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. Weekapaug Says:

    Thanks for the music Mr C. I’m grabbiing a bunch of it today.

  2. BingosBrother Says:

    So how’s the worm Giovanni?

    Call me crazy, but not a huge fan of that Columbia Jam. Never was a fan of that blocky, start stop early jamming style. A necessary road that paved the way to the more coherent melodic fluid jamming to come later for sure, but unpreferred by myself.

  3. dorn76 Says:

    Det +7.5

    Puff Daddy duty this afternoon.

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    Raking was very therapeutic. To my neighbors who keep running their blowers during the game: suck it.

    All I can say is that when my host put on “too high” by stevie wonder last nite it was both welcome and apropos.

  5. dorn76 Says:

    Gonna blow my leaves away

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    Funny you should bring up Stevie. My coworker just showed me a video in which he claims to show undisputed evidence that Stevie wonder is indeed, not blind. Yes, he is a self admitted, Stevie Wonder Truther.

  7. Stoney Case Says:

    Lions to Pats = Boyz II Men

  8. BingosBrother Says:

    And yet another coworker walked by and claimed there is no way Ray Charles could find a vein to shoot up if he was blind. His Dad is a cop and told him so. Clearly, I have gone wrong somewhere.

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    agreed bingos. sounds clunky to me. probably a lot more fun in the room when you could watch the interplay.

  10. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    I’m not surprised to see NE working the Lions. However, I’m baffled that I just saw a commercial for Fritos on freaking pizza. WTF is that about?

  11. BingosBrother Says:

    These sound like stories Garret is currently telling the folks back home about his previous coworker, Tinfoil Case.

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    A friend of mine’s co worker was convinced that whales do not exist and all evidence to the contrary is an experience. seriously. top that.

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    cheers Week

  14. BingosBrother Says:

    Yes, clunky is a perfect word. Like boots in a dryer.

  15. MrCompletely Says:

    I dunno about pizza but frito chili pie is the bomb

  16. Stoney Case Says:

    Bw. It’s a love hate. I think a handful of his money ball moves have cost a couple rings.

    Plus I like trolling you fanboys.

  17. MrCompletely Says:

    pats over detroit was one of the easiest picks of the day

  18. MrCompletely Says:

    possibly true stoney but the moneyball approach is all about playing the percentages…it must be frustrating as a fan though

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    if he gets another ring out of it though…it’s all about being in the mix come playoff time, after that it’s a crapshoot…they’re in it more often than not

  20. BingosBrother Says:

    Well, I’ve never seen one, so maybe he’s right. Stoney and I are of the same view that clearly planes can’t exist, therefore none of this is real.

  21. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    No doubt C, the Lions are just so predictably inferior sometimes. It’s soooo hard to be a fan but I just can’t help it. BG Ghost > Lions? I kid.

    Whales don’t exist? Quick, someone tell Trey!

  22. Gavinsdad Says:

    Mr C – we went away w our neighbors to the woods and one nite we had Walking Tacos. You bust up a small bag of Doritos while its closed. Then you open it and spoon in filling/meat of your choice plus beans or rice or lettuce tomato sour cream guac and taco sauce/salsa. Then you eat it out of the bag. Fantastically trashy. I’d like to do it with cool ranch.

    Love Frito pie. Just haven’t had one in over 15+ years.

  23. MrCompletely Says:

    “evidence to the contrary is an experience” WTF autocorrect?

    conspiracy obv

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah GD to me that’s what Frito Pie is, you eat it out of the bag, not in any kind of pie form

    open bag of fritos, pour in chili, add cheese, munch out

    redneck stoner food

  25. MrCompletely Says:

    Garcia – Grisman albums in FLAC. So What is finishing up right now. As always remove the space from the link. Will not be on the spreadsheet. nz/#F!kIl0yQqS!n3jftCJ6WD7qnODFnTcEyA


    Not For Kids Only

    Shady Grove

    Grateful Dawg (soundtrack)

    Pizza Tapes w/Tony Rice

    So What

    Been All Around This World

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