Finally we are only a month away from Phish's return to the stage at MSG. It feels like forever seen they've last played. Thinking about the Dick's run makes it even more exciting considering the amount of killer jams played. If they practice and carry the momentum over it should make for the best New Year's run in 3.0.
Last year the band played 93 different songs from start to finish. Everyone knows the band is going to play many songs, but which ones should we be hoping for? Which will be the epic jams? If we look at the 2012 Jams of the Year, it's quite clear to me which songs we should be hoping for based on their 2012 resume. So first, here are my top 10 jams from 2012.
1. 09/01/2012- Dicks, CO- Light
All you can say about this song is it's the fucking truth. Since Phish returned in 2009, Light has been the main jam vehicle off of Joy. Played nine times this summer, Light offers many different paths for the band. Plinko-ville, funkytown or even jam city. This Light has it all. In my opinion it's the best jam in over 10 years. The last 8 or so minutes are just pure joy. Trey starts in with a light groove with Page growing the beat. When Page changes it from piano to organ and Trey rips that first note, he starts one of the most magical solos in Phishtory. This is a must listen, and at this point is an every day listen for me. This. Is. IT.
2. 08/31/2012- Dicks, CO- Runaway Jim
In the longest Jim since pre-Coventry, the major theme is patience. Patience, which often dictates the best Phish jams, is the catalyst for a roaring Mike Bass solo before the band all kick in to improv land together. Another must listen from the now famous Dick's Run.
3. 08/28/2012- St. Louis, MO- Limb by Limb
Who would have ever thought that Limb by Limb would be a jam of the summer! The fun song from The Story of the Ghost was sandwiched in between a killer Walk Away and Julius, providing what most would think to be a cool down song. Instead, the boys broke out into full improv. In any other year of 3.0 this would be THE JAM, but with the amazing two-some from Dicks before this, it comes it at 3. Another must listen (the overall theme of Phish in 2012).
4. 08/31/2012- Dicks, CO- Undermind
The last song of the FUCKYOU set. Many remember Undermind during the Elements set on 8/15/11 in Chicago. This version one-ups it, with a beautiful solo by Trey before breaking into the groove part. All four guys are really feeling it in this one leading to a pure bliss moment that brings chills. The point? Never ever ever miss another show at Dicks.
5. 08/19/2012- San Francisco, CA- Crosseyed/Light/Sneakin Sally/Crosseyed
They always say never miss a Sunday show... On this night, the boys headed up north in California after the show in Long Beach, and started off the second set on Night 3 with fucking fire. Opening with the funky Talking Heads song, the band reached the "epic jam" area before segueing into Light. The end of the Light into Sally may be the best 3 minutes in all of Phish. It's so amazing listening to the build up before Trey rips a new one on this jam before the funktastic Sally. Finally finishing off the Sally with a return to Crosseyed, this is an amazing few songs from an awesome run. Must listen.
6. 06/07/2012- Worcester, MA- Ghost/Boogie On
This jam from the first night of the tour stands out as some of the best 2012 improvisation. Some of Trey's best play during Boogie On. This is a must listen if you haven't heard it already. The guitar peak from Trey really carries the groove.
7. 09/02/2012- Dicks, CO- Sand/Ghost/Piper (1:37:50)
The best set from September, the second set of the last show of the summer opened with a killer Sand that goes back and forth between different tempos before heading straight on into Ghost. Mike and Fish are really on point here. Finally they go from the Ghost to a beautiful Piper with a slow intro. This whole set is awesome, but these three songs to open it make it special.
8. 06/23/2012- Burgettstown, PA- Mike's Song/Simple/Light/Weekapaug Groove
One thing that is always said with Phish is when they practice, they are at their best. Some of the best songs and jams can be found in Leg 2, but this one from Leg 1 stands out as some great play. Rarely do we hear the type of Mike's Groove from NYE 95 or the Island Tour, but this Groove really allows for everyone in the band to get a chance to shine. The Mike's has a glorious peak and the solo just feels like it will never end. The Simple and Light, Light making it in for the 3rd time, are great fillers for the Groove before getting to the fan favorite Weekapaug. A nice segment from the best show of Leg 1. Highlights all around.
9. 08/15/2012- Long Beach, CA- Rock n Roll
Where Beiber Fever all started. The first song of the second set of the first show of the second leg (hahahahah) is fire! The number one most wanted thing from the Leg 2 Wish List was a 20+ minute jam, and we got it right away! This is the original spark that alerted all fans "were back, and were jamming." Indicative of an amazing second leg that was to come.
10. 06/15/2012- Atlantic City, NJ- Birds of a Feather/Back on the Train
One of the best jams all summer, Birds batted second in the second set behind My Soul, and was a beautiful jam. An early bloomer. This second set was awesome, but the specific jam from Birds to BOTT is just great. Another nice groove.
**Just Missed the Cut**
06/08/2012- Worcester, MA- Roses Are Free
07/03/2012- Jones Beach, NY- Skin it Back; Sand/Golden Age
06/22/2012- Cincinnati, OH- Twist
And now onto my Wish List for the New Year's Run. Obviously we'll be hoping the jamming is as good as the songs above, but in terms of names, here are the songs I'm hoping well see that we didn't get last year. No matter what though, I'm just happy for 4 days of Phish in my hometown of NYC. Let's jam and get excited!
1. Harpua (with huge story about Mayans and the world ending)
2. The Lizards
6. Split Open and Melt
8. Buried Alive
9. It's Ice
What do you think were the best jams of the summer? What are you hoping to see in December?