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.


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.



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.



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.



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?



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.

[audio:] Tags: , , ,

672 Responses to “Parts of the Whole”

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  1. Foul_Domain Says:

    I cant get enough of that Stash. I prefer it over AC Stash, though Im probably in the monority on that point. Just beautiful full-band connection throughout with a monster peak.

    The Simple is one of my weekend favorites as well. Surprised that hasnt gotten more love.

    Nice piece, Miner.

  2. Laurville Says:

    I thought the 1st set of Day 3 really stood out in the ‘turned to gold’ category. Even Mound had the heat just like the mahlz on my bahlz.

  3. willowed Says:

    * ting *

  4. st8 of mind Says:

    Scents is a definite highlight of the weekend.

  5. btb Says:

    Morning ya’ll

    Good call on the Stash miner – I remember this version standing out from others I’ve heard in 3.0

    Scents was sublime. Hope they give it the long treatment on the second leg, although this version works very well for me.

  6. Jtran Says:

    Scents was a major highlight of the weekend for me

  7. SillyWilly Says:

    “the spirit – whatever it is – dies with you is the way I see it.”

    “that’s a reasonable hypothesis but you have no evidence to support it, so I don’t see why you should feel any confidence whatsoever in this view.
    There’s no evidence against it either, but no reason to assume it’s true. It’s certainly not the default state of affairs, nor is it supported by occam’s razor, which isn’t science anyway.
    So this is essentially a quasi-religious belief you hold. Which is fine. But just to be clear.”

    First off, it’s hard to hold any confidence one way or another in many of our thoughts.

    And no evidence is not the problem. The problem is conflicting evidence. Or a step, farther, the problem is interpreting evidence.
    The more you deal with abstractions the more you have to choose based off conflicting evidence.

    So as far as my confidence in the lack of a metaphysical spirit existing on an abstract plane that is somehow a part of who I am. Well, it’s about as confident as I am in the idea that you can’t pick me up and throw me 100 yards. Show me. Then, I’ll be less confident.

    As far as occam’s razor. That’s only a valid tool when the hypotheses the new assumptions are based on are equal. objective equality doesnt exist as such. Making decisions based off the least amount of new assumptions
    is too conservative. especially when centuries of human thought has fucked up what “we know”.

    Finally, “quasi-religious” belief. Of course it is. But so is yours. Because you can’t prove it either.

    That’s just the thing. The choice to make some meaning out of all this, is basically “quasi-religious” because you’re going on faith that it’s worthwhile.

    despite evidence to the contrary.

  8. Dogmattagram Says:

    This philosophical talk on the board lately has been great. It seems to me, on this issue, that all the talk about spirit – whether it exists or not, what the nature of it is, etc. – is all constructions of the human mind. I feel that the only real position we can take is agnosticism. Spirit could be a real thing, but if it is I don’t think any of us know its nature – this goes for God as well. It seems arrogant (no offense meant to anyone) for us to claim knowledge of these things.
    As far as this idea of finding “meaning” in everything. I struggle to figure out what that word even means in this context. Personally, I find so much wonder in the intricacies of the observable universe that I don’t feel any need to add some other layer of “meaning” or metaphysics.

  9. Dogmattagram Says:

    Sorry, long time lurker. couldn’t resist commenting

    Did anyone hook up miner w/ those FTA links last night?

  10. Jtran Says:

    Just like modern Phish we can get to type 2 quickly

  11. Dogmattagram Says:

    To add to miner’s topic today, I thought Moma was the first bit of extra juice that foreshadowed the greatness to come

  12. lastwaltzer Says:

    Our brains our material. If they are damaged or diseased our consciousness changes. Our consciousness is fueled by our other senses, if we die our senses stop working, if we die our brains shut down. Why would our consciousness continue when all the physical parts have stopped?

    We die, we die. So it goes.

  13. Ziggymon Says:

    Scents always brings me back to standing right up close during IT. So glad the intro was back. Hopefully the intro is not just a festival thing. Hoping that sticks and pops up once or twice a tour.

    Oh, and thank you Mr. Miner!

  14. lastwaltzer Says:

    “Personally, I find so much wonder in the intricacies of the observable universe that I don’t feel any need to add some other layer of “meaning” or metaphysics.”dog

    word. I’d say that on top of the natural world, the culture and society we have created and all have our chance to shape and influence and pass on is also something worthy of wonder.

  15. Dogmattagram Says:

    Agreed completely, except that I don’t separate the two. Humanity, culture, technology… is all part of / manipulation of the natural universe

  16. punkmug Says:

    4 of these 5 songs were completely on my radar too! Apparently my radar is not as sensitive as Miner’s…need to give the Scents another spin or 6.

    Great write up Miner.

    @Dogmattagram. I agree, and yes, that Moma was the sauce. Nice to finally see that groove creep out of its box.

  17. SillyWilly Says:


    Those were great posts.

    You’re right, too. It is arrogant to claim knowledge of these things

    I think the most honest way too discuss these things is to preface it with “what can we learn and how can we know we’ve learned it”

    I try and use “I believe” instead of “I know” because knowledge is so much more certain. Belief is knowledges brother – the brother who isn’t afraid of uncertainties

  18. ThePigSong Says:

    great write up, nice picks!


    Looks like another good day for me to stay away from this board 😉

  19. Dogmattagram Says:

    Thanks @ silly. I hear ya on the belief vs knowledge thing. I tend to lean towards certain concepts (like the lack of existence of God) but I always hold on to these “beliefs” very loosely because I feel that we humans are basically infants when it comes to understanding the grand concepts of the universe.

    I find the hypotheses/theories of people like Stephen Hawking on the universe to be much more awe inspiring and amazing and believable (even though many are very out there) than biblical stories

  20. SillyWilly Says:


    Im sorry, dude.

    that’s last you’ll hear about this from me.

    it’s just that there’s no where else I know of to have such free, honest, and friendly discussions

    i learn a ton from these kinds of discussions. it’s cool that we have so many people ready to defend so many posititions.

  21. kayatosh Says:

    great write-up, miner. those highlighted songs definitely deserve notice. i especially dig wilson and scents.

    gotta love listening to phish when it seems everything is naturally clicking for the band. nothing seems labored or forced. just pure organic honey.

    and i’m w/ aw, that storage jam is chock full of goodness. exceptionally interesting and engaging. $$$.

    now, do i get short or long this morn?

  22. Dogmattagram Says:

    After reading the board before bed last night, I told my wife: “I just got turned on to 2 great music recs, some great philosophical discussion of the spirit, and a story about some 80 year old dude blowdrying his balls”

    Nowhere Else!

  23. kayatosh Says:

    palmer: thanks for the shout out yesterday. i was short out of the gate yesterday and made some junior coin. all cash now. watching this crazy mrkt. futures on a rollercoaster. volatility is back.

    Hope all is well in your world.

  24. ThePigSong Says:

    woah, no worries Silly!

    My comment was mostly a jab at myself for my lack of philosophical/religious knowledge.

    please, don’t mind me.

  25. lastwaltzer Says:

    “that’s last you’ll hear about this from me. “silly

    chill son. You know there will be basketball and stocks in no time.

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