Parts of the Whole

Watkins Glen (Brian Ferguson)

There were so many mind-bending highlights throughout the three nights of Super Ball that many standout jams can easily fall through the cracks. The following four pieces didn’t take center stage over the weekend, but certainly deserve their due credit. While these selections are hardly diamonds in the rough, they are some of the more structured highlights from an amazing weekend of music that people are still glowing from today. Read about, listen to, and download each piece below.

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Wilson” 7.3 I

7.3.11 (G.Lucas)

“Wilson” isn’t a jam vehicle—that is unless you are at Super Ball. When the band dropped into this first set version on the final day of the festival, no one suspected what was to come. As the guys entered the “heavy metal” section of the song, they did so with far more passion and intent than usual, and before long they had veered off course into a seething tangent. Dicing into the heavy textures, Trey tore off an original solo in which he infused a prominent Mind Left Body tease that the entire band hopped onto in a shining improvisational moment. Phish passed through this section into original hard rock before re-merging with “Wilson’s” lyrics. A prime example of how anything the band touched turned to gold on the festival’s final day, this first set surprise fit right in with spiced up jamming on display throughout.

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Wolfman’s Brother” 7.1 I

Watkins Glen (B.Ferguson)

Late in the opening frame of the festival, Phish crafted the centerpiece of the set in “Wolfman’s Brother.” Though “Wolfman’s” is always reliable for a foray into Phish grooves these days, this enthusiastic version took the 3.0 template to a supercharged level. Coming in the midst of a stellar run of songs that included “Bathtub Gin,” “Life On Mars?,” and “My Friend, My Friend,” “Wolfman’s” provided one of the first throwdowns of the weekend. As Page hopped up to his clav and the band dripped into the jam, the concert grounds immediately popped off. Trey tickled the grooves with a repetitive staccato lick as Gordon and Fishman held down a slick pocket. Trey got far more creative with his phrasing than usual, urging the band to follow his creative path—and that they did. Transforming into certifiable Phish crack, this dance session had the festival in full gear if everyone hadn’t gotten there already. Complete with Gordon’s footbell approval, the band sunk their teeth into this version like they hadn’t in quite a while with “Wolfman’s,” engaging in all sorts of rhythmic exchanges and extending past the length of most recent outings. The creative guitar licks never stopped throughout the entire jam as Trey led the troops to a blistering whole-band peak in this early-weekend gem.

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Stash” 7.2 II

7.1.11 (G.Lucas)

Saturday’s second set contained a bit of a lull in the middle, but that didn’t happen until the band had slaughtered a standout, fourth-song  “Stash.” As Phish got into the jam, they readily reached a series of collective hits that created an alternate rhythmic template for the entire piece. Mike and Trey worked their ideas together, spiraling guitar lines around the dynamic beat while Page added piano comps to the increasingly intricate and dramatic excursion. Bringing the piece into more abstract territory, the three guys delved into darker waters as Trey and Mike’s lines adopted an ominous tone. Migrating back towards “Stash’s” natural build, the band’s lock-step communication never faltered as their ideas were coherently tied upon entering a retro, face-melting peak. A second-set highlight that got overshadowed by stellar final frame, this “Stash” is fully on the level.

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Scents and Subtle Sounds” 7.2 II

7.3.11 (G.Lucas)

In 2004, Phish deconstructed what many believe to be their greatest post-hiatus composition—“Scents and Subtle Sounds.” Lopping off the mystical introduction that gets right to the metaphysical meaning of the song, the band started the multi-part epic midway through—out of context—with Trey’s heavy guitar chords. Taking much of the majesty away from the piece, this is how Phish decided to leave it, and when they played a short rendition at MSG ’09, this chopped up format remained. Thus, when the band crept out of the post-“Rift” silence with the opening notes of “Scents’’” intro, many of us were flabbergasted and blissfully surprised. Whether or not the song will remain in semi-rotation, at least it’s back together again. And when they dropped from the song into the void, everything felt in right in the world. Sculpting a gorgeous sunset rendition of the emotive piece, the band’s precise interplay and Trey’s lyrical phrasing took this sequence to the mountaintop. Steeped in soulful textures the music seemed to climb towards the heavens as Phish’s modern precision was applied to the post-hiatus standout. Let’s keep our fingers crossed that “Scents” and “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing were reintroductions for the second leg rather bustouts for Super Ball. A kid can dream, right?

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Jam of the Day:

Destiny Unbound” 7.3.11 I

Another song that moved beyond its usual boundaries during Sunday’s first set at Super Ball.

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672 Responses to “Parts of the Whole”

  1. mitch Says:

    thats rad you wore it in the 5k tho. i’ve been reading posts on phishposters about shirt sightings cause they dont know who bieber the artist is or how people got the shirts.

  2. voopa Says:

    Scents intro id some of the best I’ve ever heard.

    …to each their own.

  3. JeffieM Says:

    How’s everybody doing tonight?

    I jumped on this turntable thing. Excellent music going right now.

  4. voopa Says:

    *is* *some of the best Phish I’ve ever heard*

    *stops posting for the evening*

  5. Furblanket Rat Says:

    @mia. I know what you mean.

  6. Guyute711 Says:

    Sumo is the most driven phish fan I know. He busted ass to make sure the Shit he wanted to do happened. Kudos to that!

  7. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Hi @mitch, still up? Did we come up with anything for Tahoe? Maybe if there’s enough people, it’s worth it to ride with tela’s. But I’m happy to shuttle if it’s easy. Tahoe bitches! after the Gorge that is. And hollywood bowl.

  8. tela'smuff Says:

    if you all are in by 11:30ish, i’ll be waiting. It would be Tzara, Mitch, Silly, and Jeff W right? I can fit you all in my vehicle. I’ll either be driving the VW Routan or the Explorer. Explorer might be a little snug with 4 and gear, but it will work. Just let me know.

  9. Kurt from Indy Says:

    Note to self: when your boss calls on your day off, DONT answer

  10. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Awesome, tela’s! That would be great. I’ll be traveling quite light I think. Going to ship my UIC bitches gear to Chicago ahead of me. Anyway we can square it away at the Gorge, but I’ll hold of on shuttle tix for now.

  11. voopa Says:

    Tzara’s- keep me in mind for Tahoe transpo. Plus we have a campsite that should hold at least 4 heads, in case anyone ends up roomless.

  12. Tzara's Ghost Says:

    Cool, voopa thanks. I ended up deciding to skip outside lands and fly straight to chicago from reno after the show, to go see family before UIC. I’m booked at the custy crib in Tahoe, but let’s definitely hook up at the waterwheel and see how things are going. You’re doing Hollywood bowl right? Still thinking about lodging there, need a chip-in on a room there?

  13. voopa Says:

    Some floor sleepers will be more than welcome at our Hollywood Motel 6, email me @ vooopa at gmail.

  14. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    ygm voopstar!

  15. sumodie Says:

    Sumo is the most driven phish fan I know. He busted ass to make sure the Shit he wanted to do happened. Kudos to that!

    Dunno bout that…I heard about this phreak from Charlotte NC who busted ass slinging in the lots to make tour happen, and on top of that he volunteered to spend two days cleaning up all of our shit and then some at sbix in order to catch 13+ hours of sick festi phish

    (srsly, I was impressed with your dedication to make it all happen)

  16. Mike in Austin Says:

    Gotta say, I am impressed by this Guyute character that I’ve never met. Living while he’s young. Awesome he did green crew.

  17. BrandonKayda Says:

    Evil!

    The kid is alright though – got stitches but he’ll be back tomorrow. That’s what happens when you mess with the Jets, yo! ;)

  18. BrandonKayda Says:

    Can I get in on this turntable thing?

  19. tela'smuff Says:

    http://turntable.fm/bb_spiritual_plinko_funk

    BK – i’m calling it a night. this is the link for the BB room. go through that, play around with the site and hit other rooms. BB one is empty now. judging from the reaction this evening it will be a popular spot so bookmark the page.

    good night!

  20. Andrew Says:

    Any way into the turntable room other than FB or being put on their invite?

    I’m off the radar in those regards.

  21. Andrew Says:

    Having the storage jam on in the background while doing work is quite meditative. I’ve given it my full attention a few times, but even now as atmosphere music there’s a strong cohesiveness and flow.

    Seems like the more you try to focus, the less it makes sense. Could be the soundtrack to the past few days discussions on here.

    First half really reminds me of some of the stuff Mwandishi was doing live ’70-’71, a lot of similar aquatic tones flowing over hard surfaces.

    Changes from this direction around the 32:00 mark

    Absolutely love it, can only imagine what it felt like standing in Ball Square.

  22. BrandonKayda Says:

    Anyone up?

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