Reader’s Picks: Mathias Loertscher

8.19.12, BGCA (Ken Scelfo)

8.19.12, BGCA (Ken Scelfo)

It is my pleasure to introduce the Reader’s Picks from one of the first reader-commenters on PhishThoughts back in 2008—@Matso! Welcome back buddy.

All selections and text by Mathias Loertscher aka @Matso

Maze” 12.9.95 I, Albany, NY

A ferocious set one opener. Listen carefully for the subtle, eerie industrial drone effect that Trey uses to set the scene. I would love to see the band take such a careful approach to show openers more often.



Yamar -> Runaway Jim” 8.2.03 II, Limestone, ME

A moment when it all came together: My first post-hiatus show and my younger brother’s first show; one of my favourite songs seguing into my favourite song; and a serious left turn into Type II, which moves through many different ideas deftly and assuredly, with some fantastic use of the uncompressed tone. I had tears in my eyes.



 Stash” 12.28.98 I, MSG, NY

1998 is the year when Phish arguably peaked in terms of popularity and intensity. The energy at MSG for the first night of the first four-night NYE run at MSG was therefore off the charts and, after a quick “Axilla” to get the blood pumping, Phish detonated the Garden with this “Stash.” Although musically I prefer the 1997 MSG version, the straight-forward, dark intensity here made for a more memorable experience. Listen to the audience roar at the end of it. Fierce.



Tweezer -> Have Mercy” 7.17.99 I, Volney, NY

Another one where I basically cried. Most of my crew were stuck in the traffic on the way in and it was during this stunning “Tweezer” that they found their way through the crowd and miraculously found me. This was also a summer when Phish’s music provided on-going comfort from some tough personal circumstances. So when they moved into “Have Mercy,” I got a bit emotional.



Down with Disease” 11.13.98 II, Cleveland, OH

Both sets this night in Cleveland started and finished off strong, but had some of the worst, most prolonged mid-set lulls I’ve experienced. Miner has highlighted the “Wolfman’s” from set one for its clear Mind Left Body jam a few times, but this “Disease” is worth hearing as well. Very tight Trey-shredding for a good while, which stays in the box but is otherwise unreproachable, followed by a wonderful section of chord-led jamming (sounding almost Dead-like at times), which leads back nicely to the “Disease” theme.



Farmhouse 8.5.11 II, George, WA

How do you follow up perhaps the greatest jam of 3.0? With not one, but two amazing segues. Then what do you do? You play this. Trey’s solos on Farmhouse throughout 3.0 have been a treat and this version is as good as any (check out Miami ’09 and Woosta ’10 too).



Ghost” 8.13.97 II, Burgettstown, PA

My second “Ghost” of the summer and first one state-side. The band’s sound was developing so fast this summer that this version didn’t sound anything like the first one I’d heard (7/1/97). This one gets so thick and funky that I thought the band had turned into robots at one point.



Makisupa -> Night Nurse -> Makisupa” 10.26.10 II, Manchester, NH

Not much to say about this one other than that the band NAILED the “Night Nurse.” One of my favourite moments of 3.0. More reggae please.



2001” 8.11.04 II, Mansfield, MA

A controversial version from the final, dark days of 2.0. Some vocal commentators think that Trey’s playing on this version lacks direction and drive, but I hear the jam section before the first “ASZ” theme as a moment of lucidity, with some fantastic slow, considered playing from Trey. Afterwards, he’s clearly out of ideas, but that first solo is very unusual for a “2001” and noteworthy.



David Bowie” 7.19.91 I, Somerville, MA

“Bowie” with horns. How the song was always meant to be played.

[audio:] Tags:

949 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Mathias Loertscher”

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  1. Guyute711 Says:

    Maybe my first first. Morning people.

  2. xpun Says:

    Cool picks. I love the extended kick drum intro to that Tweezer. The 8-31-12 FYF Farmhouse is also top notch. That held note and the lick out of it get me every time.

  3. MiA Says:

    Bruins looked solid. Woke up to rain and new picks. Today is a good day.

    Great writeups too.

  4. DocGanz Says:

    Hey Matso?! How you been brother? Where you been? You heading Stateside for any shows this summer? Picks look great- can’t wait to listen. Let me know if you happen to be doing any West Coast shows, would love to catch up

  5. Guyute711 Says:

    Blackhawks are toast. Did they spend 10 minutes in the offensive zone last night? That was complete domination. Jagr is looking like the glue right now.

  6. kayatosh Says:

    Nicely done, matso. Night Nurse ftw.

  7. kayatosh Says:

    “This one gets so thick and funky that I thought the band had turned into robots at one point.”

    ^^ great line.

  8. tony Says:

    Its Manchester NH, not TN! I live 10 minutes away, and that show was GREAT…underrated.

    Nice list – Its funny, the last 3 lists have had several of the choices appearing on my personal list. Good tastes all around.

    Go Bruins.

  9. dorn76 Says:

    Nice picks. Yamar>Jim from Limestone a favorite of mine.

    I could imagine this pairing opening Bangor Set 1.

  10. DavidSilver Says:

    Welcome back matso! Good job.

    Hawks most assuredly not done. This was the seventh game 3 in a row they lost. Toast if they lose the next one. But they won’t.

  11. voopa Says:

    Good stuff Matso!

    *crosses Bowie w/horns off potential picks list*

  12. angryjoggerz Says:

    Ventura Drowned>Makisupa>Maze a very enjoyable listen. Cannot wait to get my Phish on in a month.

  13. MiA Says:

    I think the Hawks looked very frustrated. Kane and Toews seemed to get in the zone then get poor support. There were a lot of good chances that didn’t work out for them. More missed passes then any game previously. Just seemed a little “off”

    Boston was very physical last night. I don’t expect that to be one sided the next game.

    Blackhawks are far from over. They have proven they can be behind and push hard forward (Wings)

  14. DavidSilver Says:

    You’ve always got moe voopa.

  15. dorn76 Says:

    from PT’er sampleinajayamar (hat tip to Sumo for the find)…very tasty Bangor details:

    “I posted this on a thread earlier, but thought this might be a more relevant place for it. I am from the area, so here are some details about the venue and about Bangor in general:

    It’s not always all GA. For many concerts they have overpriced reserved seating (white plastic folding chairs) with 3 tier pricing. It is a rip off and I always go for the GA section anyway because that’s where the beer tent is. FYI the beer tent usually consists of $6-7 drafts of Bud Light, Shock Top, Dos Equis Amber, and a couple others I can’t remember off the top of my head.

    Parking will be very interesting. There is a supermarket across the street where they usually sell a portion of the spots for $10, but I’m sure any pay for parking will be jacked up for this show. I usually try to find street parking and walk a little further rather than pay. There is also a small municipal parking garage that houses the sketchy bus station.

    The brand new Bangor PD building is right next to the venue, there is a state trooper unit based out of Orono which is just ~5 min. away, and Bangor is also covered by Penobscot County Sheriffs who have a station located a few blocks away. I’m guessing they will try to have a very heavy presence so be careful everyone. When you come up on exit 182 in Hampden (where you will probably get off and merge onto i-395 and take the first exit to Main St. in Bangor) the speed limit drops down to 55 and state troopers love to do speed traps there.

    Nocturnem Draft Haus is located further up the road in the downtown area of Bangor on Main. St. They have ~15 weekly rotating taps including a cask and have hundreds of different bottles from all over the world available as well. Right next door is a head shop called Herbal Tea & Tobacco. Located nearby is a store called Mexicali Blues which is very phan friendly. There is also a number of other bars in the area. In addition to Nocturnem, I enjoy Paddy Murphy’s, Sea Dog Brewpub, & Geaghan’s Brewpub best. There’s also a small casino on Main St. called Hollywood Slots/Casino and a gigantic statue of Paul Bunyan.

    If you arrive in the morning consider taking a walk out on the trails at the Bangor City Forest off of Stillwater Ave. They have a wooden floating bog boardwalk which is great when the sun is out. In Orono there is also Black Bear Microbrewery & Taproom which is open 4-8 on weeknights. If you go across the river into Brewer and go to the next town over, in Orrington there is a disc golf course called DR Disc Golf.

    For those so inclined, there is a strip club nearby called Diamonds.

    For 24/7 grub there is a Denny’s off Bangor exit 187, and a Dysart’s truck stop restaurant in Hermon off exit 180.

    If you plan on heading out same night set your cruise controls and mind the speed limit. Once you get past Portland, i-95 is essentially two lanes surrounded by trees. Popular areas for speed traps include Sydney, Waterville, and Newport. Newport (exit 157) usually has some of the cheapest gas around, as well as a number of fast food joints, and is ~1/2 hour south of Bangor. There is also a rest area when coming north just before you get to Bangor. It is located at exit 176 in Hampden.

    I know that the quintessential Tweezerbomb was dropped a stone’s throw up the road back in ’94, but 16,000+/- phans outdoors on Main St. pre-4th of July will sure be a sight to see.

    PS. Fireworks are legal in Maine, but not in Bangor. However, you can purchase fireworks in neighboring towns such as Brewer and Old Town. I’m hoping the boys and Waterfront Concerts are coordinating some show closing fireworks, even if they have to launch them from across the river in Brewer.”

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Just found out spac custy crib comes with its own private beach..( so it says, though I would imagine it is more of a lake). Pictures have me aroused..

    postponed movie going until thursday.

  17. angryjoggerz Says:

    Oooh, Diamonds. Fancy.

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ..not as aroused as the thought of hitting a bangor, me strip club called Diamonds…

    ” sugar, you mind passing me my teeth”…

  19. Kaveh Says:

    Morning you all…

  20. BNCB Says:

    Great picks Matsui!

    Hossa finally exposed for being too soft.

    Prediction: this will be the summer of $5 Audio only streams of every Phish show.

  21. voopa Says:

    LOL @ Silver!

    …and Diamonds!

  22. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Nice breadth of picks, Matso!

    $5 audio only streams? sign me up!

  23. Dr_Braun_Schitzmir Says:

    I was wondering when Night Nurse would make it into the picks… nice one Matso!

    I was vaguely familiar with the song from hearing it on the radio a few times, and when they started playing it that night, it was one of those weird moments where I wasn’t sure if it was really happening. Completely awesome rendition. Page’s clav work is outstanding and Trey’s solo just kills me. I think he might have worked out that solo backstage, because it’s just perfect.

    Pleeeze bring that tune back!

  24. DavidSilver Says:

    I’m gonna have Night Nurse in my head all day. Love it.

  25. BNCB Says:

    PB, you heard it hear first. The free stream by Greenskybluegrass worked flawlessly. It was arranged and set-up by my tour boss man. Hoping they can carry it over to the big leagues.

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