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. thedayman Says:

    cool rendition imo @ T3. floyd feel to it. really enjoyable, and way different to the original obviously

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    yeah, I thought so too. swanky. and say what you want but I have always dug Al’s playing. but what do I know.

  3. thedayman Says:

    agreed T3PO. me gusta

  4. halcyon Says:

    Broomfield ’10 had a real nice Twist.

  5. Kaveh Says:

    This Camden Twist is killer…I’ll have to spin it again! And there is a nice little treat on the backside of this Twist too.

  6. Guyute711 Says:

    Tried to listen to Keller and waited through the first three minutes of the video while he set up. I just can’t take that dudes voice though I’m sure every lady in the audience would allow him to piss in their ears. 😉

  7. Kaveh Says:

    Random (poster): Is anyone interested in the two Alpine 09 posters? I have them framed and matted and they need a new home. Got to cut down on the poster collection. Let me know. Thanks.

    …now back to Tuesday-Twist-Talk.

  8. El Duderino Says:

    or their butts 😉 right T3?

  9. Kaveh Says:

    Replayed Camden; immediately.

  10. DryIceFactory Says:

    Hey y’all, been MIA on a surf mission in Costa Rica for the past week. Coming back Saturday but there’s tide and wind issues down here so I figured I’d drop in and see if anyone thinks an announcement is coming today?

  11. DryIceFactory Says:

    Loved MSG crosseyed->twist btw. Such a fun way to open a set.

  12. Robert Champion Says:

    Good morning everyone – What’s the good word?

  13. Robert Champion Says:

    Keva – I would like those Alpine posters – Email me @ and we can arrange something.

  14. KOOKS Says:

    I’m hearing Mike play Beatles Good Day Sunshine at the beginning of Italy Twist.

  15. DryIceFactory Says:

    Just listened to MSG cities. It’s really good.

  16. Kaveh Says:


    You have an email address you can send to me? I would love to find out about Costa Rica? My wife and I are planning a trip. Thanks.

    kjrahimi at yahoo dot com.

  17. Robert Champion Says:

    It’s a fun cities no doubt. Been listening to the Piper all week too again.

  18. DryIceFactory Says:

    I’m on a touch right now but I’m here on my 4th visit in 8 years and I could send you all kinds of info. I’m staying in Nosara (north pacific coast) and its awesome here. Perfect blend of local and American culture. Dirt roads to keep lousy people away too. Drop me a line at equatemylifewithsand gmail and when I get home I will hook up some info.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    enjoy your time down there @dry
    my brother has land down south near Matapalo on Peninsula de Osa. such a beautiful part of the world.

    pura vida indeed.

  20. Robert Champion Says:

    lousy people?

  21. ae Says:

    pura vida. went on my honeymoon to costa rica. awesome place.

    can provide info if anyone wants. ajepstein1 yahoo

    where is our announcement?

  22. DryIceFactory Says:

    Lousy people = bad attitudes. This is a surfing and fishing town (both can be competitive but they aren’t here cause of the vibe) with a serious smoking problem (the right kind of smoking). We burned inside the restaurants the last two nights with the owners. Food and rent are cheap. It’s amazing down here.

  23. DryIceFactory Says:

    Thanks t3. Loving it just need a sun break. Going to surf in an hour.

  24. Mr. Palmer Says:

    AE. Mitch and other bourbon drinkers.

    This is my buddy Mike from Char. 4 and the most expensive bourbon around. Pretty cool.

  25. Kaveh Says:

    Thanks DryIceFactory…I will.

    @Robert Champion: give me an email about those posters; we’ll work something out. kjrahimi at yahoo dot com. Thanks.

    BB: I’ll see what other treasure’s I need to get rid of. More soon.

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