Every dedicated fan has a favorite “.” 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 ’s biggest “jam vehicles,” there are many versions of “” that feature any and all styles of 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 ’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 ‘,’ going from deep, dark funk to a spacey, major-chord jam ( 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 ’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. all the “Cow Funk” shenanigans of this second set, I had to at least offer these two tracks for good measure:

  • Phish – Izabella – 12-6-1997 > []
  • Phish – Jam – 12-6-1997 > [mp3]*

(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 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...