2012’s Type II All-Stars

12.28.12, MSG (Graham Lucas)

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

FIRST TEAM

“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

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

SECOND TEAM

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. MmmHmm Says:

    Still might be fun to take your girl to TAB and shake a leg to some pop but the days of going to get your mind blown by a super creative and dynamic band are gone. Phish would be the same way if not for Mike, Page, and Fish. Thank goodness those guys are there to right the ship.

  2. phlorida phan Says:

    Figures the day i switch my avatar from the U, they beat #1 Duke.

  3. Tweezer Says:

    Let 2013 please be the return of Scents and Subtle Sounds every few shows. I’m not sure that song could get old. It wouldn’t break my heart to hear a few ASIHTOS either. 2.0 happened. It’s time Phish embraces some of those tunes!

  4. SlaveToYourMom Says:

    Where is DryIceFactory?

  5. MmmHmm Says:

    A gift for you BB poster geeks if you don’t have these already.

    http://pollockprints.com/wordpress/?page_id=335

  6. Gumbo72203 Says:

    Dude, epic fail for not including the 12/31/12 Piper. Shit rivals SPAC in my book. The thing is a massive ball of unhinged 1.0 glory. Listen to Trey rev the band up for one final burst towards the end. Its magnificent.

    Props for noticing the brilliance of the Worcester Ghost. That version gets zero love on my board, but it was a spectacle to behold in person.

  7. Mr.Miner Says:

    ^ good call. forgot about that one. added it to the list.

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