The Top Ten of Fall Tour

10.24.14, Los Angeles, CA (Jesse Herzog)

10.24.14, Los Angeles, CA (Jesse Herzog)

There’s nothing like making art compete, so welcome to this Fall’s Top Ten Jams! Trying to make this top ten list from was tougher than usual, because simply put, there weren’t that many great jams this tour. The guys did, however, churn out just enough high quality to make a solid top ten list. So without further ado, here we go…

Honorable Mention:  “Carini -> Plasma” 10.17 II, “Light -> Cities” 10.18 II, “Harry Hood” 10.28 II, “Down with Disease” 10.29 II, “Twist” 11.1 II

10. “Harry Hood” 10.17 II, Eugene, OR

To cap Eugene’s second set, the band picked up with “Harry Hood” right where they left off this summer, playing another revitalized and wide-open version of their classic. After navigating multiple themes, the band concluded this version with a proper build and peak. Certainly lesser heard that the San Francisco and Vegas “Hoods,” Eugene’s version was the proverbial cherry on top of a pretty perfect second set and gets my pick for the best of Fall.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.07-Harry-Hood.mp3]

***

9.”Light” 10.29 II, San Francisco, CA

Much like Bill Graham’s “Twist” opened into a slow, dark lair, the next night’s “Light” followed a similar dynamic, traversing more than one ambient realm. This jam highlighted San Francisco’s final set with truly engaging interplay, but it met an awkward ending due to Trey’s hard-headed move into “Possum” as things were getting particularly nasty, costing this jam some serious style points.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.06-Light.mp3]

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8. “Down With Disease” 10.24 II, Los Angeles, CA

A jam that traverses several musical feels comes to a final peak with the same classic rock rhythm progression featured in this summer’s Merriweather “Ghost.” A solid, full-band jam through and through.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.03-Down-With-Disease.mp3]

***

7. “Light -> Dogs” 11.1 II, Las Vegas, NV

Phish wasted no time digging into the new music they scribed for their Halloween set. On the next night, they combined “Light” and “Dogs” to form the improvisational centerpiece of the second set. Trey gets into a zone for the few minutes preceding the move into “Dogs,”  unleashing a series of powerful leads with a hard-edged, digitally beserk guitar tone. The band expounded on “Dogs'” theme, jamming the piece out of structure and into “Lengthwise.” I believe this was only the beginning of a new chapter in Phish’s career.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.03-Light.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.04-Lengthwise.mp3]

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6. “Drowned > Theme” 10.22 II, Santa Barbara, CA

This set-opening sequence from Santa Barbara’s second night totally smokes. “Drowned” moves from a melodic and ethereal space into a far darker second half, landing in “Theme From the Bottom.” Then, in perhaps the surprise move of tour, the band blew out the end of “Theme” into a sinister funk passage could rightfully accompany a bank robbing mission.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.01-Drowned.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.02-Theme-From-the-Bottom.mp3]

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5. “Kill Devil Falls” 10.28 II, San Francisco, CA

Add Bill Graham’s second night to the short list of times Phish has blown out “Kill Devil Falls.” San Francisco’s outing got the full treatment in the band’s sharpest show of Fall Tour, opening the second set with a traipse into an abstraction. Though it had been years since the band improvised out of the Joy rocker, they promptly utilized it to sculpt one of the more progressive jams of Fall Tour.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.01-Kill-Devil-Falls.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.02-Mountains-in-the-Mist.mp3]

***

4. “Twist” 10.28 II, San Francisco, CA

“Twist” followed its Fall ’13 renaissance with another strong campaign this Fall. Phish played three great renditions of “Twist” this run, but none reached a more profound place than the version from Bill Graham Civic Arena. What appeared to be a tight though standard run through the song completely opened up as it built towards its final theme. What transpired was several minutes of utter transcendence. The band downshifted into a creeping tempo in which Trey played some of his most mystical guitar of the tour. Completely connected, Phish explored this idea to its conclusion with music that likened ancient myth.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.05-Twist.mp3]

***

3. “Chalk Dust Torture > Ghost” 10.21 II, Santa Barbara, CA

This Santa Barbara sequence stood out immediately, highlighted by a truly special “Ghost” which slowly slithers into a delicate space that matched the venue’s gorgeous surroundings. In comparison to Vegas’s version, the trajectory of this “Chalk Dust” jam remained a bit more standard, though the band’s interplay throughout is quite on point. It seemed like Trey went all out in this sequence and then ran out of gas for the rest of the set which fell pretty flat.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.01-Chalkdust-Torture-1.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.02-Ghost.mp3]

***

2. “Crosseyed and Painless” 10.17 II, Eugene, OR

In their first show—and one of the strongest second sets—of tour, Phish blew the doors off this “Crosseyed” jam in the fashion we hope they will every time they drop the Talking Heads’ cover. This multi-tiered excursion fluidly connects several themes, as the band set the bar quite high out of the gates this fall. Moving through a full-on plinko stage before morphing into a soundscaped ambient groove, the Eugene “Crossesyed” is the most accomplished  stand-alone jam of Fall Tour.

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.06-Crosseyed-and-Painless.mp3]

***

1. “Chalk Dust > Piper” 11.2 II, Las Vegas, NV

Simply put, this sequence blows the rest of Fall Tour out of the water. Trey’s focus, energy and creativity finally reached the level of his bandmates, and the result was a jam that sounds far more locked and inspired than the rest of these pieces on this list. Quite honestly, it’s like night and day, illustrating the relative mediocrity of Fall tour. In this sequence, Phish (read: Trey) actually sounds like the sharpened musicians we know them to be, as it’s amazing what a fully dialed guitar player will do for the dynamic of the band. Both halves of this two-pronged attack thoroughly depart from their conventional jam spaces, providing refreshing takes on “Chalk Dust” and “Piper,” two jams that can often get caught in ruts. On this tour, Phish saved their best playing for the eleventh hour, but better late than never!

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.01-Chalkdust-Torture.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/2.02-Piper.mp3] Tags: , , ,

2,217 Responses to “The Top Ten of Fall Tour”

  1. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Watch out for fires at dopapod @gdad
    they had an interesting night in nyc last night
    expect them to make up for it

    #knowyouremergencyexits

  2. [Not Tom] Says:

    def enjoy myself some dopapod. Also dig how they use Phish’s four-across setup

  3. phishm Says:

    I have a huge decision to make here soon. This decision will have implications that will most definitely play a part in what goes down the rest of the day. I mean brisket sounds good and all, but there are tacos and such that sound equally as good. Didn’t even mention wings. Pork chops, mashed potatoes. That could work. Oh I struggle to make the true decision. the one that will put the flavor in my mouth and fill the belly all in one swoop. Maybe I just get in the car and allow it to take me where it does. Not playing a roll in the decision will most assuredly put the best options in my mouth. Oh I don’t know. Maybe I will get a life and all of a sudden the decision is completely taken out of my hands. Until then I’m stuck. Next thing will be what music to listen to. And what to drink. Man, I have a lot going on today.

  4. gavinsdad Says:

    Friends in the city just about to eat the vehicle. Single life!

  5. BingosBrother Says:

    Columbia Jam is filler on Bomb Factory on LP APP if your into the whole anniversary thing.

  6. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Discharged…Darien Reba will have to wait…

  7. Spasm Waiter Says:

    I like the Darien Reba

  8. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Why don’t I spin the Worcester Drowned more?

  9. BooVT Says:

    Spinning a compilation of Black Crowes live covers from 2005-2006. Pretty interesting. Stones, GD, Johnny Cash, Dylan, Marley, The Band, Everly Brothers, etc… All with Chris Robinson distinctive twang. I dig it.

    And a Sculpin, to accompany. Happy Saturday to me.

  10. BooVT Says:

    ^i could try to Dropbox it if anyone’s interested… But I’m not sure I’m very good at it.

  11. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    BooVT if you can figure out how to Dropbox the sculpin I’ll take it

  12. BooVT Says:

    Ha! That would be a great feature of Dropbox…

    This might work for the Crowes covers:

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/27593461/Black%20Crowes%2Cthe%20%20-%20%202005-06%20covers.zip

  13. Mr.Miner Says:

    Ghost jam is as good as any of the other big jams from bgca this year.

    ^ the canadian just keeps getting dumber by the day. That is a comment athtg couldn’t be more wrong is is made just to troll. GTFO. If you think that, your ear is far more novice than I had thought.

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    the absolute misery of that ghost has NOTHING to do with the beginning of the tune, and everything to do with the fact that they band couldn’t come close to getting on the same page. Quite literally Coventry level bad. There are a handful of Coventry jams that are way better…

  15. Mr.Miner Says:

    i love that trey’s desperate solo at the end of that jam fools everyone. it’s such a mess.

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    #beer.

  17. MiA Says:

    Gophers!!!!!

  18. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Miner I’ve also seen you post “I don’t get why everyone hated Coventry so much, there were some sick jams”….

  19. Mr.Miner Says:

    sorry. caught that comment before fully awake and caffeinated. i love you all. and hate the bg ghost 😉

  20. Mr.Miner Says:

    Day one of coventry was legit. Day two was a mess.

  21. Mr.Miner Says:

    Walls > Jim > Jibboo, YEM
    AC/DC Bag (Jam of the weekend_
    Stash > Free
    Drowned

    all quality first day jams.

  22. Mr.Miner Says:

    Set 1: Walls of the Cave > Runaway Jim -> Gotta Jibboo, You Enjoy Myself > Sample in a Jar > Axilla > Poor Heart > Run Like an Antelope[1], Fire

    Set 2: AC/DC Bag -> 46 Days > Halley’s Comet -> Ya Mar, David Bowie, Character Zero

    Set 3: Twist -> The Wedge, Stash > Free, Guyute, Drowned > Friday

    ^ Great show.

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    Set 1: Mike’s Song > I Am Hydrogen > Weekapaug Groove, Anything But Me, Reba, Carini > Chalk Dust Torture -> Possum > Wolfman’s Brother[1] > Taste

    Set 2: Down with Disease[2] > Wading in the Velvet Sea[3], Glide, Split Open and Melt -> Ghost

    Set 3: Fast Enough for You, Seven Below[4] -> Simple -> Piper -> Cool Jerk[5] -> Dickie Scotland[6], Wilson > Slave to the Traffic Light

    Encore: The Curtain With[7]

    ^ piece of crap show

  24. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Which day would BG ghost have been played on?

  25. Mr.Miner Says:

    second. easily. would fit right in there with the forced jamming and drugged out, bullshit communication

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