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. Guyute711 Says:

    I saw my aunt and uncle this week because of facebook and hadn’t seen them in 15 years. Facebook has some drawbacks but that was tremendous.

  2. tela'smuff Says:

    i’ve tried that google phone thing. couldn’t work it, but i’m not great with this shit. avid user, but not real proficient.

    mdawg throwin down some curtis mayfield

  3. tela'smuff Says:

    G711 – you know the deal i offered you for the west! DO IT.

  4. sumodie Says:

    100 min drive from amherst,ma to see Bombino (what a whiner!)

    ::secretly accepts mr. c’s challenge to catch this guitarist::

  5. Guyute711 Says:

    Thanks tela’s you know I want to. The support from this board is so tremendous. One of my favorite things this summer has been hanging with 3 or 4 people groups from here all over. Its different at every show but we are rocking with the super crew.

  6. Guyute711 Says:

    By the way, you are all welcome to come to the south and chill with my local crew. My roommate really enjoyed hanging with people off the board.

  7. mitch Says:

    eggs-act-lee guyute. love the BB meetups

  8. SillyWilly Says:

    I can’t wait for Leg 2. I’ve been having so much fun already

    have a good night everyone!

  9. tela'smuff Says:

    i haven’t seen Phish since SC last year! i’m bursting right now! can’t wait.

  10. Mike in Austin Says: Really nice SBIX video.

  11. voopa Says:

    This is cool. Join.

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    the invite via twitter didn’t get me in to turntable. will try inviting more to google+ later, gotta go. not sure if its working or not

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    re: confusingness in google+, thats why its in beta

  14. MrCompletely Says:

    ….and just got into the Glitch alpha too. fun

  15. Guyute711 Says:

    Telas its a different band. Im digging the three year upswing.

  16. tela'smuff Says:

    i like the concept of google+, but i haven’t got on to it yet.

    sucks how hard it is to get in this dam turntable. lots of fun. you guys would like it i think.

  17. Mdawg Says:


    I think you still need FB or try doing the email option?

  18. tela'smuff Says:

    not only is it a different band G, but a different world for me. life has changed so much for me since SC. i need some brotherhood as much as i need Phish.

  19. sumodie Says:

    yo, im still rockin the yahoo email addy, wassit to u, mofo?

    ::removes & rips up unwashed alf shirt that he wore in runaway jim 5k to honor mango::

  20. Mike In Austin Says:

    I can’t get in. Think I need a friend. This reminds me way too much of the Southbook episode. I guess I’m a real Kip Drordy.

    And I do want the world to stop talking about Ninjas.

  21. Kevin Says:

    Gonna have to disagree on the beginning of Scents — those are the cheesiest lyrics I’ve ever heard. I enjoyed it more when they were dropped.

  22. butter Says:

    dont waste too much time feelin bad for the west coasters, Guyute

    Phish has that knack of out doing themselves, and now that the jams are out of storage watch out 😉

  23. butter Says:

    i guess one man’s cheesy lyrics is the secret to a happy life for the next guy

  24. Guyute711 Says:

    Close the door put out the lights

  25. mitch Says:

    llfa sumo

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