All-Tour Jam Vehicles & Summer Awards

Merriweather 7/27 (Andrea Nusinov)

Merriweather 7/27 (Andrea Nusinov)

First Team

“Chalk Dust Torture”

Top Version: 7/13 Randall’s Island

Other Standouts:  7/9 Mann, 7/25 Charlotte, 7/29 Portsmouth

Two-thousand-fourteen has been “Chalk Dust Torture’s” most significant year in its 23-year history. The rock anthem had been known for blowout jams every now and then, but this summer really changed the game for “Chalk Dust” as it became a routine launch pad. Phish threw down six significant versions of “Chalk Dust” this summer, and more than half are legitimate keepers. Though most of the jams followed a similar contour with constant motion, the band diversified the major versions and carved out several top-level improvisations. Mann’s version set the tone for Randall’s all-timer, while Charlotte and Portsmouth’s versions anchored the back half of tour.


“Harry Hood”

Top Version: 7/1 Mansfield

Other Standouts: 7/12 Randall’s, 7/19 Northerly Island, 8/29 Dick’s

“Harry Hood” had a complete transformation over summer tour. Previously, the band had taken the “Hood” jam far out of structure four times in thirty years (Charlotte ‘03, Camden ‘03, Worcester ’10, Hollywood ’13). This summer they did so three times in a month (Mansfield, Randall’s, and Chicago) and then also veered slightly off course another twice more (Philly, Denver). For the first half of summer, while Phish was focused on deep improvisation, “Hood” became an open jam vehicle, birthing three instant classics. But as the summer progressed and the band’s jamming waned a bit, so did “Hood’s” role as a springboard into the ether. The band played a quality contained version at Merriweather, used it as a means to four duets in Alpharetta, and played a stellar though relatively in-the-box version at Dick’s.



Top Version: 7/12 Randall’s Island

Other Standouts: 7/26, Merriweather, 7/20 Chicago, 8/29 Dick’s

“Ghost” could make an case for MVP of summer tour. Just hear me out. It appeared eight times this summer and never disappointed. Phish crafted three very diverse and creative jams out of “Ghost” at Randall’s, Chicago, and Merriweather,  while using it as a blissier, peaked out jam on three other occasions at Mansfield, Oak Mountain, and Denver. The Mann’s version isn’t particularly outside the box, but is quite smooth and enjoyable nonetheless. And even its least significant version in Clarkston was the highlight of a throw-away show, thus it’s hard to make a case against a jam that is essentially batting 1.000.


“Down with Disease”

Top Version: 7/11 Randall’s Island

Other Standouts: 7/4 SPAC, 7/15 CMAC, 8/1 Orchard Beach, 8/30 Dick’s

Some things are like clockwork. The sun comes up every morning, bears shit in the woods, and “Disease” is always on the top shelf of jam vehicles for the Phish from Vermont. Ever since breaking out and becoming a consistent springboard in the years of ’96 and ’97, “Disease” has been Old Faithful, never wavering in its quest for the most innovative jams around. This summer, “Disease” had another rock solid tour with several high quality outings that took on different shapes and sizes. Randall’s version is at the head of the class, while Dick’s and Orchard Beach’s also elevated in different directions (as they might as well have been played by different guitar players). SPAC’s “Disease” feels like the forgotten version of tour, though got into a intricate jam following “Fuego” on July 4th. All in all, Summer 2014 another all-star tour for one of Phish’s staple anthems.



Top Version: 7/19 Chicago

Other Standouts: 7/4 SPAC, 7/13 Randall’s, 7/26 Merriweather, 8/30 Dick’s

“Light” has become a regular all-tour selection in the modern era, always pushing the boundaries of Phish’s sonic comfort zone. “Light” was most often used as a supporting jam this summer, but flourished in this role with multiple late-set standouts. It’s best outing, however, came as the centerpiece of Chicago’s second show, plunging the depths of space jazz. Randall’s version also stood out, coming after the jam of summer and riding the same magic into a gentle and surreal Mind Left Body jam. SPAC’s, Merriweather’s and Dick’s versions all popped off late in the set, keeping the high-end improvisational vibe rolling right through the end of the show.

SPAC '14 (Andrea Nusinov)

SPAC ’14 (Andrea Nusinov)

Second Team


Top Version: 8/30 Dick’s

Other Standouts: 7/5 SPAC, 7/12 Randall’s

“Carini” saw a huge step backwards from its monstrous 2013. The band didn’t truly commit to any particular version from summer tour, using it mostly as a vehicle to ethereal soundscapes. Randall’s version got pretty interesting and intricate, but the “Carini” of the season easily goes to the explosive rendition we just heard in Denver, featuring Trey’s most soul-inspired peak of the year.



Top Version: 7/8 Mann Music Center

Other Standouts: 7/4 SPAC, 7/30 Portsmouth

“Fuego” had quite an odd summer. Phish played the song lord knows how many times, but only jammed it thrice. Two of those three jams are among the best of the summer, including Philly’s masterpiece, and Portsmouth’s is fully connected as well. “Fuego” could make a case for the first team, but it’s fighting some pretty horrible percentages.



Top Version: 7/13 Randall’s Island

Other Standouts: 7/27 Merriweather, 8/1 Orange Beach

“Tweezer” had a fairly laid back summer, tough its campaign was highlighted by unique and inspired Randall’s Island outing. Merriweather got the full “Tweezefest,” but the actual “Tweezer” jam is a thing of beauty-turned-psychedelia. Orange Beach’s version reaches a gorgeous space but feels a bit underdeveloped.



Top Version: 7/5 SPAC

Other Standouts: 7/18 Chicago, 7/30 Portsmouth

“Piper” was most often used in combination with other jams this summer and was almost always good for some interesting minutes of jamming. Its one truly shining moment came as more of a centerpiece in SPAC’s final show in which the band truly developed the jam into something special.


 “Bathtub Gin”       

Top Version: 7/11 Randall’s Island

Other Standout: 7/3 SPAC

On the strength of two versions, “Bathtub Gin” made Second Team, All-Season . There’s just nothing else out there with two better jams from summer. And these two were pretty great.


Miner’s Post-Season Awards

Jam Vehicle of Summer: “Chalk Dust Torture”

Runner Up: “Ghost”

Rookie of the Tour: “Fuego”

Runner Up: “Wingsuit”

Show of Tour: 7/13 Randall’s Island

Runners Up: SPAC 7/4, MPP 7/27, Dick’s 8/30

Run of Summer: Randall’s Island

Runner Up: SPAC

Segue of Summer: “Twist -> Circus” 7/25

Runner Up: “Free -> Tweezer -> Simple -> Tweezer -> Free”

MVP of Tour: Jon Fishman



[polldaddy poll=8310105]

[polldaddy poll=8310108]

[polldaddy poll=8310112]

[polldaddy poll=8310118]

[polldaddy poll=8310116]

[polldaddy poll=8310125]

[polldaddy poll=8310220]

Tags: , , ,

20,056 Responses to “All-Tour Jam Vehicles & Summer Awards”

  1. Herzog Says:

    Little feat produced by dr dre $$$

    What is razzle dazzle and why does anyone care?

  2. butter Says:

    Vegas Dust > Piper is darker and heavier

    SB Dust > Ghost reaches a happy climax in Ghost

    they both match their environs quite well

  3. butter Says:

    Twist>Jim>Hood? is that considered a sequence?f

    ^BGCA 2 set 2 set of tour

  4. butter Says:

    exactly C re: uptempo piper

  5. RicksFork Says:

    I think it has to Butter. That Twist, Jim, Hood sequence is right up there imo.

    I also like the dark and heavier always so I would go with the ChalkPiper.

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    twist jim hood isn’t as much of a sequence as it is 3 separate jams to me. And i hate runaway jim anywhere, though they do play that one well.

  7. Mr.Miner Says:

    @butter. nah. don’t dig it very much. sb tweeze is just a lazy pet cat jam to me. i don’t find it unique or inventive at all. In fact, I find it pretty boring.

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    i guess i don’t see the twist jim or hood having anything to do with one another while the chalk ghost and chalk piper are legit flowing sequences. Crosseyed Hood not so much, so I guess it’s subjective, but I feel Hood caps the darkness of Cross, while I don’t see Twist, Jim or Hood really relating or playing off each other at all.

  9. butter Says:

    Word. Lazy cat’d

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    but shit, I don’t make the rules, those are just my thoughts on the matter

  11. butter Says:

    The Twist seems to climax the improv from KDF and cerebral ness from Mist

  12. butter Says:

    Ruff tour for Tweeze huh Miner?

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    does it go Kdf > Mist > Twist? I’d say that’s more of a sequence. But isn’t there something else in there?

    yeah, crap year for Tweezers aside from Randalls

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    yeah, fuego > julius kills the middle of that set.

  15. butter Says:

    Thought Fuego was fine to great there, pick up energy after Mist. We got a Julius tho were our Fuego jam could have been, but that’s a hot set

  16. butter Says:

    Plus factor in many Bay Area peeps had never heard Fuego live, so with that lens it’s a great spot for it.

    Also thought Fuego was the perfect opener on night 2 Vegas to kick off the celebration of what just went down the night b4

  17. tela's_muff Says:

    I would agree Twist>Jim>Hood doesn’t have that flow or musical connection as your other top 2 choices. I’d sti consider it a jam sequence though. Tech music doesn’t stop. That Jim is fire.

    Best sequence is Ghost>Bug>Seven Below. Ha.

    Love love love the KDF>Mist

  18. Mr.Miner Says:

    there is no good spot for fuego imo. the song blows. they don’t jam it. It’s not a great song without a jam imo. Plus, they have murdered the song by playing it 100000 times with only 3 jams. It’s long, slow and never changes… #fuckdiego

  19. tela's_muff Says:

    That was the best Fuego w/o a jam!!

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    for sure a hot set with a significant 15-20 minute musical lull

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    how can one fuego be different than another with no jam? solos? come on.

  22. butter Says:

    That set sparked the tour

    So needed and awesome

    Wonder how much they were practicing HH

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    actually thought set 1 of that show sparked the tour.

    set 1s were far more consitently good than set 2s this tour imo. kinda weird.

  24. tela's_muff Says:

    Played with a little more spark, passion, feeling? Totally seems reasonable.

  25. butter Says:

    Fuego is sorta a culty energy fist pumpy thing, with a sick drums bass section and some chanting

    Unfortunately it’s such a long song, not sure how much it will be jammed

    We got our few versions during the album promotional tour to hype us and the album

    And it’s my dogs name

Leave a Reply