I already know what you’re gonna say: “No Wolfman’s 12/28/16, WTF!?” And you’re right, that’s a pretty sweet jam there. But hey! When narrowing down four nights of music to just 10 highlights, 10 of our favorite jams, Wolfman’s just barely missed the cutoff.
“In favor of Lawn Boy!?” you say. Yes. Yes, we bumped Wolfman’s for Lawn Boy.
“But that’s not even a jam, man!” you say.
“You may be right, sir,” we say. “But we love it anyway.”
Looking back on YEMSG 2016, the Phish from Vermont played 91 songs over the course of four shows. Here are our 10 favorites, and a couple honorable mentions.
Check out the entire run at LivePhish.com
10) Lawn Boy 12/31/16
Now, admittedly there’s just not much of a jam here, but you gotta love the interplay between Page and Mike, a couple of fun-loving goofballs goofing off. We don’t care what you say, this is a Lawn Boy for the record books.
9) Free 12/31/16
Here at PhanSite.com, we feel like Free is often overlooked… In this version, Trey absolutely nails his solo and Mike puts so much stinky funk on that bass line it pushes the whole groove to new heights. After nearly 10 minutes, we were left wanting more!
8 & 7) Tweezer > Sparks > Ghost 12/30/16
This Tweezer has it all, man… and what a way to kick off the second set! Is it the most mind-boggling Tweezer out there? Not really, but it’ll add some sugar to your coffee, butter your toast, and call you darling! Won’t you step into the freezer?
With a short foray into Sparks, the boys quickly transition into Ghost and don’t look back… We weren’t quite sure how to count it. Ultimately, these two jams feel a little too cohesive break up, but then we gave them two slots in our top 10, so whatever! Here’s 35 minutes of Grade A, beautifully marbled beefsteak d’Phish. Bon appetite!
6) Piper > Ass Handed > Piper 12/31/16
The intro to Piper is quickly taken over by a Fishman singing a soulful rendition of Ass Handed only for Piper to come back harder, stronger, faster… The band takes this Piper to great heights only to dig deep into a drums > space jam with the marina lumina…
5) Bathtub Gin 12/30/16
Page and Trey find a groove rather quickly and, goddamn, is that a potent Gin! Everyone takes a sip and we’re swimming in the bathtub, warm and dizzy… Are we sure this is Phish 3.0? Feels like home!
4) Golden Age 12/28/16
While it’s not the Vegas Golden Age, this performance is pretty damn sweet. Driven initially by Mike’s dark groove and Page’s staccato clavinet, this jam soon rises above the atmosphere and carries us into orbit for a solid 15 minutes… the real magic comes in the final minutes of the jam, turning Simple upon reentry into the atmosphere… blast off!
3) Twist 12/31/16
Coming in real hot off Carini, this Twist burns intense and bright! Quite frankly it could be swapped for either of the two “higher ranked” jams, but for now, this Twist gets the bronze for the run… We already look forward to dusting this one off for a revisit down the road.
2) Martian Monster 12/28/16
This may very well be our favorite kind of jam: loose, jovial, going with the flow, so to speak. When Trey hears himself playing the riff from Tweezer, he follows through… The crowd goes wild and the band laughs along. Listen here.
1) Light > Party Time 12/30/16
Our favorite moment of the run! Blissed out, man! By the time Trey belts out “Party Time!” we’re so damn deep and entranced… Party Time pops like a champagne cork, whoa, baby! The whole room erupted with joy!
Honorable Mentions: Ocelot (with horns!), 12/31/16 and Makisupa > Drums, 12/19/16 😉 And we’d be remiss not to remove our hats for The Star-Spangled Banner, an absolutely awesome way to kick off the run.