Phish Friday | Gotta Have ‘Your’ Epic Tweezer

phish5.jpg
photo by sypsyn

Every dedicated Phish fan has a favorite “Tweezer.” Some like the older versions that are strange and quirky, some like their Tweezers as funky as possible, and others like them super spacey. Of course, because this song has long been considered one of the band’s biggest “jam vehicles,” there are many versions of “Tweezer” that feature any and all styles of Phish improvisation…


I don’t doubt that there might be better versions out there, but this one from 12-6-97 — right smack in the middle of the band’s fall ’97 funk phase — gets my top spot for ‘epic’ Tweezers:

I think my favorite aspect of this version is the way it progresses. The band creates these long jamming ‘movements,’ going from deep, dark funk to a spacey, major-chord jam (with Trey’s lead lines soaring), only to end up in some sort of post-rock, atmospheric breakdown of noise. And just as it begins to move into complete outer space, the band somehow locates a rock beat and Trey drops the opening chords of Jimi Hendrix’s “Izabella.”

Of course, in fine Phish fashion, the band brings back the funkiness in a sweet “Izabella” outro jam that features some great solo breakdowns by Mike, Page, and finally by Trey. With all the “Cow Funk” shenanigans of this second set, I had to at least offer these two tracks for good measure:

(Unfortunately, there’s just no good spot to break up any of these tracks. I highly recommend checking out the entire show, which you can grab here)

Those of you familiar with most of the gems from the Fall ‘97 tour probably already know these tracks well. But whether you’re new to this era of Phish or have been hearing these for years, it doesn’t matter….tracks like these just never really get old.

So what’s your favorite ‘epic Tweezer?’

WHITperson -- aka Marc Whitman or simply "Whit" -- is a long-time LMB contributor known for his in-depth posting style and his knack for crafting interesting podcasts. Whit currently resides in Brooklyn, where he's building up his web development chops and hoping to put his technical skills towards something interesting in the music world. Follow his updates over at whitperson.com and on twitter @whitperson.
  • EJ

    I’m pretty found of the 10/30/98 Tweezer. I mean, the whole freakin’ filler disk is solid, but I guess because it was one of my first tastes of Phish (that being LP 16), it has a special place in my book.

  • EJ

    I’m pretty found of the 10/30/98 Tweezer. I mean, the whole freakin’ filler disk is solid, but I guess because it was one of my first tastes of Phish (that being LP 16), it has a special place in my book.

  • gibs

    ah, Detroit. best show of that run if you ask me (and there was plenty of gems)…

    i’m partial to 11.30.95 Tweezer myself. still don’t “get” the 2.28.03 hype, the McNichols is no slouch either.

  • col4bin

    Mostfamous Tweezer ever? Check out the summer ’94 bomb facotry tweezer from Dallas – now that’s some epic schtuff!

  • col4bin

    Mostfamous Tweezer ever? Check out the summer ’94 bomb facotry tweezer from Dallas – now that’s some epic schtuff!

  • col4bin

    don’t get the 2.28.03 hype? Machine gun trey with the rest of the band puliing their weight!

  • col4bin

    don’t get the 2.28.03 hype? Machine gun trey with the rest of the band puliing their weight!

  • col4bin

    ooops – i was thinking 2.20.93 in atanta!:)

  • col4bin

    ooops – i was thinking 2.20.93 in atanta!:)

  • Big Philly Style

    11/17/97 is the best Tweezer. Perfect in every way.

  • Big Philly Style

    11/17/97 is the best Tweezer. Perfect in every way.

  • http://freshbread.blogs.com ryan freshbread

    My fav that I saw was 12.16.99 – very slave-like. epic masterpice.

  • http://freshbread.blogs.com ryan freshbread

    My fav that I saw was 12.16.99 – very slave-like. epic masterpice.

  • http://aveng5vt3.musicpro.hop.clickbank.net/ Aaron

    Kool light show,hav’nt heard of the band but the lights look awesome”.

  • http://aveng5vt3.musicpro.hop.clickbank.net/ Aaron

    Kool light show,hav’nt heard of the band but the lights look awesome”.

  • tgourdo

    I hear you, Big Philly Style, 11/17/97 is a great one. I’ll throw 7/10/99, Camden, NJ into the mix. There are some pretty sweet grooves in there…

  • tgourdo

    I hear you, Big Philly Style, 11/17/97 is a great one. I’ll throw 7/10/99, Camden, NJ into the mix. There are some pretty sweet grooves in there…

  • Matt

    11-26-97 and 7-1-98 do it for me. The Hartford one is similar to Denver (11-17), but better.

    The Palace version spends too long in the standard Fall 97 funk jam.

  • Matt

    11-26-97 and 7-1-98 do it for me. The Hartford one is similar to Denver (11-17), but better.

    The Palace version spends too long in the standard Fall 97 funk jam.

  • Andrew

    I have to say I like the darker 97-98 versions best (especially with some loops and drones), but the one on 10.7.00 definitely was fun – great segue out of 2001, and a quasi-atonal ending…kind of bittersweet, like that night.