Jam Chart for Split Open and Melt (112 entries)

Date City Timing Notes
1989-02-17 Newmarket, NH 0:00 Debut. No recording available.
1989-04-15 Burlington, VT 9:40 First recorded performance includes a Fish drum solo preceding the lyrical section "We breathe deep..." The jam is fairly intense but straightforward in structure.
1989-10-14 Geneva, NY 7:14 Stretching the "Type I" boundaries, the jam here is great and more varied than any preceding version.
1989-10-22 Burlington, VT 8:23 Trey takes an unusual and cool approach with the guitar melody. Fish drum solo as well.
1989-11-30 Boston, MA 8:27 Great version which includes some "DEG" teasing in the latter part of the jam, which works well with "SOAM."
1989-12-03 Burlington, VT 9:22 Improvisational version with good tension and dissonance building, as well as a Fish drum solo.
1990-01-26 Portland, ME 8:15 Excellent version with solid exploratory jamming as well as simmering tension as the jam progresses.
1991-02-19 Washington, DC 8:06 Beginning of the jam is very cool with several near stops by the band. Then there's piercing, ear-splitting playing by Trey.
1991-03-16 Breckenridge, CO 7:54 Unusual jam in which Trey plays a series of descending melodies, then ascending, descending, etc. Good dissonance too.
1992-04-07 Durango, CO 7:42 Great version if you want to hear how Mike plays "SOAM," because the recording boosts his sound (mostly at Page's expense). The jam has some really cool and unusual Trey early on before he lets it rip.
1992-04-21 Eureka, CA 10:37 Very improvisational and exploratory jam with excellent dynamics modulation. Awesome Mike and Trey.
1992-05-09 Syracuse, NY 8:57 Creative version with an unusual (for this early period) shift to major mode in the jam, followed by dissonant playing and some incredible trilling by Trey near the conclusion.
1992-07-15 Charlottesville, VA 8:45 Awesome "Type I" version proves "SOAM" doesn't have to leave the song structure to be electrifying and riveting.
1992-11-27 Port Chester, NY 9:35 Very cool and exploratory jam includes a nice quiet section and some good, rhythm-oriented jamming.
1992-12-03 Cincinnati, OH 9:55 Another creative and different '92 take on the "SOAM" jam. And being that's it's 1992, there is sick shredding taboot!
1992-12-12 Toronto, Ontario, Canada 9:05 Exploratory version with great melodic variation by Trey. The jam just gets better and better as it progresses.
1993-02-26 Tampa, FL 9:01 Machine Gun Trey takes out the audience in this largely straightforward, but blistering hot version. Fish rocks too.
1993-03-18 Hollywood, CA 10:16 Although the jam is basically "Type I," it includes teasing/jamming on the Bee Gees' "Staying Alive" throughout, some "Little Drummer Boy" teases near the end, and is very well played with good Trey shredding.
1993-03-21 Ventura, CA 12:38 Very exploratory jam which veers away from standard "SOAM" and makes a clean break at 7:50 into improvisational, slightly off-kilter playing. Shifts into some good rocking and gets really great as it works its way back to "SOAM."
1993-03-24 Santa Rosa, CA 8:50 Rhythmically oriented jam with awesome Fish and shredding Trey which gets increasingly experimental and dissonant.
1993-03-26 San Francisco, CA 8:26 Great version - sounds like a neck-and-neck horse race between Fish and Trey trying to keep pace with each other.
1993-03-28 Arcata, CA 9:21 The jam has a cool quiet section before rebuilding to a strong finish.
1993-04-21 Columbus, OH 11:36 The jam from this fiery, intense version was attached to the end of the song "Demand" on the studio album Hoist. In a 1994 interview, Trey noted this performance marked the beginning of a watershed, 14-month period, during which the band really clicked and coalesced on "SOAM's" complex jam rhythm. Not surprisingly, the golden age of "SOAM" overlaps with this 1993 - 1994 period of technical mastery considerably.
1993-07-21 Middletown, NY 9:32 After a good improvisational start to '93, "SOAM" suffers a slight "Type I" malaise in late spring and early summer. Here, the jam progressively frays the edges, getting more outside the box and paving the way for the huge August versions.
1993-08-09 Toronto, Ontario, Canada 13:11 Improvisational, but a little bit weird. The jam begins with scat singing by Trey and immediately breaks into slow, plodding and percussive action. Returns to "SOAM" with sick trilling at the peak, then slows down, and down, and down, and -> to "Glide."
1993-08-12 Rochester Hills, MI 12:04 Excellent version that weaves back and forth, back and forth between super tight but typical "SOAM" playing and exploratory jaunts.
1993-08-14 Tinley Park, IL 12:24 Moderately exploratory considering it's August '93. Uncharacteristically lacking in the customary dissonance.
1993-08-16 St. Louis, MO 11:48 Superb exploratory playing. While it has neither the dissonance and chaotic jamming of many '94 versions, nor the psychological edginess of many '95s, the overall quality places this "SOAM" in good company among the best.
1993-08-20 Morrison, CO 11:05 Similar to 8/14/93 in that it's not wildly exploratory for August '93, but it's expertly played with flourishes of improvisation.
1993-08-24 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 11:39 There's some "Crossroads"-like playing from Trey, a "Long Tall Glasses" (Leo Sayer) tease worked into the jam, then "DEG" teasing and "DEG"-like jamming as it gets way out there into a twisted combination of two unusual jams, then it returns to "SOAM" for a soaring peak.
1993-08-26 Portland, OR 14:20 Incredible combination of improvisation and musicianship. Must-hear. Some August '93 jams are quirky. Not this one. Start to finish, it's gripping, creative, tension-filled, exploratory, and musically coherent. Simply Magnificent.
1994-04-08 State College, PA 12:15 Nothing recreational here, Trey, exiting the song proper, dominates. After simply spraying the space with impossibly open, yet concentrated sound, play (7:00) momentarily grinds to inform cool, droning, near-thematic improvisation. Not for long. As if broken down to rebuild, Trey whips the band into a frenzy, picking up not just where this version left off, but, rather, where "Melt" jamming had stood, historically, peaking (Aug. 93). Insane, must-hear Trey play.
1994-04-10 Buffalo, NY 9:24 A good, gripping and improvisational "SOAM" with great tension.
1994-04-18 Newark, DE 9:56 A nail biting thriller with excellent melodic variation, loads of tension and an intense and dissonant ending.
1994-04-25 Knoxville, TN 13:50 Fantastic, improvisational version that expertly combines far-ranging exploration with captivating, spell-binding playing. Fish is incredible throughout, and the blistering conclusion is icing on the cake.
1994-04-29 Clearwater, FL 10:24 Excellent variation in the playing, including a nice quiet section, dissonance, pounding, and an amusing section with the band members all yelling "Yee Haw!!" No real ending but instead a > to "Sanity."
1994-05-02 Birmingham, AL 9:12 "MLB"-like jamming by Trey early, followed by an intense, improvisational, high tempo and super-charged jam.
1994-05-07 Dallas, TX 13:34 Good solid "SOAM" with intense playing, plenty of dissonance, and an unusual ending sequence.
1994-05-10 Santa Fe, NM 12:17 The jam makes an exploratory departure around 7:00, then works back to "SOAM" in a chaotic but improvisational manner.
1994-05-13 Tempe, AZ 10:42 Riveting, intense, pounding, a downright ripping version. Mostly "Type I" but so what - this one will kick your ass!
1994-05-26 San Francisco, CA 11:28 Lots of screaming at various points is a good indicator that this somewhat wacky, blistering version packs some heat.
1994-05-29 Monterey, CA 14:56 Classify this one in the extreme "Anarchy" jamming category. Jam includes Trey chanting, Fish yelling, a largely dark vibe, slow pulsing power rocking, rhythmic-driven jamming, more screaming, etc.
1994-06-11 Morrison, CO 8:49 Very intense, hard rocking version with incredible tension. Released on Live Bait Vol. 6.
1994-06-17 Milwaukee, WI 11:07 Great version. Not overly improvisational, but the jam gets into a great power rocking groove beyond "SOAM."
1994-06-21 Cincinnati, OH 15:02 The jam starts into a tense, exploratory groove before launching into a stunning, melodic Mike/Trey duet. At 12:00, the tension and power return, but the jam doesn't return to "SOAM" proper until 14:00.
1994-06-23 Pontiac, MI 11:17 Noisy, thrashing and chaotic version with some good exploration later in the jam and a cool ending.
1994-06-30 Richmond, VA 11:42 High power, high intensity improvisational jam includes unusual Trey vocals near the end and a really cool ending.
1994-07-03 Old Orchard Beach, ME 16:18 Exploratory, far-ranging, and gripping version includes Hendrix teases, incredible jamming with cool funky Page on the B-3, rhythmic gyrations, power rocking, dizzying dissonance, and a thrilling, unusual conclusion.
1994-07-09 Mansfield, MA 14:57 A chaotic, frenzied and twisted version. Plenty of improvisational jamming, yelling and screaming throughout, even a brief Trey major mode solo right before the scream-filled ending.
1994-07-13 Patterson, NY 12:44 Pretty much a mean and nasty jam that gets way, way out there into a state of bedlam, with a twisted ending to cap it off.
1994-07-15 Wantagh, NY 12:06 Really cool and different "SOAM" with ghoulish tension and a great section with Page out in front leading the quick tempo, rhythmic and frenzied jamming. At other points, the jamming could be fairly described as demented.
1994-10-12 Memphis, TN 11:07 Dark, dissonant and percussive exploratory jamming. Assertive Fish action.
1994-10-20 St. Petersburg, FL 8:00 "SOAM" -> "Kung" -> "SOAM." The jam itself is decent, dissonant, and moderately exploratory.
1994-10-20 St. Petersburg, FL 2:33 -> in from "Kung" to complete this "SOAM" sandwich.
1994-10-22 Orlando, FL 11:24 Very good, multi-section jam, including some percussive rocking, un-"SOAM"-like jamming, and great Page.
1994-10-25 Atlanta, GA 15:10 Incredibly improvisational. At 7:00, the jam heads off in a great, creative and unusual direction. Then after 10:00, there are some on-the-spot duets - Mike/Page, Mike/Trey, etc. followed by a rising thunderous roar as the jam returns to "SOAM."
1994-10-29 Spartanburg, SC 9:49 Excellent, thrashing, wild and unfinished version kicks off a great, unsusual segue-fest. -> "Buffalo Bill" -> "Makisupa" -> "Rift."
1994-11-03 Amherst, MA 14:52 Epic, Exploratory MUST-HEAR Multibeast, well beyond simple description. When the jam finally returns to "SOAM" after 13:30, there's almost a welcome relief to be home again after a long, astounding, and mind-blowing journey.
1994-11-18 East Lansing, MI 11:33 Great, uptempo playing early on becomes increasingly frenetic and dissonant. Returns with a jarring ending.
1994-12-01 Salem, OR 13:34 Very good improvisational "SOAM" with a dark tone and an extended section of spine-tingling tension building.
1994-12-07 San Diego, CA 11:22 Another wide-ranging exploratory "SOAM." Great dissonance, a pulsing rhythm, and tension as the jam builds to a close.
1994-12-29 Providence, RI 10:53 Although neither chaotic nor very dissonant, this one qualifies for the extreme and atypical category - odd but improvisational.
1995-06-09 Morrison, CO 13:19 Improvisational playing in several sections tests the rhythmic and melodic standards for "SOAM" in this solid version.
1995-06-16 Raleigh, NC 14:33 Starts tamely enough, but the tension and exploration improve as the jam progresses, and the ending is nuts.
1995-06-29 Wantagh, NY 11:56 Seemingly played at a slower tempo, this is a creepy and spacey version with nice tension. A psychological face melter.
1995-07-01 Mansfield, MA 17:31 Venomous, percussive and deranged "SOAM" that gets further and further away from the ranch as it progresses. Despite it's length, the jam here doesn't have multipe movements, sections that vary, etc. It's just sort of continuous chaos.
1995-10-07 Spokane, WA 15:41 Just a good solid, improvisational and well played version with tension, pulsing rhythm, and a creative ending section too.
1995-10-29 Louisville, KY 12:03 Jam immediately breaks into a propulsive groove. Low key at first, the tension builds as it gets beyond "SOAM." Intense.
1995-12-07 Niagara Falls, NY 16:46 Sick wrecking ball version that will pound your head. Start with some "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" jamming to warm up. On to improvisational twists and turns, a tense, hammering peak, and a somewhat bizarre ending. Very demented.
1995-12-14 Binghamton, NY 14:11 "Type I" until 8:50 when the jam breaks into a pulsing, percussive bent, which is followed by a wacky silent jam section.
1996-11-23 Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 11:16 Jam includes some unusual key modulation, then breaks into a Mike-led groove of sorts with building dissonance.
1997-07-23 Atlanta, GA 13:10 Straightforward, but so loaded with the funk that it could only belong to 1997.
1997-08-10 Noblesville, IN 17:32 Improvisational heavyweight version which breaks into a full jam on King Crimson's "Larks' Tongues In Aspic Part II" around 10:25. From there, it settles, then rebuilds into "SOAM" with a quick tempo and "Third Stone from the Sun" teasing. Released on Live Bait 12.
1998-11-06 Madison, WI 14:34 Great straightforward '98-style funk groove, and apparently one of Mike's favorites from Fall '98.
1998-12-29 New York, NY 11:02 Page is the star, jumping around to various keyboards in this "Type I" but interesting and different space funk "SOAM."
1999-07-15 Holmdel, NJ 10:30 Epic, exploratory "SOAM" -> "Kung" -> "Jam." "SOAM" has excellent tempo shifts and dissonance before the -> to a wild "Kung," which leads to an incredible, multi-part groove-based jam (and which is really a return to "SOAM").
1999-08-01 Niigata, Japan 13:36 The jam veers away from "SOAM" at about 8:30 into a quiet, thought provoking direction before returning to the standard.
1999-10-02 Minneapolis, MN 13:58 The jam heads into swirly and spacey waters with the lush sounds of '99 before the "Good Lieutenant" (Trey) makes intros.
1999-12-04 Cincinnati, OH 18:11 The jam begins with a haunting, scary groove over the basic structure. At 9:30, there's a transition segment with standout playing by Page and Mike. Then at 10:45 Trey hits the keyboards in a weird sonic combo. Released on Live Bait Vol. 7.
1999-12-17 Hampton, VA 17:22 Rooted in the improvisational millennial groove of '99, although perhaps more repetitive and even plodding at times, Fishman largely leads the jam until about 8 mins in, when Trey adds some space vamp. At 10 mins in, Mike changes course, and the jam takes on a menacing, heavy tone, continuing to build in intensity until a looped-out groove arises, and slow rolls its way to a thunderous conclusion. Not as wonderfully weird as 12/4/99, or as funky and fun as the 12/31 performance, but still an incredible three versions to end the century.
1999-12-31 Big Cypress, FL 20:01 Multi-section, improvisational groove-based jam, including typically dark "SOAM" grooving, funky upbeat major mode jamming, and a -> to "Catapult." Vastly different from 7/15/99.
2000-06-25 Raleigh, NC 17:49 With some really beautiful and delicate major mode jamming midway through, this "SOAM" ventures into a blissful landscape unusual for this song, before eventually returning home to familiar ground.
2003-07-22 Noblesville, IN 23:10 Multi-section improvisational jam starts off dark and evil and becomes more rocking and uptempo. The only gripe is wading through 12 minutes of ho-hum "Type I" playing before the good stuff starts. -> to a solid "Free."
2004-08-15 Coventry, VT 31:04 Skip the composed section (ugly) and go straight to the jam (released on Live Bait Vol. 5), which is excellent, extended and improvisational. The final 6 spacey minutes are a combination of sad, eerie and haunting, with a hint of optimism near the end. Unfinished with a -> to "Ghost." One of many great jams from the morass of Coventry.
2009-11-21 Cincinnati, OH 13:01 While closely following Trey's winding solo, Fish mirrors this patterned play, the musicians providing the others "room" to altogether drop anything by way of melody, setting Trey up for a patient and tense syncopated exploration which smartly culminates in "Melt's" coda.
2010-10-20 Utica, NY 7:23 This version bookends an improvisational "SOAM" -> "Have Mercy" > "Piper" -> "SOAM," one of the best jams of 2010. The "SOAM" jam quickly shifts into a quiet, dreamy, major mode section before the segue, then cleans up after "Piper."
2010-10-20 Utica, NY 1:26 Completes the "SOAM" -> "Have Mercy" > "Piper" -> "SOAM" sandwich.
2012-07-08 Saratoga Springs, NY 11:45 One could argue that they dick around and waste several minutes in the land of "meh." But after the 8:00 mark, this one suddenly gets pretty damn solid with some good old fashioned tension and dissonance. Hell, even throw in a little chaos.
2012-08-18 San Francisco, CA 11:28 Sloppy flubs in the composed and closing sections aside, the jam here is dark, chaotic, and loaded with tension and eerie effects. They haven't played a comparable, non-extended, tension-meister "SOAM" like this since '94/'95.
2013-07-06 Saratoga Springs, NY 18:17 Very exploratory jam that contrasts sharply with the "old school" style 8/18/12 version. This one more closely resembles standouts from '96 - '04, and includes mode modulation. Messy closing section; needs practice.
2013-07-13 Columbia, MD 10:58 Jam includes a nice modulation to major mode, and the boys bring it home well for a safe landing after the plane wreck at SPAC. Alas, Trey over-deploys the pitch shifter; otherwise a solid "SOAM."
2014-07-13 New York, NY 12:34 A nice "old school" version with good dissonance and tension building, and also has some cool chanting by Trey and others towards the end (very '93 - '94ish).
2014-07-29 Portsmouth, VA 13:26 The jam has a brief major mode section, returns to the typical, then at 7:30 ventures into some good, semi-dissonant terrain which becomes more rocking before closing.
2017-12-29 New York, NY 13:14 Departs standard "SOAM" rather quickly and dips into some nebulous improvisation which straddles the line between light and dark before growing more tense and returning home.
2018-07-22 George, WA 17:05 More 12/29/17 than 7/6/13, the band quickly drops any sense of composition, and the version assumes a dark disposition, colored more by (Mike) a sense of cloaked "space" and "introspection", than thematic unity or tension. It being 2018, the jam crosses, then enters, play at the gates of Page, his contributions eerie and emblematic of the era, while Trey, after some jarring soloing, deftly works in the song's closing theme.
2018-11-03 Las Vegas, NV 20:04 Quickly shrugs off the usual jam structure and embarks on a thrilling exploration of multiple disparate themes, the last of which is some spooky space that leads back to "SOAM" at 18:30.
2018-12-30 New York, NY 16:47 Almost one year later, the band closes another holiday set with a crazed "Melt." Like 12/29/17, the version sheds form after assuming nothing more than a perfunctory structure. Unlike the 17, however, the musicians - and Page in particular - expand upon 2018's "SOAM" sound, creating that haunting, Phishy sort of shoegaze; another mind-bender; in nature more spectral than musical.
2019-12-07 North Charleston, SC 12:28 Rearranged and redefined, "Melt" anchors another second set, with the band forgoing speed, tension and release in favor of using the song, following a nice composed section, as a blank canvas to create a creepy, ethereal, "soundscape". Fish's work on the Marimba Lumina is particularly eerie, before "Little Drummer Boy" teasing and a return to "Crosseyed and Painless" offers relief from droning (yet musical) fright-rock.
2019-12-07 North Charleston, SC 1:00 > from "Crosseyed and Painless", the band returns to stick the landing. This, then, before a wonderful "A Life Beyond the Dream".
2021-08-04 Nashville, TN 16:27 The jam begins with some quiet musing that quickly veers beyond the norm. Largely dark in tone, the music gradually builds a percussive base and power. The intensity builds until around 15:00, when the jam returns to "SOAM" proper to close.
2021-10-20 Eugene, OR 15:42 "Melt"'s late-career renaissance continues with this fantastic version from Eugene. The typical gnarled "Melt" jam gives way to an ethereal major-key jam about halfway through, with Page in particular doing some good work on both the electric piano and synths. Trey finds a new key and we get another superb jam segment, before the jam dies away into fuzzy nothingness. > into "End of Session".
2021-10-20 Eugene, OR 2:01 -> out of "End of Session" to complete the "Melt" sandwich. Maybe not the strongest ending to "Melt" ever played
2022-02-27 Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico 18:10 No need for the band to clear their collective mind, for they have the modern Melt formula internalized. Mike's Floydian play controls much of this version's narrative, improvisation that, "illuminated" by Fish, pushes and probes to pass through a heart of musical darkness. Repeated listening is rewarding as all four musicians weave patterns of sound ,creating a complex tapestry that, despite this effort, is all but ineffable. Wonderfully, if not miraculously, Trey, his growly tone demented, picks his way through the shoreline's shoegaze sound, leading the band to "Melt's" closing refrain, before, of all things, "Suzy." Wild.
2022-04-22 New York, NY 12:34 Writer @waxbanks one said "Tweezer" is Phish's "Dark Star." Agree or disagree, he had a way with words. Agree or disagree, it's tough to argue that "Melt," of late, has assumed a musical form, like Dead jamming, tricky to articulate. Perhaps a moment more significant thematically than musically - kelp descended from above the band during the song, and fell to the stage after the song, and set, was over. Or: Another spacey foray absent tension and release, music interested in sonic exploration and waves of possibility.
2022-06-04 Noblesville, IN 11:37 For a song that has become, essentially, a sonic playground, what remains remarkable is that, post lyrics, what emerges is no mere template. Like so many recent iterations, full-band exploration and improvisation is unlike any previous version. More than words, this first-set closer deserves repeated listening.
2022-09-03 Commerce City, CO 13:01 Sheets of sound seethe and engulf the listener in a sonic maelstrom that pulses and threatens total dissolution without yet finally releasing its tenuous grasp on the song proper. A chilling, thrilling excursion that must be experienced as much as heard.
2023-02-24 Cancun, Quintana Roo, Mexico 16:16 A version that takes its cues from the terrain of the Yucatan, dives into sonar laden depths and emerges through sunken caves to march up erupting volcanic peaks. A journey from the sublime to the menacing, "Melt" continues to offer some of the band's most forward looking improvisation.
2023-04-22 Hollywood, CA 13:35 Beginning with the now familiar seam splitting descent, what erupts from the glowing core is a white hot fountain of liquid play from Trey. Fed from a shimmering reservoir of Page's piano and synths and driven to a boil by Mike and Fish, Trey's trills sustain jets of phosphorescent sound that cascade and decay before returning to "Melt" once again.
2023-07-28 New York, NY 14:20 Eschewing the typical rocking Set 2 closer, this version of "Melt" is a complete and utter deconstruction. It's wild and daring. Fans of heavy, dark or "evil" Phish will want to check this one out ASAP.
2023-09-01 Commerce City, CO 16:34 Making a rare encore appearance, "Melt" again provides a space for the more sinister spirits of improvisation to brood and bend reality, pushing the limits of musicality in a truly alarming jam that is both anxious and angular. Listen especially for Mike to ratchet up the tension in the last few minutes. This extended finale is frightening and fantastic.
2023-10-07 Nashville, TN 18:19 A fine example of "SOAMelt's" late-period renaissance, with an ambitious, multipart jam which remains uncommonly coherent even while exploring a number of dizzying directions before a celebratory knockout ending leads back into "Melt".
2023-10-14 Chicago, IL 14:53 Another exploratory version pulsing with chaotic energy that retains strong forward momentum and a semblance of "Melt's" character thanks to Fish's percussive through line. A break in the storm appears with a shift to major around 8:00 but the jam soon splits open again and becomes even more frantic in the leadup to the usual closing.
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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