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. phlorida phan Says:

    Smashed phone, hired cleaning crew, smashed home security system. Better go with the Chewbacca defense, only chance.

  2. RoosterPizza Says:


    It’s what corporations do. They know how to hit you in your weakness.

    We were just offered an opportunity to tie our business to the largest internet provider in Japan. After a week or so of mulling the option over from every angle, we have decided to reject the offer and continue to build things independently by touring community centers, day cares, and hospitals, or anywhere else we can present to raise awareness about what it means to learn and create something. We know the money we would make on this would be without foundation and simply fall through in the future.

    We are known as an English business, but it has become much more than that.

  3. RoosterPizza Says:

    I see the pattern the privatized prison group was going for with the stadium pitch.

  4. phlorida phan Says:

    Is it just me, but this little girl singing the anthem sucks, and they keep bringing her back.

  5. phlorida phan Says:

    ^ Miami Heat

  6. mmmhmm Says:

    Voopa nice retrospective on Ventura. I just got my set in the mail along with May ’77 Dead box. Lots of good listening on deck. Spun ’97 last night and looking forward to a vape and ’98 tonight.

    “Shortly into the Stash jam, Trey hits the Leslie and the crowd does apeshit. DO THAT MORE PLEASE. Great, great Stash”

    ^that. We need more Leslie in Ph these days. Makes shit cosmic and swirling

  7. MiA Says:

    God. It’s me Margret in Austin.

    Please have Gnobili foul out ASAP.

  8. MiA Says:

    San Antonio is gonna be crushed.

  9. jdub Says:

    Game 7’s are so much fun. I don’t even care who wins.

  10. voopa Says:

    Thanks everyone. If had less self-doubt, I’d figure out how to monetize it.

    It did take me about 20 hours to write that, including sleep and “work” time. And a lot of rewrites. Oh, and booze and weed and being home solo during last night’s listening sesh. Good convergence. So good that I’ll do it again tonight.

    Fortunately, Mother Hips are playing a free local show tomorrow night, so this pattern will cease for now. It’ll happen again after the next archival release that I happened to attend.

    I wonder if I could write so passionately about shows that I didn’t attend?

  11. voopa Says:

    Rooster- I used to scoff at the notion that somehow the company for whom I work was “ruined” when it was acquired by AutoZone. Now I know better.

  12. voopa Says:

    At least I get to spout thousand word write-ups about one night 16 years ago when I want to.

  13. sumodie Says:

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

    I love it when someone apologizes for talking about actual Phish music ;0>

    Nice thoughts, voopa

    To me Trey seems more gracious in 3.0 than in previous eras. Gracious as in grateful to be playing before such committed fans.

    Spun Ventura Split, Drowned today, yowza. Not so sure I should be spinning such primo phish right before tour. Dont wanna mess with my expectations

  14. MiA Says:

    Shapiro isn’t releasing LiveBait 9 due to false advertising suits.

  15. MiA Says:

    Great writeup Voopa. Enjoyed that.

  16. jerseyjim Says:

    congrats to those expecting, and a summer tour of no expectations.

    @Heady B, grateful for the recent additions to Europe 72. Love that Other One from Bremen.

    sweating out the Met game before switching to game 7.

    pre-show Trey at Wellmont Theatre: nitrous tanks hissing away in parking lot. balloons bobbing around. Cops twenty feet away. Sad.

  17. jdub Says:

    who needs expectations.

    Just listened to GD Loser 4/26/71 nice version. Inspired by latest assault of TOTD posts. No chance of losing this time rings so true. Hunter and garcia go/went together like peanut butter and jelly.

    there is an actual mix of an entire year of GD tuning while on stage. The mix lasts a couple hours at least. Listening to some that tuning right now. And we joke about Phish being unprofessional.

  18. mmmhmm Says:

    Jdub back then they had to get everything “just exactly perfect” on stage. Now its all digital

  19. sumodie Says:

    Yeah, I used to say no expectations before a show. But in reality there’s always expectations, otherwise why would I even be at the show

    Surrender to the flow seems to espouse better the meaning behind no expectations

    Jdub, I forgot about that GD tuning comp. Think i have it on one of my HDs that I never turn on anymore. Hope your family is getting pumped for Bangor! Ellsworth is a great choice as a homebase for your ME adventures

  20. RoosterPizza Says:


    It’s a domino theory we tend to dismiss in the country because corporate ties seemingly, and I stress seemingly, result in financial security. And when somebody else gets fucked out of a job, everyone else just stands and watches because they are happy they didn’t get it. Then when it’s their turn, they desperately look for help as everyone else watches and is thankful it’s not them. And that’s how “they” get away with it.

    On a side note, happy to see Green try a half court heave with .8 seconds left. Apparently, Mario Chalmers dribbles the ball out with anything under 2 seconds so he doesn’t damage his stats.

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    7.4.00 Jibboo..28 minute clinic

  22. MiA Says:

    Love that Jibboo. AÜ too I think.

  23. jdub Says:

    Really impossible to have no expectations. I mean, at the very least we expect to see a phish show when head in. Surrender to the flow is truly what ITs about. Right Phishm? Fer real, that is what life is about. Very Zen perspective.

    Family, or at least I, am very excited Bangor. Kids have no idea and like idea of ME and Gumbo, my lovely lady is very curious and looking forward to Acadia, I am loving all of the above. Come to back of field pre show to say hi if we don’t see you before.

    I love the analog tuning. Very charming. I wish Phish would do it more often. Storage jam felt like a mix between tuning, feedback, space and soundcheck.

  24. little umbrellas Says:

    god Bobzilla has such tremendous technique on the bass.
    Shark Bass demo:

  25. jdub Says:

    Wow, I should edit. I’m not even on smart phone. 6/20/04 set 2 and ipa’d. Looking forward to opening weekend big time.

Leave a Reply