Jam Chart for Wilson (33 entries)

Date City Timing Notes
1986-10-12 Plainfield, VT 6:40 First recorded live version at Goddard College has a snappier beat, and a goofier vocal delivery than the more bombastic, arena rock version we've come to adore. At the first instrumental break preceding "Mike Christian", the band gets almost silent, the small audience claps the beat, spurring a spritely, fusion jam unlike any modern version of Wilson you've heard.
1987-08-21 Hebron, NY 6:25 First ever "Wilson" chant from the band in a stretched out intro with nice droning organ and funky Trey comping before reaching the chord changes. When the band takes the volume down, some incredibly well-timed dog barking leads the band into a few lysergic, descending, atonal moments. Signature, briskly-paced, early version.
1987-11-18 Burlington, VT 4:24 In the first of what would become a frequent pairing in the years 1988-89, Trey uses the "blat" here as a sort of vocal segue into the opening drum fill of the classic Zappa cover "Peaches en Regalia".
1988-02-08 Burlington, VT 7:28 Intro is slightly extended, providing some groovy interplay between the band members. The band finds time to sneak in brief passages of inspired improvisation between sections, with some particularly jazzy work from Page.
1988-10-29 Plainfield, VT 5:23 An otherwise standard-for-the-era version gets a unique boost courtesy of guest saxophonist Russ Remington (of Giant Country Horns and TAB fame.) Unfinished.
1990-01-27 Burlington, VT 3:48 The first of a handful of "heavy metal" versions (see also: 1/28/90, 2/9/90, 2/21/97 as well as 9/29/00's "heavy metal jam.") "Wilson's" intro starts with a power rock version of the verse chord progression courtesy of Trey, replete with coordinated unison accent hits from the rest of the band. In lieu of "blatting" and "booming", the band ends the song by returning to the 80s metal-inflected intro to close things out as the band plays out their then-unfulfilled (not for long) arena rock fantasies.
1992-08-17 San Juan Capistrano, CA 7:48 Extra long introduction with rambling Fishman fills, horror movie bass hits, atonal Trey trills, and secret language cues interspersed throughout. Directly before chanting, they get into a funkier, "Alumni Blues"-like mode.
1992-12-08 Madison, WI 9:02 An extended intro with extra silence and space hints at the quiet, yet potent, improv ahead. The band stretches out what is usually a short vamp preceding "BLAT BOOM" into three minutes of avant-garde, atonal, knotty, bizarro Phish interlaced with secret language cues (the "Aww F**k" signal is especially potent).
1992-12-13 Montréal, Québec, Canada 7:38 Lenghty intro and Simpsons and All Fall Down signals plus other creepy shenanigans before BLAT BOOM.
1993-03-13 Boulder, CO 7:29 Long, musically oriented intro with Trey repeating a melancholic riff and a sweet little jam in the pre "Blat, Boom...!" section with Mike hinting at "Getting In Tune" by the Who.
1993-04-30 West Hartford, CT 7:11 Lengthy, playful, discordant intro with "The Good, the Bad and the Ugly" teases from Page on keys and Trey on vocals. The Morricone teases continue throughout, most effectively as the nightcap to a queasy, little jam preceding "BLAT BOOM".
1994-04-15 New York, NY 4:47 First version to have the audience chanting, AUD version also has enthusiastic claps. The band delivers a bombastic performance, surely energized by this new avenue of audience participation.
1994-07-13 Patterson, NY 2:18 Amazing mashup in this "Cavern -> Wilson -> Cavern" sandwich in which "Wilson's" lyrics are initially sung over "Cavern's" music and then a combination of elements of both songs before giving way to a genuine "Cavern" ending.
1997-02-21 Florence, Italy 4:38 The heaviest of all the Heavy Metal style Wilsons comes bursting -> out of a gnarly unfinished "Antelope" jam with a transformed thrashing arrangement and properly gutural vocals from Trey.
1997-08-13 Burgettstown, PA 6:10 Christmas comes early to Star Lake when the full band delivers a "Little Drummer Boy" jam in the post "blat" section.
1998-07-08 Barcelona, Spain 8:53 A confidently sloppy, set-opening rendition gets aggressive as soon as the vocals end. In place of a solo, the band drones away in a heavy choogling mood with crisp Fishman fills, before Trey finds a descending riff, and Page responds masterfully with blistering organ.
1998-07-15 Portland, OR 7:04 Encore version has Trey leaning into a heavy power chord riffing extravaganza out of the initial "solo" section. The jam threatens to go even deeper before returning to the lyrics, but after "Can you still have fun?" Trey proceeds to unload a furious, rapid quiver of wah licks for a slightly extended fanfare. > "Tweezer Reprise."
1998-07-25 Austin, TX 7:15 No mere "metal Wilson", what we get here instead is several extra gallons of liquid fire unloaded, Hendrix-style, in an extended run up to the "You got me back thinking..." section and beyond before > to "Frankenstein". Explosive.
1998-08-16 Limestone, ME 7:57 Unique ambient interlude ripe with feedback before BLAT BOOM and then continues after until > "Mango".
1999-07-04 Atlanta, GA 8:48 The solo starts in a metal chug but then pushes away at the boundaries, getting into some interesting rhythmic interplay, and sloppily-yet-joyfully landing on a descending Zeppelin-like riff preceding "Mike Christian". Lengthy, noisy, free jazz-like improvisation, with several false endings, arhythmic hits, and whammy pedal worship, before "BLAT BOOM".
1999-07-10 Camden, NJ 7:12 Another extended, high-octane shredder from the late 90s, "Wilson's" most consistently strong era, and sets the table for the monumental "CDT" that follows.
1999-07-18 Volney, NY 4:17 Deep into the last set of Camp Oswego, Wilson serves as the unfinished springboard to classic, ridiculous Phishery, preceding a Catapult and a series of narrations and jamlets that often rely on a Wilson-ish chug as a sort of home base.
1999-12-30 Big Cypress, FL 6:44 Though the band starts in a metal chug similar to other versions in the era, Mike is in a much more exploratory mood than normal, bringing the band briefly into a major key, and later initiating several interesting rhythmic exchanges.
2000-09-12 Mansfield, MA 7:45 A rare set closing version, the band immediately gets into a brooding, droning, trance-inducing stomp, with Page adding some shimmering, cosmic layers on the high end. The band starts toying with a more arrhythmic idea, and maintain the evil energy and the strange bop even during the post "BLAT BOOM" riffing.
2000-09-29 Las Vegas, NV 9:32 After a few minutes of soloing, Trey gets into a demented, octaved-down, shred zone, and the band reciprocates with pulsating, demonic energy. Seek out video of this extended, metal-tinged version to see Trey workshopping his 'First Tube feedback sword-fighting moves' during the noisy outro which segues unexpectedly into Spock's Brain.
2003-07-19 East Troy, WI 5:57 Among the most metal, evil, shredding Wilson solos around. Mike is in a deeply-effected "DWD"-intro-like tone, which is the icing on the cake and adds a unique heaviness and intensity to this version.
2004-04-16 Las Vegas, NV 5:18 Trey's voice is pretty beat, but he quickly gets into a twisted, chaotic, octave-hopping, 2.0-style, shoegazey mode, as Mike stretches the groove out over snappy Fishman fills.
2004-04-16 Las Vegas, NV 0:41 Trey "BLAT BOOMs" his way out of Little Drummer Boy to conclude a unique version of Wilson.
2010-10-20 Utica, NY 4:05 The evil king teams up with the ugly pig for this tease filled version from the famous "Guyutica" show.
2010-10-31 Atlantic City, NJ 7:56 Looney vocalizations preceding "BLAT BOOM" lead to an extra-large, type 1.5 version, in which the band quickly hooks into a thematic blues rock riff. They collectively toy around with the riff, pushing the idea into a soupy mire, before dipping into a mystical Halloween outro where Trey recapitulates the blues rock riff over lush organ drones.
2011-07-03 Watkins Glen, NY 7:31 The whole band is much looser than normal when they break into the solo, sounding more like a prodding "Carini" jam than "Wilson". Mike is especially eager to push the band into new harmonic (and inharmonic) territories, and the other members accept his challenge with expertly-tuned ears, adeptly following his unpredictable turns on the bass, and delivering a "Wilson" unlike any other version before or after. > to an equally inspired "Mound".
2017-07-29 New York, NY 9:10 Longest "Wilson" since their reunion, Phish has fun and throws down a version featuring two distinct jams, one truly bizarre "Blatt! Boom!" vocalization, and a spacey > into "STFTFP."
2023-12-31 New York, NY 4:11 Although you may dislike or even hate it, this version involved a chorus and co-lead actor-vocalist Jo Lampert (who also helped narrate the "Gamehendge" performance), to Trey's delight in particular.
Jam chart versions are selected because of improvisational and other characteristics that distinguish these from typical versions of the song.
The jam chart team has highlighted some versions with a yellow background; these are the versions the team believes to be especially improvisational, or otherwise notable.
A purple date indicates that you were in attendance.


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