Showing all posts tagged #phish:

Top 25 Jams of 2015 Phish

Posted on November 19th, 2015

As the anticipation builds to see what Phish does to cap off what has been the best year of 3.0, it seems like a perfect time to reflect back and examine the jams of 2015, make the art fight, and come up with a list of the best that the year has had to offer. It's what every good Phish geek does, is it not?

This is my version of that list. I'm not suggesting that it is the definitive list and there are a few choices that I could swap out with others depending on the day. I'm not ranking these 1 to 25 but just presenting the list as a whole because really what difference does it make which jam I think is 11th or 8th or 23rd or so on. The purpose of this list is just to provide a Phish Just Jams playlist of the best jams from the year. The list will be presented chronologically and can then be parsed and dissected from there. The list will also link to the full version of each song from the terrific resource that is for those want to take in the whole song instead.

You can download the Phish Just Jams Top 25 of 2015 here. The Just Jams playlist clocks in at just under 7 hours so it should have plenty to keep you occupied.

TAB Just Jams

Posted on March 9th, 2015

In 1999 Trey Anastasio played his first shows with the Trey Anastasio Band and as Phish entered its hiatus in October 2000 Trey took TAB out on the road for a 10 show tour in the spring and added a couple members to the core trio of himself, Russ Lawton on drums and Tony Markellis on bass. By the time his 19 show summer tour rolled around Trey had added another couple of members as the group grew from 6 to 8. After a month long fall tour with Oysterhead in 2001 TAB grew again and took the stage again in late May of 2002 as a ten piece.

I always loved this formation of TAB with the core of Trey, Tony and Russ augmented with Ray Paczkowski on keys, Jennifer Hartswick on trumpet, Andy Moroz on trombone, Russell Remington, Dave "The Truth" Grippo and Peter Apfelbaum on sax and flute, and Cyro Baptista on percussion and growls They had the ability to do what prior versions of TAB were not able to do, which was launch into deep exploration at any point in the show. It was common to see a show start with a 25+ min song and have multiple lengthy open jams in the first set or at any point in the show. This version of TAB opened my ears to a number of different styles of music that I then explored more fully on my own. It was also a lot of fun watching them perform as Trey would be dancing on stage and leading the band as they changed direction on a dime.

The ten piece band played a 23 show Summer Tour and a 9 show Fall Tour in 2002 and a 10 show tour in Summer of 2003 before Phish tour. They played a couple of one off shows in 2004 but by 2005 Trey had shifted to the 70 Volt Parade Band and the 10 piece band as we know it never reformed.

2002 and 2003 TAB shows were fantastic and I don't revisit them as often as I should. I decided to make a companion to the Phish Just Jams series that my brother (@soulish on Twitter) and I have compiled with tracks taken from this era of TAB. There are 159 tracks available taken from these 41 shows. Enjoy!

Down with Disease over the years

Posted on December 30th, 2014

Down with Disease, by far the most jam-friendly tune from Hoist, has gone through many different evolutions and styles over its 20 year history. It has gone from a straight ahead rocker to a vehicle for psychedelic exploration to a funk monster to a shredding masterpiece to an open ended number that could be anything at anytime. It has proven to be one of the most versatile songs of Phish's original catalog. It has adapted as Phish has evolved in style and focus and has been a consistent heavy hitter in every era.

From its introduction in 1994 (barring the coda jam post Auld Lang Syne from 12-31-93) it got the standard album treatment in the live show setting and it continued that way in early 1995. The break through came at SPAC on 6/26 as they opened up the song in a gem that segues beautifully into Free. After that venture they didn't delve back into Disease until 12/12 in Providence for a 30+ min monster.

By 1996 Disease had become a more consistent vehicle for exploration with a standout version in Seattle on 11/27. But 1997 was the true tipping point. Highlight versions abound from spring in Europe through the Fall Tour and New Years run. From 1997 on Disease was officially a powerhouse.

From this point on Down with Disease morphed along with the current style and focus of the year in question. In 1997 it got the funk workout, in 1998 it went to a more ambient nature and then took a turn to the groove in the millennial era. The advent of 2.0 brought a renewed energy to many songs and Disease was certainly one of the beneficiaries. In 2003 Disease broke new ground when the wide open approach led to multiple versions that explored a variety of themes within the same jam. In 3.0 Disease has continued to be a consistent performer that every year has produced versions that can find a place in the top 10 of any complete year review.

After going through the years I found 3 distinct high points, 1997, 2003 and 2013. I definitely have a bias towards 1997 as it is one of my favorite years of Phish, but I picked that as the first high water mark because that is the year that Disease became a true improv beast. It proved to be a perfect fit for the cowfunk that developed that year right from the get go in Amsterdam in the spring and continuing through summer and fall. Before 1997 Disease always had the potential to be the highlight of a show but that potential was only realized on occasion.

The next peak year for Disease, imo, is 2003, when the song became truly open and could go anywhere and through multiple themes during the course of one version. Again, right from the start in spring Disease took on new forms and this approach continued throughout the year, leading to some major highlights in a year that was renown for its deep exploration.

In 3.0 Disease has proven reliable once again to deliver highlight worthy jams. I would classify 2013 as another high point in the evolution of Disease. Unlike previous high points this year did not necessarily debut a new style or form for the song, but 2013 in general it could be said did not produce a new signature style that was distinct from previous years. Rather this year just turned in a number of peak performances that will be revisited often.

Before I started this review I thought about how difficult it would be to narrow it down to some sort of Top 10 list. I have decided instead to come up with a list of candidates for a pantheon list of Diseases. The list includes 28 versions that ideally could get whittled down to a top 10 or 15 that could vary from person to person. Enjoy!

All of the pantheon candidates Phish Just Jams tracks available here

Ghost Just Jams

Posted on May 19th, 2014

As part of the Phish Just Jams series, we bring you Ghost Just Jams, a compilation of Ghost jams from 1997 through 2014.

Download Ghost Just Jams here

Mike's Just Jams

Posted on May 19th, 2014

As part of the Phish Just Jams series, we bring you Mike's Just Jams, a compilation Mike's Song jams from 1995-2000. If Mike's Song ever regains its sought after "second jam" then it we can revisit this and add some jams from the 21st Century

Download Mike's Just Jams here

Tweezer Just Jams

Posted on May 19th, 2014

As part of the Phish Just Jams series, we bring you Tweezer Just Jams, a compilation of Tweezer Jams from 1995 through 2013.

Download Tweezer Just Jams here

Phish Rebuilds America

Posted on May 5th, 2014

Download Phish Rebuilds America here


Disc I
1. Twist (6.22)
2. Ghost > (6.07)
3. Boogie On Reggae Woman (6.07)
4. Daniel Saw The Stone (6.30)
5. Bird of a Feather (6.15)
6. Golden Age (7.03)

Disc II
1. Crosseyed and Painless > (8.19)
2. Light -> (8.19)
3. Sneakin' Sally Thru The Alley -> (8.19)
4. Crosseyed and Painless Reprise (8.19)
5. Undermind (8.31)
6. Chalk Dust Torture (8.31)

Disc III

1. Rock & Roll > (8.15)
2. Ghost (8.15)
3. Stash (8.22)
4. Light (9.01)

Disc IV
1. Down With Disease (8.17)
2. Sneakin' Sally Thru The Alley (07.06)
3. Piper (07.08)
4. Prince Caspian (9.01)
5. Runaway Jim (8.31)

Disc V
1. Sand -> (9.02)
2. Ghost (9.02)
3. Fee (7.01)
4. Waves (6.28)
5. Harry Hood (9.02)