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. halcyon Says:

    Mike’s Song from Bethel is crunchy.

  2. poop goblin Says:

    Fela’s music still pissin off Nigerian soldiers. good stuff.

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

  4. Kaveh Says:

    Some Summer 98 for your enjoyment. First part of Set II.

  5. tela'smuff Says:

    Hey Halcy! We really enjoyed dinner, great food and good convo as usual. Congrats on the Giants win. I read that review, most excellent. Loved the show, and got a tweet back from Ryan after I tweeted about Mr. Cat. Dude is funny. Hope to catch ya at the end of Feb Halcy.

  6. stapes Says:

    You guys hit Euclid? Love that place!

    Got reservations at Rioja for Denver restaurant week. Looking forward to that.

  7. halcyon Says:

    Rioja! Good on ya. Place is swanky. Euclid is part of her (Exec Chef) restaurant group.

    Mr. Cat has been in our conversation this week.

  8. stapes Says:

    Yea she does good work @Hal. Like the whole idea she’s got going.

  9. tela'smuff Says:

    Anybody that references Dune and Skyrim in his stage banter is cool by me.

    Stapes, its been a bit since I’ve had Oskars wings and Pliney.

  10. stapes Says:

    She’s got a cookbook out I’d like to grab too.

  11. stapes Says:

    @tela’s – I’m down for something on whatever day the slf is printing. Maybe we should check out a new brewery we haven’t been to.

  12. Steve P Says:

    The “Jersey Twist” was some of the most out there, sick jam that PH did during that era, agreed MM? Very underrated to me.

  13. El Duderino Says:

    I’ll be in Denver tomorrow… for about 90 minutes

  14. HarryHood Says:

    Dear Phish,

    Let’s have some tourdates already. Didn’t you hear that DMB announced their 2012 dates today? They don’t make their fans wait. Why must you? You’ve got 48 hours to inform us what your intentions for this year are or I’m ordering tickets and going on DMB tour instead.

  15. El Duderino Says:

    Dune needs to be redone IMO…

  16. stapes Says:

    Yes please dates!

  17. stapes Says:

    I really would like some bacon wrapped dates.

  18. poop goblin Says:

    Seun Kuti been droppin some killer picks on twitter from protests in Nigeria over the recent removal of fuel subsidies

    haven’t been this excited for a concert in a while. Apr 1st in Chicago kids.

    such a great album and can’t fuck with the Egypt 80. so stoked.

  19. HarryHood Says:

    I’ve gotten like 3 different festival lineup announcements in my e-mail today. Must be announcment week. Gimme some summer Phish!

  20. c0wfunk Says:

    Hey kids – stopping in with a little cameo to throw out a plug for the LEAF festival this spring. Old timers likely have seen my plug on this festival before..

    I know Seun Kuti’s album got big play around here .. he’s the headliner, along with Taj Majal, Preservation Jazz Band, and Corey Harris. And of course the entire LEAF experience is one of a kind if you haven’t been, give it a shot. Especially those of you with kids who have given up on festivals..

    Hope all are doing swell! Click the link in my name for more LEAF details. I’d love to see some of you SE kids out!

  21. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    this just made me wish we could use gifs as avatars here. reminds me of a few very visual evenings I had once upon a time.

  22. Robear Says:

    from last year:

    plord Says:
    March 23rd, 2011 at 10:38 pm

    Already predicting great things for the 8/7 Gorge date.

    Mark it.

  23. thedayman Says:

    what a tweezer! 7/25/98. the predecessor to the 8/1/98 beast. thanks for the vid Mr P

  24. stapes Says:

    I miss the slow build intro Pipers.

  25. thedayman Says:

    new age phish funk, interesting contrast to the 7/25/98 funk:

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