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. sumodie Says:

    Bader Field, baby, like it or not. Why fight it?

    Glad to read that Metallica got the late June dates

    Still think we have to wait till the official Roo announcement before officially confirming any phish dates

  2. phoammhead Says:

    wish i kept better track of my stubs from the early years – nineties through mid-2000s . . . might be able to figure out what the hell went on. 😉

  3. phoammhead Says:

    i was there, kaya – yeah probably one of my favorite all time experiences

  4. phoammhead Says:

    ^not probably . . . definitely

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    fudge knuckles.
    if bader field rumors come true I can’t make it that weekend.
    wife’s cousin’s wedding.

  6. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    keller and al schnier play boaf

  7. garretc Says:

    On the subject of J-Dilla Day, some of my friends put together this playlist on our music blog for the occasion, if any of y’all want to partake.

    *End shameless plug*

  8. phoammhead Says:

    i’m going to bader field in mid-june for three phish shows

  9. Multibeast Says:

    Thanks garretc. Loving the playlist so far.
    Are these playlists downloadable?

  10. Multibeast Says:

    Great site by the way. Just read your 80’s post. Looking forward to diving into your blog.

  11. garretc Says:


    Thanks! Glad you’re enjoying! I know we used to post downloadable content, but we’ve been doing a lot of site upgrading lately and it looks like stuff is no longer downloadable, but I’ll look into that for ya.

    If you haven’t gathered, it skews mostly towards hip-hop and electronic, particularly new hip-hop and electronic, since that’s what my friends are into, but I do my best to inject some variety, since hip-hop, electronic, and new are all not my specialty…

  12. Mr. Palmer Says:

    When it comes to 2011 Phish, I find myself consistently gravitating towards Bethel 1 and 2. Not saying they were the best shows of the year, but really dig the flow as well as the jamming. Don’t really need to skip much, all seems to roll smoothly.

    The “S” show from Dicks is like that also.

  13. Multibeast Says:

    Nice, I appreciate you looking into it. I dig it because it does skew hip hop/electronic. I always appreciate a little direction in those genres.

    I have been digging the ’80’s revival’ in new music. Cut Copy’s Zonoscope was one of my favorite albums from last year. I am gonna look into other modern bands you have listed on your post.

    Thanks again and nice work!

  14. bad nirvana cover band Says:

    I like Eli Manning. He sounds a bit like Elmer Fudd in interviews.

  15. poop goblin Says:

    I caught Cut Copy live and didn’t quite get it. Seeing a bunch of hipsters dance to 80’s music seemed weird plus unlike most of these youngsters I was there in the 80’s and it wasn’t that great.
    On tour though started spinning the album with a full head post show and started digging it. So with a bit of a psychedelic buzz def down with that new Cut Copy. My girl loves 80’s music and really digs that album.

    Pretty good stuff.

  16. poop goblin Says:

    Sand>Light>Dirt Waves>Undermind>Steam>Fire

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    bethel 2 might be the best whole show of the year.

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    David Letterman- Do you ever talk to Tom Brady?

    Eli- No, not really. I don’t think he likes me very much…

  19. Robear Says:

    word Palmer. love not reaching for the skip button. SBIX III, I can start at any point, and let it play.

  20. Bob Dylan Says:

    Palmer, can your buddy get us a bottle of that bourbon?

  21. poop goblin Says:

    Chico Mann of Antibalas droppin some sick African tunes including several Orchestre Poly cuts.

  22. garretc Says:

    Yeah PooG, what I dig about the ’80s revival stuff is that they take the really lush, spacey synth tones and layered productions, take out all the cheesy overproduced pop star bullshit, then added in some psychedelic/ambient electronic touches…

    Good stuff

  23. poop goblin Says:

    Def garrett. It’s like being an AA. First step is just admitting you have a problem.

    My name is AW and I dig the last Cut Copy album.

  24. oldskool Says:

    Anyone else see all the Tweezers from the other day and all the Twists from today?

    I always loved the Twist from Polaris ’98 but have not re-spun in years so cant give a Kaya rating or anything

  25. Foul_Domain Says:

    Thanks for these Tuesday Twist’s, Miner. One of my favorite jam vehicles – I always get excited when Twist drops.

    I agree that 3.0 Twists need better treatment.

    This ’03 Alpine version is what Im talkin’ about!

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