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. Leo Weaver Says:

    Quick drive-by for a bigtime good vibes, prayer, whatever you do or want to call it request. Some of you know what’s going on in our life right now, but things have been turned completely upside down for my family…we’re all OK, safe, and healthy thankfully but it’s been an incredibly tough 17 days going through an ordeal many will never (and shouldn’t have to) ever experience…suffice it to say I’m happy to be typing this right now. We were victims of a home invasion and armed robbery (with little one in the house, thankfully she slept through entire thing). We’ve been living kinda on the run since then. We just put a bid in on a house…if we can get it under contract, it’ll truly be a Christmas/Holiday miracle. So yeah, send those vibes our way…we need as much pronoia as we can get right now. It’s been one helluva rough fall for us and we need every bit of help we can get. Tell your families you love them and hug them tight…and be thankful for the little things. Much love to one of the best corners of the world I know.

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    holy fuckballs Leo goddamn it what the hell

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    that happened to some grower friends of mine here in PDX about 18 months ago, they had been loose lipped with the wrong people so it was at least comprehensible…so terrible and crazy

  4. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Enjoying the Crowes covers this far Boo. Burned to audio CDs & loaded ’em up in the rig. Will be spinning a bunch over next days/wks. Spread link around to some of my Crowes/CRB loving brethren taboot. Thanks again!

    Atta boy Ricks James bitch! sumo in house always helps to elevate a show. Just bring an extra pair of specs as a preemptive measure.

    Giovanni is the man. Fact.

  5. little umbrellas Says:

    ‘New house attaining vibes’ sent your way Leo!!!

    ..goolden lady, golden lady, I’d like to go there.

  6. Jerome Garcia Says:

    Thoughts & prayers Leo. Much love.

  7. Gavinsdad Says:

    Oh man Leo that is heartbreaking and awful. Sorry doesnt even cover it. Please let me know If I can do anything from up here. Let your wife know we are thinking of her too and so glad to hear you 3 did are safe and making plans to relocate.

  8. sumodie Says:

    Leo, man that’s awful news. Glad to hear you’re all safe. Hope you get that house!

  9. BingosBrother Says:

    Positrons @ LEO

  10. Stoney Case Says:

    Leo! Dagburnit. You have an RE agent and loan agent here to answer any questions. Too far to help with much else but good vibes.

  11. MiA Says:

    As always leo, much love to you and the mrs and positive vibes on getting this new house and restart away from the crap.

  12. phishm Says:

    Dang Leo. That’s scary. Weird thing is my neighbor just got broken into. They never break into my house. I leave my door unlocked almost at all times. Sure it’s a scary looking place that I wouldn’t in my right mind break into if I saw the dog that lives here and didn’t know better. But that’s a different story. Big ass dog that will bark violently at anyone that even enters my yard. Ya, folks stay away. Get a big ass dog would be my advice.

  13. dorn76 Says:

    Positive vibes Leo. So glad to hear the family is ok and maybe your daughter can move on unawares.

    Holy crap that’s scary news.

  14. phishm Says:

    Plus I have nothing of value to steal. Vibes heading your way.

  15. MiA Says:

    Denver’s D sucks.

  16. Stoney Case Says:

    Stuck side of road. Transmission just shit the bed.

    #SundayFunday

  17. dorn76 Says:

    If I say anything good about my fins, I fear my trip will be short.

    I never bet with emotion, so didn’t touch this game. I prefer to bet with my lack of a head.

  18. Stoney Case Says:

    Dorn.

    My rocket crashed. My trip is sucky

  19. bobby weird Says:

    Tannahill looks great. < never thought i'd say that… in Denver. impressive. so far

  20. sumodie Says:

    “Your Trip Is Short” T-shirts

    http://jiggslot.blogspot.com/

    Not as cool as the poster he made, but tempting

    Scroll down to see the other Phish Vegas inspirations

  21. Weekapaug Says:

    Thanks again Mr. C for the great tunes! Hope I didn’t rob too much of your bandwidth on those downloads. I made a point to login to my mediafire account to use my own. Does mega upload work the same way? I really like that site and I’m thinking of opening an account. Though I already pay a small fee for mediafire.

  22. dorn76 Says:

    Stall-yCase. Hope you aren’t too far behind the Redwood curtain for a rescue.

  23. vapebraham Says:

    Vibes, leo. That is some real life scary stuff. Be well, friend.

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    I only use free accounts and don’t pay any attention to bandwidth usage so knock yourself out

    by using 10minutemail to create disposable emails I expect I should be able to create one new mega account after the other as they fill up, and just use the spreadsheet to keep track of it all

    mega seems like the best to me by far, the lack of ads etc, you just need to have the browser plugin for reliable up and down speeds

  25. MrCompletely Says:

    and I’d use Chrome to manage mega stuff, I use Chrome anyway for personal browsing, for the most part there’s no big diff between that at FF these days but Mega is native to chrome. Chrome + the mega plugin = super fast and reliable

    also the mega phone app works super well

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