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:

    Hernandez involved in major drug ring, IMO. His house is way too huge for a fourth round right end on a rookie contract. Unless he signed extension already.

  2. voopa Says:

    Wow, even Uncle Pen swings. Of course it does, this is ’97 Phish.

    I don’t dislike Caspian like I do other ballads, and this version is a big reason why. I understand why ballads are played at shows, but when I’m all buzzed and shit I wanna rock! This version of this ballad fucking rocks.

    No “stumps” in this version. See, even he knows how ridiculous that line is. Guess he doesn’t want to step on TM’s Taves now or something.

    Fittingly they follow with Fire. Seems like every ’97 show could have ended with Fire, because this band was damn hot then. What? Only 8 songs? Oh yeah.

    Clear nod to the travelers up the coast with a benign encore. Move along, nothing to see here.

    Why was I so “Meh” about this show at the time? Was it the fact that I traveled so long to get to Ventura? The journey to involved an overnight stay in Hanford, so maybe that’s it. I was also expecting a lot more shredding, but I got my Trza’s worth at Shoreline and the Gorge the next few nights. Hindsight, etc. Heh heh, he said “hind”.

    The ’98 show will serve as my soundtrack for game 7 tonight. Expect another deeply personal write up tomorrow. Can you stand the suspense?

    I pray to Yeezus to have as many memories and surprises when the 2012 BGCA Box drops in 15 years. Now on to the soundcheck.

  3. voopa Says:

    Wow, way to fill up a comments page, Commenty McCommenter.

  4. RoosterPizza Says:

    And the attorney representing Hernandez would be…Michael Fee.

  5. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Some cat is about to tighrope walk a sizeable span over the Grand Canyon in 30 minutes, live 10 second delay. Discovery Channel

  6. little umbrellas Says:

    with a safety clip?

  7. little umbrellas Says:

    so does that mean that Eatme was AW as well?

  8. little umbrellas Says:

    this Bowie intro has a lick which I thought had a certain curtian with quality…

  9. voopa Says:


    Man, that article makes me sad. I can cite from personal experience that kids from smoker parents turn out as geniuses or with Autism, or in between. Correlation does not imply causation.

  10. little umbrellas Says:

    by this I meant this 7/19/91 one with Horns.

  11. voopa Says:

    Sorry, no to the Eatme question.

    Eat That Question!

  12. BNCB Says:

    Cool site for natural furniture. Just met the guy that makes the stuff:

    Cat has some connections in Tahoe. Working on a lakefront room.

  13. P.S.H.S Says:

    Hernandez just got a 12mil signing bonus last year. Sounds like he’s very involved with what happened the other night. It effects the pats big time, but the dude just got paid, WTF is he thinking. Just tell your homies that your not into doing stupid shit anymore, and get a golf membership at a sweet private course, where the rest of the team plays

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Well done Voops.

    Hernandez is in big trouble. Thug life yo…

    Note to self- If the police ever ask for your cellphone, don’t hand it over to them smashed into a million pieces…looks a bit suspicious..

  15. BNCB Says:

    PSHS. Thanks for updates. Long distance Pats fan here. Feeling a bit sick in stomach area. The bonus explains the mansion. And makes Bellicjek look like an ass for not paying Wes ‘I don’t know trouble’ Welker.

  16. little umbrellas Says:

    eatme=RL 😉

  17. hoedown Says:

    Lots of baby making going on round here. We’re less than 3 weeks away from due date and the reality of the situation still has not sunk in. Except for the fact that d-day is right when the band hits the Garden thus causing a showless summer this guy. First time I’ve missed an entire tour since 1997. Oh well, hopefully I will have some couch to get me through the impending sleepiness nights. Despite missing the local shows I’m pretty bent that I’m missing northerly island. Bader field part 2 minus the wonderful environs and sleeze of Atlantic City. Holding out hope for fall tour. Jealous of all you guys hitting shows but that’s life. AW should feel blessed he is hitting 9 this summer. My better half only hit 2 at msg at 3 months pregz. Couch tour FTW…

  18. hoedown Says:

    ^ Garden State (Arts Center)

  19. BNCB Says:

    My bad. Telluride stream starts tomorrow.


  20. voopa Says:

    If things go as planned, I’ll be hospital recuperating during Alpharetta. Hope Kaiser wi-fi lets me stream…I predict a much nicer unofficial couch tour experience this Summer.

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Fuck… The Wellmont Theatre, a great locale venue that was owned by Bowery Presents is being taken over by the thugs at Live nation.. A matter of time until they ruin a great venue, I’m sure.

  22. little umbrellas Says:

    Bound 2, how you gonna be mad on vacation?

  23. dorn76 Says:

    That Wellmont is gorgeous, and has that little theatre vibe going in spades.
    LN can only fuck it up.

    Voop has real talent. Expert pinch hitting for our MIA host.

  24. HeadyBrosevelt Says:

    word up hoedown and aw. as a new father (baby is 4 mos old on 6/22) all i can say is that, for me, it has been wonderful, beautiful, and amazing. enjoy.

    phishthought: a good box set idea- in the same sense as the ventura ’97/’98, philly ’97/’99. three great shows and one good show. or a best of spectrum box set compiled from ’95-’99. take the four of five best shows and give them the treatment from a very classic venue.

  25. phlorida phan Says:

    Hernandez is a gator……GUILTY

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