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:

    i didnt know you could get enough heat quick enough to spark a decent milk hit. n00b.

  2. albert walker Says:

    Drunk and Irie robear

  3. Robear Says:

    starband sucks and blows! they forgot to un-restrict my bandwidth before going home for the weekend or something! been stuck on dial-up speeds for 2 days. Can’t even get emails into apple mail.

  4. Robear Says:

    Irie. could use a drink

    mitch, come visit.

  5. Robear Says:

    the actual question Mitch:

    Can you focus the light on the top of the bowl before burning your fingers or shirt 😛

  6. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    I know it’s the bane talking, but right now I’m pleased that this exists:

    …potential Phish cover?

  7. Mitch Says:

    note to self. dont scour youtube finding out what solar hits are when you arent smoking……………………………….

  8. Mitch Says:

    you can really burn your shirt that quickly?? how baned are you if thats happening? i cant find an image of a glass chalice anywhere online that doesnt look like a crunk juice glass. they all look like lil wayne would own them.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    Just got a 272.50 charge for phish Tix 🙂

  10. Mitch Says:

    i dont care who you are, this looks delicous:

  11. albert walker Says:

    Me and my girl on episode 4 kenny powers marathon

    “this bar smells like an old lady farting piss”


  12. Mitch Says:

    rub it in miner.

    and the neighbors are at it again…. they’re rubbing it in too.

    you can all “fudge yourself kyle”

  13. Mr. Completely Says:

    drops always make me introverted…or, that’s the wrong word

    but not social

    beauty of the Greek scene was that it was ok for me to just be spun to silence

    i just like to float

  14. Robear Says:

    is that about 4 tickets, Miner?

  15. RamblinOnMyMind Says:

    Woah, $404.20!

  16. Robear Says:

    electricity at Greek 3 was palpable

    real clean, flowing

  17. albert walker Says:

    I always leave the group C

    Telly 1 I was about walking by light up

    L makes me go solo or me and the girl

  18. ChefBradford Says:

    love that video, Ramblin. Probably not a potential cover, but great nonetheless

  19. Mr. Completely Says:

    I like one to two drops at shows. I agree, out in nature or at home or somesuch for a heavy spin.

    @nag, I am with you on wanting to go further with the deep plants. However I really think clear doses have much to offer. The plants come with…spirits, for lack of a better world. Acid does what the amazingly apt name implies: it dissolves boundaries, internally and externally.

  20. Nagarjuna Says:

    :::bb scours credit card statements:::

  21. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    The door has closed forever more
    if indeed there ever was a door.

    Forgetful Heart= sublime.

  22. Robear Says:

    some of you cats get email alerts for credit card charges? sounds pretty smart.

    Tzara’s, u posting from a Dylan show?

  23. Mr. Completely Says:

    “and the neighbors are at it again…. they’re rubbing it in too.”

    BAM another shot to the dome

    BB just killing it still


    yeah @aw

    I love hanging with people that don’t bug out if I just want to wander or zone out or whatever

    I’m fine

    no worries

    just lost in the moment

  24. Mr. Completely Says:

    yeah he is @robear

    he was posting during the Mellencamp opener taboot

    absolutely hilarious

  25. Nagarjuna Says:

    @C – no doubt. don’t get me wrong, drops changed my life. but it needs to be real pure – and when i was last looking from unknown sources there were a lot of dirty drops out there.

    where i part ways with you and @aw is on the idea that 1-2 drops is not a “heavy spin”. i’ve learned these things affect people in such individual ways and for me there’s no such thing as a not-heavy LSD trip if it’s full dose of real LSD.

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