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. mmmhmm Says:

    no 3.0 Magilla. that would be a good little diddie to bring back into the fold

  2. bobby weird Says:

    RL is right about defensive minded bruins versus offensive hawks. Except to date bruins skated enough to effectively shut down offensive power of pens and hawks. Last night, however, B’s were badly outskated. Bergeron, marchand, lucic were -7… hardly evet in negative territory. Anr still B’s could have won with a timely OT goal, and several were beyond close. Key difference was crawford was terrible. Very shaky. Ill take my solid goalie and ability to shut anyone down as long as they commit to skate. Good news for B’s fans is that is within our control. Crawford no glove side… not so much.

  3. jdub Says:

    I could see Magilla. What else is left, Leprechaun..

  4. mmmhmm Says:

    I’m all for more Page tunes. 1/2way to the moon, stuff off of Unsung Cities and solo debut would be welcomed. Always thought beauty of a broken heart sounds great when Trey gets the guitar parts right ala BGCA 3

  5. jdub Says:

    Halfway to the Moon could go places. It would be great to hear in rotation. Or even as a 1 off explosion like Mr. Completely.

    Time for 3.0 to buck up and just let the cards fall. Worcester ’12 Roses is great if for no other reason than the band let it all hang out. Say what you will about it on replay but in the building it was fucking awesome. Band went for it, in the 1st set… more of that please.

  6. mmmhmm Says:

    hey Rooster, you in BTV right? Seen/heard any of the band in town since Fish played that Dead night upstairs at Nectars?

  7. voopa Says:

    sumo- you’re right about Trey’s graciousness, my comment was about how the earlier years dragged on to the point that he seemed to hate being up there.

    I’m glad the expectations thing that I wrote about got people discussing it again. One of my favorite topics right now for some reason.

  8. RoosterPizza Says:

    I live in plattsburgh, but i am Japan for the summer.

    Hood saw Mike the other day and said he had a short hair cut. That’s all I’ve heard.

  9. voopa Says:

    Rooster- well put re: corps. Good thing they’re considered “people” now, right?

    As if individual citizens without big money and no connected friends have any kind of power. Delusion is wild.

    I forget my point, I’m listening to the Ventura Gin via SBD for the first time ever! I’m the King of the World all over again! Obviously I’ll have much more to say about this tomorrow…much more than about some basketball game that I have absolutely no vested interest…

  10. voopa Says:

    I missed that…am I out of HH’s text loop now?

  11. RoosterPizza Says:

    He told me on the phone.

  12. voopa Says:

    lum- That Vega vid is sweet! I’ve seen him w/KVHW and good.

    That’s what happens when you practice every day. Do it, everyone. Unlike me, the lazy keyboardist.

  13. voopa Says:

    Ah. Good guy, that HH.

  14. jdub Says:

    6/20/04 set 2 is one of my favorite sets I have heard. I wish I was there. Probably the best set in 2.0. I think the best really.

    2/28/03 Tweezer top 2.0 jam
    6/20/04 II top set

  15. voopa Says:

    I forgot to mention the “start/stop” section of the Ven ’97 WB…that typically piques interest, correct? That part of the ’98 Gin reminded me…and now here come the loops.

  16. jdub Says:

    look at me talkin’ bests and shit. I know nothing and should not rank anything, never mind music.

  17. voopa Says:

    You and me both, jdub.

    *sets down communication device*

  18. jdub Says:

    But it is so much fun fuckin about Voopa. I really enjoyed your Ventura run down. Put me in the moment.

  19. RoosterPizza Says:

    Oh yeah, corps should definitely be considered people; it’s actually rather fitting. They grow, engage in unethical doings, and spawn turds of the same makeup.

  20. jdub Says: is so friggin money.

    I do not like to fill my cpu with tons of stuff when it is on the cloud. The future is great until it is not.

    Good night all.

  21. voopa Says:

    Yay, I’m fun!

    (JK, I know what you mean)

    Look at me, on The Internet again. Just like all of you.

  22. mmmhmm Says:

    damn flights into Seattle from the SE are expensive as balls

  23. little umbrellas Says:

    mike has pretty short hair in his pic with the video axe.

    Tony Williams Lifetime in Paris 71 live footage:

    Don Alias – conga
    Warren Smith – perc
    Larry Young – organ
    Ted Dunbar – guitar
    Juni Booth – bass
    Tony Williams – dr

  24. mmmhmm Says:

    balls that have been iced with frozen peas after snippage.

  25. little umbrellas Says:

    Trio of Doom has to be the worst all star band of all time. Ok, so definitely not the worst, but the most disappointing. So much potential? to much ego.
    John McLaughlin Jaco Pastorius Tony Williams

    … maybe I need to relisten to the studio thing they did days after that performance,.. but aw, that’s sounds awful. weird to have bootlegs in circulation of shows that just didn’t click.

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