@heyscottyb: If you could pick one song that #phish has never jammed out, for them to explore which one would it be?
Great question and easy answer—“Bouncin’ Around the Room.” With all the shows Phish has played in their career, it is unfathomable to me that they have never jammed out “Bouncin.” The song has all the ingredients of a great jam—percussive layers, a perfect tempo, and a beautifully melodic foundation. Influenced by the syncopated style of Senegelese bands, I’ve always thought Phish could transform this song into an awesome piece of improv. Why they haven’t I’ll never know.
There are some other head scratchers in the modern catalog as well. First and foremost, “Stealing Time.” A song that has been played ad infinitum in this era, the band has only flirted with a jam once—in Portsmouth last summer. When this song debuted at Jones Beach in 2009, I was sure it would be a new school jam vehicle, but instead it has turned into the “Character Zero” of 3.0—an innocuous, guitar heavy set closer. Talk about wasted potential. Additionally, I’d really like to see Phish jam on “Halfway to the Moon,” “20 Years Later,” and “Steam.” Each of these three songs have a distinct sound and style that begs for exploration. But as of yet….no go.
@roofan2009: I’m looking for a good group of scorching “Suzy Greenbergs.” If you had an all-time-top-five Suzys, which ones?
11.13.96 Target Center Minneapolis, MN, 9.14.00 Darien Lake, 12.28.03 AA Arena, Miami, FL, 10.31.09 Festival 8, Indio, CA, CA, Any Summer ’91 version with Giant Country Horns
@rw_forb: Can you share how you take set notes in real time so you can then write a show recap? Maybe a pic of your set book? Thanks
I have never in my life held a writing implement or piece of paper in my hand when Phish is playing. Everyone has their own way of enjoying Phish shows, and I dance. The thought of trying to process anything intellectually or analytically during a show is foreign to me. Phish is a purely in the moment experience for me; I don’t try to breakdown anything about a show as it’s happening, aside from exchanging looks of awe when massive jams end. I feel that taking notes would be totally counterproductive to the spiritual nature of my experience. In fact, I rarely open my eyes at shows, because any visual stimuli takes away from the music for me. The reasons I go to Phish are to be inspired and to transcend my own humanity; pencils and paper don’t help these goals at all.
Writing a recap of the show is a totally separate experience for me that comes after talking with friends, thinking back over what went down, and—usually—listening to the significant jams once through. I won’t remember to get milk at the store, but I’ll remember what lick Trey started a jam with. Odd, but true.
@MJVITIELLO: Why no new material lately? They tried some new ones in 2010 & 2011, but it didn’t stick. Even “Steam” was rare.
The reason I think there has been no new material recently is that the guys don’t spend time together off tour. They haven’t been in a studio together since they recorded Joy before their return, hence they have had no opportunity to engage in the creative process together. Between families and side projects, I guess there hasn’t been a desire to write new music for Phish. Most of the new songs we’ve heard this era that aren’t from Joy have been solo efforts that have crossed over to Phish, with “Steam” being the only real exception. Why “Steam” hasn’t entered the rotation by now is beyond me. It was once rumored that this fall might bring a new studio effort from the band, but as of now, I’m not sure that is even still planned.
@WolfmansUncle: Which song would you like to see them turn into their next 3.0 jam vehicle? #fireaway #WheresmydarkOcelot?
If I had my druthers, it would be a completely new song. I thought “Ocelot” and “Stealing Time” had potential, but the band had other ideas. If I had to pick a song that could jump into rotation and be a heavy-hitter with some improvisational attention, it would be Page’s “Halfway to the Moon.” Or “Mike’s Song.”
@AceMcCready68: What are your top 5 MSG jams of all time?
In chronological order: ”Harry Hood” 12.30.95, “Mike’s Song” 12.31.95, “Tube” 12.29.97, “AC/DC Bag” 12.30.97, ”Carini > Wolfman’s” 12.28.98
Jam of the Day:
“Boogie On” 9.18.99 II, Chula Vista, CA
I haven’t heard this beast in a minute.