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. Guyute711 Says:

    Both pretenders!!!

  2. Kaveh Says:

    @T3: A lose isn’t attributed to just the guards on the team. Duke is weak on the interior.

  3. poop goblin Says:

    Miami BOTT and Ghost have no joined my repeated spins of the Miami Tweezer the last few days.

    Fun little run we had down there in Miami. I kinda dig the tweezer.

  4. poop goblin Says:

    also love that 97 Phoenix Twist

    gets overshadowed by the Antelope and Gumbo from that killer show but was always one of my favs I caught live

    I didn’t catch much 97-98 so it was always my go to twist.

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    just gettin’ your goat, kaveh. I watched both games. I know curry and rivers combined for 42 on Sunday. I guess they played “okay” 😉

    but rivalry games are a different animal entirely anyway.

  6. Gratefulcub Says:

    Duke, UNC, Syracuse, whatever…

    If any of them can find a way to score enough points against Anthony Davis and crew at Kentucky, you will probably win a championship.

    I’m betting they can’t 😉

  7. Selector J Says:

    @Kaveh Curry and Dawkins are definitely scoring threats but UNC matches up much better with them, I think. Duke runs great set plays to get them looks but they don’t devastate off the bounce like Rivers which completely break down a defense.
    Carolina has an incredible amount of size this year, especially since RB entered the line-up, which might compensate for being a step late coming off those patented Duke screens.

  8. phoammhead Says:

    can’t stand calipari and ky

  9. phoammhead Says:

    nice overview @selecta

  10. Selector J Says:

    @gcub Rematch!
    I’m betting UK gets dusted by the Heels in the tourney.

  11. El Duderino Says:

    When Cuse get’s past the 3rd round in the Tourney I’ll believe!
    Mostly they choke/underachieve more so than not.

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Missouri is the sleeper team ….

  13. Gratefulcub Says:

    There is a good chance that happens Selector. UNC stumbled a little, but since opening day it’s looked like those two, unless OSU or Syracuse ruin the party.

  14. El Duderino Says:

    close one last night Palmer

  15. InAMinute Says:

    ‘Cuse/G-town tomorrow! Let’s go Orange. Sad that in a few years this game will mean something so much less…

    What’s the latest on the dates? Just got back from CO – damn, do they need some snow out there in a big way.

  16. Kaveh Says:

    Missouri is the sleeper team ….

    ^ no offense…but a top 5 team is not a sleeper team.

  17. Gratefulcub Says:

    But Selector, they won’t get dusted. Beat? very possible. But UK just doesn’t give up enough points to get blown out. Best defensive team I have seen in quite some time.

  18. Mr.Miner Says:


  19. Robear Says:

    This Como version is the Italian supermodel of ‘Twists’

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    fok this orange noise 😉

  21. Guyute711 Says:

    We shall see Gcub. I am looking forward to the possible Davis, Fab Melo matchup. Davis I believe is better but if Fab can play well against him I think Cuse is too deep for Kentucky.

  22. InAMinute Says:

    @ Palmer – Mizzou is a sleeper? They’re ranked #4.

  23. Guyute711 Says:

    That’s right, Miner is a Hoya fan. Get ready to get slapped around friend. 🙂

  24. InAMinute Says:

    @ Kaveh – beat me to it…

    What’s the latest Bethel dates? Mem day/late June?

  25. Gratefulcub Says:

    I feel ya Palmer. Mizzou started the season with a bunch of backups from last year and a new coach. Barely ranked if at all. No one had them winning the Big 12 or going to the Final Four.

    And, Murray State is ranked 9th, ahead of Duke. So, what do rankings really mean. And I am a Murray State grad.

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