The best Phish shows are the ones that suspend your sense of disbelief.
The shows where you high-five your neighbor with unbridled enthusiasm, simply from the sheer joy of being there, at that moment, experiencing all this wonderful music together.
The shows where you leave the venue with a sort of sanctified silence with your friends, sweaty and exhausted from four hours absorbing music and dancing all those joyful noises out. The lights go up and the post-show music comes on the PA and you walk out, but there’s nothing to really talk about.
Because everyone is thinking it, a whole crowd full of people all brought together at the same time to the same space as a congregation for something special:
“Did that just happen?”
“Did we all just experience that together?”
There’s nothing like that feeling. It’s unpasteurized afterglow.
I get the feeling a lot of people had that feeling on Sunday night when Phish blessed Alpharetta with a Tweezer that went deep. Total rager of a show.
Before 8/1/21 in Alpharetta, there were only six Tweezers in Phish history that surpassed the 30-minute mark. According to the phish.net jam chart stats:
- The monstrous 6/9/00 in Tokyo, Japan, a 30:45 jam vehicle that voyages into deep space
- The 31-minute 11/2/94 Tweezer from Bangor, Maine, as featured on A Live One. The jam slithers around like a Sidewinder before morphing into a ferocious, distortion-fueld beast.
- The more recent 12/30/19 opus at Madison Square Garden, an melodic, ambient masterpiece
- The legendary 7/31/13 “Tahoe Tweezer” that ushered in a new era of Phish 3.0 jamming. It clocked in at 36 minutes.
- The 45-minute 6/22/95 FLeezer (Finger Lakes Tweezer) that’s musically all over the map, including Fishman on vacuum
- 6/14/95 – the 49:49 “Mud Island Tweezer” in Memphis, marking the longest “Tweezer” in history. The Christopher Nolan movie of jams, with musical chapters inside of musical chapters.
This weekend’s Alpharetta Tweezer clocked in at 33:50, now enshrined in this rarified Hall Of Fame of Tweezers. Longer doesn’t necessarily mean better, of course – there are plenty of iconic Tweezers in the 20-30 range. But it blasting past the half-hour mark does mean endurance.
A 30-minute Tweezer means musical endurance, which gives me good vibes and plenty of cheery optimism about how much great Phish is ahead of us.
WATCH IT on YouTube:
I don’t know about you, but I always feel a renewed sense of optimism when Phish is touring. I especially feel that optimism with Phish slaying America right now. My vibes are soaring.
Think about the weekend that just transpired! Three great Phish moments, three days in a row. All this combustible live music energy, pent up from a pandemic break that deprived Phish, the band members, from being Phish and us, the nerds in the audience, from lapping it up. It’s remarkable what 500+ days of not playing will do and the catharsis that happens when all the elements of Phish <> audience symbiosis are finally achieved again.
We have a remarkable 25-minute Carini on Friday night in Alabama, followed by a 26-minute Chalk Dust Torture on Saturday night in Alpharetta, followed by a 33-minute second set Tweezer that muscles itself into the history books. The jams keep getting better every night. This Tweezer? A musical odyssey that ends with a full-force funk throw-down. It’s explosive, seemingly rip-chorded into “Twist” after the dirtiest pinnacles of Phish funk are achieved.
There’s also clear-as-day “Esther” and “McGrupp” teases in this jam; Phish themselves dabbling in their own metaverse.
Also, don’t miss the “Manteca” tease.
Phish teasing McGrupp and Esther in the middle of a Tweezer jam? pic.twitter.com/yUPBTnDG8b
— Ben Gardner (@BenGardner87) August 2, 2021
Yes! The title is “Tail Chased, Logic Erased”
— phanTOM™️ (@TomMarshall111) August 2, 2021
As discussed on Twitter, it seemed like this one ended in overdrive; Our Guys were so locked in, they collectively realized just how badly they needed to catch their breath.
*Jon Fishman Summer 2021 sample voice*
Never miss a Sunday show.
Especially at Alpharetta.
Note from Brandon – I think I’m going to keep these summer 2021 Phish tour recaps going. It’s fun for me to write and crystallizes my thoughts about Phish, music, work, and life. I miss blogging about the things I love. Just the highlights and random thoughts, when they pop into my head. Maybe 2x a week? Maybe. I don’t know if anyone will read it, but if you’re reading and enjoying it, please let me know. Otherwise, I’ll stop doing it. And I don’t want to stop doing it – I just work best when I’m optimizing my time on a feedback loop, with a little third-party validation. So – email me about Phish tour and whatever else is on your mind at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter or Instagram. I’d love to hear your reactions to the shows or stories from summer tour. Maybe I’ll even share them? Who knows. Or you can just tell me I’m a fat neckbeard loser. I’ll take the hate mail too.
Anyway, thanks for reading. See you out there.
A few favorite reactions from the wider Phish Twitter omniverse:
Phish wrote a rock song in 1990, and then while playing it live 31 years later none of them had any idea what the song would sound like 30 seconds in the future. #tweezer
— Yeah (@Bcmcclain) August 2, 2021
You know what it is great?
When Phish is crushing and we all know Tweezer is coming, and expect it to be great….
And then its 100x better than we hopped….
— Ted Lasso Memo (@LawnMemo) August 2, 2021
I don't understand how Phish comes out of 520+ days of not playing together and puts together. Something. Like. This. Tweezer.
— YupYupMan (@YupYupMan95) August 2, 2021
Finally there goes the Tweezer everyone has been waiting on…. #Phish
— Bayou Ben (@BarstoolMintzy) August 2, 2021
— Stub Me Down (@Stub_Me_Down) August 2, 2021
Even Twitter says it's 4.0 pic.twitter.com/XKo21LVHFi
— Marcus “4.0” Gilmer (@marcusgilmer) August 2, 2021
Phish tweet: incredible moment in Tweezer where Fish thought the jam was about to die so he stopped playing, realized they were in fact not stopping, and just picked right back up like nothing happened
— AK Lingus In Cartoon Form (@aklingus) August 2, 2021
Can confirm. At some point Trey wanted to play 7 Below and Fishman said nah brah. pic.twitter.com/czCV4ieDFo
— Blue Check Here (@PlaidMax) August 2, 2021