Top 10 Songs From Leg 1 of Phish’s Summer Tour 2012
- By Sean Wilmsen
- Published on July 17, 2012
|Worcester - Photo Credit: Holly O'Connor|
Arguably Phish’s best tour in years, the first leg of summer 2012 has been chockfull of bust-outs, creative covers and maybe most importantly, legitimately amazing jams. Check out what staff writer and resident Phish aficionado Sean Wilmsen says were the 10 best songs of the tour so far.
Read out previous Phish tour reviews below:
June 7 and 8 – DCU Center – Worcester, MA
June 10 – Bonnaroo 2012 – Manchester, TN
June 15 – Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
June 16 – Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
June 17 – Bader Field – Atlantic City, NJ
June 19 and 20 – nTelos Pavilion – Portsmouth, VA
June 22 and 23 – Riverbend Music Center/First Niagara Pavilion – Cincinnati, OH/Burgettstown, PA
June 28 and 29 – Klipsch Music Center – Noblesville, IN
June 30 and July 1 – Klipsch Music Center – East Troy, WI
July 6-8 – Saratoga Perfomance Arts Center – Saratoga Springs, NY
For a complete list of second leg tour dates, check out Phish's official website.
10. Skin It Back – Jones Beach Night 1 – July 3
Not just because it was last played in 1988, but this opener was flawlessly played and the even jammed for a bit. Dare I say I like this version better then the Little Feet version?
9. Boogie On Reggae Woman – Worcester Night 1 – June 7
Most 3.0 versions of “Boogie” are fairly straightforward, but this version brought the funk. Trey took over toward the end of the jam and just kept the peaks coming over and over. This night really brought some interesting jams with a fun stretch of “Carini,” “Taste,” “Ghost” and this “Boogie” to open the second set.
8. Light – Atlantic City Night 2 – June 16
When I first heard this version, I honestly thought it was going to be the jam of the tour. The jam quickly segues into “Manteca,” but after that is where it really picks up. Fish speeds the drumbeat and Trey patiently builds the jam into a climax that will give anyone goose bumps. To top off the jam, “Crosseyed and Painless” teases at the end of the song pull it all together.
7. Golden Age – Blossom Music Center – June 24
I’m picking single songs for this list, but if I could pick my favorite pairs of the tour so far, it would be this “Golden Age > Ghost.” The former settles into a really nice groove right away and stays there for most of the jam. The jam then takes a spacey turn for a few minutes before segueing into a “Ghost” that towards the end started to get extra evil.
6. Waves – Deer Creek Night 1 – June 28
I feel like this “Waves” has not been given the credit that it deserves. Trey takes a step back and lets Page take over for a bit before settling into a nice funk groove. At the end of this jam is a beautiful soundscape, which transitions into “Bug.” This was one of my favorite segues all tour. The end of this song is just pure beauty.
5. Fee – Alpine Valley Night 2 – July 1
Expecting a standard “Fee,” when this jam started to get going, I absolutely loved every second of it. Page starts it off by dropping some nice subtle “pinko” notes. The jam then takes a turn after Fish drops out for bit. This is my favorite part of the jam. Page is keeping everything in check on his Little Pumpkin while Trey and Mike slowly build on top. This is really one of my favorite jams of the tour because each member of the band is patient – an aspect that hasn’t been seen too often in 3.0 before this summer.
4. Light – Alpine Valley Night 2 – July 1
Yes, another “Light” jam makes my list . . . and spoiler alert: this isn’t the last. Trey takes over during the first half of the jam, but then it begins to slow down and each member of the band settles into a patient groove with Mike taking center stage. The band then really starts to listen to each other, particularly Mike and Trey. These two are feeding off each other to create an incredible musical composition. To top it off, we get another great segue into a “Ghost” that also does not disappoint.
3. Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley – SPAC Night 1 – July 6
This high-energy version starts to really take off with Trey leading the entire way. The last half of the jam is just Jedi Trey going off, but that’s not the only reason or even the primary reason this jam is top-notch. Up until the point where the band launches, it’s straight funk. My favorite part of the jam is in the last three minutes after Trey steps back and the band settles into a real nice groove. Not surprisingly, they segued into another solid “Ghost.” I guess that’s their comedown song of the tour.
2. Light – Star Lake – June 23
Another “Light” – the jam vehicle of the tour. This is my favorite version all year, and quite possibly my favorite ever. After Trey’s usual rip-fest to start the song, the jam takes a quick turn and becomes dark and brooding before making another left turn back into a nice funk groove with Page taking over on clavinet. To end the jam, Trey starts using his whammy pedal to shift his pitch, taking the funk into a weird direction. This “Light” was surrounded by good music, too. The “Mike’s Song > Simple > Light > Weekapaug Grove> 7 Below” might have been my favorite run of songs the entire tour. This second set is not to be messed with, and is up for nomination as my favorite set of the tour.
1. Twist – Riverbend Music Center – June 22
Finally our #1 spot goes to my hands down favorite jam of the tour, the Cincinnati “Twist.” During this jam, you can just tell that the band is just on. When Page hops on the organ, about six minutes in, things start to get evil and it stays that way all jam. My favorite part of this jam is when Mike drops the “Jesus Christ Superstar”-sounding bass line and Trey does not miss a beat to follow.
Listening back to this over and over, I can’t help it when the hairs on my arms stand for the entire jam. If you haven’t heard this, please do yourself a favor and listen as soon as you can.
This has been an outstanding tour and this list could be a lot longer because there were a ton of stellar jams. Go back and relisten to every show and you will find gems in each one. This next month is going to be a long wait for the second leg to start.
Do you agree or disagree with Sean’s list? What were your favorite songs of the first leg of summer tour? Let us know in the comments below . . .