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]

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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]

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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. Mr.Miner Says:

    i should probably stay offline until my brain is online, eh? #douchyminer

  2. Snow Says:

    Stay offline because you might offend herzog?
    Hardly seems like an issue.

    The bgca1 conversation just makes you makes you appreciate how wide the fan spectrum really is.

  3. Snow Says:

    I think @butter is on the money in that there is a narrative where New Years will crush and at the same time, agree with stoney it is high stakes.
    You know I’ll be playing along at home.

  4. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    BG KDF is pretty meandering, doesn’t really go anywhere, BG twist same except it manages to land in a cool space at the end with some nice melodic trey playing, though I think it’s an overrated jam, think the BG light crushes and is the most original of the weekend, ghost has that meandering feel for the first half and then they lock in and find some nice grooves the second half

  5. MiA Says:

    Bong hits for breakfast with Miner.

    I’m down to needing espresso machine before j hit the coffee

    It’s like hitting dab and then maintaining with the illadelph.

    I’m in for some chocolates tonight. MrsMiA is in.

  6. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Miner I don’t drink coffee maybe that’s why we don’t agree

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    My mind’s got a mind of its own
    It takes me out a-walkin’ when I’d rather stay at home
    Takes me out to parties when I’d rather be alone
    My mind’s got a mind of its own

    I’ve been doing things I thought I’d never do
    I’ve been getting into trouble without ever meaning to
    I’d as soon settle down but I’m right back up again
    I feel just like a leaf out in the wind

    I seem to forget half the things I start
    I try to build a house and then I tear the place apart
    I freeze myself on fire and then I burn myself on ice
    I can’t count to one without thinking twice

    I tell myself to do the things I should
    And then I get to thinkin’ that them things ain’t any good
    I tell myself the truth but know I’m lying like a snake
    You can’t walk on water at the bottom of a lake

    Love the lyrics to that one. Seemed kinda apt here.

  8. bobby weird Says:

    damn you, BooVt and your wretched Habs!

  9. Herzog Says:

    at 9 mins till the end BG ghost is sick, band is locked in, everything before that is pretty meh/weak

  10. Herzog Says:

    last minute is a nice caspianesque jam that almost sounds a bit like dear prudence

  11. butter Says:

    BG1 > BG2 was the greatest comeback of my concert career

  12. butter Says:

    wild Saturday of making my kids grilled cheese and a bottle of barbera

  13. MiA Says:

    ^i can imagine.

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Butter did you think that before or after miner said so?

  15. little umbrellas Says:

    Back on the cocktail trane.

    Chilled Whiskey with handmade tonic (lime, lemon, a little water/simple sugar, burnt sugar, charred grapefruit peel, Cinchoa Bark, Sea Salt.)

  16. MiA Says:

    That sounds like a work of art LU.

    Sounds proper.

  17. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    I’m drinking a Pliny

  18. BooVT Says:

    @bobby weird, the Habs benefitted from many B’s injuries tonight. I’ll take it. A win is a win. Go Habs! They’re on fire. Feugo.

  19. butter Says:

    Herzog, my wife and a few of her gf’s started tour on BG2 and during the show i was telling them they saved tour

  20. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    That’s because they’re cuties

  21. butter Says:

    i mean whatever with the Ghost, thats just 1 highlight of that shows problems

    it was a pretty hot Sand that was starting to get interesting that started that set 2 and Birds, WAN was like an announcement of sucking

    luckily they seem to love playing BG and are comfortable there, which made the comeback possible imo on one hand, but makes night 1 even that much more of a head scratcher

    love KDF > Mist, Twist and Hood from night 2, and the 1st is a barn burner. great show

  22. MiA Says:

    2/3 at BGCA seems to be the norm

  23. butter Says:

    r u trying to say i’m influenced by cute women df?

    enjoy your pliny mofo

  24. Bwana Says:

    I just watched Samsara for the first time. On a headful of chocolate (p.envy)… I’ve seen Chronos and Baraka in similar states of mind in the past. I wish everyone living on the planet could see these films. If nothing more than to increase empathy — we’re all in this together…

    Film is available online to view at: https://archive.org/details/Samsara-movie

    I need to head out for a walk in the wind. Cold star-filled winter night in the mountains… Hopefully ground me and give me some insight beyond which fantasy football players I should start tomorrow…

  25. Trailz Says:

    Good man Bwana. Sounds like a nice f’ing night! Nothing like some chocolates to set things right. Looking forward to checking out that link.

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