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. Mr. Completely Says:

    lol at a former job they called me Speaker-to-Animals after a famous sci fi character.

    the programmers thought it was because I could speak to normal humans.

    the normal humans thought it was because I could speak to programmers.

    they were both right

  2. sumodie Says:

    yeah, daytime BB life can drag without neemor around 8)

  3. Mr. Completely Says:

    I think after Greek I am done with booms at shows actually

    wasn’t bad or anything

    just not what I’m looking for

  4. sumodie Says:

    perhaps this site will be useful for those going to Atlantic City:

    (yes, I’m serious)

  5. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    I’m just gonna rock a full body condom in AC

  6. Mitch Says:

    3 hours later. first run of that acid in the drains has proven to be somewhat successful. gonna have to give it another go tho.

    the plunger method isnt working as well cause i need to clog the overflow.

    looks like ive got a project come sunday when i’m off. enough of this shit for one night.

  7. Nagarjuna Says:

    wow – good, if scary tales.

    i “top” none of that but just want to share where it all started for me. all young and innocent. no poop or cops. key stats:

    me: 15 years old

    year: 1988

    venue: worcester centrum

    transit to show: driven by friend’s parents. made leave it to beaver chit chat. they had no idea where they were actually taking us, in the metaphysical sense anyway

    band: GD

    show number: FIRST

    psychedelic trip number: FIRST

    plant teacher: psilocybin

    seat location (how i don’t know): SEVENTH THROW RIGHT IN FRONT OF JERRY

    memory of pre-show observation: man all that stuff on stage sure looks shiny!

    show opener: big fucking boss man

    add’l first set face melter: candyman

    location of jaw by that point: nearing floor

    set break state of mind: ecstatic but speechless, literally

    while peaking in set two: TERRAPIN

    location during drums: in the halls loosing my shit freely mashed in with sweaty half naked freaks the likes of which i’d never seen. speakers in the halls in those days – loved that.

    by end of show: knew life had changed, permanently

    feeling when i think back on the experience: chills

    time until experience was fully digested: 22 years and counting….

    i know we all have similar tales…

  8. albert walker Says:

    I dig caps and L at shows

    I dug those Greek caps C

    No Molly though

  9. Mitch Says:

    i didnt realize tzara was actually at the concert. he kept talking in hypotheticals. hahaha.

    rage that dylan show tzara. hope hes got it tonight.

  10. Mr. Completely Says:

    @nag – post of the night?

  11. Mr. Completely Says:

    I dug them AW, they were good

    but I liked the drops so much more I just want to do that

  12. Mitch Says:

    nice one nagarjuna!

  13. Mitch Says:

    i generally only trip at fests where i have plenty of room to spread out and nobody is gonna hassle me. if im at a show, i’d rather do L.

    speaking of haLLoween….

  14. sumodie Says:

    Travelers who’ve been to India always seem to have stories to top ALL

    (i’ve not been yet)

    Phish needs to break new ground internationally…

    I’m out

  15. albert walker Says:

    Totally agree drops are better

    Seeing a run though nice to rotate

  16. Mitch Says:

    i woudlnt do shrooms at a phish show personally unless i was munching caps all night and keeping it steady and low key. just to spice it up a bit not be full blown.

    also, now that i know so many people at shows, it makes it harder to hide in the shadows. theres always someone i know and then i feel awkward.

  17. Mitch Says:

    how was the night on the town?

  18. neemor Says:

    Mango, I’m gona say Palace Theater Waterbury, CT. ’03 or so?
    Not sure.

    What’s The Use out of Disease is sick.

    Check it again.

  19. neemor Says:

    Actually, she was born in ’97…it might have been RatDog, Palace Theater in Waterbury, CT in something like ’98-99….

  20. voopa Says:

    Watching the Telly Piper vid…YEAH!

  21. Mitch Says:

    one thing i love about auds is when you can listen to one and “feel” the venue. i can listen to certain shows and it really feels like you’re back in the room. msg has awesome sound!

  22. Nagarjuna Says:

    thanks, @C and @mitch.

    one other thing. it was only later that i realized how damn lucky i was. coulda been bad in lots of different ways. knew nothing of set and setting, etc. or really how to take care of myself on such an adventure. just feel grateful that i got carried on very kind waves…

    would advise more caution to others just hopping on the bus and am much more careful about such things now myself

  23. albert walker Says:

    We puffed tough out west

    Pre Greek 3 session was legendary

  24. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Pillbox opener

  25. sumodie Says:

    @Mitch: clean drops make me extroverted -it’s the dirty drops that make me feel introverted, awkward, and/or make everything more challenging

    Berkeley was bountifully clean

    (guess I’m not quite outta here)

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