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”

  1. joe Says:

    guess not

  2. MiA Says:

    Sweet and Dandy (toots) was a cool call.

  3. MiA Says:

    Nice little “Money, Love and Change”

  4. MiA Says:

    MrsMiA likes “Scabbard”

  5. phunky58 Says:

    isnt it interesting how many tunes on this list came from 6.30.12 second set (alpine 1) by far the most overlooked set of the tour. it flowed perfectly from start to finish.

  6. phlorida phan Says:

    Catching a little fire there troy

  7. kayatosh Says:

    are you folks webcasting tonight’s TAB show? respect.

  8. angryjoggerz Says:

    That Alpine set is hot, listened to it again today. That Rock n Roll has some special goodness.

  9. kayatosh Says:

    “At least Jen doesn’t do her Nell Carter/Gimme a Break dance wit Trey anymore. To much shakin & jigglin for these eyes.” – luther T.

    ^^^ almost glossed over this gem at the bottom of pg. 6.

  10. sumodie Says:

    Dark & Down, best set 1 highlight imo

    Awesome venue, such a sweet vibe. No hassles either from staff

  11. MiA Says:

    Looks like we get a free replay in HD due to technical difficulties in first set.

  12. MiA Says:

    Come on Gophers don’t kick me in the balls tonight.


  13. MiA Says:

    Well so much for the gophers

  14. MiA Says:

    Just noticed Miami/Duke too. Wow.

  15. MiA Says:


  16. joe Says:

    just in time for a jazzy arrangement of Alaska

  17. MiA Says:

    #TAB #worstepisodeever

    That went south quickly

  18. PigSong Says:

    ^is that live? uhhh.

  19. phishm Says:

    Thanks Trey and MiA for the music and link.
    I’m not sure why everyone hates on Trey on this site. Isn’t he the reason that this site exists to begin with? Troy, Rey, Trey. They are all the same to me.
    If I were to read this site as Trey I would be more inclined to question my musical output and get frustrated as to what the so called ‘real’ Phish fan wants.
    Why not appreciate the man before he is gone instead of criticizing his every move? Guess that is the biggest beef I’ve had while lurking and posting on this site. You all know he lurks too. Why not appreciate what he delivers instead of shitting on every move he makes that does not include a 20 minute phish jam? My 2 cents. Peace.
    And I know that everyone on this site is not that way, but to those that are, just think about what I wrote. Or skip it.
    “we are all real people” “cept James”

  20. sumodie Says:

    Big surprise of the night: Architect

    Trey’s found the sweet spot on this one, excellent lil jam. Or maybe i just loved the mirror ball action

    Fun show. Other peak for me was Simple twist up dave

  21. PigSong Says:

    OMG! I tuned in for the end and I freaking loved (!!!!!) that ballad, then such a special Heavy Things because Mary is there, OMG, and such a perfect Sultans. It was, like, note perfect from the record. Because I love Ph i just eat this band up and love every second!!! Thank you Trey!!

  22. PigSong Says:

    Back in reality: Thanks for the report Sumo.

  23. MiA Says:

    The quality of the stream was poor. Seemed to get worse all night.

    I thought they had that figure out.

  24. vegas wolfmans Says:

    “gonna ride just how i like”

    I downloaded that Foxygen record last week on the recommendation of a skinny-jeaned friend and thought it was pretty damn good. For the most part, if Pitchfork thinks it’s great, I’m immediately turned off. That’s a good listen though. Have y’all heard of Black Mountain? Also on that Jagjaguwar label. Saw them live up here last year- great show. The album “In The Future” is worth a listen if you’re looking to scratch that psych rock itch. I’ll up it if anyone is interested.

    Agreed with fool, Carini->Shafty from the roo is highly overlooked.

  25. MmmHmm Says:

    @Phishm I think the main issue is Treys shift from going deep on a regular basis with stunning improv to very light on stunning (or any) creative improv. This applies much more so with TAB these days. He had a super talented band that could really stretch things out with gusto and grit. Now he wants to play watered down pop. I can turn on any radio station to hear that. I used to seek out Trey band as an escape from that. No longer. The grit and exploration is mostly gone from TAB. Its polished adult contemporary coming from a man who used to be at the helm of exploratory music. At times now he barely plays his guitar. I understand life changes bring changes in music and I can see the progression (or regression) of his musical style in TAB to what we are getting currently. I apologize for not getting psyched for Let Me Lie, Valentine, and Shine and a bad charlie daniels/gorillaz cover every damn show.

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