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”

  1. madmax76 Says:

    @ ALLL….What’s the craziest thing you’ve heard of goin down at a show?

  2. Mr. Completely Says:

    “C – u workin still? Getting any fam time over the long weekend? Can’t remember if u were on some big launch deadline or something…”

    I’m chillin at home. deadline is Wednesday and we have it pretty well dialed in I think. Tuesday might be crazy and maybe wednesday too but that has more to do with engineering than me – the project includes a lot of very fancy new functionality, more than any single project we’ve done by far. That part is out of my control. The architecture is long finished and the front end is in its final revision cycle. Its mostly peripheral QA and project mgmt details now. A little stressful but launches always are. I feel good about this one.

    Thanks for thinking of me, that’s great

  3. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    So no takers for mellencamp setlist updates? Ragin’ acoustic small town.

  4. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    @Sancho – Ice Pirates was a good movie. Ass Pirates was better.

  5. Mr.Palmer Says:

    ” What’s the craziest thing you’ve heard of goin down at a show?”

    ^^ dude jumped off the upper deck of JB.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    “I am now officially
    (shhh) drunk”

    “wassup bitches. I am officialy drunk now.”

    …will there be a third?!?!?!?!

    yes! lycan is going for drinks!!!

    great night!

  7. sanchothehutt Says:

    probably the jumper.

    that would fuck me up for life

    I literally RAN from the Roger Waters show in Chicago a few years ago, though. Shrooms turned on me HUGE during “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”

    He did all that Saddam/Bush shit on the video screen, and I just lost it. Gave a cabbie $100 to take me back to the La Quinta only a mile away, where I spent the next 2 hours in hell looking at the drapes and carpet, while my bro sent me texts about how cool the Dark Side set was.


  8. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Blood on the scarecrow like 46 days
    almost type II, slick shit
    ok I’m out this time

  9. Mr. Completely Says:

    shrooms can turn dark

    roger waters can turn dark


  10. madmax76 Says:

    @Mr.C Sorry on an Herbal diet tonight.

  11. kayatosh Says:

    i am housing this ginger hemp granola.

    so baned . . can’t stop snacking.

  12. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    Now I’m scared of shrooms

  13. kayatosh Says:

    first time on shrooms should probably not be at a concert.

  14. madmax76 Says:

    @ SAN Floyd will get ya every time don’t let the drugs fool ya.

  15. sanchothehutt Says:

    Yeah, C.

    however, I DID shroom-laugh and played air guitar for the first 45 minutes of the show. I wish I could describe the cicumstances surrounding the breakdown here, but will save it for the day I meet you guys. You’ll crack up for sure. And sympathize

  16. oldskool Says:

    @Mr. C, can you say yet what the project is? I would love to see some examples of your work if possible.

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    @Mr. C

    i am high as a kizite.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    shroums are scary and will literally rock your world (can remember lying on my back feeling the world tilt), but the post nightmare peak can be a magic carpet ride.

  19. Mitch Says:

    i hate it when cabbies rip you off like that. i’ve woken up the next morn (waken up?? woken up) anyway, wondering where all my money went. oh… i tipped the cabbie fat last night… shit.

  20. madmax76 Says:

    First Phish show on Shrooms. Then a migraine that didn’t hurt but was colorful.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    “Gave a cabbie $100 to take me back to the La Quinta only a mile away,”

    ^^^^ classic

  22. madmax76 Says:

    THey played acoustic…Phat.

  23. oldskool Says:

    @Mr.C, thanks to your recent pimping I spun the IT Waves for the first time in about a year and that was some really dark space. I am not sure how they came back from it and got into that Bowie. There is a point where it almost sounds like helicopters, and a mid 70’s Dead and Floyd kind of sound. It is really amazing how far out there they get with it.Despite being at all the ’03 and ’04 shows I think I have more appreciation for some of it now than I did then.

  24. Mitch Says:

    are you one of the BB youngins? i recant any bad vibes you got from my ribbing you about required listening. i said before that it was for the BB vets but dont want you thinking i’m just an ass.
    the dude shacking up at the telly condo told us he literally ran face first into a cement wall on the ’99 tour. he later found a thread on a phish board about craziest things people had seen at a show and someone mentioned him. he blacked out and woke up being taken to the hospital to get stitches while tripping.

  25. sanchothehutt Says:

    Ramblin, don’t be afraid of shrooms. It was a million variables (traffic, a NUTSO cab driver who got pulled over once he got us in because he turned left into traffic to get us in, us bailing on him for getting us almost busted, called himself the Gingerbread man…I’m telling you, it’s stranger than fiction)

    It was the perfect storm for my 3rd (and last) bad trip. FWIW, I’ve had about 20-25 good ones, and 1 that is the best night of my entire college experience. Life altering and permanent connections made with the guys I was with that night.. So yeah, risk reward!!!!

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