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. Mike in Austin Says:

    I just have to say that Como Italy and Phish. What was I thinking? Just those three words sound Epic.

  2. DryIceFactory Says:

    Cool read Mr. p

  3. Robert Champion Says:

    Kaveh – email sent.

  4. El Duderino Says:

    slow day here….

    Don’t you guys wanna talk about the Island Tour??? 😉

  5. Kaveh Says:

    Roger that Robert.

  6. garretc Says:

    Nah El Dude, but I still have a lot of soccer talk in me, if we’re looking for conversation starters… Haha

  7. Mike in Austin Says:

    “Dark and exploratory while remaining wholly cohesive” – More of this from Phish please.

  8. phoammhead Says:

    ftr, i love soccer – my fav sport

    football’s okay, too

    phish? well, 2 outta 3 ain’t bad. 😉

  9. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Guy who won the safety prop bet at the superbowl is donating all 50k to charity, including 5k to the charity of Tom Brady’s choice.

  10. phoammhead Says:

    miner, thanks for the twists arounds!

  11. Kaveh Says:

    From Metallica’s website:

    Hey boys and girls… a date to note from your friendly ‘Tallica boys, Tuesday, February 7 at 11am Pacific time… right here!

    I think some AC is going to drop today.

  12. El Duderino Says:

    Dude must have some coin Palmer

  13. lumpyhead Says:

    everyone – have a great day today!

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Gronk after the Superbowl. Is this guy insane?

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I find eichner’s stuff hilarious. ymmv. the dan patirck appearance is pretty funny.

  16. Multibeast Says:

    This is for Admiral Ackbar and fans of Ackbar:

  17. Robear Says:

    Palmer, at a minimum he’s 22 and full of testosterone.

  18. Robear Says:

    More signs I’m getting older, this morning daughter suggests I need a hair replacement program.

  19. Selector J Says:

    re: Twist
    From “WOO!” to “…woo.”

    re: Boeheim
    Yea, really @G711. This is dook-UNC week. I mean, my soon-to-be 3-yr old daughter was rocking her Carolina cheerleading outfit and Chuck Taylors this morning. Completely unprompted. She gets it.

    Who cares how many wins ‘Jimmy 2-3’ has anyway? :mrgreen:

    re: UNC
    The one thing about the dookies that has me worried is Austin Rivers. With Strickland out for the year, the Heels don’t have anyone who can stay in front of him.
    – Kendall Marshall is not a great on-the-ball defender– just doesn’t have any lateral quickness.
    – Bullock is great at denying passes and altering shots with his length but he has trouble staying in front of the dribble, too.
    – PJ Hairston might be the guy best suited for that specific task but he likely won’t play much more than 15-20 minutes.

    That said, Carolina creates match-up problems at every other position so I like Carolina’s chances. It should be another good one.

  20. albert walker Says:

    You should get an old school hair piece robear

  21. Selector J Says:

    How come you never told me about these guys?

    Not bad.

  22. Kaveh Says:

    The one thing about the dookies that has me worried is Austin Rivers.

    ^ Andrew Dawkins
    ^ Seth Curry

    Guard play in Coack K-ville is expectional.

  23. Kaveh Says:

    Best rivalry in sports in my opinion: Duke and UNC. A very close second is the Packers and Bears. These are games were, 95% of the time, records do NOT count.

  24. negev79 Says:

    Hey all! Long time no post. Re-emerging….hope everyone is well! Funny that Twist came up today – I was just listening this morning at the gym to the RnR->Twist->Boogie On->Ghost->Free from 12/29/03 and wishing Phish would take Twist out for more of a ride in 3.0.

  25. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Guard play in Coack K-ville is expectional.

    except at home against teams from florida, apparently 😉

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