Reba is one of them. brilliant octave work. killer comping. great leads. very cerebral player stuff. real nice.

    also Waves > Undermind is pure old school guitar led brilliance.

    and Bethel waves contains licks i’m still weren’t played by 3.0 Trey in the initial guitar solo. more of that guitar player please.

  22. tela'smuff Says:

    Training seminars suck balls.

    Great point about the retro patience. In my 3.0 retrospection project, it’s been glaring how it truly has been all Trey keeping the band reined in. At the same time, there has been an impressive amount of great jams fully fleshed out in much shorter timeframe than 1.0 and 2.0. One big issue I find is that even when a jam has been pretty much fully realized, Trey needs to give it another minute or so to complete the seques. While there are more great jams than I had given them credit for, there are an underwhelming amount of good segues. Song selection has been another 3.0 weakness. So many really strong second sets have been killed not only by the greatest hits ending string of songs, but the coveted 2nd or 3rd song second set has been abused by some questionable choices.

  23. Luther T. Justice Says:

    I had not listened back to the Miami Tweezer for probably 2 years. I concur w/the Poop. That is a blueprint for what we’d all like to hear but only get intermittently in the 3.0 era. Strange that a Tweezer for the ages would have been born in 2009, but ya just never know…

  24. halcyon Says:

    Hey Tela’s

    Good to hang out on Saturday night. Euclid Hall was great. Check out Westword Blog for a fun writeup of Ryan Adams at the Buell.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    take this Tweezer to the dome…

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