2012’s Type II All-Stars

12.28.12, MSG (Graham Lucas)

And here are 2012’s all-star jams. The ballots please…


“Light”—Overflowing with creativity virtually every time out, “Light” takes home the 2012 MVP trophy in a runaway contest. Beginning with AC’s “Lighteca” and ending with the Dick’s now-household version, “Light’s” improvisational campaign went unmatched by any other jam. Each rendition seemed to build on the one before until the song’s outing in Denver leaped into the conversation of all-time jams. “Light’s” 2012 season was the best by any song in the modern era.

Best Version: 9/1 Dick’s

Most Underrated Version: Alpine Valley 7/1

Other Versions of Note: 6/16 A. City, 6/23 Star Lake, 7/8 SPAC, 8/17 SF

“Tweezer”—Phish’s classic launchpad finally returned to prominence last year, stepping up its game over leg two and finishing with a bang at MSG with the defining version of 3.0. Steeped in feel-good, bliss-laden jams over the second half of summer (aside from Bill Graham’s foray into abstraction) every time “Tweezer” dropped during Leg Two, a treat ensued.

Best Version: 12/28 MSG

Most Underrated : 8/17 Bill Graham

Other Versions of Note:  6/10 Bonnaroo, 6/24 Blossom, 8/22 Kansas City, 8/26 Charlotte, 9/1 Dick’s

“Ghost”—“Ghost” came to play in 2012 and easily lands a spot on the year’s starting five. Following a breakout season debut at Worcester, “Ghost” continued to perform at a high level all year long with its two of its most profound and uplifting performances coming in Long Beach and MSG.

Best Version: 6/7 Worcester

Most Underrated : 8/15 Long Beach

Other Versions of Note:  7/1 Alpine Valley, 7/6 SPAC, 9/2 Dick’s, 12/31 MSG

“Carini”—Phish dropped three monstrous versions of “Carini” last year—Worcester, Dick’s and MSG—that all traveled in different directions illustrating the diversity of the jam. Spanning blissful ambient textures, groove based improv and dark, mindfuck abstraction, “Carini” featured some of the year’s best jamming.

Best Version: 12/30 MSG

Most Underrated: 8/31 Dick’s

Other Versions of Note: 6/7 Worcester, 6/10 Bonnaroo, 6/30 Alpine Valley

“Golden Age”—This new era cover finally broke last year after a largely contained 2011 campaign. Bursting at the seams from early in the year, the band expounded on “Golden Age” throughout both legs of summer tour. Often dipping into hard funk grooves and sometimes moving beyond, there was no shortage of highlight versions for a song that has been begging for this treatment since its Albany debut. Hopefully the band has settled on this type of improvisational role for the appropriately titled 3.0 anthem.

Best Version: 7/3 Jones Beach

Most Underrated: 8/25 Lakewood

Other Versions of Note: 6/24 Blossom, 6/30 Alpine Valley, 9/1 Dick’s

*****          *****          *****          *****


This year’s second team of jam vehicles is quite a formidable squad in its own right, illustrating the increased diversity of launchpads last year. Each of these boast definite consistency and at least one amazing version.

“Down With Disease”—Though “Disease” didn’t hold the same place of prominence as in other recent years, the song still sprouted some quality jams. Two underappreciated versions came in Cincinatti and San Francisco, and the best versions of the year—by far—kicked off the second set of 12/30 at MSG.

Best Version: 12/30 MSG

Most Underrated: 6/22 Cincinnati

Other Versions of Note: 6/29 Deer Creek, 7/7 SPAC, 8/17 SF

“Piper”—“Piper” maintained its rock solid position in the regular rotation, always containing the possibility of a significant jam and most of the time delivering.

Best Version: 6/8 SPAC

Most Underrated Version: 6/30 Alpine Valley

Other Versions of Note: 6/15 Atlantic City, 8/22 KC, 9/2 Dick’s, 12/31 MSG

“Twist”—Phish expounded on “Twist” more in 2012 than in recent years when they primarily used it as a contained jam. This song produced one of the year’s top jams with Cincinatti ominous excursion while the other standouts traveled in a more melodic and ambient directions.

Best Version: 6/22 Cincinnati

Most Underrated : 7/4 Jones Beach

Other Versions of Note: 6/15 Atlantic City, 8/29 OKC, 12/28 MSG

“Rock and Roll”—Though “Rock and Roll” remained in significant rotation, most often producing some sort of exploration, only two versions jumped off the stage—Long Beach and Pelham. Other’s provided solid chunks of jamming though probably won’t make any tour highlight reels.

Best Version: 8/15 Long Beach

Most Underrated : 8/24 Pelham

Other Versions of Note: 6/20 Portsmouth, 6/30 Alpine Valley

“Chalk Dust Torture”—”Chalk Dust” snags the fifth spot on the second team on the strength of its final three outings of summer. Building the jam in magnitude over these three versions, the band crafted one of 2012 indelible jams at Dick’s during the Fuck Your Face show.

Best Version: 8/31 Dick’s

Most Underrated Version: 8/25 Lakewood

Other Versions of Note: 8/28 St. Louis


One-Off Type II Gems:

“Roses Are Free” 6/8 Worcester,” “Birds of a Feather” 6/15 AC, “Back on the Train” 6/28 Deer Creek, “Waves” 6/28, “Fee” 7/1 Alpine Valley, “Sneakin Sally” 7/6 SPAC, “Simple” 8/18 SF, “Crosseyed” 8/19 SF, “Limb by Limb” 8/28 St.Louis, “Undermind” 8/31 Dick’s, “Runaway Jim” 8/31 Dick’s, “Sand” 9/2 Dick’s


Jam of the Day:

Crosseyed > Light -> Sally -> Crosseyed” 8.19

The signature jam sequence of 2012.



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257 Responses to “2012’s Type II All-Stars”

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  1. phlorida phan Says:


  2. Al Says:

    My little Johanna was born on 01/23 at 01:23 am. Funny date…
    Thanks for all the blessings!
    My 2013 gem is clear already;-)

  3. getafix Says:

    Congrats Al!
    That is an awesome Bday!

    love this post:
    a road map to jams I may have missed.

  4. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Sweet Al. Congrats.
    Miner. Great list. Thanks. A couple honorabel mentions that I need to brush up on.

  5. RoosterPizza Says:

    Congrats Al!

    Mr. Miner, thank you for serving up the goodness! I have my listening set for the remainder of the week, if not more.

  6. Zachary Adam Cohen Says:

    Lovely write up. Couple of quick comments:

    Who are these pretend people that have been underrating the Carini from Dick’s?

    And the exclusion of Sand is basically criminal and makes me think you don’t like the beach.

    hugs and kisses


  7. SillyWilly Says:

    Congrats, Al!

    happy wednesday everyone!

  8. @okdeadhead Says:

    FYI – The Dick’s Carini was on the 1st night of the run: 8/31.

  9. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Awesome Announcement, Al!

    imho, daughters rule! From what I understand sons are pretty damn neat as well just no first hand experience on my part.

    Nice write up, Señor Miner!

    Thanks for the positive vibes yesterday, I rocked my interviews, all of them. One more pending with the actual hiring manager.

  10. Dr Pronoia Says:

    Congrats Al. Auspicious timing for sure

    And congrats PB

    Love it when good things are flowing toward the BB

  11. sumodie Says:

    Welcome to the world, Johanna! Big congrats to Al & Mrs Al

  12. showhe Says:

    What? No Sand on the list?

  13. gavinsdad Says:

    @showhe – dicks sand on the “one off type 2 gems” list. not enough top versions of the tune to make a team. but that dicks version is murderous.

  14. MiA Says:

    He called Dick’s a “one off” Type II jam.

    My favorite Jam of Dick’s

  15. showhe Says:

    Oh I see it…mah bad. Pay no attention to this guy.

  16. sumodie Says:

    Thanx for the all star list, Miner. Great idea to list the # of quality versions too

    Gotta revisit the Ghosts. Kinda feel that tune is now lagging compared to the standout versions of the other songs. Sure, some very good versions dropped this summer (earning Ghost a place on the allstar team), but none are singular standouts to these ears

  17. xpun Says:

    Congrats Al

    I was also surprised sand didn’t make it. But I think it’s really cool that cdt did. Some great versions on leg 2. Surprise jams popping up.

  18. sumodie Says:

    Dick’s Sand is a stellar standout, much better than any version of Ghost. But Ghost def has the variety of very good versions, trumping Sand overall, IMO

    In 2011 I was hungry for an outstanding Tweezer

    In 2013 that yearning is now for a jaw dropping Ghost

  19. roberto luongo Says:

    kinda weird cuz of the timing on it.

    but to my custy ears that seems to not dig the same jams as a lot of peeps Alpine Valley Ghost is one of the hottest jams of the summer

    completely original out of no where dive into phish electronica with some vicious Page synth work and dirty Fish drummin.

    one of the hippest jams of the return IMO

    just kinda short

  20. showhe Says:

    I liked the SPAC Sand and the Cincy Sand->Roggae wasn’t too shabby either.

  21. willowed Says:

    My hopefuls for Summer 2013 MVP’s

    7 Below

    A man can cream right?

  22. gavinsdad Says:

    I’m looking for The Manteca Dance (1st set; extended) this summer

  23. roberto luongo Says:

    I also LOVE Sand > Kane

    some crazy late 70’s deadish plinko style funk before diving head first into one of my fav vintage phish bluegrass covers

    can’t go wrong there. not just about the segue either. some hard unique funk goin on before the move into Nellie.

  24. gavinsdad Says:

    Yes. Both Stash and Split need to send people to the hospital this Summer. Enough already.

  25. sumodie Says:

    AJ, thnx for the Psychic Paramount rec

    Anyone hip to norway’s Motorpsycho? Samples I’ve heard have me very intrigued

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