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. Kaveh Says:

    Red Rocks 94 was a smoker! First night, very underrated to the second night.

  2. bhizzle Says:

    tell me about your wireless router…..dual band gigabit, n vs. ac, blah blah blah…thank you

  3. BingosBrother Says:

    4/16/92 is phish’s 5/8/77

    Mike reigns so supreme and band on point that some swear this show never happened. Even I had a tape of this show, and I didn’t have shit!

    “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.”


  4. BingosBrother Says:

    “Park District officials plan to place more speakers in the area to improve sound and construct a temporary fence around the lawn perimeter for the events”

    Free concert bitches.

    For once, Mayor Daleys tight fisted dictatorship works out for the hippies.

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I would totally do a reader’s jams list… if I hadn’t just dropped the AlphaUber (click me orange, yo)

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    AlphaUber is a pajamajammyjam. Dibs on that shirt.

  7. roberto luongo Says:

    couple ?’s

    1) should we even mailorder for northerly island? 20K is a lot of peeps. bigger than Toyota Park I think. this could be a free ticket on floor show.

    2) where the fuck will the new lawn be? old set up was concrete floor that was GA with stands behind.

    3) right now kinda leaning towards just fuckin mailorders and letting the shit shake out but this is Chicago. who knows. expansion may never go down.

    worse case scenario they put all the seats in front of stage and push GA to back of venue in case fuck em they ruined the venue.

    oh well. my insane excitement for this venue is falling hard.

  8. roberto luongo Says:

    If I’m reading this shit correctly I just mail ordered fuckin lawn seats behind the pavillion. fun stuff.

  9. BingosBrother Says:

    Just order GA only dude. I, too, am curious where this lawn will be. In the water? Glad its gonna be open to all, though. Was easy to sneak in before, can’t imagine how easy now. Can’t believe RAHM approved this shit. This will be the last time.

  10. roberto luongo Says:

    I’m worried that GA will be the lawn and located behind a more flat pavillion like the traditional Deer Creek style set up.

    how the fuck could they finish this by this season anyway?

    needless to say this venue goin from 7,500 GA with GA up front to 20K with GA In the back would fuckin suck like Justin Timberlake.

  11. MiA Says:

    Burn ’em Yacht Club

  12. xpun Says:

    Is a little ridiculous that they don’t have this shit figured out but are selling tickets already. Couldn’t they just make it total GA because (a AW said) GA could possibly be the exact opposite of what it is now.

  13. BingosBrother Says:

    If GA is lawn, phish is in for a shit storm.

    It will look like this. This show is july 9. 100,200, and 300 are GA.

  14. sumodie Says:

    Charter One expansion not approved yet. Vote is thursday, tho i doubt the city would turn down this proposal (more $$ for the city)

    Yeah, dont request more tix than you need. If 20k then thats an easy ticket

  15. roberto luongo Says:

    I agree Bingos. They are going to put up a more flat seated section up front with a concrete GA section in back and a bigger lawn behind that.

    hopefully they get some loud enough speakers on the flat ground for making it worth it

    back in the day it was GA in the front seats in the back. $$$$

  16. dubber2 Says:

    “If I’m reading this shit correctly I just mail ordered fuckin lawn seats behind the pavillion. fun stuff.’

    That is kind of my thoughts. Only Midwest show=tough ticket, but there is always lawn tickets on the ground at alpine

  17. roberto luongo Says:

    I have never bitched about Red Light. and only my great city of Chicago holds a vote weeks before concert season that would triple the size of the venue.

    but announcing a mailorder in which no one has any clue how the set up of the venue is sounds crazy

    Phish must have gotten the word from Rahm it’s a lock. no way they sign a contract saying the venue may hold 7,500 or 22K.

    stoked for summer
    fun stuff
    laterz comrades

  18. MiA Says:

    Why not a temp stage in South part of Island facing north. Everything is GA?

    Why even use the existing stage?

  19. dubber2 Says:

  20. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Diggin the readers’ playlists.

    Love this YEM! All-timers for these ears.

  21. MiA Says:

    I’m glad Phish just released the dates instead of waiting on the bureaucracy of Chicago. Even if I found out the whole stage setup is different and they “refunded” my money for a second mail order for it, I’d be completely fine.

    At least we have the dates.

  22. BingosBrother Says:

    City council is a rubber stamp. If anything makes it to a vote, it is always voted yes. If it wasn’t gonna happen, it wouldn’t be voted on. Thats The Chicago Way.

  23. sumodie Says:

    So far zero tix have been sold. Requests are just that, requests

  24. tela'smuff Says:

    enjoy these picks. well done Luke!

    Chicago bike tour, holla.

  25. xpun Says:

    what’s the Coventry free story?

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