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. Mitch Says:

    said he was tripping hard, took a hit off someones bowl and started coughing like none other. ran for the water fountain when someone shouted his name. he turned around to look and then BLAMO, face plant the wall

  2. Mr.Palmer Says:

    Have a good one folks.

    BK- i’ll give it a listen over the weekend.

  3. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    I think I have more appreciation for some of it now than I did then.


  4. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    g’night bb

  5. sanchothehutt Says:

    Damn, Mitch, that’s crazy

    And now that I think of it, my best trip (the one I mentioned) was good acid, not shrooms

    tread litely with the shrooms, kids, and only get lysergic from people you really trust

    ::takes uncle hat off::

    ::never owned one to begin with ;-)::

  6. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    @Mitch – I don’t think of myself as a youngin, but I guess relative to other regulars I’m a bit younger. Turned 25 this July. Phish 2.0 was going down when I was a senior in high school, but it took me a while to get into them. Blues and The Dead were my main things then.

    Actually I only got into Phish after I graduated from college, so my hard listening only dates back to a little bit before they got back together for 3.0. I remember getting psyched reading here about the guys jamming at Brad Sands’ wedding.

    And my skin is tough enough, Mitch. Bring it.

  7. Nagarjuna Says:

    wow. away since the afternoon and just skimming back. truly exceptional day on the BB.

    props to you beautiful people.

  8. Mitch Says:

    craziest thing i personally saw was my buddy being arrested while we were on heads full of acid at a fest in the rockies which turned into me being accosted by the cops while trying to get my buddy.

    (disco ball eyes)
    “up against the wall”
    what did i do?
    “up against the wall”
    “whats this in your pocket?”
    i dunno
    “you dont know?”
    i dunno, why dont you look
    (pulls out my cubs hat)
    “oh there that is!!”

    the story gets funnier but its too much to type.

    same dude and i tripped face at ratdog in nyc for his first visit here. traded extra tix to some old head with bomb hits. we couldnt find our tix in our pocket at setbreak and all the people telling us to move led us to leaving the show. bad move. fear and loathing nyc style. that sucked. wished we didnt leave the show. found the tix soon after… if i were hunter thompson id be rich off that story.

  9. Mitch Says:

    ramblin, im 26. you said you were afraid of shrooms so i assumed. ya know what that does to ya. now were both asses.

  10. sanchothehutt Says:

    you know it, Naga

    best day on the BB ever, IMO

    I need to peel away and pretend again that I’m interested in the SLF’s friends, but it’s been real, folks.

    ANd check out “Ice Pirates”

  11. neemor Says:

    I didn’t read this until right now:

    “Yesterday Hidden Track posted detailed survey results of all things related to Phish’s Summer Tour, and Phish Thoughts was voted the “Must Read Tour Blog!””


    This place is speaicl.

    Turns the sprockets of the PH community.

  12. Mitch Says:

    idvd sucks at encoding mp4 files to burn a dvd. i need toast.

  13. neemor Says:

    I meant to type, “special”, but I got drunk,

  14. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    Your assumption was half-warranted. I’m well versed in the bane, but the psyches have passed me by for various reasons, so I’m a total n00b there. Behind the curve for my age, I know.

  15. Nagarjuna Says:

    great tales @mitch…

    tripping + instense cops = a lot to chew on for me when i’ve encountered it

    tripping outside shows in nyc when you should be inside = yikes!

  16. Mitch Says:

    should i have left my personal stories out of it and simply said: “IT waves”?

  17. neemor Says:

    I’m going to peg Mr. Miner’s Phish Thoughts at 200,000 daily readers.

    1) Am I far off?

    2) Is there any way to tell?

  18. sanchothehutt Says:

    OOOOOOHHHHHH, and before I forget, I hope this is original….

    For the *ting*, footbell shirt…

    what about a TANG logo (I don’t even know what it is) and instead of it, we just have TING?

    just a thought

    I gotta go for now, probably will embarras myself later though. You guys kick ass

  19. madmax76 Says:

    Anyone hear anything solid on the New York Full Moon Parties in the 80’s?

  20. Mitch Says:

    no worries ramblin, all good things in all good time. took a buddy to his first phish show at jones beach 09. he bough acid in the lot. still hasnt eaten it to this day cause hes not ready. since i know him i call him a pussy regularly. i know his background tho and hes right, not the right time. but ribbing between dude friends is life i guess.

    neem, i read it as special until you posted that second comment

  21. kayatosh Says:

    night, yall

  22. sanchothehutt Says:

    yup, did it myself with spelling.

  23. neemor Says:

    Night, guys.

    There is no such thing as “embarassing one’s self here.:”

  24. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    @neemor – there is a way to tell… i used to know lemme try and find this old website thing

  25. Mr. Completely Says:

    a list of the craziest things I’ve seen at shows would get pretty dark

    even if I limit it to shows I was not working…

    there was the fat naked pooping peeing whacking it guy in the concourse of richmond ’85. i was 16 with a headful of purple fourway gels. if i had not talked to many other people who saw him that night i would have assumed i conjured it as some hellish vision of the apocalypse, which would be believable given the incredibly dark energy in the building that night. anyway the cops were just standing in a circle around him wondering WTF to do

    also the time this guy eric I knew got the royal double deluxe cop beatdown of all beatdowns trying to sneak backstage at hampton. they kept working him over, we assumed he was dead. he was just all fucked up though. he was not a friend and had a lot of serious karma accumulated but he did not deserve that

    – signed, D. Downer

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