During Leg Two, Phish stuck to a very tight second set rotation. When looking to compile a second leg All-Star team, a few songs—“Light,” “Chalk Dust,” and “Tweezer”—jumped right out. But the 4th and 5th spots on the first team (using the NBA model) weren’t shoo-in selections. After a bit of thought, however, here are my picks.
“Chalk Dust Torture” — Already discussed in an article last week, “Chalk Dust” leapt onto this squad with three outstanding versions in its last three outings of summer, including an all-timer in Colorado. Bursting out of nowhere following two relatively standard versions, “Chalk Dust” broke form in Atlanta in a big way, going unfinished into “What’s the Use?.” The next two versions, in St. Louis and Colorado, went in totally different directions, culminating with Dick’s masterpiece.
“Tweezer” — Also seen in an article of its own, “Tweezer” not only made the all-star team, but also took home the comeback player of the tour. Going 4-for-4 on the tour, “Tweezer” rolled out only great jams this tour, a welcome change from recent runs. From the darkness of Bill Graham’s to the bliss of Kansas City and Charlotte, “Tweezer” covered a lot of territory over Leg Two, and it is great to see the old dog gain this honor in 2012.
“Light” — If Phish had only played the Dick’s “Light” this tour, the modern jam vehicle would have a legitimate place on this squad. But in addition to this version of instant legend, “Light” also produced the moment of the summer, and arguably, the tour’s second best jam in Bill Graham finale. The other two times out, in Atlanta and Oklahoma City, “Light” had its least potent outings of the entire summer, but with Dick’s and BGCA’s versions, “Light” has captured another first-team All-Star selection, and is in the conversation for MVP.
“Rock and Roll” — “Rock and Roll” got the Leg Two party started in the LBC with one of the jams of the tour—a 25 minute, multi-thematic leviathan that showed Bieber his maker. Phish followed up the tour-opening standout with one of their most coherent and transcendent jams of Leg Two in Oak Mountains second-set opener. “Rock and Roll” only came out one more time in Leg Two—an innocuous mid-second-set rendition in Oklahoma City. But in such short tour, two top shelf excursions equals an All-Star berth.
“Golden Age” — The fifth spot on this team could go to any one of three different songs. “Golden Age,” however, gets the nod on the strength of two great jams, in Atlanta and in Colorado. Atlanta’s version is one of the dark horses of Leg Two, and Dick’s versions has gone incredibly underrated due to the monstrosity of the “Light” that followed.
“Sand” — Despite Denver’s all-timer, Phish infused far less creativity in the three other versions of tour, falling back on Trey solos each time. Losing quite a bit of bite from Leg One, “Sand” still had what it takes to claim an easy second team berth.
“Ghost” — Long Beach saw, arguably, the “Ghost” of the year, and Dick’s version closed tour with a scorcher. But there was a lot of time in between.
“Piper” — Phish never truly let loose on a “Piper” during Leg Two, with its most pronounced version taking place in the tour closer. Another strong, but underdeveloped version came in Kansas City.
AUBURN HILLS ’97 GIVEAWAY!
Thanks to Phish’s home offices, I have five download codes for Phish’s brand new release of a legendary show—December 6, 1997, at the Palace of Auburn Hills, Michigan. This is a top fiver for me, and one of the best shows of 1997. This show has been begging for Fred Kevorkian’s remaster treatment for quite some time, and I’d like to thank archivist, Kevin Shapiro, for finally gracing us with this treasured nugget of Phish history!
To win one of these five download codes (mp3 only, sorry), Tweet me (@mrminer) a one-Tweet description of the second-set opening sequence, “Tweezer > Izabella.” Please use the hashtag #palacegold. I will RT the six winners at 12 noon PST and Direct Message you your winning codes!
Thanks for playing!
Jam of the Day:
The astronomic start to Leg Two in Southern California.
Tags: 2012, Summer 2012