The Top Ten Jams of 2014

7.12.14 Randall's Island (Chris LaJaunie)

7.12.14 Randall’s Island (Chris LaJaunie)

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

Phish came into Fall Tour rested and raring to go and promptly dropped one of the jams of tour on its very first night. The band moves from hard groove into far deeper psychedelic textures when all is said and done, in a smoking piece of music.



9.”Chalk Dust > Ghost” 10.21 II, Santa Barbara, CA

This one-two punch that opened up the second set of Santa Barbara moved to some very cool places in both halves of the sequence. The most beautiful portion, however, comes deep within “Ghost” as the band hits a musical plane that felt congruent with the Southern California surroundings.



8. “The Wedge” 7.20 II,  Chicago, IL

This jam popped out of nowhere in the middle of Chicago’s final frame, and changed the landscape of the set from routine to creative in an instant. The band hits on some minimalist funk as they calibrate their communication, finally hooking up in some serious grooves before turning on a dime into the infectious chord progression that resembles “Paradise City” among other songs. All in all, a very cool surprise slice of Phish.



7. “Ghost” 7.12 II, New York, NY

This groove-turned-exploratory version of “Ghost” stood at the center of “Randalls Island’s second show, and represents the version of the year. The band applied their patient and intricate style of the early summer to this show stopper, leaving us with a peak moment of Phish from the middle night of their New York City stand.



6. “Fuego” 7.8 II, Philadelphia, PA

This was one of the many long form jams over the first two weeks of summer that built to the Randall’s “Chalk Dust.” On relisten while making this list, this jam struck me as a bit meandering and scattered compared to the rest of the top ten. Delivered in movements, this “Fuego” is certainly is an improvisational beast and hits some choice places, but it lacks continuity and tightness throughout.



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

Phish’s Las Vegas stand provided just what the doctor ordered after an inconsistent Fall Tour, and its finest jamming came on the final night in this second-set sequence of “Chalk Dust -> Piper.” The interplay in “Chalk Dust” turned far more creative than several extended versions of summer and fall, coming as a welcome refreshment from a jam that started to grow a tad stale. This “Piper” took a turn from its usual frenetic pace into a gentle, melody driven peak that proved to be the golden nugget of the entire musical sequence.



4. “Simple” 8.29 II, Commerce City, CO

Denver’s “Simple” is some good, clean wholesome Phish. A journey that moves straight out of the gates with an upbeat tempo, peaks with some of Trey’s most cathartic playing of the year. In fact, this jam is the piece in which Papa Bear awakened from his late summer slumber during which he dreamt about playing weird, aimless rhythm guitar in a rock band for a tour. But his awakening was glorious. And just then when you’d think this piece was winding down, a dance party breaks out. This was a feel good jam through and though, and a great welcome to the Rockies.



3. “Down with Disease” 1.3.15 II, Miami, FL

This “Down With Disease” was the finest piece of improvisation to come out of the inverted New Year’s Run in Miami. The band connected four distinct and disparate themes with notable fluidity once they jumped ship on “Disease’s” composed jam. Improvising at a higher level than at any time in the Sunshine State, Phish slowly deconstructed each section and blended it into the next, creating an incredibly dynamic flow of music. Deep within this “Disease,” the band descended into some of the most gorgeous music of the entire year—a stunning space of aural gold in which Trey spun grail melodies over an ethereal backdrop. Red worked out of this quiet midsection with some grittier leads that developed into a harder rock peak of the jam, putting an exclamation point on the trip before coming down via an abstract denouement.



2. “Harry Hood” 7.1 II, Mansfield, MA

In a year that featured more open jams out of “Harry Hood” than any in history, the first is still the most impressive. After a set and a half that amounted to lay up lines, the band got their feet wet with “Ghost -> Weekapaug” and then absolutely took the plunge in this now-iconic “Harry Hood.” The band’s coherence and command as they bob and weave through open waters is nothing short of astounding. This jam is both exploratory and super-tight simultaneously, creating a truly epic piece of Phish.



1. “Chalk Dust Torture” 7.13 II, New York, NY

This jam from the final night of Randall’s Island is the runaway jam of the year. This “Chalk Dust” is among the elite versions ever played and is a clinic in improvisation. Phish took us on a wild journey in this monstrosity, and each and every movement is impeccable. From the initial burst and melodic peak to the meditative, astral jazz finale, this near 30-minute epic is truly on the all-time level. This “Chalk Dust” was the centerpiece of a very special evening of Phish.

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29,462 Responses to “The Top Ten Jams of 2014”

  1. RicksFork Says:

    Congrats Bob D! Really happy for you.

  2. bearito Says:

    Congrats Bob D! Great name!

  3. tela's_muff Says:

    Congrats Bobby D!!!

  4. Gavinsdad Says:

    Bobby D – congrats buddy long way from Williamsburg south. Really glad to see how things have progressed for u and T. And no need for me to compliment the name as you know my middle guy has the same one. Let me know if you need anything…and sleep when the baby sleeps!

  5. butter Says:

    What’s become of the baby!! Congrats Booby D – that’s a big boy!! Really happy for ya’ll!!

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    Graham Hendrix? Damn BD, everybody knows you never go Full Wook. Congrats though, for real! And yes, that is a big baby. Big ups to Mama.

  7. verno329 Says:

    Congrats Bobby D! Great news!

  8. dorn76 Says:

    Yes!!!! Go Daddy Bon D!!!

    Huge smile over here. BBabies.

    Be good to mama.

  9. little umbrellas Says:

    I’ get a lot of people think the beach boys are bad surf 60’s nostalgia from a state fair but they really deserve the credit for changing the face of music and creating prog rock IMO and the creation of the studio as an instrument.’ -boom!
    ‘Cellos and Theramins and the Andalusian cadence.’-Boom!!!

    -did Darth see Love and Mercy yet?

  10. jtran Says:

    Nice bobd! Congrats maaan

  11. plord Says:

    Congrats BobD!

  12. BingosBrother Says:

    God Only Knows one of the best ever made. Dream song.

  13. More Says:

    Congrats new dad!!+++

  14. stapes Says:

    Congrats! Savor this time.

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    This is why I PT. Oh the lulz.

  16. little umbrellas Says:
    The Horror

    Funky, funky dark little pocket. Ethio creeper groove. Haunted house organ sounds. Counter point Barritone. Fun track.

  17. little umbrellas Says:

    Also this

  18. MrCompletely Says:

    “There is a 40th anniversary release of Good Vibrations I’m spinning this morning.

    Damn I love the composure of this song/fugue.”

    that song in particular is a masterpiece of audio art

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    BOBBY D and MIZ D!!!!!!

    congrats! Baller name amigo!

  20. bob dylan Says:

    Thanks for the well wishes everyone. That didn’t go as planned but I’m happy with the outcome. 27 hour labor, mom hadn’t slept in 2 nights, hadn’t eaten in a day and a half but she refused to go down without a fight. Never felt so encouraged, committed and helpless all at the same time. After 6 hours of pushing she needed a c section. Apparently Graham had his hand on his face blocking his path. Wasn’t anything mom could do about it. Once the doctors saw that the attitude changed and I think they all realized they pushed her hard and all let her know how great she’d done. I couldn’t have done it without our doula. I was in the mix the whole time rubbing and supporting. We were like a pit crew. What an experience.

    Resting in the hospital checking the Santa Cruz scenery out the window with baby. Whole new world I tell ya.

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    Women are my heroes. Glad it all worked out. A new world indeed. Welcome Graham, you’re a lucky man.

  22. MrCompletely Says:

    My boy came by c section Bob. All that matters is they get here and mom is ok. Means more work for you for awhile, sucker! Abdominal surgery is no joke!

    Good for you two for not being tempted by the “no western medicine” route. Doulas, midwives and everything are amazing and brilliant but sometimes nothing but a doctor can get it done.

    Kind of a metaphor for a lot of stuff, but whatever

  23. vapebraham Says:

    Wow, mango Mitch! Your lady sounds incredibly courageous and tough. Glad to hear u got your happy ending, and now an adventure begins. Congratulations. Happy for you, man. Great name.

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    Reposting once to make sure it’s not missed

    6.27.15 FLACs!yQ12hSJT!UpY8ftdxFvaUWefHm-ntkeCSPKGF5BHFIt1nR3yHjns

    C. Miller webrip > CM remastering > FLAC > retracking and tagging > FLAC

  25. Gavinsdad Says:

    ^what C said. All 3 of ours came via C and we had each of them stay w us the entire time unless they needed to weigh or clean. That meant I got the trial by fire while my wife mended. You’re gonna do great. My fave memories back then were having the little ones sleep on my chest while I attempted to get a little shut eye on cot-like bed. They’re stronger than u think too. Congrats again.

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