With 13 shows across just 18 nights, Phish’s 2016 Fall Tour is absolutely one for the record books. Of course, we have the Halloween show, featuring the band’s cover of David Bowie’s The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars , not to mention Bob Weir’s sit-in at Ascend Amphitheater in Nashville.
Surely, there are more than just 10 highlights from this tour, but when selecting these songs, these jams, as stellar standouts, we tried to stick to just one main criteria: the song had to surprise us. Take that for what you will, we’re not even sure what we mean by that, but we can honestly say that these jams showcase the best of Phish, who consistently surprises us…
Without further ado, here are PhanSite.com’s Top 10 Jams of Fall Tour 2016:
10) Stash 10/22/16
This show opens up hard and fast with Mike’s Song > Ass Handed > Weekapaug Groove and sets the tone for a high-octane first set. By the time the band rips through Rift, we’re diving headfirst into Stash, uptempo and nasty, y’all. Page side RAGE side.
9) Harry Hood 10/30/16
This is a very sweet and gentle Harry Hood, complete with a bust out of Have Mercy in the middle of the jam. It just feels right, man. If anyone’s counting, it’d been about fives years since the last Have Mercy (also in the middle of a Hood jam). While most jams on this list really get us moving, this one makes us slow down…
8) West LA Fade Away 10/18/16
While some may say Twist was the highlight of Bob Weir’s sit-in — yes, that dueling guitar jam is pretty great — but it’s the somber minimalism in this jam that makes for something special. Page takes a solo to awesome heights and how about those subtle twangs at the end?
7) Down With Disease 10/21/16
Twenty minutes of down and dirty… Feels like the boys are really pushing each other here. And if you like this jam, you’ll love the Disease on 10/30/16. Picking just one for the top ten list feels like Sophie’s Choice and upon another listen we may change our minds but for now, sure, yeah, 10/21/16 makes the list.
6) Birds of a Feather 10/30/16
Ok, so a lot of jams stand out on 10/30/16… This may very well be the show of Fall Tour. The aforementioned Down With Disease is fantastic but ultimately feels like a tee up for the Birds of a Feather that follows. Holy hell, this jam has it all.
5) Tweezer 10/19/16
Deep, dark, and haunting, this jam hovers on the horizon like a UFO… a UFO that then blasts us with lasers and tractor beams, watch out!
4) Maze 10/24/16
In what may be perhaps the only flop of Fall Tour, this show’s second set is sleepy and boring. But then suddently they rip into Stash and low and behold it’s one of the best jams of the tour, a diamond in the rough!
3) Harry Hood 10/19/16
For our second Hood jam of the top 10, we have 10/19/16… righteous and heartfelt. If there were ever a time where the band sincerely and successfully worked the crowd’s woos into a jam, this is it. Does this prove Phish actually likes the woos?
2) 46 Days > Sally > 46 Days 10/22/16
Are you kidding me?! Are. You. Kidding. Me. This is one of those magical moments when Phish goes free and limber, loose and playful… can you hear the sheer joy in Trey’s voice when the Sally chorus comes back around? Straight fire here, y’all.
And before our Number 1 jam of Fall Tour 2016, here are just three other jams that were close but didn’t quite make the cut…
Honorable mentions: Tube 10/19/16, Stash 10/30/16, Down With Disease 10/30/16
And our Number 1 Jam of Fall Tour 2016…
1) Golden Age 10/28/16
For anyone who has heard this one it should come as no surprise. This is Phish at their finest.
Really though, is this the best jam of Fall Tour, or the best jam of 2016?