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!

Tags: ,

800 Responses to “Summer Additions?”

  1. Multibeast Says:

    Levons interviews from the Last Waltz may be the best part of the movie, IMO. Obviously the music stands for itself. He just seemed like a really cool dude.

  2. garretc Says:

    Well, TIII, I’d have to assume that would mean IT was the Ball, no?


  3. marcoesq Says:

    Lemonwheel Gumbo: $$ 🙂 $$

  4. marcoesq Says:

    Just at my good buddy’s Wedding in Hotlanta over the weekend, the band was AMAZING and covered a lot of The Band in addition to some Dead. This was the tail end of the 2nd set:

    Eyes>Ophelia>Shakedown>The Weight>Sample

    E: The Shape I’m In

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    depends if we are assuming the symmetric property of festivals to be valid in this case, garret.

  6. dognamedwilson Says:

    Who was the Band, Marco?

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I mean, in euclidean festivalometry, sure, but what about in Bolyai-Lobachevskian or Riemannian modes of understanding festivals?

  8. marcoesq Says:

    Don’t know their name, I’ll ask. Wedding was around Marietta if that helps. It was 5 dudes; 1 on keys, 2 sick lead guitar players, bass and drumz

  9. marcoesq Says:

    Firing up the Lemowheel Hood. Here we gooooooo

  10. JP Says:

    has anyone seen Snarky Puppy live and care to share impressions?

  11. JP Says:

    lemonwheel box set would be very welcome – as long as ambient set is included of course

  12. marcoesq Says:

    ^Yes. Or like a “Best of” 6-12 disc set from Clifford, Went, Lemonwheel, Oswego, IT and Cypress

  13. marcoesq Says:

    @dog-Name of the band was Sweetwater something..

  14. MiA Says:

    “I mean, in euclidean festivalometry, sure, but what about in Bolyai-Lobachevskian or Riemannian modes of understanding festivals?”

    I just spit out my coffee.


  15. bob dylan Says:

    damn, bummer about levon. furthur dedicated last night to him.

    i’d have seen him live if the beacon security guards didnt suck so hard.
    so it goes.

  16. Multibeast Says:

    Watch 10 Great Levon Helm Performances:

  17. Multibeast Says:

    Levon’s vocals and reinterpretation of Tennessee Jed from his most recent albums is pretty sweet.

  18. MiA Says:

    I guess they only really jam’d once in 3.0 according to

    2000-09-17 Merriweather Post Pavillion, Columbia, MD
    2003-08-02 Loring Commerce Center at Loring Air Force Base,
    2003-12-28 American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL
    2011-07-01 Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, NY

  19. robear Says:

    bob, firefox keeps crashing. same with iCal. spotify won’t open.


  20. IrieWalton Says:

    How does Spotify have nearly every other album by The Band except the Last Waltz?! Probably something to do with licensing rights of the other artists.

  21. MiA Says:

    Please tell me that their school mascot is the falcons.

  22. marcoesq Says:

    I’ve seen “Jam” 8 times, woohoo

  23. MiA Says:

    Just went to buy my lossless flacs over at LivePhish, and surprised by the reviews of people are carping they have to “pay” for lossless releases.

    Are you friggin kidding me? I am SO thankful they have released lossless (and I do have all of the releases for free) so I just don’t get the whinging.

  24. Duder Says:

    ya’ give ’em an inch, they take a mile MiA

    all the shit that fans say about ’em… would love to be a fly on a wall and hear the shit “they” say about us. Kesey esque

  25. MiA Says:

    vocal and entitled whiney ingrates me thinks.

Leave a Reply