The twenty best jams of Phish 3.0

Categories: Lists, Phish

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Brandon Marshall

When Phish reunited in 2009, the 3.0 era of the band was born. While classics like "Tweezer" and "Carini" still reap fantastic rewards, newer songs have been given a chance to shine and grow, be it through psychedelic looping or rapid-fire staccato rhythms. Despite what some may say, Phish still jam, and we've got the twenty best jams of 3.0.

See also: The twelve best moments from Phish's fall tour

20. "Back on the Train" - American Airlines Arena, Miami, FL, 12/30/09
Starting out as a rousing rock version with Southern swagger, this version quickly took a plunge toward the psychedelic, with Trey Anastasio's guitar screaming a long, sustained note as the guys wove around the Type II jam. An underwater-sounding octopus garden, this jam is a musical score of bass bombs and pedal effects, with Jon Fishman always keeping a steady beat that ebbs and flows with intensity. Minimalistic, the tune charged forward just a little harder with each swell, until it has grew into a crashing wave of sound.

19. "Boogie On Reggae Woman" - DCU Center, Worcester, MA, 2012
This tour -opener highlight was the kind that had venue staff dancing, and the bass sounded like Mike Gordon had extra fingers that night. The funk was thick in this version, and then Anastasio came in smooth as ice, with phrasing that just slid right in and gave the whole jam a more rock-and-roll feel. The Hammond B-3 added another layer to the sound, and the whole thing was just lifted up high, with cymbals crashing and the guitar being dominated. Just when you thought it might be coming to a rest, the funk seeped back in before settling to a stop.

18. "Simple" - Greek Theater, Berkeley, CA, 8/6/10
The guys took off into this jam lightly, with descending notes from Anastasio while the rest of the band built up an intricate, bubbly staccato foundation (called Plinko jamming by some, because it sounds similar to the Price Is Right game music). Glory chords were hit as Page McConnell threw some funky keys in, keeping things danceable yet delicate.

17. "Backwards Down the Number Line" - Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY, 8/17/10
From the song that got the band back together came the jubilant highlight of this show, and the band was full of energy as it shredded its way through it. Anastasio was in full rock-star mode at first and then used the whale call tastefully later. McConnell twinkled on the organ as the band began to climb higher and build to a grand extended peak, with Fishman dropping heavy drum fills at just the right times.

16. "Seven Below " - Times Union Center, Albany, NY, 11/28/09
Opening set two, this rendition marks one of the first moments that really showed that the Phish we knew and loved was still here. The band sounded cohesive, the members playing off one another while supporting each other's ideas. The jam goes into a major-key, mid-tempo groove around the twelve-minute mark that hits the spot, with Anastasio hammering on and off before taking it to a bass-heavy, "Also Sprach Zarathustra"-ish musical space. The group built higher and higher to a gorgeous sustained peak, with Anastasio just giving the hose around the twenty-minute mark. All of that, then the guys took it down and started up a fantastic "Ghost," barely catching a breath.

See also: The twelve best moments from Phish's fall tour


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29 comments
Scott Raile
Scott Raile

Best I've seen: "Antelope" at the 1st Bank Center, 10/11/10

Brian Powell
Brian Powell

Phish haters are entertaining! Can you still have fun? Anyways, this list is pretty solid. I'd personally replace Sally from the Gorge with Sally from Blossom '11 though

Aj Gillman
Aj Gillman

Kill devil falls is my jam. All you Phish haters suck ass btw.

Sean Dolan
Sean Dolan

Is there a new music editor there or something? All your online music posts are full of suck.

Patrick O'Smitty
Patrick O'Smitty

why does westward constantly post shit about phish? they aren't even from co and they suck horribly.

Bryan Clark
Bryan Clark

wait, Phish released or even had for that matter, best jams?

Lila Perilloux
Lila Perilloux

Let's argue about something completely subjective!

Patrick Layman
Patrick Layman

Gotta love Wingsuit! An entire set of semi-finished pointless "step-dad" rock ballad songs all in the same tone, same cheap guitar solo post refrain #2 and ending soft guitar fingering note driven composition. It's downright hilarious that people still fall for Trey's horseshit gimmick act and moreso actually call it Phish with a straight face.

Patrick Layman
Patrick Layman

Easy fellas! 3.0 Phish is simply a nostalgia act geared at those who pretend to know quality muscianship and quality Phish yet keep giving Trey an open-ended pass when he/they fail to deliver and rely more on stale gimmicks and boring covers. It's called Diet-Forbin for a reason.

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

You're slow for assuming that anyone who doesn't like jam bands listens to edm. I mean really if you wanna play the stereotype game by the looks of your pictures most would assume you listen to Dave Matthews band/jack johnson while bro'ing out with the rest of your Chadtastic frat-bro crew in search of the next rager with a little Macklemore on the side.

Dan Krusch
Dan Krusch

it's not, you're slow. I was making fun of edm because I assumed you listened to it.

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

And since when is Phish an EDM act Dan Dan Krusch? WOMPWOMP.

Anthony Anrig
Anthony Anrig

Luke Nelson there are some things in this world that its a good thing not to get: Ebola, shot, hit by an 18 wheeler, and jam bands are a few of them.

Dan Krusch
Dan Krusch

na all edm sounds the same. Wompwomp

Shawn Wilson
Shawn Wilson

Jerry's dead phish sucks and widespread panic is even worse.

Luke Nelson
Luke Nelson

Lol Anthony is one of those that doesn't get it..

sphinxcommander
sphinxcommander

12/28/12 Tweezer shouldn't have even made the list.  I would put 12/30/09 BOTT against anything in the Top 5, any day.  I think Number 3 spot should have gone to Rock & Roll 8/5/11.

But this list isn't going to make anyone happy, if you asked 100 Phish fans to do a top 20 list, each list would be different!

mweabs
mweabs

8/19/2012 would like a word with you

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