Vocals: Trey (lead) Mike, Page (backing)
Historian: Martin Acaster (Doctor_Smarty)
An anagram is a new word or phrase created by rearranging the letters in a word. This simple linguistic tool has been used throughout history as a means of encrypting secret messages. When applied to a person’s name, the anagram can provide strange insight either into their character or the anagramaticist’s feelings toward them. In “Twist” the victim of this analysis is the too often absent beloved of the protagonist. Apparently, neither is happy with the resulting anagrams.
“Twist” was one of several new songs that first appeared during the European leg of the 1997 summer tour, making its public debut in Dublin, Ireland on 6/14/97. Like the rest of these new songs, “Twist” had been played at a private party at Brad Sands’ house a week earlier (6/6/97). Unlike many of these songs, “Twist” did not make the final cut for Story of the Ghost. Nevertheless the song was played pretty frequently throughout 1997. Of the 1997 performances the 8/3/97 Gorge version is a clear favorite. The first “Twist” of 1998 (4/2/98 Nassau) set a new standard for just how far out into space the song could go. Few of the pre-hiatus versions that followed approached the majesty of the trance-inducing groove that first debuted on the “Island Tour.” Those that came close twisted around Atlanta on 7/3/99 and The Gorge on 9/10/99.
"Twist" – 4/2/98, Uniondale, NY (Part 1)
"Twist" – 4/2/98, Uniondale, NY (Part 2)
“Twist” was rearranged during the studio sessions for Farmhouse that followed the fall tour, as evidenced by a performance in Rochester, NY (12/5/99) where the lyric “and substituting every sound” was eliminated. The studio track itself features a somewhat smug Trey intro and some stray Fishman (and friends) studio banter tacked on the end. Trey and Tom also released it in its original four-track form on Trampled by Lambs & Pecked by the Dove. A monstrous “Twist” played early the first morning of the year 2000, marked the return of millions of TV viewers to the sanctity of their living rooms from the hedonistic swamps of Big Cypress. If only they had been there more of the day, they might have caught a glimpse of how the tune would “Twist” around in the future. This is to say several post-"millennial" versions of “Twist” have been astounding.
The approach of the cyclone is typically marked by an initial low adiabatic swirl around the “Twist” theme. Gradually the rotational energy of the vortex increases as the lyrics are sung. Finally the turbulence and instability of the atmosphere coalesces into a voracious whirlwind of light and sound. Anything that stands in the path of the “Twist(er)” is subject to being flattened or cast asunder.
"Twist" – 5/23/00, New York, NY
Particularly strong occurrences of this musical cyclotron prior to the bands complete disintegration in the post-Coventry vortex include: 10/7/00 Shoreline; 1/3/03 Hampton; 7/30/03 Camden; 12/29/03 Miami, 4/16/04 Las Vegas, and 6/20/04 SPAC. Live footage of a couple of the atmospheric disturbances in 2000 were released as Live Phish 04 (6/14/00 Fukuoka, Japan) and Live Phish 05 (7/8/00 Alpine Valley).
During 2009, the wondrous year that Phish returned from their self-imposed Exile in the Emerald City, "Twist" appeared exclusively almost exclusively as the filling in a second set jam sandwhich, most often coupled with either "Drowned" as a predecessor (6/19/09 Deer Creek and 11/22/09 Syracuse) and as an antecedent to "Piper" (6/5/09 Jones Beach and 11/22/09 Syracuse). The Jones Beach version was also noteworthy for the Latin flavor (Santana's "Oye Como Va") of the jam.
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