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. poop goblin Says:

    bought one of these at Deadly Dragon in NYC

    all proceeds go to the Free Buju Defense fund

  2. poop goblin Says:

    ‘Til Shiloh and Inna Heights were such classics when I was just getting into reggae

    such an amazing transformation to hear on those albums as he became a rasta and dropped his more slack lyrics for a conscious style

    great albums

  3. verno329 Says:

    Well I was thinking about coming up to CLT at the beginning of March but now my buddy’s band is opening for UM at the Fillmore next week too. Decisions, decisions.

  4. El Duderino Says:

    dickey Betts will tour with the ABB in 2012!!!!!!

  5. BingosBrother Says:

    sup y’all. anybody going to Atlanta for Trey’s symphony opener tomorrow? Read the last couple pages and peeps seem to be psyched as hell for that shit. 😯

    Favorite Trey Dance = When Trey stalks the stage like he’s gonna fuckin kill someone. i.e. this Austin Tweezer

  6. InAMinute Says:

    @ Duder – that was false hope – Dickie is playing with his own band – “There is no word yet as to whether Betts will perform with his former band”

  7. verno329 Says:

    @Duder It says he will be touring with his band Great Southern in 2012. But it does say he will be receiving an award with the ABB. I would hope he would play with them then but it doesn’t mention him rejoining the ABB.

  8. El Duderino Says:


  9. El Duderino Says:

    Got ahead of myself there… sorry folks’

  10. albert walker Says:

    I imagine at this point they’d have to let him in as a third player

    Seems like DT and WH ain’t goin anywhere.

    Last time I saw ABB I think DB was in the band still. That little run at the Riviera.

  11. Selector J Says:

    Nice score, @pg. What did you think of Deadly Dragon? I’ve never been to their store only bought from them online.
    Buju is one of those guys that really does have a ton of talent. Never really dug into the 90s dancehall but just from the little I know it’s clear that he owned dancehall (along with Sizzla) in the 90s. Gargamel is great nickname, too.

    I really like his 2007 “Driver A” on the Taxi riddim. Big tune. In retrospect, maybe a little too close to home. (The video is great as well.)

  12. El Duderino Says:

    that ’96 run @ the Riv was the bidness! 1st show i ever taped

  13. albert walker Says:

    It was epic selector but everything was whipped and very taxed

    Still nice to hold the OG full length studio one burning spear in your hands no matter what condition

    Sizzla capleton and buju were our guys in that era

    Til shiloh gettin bumped now
    Great spin front to back

  14. joe Says:

    I’m a poseur dancehall fan. Beenie man and Shabba Ranks with a little ninjaman for me.

    tons of fun at a shabba concert in 1991

  15. Selector J Says:

    Right on. Their online prices are taxed, too. Nothing’s cheap in NYC, I guess. They make up for it with a killer inventory with lots of stuff that other places like ebreggae don’t. You can tell they keep up with all the collector trends, too, and in a lot of cases are affecting those trends as well.

    Forgot Capleton. Another really good one. Heard someone refer to him as Ras Pyro the a while back for all of his “fiyah bun” references. Thought that was pretty funny.

  16. Selector J Says:

    @joe Ninja, Shabba, and Beenie are no slouches as far as I’m concerned. However, I’m a poseur dancehall fan, too. I’m working my way up through the 80s right now. Finding some good stuff from 86-88 lately. Really digging some Super Cat from that era.

  17. BingosBrother Says:

    Whoa, was this heavy bridge in this 1989 Halloween Reba common for the time? It starts at 2:36 and goes to 3:50. Glad they cut it if so, cause its totally out of place and not a great fit.

  18. Selector J Says:

    Need to dig in to some more Buju. I have Til Shiloh somewhere but never really listened to it. Starts out with some top notch Buju:

    Til I’m Laid to Rest
    Untold Stories
    Not an Easy Road

  19. joe Says:

    miner’s hoyas are 9 point underdogs tonight @cuse? small play with some of my winnings on the Hoyas to cover (yeah, under in the superbowl. small consolation for this pats fan)

  20. Cable Hogue Says:

    El Dude blew my mind for a second there, til I clicked on the link…

    That would be shocking. Still, nice to hear that he’s getting out there. Dickey was fire at the early 90’s ABB shows I saw…that “Shades of Two Worlds” era was real good for the Brothers.

  21. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    just when you think “hey its 6pm, only an hour left of work”

    boss comes over… working till middle of the night.


  22. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    good thing about it is i will be alone at the office for at least 5 hours with nothing to do until after midnight, and my friends apt is down the block so i can get all Bane’d up and buy some beer, and watch phish videos for a few hours on the big screen at the office.


  23. sumodie Says:

    If this Bonnaroo lineup is true I’ll def want to get all dank nasty fried in TN again this June

    Counted 20 bands I’d love to see…official announcement next week (ie, our first likely phish tourdate drop)

  24. tela'smuff Says:

    score. just won a pair of tickets to Phil Lesh & Friends for Feb 16th. via Twitter. Thanks Don Strasburg!

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    busy day, now i have to go to a kindergarten orientation at 7pm..ugh.

    Aw- i have that Antibalas (sp? ) link you hooked up yesterday bookmarked. Gonna hit that later during my down time. I didn’t even read what it was. I trust that it is good. Saw some Orchestre on there so in know it can’t be half bad.

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