Reader’s Picks: Luke Falk

8.24.2012 (Ryan MacNeil)

8.24.2012, Pelham, AL (Ryan MacNeil)

All selections and text by Luke Falk

Split Open and Melt” 4.16.92 I, Santa Barbara, CA

This tight rager showcases Big Red’s chops back in 92. Listening back, I’m struck, not only, by how absolutely all over the fret board he is, but by how he barely used to use any effects at all (to great effect). A great version that is completely overlooked.



YEM” 6.11.94 I, Morrison, CO

This first set of this Red Rocks show was broadcast on the radio, which is how I got a good quality copy that year. My vote for best ever “YEM” (possibly my favorite Phish jam ever), which somehow doesn’t get mentioned anymore with almost everyone’s attention falling on 12.9.95 and other versions.



David Bowie” 10.30.90 II, Crested Butte, CO

Not exploratory, but tight and intense, this early “Bowie” reminds me of the band’s recent gesture toward shorter, more economical playing. They really get right down to business here.



My Friend, My Friend” 2.26.97 I, Stuttgart, DE

The best version ever played.



Down By the River” 10.3.98 Farm Aid, Chicago, IL

This Neil Young sit-in gets my vote for second-best guest performance ever; a nasty extended jam for the benefit of small farms. (For the record, everything with Karl Perrazo is the best guest performance.)



Free” 6.17.04 I, Brooklyn, NY

This is the last good version of “Free.” And it is very good. The Trey and Mike jam ultimately inspired a horrible moment at Coventry, which, I speculate, is why they’ve never tried to jam it since.



Stash” 7.2.97 II, Amsterdam, NL

A 30-minute abstract monster to kick off one of my favorite sets ever.



Bathtub Gin” 2.28.03 I, Uniondale, NY

This multi-section, type II joyride foreshadowed what would come later in the show during “Tweezer.”



Suzy Greenberg” 12.28.03 II, Miami, FL

This version features a super funk throwdown and then explodes into an growling catharsis featuring Trey’s uncompressed tone.



AC/DC Bag” 8.9.8 Set II, Virginia Beach, VA

Just because it never gets old—of the top three or four versions ever, which kicks off the second set of a magical night in Virginia.

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460 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Luke Falk”

  1. dusty Says:

    apple will be crushed by samsung in the next few years. It will not be better and both companies suck to work with.

    Caught an interesting NPR story about the tourney, basically saying how much its changed and de-valued the regular season. Something related to the NBA 19yr old rule. Makes sense for me as I barely follow the season anymore. Also about the new style of thug style with defense. Lots more 51-49 wins for the bigums. Kinda like the difference in style with lax between MD teams and NY teams. Ball possession and stick skills compared to power.

    Heading out to ski some angry inches in a few. So pissed about this winter season that started so well. I’m seriously considering moving to japan or canada next winter.

  2. gavinsdad Says:

    hoedown – u hittin merriweather or is new baby gonna keep you close to home?

    and i’ve also hit up analyze phish…strangely thru work connections…they loved that “drop your bean” phrase and i agree with @hoedown in that i think @twittels picked the wrong stuff to start a skeptic out on.

  3. ren Says:

    We are long overdue for an epic 3.0 2K1….whose gonna get it this summer? I’m hoping they hold it till Dicks and make up for Alaska last year 😉

  4. Kaveh Says:

    I’ll say this BBers…by the time 98 (Madison and UIC run), 99 and 00 (Target Center) rolled around, I was at a point in my life that Phish shows weren’t a major priority. Didn’t hit any shows in 99. Thus I really appreciate all the nods and thumbs up to music from this era. Such good music.

  5. tzara's Says:

    Not yet. I’m considering cannonballing down there from SEA, and I’d have a seat for you. Have an e-mail into Silly, but haven’t heard back. Probably a long shot. Stop in Bend for beer? C’mon!

  6. Kaveh Says:

    long overdue for an epic 3.0 2K1

    ^ this!

  7. BNCB Says:

    Hey all, great shows coming to Utah, Co and the south.

    ‘Naive Melodies – playing the music of the Talking Heads’

    Highly recommended. Fantastic, fun band. Without a doubt, I would see these guys over a bunch of ‘jam bands’ and ‘cover bands’ if they were playing on the same night, near each other.

  8. ren Says:

    The impending 2k1 should be unleashed upon the best “dancing” venue of the tour…..still would be Dicks…right?

  9. tela'smuff Says:

    i urge anybody that can pull off the Gorge>Tahoe>SF run to do it. Had one of the best tour trips ever in ’11 with Leo and Alf stopping in Bend for the night hitting breweries. Then stopping in Truckee for another brewery. Rolling into Tahoe, etc etc. Great time and that road trip isn’t all that bad.

  10. alf Says:

    tahoe was a tough ticket in 11 right?

    i guess landing mail order might give me the ole kaya nudge to make that one happen

  11. BNCB Says:

    West coast Phish. If you’ve been you know. If you haven’t, what are you waiting for?

    I’m hoping to see all of y’all making the trek. We may not get another run like this.

    Couldn’t a person do Gorge>Tahoe>BGCA only missing one week of work?

  12. voopa Says:

    Count me in for Tahoe tix…requested 3 for each night in the hopes that mrs. v wants to rejoin Jason and me at shows…she actually said “sure!” When I mentioned it last night.

    Not sure how we’re handling accommodations yet…camped in ’11, but a crib may be in order this year because of my condition.

    I’m not worried if we’re shut out of Tahoe tix, the shows are very hear-able for miles around. But I requested anyway.

  13. kayatosh Says:

    nudge, nudge. wink, wink.

    5.7.94 HYHU jam (yes, jam) is $$$. someone needs to put that one in their picks.

    add a fresh flower power and you have a $$$ situation.

  14. jonacho Says:

    west coast PHiSh is where it all comes together.
    the vibes, the venues, the shows
    I’m biased, of course.

  15. Kaveh Says:


    how long did it take for you guys to get from Bend to Truckee?

    We did Bend to Chico last time. Looking for a new route out of Bend, as we will hit that place up again. Thanks.

  16. voopa Says:

    BNCB, that would require at least 7 days off for me, probably not gonna happen.

    …but it might!

  17. kayatosh Says:

    flirting w/ doing tahoe>SF (as 5.9.77 estimated spins).

    requires a sizable nut, a major gift for the wife, a week away from the kids (a plus and minus), and the ability to endure skepticism as to my suitability as husband and father.

    going to put in for both and see what shakes out. where do you fly in for tahoe?

  18. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Reno, kaya

  19. Mr. Palmer Says:

    “and the ability to endure skepticism as to my suitability as husband and father.” – Kaya

    I don’t know why but this stuck me as very funny. I hear ya, kaya.

    Personally I can’t do the week way, no how.

  20. alf Says:

    there’s a reno-tahoe shuttle for 20-30 bucks, will be filled with phish kids and gambling retirees

    better start saving pennies, later comrades

  21. Mr. Palmer Says:

    struck , not stuck

  22. kayatosh Says:

    agreed, palmer. as a family man, a week away is asking for trouble.

  23. angryjoggerz Says:

    Reno is the closer location to fly into but I found Sacramento to be much cheaper with more options, so we did that, rented car and drove. Beautiful drive too.

  24. angryjoggerz Says:

    Out of curiosity, would you guys be able to do a week away for work? I have to do this 4 times a year and added up to realize that between work travel and phish I am away for easily over a month a year. My wife is pretty understanding because I am also the sole provider at this time (money wise – she does most of the real parenting).

  25. jonacho Says:

    Personally, I have to skip Tahoe this year in favor of multiple weekends.
    Gorge, SF, Dicks are all weekend shows, so it breaks it up into multiple 2-3-4 day chunks,
    instead of the gorge>tahoe>sf run, which means about 10 days+ being gone.
    after many wifely discussions, it was determined that multiple short runs are much better for the family than being gone for longer chunks.

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