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. SillyWilly Says:

    They had the priest talk to my dad.

    My dad said: He called Will a mother fucker.

    The priest said: Yeah. I guess he did.

    My dad said: What’d you want my son to do?

    The priest: Yeah, I guess he did call him a mother fucker.

    this was all over a round of golf. haha.

  2. joe Says:

    Maybe the most tempted I’ve ever been to join facebook. I already have weeks worth of music to sift through, so I guess I’m safe for now. I do post stupidly inane comments under a twitter account, so I guess I’m not completely against anti-social media on the whole.

  3. SillyWilly Says:

    I hope we get to hear the ocean sing more songs on leg 2.

  4. mitch Says:

    said you had to be a friend with someone on the turntable fb

  5. SillyWilly Says:


    yeah, I hear ya.

    It’s always a little unsettling to be close to someone who gets hurt in an unexpected way like that.

    you’re a compassionate kid, BK. he’s going to be ok.

  6. MrCompletely 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.”

    ^^^ that is AWESOME. Exactly what I was hoping for.

    “Quite a live presence I would imagine?”

    Epically so. They had PDX skinny jean hipsters twirling like dervishes. that says it all.

  7. mitch Says:

    i heard thru the grapevine the cameras were inside the ball sq jam.


  8. SillyWilly Says:

    “They had PDX skinny jean hipsters twirling like dervishes. that says it all.”

    that’s some genius imagery

    that says it all, indeed.

  9. mitch Says:

    can someone tell me what the turntable site does so i can investigate hacking AWs facebook account?

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    under no circumstances will I have a facebook presence.

    I do need to set up my Google+ presence though.

  11. mitch Says:

    cracking up at shoegazers twirling staring at the floor then getting dizzy.

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    it’s 100% literally true @sw

    to their credit a lot of PDX hipsters have pretty eclectic taste in music. Classic skinny-jean PBR ironic haircut types were fully half the crowd. Usually they barely twitch a muscle below the neck, but they went apeshit along with everyone else. By maybe 4 tunes in the room was fully spun. Very enjoyable to see.

  13. voopa Says:

    Wow @ kid fights. Was just on the phone w/ mrs. v, so I missed that.

    This turntable site is the bizness. May be my antidote to AM talk radio once and for all.

  14. SillyWilly Says:

    I totally believe you, Mr. C

    I don’t really mind hipsters as long as they’re not completely writing off music by non-white people.

  15. mitch Says:

    what does the turntable site actually do?

  16. angryjoggerz Says:

    it changes you

  17. MrCompletely Says:

    I think the idea is that you can either get an invite to turntable, OR automatically join via facebook. Not sure how the invites work. I am on twitter so if anyone sees a way in via that line plz let me know…

    waiting to get into Glitch too…they have one of those facebook shakedowns as well…but I think I’ll be in on it soon. First game I’ve been interested in in…um…years

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    twists counter-tops

  19. Guyute711 Says:

    Phish is the greatest band ever. That is all.

  20. Guyute711 Says:

    Cranking usa storage jam. Im so god Damn happy.

  21. angryjoggerz Says:

    mr c, what is your twitter name thingy?

  22. mitch Says:

    well my bro has a facebook and i went to the link on here and he logged in then it said you arent allowed to because you arent friends with the BB.

    o contrare turntable, o contrare

  23. sumodie Says:

    i saw official phish cameramen during storage jam

    would love to see them crank out a sbix box set

    still undecided about Bombino on thurs in boston

    but already have my Tinariwen tix for november at home. they have a new album coming out later this summer i believe

  24. SillyWilly Says:


    You’ve been living the absolute dream lately.

    It’s awesome to hear your stories and watch your tour path unfold.

  25. Guyute711 Says:

    I want video inside the building so bad

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