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. MrCompletely Says:

    apparently I have some Google+ invites if anyone’s interested.

  2. BrandonKayda Says:

    What is Google+?

  3. Guyute711 Says:

    Silly it has been ridiculous. Im unemployed, broke, no gf and just listening back to the greatest month of my life. Unbelievable!!!!

  4. SillyWilly Says:

    what is goole+?

    i’m interested after you said you’d do it over facebook, Mr. C.

  5. SillyWilly Says:


    any leg 2 shows for you??

  6. tela'smuff Says:

    DF – i have no idea how do this, but there is a way to bypass the international issue you have

  7. MrCompletely Says:

    @aj: I’m Mr_Completely on twitter

    “still undecided about Bombino on thurs in boston”

    apparently this is the Bombino “BB sleeps on our shows this time around” tour 😮

    I’d pay $30 in a second to see Bombino, $40 with hesitation, at any venue in PDX area….if they were coming

  8. Mdawg Says:

    I would like an invite please Mr C.

    I thinks it’s like FB but better because it works with the help of google. It’s in beta testing I think…

  9. angryjoggerz Says:

    google+ seems and looks exactly like facebook.

  10. Mdawg Says:

    mdawg422 @ yahoo dot com


  11. joe Says:

    Would be a good excuse to check out the venue, Sumo. I haven’t been in there since it changed from Harper’s Ferry. I’d imagine it is probably the exact same place as it was since they took out the horseshoe bar in the middle and replaced it with a dance floor about 15 years ago. Used to go see a band called the Candles there all the time way back when.

  12. Mdawg Says:

    Supposedly it will be bigger and better than FB for businesses.

  13. mitch Says:

    arent you concerned that then you’ll be in a social network C?

    i get the idea of having strict limitations about who can see what and having all your media in one place rather than a bunch of sites. but… i still dont see the appeal otherwise.

  14. mitch Says:

    also, people are always paranoid about google having your info until they create the next facebook

  15. sumodie Says:

    new tinariwen album, tassili, drops august 30

  16. MrCompletely Says:

    Google+ is their competitor for Facebook, more or less. Their social networking tool. With less invasion of privacy and more control over who sees what. Like it’s easy to set up one “circle” for you boss and grandma and another one for your crazy pals and you control who can see what stuff.

    Or something, I dunno, I’m just looking into it. I don’t know if I’ll stick with it, but I’m checking it out from curiosity. Voopa hooked me up with an invite earlier.

    email tyler23rh at comcast dot net from the email address you want added and I’ll add as many as I can

  17. joe Says:

    I’ll be working of course and won’t be going, unless the start after midnight

  18. mitch Says:

    and leave it to google to be the only ones strong enough to take out facebook

  19. MrCompletely Says:

    less invasion of privacy in theory. we’ll see

    professional curiousity @mitch. I’m a professional web developer, I have to know how all this shit works. Plus all the heady nerds are on it, yo

  20. MrCompletely Says:

    gotcha Mdawg

  21. Guyute711 Says:

    Leg 2 is not looking like its in the cards but I am so dialed in you never know. I do kind of feel bad for the west coasters because I can’t see the loose jammy festival stuff being topped. I may be wrong though. Can’t remember who said it but right now phish has that middle finger up right now. They know they are the best and they are just dominating the world.

  22. MrCompletely Says:

    not a lot of feedback on the interface. I think I added you mdawg. a little hard to tell

  23. tela'smuff Says:

    Mr C – i just tweeted the invite and you are someone i follow. i’m @JeffMWalls for twitter.

    i am also on google+ and find it way to confusing to use compared to the ease of FB. I like the circle of friends idea, and i imagine it won’t be long until FB adopts that idea in a better way. plus FB made that deal with Skype so Google+ is toast, IMO.

  24. mitch Says:

    im avoiding it like the plague. i got sucked into facebook and regretted it and deleted it.

    i still know people with yahoo accounts, can you believe that shit? so i couldnt talk to all my friends anyway i bet. ive at least had my core friends switch or at least gave them an account on my domain managed by google.

  25. mitch Says:

    google already has built in free calls. no need for skype.

    google will take over, i dont have a problem with it cause they make shit way better than most around.

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