The Best of 2010: Your Picks VS My Thoughts

1.1.11 (Dave Vann)

Last week I put up polls for OPT readers to vote on what jams (by song) they think were the best in 2010. While I agree with many, I disagree with some. A lot of people have commented that people have “short term memory”, referring to so many of the NYE run song versions being at the top. I think it’s more the fact that NYE seriously had some of the best full-band jamming that we have seen all year.

I wasn’t surprised When I saw that Alpine’s DwD won. Although I have some beef with the quality of Trey’s playing for much of the jam, it probably deserves to be number one. While Hartford’s was very impressive, it fails to branch out into the type-II territory that Alpine’s does. The segue into What’s the Use? really seals the deal. I also agree with MSG’s taking second place. I think it featured inspired and tight playing by all the band members. I enjoy how it drifts away into a psychedelic ocean before they execute the first interesting segue into Ghost in the recent era. I’m surprised Halloween’s isn’t lower on the list. That version is just plain boring.

The outcome of the Tweezer poll was expected, although I disagree with it a bit. I completely agree that MSG’s was the best Tweezer of the year–hands down. While I understand that the Halloween Tweezer was a big deal, I think it’s awfully sloppy and not that great musically. It’s only interesting because of the Led covers. I would have put Amherst’s in second place and Alpharetta’s in third.

The outcome of the Rock and Roll poll is very interesting. As many OPTers pointed out in the article’s comment section, the two favorite versions were the non-type-II, closed-ended versions. The Jones Beach Rock and Roll was the first to come back into the end after the hot jam. The other version like that was from NYE. Both versions are smoking hot thanks to Big Red. It seems like fans are getting sick of the second set opening Rock and Rolls that were becoming so expected. People enjoy the song a lot more in an unpredictable song slot and when it sticks to its general form. Let’s keep the song as a shred-song for a while.