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. phoammhead Says:

    did bonnaroo in 2003 and that was some good shit! this year is definitely on my radar.

  2. sumodie Says:

    still don’t have any White Denim but they made lots of best of lists with D

    (and they’re not a Latin funk band like the others I mentioned earlier)

    as usual I go see what allmusic says:

  3. Gavinsdad Says:

    Im w Sumo on allmusic. That’s my shit

  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    allmusic is incredibly thorough. love digging through there

  5. garretc Says:

    4th’d on allmusic

    Go to reference for this kid

  6. Gavinsdad Says:

    Skrillex, Amon tobin, suen cutie, radiohead, the Phish and countless others dang.

  7. Gavinsdad Says:

    Skrillex isn’t my Cup at all. But he’s gonna turn that field on its head.

  8. sumodie Says:

    joe, I’m jonesin for some live music too but for now I just have tix for Rodrigo y Gabriela on 4/23 at the Orpheum (didn’t you take your slf to see them a while back?)

    Jambase says George Clinton is in Boston tomorrow night and Umphrey’s at HOB on Friday

    but for a fun stoney throwdown I’d check out either Kung Fu on 2/16 at Brighton Music Hall and/or Dopapod on 2/18 at the Middle East

    Caught some Kung Fu after Manchester’10 and they were pretty cool. Several peeps here have talked them up

    Dopapod has been gaining steam on the interwebz -I spun one of their live shows and it too was uber jammy fun. They did a loose Floyd cover that was sweet. Neither of those bands is much into lyrics

    Dr. Dog is at HOB in late March -I may try & hit that one

  9. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I’ll be at UM friday night. pretty sure there are still floor tix available

  10. albert walker Says:

    love all music but it’s only digital releases. at least half the fuckin albums I really want info on are vinyl only. besides that though great source use it all the time when digging through catalogs.

  11. albert walker Says:

    Til Shiloh (95)

    really a modern reggae classic. if you’ve never heard it truly brilliant. recorded as Buju started becoming a Rasta and is very positive revolutionary album. great stuff.

  12. albert walker Says:

    inna heights 1997

    shit bumps too.

    can’t get Murderer off Til Shiloh out of my head. damn buju was droppin the catchy hooks too.

  13. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    ::cue g711 gloat post::

    the word you are looking for is “escaped”. as in Syracuse escaped with a win.

  14. joe Says:

    I think Kung Fu on the 16th it is for me. maybe a last minute UM trip, but it might just be depressing feeling like an old man and these stupid kids and their stupid jam-lite music get off of my lawn. Dopapod is now on my radar too. thanks, sumo (and t3)

  15. joe Says:

    I’ll take the hoya cover though.

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    man. i NEVER call out refs as an excuse, but Hoyas just got fuct by a bunch of homers at the Dome. Just redic. From Clark and Sims getting their third fouls (both questionable) within 1 minute of the second half starting to not calling a foul down 3 on a hack under the rim. Whoever that Orange fan is on here can’t feel good about that one… smh

  17. joe Says:

    I like this murderer:

  18. sumodie Says:

    I really shouldn’t want this year’s Roo lineup to be so good as the more I think about it (with Bader Field the next weekend) the less I think I can go

    (not saying that likely shopped lineup pic is real, but it’s not unrealistic either)

    so Seun Kuti is appearing Sat 4/7 in Hudson NY -that’s just 2 hours from me…..

  19. joe Says:

    here I come is my go-to barrington levy song, though

  20. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    gonna have to agree with you there, miner. no way sims didn’t get fouled on at least a couple of those plays under the hoop.

  21. sumodie Says:

    joe, don’t expect the Kung Fu/Dopapod kids to be older than UM’s 😉

    age is just a state of mind anyway, except when diapers are involved

  22. angryjoggerz Says:

    That broo list looks pretty sick, though it does make me ask out loud “is anyone actually still into the Chili Peppers?”

  23. phoammhead Says:

    can you say flop! i can’t watch this shit!

  24. joe Says:

    yeah, I was just fucking around sumo. the Kung Fu is more my speed cuz the venue is an old stomping ground, cheap and easy and probably not a “scene”.

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    I dont know much about sports, but I know that the Hornets are no match for the Bulls.

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