A "reprise" is a sort of musical afterthought – basically a reintroduction of and variation on the main theme of a piece of music. Thus, “Tweezer Reprise” is a slight variation – a condensation of sorts – of “Tweezer.” As it does on the album A Picture of Nectar, the “Reprise” often follows “Tweezer” in concert, most frequently as an encore song. It is also common as a second set closer following an earlier “Tweezer.” A few times, the “Reprise” has even been spewed out of some long, monster “Tweezer,” serving as the thrilling exclamation point at the end of a raging, set-long sentence (e.g. 5/7/94, 6/22/95).
On occasion, “Tweezer Reprise” has shown up as a surprise in a show where there has been no performance of “Tweezer” proper. Although usually this occurs because the “Reprise” will be referring back to a non-reprised “Tweezer” at the previous night’s show (e.g. 12/30/96’s “Tweezer” was reprised on 12/31/96), the song has been known to appear, albeit rarely, completely free from its Granddaddy counterpart, like on 9/29/99. The most interesting example of this, and perhaps the most unusual “Tweezer Reprise” ever performed, was on 12/8/99, which featured an a cappella version that came out of a “YEM” vocal jam to close the second set. The band later finished off the show with a traditional “Tweezer Reprise” to end the encore. Other interesting versions include 10/27/94 and 10/21/95.
During the 2010 Summer tour, "Tweezer Reprise" was performed twice in each of two consecutive shows: 6/18/10Hartford and 6/19/10SPAC. At Hartford, both versions of "Reprise" were performed back-to-back in the encore slot, and the second "Reprise" was performed "for Hershey Park," because the band had recently played "Tweezer" at Hershey (6/13/10), but did not finish that show with the "Reprise." At SPAC on 6/19, the band opened with "Tweezer Reprise," which meant that the "Reprise" was performed three consecutive times over the course of two consecutive shows. This "Reprise" three-peat is the only known instance of Phish performing the same song three consecutive times either in one show or over two consecutive shows (excluding soundchecks). But check out 7/11/00Deer Creek, where the band performed "Moby Dick" off-and-on repeatedly throughout the show.
As Trey begins the opening riff, some fans may mistake “Tweezer Reprise” for “Tweezer” itself. How to tell the difference? Well, aside from the tempo (Trey’s riff in the “Reprise” is often faster and more momentous than its laid-back, funky progenitor), fans with keenly trained ears might pick out a difference: “Tweezer” is in A, while “Tweezer Reprise” is in D.
Tweezer Reprise stands on its own, it is far from an ‘afterthought.’ It IS the thought. The vibe. The groove. Tweezer Reprise just IS. Tweezer Reprise is so amazing that it is unexplainable with words – it is on another level. The song has its own damn soul. In fact, I'd be willing to bet the soul of my first born child (sorry future child!) that there is a Tweezer Reprise form of DNA that lives inside all the tried and true Phisheads that gives them power, hope, and happiness beyond control.
Tweezer Reprise is the most powerful, bring the noise, I'm gonna kick your mo-fo ass song I've ever heard – by any band, period. “Step into the freezer” is Phish begging you to rock your life in a way that is so amazing that you’ll reach up, touch the face of God (whatever God you believe in… mine is a chubby rescue dog that spends his days relaxing on a king-sized bed made of velvet licking himself smiling at his good fortune), come back down to Earth, live a happy life and spread the love.
I've listened to this damn song so much that it has become part of me. Like I have two legs, two arms, a nice set and then this appendage… aurora… glow that vibes off me and when people see it and say, "What is that?" I'm like, "Oh, that... that's my Tweezer Reprise."
Yes, MY Tweezer Reprise. Because this song is one of those songs you can say, “This is my JAM, thank you very much!” and feel so in-tuned with it that you feel Phish is playing the song just for you. Just for you and the huge phamily party happening all around you while you rock out to your JAM – your Tweezer Reprise.
With much love for the almighty Tweezer Reprise I write this… may you all step into the freezer.
How can this write-up not mention the inclusion of Tweeprise in the sick 2nd set of the 20th anniversary show (12/2/03) in which it not only shows up in the middle of the set with no previous Tweezer, but it includes Mike's Song lyrics, owing (one would assume) partly to the fact that Weekapaug had just been played prior to it with no Mike's.
Also, I don't know how common this is, but considering the place the Island Tour has in Phishtory, it's also pretty noteworthy that Tweeprise shows up as the capper of a smoking 3-song encore to a ridiculous show with no Tweezer. What may or may not be common is that when the boys left Long Island to go to Rhode Island, they opened the next night there with, of course, Tweezer.