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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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!

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

  1. Mr.Miner Says:

    i’ll drop this, but for one final time will say, that BG1 was the worst show i’ve seen in years and one of the worst 3 I’ve ever seen, period. That’s my claim. We should talk far more about bg2, what I believe to be the best show of the tour. bg3 is somewhere in the middle.

  2. Mr.Miner Says:

    i’ll never mention it again.

  3. little umbrellas Says:

    Man, I really Haven’t tried listening to Coventry.

    respectacular respect sent to yallz.

    Thanks as always Miner for the dope write ups and establishing this space.

  4. little umbrellas Says:

    When that Mike’s song dropped in BG2 it felt like a sign that the energy was gonna be On that night.

  5. little umbrellas Says:

    The first set closer of Gumbo (extra Clav sauce), Insanity, Antelope was pretty nice too.

  6. Mr.Miner Says:

    that antelope smoked.

  7. little umbrellas Says:

    Yeah, had some extra gumption for a 3.0 Lope, extended dissonance.

  8. vegas wolfmans Says:

    butter Says:
    November 22nd, 2014 at 10:32 am

    I’m not buying into aging, blah blah

    If they can play breathtaking music at 48,49 they can do it at 55,56.

    I agree with butter. They had an unremarkable tour and played a string of bad shows. We’re still only a year removed from Fall 2013 and less than that from the early summer 2014 highs- which were real high. No panic here. Band will bounce back.

  9. vegas wolfmans Says:

    Also, the Burt’s Buzz documentary is pretty great. Thanks for the rec whomever was discussing recently. $$+.

    Been getting a lot of mileage out of new Dave’s. I need to spend more time in Fall 77. Ordinarily, when I spin 77, I go straight for May or Winterland and am starting to feel that I’ve been neglecting a lot of solid GD. Crisp.

  10. bobby weird Says:

    miner is really quite dependent on caffeine, eh?

  11. dorn76 Says:

    Everyone chilling on a Saturday, right?


  12. dorn76 Says:

    Jameis Crableg currently facing off against my Eagles.

  13. little umbrellas Says:

    Inflatable Suits!


  14. MiA Says:

    Great soaking rain here. Hopefully a sign of Ms. El Niño.

    I don’t get talking about BGCA1 either. I won’t ever listen to that Ghost again. 100’s of better quality played ghosts to choose.

  15. tela's_muff Says:

    I’m really happy about the Cypress drop recently. The wealth of jams is crazy. I really would like to get that Roses as part of this. Anyway, I’m thinking the Cypress RnR might be in my all-time top 10 jams list. Three distinct sections. I’d be comfy with calling the ambient jam in there as the best they’ve ever pulled off in middle if a jam.

  16. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Mia I think there are only like 130ish ghosts

  17. Selector J Says:

    …Not playing a roll in the decision will most assuredly put the best options in my mouth… -phishm

    Is this a glory hole reference?

  18. BingosBrother Says:

    Never heard any Cypress except the C and P recently. Which was awesome.

  19. dorn76 Says:

    We are running right at FSU, and can win this.


  20. dorn76 Says:

    Ack. Kicking the ball a problem. Now FSU probably escapes again.

    Working on a playlist for later, got a buddy and gf coming over for evening.

    Heavy on recent BB recs since they are nearest top of favorites. Yes, Impulse well represented, @inflatableBeard.

  21. voopa Says:

    Mmm…smoked antelope…

  22. Jerome Garcia Says:

    ^Grant Green Live @ Club Mozambique!/album/Live+At+Club+Mozambique/1854477

    Check Farid & More Today Than Yesterday. Personal favs. Incredible top to bottom though.

  23. bobby weird Says:

    Dorn, great effort by BC there. bonehead trick play call seems to have turned the tide. at least they went for it. #balls.

    not huge college FB fan but watched that whole game closely (also bc i cant stand FSU)

  24. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Jameis Winston is bad umkay. Not a good dude. I don’t give a shit what anyone says. Es muy malo.

  25. Mr.Miner Says:

    yeah, my brain is at like 60% capacity and 30% tolerance without caffeine in the morning.

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