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. Jtran Says:

    Morning comrades

    Congrats aw, good times

  2. sumodie Says:

    don’t airlines often offer a better deal if you stay over Saturday night?

    Fly in/out Logan -spend Saturday night ripping it up in Beantown

    stay at the swank boutique hotel that was formerly a prison:

  3. tela'smuff Says:

    i’m a noob. fck fikus.

    i would like a Shafty.

  4. stapes Says:

    I have a special place in my heart for Fikus for some reason.
    And yea they should play Shafty more. 12/29/03 Sand > Shafty is pretty slick.

  5. DryIceFactory Says:

    I dont need a Round Room jam. But thanks though.

    How about 20YL?

  6. Leo Weaver Says:

    Hope you guys are doing alright…my life is flying by at the speed of light right now, not much time to think.

    So a quick drive-by question…what’s the name of the Lee Fields album poopyG has been pamping? Is it Faithful Man?

    Thanks now.

  7. MiA Says:

    Yep Leo

  8. joe Says:

    20 years later (anniversary with Phish coming in May), I’m still waiting for a jammed out extended ending to Antelope. Maybe this Summer.

  9. Leo Weaver Says:

    Word. Thanks Mike. Checking it out on Spotify now…pretty damn nice so far.

  10. Fly Says:

    An astral Spanish Moon would forever change my life

    Spanish Moon>Light

  11. Leo Weaver Says:

    BTW, I still owe you an email…forthcoming.

  12. Guyute711 Says:

    Saturday, 08/08/1998
    Merriweather Post Pavillion, Columbia, MD
    Soundcheck: If You Need a Fool, Shafty
    Set 1: The Wedge, NICU, Sneakin’ Sally Through the Alley[1] -> Guyute, Fikus, Farmhouse, Possum > Sweet Jane[2]
    Set 2: Cavern > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Tela > Piper, Sexual Healing > Hold Your Head Up, Harry Hood
    Encore: Sabotage[2]

    This is the show that I caught my only Fikus and lo and behold Shafty in the soundcheck. This was one fun ass show taboot.

  13. William H. Bonney Says:

    TTE with imaginary orchestra jam.

  14. MiA Says:

    Leo, you’re busy, no worries. Getting some new plants and trees installed today though. Wish I could be there.

  15. tela'smuff Says:

    that’s a fun show G7. loved that setlist. hoping we get some out of the box setlist construction this summer, in addition to more storage jamming.

  16. jdub Says:

    Morning BB.

    I would love to hear Birds take flight once again. 20 Years later is another that would work well, some dark ass storage shit to scare the kids. And I know it is kind of pointless, but I just want to be in the building when Mike’s finally goes yard. Maybe Worcester we get all 3…

    And congrats AW!

  17. sumodie Says:

    Charles Bradley and His Extraordinaires
    April 11, 2012 – Pour House – James Island, SC

    Source: Soundboard + ceiling mounted SP C4’s @ 44.1 KHz

    01 Instrumental
    02 Instrumental
    03 Instrumental > CB intro
    04 Heartaches and Pain
    05 No Time For Dreaming
    06 Lovin’ You, Baby
    07 The World (Is Going Up In Flames)
    08 How Long
    09 Slip Away
    10 Instrumental
    11 Instrumental
    12 Heart Of Gold
    13 This Love (Ain’t Big Enough)
    14 Strictly Reserved
    15 Golden Rule

    or click my name to dl tracked/labeled mp3s of this show

    & better yet hop on the torrent here:

  18. angryjoggerz Says:

    I would also love for Maze to blow the fuck up this summer. Like, run for your life styleeee.

  19. tela'smuff Says:

    Outside Lands – Stevie Wonder, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Beck, Sigur Ros, to name a few.

  20. sumodie Says:

    pretty sure that 8.08.98 show is freely avail in SBD

  21. Fly Says:

    On second thought, Spanish Moon>Split

  22. roberto luongo Says:

    thanks for that Sumo.

    live Charles Bradley. must grab stuff.

  23. sumodie Says:

    check back later on for an mp3 dl link for:
    Gary Clark, Jr
    Dec 12, 2011
    8×10, Baltimore, MD

  24. garretc Says:

    Fuck yeah Fikus!

    And Silly’s got it right with Halfway To The Moon…

  25. roberto luongo Says:

    you know you are a vinyl geek when instead of working you are being distracted by Pete Rock posting photos of early 70’s soul albums from his personal collection on twitter

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