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:

    people bash ratdog but we were having fun. this is what we missed:

    II: El Paso@4, Corrina@, Stagolee > Tomorrow Never Knows > Mississippi Half-Step > Stuff*, Stella Blue > Foolish Heart > Not Fade Away
    E: Attics of My Life
    *-with Tom Pope (Drums); “Attics” was a capella; Stuff – Jeff/Jay/Kenny/Robin/MK > Kenny/Jeff/Robin/Jay > Kenny/Jeff/Robin/Jay/Tom > Jay/Tom > Kenny/Jeff/Robin/Jay/Tom
    First ”Stagolee”
    Thanks Terry Rogers and Craig Davis

    we were bummed the next morning. why didnt we just stick through it!?

  2. sanchothehutt Says:

    thanks for that, Neemor.

    And now I really, really need to leave.

  3. Mr. Completely Says:


    we are taking over the entire admissions IT process for a big prestige university

    I can talk nerd details offline if you like. little of it is confidential, it’s just very boring to civilians even when I dress it up with jargon like “ajax” and whatnot

  4. Mitch Says:

    was waiting for mr c to chime in. knew he could trump anything. the beatdown would have been tough to watch.

    “stop beatin him brah” and then they look at you with “the look” and you piss yourself…

    sometimes i just dont get it. i see videos from festivals and people are screaming at the cops to ease up, the guy is down already, and they keep going. hard to comprehend.

  5. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Is there anything wrong with making a crowd of aging rural bob Dylan fans chant
    “oh yeah, life goes on
    long after the thrill of living is gone”

    For me, I’ll take Joy, or Touch of Grey, for a feelgood anthem.

  6. Mr. Completely Says:

    I hate to be the Topper guy

    but I have seen a lot

  7. Mitch Says:

    you wanna get ms mango in on one of those admissions lists for grad school? whats one person gonna hurt?

  8. neemor Says:

    Fourth Row.
    My daughter, “Cassidy” just born.

    Bobby turn s around to figure out what to play.

    Crowd yells things like, “Fire!”, “etc.

    I yell, “Cassiy”.

    He turns, looks at me….turns back to the band.

    They play, “Cassiy.”

    My life has been better ever since.

  9. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    Bigger ethical question, @Tzara’s: Is it wrong for Bob Dylan to be subjecting his fans to John Mellencamp?

  10. Mitch Says:

    my story during the pat down was more funny than anything. i knew they coudlnt do anything to me. didnt have anything on me. cant get busted for being high unless i do something stupid.

    normally i woudlnt let a cop go through my pockets like they did but i wanted the best chance at getting my buddy back to the condo. instead, he got a free ride to the local jail.

  11. neemor Says:

    Then, I learned the letter, “D”, apparently.

  12. neemor Says:

    Drunk= good night

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    @Tzaras is absolutely killing it IMO

  14. Mitch Says:

    cassidy is always nice to hear in nyc. we got that one at msg for the dead last year.

  15. Mr. Completely Says:

    fantastic story @neems

  16. Mitch Says:

    mellencamp is a douche. i worked at the best buy in bloomington while going to IU. he came in and bitched cause we didnt have his cds in stock. get the fuck over it dude. its indiana, you’ll still get money off those people one way or another.

  17. BrandonKayda Says:

    Sounds cool Palmer – thank you

  18. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol @mitch we just collect the data…and organize it…and present it…and keep it safe

    she can just lie like everyone else

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    the BB is always more fun when neemor is dropping by

    mark it

  20. Nagarjuna Says:

    that’s a big beautiful moment right there @neemor

  21. Mitch Says:

    you sure you’re not the middle man in the office? “i just collect data and organize it”

    – tell us what you do on a day to day basis?


  22. Mitch Says:

    what show was that? i wanna get a copy now

  23. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    One way or another, Weir knows how to throw down in NYC

  24. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Thanks C I needed that. Now wait for the imminent Dylan set. I’m feeling ornery.

    @ramblin, mellencamp was a little cheesy but I think he does his thing tolerably well. Actually enjoyed a lot of it.

    Now I’m repositioned to be 30 feet from the rail for Bob MotherFucking Dylan. YES!

  25. sumodie Says:

    Shrooms & live music not for me -best done in quieter more relaxed settings, for me

    I’m an L guy at shows (or nothing – no bane, and never alcohol)

    To each their own

    Proper set & setting are a MUST (but can be very different from person to person)

    Mixing stuff, even lil ole bane, can be like adding oil to fire, depending…

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