The Sound of the Storm

8.9.10 - Telluride, CO (Wendy Rogell)

Though “Piper” has been one of Phish’s central jam vehicles since their return with several stellar versions, the excursions that stem from the song don’t always ooze cohesion. Often likening a sawed-off shotgun spraying musical shrapnel in many directions at once, “Piper” jams usually click or meander, with little middle ground. Always representing a leap into uncharted territory, “Piper’s” most successful recent renditions have carried an enhanced sense of direction. And this summer, while tucked in the mountains of Telluride, Phish took “Piper” for a high-speed chase through a space-aged vortex in the song’s  most impressive outing of the year.

8.9.10 (W.Rogell)

Launching from the lyrical refrain, Trey kicked things into warp-speed by unleashing seething leads while Mike stuck with him, matching his creativity step for step. In no time, Phish shot into space like a musical rocket breaking through the stratosphere with a trail of blazing textures. Connecting his leads into intricate melodies, Trey stepped out front with Page, who sprinted up and down the piano as if running suicides. Fishman kept crazy-quick tempos like a metronome on speed, forming angular, driving beats.

Shifting gears, the band flew smoothly into series of fast percussive grooves with Page killing lead organ patterns. Trey adjusted with sparser rhythmic stabs as Mike moved a mile a minute in a section of lead bass. The two guitarists locked in, speed-racing through a nearby galaxy in a cosmic chase that reached an absurd intensity. Trey broke into some snarling melodies while his band mates were super-glued in collaborative musical mayhem. Page and Trey played as if on fast-forward bringing another colossal peak to this zooming show-stopper.

8.9.10 (W.Rogell)

At this juncture, the band locked into a section of warp-speed annihilation where each member crushed IT harder than the next. Morphing into mind-bending landscapes that never lost cohesion, the four-headed beast transformed into a musical wrecking ball, demolishing anything in its path. This peak journey moved with complete fluidity into a second sequence of sparse rhythms as Fishman earned his paycheck behind the kit. Trey, Mike, and Page offered fiery melodies that combined into a psychotic brew so tight and directed it felt as though Phish knew exactly what notes to play before they started.

8.9.10 (W.Rogell)

Trey initiated a pattern that Page and Mike echoed during the final stages of this cosmic blast off. The band never tapped the brakes for a second, shooting full-speed into the outer realms of consciousness. As the band collectively reached a final peak, they calmed the music through an extended and appropriate ambient outro comprised of the residual sonic energy lingering in the air. Patiently passing through this futuristic cleanse, the band emerged with “Mountains in the Mist.” The perfectly-placed ballad gained a greater poignancy with the jagged peaks of the Rockies looming overhead. The reflective piece provided a much-needed cool down from the intense voyage that had just concluded.

Over this week, we have looked at five peak jams from Leg Two which all differ in musical direction: The Greek “Light,” Alpine’s “Disease > What’s the Use?,” Jones Beach’s “Number Line,” The Greek “Simple,” and Telluride’s “Piper.” All of these are top-shelf pieces of improvisation, and their stylistic diversity speaks volumes on Phish’s renewed ability – and willingness – to explore any musical fabric. When the band took risks throughout August, more often than not, they met with astounding success – a factor that the band surely all noticed whether they talked about their shows or not. And these are but five pieces of music among the many experimental jams that dotted Phish’s brief, yet most significant tour of this era. With individual proficiency and musical communication no longer an issue, come fall, as Dr. Seuss once wrote, “Oh the places [they]’ll go!”


Jam and Video of the Day:

Piper > Mist” 8.9.10 II

The improvisational high point of Phish’s time in Telluride.




8.18.2010 Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY < Torrent

8.18.2010 Jones Beach, Wantagh, NY < Megaupload

Jones Beach 2010 (M. Ladd)

Here is Summer 2010’s finale at Jones Beach, ending a two-pronged attack that saw the band progress by leaps and bounds. Featuring a non-stop second set with top-level playing from start to finish, every major song of Phish’s last set is a highlight. The first half also had peaks in “Ocelot” and “Bathtub Gin.” All in all, a fitting end to a transformative summer tour for the Phish from Vermont.

I: Down with Disease, Sample in a Jar, Guelah Papyrus, Poor Heart, Ocelot, Chalk Dust Torture, Bathtub Gin, Tube, Destiny Unbound, Joy, Run Like an Antelope

II: Axilla, Timber Ho > Light > 46 Days > My Friend, My Friend, Harry Hood > Tweezer > The Horse > Silent in the Morning, You Enjoy Myself

E: Suzy Greenberg, Tweezer Reprise

Source: Schoeps MK41> KC5> CMC6> sonosax SX-M2> apogee Mini-me (24bit/96khz)

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1,227 Responses to “The Sound of the Storm”

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  1. dognamedwilson Says:


  2. dognamedwilson Says:

    Another outstanding write-up. Thank you Mr. Miner. Nothing else like this that I have found.

  3. Tsac77 Says:


  4. brother Says:

    skyballs and skyscrapers………i’m exactly one page behind. best jam of 10 so far…

  5. brother Says:

    pre-emting the bashing…..just behind greek light

  6. ThePigSong Says:

    personally, simple has my vote.

  7. ThePigSong Says:

    Great write up Miner. I’ll need to listen back, wasn’t there some sort of issue with Mountains that peeps were bitchin’ about? (I know someones always bitchin’)

    I’ve only made it through Piper on my island tour playback yesterday, plan to pick it back up tgis afternoon. all I can say is –

    Shiiiiiit, Mikes, paug, ROSES…ect

  8. willowed Says:


  9. willowed Says:

    even Fishman get into the *ting* with that cymbal action!!

  10. Al Says:

    After quite a long break from this board and Phish, I’m back. I’ve listened to leg 1 (particularily both Camden and Merriweather shows) and now to both Alpine and JB shows. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! I must admit. I HATED the whaling. It bored me to death. Now that Trey has got his new Guitar he finally found his way back and Machine gun Trey is back there. But what strikes me most is their willingness to turn jams into absolute monsters of dissonance to find new paths. And that’s actually a revival of their Tension & Release style from the mid 90’s.
    I love that. The Greek Theatre Cities also proves that new rhythmic elements are blended with soundscapes from the IT-Towerjam – which was supposed to be the NEW style of the future at that time. So in Leg II I really see things developing that I really missed and loved so much about this band. And that makes me happy. Can’t wait to listend to the Fall Tour. I suppose the last 4 shows will be the best ones again. I think they always need and needed a long line of warm-up shows to get going. So they might have to think about doing longer tours if they really want to further develop a new style.

  11. willowed Says:

    So I wake up this morning and I am feeling a little off. I recall someone posting something about Cypress yesterday.
    Cypress has not been listened to in a while in the Willowed house with all the new Phish and all.
    Jumped to the After Midnight Reprise of course.

    Holy shiat.
    What a way to get the day started.
    I could listen to this on repeat for the entire day.

    This jam is the absolute goods

  12. willowed Says:

    Welcome back Al we have coffee and donuts over there and to the left!

    My name is Willowed and I have been addicted to Phish Jams since 1995.
    It’s been a little over two weeks since my last show.

  13. Al Says:

    Hey, I got a cup of coffee here too, But it’s 1:18 p.m. (afternoon) here where I live…;-)
    Yeah, my first Phish show was in 1996 here in Germany. They were Pre-act for Santana. They blew me away in such a way that I left the main show (Santana after 3 songs) He just couldn’t make me forget the Pre-show I guess.

    They played Chalkdust, Yamar, Julius, YEM and Golgi.

  14. ThePigSong Says:

    ^did I forget to mention (forget to mention) how patient the transition from Mikes to Old Home is? Very similar to meatstick>mango from this summer.

  15. KWL Says:

    morning folks

    mail order ends today at 11:59 am eastern. get those orders in before lunch!

    another great write up miner. seriously great job all week–gotta be your best 5 consecutive pieces ever!

    and you’re right, the diversity of these top jams is pretty astounding.

  16. Peace Says:

    Greetings again from South Africa. So what’s up with Phish at present? Practicing, new studio stuff? Any word on the near future besides the tour? Still hoping for that African tour… Enjoy the weekend.

  17. Kenny Powers Says:

    I love how the titles of Miner’s posts are somewhat obscure lines from various songs. It’s fun figuring it out before reading the article.

  18. Jtran Says:

    Loved all the write ups this week, “forcing” me to listen back yet again.

    Put in for the lottery last night

    Amherst 1 and 2
    AC 1, 2, 3

    May end up only doing Amherst 1 and AC 2 and 3, but I’m really shooting for both Amhersts and AC 2 and 3 at least (timewise and ticketwise)

  19. Kenny Powers Says:

    greetings Al, nice to have another BB’er across the pond (and then some).

  20. Kenny Powers Says:

    you too Peace! Damn, S.A.!!!

  21. Jtran Says:

    Phish in Africa. I’m there.

  22. Kenny Powers Says:

    now THAT would be a good Ocelot. With a Meerkat jam.

  23. willowed Says:

    I can see it now The Germany Gin and the South Africa Ocelot.
    Two best jams from Summer Leg 1 2016

  24. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    mornin’ all
    another great write-up capping off a week of stellar efforts, Miner. thanks for your words. you have a very evocative style that really helps bring us all back into the music. not your standard music writing, which is nice. 😉


    time to batten down the hatches, new englanders. earl be comin’

    one model, though not the “preferred scenario”, even has it passing right through CT.

    badass storms website

  25. BTB Says:

    We now offer coffee and donuts?

    “My name is BTB and I have a PH problem”

    “Hi Brian”

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