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”

  1. Mr. Palmer Says:

    please do Butter, please do.

  2. DukeOfLizards Says:


    Probably not. But I **LOVE** the decision to tack the guitar solo on the end (a la MGB versions).

    Trey’s solo in the SBIX Mound is a no-contest, instant classic piece of guitar work for me.

  3. butter Says:

    how’d the ball yoga go @manatee?

  4. Mike in Austin Says:

    I gotta say this Tinariwen thing is some of the best stuff I’ve heard in a long long time. Love it.

  5. DukeOfLizards Says:


    What are you listening to? Been meaning to check that out given all of the chatter lately.

  6. Mike in Austin Says:

    Mr C has them in his mediafire (total about 12 tracks.) Grabbed them, then after listening to them about 3 times, bought the full albums out of iTunes.

  7. butter Says:

    leg 2 bitches

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    settling in the for evening

    hope everyone had a good day

  9. Mdawg Says:

    Intro and Outro Jams from Superballix’s Soundcheck are $$$$$$$$!

  10. SillyWilly Says:

    What was the availability of Phish soundchecks in 1.0??

    Im thinking these soundchecks could have an impact on Phish’s playing

    if all the kids listen to the soundchecks and say: Holy Shit, this is what we could be getting!?

    then all of a sudden Phish starts opening up the sets to reflect the soundchecks

    could be a great trend for us

  11. Tray Anastasio Says:

    Just checking out Tinariwen since I’ve heard them being pimped on here so much.

    Really liking the sound. Quite a live presence I would imagine?

  12. angryjoggerz Says:

    i highly rec this turntable site, pretty damn fun. musical conversation.

  13. SillyWilly Says:

    tinariwen is hip as fuck

    you guys will love them.

    i would love to see them live

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

  15. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    We’re very sorry, but while we would love to let you in and rock out with us, we need to currently restrict turntable access to only the United States due to licensing constraints.

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ^^ haha

  17. Mr. Palmer Says:

    too bad DF, you would dig it. Its a lotta fun.

  18. Gavinsdad Says:

    Way behind on the music grabbing from the BB today… I will put up a soul comp and another comp from Mali I got today when I get into work tomorrow.

  19. Dr Pronoia Says:

    not sure if this has been noted here, but the Kesey movie is now on demand for $10. This is the movie they shot during the Furthur trip. Called Magic Bus I think

  20. Tray Anastasio Says:

    That is very cool! Checking out the phish channel right now

  21. Mdawg Says:

    BB ftw

  22. Jtran Says:

    Loving the turntable site as well

    Everyone should check it out when you get a second

  23. Gavinsdad Says:

    Also have that Shabazz Palaces…the new “undercover” project from Butterfly who was in Digables. If anyone is Interested holler.

    Finally…just Dl’d a pretty graceful/simple free Pitchfork fest app.

  24. tela'smuff Says:

    hack that shit @DF 🙂

  25. angryjoggerz Says:

    no canadians!

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