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. albert walker Says:

    Didn’t do shit Mitch

    I’m lazy

    Staying home schwilling

    Cracking bottle 2 twisting up

  2. voopa Says:

    Love the shot of Fish’s feet at 12:30…hip camera ops

  3. sumodie Says:

    Solar tubes at the Berkeley Oasis were not for the inexperienced! Thankfully I learned my lesson at Indio (and remembered it)

  4. Mitch Says:

    sometimes ignorance is bliss and in the right setting it goes a lot better than knowing what you know now.

    i’d hope the clean ones would be out west if anywhere

    i can imagine legendary status on a pre greek session with those cats. those west coast fools def bring it hard core.

  5. voopa Says:

    Solar bowl about killed me that Saturday. I think I dissapointed Robear…I didn’t finish mine.

  6. Mitch Says:

    ok. gonna walk the dog and contemplate food. its almost midnight and no dinner… should prob just sleep and have a good breakfast to start my day.


  7. Mitch Says:

    dont feel bad voopa, same thing happened to me at miners at telly. trying to hang with robear and the rest. they had a glass version of a bowl thats usually made organically… i’m doing it no justice. i feel like they are used for spiritual stuff. AW will know the name. i couldnt finish mine either.

  8. sumodie Says:

    @voopa: yes, I recall you having a good session on the porch!

    ok, really out

  9. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Q: How to keep a 45 yr old folk song new.

    A: to ramona in different key, meter, and arrangement. Took a minute to figure it out.

  10. Nagarjuna Says:

    haven’t dropped L in over a decade. haven’t gotten the call and not close enough to the source to ensure purity. wonder how you guys do it.

    i’ve also developed a bias for mama’s nature’s gifts over factory made since then – would like to go deep with the heaviest plants out there someday. but no way near a concert, or even a city, or anything else that isn’t totally aligned with the journey. want to go all the way – amazon, fasting, full shamanic preparation, etc. maybe someday when the stars align. get my ass schooled.

  11. Nagarjuna Says:

    @mitch – good point. totally agree on the power of ignorance in some cases. the “child’s mind” and all that.

  12. albert walker Says:

    Yeah I’m a retired herb working now yuppie that puffs like those west coast kids still

    It’s like coming home

    Had 4 different strains of finger sized joints of OG goin

    Good times

  13. Mitch Says:

    AW, do you know the name of that type of pipe we used at telly?

  14. Mr. Completely Says:

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

    yeah…funny how many of us might say the same thing…the short version is ‘i jumped in the deep end and i’m fine today’ but for me at least that leaves out long periods of treading water and a few times I came close to drowning…

  15. Mitch Says:

    “finger sized joints” i looked at those like i didnt know what they were 😯 you want me to do what with these? butter is notorious for those. wondered if there was dog poop in those suckers they were so big.

    whats in this thing? “thats doberman man”

  16. albert walker Says:

    Glass version of the rasta chalice made of coconuts usually

  17. Nagarjuna Says:

    @aw – sounds like you’ve got impressive range. not many people can straddle galaxies like that…

  18. Nagarjuna Says:


    “a few times I came close to drowning…”

    feel you

  19. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    We’ve gone from a wheeze to a croak. There’s no voice left.

    Rocking Baby Tonight but vocals are trashed.

  20. Mitch Says:

    thanks AW. voopa, i coudlnt finish my chalice. i dont even know what a solar bowl is. if you guys are referring to this: then thats even dorkier than i imagined.

    kid melts ants with a magnifying glass
    kid grows up and smokes weed
    kid realizes butane tases bad
    kid goes back to using magnifying glass for his bowl
    “mother nature has the sun man, and the sun can spark this bowl, duuuude”

  21. Mitch Says:

    i dunno whats worse. people doing “solar bowls” or me wanting to try it.

  22. voopa Says:

    “kid melts ants with a magnifying glass
    kid grows up and smokes weed
    kid realizes butane tases bad
    kid goes back to using magnifying glass for his bowl
    “mother nature has the sun man, and the sun can spark this bowl, duuuude””

    kid = Robear?

  23. albert walker Says:

    Not at all naj

    My girl is a warrior. Couple drops every show

    I like 1 drop or a few caps. A buzz is all.

    Too much weird shit at phish shows. I’d be in nature for a heavy spin.

    Phishies weird me out

  24. Robear Says:

    AW up late night.


    @ mitch, you mean what’s better than a solar toke? not much.

  25. Robear Says:

    Never melted ants,

    burned initials into wood.

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