As we wait for the ‘Dena tour tapes to drop, we at wookplus decided to create a list of our favorite jams of 2022. In creating this list, we wanted to represent as many shows as possible while minimizing song repeats. Remember, these are just our favorite versions; we’d love to hear your favorites. Let us know @wookplus on Twitter.
Darkness on the Edge of Midtown - 4’24’22
This jam is pure fun. It was my go-to recommendation when introducing the band to people. You can feel the energy of Jam Hollywood radiating through the speakers. This also marks the last time CT sang, “How sad would it be if these turned out to be the good ol’ days” instead of the more common “How clear is it now there’s no such thing as the good ol’ days.”
The Dave Test (No) - 10’27’22
This failed test opened up what is arguably the best set one in Taper’s Choice history. Setting up the night’s dark theme, the jam after the thumbs down foreshadowed the rest of the evening. With such a different approach and dark jamming after a thumbs down, it really is unfair that the Dave Test is only one song (or is it two?). This Dave Test (No) is so good that it creates a paradox for the listener.
If you like the Dave Test (No) outro more than a Dave Test (Yes), does rooting for the band to fail make you a weird fan? Everyone standing next to you, cheering, giving a thumbs up, and there you are yelling boo with a thumbs down. Surely, there must be others who enjoy a No outro. How do you cheer for failure?
Running from the Rain - 5’13’23
When the band takes the time to comment on a jam, you know it’s a good one. Just clocking in slightly over 11 minutes, this jam takes off and doesn’t stop. This jam was highlighted as the opener for volume 4 of the Choice Tapes and marked a turning point for the band.
Lick the Toad - 6’18’22
Lick the Toad is quickly becoming a trusty jam vehicle for the Choice. After dealing with audio difficulties earlier in the set, the band uses Toad to unleash a little frustration, with Dave and Zach taking turns driving the jam into deep territory before Alex throws in some spontaneous vocals. The band effortlessly brings the jam home and transitions to the end of Doner Wrap to successfully close the inaugural Choicefest.
Above the Timberline - 5’13’22
This Timberline opener shows a band at ease with their surroundings and finding a groove right from the start. Zach’s keys really shine here, and something has to be said, for this show's intimacy amplifies the song's earnestness.
The Dave Test (Yes) - 10’28’22
Coming off the heels of a failed Dave Test the night before, the band passes this time, and the jam following the thumbs-up is fantastic. CT anchors down in the zone while Zach goes ham on some keys. There are slight callbacks to night one of the Taper’s Ball and even a little foreshadowing of the set to come.
Doner Wrap - 8’31’22
There isn’t a song that defines the band’s ethos as succinctly as Doner Wrap’s first line: "Give what you can do what you're able.” There isn’t a wrong spot for Doner either; it fits everywhere. At 21 minutes, this is the longest wrap of the year, and here at wookplus, we could always hear the Doner Wrap rift one more time. It’s that good.
Impossible Soul>Lilac Palace - 5’6’22
Coming out of the Born to Burst set two opener, Impossible Sound immediately injects its unifying vibes into an incredibly heady audience. One of the many reasons we love Impossible Sound is Zach’s keyboard walk-off at the end. Only this time, instead of letting the final notes fade away, Zach effortlessly segues into a fantastic version of Lilac Palace.
Walking Around - 10’27’22
Some songs connect right away, and Walking Around is one of those songs. However, you define precisely what “walking around on the inside” means to you doesn’t matter. This is one of those songs that are personal yet universal, and this version to end night one of the Taper’s Ball is our go-to version when we want to get away from it all for a minute and get lost in a jam.
Lilac Palace - 10’28’22
There isn’t a bad Lilac Palace out there, but this one stands out as our favorite of the year. What we really like is how both jams (one before each verse) go to blissful peaks in their own way. The band really seemed to open up and explore the space like they hadn’t before. This is one of those jams where you hear something new every listen.