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”

  1. BNCB Says:

    Cold and rainy in NH. Phish must have checked the Almanac. Crappy spring. Start in July.

    Lmao at Gordon. ‘Whats a second jam in Mike’s Song? Forgot about that’.

  2. voopa Says:

    BNCB- You’re just saying that ironically now that you’re doing the whole tour.

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    how I know the NBA is a sham: Joey Crawford was assigned to ref tonight.

  4. jerseyjim Says:

    $5 Audio Glory Hole…sounds better than Mark’s Topless Donuts! (still outside Portland, ME?)

  5. wax banks Says:

    what’s up @matso — long long time no ‘see’ —

    i might be one of the vocal negativists on that 2001. i’ve been hard on that performance for years, mainly because on the day it put me right to sleep, along with the rest of the show, along with the previous night’s shitshow. listening today i’m hearing what you’re saying, or at least what you’re talking about — trey’s actually playing individually-selected notes instead of finger painting! — but it still…drags…ass. love it when fish lays out, then smoothly brings the 2001 beat back (during the second ‘verse’).

    but whatever it is on its own merits, it sounds like a band that used to make immense, intense, brave ‘dance jams’ (like that incredible star lake gumbo!) playing a midtempo dance beat and not really doing anything with it. maybe not able to, maybe not caring. (same thing, really.) that’s so sad to me that it kind of takes the fun out of listening close to the opening solo. which anyway is only good-for-mid-2004…

    anyway, fantastic picks.

  6. BNCB Says:

    Voop star, that would be great. I’m not in shape for it though. I’d be in crash and burn mode before the midpoint.

    Looking at TorontOKC if I can get passport. Then probably Tahoe, BGCA and Dicks. Crying in Cheerios about missing Chicago and Gorge.

    Anyone want my heady RV rental for Gorge? Comes with 20% discount.

  7. Snigglebeach Says:

    I thought Maine’s topless donut shop “mysteriously” burned to the ground a year or so ago. That was right after they got in trouble for topless girls smoking butts outside. Maybe they rebuilt…

  8. DavidSilver Says:

    What happened to friday pearl jam? Bncb is a stingy bastard.

  9. marcoesq Says:

    I’d be amped to get a 2001 like this these days.

  10. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Not a huge fan of the 2001, but did enjoy going back and listening with a different perspective in mind.. Good picks Matso..

    We could go for a nice big Yamar to open up Summer like the one from above.

  11. Jtran Says:

    pitchfork really liked that kanye album

  12. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Nice Avatar, Kaya!

  13. voopa Says:

    BNCB- I can relate. No spring chickens are we.

    Which reminds me, my second surgery is scheduled for 7/16, which means I’ll be 2 weeks into my recovery at Tahoe. Doing 5 shows in 6 days that soon after will be a challenge, but I’m definitely up for it, and have a solid crew to assist me. But it would really help if you rowdy BB’ers would not start a mosh pit every time a Joy song starts, okay?

  14. BNCB Says:

    Voop star, it’s pathetic. I need to P90X it up. I’m seriously wiped out by night 3 of a 3 night.

  15. cooter brown Says:

    Manny Night Nurse was only my top 3.0 moments as well. Nice pick!

  16. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    nice picks matso- interesting perspective on the 2001. i just got back from a party in salida, co called fibark. lots of free music. two bands caught my attention- new master sounds and euforquestra- both may be worth seeing if they come to a theatre near you…

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Great Disease, Matso.. love the groove they find 2/3 of the way through…

  18. Guyute711 Says:

    P90X is the official sponsor of 2013 tour.

    Bring It!!

  19. sumodie Says:

    New Mastersounds are groovalicious! Still havent caught their live show, but spinning them at home induces involuntary funkasms

  20. alf Says:

    collection of songs sampled on yeezus (warning: annoying overdubs included):

    great pics @matso!

    for another under the radar but sick 98 disease see 7/1/98. never gets mentioned in christiana highlights, bonus jam before >dog faced boy

  21. sumodie Says:

    New Mastersounds shows are avail on etree

  22. alf Says:

    here’s one way to cover daft punk

  23. MiA Says:

    Great link alf.

    Gosh I just love the sound of the ES-335

  24. MiA Says:

    Saw New Mastersounds last year after their Japan tour. Great great show live. Really fun.

  25. DavidSilver Says:

    I missed uic 2 due to dancing induced ass blisters. Dead serious.

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