While we are waiting for the tapes from Taper's Ball to drop, we thought it would be a good time to take a look a the Taper's Choice power rankings. For this ranking, I reached out to @phluffandy, and he graciously agreed to rank the shows. Remember, the formula for ranking Taper's Choice music is very fickle and changes constantly.
(Note The 4'22'22 show is no longer on the power rankings as it is no longer on the Relix Twitch channel.)
⇩ - The show moved down since the previous ranking.
⇧ - The show moved up since the previous ranking.
✪ - The show is making its power-ranking debut.
() - Previous spot in the power rankings.
The Power Rankings
9. 3'11 ⇩ (6)
Dropping down to number 9 doesn't mean this show is worth skipping. It's a great show that showcases the band just finding their sealegs. It's hard to believe this show was before Lilac Palace and Lick the Toad even made their debuts. The band so has come a long way in a short amount of time.
Choice Jam: Doner Wrap
8. 4'24 ⇩ (3)
Receiving the biggest drop in rankings with a five-spot slip, it's fair to say this power ranking isn't kind to shows with saxophones. The band's first appearance in Jam Hollywood is an instant classic and worth listening to. It's not this show's fault the band keeps getting better and better.
Choice Jam: Darkness on the Edge of Midtown
7. 5'13 ⇩ (4)
The audio from this show made Volume 4 of The Choice Tapes. If you have any questions about The Dave Test, this is the show where CT clarifies that "the thumb will tell you yes or no." The overall chill vibe from this show makes it a perfect listen for these crisp fall mornings.
Choice Jam: Running From the Rain
6. 6'9 ⇩ (5)
For just over an hour, the band plays only five songs and keeps it cooking. Don't let this show fool you; there are plenty of heady moments within, like the tasty mid-set Doner Wrap and a sneaky good version of Lick the Toad.
Choice Jam: Lick the Toad
5. 6'10 ⇧ (7)
This festival set clocks in at 45 minutes, but the opening Dave Test (Yes) > Lilac Palace is pure jam goodness. The laid-back atmosphere of the festival comes across on the recording too. The band, fresh off the Farmstand show, plays a tight set while still letting the songs breathe.
Choice Jam: The Dave Test (Yes)>Lilac Palace
4. 8'30 ✪ (Debut)
(Ranker attendance bias)
Even with Andy's attendance bias, this is a really good short set that feels properly ranked. If someone wanted a quick show to check out Taper's Choice that wasn't "jamband-y," I would send them to this show. The band does a good job playing heady tunes to a non-jamband crowd while still maintaining true to the TC ethos.
Choice Jam: Doner Wrap
3. 6'18 ⇩ (2)
The band's first festival was an instant classic. Despite audio issues, the band maintained a positive vibe and provided some of their headiest jams yet. The Lilac Palace is pure beauty.
Choice Jam: The Dave Test (No)
2. 5'6 ⇩ (1)
The first Taper's Choice show on archive without a special guest, and the boys more than hold their own. This show is where the band turned a corner, and something in their playing clicked. You can hear it in subsequent releases. The band is playing off each other better than ever, and the Grateful Dead teases are off the charts.
Choice Jam: Above the Timberline
1. 8'31 ✪ (Debut)
"The Darkness and Lilac jams are what pushed it way over the edge for me. Zach's use of the Moog synth, especially in Lilac, feels like mid-70s prog rock blended up with 2.0 Phish. It's also got the Impossible Sound, which I'm a total sucker for. All that not mentioning that the heavily composed stuff is just absurdly well-played (see: Doner, Dave Test (Yes)!, Every Bubble). And it has the cherry on top with the T-W-I-D-D-L-E spelling gag, which is so on-brand for them." - @phluffandy.
Choice Jam: Lilac Palace
Don't feel like these are the correct rankings? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to submit your Taper's Choice Power Rankings.