The Top Ten Jams of Fall

Boardwalk Hall (Andrea Nusinov)

Boardwalk Hall (Andrea Nusinov)

I’ve spent the past week spinning the hell out of Fall and I have come up with my top ten jams of tour. These are—by my ear—the most hooked up, flowing pieces of improvisation from an all-too-short fall run. As always, ranking these was an incredibly difficult task, but that said, I’m quite happy with how this top ten turned out. always, Enjoy the playlist!

10. “Ghost” 10.31 III, Atlantic City, NJ

This locked and driving jam opened the third of set of Halloween with a bang.



9. “Down with Disease” 10.29 II, Reading, PA

After steering through a couple different moods, the band found the end of the rainbow in a southern-style pot of gold.  This Allmans-sque passage and earth-shattering peak cement Reading’s “Disease” as a keeper.



8. “Golden Age” 10.27 II, Hartford, CT

Fishman absolutely destroys this rhythmic jam, as the band dances around his inhuman beats for much of its duration. The band truly sits into this jam, something they are becoming more and more comfortable doing with “Golden Age.”



7. “Twenty Years Later” 10.29 II, Reading, PA

Methodical, growling, and funky as James Brown’s band on their worst night, this mid-set surprise obliterated the dance floor and left people picking up pieces of their brains off the walls of Santander Arena. Sliding into a rootsy, Americana outro, this jam hit the feel-good spot as well.



6. “Twist” 10.23 II, Glens Falls, NY

This jam provided the pivot point of tour; from here on out, everything the band touched turned to gold.



5. “Carini” 10.31 III, Atlantic City, NJ

A free-form, third-set joyride that reached profound planes following some early-jam hiccups. The improvisational centerpiece of the Halloween show.



4. “Light” 10.26 II, Worcester, MA

The most slamming “Light” of Fall has so much to offer, including a searing guitar solo, a passionate composed jam and the the most sophisticated groove exposé of the entire tour. Hey!



3. “Twist” 11.1 II, Atlantic City, NJ

The central part of this jam provided the most cathartic group moment of the year aside from Tahoe’s “Tweezer.” Very powerful music; very powerful energy. The band came down from the mountaintop and retained cohesion through a mini-“Under Pressure” jam, continued into a full-blown, psychedelic third segment of music, and finally came down via a dreamy denouement.



2. “Carini” 10.18 II, Hampton, VA

This multi-staged, super-dynamic jam is the only piece of Fall—other than my number one pick—that flows with a completely effortless nature from beginning to end. And that’s quite impressive considering the amount of ground it covers, including a scintillating mid-jam, peak and a funked up final section. Despite Sunday’s scorching final set, this “Carini” is the everlasting gem of Hampton 2013.



1.Tweezer” 10.27 II, Hartford, CT

The guys clicked from this jam’s first note, locking into a sacred stride and never missing a beat. No jam from Fall flowed more effortlessly that this—four-minded, egoless, soulful music from start to finish. As if God pressed play and the band simply allowed the music to flow through them—this is what it’s all about.

Hampton Coliseum (Andrea Nusinov)

Hampton Coliseum (Andrea Nusinov)

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619 Responses to “The Top Ten Jams of Fall”

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  1. phishm Says:

    Thanks for the picks Miner. Setting up for a great weekend. Make it a good one BB. Oh ya, and first.

  2. Al Says:

    Mostly agree with Miner’s Picks. Although I clearly see Rochester C&P and the Hampton Tweezer somewhere in there, too.

  3. DFB Says:

    Reading Disease is only number 9!?!?!? Minor has done gone crazy. Reading Disease *might* be the best jam since the Hampton reunion in 2009.

  4. Willowed Says:

    I can keep up with all the new posts Miner. Love it!

    Thanks for all the hard work!

    Make it a great day boys.

  5. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Fuck, I have to prep for work and cannot listen, yet!

  6. Shred Says:

    They really out did themselves this fall with some sick jams.

    Personally every tour should have a MIND LEFT BODY moment. Glad to see it even briefly in the Hartweez.

    Trey played his ass off in LIGHT too. Nice to see he still has a bit of ShredZep in him.

    Is the only one amazing (amazing, not 5:15 sick but not amazing) Halloween album moment the great curve?

  7. phoammhead Says:

    hot damn! I was hoping this top ten list would drop today . . . thanks, Mr Miner!

  8. Spasm Waiter Says:

    Mornin’ laddies… great list Miner. All o these jams are absolutely top shelf. I am sure people would shift them around a bit bc these pieces of art speak objectively in different way to each listener. Funny how folks get all bent out of shape over the rankings.

  9. Peakseeker Says:

    These are pretty good picks but I can not believe that the Hampton Tweezer didn’t make it into this list. I have spun all three Tweezers over and over and that is the definitive Tweezer of the Fall run. While the Hartford version is great and it is an absolute groove fiesta, the Hampton Tweezer takes you on a journey through the pits of Tweezer hell and washes you up upon the shores of Phish bliss heaven. While I agree that all of these choices are good, not having Hampton’s Tweezer in the top ten is a little off the mark.

    I also have to go with the Hampton Golden Age over Hartford. Those shows are close on a lot of fronts but I have to give the edge to Hampton. Hartford was all grove based but in Hampton it was groove, space, funk, cathartic, you had it all there

    That said, thanks for all the continued posts. I enjoy reading them very much!

  10. phoammhead Says:

    damn, i was going to ask one of you guys to check this out . . . i’m not carazy after all!

    from the notes . . . Boogie On, which also included a tease of the theme from The Rockford Files by Mike.

    used to love that tv show many, many years ago.

    theme from Rockford Files . . .

  11. phoammhead Says:

    for the tease in Boogie . . . see minute 3:30 to 4 . . . it’s a little rough but i heard it at the show so it had to be, right

  12. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Hampton TweezerAge demands a recount! I really do like the Hartford tweez and agree that it is a fluid, magnificent jam with the whole band completely locked in. However, I really don’t find it all that interesting or feel like new ground was broken. Might feel differently if I experienced it in person. Also, it stays on the same track the whole way. I prefer the recent big jams that bleed from movement to movement a la Hampton Carini and AC Twist. (Or Tahoe tweez or Dick’s Light).

    tl;dr- The imaginary orchestra is my spirit animal.

  13. DavidSilver Says:

    I’m with that Hampton TweezAge vw. As are many more. Wish I could’ve been present for any of these on the list.

  14. Dorn76 Says:

    Thanks Miner. Giddy as a schoolboy about what went down this Fall. Didn’t think we would ever get back to this level of creativity and consistency. Feel like I’m clicking along with the band a bit, and have tried to do some growing over the past couple years too. World’s Greatest Dad. Better shoes.

    We’ve got it Simple fellas.

    Stage set for MSG throwdown.

  15. George W. Kush Says:

    Well said Dorn. Thanks for all you do Miner. Great list!

    Although, ranking best Phish jams is as tough as picking favorite presidents. For example, I have heard the term “worst president of the century” thrown around since my stint in office and I think to myself, I think “Dubyah, all those differnt types of Americans out there, its stupid for them to pick favorite U.S. presidents, almost as futile as picking favorite Fall ’13 jams. Silly Americans…er…BBers.” Laura and I are also partial to the TweezAge. In-room bias I reckon.

  16. Ulysses S. Wingsuit Says:

    It was my fortune, or misfortune, to be called to the office of Chief Executive without any previous political training.

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Thanks for the list and tunes Miner!

    Always tough picking a top ten especially when there are some many hot jams..

    When it comes down to specifics, it all boils down to personal preference.

    In room bias is a real thing, Miner being at all of them allows for a perspective not many of us have.. Shout out to Bill Bonney , who hit them all also, driving from Fla.. Solid , old school effort that deserves applause!

    While the order is subjective, I feel pretty confident that Miner got them all in there..

    Where does a jam like the Ac Theme or Sally fit in?

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Going to my first sporting event this evening as a member of the media… lousy college hoops game, but it’s a start!

  19. mmmhmm Says:

    This band of late seems compact and tight but light and airy. Lots of space for each musician to bounce sounds around. The crunch and chop section of page and trey have been mixing so well with the polyphonic drumming and big bulbous but foundational work from mike this past tour. Music has a thumping pulse to it.


  20. [an unrelated] Wilson Says:

    Glens Falls Seven Below.

  21. vapebraham Says:

    Bonney did it all for the nookie.

  22. aj Says:

    I feel fah-reek-y. Slept 9 hours, but still in space zone. Stupid getting home before you leave.

  23. dorn76 Says:

    If I recall correctly, Ulysses Wingsuit owned a failed chain of car washes in the Cleveland Area before becoming President.

  24. bobby weird Says:

    gotta start somewhere Palms. cheers!

  25. vapebraham Says:

    back to spinning Fall ’13 on shuffle. I may need Fall ’13 anonymous soon. everything crackles, even the ocelots and zeros.

    Hartford Birds (the forgotten meat btw. Tweez and GA), should not be skipped. $$.

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