Reader’s Picks: Luke Falk

8.24.2012 (Ryan MacNeil)

8.24.2012, Pelham, AL (Ryan MacNeil)

All selections and text by Luke Falk

Split Open and Melt” 4.16.92 I, Santa Barbara, CA

This tight rager showcases Big Red’s chops back in 92. Listening back, I’m struck, not only, by how absolutely all over the fret board he is, but by how he barely used to use any effects at all (to great effect). A great version that is completely overlooked.



YEM” 6.11.94 I, Morrison, CO

This first set of this Red Rocks show was broadcast on the radio, which is how I got a good quality copy that year. My vote for best ever “YEM” (possibly my favorite Phish jam ever), which somehow doesn’t get mentioned anymore with almost everyone’s attention falling on 12.9.95 and other versions.



David Bowie” 10.30.90 II, Crested Butte, CO

Not exploratory, but tight and intense, this early “Bowie” reminds me of the band’s recent gesture toward shorter, more economical playing. They really get right down to business here.



My Friend, My Friend” 2.26.97 I, Stuttgart, DE

The best version ever played.



Down By the River” 10.3.98 Farm Aid, Chicago, IL

This Neil Young sit-in gets my vote for second-best guest performance ever; a nasty extended jam for the benefit of small farms. (For the record, everything with Karl Perrazo is the best guest performance.)



Free” 6.17.04 I, Brooklyn, NY

This is the last good version of “Free.” And it is very good. The Trey and Mike jam ultimately inspired a horrible moment at Coventry, which, I speculate, is why they’ve never tried to jam it since.



Stash” 7.2.97 II, Amsterdam, NL

A 30-minute abstract monster to kick off one of my favorite sets ever.



Bathtub Gin” 2.28.03 I, Uniondale, NY

This multi-section, type II joyride foreshadowed what would come later in the show during “Tweezer.”



Suzy Greenberg” 12.28.03 II, Miami, FL

This version features a super funk throwdown and then explodes into an growling catharsis featuring Trey’s uncompressed tone.



AC/DC Bag” 8.9.8 Set II, Virginia Beach, VA

Just because it never gets old—of the top three or four versions ever, which kicks off the second set of a magical night in Virginia.

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460 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Luke Falk”

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  1. MiA Says:

    Hospitals are places we dont want to go or be at filled with absolutely great people.
    Glad you’re on the “getting recovered and getting outta there” side Voopa.

    You are on the path to being healhier than when you started.

    Nice choices.

  2. Angryjoggerz Says:

    20,000 at Northernly Island…. That shit cray

  3. Guyute711 Says:

    I am not ready to be back at work. This sucks.

  4. Angryjoggerz Says:

    7500 to 20000 with no additional parking. Do not drive, gonna be stupid. I live right on lakefront so thinking bus (pretty sure 141 goes there) or bike. Plus, how fun will it be to ride back after a show with the freak parade?

  5. bhizzle Says:

    Big ups to all you who submitted these picks the last few days. I haven’t been able to listen to them all let alone join on the conversations regarding them, but the have been great to listen to whilst grinding away in the cubicle. Someone drop that St. Denis, that you all talk about so I can hear it.
    Thank you Miner for the support of these setlists. Good day.

  6. MiA Says:

  7. angryjoggerz Says:

    check the photo in that article… it is gonna totally be escape from wook island. would also be fun to get there early, hit the beach, etc. YEs, I am excited.

  8. MiA Says:

    Soneonec post Catapult for Voopa 😉

  9. Duffman Says:

    Love the readers picks. Great idea. I have to say, I would give the best MFMF ever award to 12/11/95 CCCC. Crazy opener staight into ha ha ha.

  10. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    nice list, luke. I think more than a few of us wore out those santa barbara 92 tapes. they were pretty heavily traded and helped a lot of people realize just how much of a badass mike is since he was so up front in the mix. from buried to monkey that entire show is a classic.

  11. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    luke- nice list- i have not listened to the ’94 red rocks yem in a long time.

    aj- riding bikes to and from shows is rad. when i lived in denver my friends and i would often ride to and from red rocks (95% on bike paths)- a carnival parade, to say the least…

  12. DryIceFactory Says:

    Nice list, don’tt know a few of these, great work Luke.

    This site has launched my quest to listen to every Tweezer ever played, in chronological order. 1 down, 307 to go.

  13. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Down by the River w/Neil really is pretty spectacular. I had not listened to that is quite a while. Thanks for the reminder. Not familiar with the Bowie-spinning now. Endorse all of these other picks. Digging the reader’s selections in general. Cool concept. Will begin compiling wolfman’s picks.

  14. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    pretty sure we know at least one of the tracks on yours, vw…

  15. vegas wolfmans Says:

    I, too, wore out those Santa Barbara ’92 tapes back in the day. Maybe my first phish “bootlegs”- remember when people called them that?

  16. Leo Weaver Says:

    Yep, that SB show was in the first shoebox of tapes that was given to me. Little did I know the wonder that little piece of cardboard held.

    Great picks from all the guest selectors.

  17. tzara's Says:

    Nice picks, I don’t know most of these. Some old school picks, which I never seem to listen to.

    @leo, your package is officially in transit.

  18. Leo Weaver Says:

    Sounds great tzaras. We can’t wait…I haven’t shut up about it in 2 weeks.

  19. Snigglebeach Says:

    That SB 92 show is phish legend. My radio in my old ford probe was broken and I could not eject a tape. Listened to the show at all times driving for almost a year and it never really got old. Mike at his best.

  20. jdub Says:

    The “readers picks” are just a grand idea. Nice job with the pre ’93 picks. I have been listening to a bit of early Phish lately and find the music to be quite endearing. I love the youthful energy and stripped down sound coming from the early jams. Today’s Melt and Bowie are case in point.

  21. Kaveh Says:

    Morning BBers…

    …agreed…love the Reader’s Picks. @Miner thanks!

  22. bhizzle Says:

    thank you MiA!

  23. gavinsdad Says:

    ^sniggle – me and my buddy Paul made the Great Went trek in a Ford Probe. props.

    Nice work Luke. gonna dig in here. think these picks might need some editors notes as well. some bold calls being made lately and our host is letting em fly. love this idea tho boys and thanks for keeping it fresh. i’ve said forever i was never much of a tape collector but i seem to have caught up with alot of the big popular jams. really nice to see people going outside traditional conventional wisdom here. or putting up known classic nugs we haven’t talked about/cycled thru in awhile.

  24. gavinsdad Says:

    they really ripped a new asshole outta Red Rocks summer 94 eh? I actually had 6/11 and the Wilson opener alone was as ferocious as thing that I’ve heard them play. tons of attitude from a band not exactly known for swagger. wish i got a chance to see them there. never did it.

  25. MiA Says:

    Santa Barbara seemed like “Live Bait” to me. Same with the Crest Theater show.

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