This version hails from
the summer '91 tour during which Phish was accompanied by the Giant Country
Horns, and during the time when I was actively following this sort of thing
('97-'98) it was widely accepted as the "best" version of Divided
ever by my fellow internet Phish geeks.
The addition of the horns meant that some songs (most notably Divided, Cavern,
Suzie G., Gumbo, Landlady) were dramatically changed (and in many cases
improved) but also meant that certain setlist staples (YEM, Hood) really weren’t going to
This show is also
famous for the awesome horn-augmented cover of The Doors' "Touch Me"
with Fish on lead vocals, which will probably sneak its way onto a later
2.) Suzie Greenberg>
3.) Darien jam [both from
9-14-00 Darien Lake]
Never understood why the band chose to release this unpleasantly
cacophonous show as one of the early LivePhish offerings; I was at this show,
and, for the most part, it sucked. That being
said, as unfocused as much of this show was, this extended Suzie > Jam
stands out as a shining beacon of coherence and proficiency. Basically, if you enjoy the 39 minute version
of 46 Days from It, you may want to give this show a try.
Great Suzie though; all
in all you have a 21+ minute version total Suzie > jam which is pretty
noteworthy in and of itself. But also
noteworthy in this version is Trey eagerly stepping aside and allowing Page and
Mike to more or less run the show for a bit before Trey returns, steering it
into what sounds an awful lot like a really nice DWD jam.
4.) Sand [6-7-09 Camden]
Probably among the top
10 best Phish jams I've witnessed live since they reconvened for 3.0. At this point it's pretty hilarious to
remember back when they first started playing Sand in '99 (just after Trey's
initial forays with "original" TAB) and Sand -- and to a lesser
extent, Jibboo too -- were almost universally thought of as the set-killers to
end all set-killers. (No, it wasn't as
bad as Time Turns Elastic, but then again NOTHING squashes a buzz as well as
These days that is no longer,
since Sand is now prime jam territory, not just spacey, ethereal garbage.
When he formed the
"original" 3-piece TAB, Trey was obviously looking for a rhythm section
that would just stick to simple, repetitive grooves (I remember reading an interview
with Trey in '99 where he gushed that Tony Markelis "had never played a
bass fill in his life") instead of mucking the whole thing up with the
usual virtuosic runs and rhythmic elasticity that are Mike's and Fish's trademark(s). Well, despite that, just listen: it's the
rhythm section that MAKES this jam.
It's pretty unusual
that it takes a song 10 years to fulfill its potential, but who cares- the more
legit jam platforms the band has at their disposal, the better, obviously.
5.) Moma Dance> [6-17-04 Brooklyn]
A great Moma with the
old-school extended intro leads into my favorite Free ever. Free as a live song has existed in a few distinctly
different incarnations. The '95-'96
versions were characterized by a dissonant percussion jam - often with Trey on
a second drum kit or other percussion.
It really wasn't until '97 when the boys inserted the thick, funky,
Mike-led bass jam into the middle of this song which made it a true live
masterpiece, and this particular version has the best, thickest bass jam I've
I started putting these together a few years back; they're basically a 'best of live Phish according to me' type deal. I think the first time around I got up to 10 volumes; I have a ton more stuff on tap though so I'd imagine this series will wind up being at least two to three times that size just simply based on the stuff I've cherry picked over the last couple of years. The biggest challenge, of course, is going to be me somehow avoiding adding a "Ghost" to each and every subsequent volume, haha.
Each volume of Tuddd's Picks will be ~100 Mb (makes loading them into / off an iPod that much easier), and for each track I use the best source that I personally have; these are usually SBDs and are often mp4s I ripped off of CDRs years ago. I'm pretty happy with the quality on each of these - I loves me some crispy 'boards.
As per always, suggestions are welcome re: future additions to the series. For someone who's still a n00b, I think these selections will serve as a great primer as to what has made Phish great throughout the years. And for someone who's reasonably well-versed in Assface, why not take this opportunity to upgrade your collection by a little? Either way, enjoy!
1.) You Enjoy Myself [6-11-94 Red Rocks]
--Best version ever of the greatest Phish song ever. All killer / no filler on the jam sections, and a really great vocal jam to boot.
2.) David Bowie (intro)>
3.) Jessica jam>
4.) David Bowie>
5.) Have Mercy>
6.) David Bowie
7.) The Horse>
8.) Silent in the Morning [all from 5-8-93 Durham, NH]
--This one was my favorite Phish jam for MANY years, and it's probably still my favorite "Bowie" ever. The "Jessica" (yes, the Allmans song) jam is seamless and the "Have Mercy" is a tasty l'il diversion, but it's the pre-"Have Mercy" jamming in "Bowie" that really makes this worthwhile: at about 6:00 or so the jam morphs into something that sounds like Metallica's "Fade to Black," starting with sludgy licks and culminating in some very non-Phish-esque hard rock soloing. And the version of "Horse" that follows is notable for the melodramatic classic rock-style acoustic intro- it seems like Trey's about to break into "Dust in the Wind" or "Horse With No Name" or something.
9.) Mike's Song>
10.) I Am Hydrogen>
11.) Weekapaug Groove [all from 3-20-92 Binghamton]
--This is from a show where it was rumored that Trey was on acid, and listening to this "Mike's" you can see how people got that impression. In many ways this is the worst "Mike's" I've ever heard, since Trey refuses to play anything remotely melodic in the jam section, favoring dissonant feedback and noise over the usual Ted Nugent-inspired (really!) minor key hard rock. What results is actually kind of funny; at this point in Phish's history Page wasn't really used to leading "Mike's" jams, but instead he basically has to play the whole frickin' song on his own with Trey squealing incoherently over the top. You can practically hear Page/Mike/Fish sweating their collective balls off, thinking "holy shit, he's finally lost it" until, after an abnormally lengthy "Hydrogen" intro, Trey suddenly remembers how to actually play his guitar.
And "remember how to play" he does, and then some. Best/fastest "Weekapaug" I've ever heard, and probably a top 5 Phish jam ever for me. In this era, Trey's style of playing was often referred to as "Machine Gun Trey" because although Phish's popularity was quickly growing 1992, they were far from the household name they'd become, so the band still had to impress fans with, y'know, actual 'talented musicianship' instead of just autopiloting their way through a 20+ minute "Jibboo" or whatever. But yeah, this "Mike's Groove" rocks n' stuff.
12.) Run Like an Antelope>
13.) Big Black Furry Creature from Mars>
14.) Run Like an Antelope [all from 3-13-92 Providence]
--Just a week before the above "Mike's Groove", this was commonly referred to as- you guessed it- "Run Like a Big Black Furry Antelope from Mars" and you'll notice the track splits here are kind of irrelevant because of how many times they go back and forth between "Antelope" and "BBFCFM." Trey and Page use the "Get Back" signal (12 quick notes, played - approximately - to the melody and meter of the line "JoJo was a man who thought he was a loner") several times to direct "getting back" and forth between the two songs for a good 15 minutes or so here. Also has a funny / psychotic Hawaii / "How are ya" vocal jam.