The Mount Rushmore Of Phish Jams

Each Friday Phish focused Twitter feed @YEMblog, curated by JamBase Editorial Director Scott Bernstein, asks a question to start a “Friday Conversation.” For this week’s Friday Conversation, YEMblog followers were asked “What is the Mount Rushmore of Phish jams?”

The Mount Rushmore question basically asks what are the four best Phish jams of all-time. Unsurprisingly, each of the jams that won a spot on the Phish Jams Mount Rushmore have two-word names to which they are commonly referred to by Phish fans that immediately alert die-hards to the date and location of said jams. Over 150 responses were Tweeted in response to the informal poll. We’ve gone ahead and crunched the numbers to see which jams won.

The Mount Rushmore Of Phish Jams

Tahoe Tweezer -July 31, 2013 -Lake Tahoe Outdoor Arena at Harvey’s – Stateline, NV

The jam that garnered the most votes took place less than two years ago -the 36-minute “Tahoe Tweezer” from July 31, 2013. Phish explored many interesting jam spaces over the course of the relentless “Tweezer” that showed the Vermonters are far from finished when it comes to their aptitude for jamming. All four members play key roles in making the “Tahoe Tweezer” among the best versions of any song in Phish history.

Providence Bowie -December 29, 1994 -Providence Civic Center -Providence, RI

Coming in second was the legendary version of “David Bowie” Phish laid down at the Providence Civic Center on the second night of their ’94/’95 New Year’s Run. The “Providence Bowie” is just about the same length of the “Tahoe Tweezer” and the pair also share similarities in that the band explores interesting jam spaces for minutes at a time instead of quickly moving through musical ideas. There’s scary moments such as the digital delay intro and calls for Lassie as well as a glorious, major-key chord sequence around the 21:30 mark the quartet settles on and builds to a beautiful climax.

Went Gin -August 17, 1997 -Loring Air Force Base -Limestone, ME

It was a battle to the finish for which version of “Bathtub Gin” would make the Mount Rushmore Of Phish Jams. The buttery “Went Gin” the Vermonters laid down at their Great Went festival on August 17, 1997 in Limestone, Maine won out by a handful of votes over the more exploratory version dubbed the “Riverport Gin” from July 29, 1998 near St. Louis. The Went Gin was all about one anthemic chord progression the band worked over with a plomb for seven of the most powerful minutes of music in Phish history. Head to the seven-minute mark in the video above and we bet you’ll flip your desk by the time the version ends.

Albany YEM -December 9, 1995 -Knickerbocker Arena -Albany, NY

Phish delivered a monumental 34-minute version of “You Enjoy Myself” as a powerful snowstorm enveloped the area around the Knickerbocker Arena in Albany, New York on December 9, 1995. The “Albany YEM” is unlike any other version of the most played song in Phish history thanks to the goosebump-inducing progression the band settles in on for most of the tune as well as a “silent jam” that needed to be seen to be believed and blistering peak that was the icing on an already delicious cake.

Honorable Mention: Riverport Gin (7/29/98 “Bathtub Gin”), Nassau Roses (4/3/98 “Roses Are Free”), TweezerBella (12/6/97 “Tweezer” > “Izabella”), Denver Ghost (11/17/97 “Ghost) and Camden Chalk Dust (7/10/99 “Chalk Dust Torture)