Twisted Tuesday

10.30.10 - Atlantic City, NJ (Dave Lavery)

One of the songs that has taken a distinct step backwards in this era is “Twist.” Debuted in Summer ’97 along with a host of new songs, “Twist Around,” as it was known then, became an instant vehicle for improvisation. Phish crafted exploratory jams from the song immediately, both in Europe and in America during its first summer. The song continued to be a mainstay launch pad through the 2.0 era, producing such diverse masterpieces as the Island Run “Twist,”(4.2.98), Fukuoka’s Japanese space symphony (6.14.00), and SPAC’s heaping dose of psych-inspired robo-funk (6.20.04). “Twist” was always one of those songs whose dip into the unknown enhanced by the multitude of directions that the jam could take—and Phish often played contained versions as well. With no preset course, “Twist” developed into one of the band’s most diverse jams through the late ‘90s and the post-hiatus era.

Fukuoka, JP 6.14.00

But since Phish came back three years ago, they have reeled in the song considerably. In fact they played one of “Twist’s” most abstract modern excursions at Hampton’s comeback run, as the song sank into murky textures before segueing into “2001.” More often than not, however, the band has used “Twist” as a vehicle for contained, jazz-like improvisation. Essentially, we know what we are getting when “Twist” starts these days, and that is a drastic shift from the song’s former lives. Aside from Denver’s “Low Rider” jam, “Twist” has been a straightforward piece whose differences have lied only in tempo and licks rather than musical direction. Today, let’s dip back into a few lesser-known versions that highlight the intrigue the jam once contained.


7.5.97, Como, Italy

This was the fifth version of “Twist” ever played, and it took place at a free, one-set show in a gorgeous outdoor locale in Como, Italy. With their stage on the sand at the side of a lake with mountains in the background, Phish played a sunset set for anyone who cared to join. In this “Twist,” the band builds into thick, rhythmic interplay, gradually seeping from their own infectious funk into a jam on Deee Lite’s “Groove is in the Heart”—a quality, lesser-circulated nugget from a game-changing tour of Europe.



7.29.97 II, Phoenix, AZ

When Phish got back to the US, they continued to push the boundaries of “Twist” throughout its youth. This version—the next after Como—came one week into the US Summer Tour, and showcases boundary-pushing psychedelia. Using his raw tone and soloing style of the era, Trey locks with Mike to lead the band into a twisted, multi-tiered standout jam that is often left behind by listeners in favor of other, more established favorites. (Excuse the windy audience tape.)



7.4.00 II, Camden, NJ

Kevin Shapiro’s recent soundboard drop of this “Twist” from July 4, 2000, in Camden, allows us to hear the jam’s subtle intricacies unlike any audience tape ever did. The band gets far away from the song in this jam, entering a completely alternate milieu and finding a unique theme deep into the adventure. Dark and exploratory while remaining wholly cohesive, this jam is one of “Twist’s” shining moments. Resolving into “Slave,” this two-song combo punctuated a stellar set of holiday Phish.



7.18.03 II, East Troy, WI

When the band came back in 2003 and got into more abstract playing, “Twist,” occasionally transformed into a platform for increasingly dark encounters. In this version, plucked from deep in the second set at Alpine Valley, Phish spawned an extra-terrestrial spacescape that took more than a few concert-goers by surprise. Trey continued to solo over a blanket of dark ambiance, a gorgeous juxtaposition, as he joined his mates in maniacal sound sculpting. Switching to uncompressed growls with uncompromising fury, Red meshed with piece seamlessly as the band smoothly jammed back into the song’s groove.


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545 Responses to “Twisted Tuesday”

  1. ae Says:

    i have an actual printed copy of the allmusic guide from maybe 15 years ago. sick resource. i always consulted it when diving in on new acts or genres, before heading to tower records and dropping $50-$60.

  2. albert walker Says:

    all this mid to late 90’s dancehall is reminding me of phish tour. we had a no phish or gd spinning on tour and these albums were in HEAVY rotation.

    Sizzla – Black Woman and Child (1997)

    just brilliant. nothing more to say. one of my reggae favs of all time.

  3. Guyute711 Says:

    Cuse did not play well for a good portion of the game and still beat the Hoyas. I feel plenty good about that Miner. Georgetown is going to be a dangerous team I’ll give you that.

  4. Mr.Miner Says:

    Hoyas played most of the second half without our two seniors. And the reason you didn’t play very well is that we were dogging you on D and the boards…sick game however! Well played. fuck.

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    And in a game that close every BS call counts—and there were many in favor of the Orange. None in favor of us. bottom line. the bottom line is also that you won.

  6. Guyute711 Says:

    I agree, outstanding defense. Cuse needs to start rebounding a hell of a lot better if they are gonna do anything in the tourney.

  7. albert walker Says:

    last one.

    Sizzla – Praise Ye Jah (1997)

    laterz kids

  8. Mr.Miner Says:

    i hope we see you guys at MSG 😉

  9. Guyute711 Says:

    Probably a 95% chance if not better.

  10. halcyon Says:

    If that is the purported lineup for Bonnaroo, this year bodes well for those that go. Will be looking to stream some sets.

    Syracuse won and Hoyas lost. Sweet 🙂

  11. angryjoggerz Says:

    So, this is the first time in my life I have ever followed any sport at all (NBA, Bulls), and it is fun. Weird thing is, no one seems to care at all about NBA. All the “sports guys” in my office just seem blah about it, and on here it is college ball. Did I pick a dud sport? Figures.

  12. joe Says:

    I think lockout had something to do with it AJ. And the regular season is fairly meaningless. People’s interest picks up for the playoffs, especially for the bulls this year if they make a deep championship run. (And then you can curse the casual bandwagon fans)

  13. Luther T. Justice Says:

    Am I the only one who thinks the ’10 Hershey Jibboo opener was smokin? Extremely patient Trey with a beautiful lead lines that ride on top of a thick Mike groove. I loved it live and am still loving it 2 years later. There’s plent o’ Jibboos, but this one keeps calling me back.

  14. phoammhead Says:


  15. phoammhead Says:

    we gave it away . . . and rivers holy shit.

  16. El Duderino Says:

    tough loss phoammy

  17. phoammhead Says:

    no doubt, duder, no doubt.

  18. Little Buddy Says:

    I am a die hard SU fan. This team is going no where. It’s amazing that they have the record they have. The Hoyas had 23 offensive rebounds?!?!? SU had no business winning that game. The guards suck. Running down the court for a fast break as soon as a shot goes up. Play D and rebound!!!

  19. ae Says:

    just watched some jeremy lin hightlights on youtube (no MSG on my bs cable network). wow.

  20. Little Buddy Says:

    Jeremy Lin has been a revelation for the Knicks. Quite a story. I wanna love ‘Melo, but the Knicks were better before they traded for him.

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