Final Four – OPT March Madness 2013

Made by the wonderful Barefoot Bob, rest in peace.

Following four opening rounds that have separated the men from the boys (or the gods from the shits, if you will), we are finally down to four. Your voices spoke very clearly about the jams that were deserving of best-of-year status, with all four victors winning by clear margins. Now it’s time to pit each year against each other as we determine the best jam of 3.0.

Let’s take a look back at the Elite Eight. In the 2009 match-up, size triumphed over seed, with the (perhaps controversially) first-seeded 8/7/09 Gin falling to the juggernaut from Albany in the most lopsided of the four margins.

(Click bracket for larger version.)

That sets up a fascinating pairing of two polar opposites, as the freewheeling Seven Below > Ghost does battle with the much more contained MSG 2010 Ghost. I’d consider that one a true toss-up: both jams are fantastic, but they’re so different that the victory will have nothing to do with any objective measure of which is “higher quality,” and everything to do with listener taste.

As in 2010, the one seeds triumphed in the 2011 and 2012 brackets. 8/5/11 Rock and Roll defeated the 6/3/11 Disease by a large margin; to me, those two jams were almost impossible to compare, and I essentially flipped a coin before going with the loser, Disease. The Dick’s Light won by almost an identical margin over the Sand > Ghost from the following show.

This sets up another thrilling match-up: unlike the other Final Four pairing, these two jams have a lot in common. Both are exploratory, covering sections that range from rocking to psychedelic over 20+ minutes. Give each one a listen — to my ears, this is another incredibly difficult choice, but we’ll see whether there’s a clear consensus on which deserves to vie for the championship.



  • (1) 12/31/10 Ghost (52%, 143 Votes)
  • (2) 11/28/09 Seven Below > Ghost (48%, 131 Votes)

Total Voters: 274

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  • (1) 9/1/12 Light (63%, 174 Votes)
  • (1) 8/5/11 Rock and Roll (37%, 102 Votes)

Total Voters: 276

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