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. tela'smuff Says:

    Cincy thru Alpine, then OK>CO.

  2. [Not Tom] Says:

    12 shows … nice. So, you have 86’d AC obviously.

  3. Mr.Miner Says:

    here’s another from the same guy—

    The Storage Experience

  4. [Not Tom] Says:

    If you drive leg II, you make sort of an elongated infinity symbol

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Hope this plinko mix is good – been wanting to do something like this (but don’t know how)

    Kids these days. Don’t even know how to make a mix tape. 😉

    Just ribbing you, jtran

  6. [Not Tom] Says:

    I’m fairly techno-oriented and I have yet to learn how to cut and splice electronic music files.

  7. Guyute711 Says:

    NTM, face it, you will be at every show Mikey is at.

  8. tela'smuff Says:

    yeah, no AC.

  9. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    I may be taking the whole Berzerker family on a cruise through the Panama Canal in December.

    Not too bad price-wise. Might need to actually close some deals though….

  10. [Not Tom] Says:

    @ guyute – I do this every tour – I start off strong when dates are announced, then fall down after purchasing tickets with logistics, and then sprint for the finish line once the shows arrive hitting more then I think I could. In the end, Phish wins.

  11. Selector J Says:

    ASIHTOS and S&SS (not to mention Waves) need more love from Trza & Co. They’re great tunes that are pretty different from the rest of their stuff with great improv potential yet have only been played a handful of times. Round Room is another good call. Ever since hearing it on the album I thought a dark space jam could explode out of it with hat big low frequency note as the launch pad.
    re: James Island, SC

    That Daptones show and that Lee Fields show from James Island, SC are
    from a tiny little venue near my old house. Funny how I live in a city where there is such a huge music scene and the only bands that would really tempt me out of the house play my old neighborhood bar in SC.

    Oh yea, and Phish does a two night run in ’10 at the North Chuck Coliseum the same summer they tease me with a festi set at ACL.

    No boiled peanuts or Folly Beach in Austin either.

    Chucktown!! Greatest city in the world… (Guessing I’m in the minority with that opinion.) :mrgreen:

    Grass is greener’d

  12. [Not Tom] Says:

    “a cruise through the panama canal” sounds like a double entendre

  13. Selector J Says:

    …out of it with that big low frequency note…

    You knew what I meant.

  14. [Not Tom] Says:

    10/16/10 is in my top 5 shows attended.

  15. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    ^it could be. but why risk it?

  16. Guyute711 Says:

    All I want to know is if I get some free yogurt on the way back to CLT. 🙂

  17. [Not Tom] Says:

    depends on what time of day you travel thru Greenvegas. It’s only frozen after 12 noon.

  18. Selector J Says:

    re: non sequitor topics

    Interesting article related to study on addiction, relapsing.

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    Strong start with this 46 Days.

  20. Selector J Says:

    10/16/10 is in my top 5 shows attended.

    Hey! No need to bring that up.

    ::kicks rocks::

    Just kidding. It’s in my top 5 wish-like-hell-I-was-there shows.

  21. Guyute711 Says:

    Sheeeeeiiit. You know I won’t be up in time to get through town before noon.

  22. Guyute711 Says:

    We didn’t even mention the low country boil Selector.

  23. Selector J Says:

    @G711 – Not helping.

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    19 years and 7 days ago, this show blew my mind. I had seen several before it, but there was something particularly IT going on in there that night.

    Sat ur d ay , 04 / 1 0 /1 9 9 3 Arag o n

    Set 1: Runaway Jim, Weigh > Sparkle, Split Open and Melt, The Squirming Coil, My Friend, My Friend [1] , Uncle Pen, Chalk Dust Torture [2] , Lawn Boy, David Bowie [3]

    Set 2: Lengthwise -> Maze [4] , Bouncing Around the Room > Rift, Glide > Big Ball Jam, Mike’s Song [5] > The Great Gig in the Sky > Weekapaug Groove, Funky Bitch [6] , Help Me [7] , Hoochie Coochie Man [7] , Cavern [6]

    Encore: Amazing Grace, Good Times Bad Times [1] Beginning featured Trey on acoustic guitar. [2] Simpsons signal. [3] Tease medley in intro including Lawn Boy, Chalk Dust, Uncle Pen, My Friend My Friend, Squirming Coil, Sparkle, and Weigh. Random Note and Oom Pa Pa signals. [4] Miss You teases from Trey. [5] Miss You jam. [6] Sugar Blue on harmonica. [7] Phish debut; Sugar Blue on harmonica and vocals. Notes: The beginning of My Friend featured Trey on acoustic guitar. Chalk Dust contianed a Simpsons signal. The Bowie intro included a tease medley opening of songs played earlier in the set, including Lawn Boy, Chalk Dust, Uncle Pen, My Friend My Friend, Squirming Coil, Sparkle, and Weigh, as well as Random Note and Oom Pa Pa signals. Maze contained Miss You teases from Trey and Mike’s Song included a Miss You jam. Funky Bitch through Cavern featured Sugar Blue on harmonica. Sugar Blue also sang vocals on the Phish debuts of Help Me and Hoochie Coochie Man. This show was part of the “1993 Winter/Spring Tour.”

  25. [Not Tom] Says:

    Recently I made mention that Oak Mtn was the site of my first show in 1994. Well it occurred to me later that Lakewood was the location my second show (summer of 1995). Yet, in all the years Phish has played these two venues, they’ve never played them back-to-back as they will be this year.

    So, I’ll relive both my first show and my second show, in that order, on successive nights this August.

Leave a Reply