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. vegas wolfmans Says:

    I love island tour 2001. Easily overlooked among all the other highlights from that run, but straight $$$. I’m amazed by the patience displayed in letting that one unfold in a week that (IMO) was all about the swagger. An early peak into the ambient scapes that would start to surface over the next summer and start in earnest in fall. You like loops? We got your loops.

    That website is pretty awesome. Do I even need to “own” a music collection anymore? So much time spent tweaking and collecting something that will be obsolete in the next couple of years.

  2. kayatosh Says:

    metermen this sat. night in philly. page time.

    also on the philly radar: greensky on 4.18

  3. roberto luongo Says:

    fav Kush track since Gibbs dropped Kush cloud

    Danny Brown on Kush Coma. can’t wait for his new album

  4. Snigglebeach Says:

    That phish tracks site looks awesome but can’t figure out how to keep it playing on my iPhone. As soon as screen powers down it shuts off. Anyone know a way to fix that??

  5. garretcorncob Says:

    What’s up kids? Sitting down to deal with the tax man right now. Gotta give up Uncle Sam’s share of all that sweet sweet lifeguarding cash.

    Also have pretty much decided that, upon graduating in two months time I’m temporarily foregoing a career-type job in favor of something to pay the bills for a while while I try to make something work with music or writing. Feels good finally making the call, something I’ve been leaning towards for a while but have pretty hesitant about pulling the trigger on, for the various reasons…

    Huge 2001 comes at the Gorge this summer after they take ASIHTOS through the wormhole that permanently lurks out in the high desert

  6. roberto luongo Says:

    pretty sure skippin Tahoe cuz me and the lady could use a fresh head rest and hit the office for a couple days. I’ve been known to not be able to miss destination runs though. that Friday through following Monday is tough to miss when it comes to stock markets. lots can happen.

    logistics of chicago > Gorge > Chicago > SF fuckin blow though

    welcome to NEd tour 2013

    laterz comrades

  7. MiA Says:

    Love the Bomb Factory HYHU

  8. phlorida phan Says:

    Just sent you an email @MiA for the bb bracket invite.

  9. roberto luongo Says:

    phish just emailed me back

    they have yet to get any word yet on Northerly Island renovations

    awesome. only in Chicago.

  10. kayatosh Says:

    PNC plus SF and/or dick’s. a few weeks rest in between vs. tahoe>SF.

    OR SPAC and PNC — keep it east coast. Not sure how SPAC works though. yall get a crib for that one?

  11. gavinsdad Says:

    Gorge Pointers Help:

    I did Consider It Dan in ’09. Have a pair of friends who wanna make the trek for the first time. Can someone straighten me out on VIP camping vs reg camping vs offsite camping like WildHorse? What’s the good and where can you park an RV if they decide to go that route from SEA?


  12. kayatosh Says:

    kush coma has that baby got back beat. chorus: “kush coma. i am in a kush coma.” is $$$.

    this one came up next. even more hard core and abstract.

  13. roberto luongo Says:

    HUGE Danny Brown fan. very original hard ass style. party’s like a maniac.

    his next release

    and Schoolboy Q’s Oxymoron probably my 2 most awaited upcoming hip-hop drops

    also MC Tree – Sundayschool 2 scheduled for April 15th. should be $$$$

  14. kayatosh Says:

    I don’t know shit about modern hip-hop, but i am amazed at where the genre is today.

  15. Dorn76 Says:

    Pissed I never went out West when I had the chance. Had the chance to jump in with some kids on way to the Gorge and CA the Summer after I graduated. Remember being lazy and worried about having enough drugs for such a long trip.

    Ah well. Misspent youth.

    Loving Phishtracks, taking a spin through ’94 SBD’s/remasters at the moment. Fynn theater, next up PSU.

  16. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    roberto luongo Says:
    March 20th, 2013 at 9:22 am
    phish just emailed me back
    they have yet to get any word yet on Northerly Island renovations
    awesome. only in Chicago.

    I dont’ know what is more interesting; the lack of information or that you actually leveled effort to determine what was going on.

    I love tour planning exuberance!

  17. Phamily Berzerker Says:


    check your mail.

  18. verno329 Says:

    @sniggle When I first used it I had difficulty with it advancing to the next track after the current one finished, but when I used it the next day everything seemed to work fine. Streaming off my iPhone 5 is giving me no troubles now whether on wifi or 3G.

    Glad I got the Mophie Power Pack for the phone now since I’m streaming most of the day at work between phishtracks and the LMA app. Archivist really has become an absolutely essential app for me.

  19. roberto luongo Says:

    I LOVE pimpin this one

    Chance the Rapper. talented young highschool prep kid from englewood, Chicago. not gangster at all. great creative stuff. made the tape serving a 10 day suspension for puffin

  20. BNCB Says:

    RL, boss sez renovations to be done before Phish. Sez he doesn’t know how it will affect seating.

  21. BNCB Says:

    also, much like 2011, boss very excited for Chicago.

    I said “Man, we’re finally getting the West Coast love this year!”

    He replies, “yeah it should be great, Chicago”

  22. MiA Says:

    Chicago is gonna be like Telluride, but with more tickets sold.

  23. phoammhead Says:

    just completed my bracket . . . i’ve got the heels beating dook in the finals . . . dare to dream

  24. BNCB Says:

    I shudder at the thought of a ‘Tweez/ Boogie On’ in RL’s home town…..

  25. BNCB Says:

    AJ, you will be fine. The majority of the time, the lady in accounting or the secretary that knows nothing about basketball wins the brackets. You have an excellent chance.

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