All selections and text by Jeff D’Alonzo
A disclaimer. I love trey and i love jams that exude emotion. Tried to do a combo of relatively unknowns and monsters, but thanks to Miner and this ridiculous community, there aren’t really any unknowns.
“Carini” 2.17.97 II, Amsterdam, NL
Thank the dude who remastered this show. It’s my belief that this show changed the game. The winter Europe tour started off strong, new style being developed and whatnot. The night prior, 2.16.97 took it a little further. However, this show, specifically this “Carini,” is where it went down. Coming out of the gate dirty, the band connected and went straight into that funky psychedelic vibe that is everywhere in ’97. There is really solid playing by everyone throughout the jam, but what makes it, is the ending. The last 4 minutes is the blissiest piece of bliss every made. Utter beauty and flowing with a peak that is the definition of gorgeous. I just blissed my pants.
“Antelope” 5.16.94 II, Los Angeles, CA
Pretty sure the only people that knew about this one, were the people at the show until this set popped up on etree, i guess 4 or 5 years ago, it was the last missing link to my 1994 collection. Lo and behold I saw a 20 minute “Antelope.” Popped it on and the rest is history. The jam after the “BBFCFM” nonsense is one the most beautiful pieces of Phish music ever made. Trey leads a melodic build up that makes me shiver with emotion. Not really sure how to explain it, heart wrenching glory I guess.
“Ghost” 6.15.00 I, Osaka, JP
I went through a month phase where I listened to this “Ghost” three times a day. Perfect driving music. Fishman is a god here and Trey follows his lead all the way through. Two jams, both brilliant, leading to a groove laced peak towards the end. Kids were lucky to be in Japan for this one.
“Bathtub Gin” 2.14.03 I, Los Angeles, CA
A personal favorite of mine. The only song on my list that i was present for. It seems like tour openers always have a big jam. The “Gin” is it. The whole winter tour was laced with huge “Gins.” But i like this version the best. Trey is a monster during this one. Funky, dirty, grooving, crushing. Pick whatever adjective, maybe Miner can help me. This jam is just amazing. Throw down city.
“Bathtub Gin” 9.12.99 I, Portland, OR
When I discovered this jam randomly back in the day, I was floored. Hadn’t really read about it anywhere or heard any mention, prolly overshadowed by the “Ghost” from the same show. But this jam rules. It’s a perfect summer show jam, sunset, all that jazz. As my buddy Shin likes to say, a straight candy raver. It’s just a really bouncy and happy version with a beautiful groove.
“Tweezer” 6.9.00 II, Tokyo, JP
Japan 2000 is arguably their best “jams” tour. So many heavy hitters. This one is probably the biggest. This “Tweezer” starts off cool, really laid back and patient. Gets a tad lost in the middle but then around the 18:00 mark,
everything in the world makes sense. So patient, all four of them finding their way. Both dirty and pristine, this ending jam is one for the ages, complete perfection.
“Mike’s Song” 11.7.98 I, Chicago, IL
My favorite “Mike’s” ever. First jam is solid, well played and energetic. Then comes jam two, an absolute blissful beast. I love every kind of Phish, acidy experimentation, deep swamp funk, methjazz, etc. I love it all. But what really gets me is the bliss. And the second mikes jam from UIC is one of the blissiest. And also being a complete Trey whore, i love it, and this jam has IT.
“Ghost” 7.12.03 II, George, WA
Post hiatus fire. Trey tone is in full effect. Another grooving shred fest, starts off really smooth and elegant. 10:50 mark on is why I go to shows. One of those moments when all you can do is smile at the fact that you got to listen to the greatest band on the planet do their thing.
“AC/DC Bag” 11.7.98 II, Chicago, IL
Everyone knows this one but I don’t care. ’98 is prolly their best year all around, imo. The ambient shit brought things to a whole other level. This monster has complete experimental psychedelic ambiance all over the place. Whatever that means. I don’t condone drug use, but if you decide to indulge, put this on and listen to the whole thing.
“Mike’s Song” 11.21.95 II, Winston-Salem, NC
My friend Cheryl turned me on to the jam a couple years ago. Not the best “Mike’s,” but a personal favorite. First jam is typical ’95, rocking, Page and Fish owning. But again, the second jam is what i crave. It starts off spotty and confused but towards the end turns into another bliss fed gem. Trey takes control and plays a slow melody that cuts to my core. Beauty.
Tags: Jams, Reader's Picks