Reader’s Picks: Mathias Loertscher

8.19.12, BGCA (Ken Scelfo)

8.19.12, BGCA (Ken Scelfo)

It is my pleasure to introduce the Reader’s Picks from one of the first reader-commenters on PhishThoughts back in 2008—@Matso! Welcome back buddy.

All selections and text by Mathias Loertscher aka @Matso

Maze” 12.9.95 I, Albany, NY

A ferocious set one opener. Listen carefully for the subtle, eerie industrial drone effect that Trey uses to set the scene. I would love to see the band take such a careful approach to show openers more often.



Yamar -> Runaway Jim” 8.2.03 II, Limestone, ME

A moment when it all came together: My first post-hiatus show and my younger brother’s first show; one of my favourite songs seguing into my favourite song; and a serious left turn into Type II, which moves through many different ideas deftly and assuredly, with some fantastic use of the uncompressed tone. I had tears in my eyes.



 Stash” 12.28.98 I, MSG, NY

1998 is the year when Phish arguably peaked in terms of popularity and intensity. The energy at MSG for the first night of the first four-night NYE run at MSG was therefore off the charts and, after a quick “Axilla” to get the blood pumping, Phish detonated the Garden with this “Stash.” Although musically I prefer the 1997 MSG version, the straight-forward, dark intensity here made for a more memorable experience. Listen to the audience roar at the end of it. Fierce.



Tweezer -> Have Mercy” 7.17.99 I, Volney, NY

Another one where I basically cried. Most of my crew were stuck in the traffic on the way in and it was during this stunning “Tweezer” that they found their way through the crowd and miraculously found me. This was also a summer when Phish’s music provided on-going comfort from some tough personal circumstances. So when they moved into “Have Mercy,” I got a bit emotional.



Down with Disease” 11.13.98 II, Cleveland, OH

Both sets this night in Cleveland started and finished off strong, but had some of the worst, most prolonged mid-set lulls I’ve experienced. Miner has highlighted the “Wolfman’s” from set one for its clear Mind Left Body jam a few times, but this “Disease” is worth hearing as well. Very tight Trey-shredding for a good while, which stays in the box but is otherwise unreproachable, followed by a wonderful section of chord-led jamming (sounding almost Dead-like at times), which leads back nicely to the “Disease” theme.



Farmhouse 8.5.11 II, George, WA

How do you follow up perhaps the greatest jam of 3.0? With not one, but two amazing segues. Then what do you do? You play this. Trey’s solos on Farmhouse throughout 3.0 have been a treat and this version is as good as any (check out Miami ’09 and Woosta ’10 too).



Ghost” 8.13.97 II, Burgettstown, PA

My second “Ghost” of the summer and first one state-side. The band’s sound was developing so fast this summer that this version didn’t sound anything like the first one I’d heard (7/1/97). This one gets so thick and funky that I thought the band had turned into robots at one point.



Makisupa -> Night Nurse -> Makisupa” 10.26.10 II, Manchester, NH

Not much to say about this one other than that the band NAILED the “Night Nurse.” One of my favourite moments of 3.0. More reggae please.



2001” 8.11.04 II, Mansfield, MA

A controversial version from the final, dark days of 2.0. Some vocal commentators think that Trey’s playing on this version lacks direction and drive, but I hear the jam section before the first “ASZ” theme as a moment of lucidity, with some fantastic slow, considered playing from Trey. Afterwards, he’s clearly out of ideas, but that first solo is very unusual for a “2001” and noteworthy.



David Bowie” 7.19.91 I, Somerville, MA

“Bowie” with horns. How the song was always meant to be played.

[audio:] Tags:

949 Responses to “Reader’s Picks: Mathias Loertscher”

  1. sumodie Says:

    Bummed to be missing John McLaughlin on his current tour (he’s playing right now in NYC). Boston on Saturday

    And this fall he’s mounting a Remember Shakti 40th anny tour but only in Europe

    Never heard the Trio of Doom lineup

  2. sumodie Says:

    Currently enjoying this (posted this morn, finally spinning):

    Tame Impala – live at Bonnaroo – mp3 dl

    Setlist & link to lossless at The Traders Den:

  3. voopa Says:

    John McL tore off my face at The Crest in ’95… w/Joey DeFrancesco and Dennis Chambers. THAT was a show. Rivaled Phish’s performance there two years prior…hmm…maybe I should work to make sure that that place doesn’t go away.

    Ventura Melt is much better than I remembered…guess I was just a stupid, cynical asshole back then. Good thing I’m just a stupid asshole now.

  4. BNCB Says:

    Duncan and Leonard unable to overcome Ginobili and Green.

  5. voopa Says:

    mmm- can’t wait. Getting snipped as soon as able, hopefully Fall. mrs. v has been praying for it. Or at least I like to believe that.

    Fucking neighbors…yesterday it was a girl fight (not sexy), tonight it’s the jerks on the other side. Maybe they’re talking loudly because I was just blasting the Ventura Melt, maybe not. I’m not going to find out because Set II is starting now! Suck it plebes!

    And whatever LeBron!

  6. voopa Says:

    I’m not the actor
    This can’t be the scene
    But I am in the water
    As far as I can see

  7. little umbrellas Says:

    EMERGENCY! (endlessly pamped)!/album/Emergency/4058353
    John McLaughlin Larry Young Tony Williams

    fall 95 lover who are unfamiliar. please devour

  8. little umbrellas Says:

    lover’s ‚°°

  9. RoosterPizza Says:

    6/20/95 mike’s

  10. sumodie Says:

    Serious tripped out krautrock:

    Cosmic Jokers – Galactic Supermarket

    Quite the way to make an album (from Allmusic):

    The Cosmic Jokers were the greatest Krautrock supergroup that never was, a cosmic joke even on most of the musicians who played on the sessions, unbeknownst they were members of this new “group.” Over several months in early 1973, producer Rolf-Ulrich Kaiser organized several wild acid parties at Dieter Dierks’ sound studio, where the musicians played in exchange for a small fee and all the hallucinogens they could ingest. These musicians included Göttsching and Klaus Schulze of Ash Ra Tempel, Jurgen Dollase and Harald Grosskopf of Wallenstein, and Dierks himself.

    From these 1973 sessions, The Cosmic Jokers were born, as Kaiser and Dierks edited and mixed the material and slapped it out on vinyl on Kaiser’s Kosmiche Musik label without the other musicians knowing anything about it until the records appeared in stores, even as their pictures were posted prominently on the covers.

  11. mmmhmm Says:

    saw Tame Impala Tuesday night in Va. Solid show. Perhaps Phish has made me concert ADD, but rarely do I see a show other than Ph where the band plays one set and has my full attention the whole show. Tame Impala did that pretty well. They had places in tunes where they could have stretched out more but the sold out crowd was into it. I hear a meld of Beatles/Sabbath/Zep and heavy Pink Floyd influences and they pull it off quite well. New bassist in the fold too since the late winter tour.

  12. little umbrellas Says:

    alright supermarket, that one was new to me. There was one part where the lead guitar was moving through this chromatic line with a rapid wah movement, strangely reminiscent of Jer Dog 72 Playin style. or maybe I just have that on the brain. struck me though.

    thanks Sumo

  13. voopa Says:

    Wow, just saw Ky Ryssdal as the voice of reason on Piers. Guess that’s why these shows exist. Maybe I need to stop watching TV.

    But but but, the news!

    guess I’m over all of that for now…until the next “attack”…

  14. voopa Says:

    *first world problems – tablet lag* *remainder of post follows*

    And before any jumps on me, be assured that I’m just as on guard as any of you/us. Just reacting to “the crawl” and the ridiculousness of our national media, whatever that means.

    Ventura Maze

  15. voopa Says:


  16. little umbrellas Says:

    Fegas Volfman’s commencing, see you in a half hour.

  17. RoosterPizza Says:

    Just mapped out independent, intervening, and dependent variables for my research while listening 6/20/95 Mike’s and Ventura Maze. They actually segued quite well. Having a big day here!


    You’ve got mail!

  18. voopa Says:

    Heeeeeellll is Coming

  19. little umbrellas Says:

    6/20/95 morning times and work sesh for me. will be nice with coffee.

  20. little umbrellas Says:

    Monk’s Dream:

  21. voopa Says:

    Johnny Fishman, Sexual Healing!

  22. Dr_Braun_Schitzmir Says:

    LU, I totally agree about Trio Of Doom. I had SUCH high expectations… couldn’t believe it when I stumbled upon it. But man, it’s really a bit of a disappointment.

    Keep the music recs coming, I like your taste in music!

  23. dorn76 Says:

    Whose got my hetty updated reader’s picks list?

    Received confirmation for a meeting in Chicago at 11AM Fri 7/19, and am booking my flight on another tab as I type this.

    Any good bands in town that night? Clearly there’s something more hip than Phish going down.

  24. Spasm Waiter Says:

    @Sumo- just got to n Adams. Gorgeous right now. Let me know if ya wanna hook up before white denim. Call me or text to: two one two four nine five nine zero six two.

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