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. ren Says:

    Dying from Telas story!!!!

    Bathroom humor > any other humor

  2. tela'smuff Says:

    exactly we can talk preggo puffin’, bukake, means to stash drugs, dick riding, but i can talk about why my bunghole feels like the center of the sun? lame.

  3. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Has anyone caught Ty Segall live? I reckon that would be good.

  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    smuff, methinks you might want to plan out your travel meals a little better. even on my midwestern trips where I know bbq is happening at almost every turn I try to toss a salad (heh) in there at lease once to keep things from getting out of hand.

    either that or get a travel wipe stash, stat. 😯

  5. MiA Says:

    ring sting.

  6. poop goblin Says:

    I’ve been enjoying that mix too GD

    that chick is fuckin smoking. annoying as shit it seems. but who the fuck cares.

  7. tela'smuff Says:

    i ran out, otherwise I’m always prepared T3. it’s hard traveling western colorado with a brewery in nearly every town. pub food FTW, sadly way too often.

    i did take the wife to lunch today and had a salad.

  8. poop goblin Says:


    they are great. caught em a few times at local dive joints. great small venue band. loud great rawk.

  9. snow Says:

    came from the baby’s mouth…

  10. MiA Says:

    “I try to toss a salad (heh) in there at lease once to keep things from getting out of hand”

    At lease?

    Where is our unemployed Corncob? This place is getting sloppy and no one to monitor it?

  11. ren Says:

    psyllium husk…..smooth like carvel

  12. gavinsdad Says:

    well i was giving you diet and clench props telas just in case a wire got crossed ;P

  13. gavinsdad Says:

    Clench Props.

    my new band.

  14. tela'smuff Says:

    thank you for the clench props. mind over matter in times of need. respkt.

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    sorry, MiA. freudian work slip. too many fucking landlords on the brain.

  16. Dorn76 Says:

    One thing that hasn’t changed with parenthood is the pride I feel after a big shit. Now I’m just as proud of hers (maybe more) as I am of mine.

  17. DavidSilver Says:

    Clench strength is underrated.

  18. phlorida phan Says:

    Holding Back the Prairie Dogs

    That’s my new band name.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I see “Holding Back the Prairie Dogs” as an album title by the Clench Props.

  20. mmmhmm Says:

    does vaping lower the toxin content in one’s blood/urine due to less carbon intake? Like if I vape instead of torch flowers, am I more likely to pass a piss test in a shorter margin of time?

  21. little umbrellas Says:

    Ty Segull. Cool musician. Came and sat in on the drums one time. Fun to jam and share the stage with him. Weird show though. Opened for Theophilus London at the Mezzanine so it was a hip hop crowd, but we we’re playin this 61 style R&B. Vocal harmony, horns and the like.

  22. BooVT Says:

    …Why my bunghole feels like the center of the sun…

    I love this place.

  23. DavidSilver Says:

    Enter The Shit Tent

    By the Clench Props

    Dabbin For Diapers

    Starring Roberta Goblin

  24. little umbrellas Says:

    Segall, excuse me buddy.. my spelling often sucks..

  25. MiA Says:

    I try to get more THC, less smoke. So I figure I’m worse off for a test

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