Summer Additions?

7.3.11 (G.Lucas)

When Phish splashes into an open jam, the adventure is on, regardless of what song the jam stemmed from. But in 2011, a tighter rotation of regular jam vehicles caused a tad of predictability to ooze into shows. Though the music could obviously go any which way, we all knew when jams were coming based on song selection—except in of a handful of surprise instances. With such a wide array of untapped material this era, the diversification of jam vehicles could instantly bolster the excitement of summer tour. In no way longing for the past, I believe the following five jams could be reinvented as platforms into the future.


“A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing”

With only two improvisational versions in this era—Deer Creek ’09 and Super Ball IX—it’s a wonder Phish hasn’t further tapped the vast potential of this sinister jam. Like many great Phish jams, this one starts out with structured improv centered on a monster guitar solo, but once this sequence ends, the flood gates of possibilities open. Not prone to one style of playing or another, “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” could easily mold to whatever direction the band chooses this summer. At Super Ball, the band quickly integrated an ambient-storage style jam into the piece, and back at  SPAC ’04, they launched into a refined excursion in psych-rock. Thus, every time the opening of this song growls through the stacks, there is inherent mystery as to where it will go. Check out Super Ball’s version below.



“Halley’s Comet”

Nothing screams summer Phish like “Halley’s Comet” jams. Making its improvisational name for itself from 1997 onward, “Halley’s” is always a welcome addition to any show in summer months. And when the band used it to craft one 2011’s defining jams out of the piece in Bethel, many fans thought its improvisational prowess had finally been resurrected. But it wasn’t to be, as the song returned to its compact form after its New York state adventure. Though doubtful, it would be invigorating to hear “Halley’s” grooves grace the summer air once again in 2012. Here’s Bethel’s version.



“Scents and Subtle Sounds”

This song has been an enigma in this era after emerging as one of the band’s compelling vehicles the last time around. Played only three times in 3.0—primarily for bust-out purposes—Trey launched into a soaring and emotional solo in Denver that seemed to awaken the spirit of the song. If “Scents and Subtle Sounds” returns to regular rotation—whether used as an open or contained jam—a certain majesty will come right along with it, perfectly meshing with any summer evening. And if this ever does transpire, let’s hope the band brings the intro with it! The following is Super Ball’s version—with intro.



“AC/DC Bag”

“AC/DC Bag” turned a corner in 1997, with so many other songs, and became a legitimate platform for improv. Though never a guaranteed jam, for the next four years, the band took the song in countless directions, from UIC ‘98s drone/ambient psychedelia to Virginia Beach ‘98’s summer funk to Boise ‘99’s all-time spiritual excursion. The Gamehendge favorite hasn’t broken form in this era, which isn’t all that surprising, but if the band ever decided to toss a few “Bag” jams into the second set, things could get spicy quickly! Check out Virginia Beach ’98 below.



“Round Room”

Here’s a dark horse pick. Appearing only a handful of times in the post-hiatus era, the title track from Round Room could make an intriguing launch pad with the band members’ now-polished skill sets. Taken in layered, ambient directions back in ’03, this jam could benefit from the sound-sculpting acumen of Phish these days. I wonder, however, if “Round Room” is even still on their radar. Here’s the Gorge version from 2003.



What song’s would you like to be seen focused on this summer? Respond via Twitter with the hashtag #minertalk, or on the Facebook page! Or just post in comments below, but let’s hear what you think!

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800 Responses to “Summer Additions?”

  1. sumodie Says:

    Yerba mate is great and contains caffeine

    Woosta’s Beechwood hotel is very nice but not walking distance to the Centrum (however it is walking distance to an abandoned insane asylum)

  2. plord Says:

    Beechwood seems sold out now.

  3. sumodie Says:

    “Of course The Band was a huge influence on Phish and many other bands. But Levon’s own musical career is just so inspiring…. from wanting to leave the Bob Dylan scene in the 60s despite all the success around it in order to follow his own musical tastes to the incredible Midnight Rambles of recent years. I was lucky enough to go to four of the Rambles and play at one, and these were life changing experiences. Jon Fishman called home from the parking lot after the first one I went to, saying it was a top musical experience of his life.

    I’ve always thought music can exist so perfectly when churning in the confines of a barn, and this took it to an extreme where American culture was simply bubbling over with authenticity, passion, and a connection to the backwoods and the hills. It’s a testament that ten or fifteen incredible (and notable) musicians came through each time to make up and enhance this house band (not to mention the incredible opening bands). In the middle of the barn, with his deep seventy year old smile, Levon’s uniquely spare yet fierce drumming propelled a repertoire through these enchanted nights. Folk, bluegrass, and country blended effortlessly with blues, soul, and funk, creating a melting pot of sounds unique to our country. And despite battles with throat cancer, Levon would grab the mic and sing so powerfully that it shook the beams of his old barn-home to the core.

    To do a few cool things when someone’s young is one thing, but then to grow older and cultivate such a heartfelt and moving musical situation is very inspiring. It’s no wonder so many artists are influenced by his sound, his sensibility, and his projects with their own pursuits. This is a huge loss, and I’m sorry for anyone who couldn’t experience that magic first hand, and I’m thankful that our country and our musical community was lucky enough to be graced by such a soul”

    – Mike Gordon

  4. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Is mediafire being shut down?

    Also, after a steady diet of The Band today, wanted to relisten to Look Out Cleveland from Blossom ’10 in honor of Levon. Ended up spinning that show the whole way through. Second set is great shit. Way more to offer than just the numberline (which is the only reason I’ve revisited since right after it happened). Captivated. May be time to end my hiatus.

    Phish is good.

  5. vegas wolfmans Says:

    ^Great words from Cactus.

  6. sumodie Says:

    Mediafire is still operational but undergoing federal investigation

  7. vegas wolfmans Says:

    ::bookmarks bbers mediafire addys and begins furious dloading fiesta::

    (while listening to Hershey ’10- hiatus over)

  8. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Coyote on the Last Waltz by Joni Mitchell is the sweetness.

  9. madmax76 Says:

    Did someone say insane asylum! Suzy! Suzy!

  10. Duder Says:

    It was MILES better than the Down Hill From Here vid. Jer’s face during Minglewood was worth the admission alone

  11. voopa Says:

  12. Duder Says:

    “maybe phish will do something special this summer in honor/memory of levon
    do they do or have they done anything up to now?”-phoammy

    Trey has done Cripple Creek with Phil… singing and whatnot ’06 methinks

  13. jerseyjim Says:

    possible repeat-post. if so, sorry…review of new Spiritualized album, and background…

  14. vegas wolfmans Says:

    GREAT post @voopa. I’d dismissed versions of that tune he played on the last couple TAB tours. The one linked above is undeniable. $$$

  15. IrieWalton Says:

    Mate actually doesn’t contain caffeine but maitiene, which is similar to caffeine but is processed differently by the body. So while coffee is a great head buzz, matte is an insane whole body buzz when consumed in large doses. Also makes for a great hippie speed ball. YMMV.

  16. lumpyhead Says:

    so who else saw Radiohead this tour? I saw them at Coachella; it was my first time to see them live. I was blown away.

  17. madmax76 Says:

    @ lumpy. I know william H Bonney went to a show.

  18. garretc Says:

    Yeah Dude, I had a blast. Great to see the band having a blast on stage. Classic ’80s setlists and an Other One head fake, but some high quality playing the whole way through.

    Great way to spend a Thursday night!

    Plus I feel like I understand Brent’s role in the music a lot more now having seen him in action and the way they, particularly Jerry feed off his energy…

  19. garretc Says:

    Clearly “blast” is the word of the day…

  20. sumodie Says:

    Pretty sure scientists have shown that what was previously thought to be “mateine” is in fact caffeine

    However, yerba mate does contain other xanthines besides just caffeine, so yes it does provide a different buzz compared with regular teas and coffee. Very interesting plant….with some potentially great health benefits

    I looked thru Wikipedia:

    and then dove into the hardcore stuff:

    I first tried mate after seeing the main characters drink it in the Motorcycle Diaries -great flick on the early life of Che Guevara

  21. sumodie Says:

    Clearly “blast” is the word of the day…


    I vote for ‘yerba mate’ or just ‘mate’ if you wanna get all technical about it 😉

    Glad to hear that GD Alpine Valley at the movies was a….blast!

  22. thedayman Says:

    couldn’t get my hands on that stuff, seems as though it’s only sold online. rocking caffeine, don’t have much of another choice.

    hope everyone’s having a swell evening.

  23. Slicksasquatch Says:

    After a long streak of feeling disenfranchised by the ph org. I haven’t had much positive to say so I haven’t said it. That being said I Just came in to agree w you miner that Asihtos needs the royal treatment this summer. I could listen to this song everyday because it has so much of the qualities of the ph that I love . I have been lucky enough to catch this gem most of the times it’s been played and enjoyed it thoroughly every time. Hell I even asked big red to bust it out at Asheville . Here is to raw emotion pouring through stacks. : tips:

  24. dognamedwilson Says:

    @dayman, I picked some up at the grocery tonight as I’m also in for a string of long nights with the run up to finals officially underway. It all a sprint from here. No sleep till May. Title of my new album. Point is, they had 3 brands for like $6 and I’m still awake soooooo….get some?

  25. thedayman Says:

    dang, unaware @dognamed, dunno why i couldnt find any. good luck in your quest sir.

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