Moments In A Box: Jams of June II

6.1.11 - Holmdel, NJ (Chris LaJaunie)

Continuing our look at the many standout jams of June, here is part two in a multi-part series.


Sand” 6.19 II, Portsmouth, VA

Portsmouth Print (Pollock)

In the middle of Phish’s final set of June, they dropped into a jam that had stood out all month—”Sand. Having shredded multiple versions throughout leg one, Phish showcased the improvisational centerpiece as a primary part of their tour closer, and boy did it shine. Leaping into the fray with delicate, yet forceful leads, Trey grabbed Mike’s attention and both guitarists began to work symbiotically. Tearing of jazzy lick after jazzy lick, Trey speckled the hard groove with well-phrased melodies that Gordon responded to creatively. But as the intensity  built, with all band members locked into the rhythmic excursion, the band took a step back from their cosmic climb to engage in some alternate interplay. As Phish took “Sand” on a tangential ride, Mike threw down heavy bass lines and Trey flowed like water while Page went clav-ing for dollars and Fishman held down a swanky rhythm. Entering uncharted territory, Phish was feeling IT and taking things were they were naturally moving. After getting into some crack-like, funk-jazz fusion, before anyone knew what was happening, the band had entered an infectious stop/start section of jamming that considerably juiced the Portsmouth crowd. And when the jam ended, Phish hadn’t had enough of their addictive groove as they jumped into a “Sand” reprise. Re-entering the same groove they had just left, the band had the audience in a full-out freak scene while chopping away some final dance rhythms.



Piper -> Lizards” 6.4 II, Cuyahoga Falls, OH

6.4.11 (M.Shulz)

This summer’s “Pipers” have notably moved in variant directions, shying from the break-neck percussive grooves that have so often defined the jam in this era. No version from leg one better illustrates this welcome shift more than Blossom’s concise type-II adventure. Taking negligible time to move beyond Trey’s guitar solo and into original music, Phish settled onto a beautiful canvas. Combining in a melodic ball of light, all four band members reached an experimental plane right away—a perfect example of this summer’s creative intent and “to-the-point” improvisational style. Getting very creative very quickly, the guys used a succinct jam to explore their ideas before blending seamlessly into the only “Lizards” of tour.



After Midnight” 5.31 II, Holmdel, NJ

5.31.11 (B.Ferguson)

“After Midnight” will always bring vibrant memories of Big Cypress, the afternoon before the main event, and—of course—the song’s sacred reprise out of “Drowned” in the middle of the night. Played only twice since the dawn of the new millennium (in Manchester on 11.26.10 and New York  on 12.31.10), neither version was used as a jam vehicle. But when Phish came out at PNC—hot off of Bethel’s smoking run—and opened the second set with the J.J. Cale cover, one got the sense that this version would contain a legitimate adventure. As the band tore into the song’s groovy textures with fire, they built up a considerable head of steam along the way. After bringing the lyrics back—the point where the song would usually wrap up—the band had other ideas. Building off the song’s rhythmic template, the guys started to improvise, slowly migrating from the piece’s foundation. Trey began altering his licks and Mike responded while, simultaneously, adhering to Fishman’s beat. Gradually, Phish moved further and further from the groove until Fishman and Mike switched up the pocket and the quartet entered a more enchanting passage. Trey repeated a cathartic melody over unique and outstanding rhythms churned out by Gordon and Fish. The band had once again found a musical field of dreams and converged in a gorgeous improvisational sequence. Moving in a more ambient direction as the piece progressed, with “After Midnight,” it became clear that the jamming on display at Bethel was hardly an aberration and that Phish 2011 had truly arrived.



Split Open and Melt” 6.18 II, Raleigh, NC

6.18.11 (J.Crouch)

Toward the end of a bizarre second set in Raleigh—one that possessed great music but flowed like a pile of bricks—Phish unveiled the second “Split” of the summer. Coming like a psychedelic breath of air into a set that desperately needed one after “My Friend” and “Kill Devil Falls,” the opening beats of the song sparked immediate excitement. And by the time they came out on the other side, the band had pushed through a demented reality. Mike took control of the jam early with big, round bass lines that featured a patient tempo and fewer—perfectly placed—notes. The band’s first turn was for the sublime as they flipped the song into a major key, a move that brought a momentary dose of uplifting music. But the guys delved right back into the occult with abstract bass and guitar lines while Page comped dark piano chords in this increasingly menacing exploration. The band reached an abstract realm of “amoeba” jamming where eachmember pushed and pulled the music in variant directions without losing the cohesive whole. At this juncture the piece transformed into a mind-melting symphony and things would only get crazier from here. Mike and Fishman held a gooey rhythmic pattern as Trey and Page experimented over top—and then things got straight evil. Fish entered an almost tribal beat while Page added a dark, futuristic sound effect in a confluence of sinister sounds. Bringing the piece to a drone, ambient near-silence, Phish was amidst the most exploratory and surreal “Split” they had played in ages. As the band continued to bring the jam into more abstract territory, when it came time to build back into the song, it wasn’t so easy. As they struggled to get from the far-out musical places they had reached back to a seething build, the band hit the eject button and popped out of the attempt with a quick ending. After a ridiculously dark jam that brought the crowd into depths of lunacy, the ending was but a small blemish on an overall terrorizing ride.

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548 Responses to “Moments In A Box: Jams of June II”

  1. Guyute711 Says:

    In tenth grade English class my teacher told me this, “You my friend have some serious grammatical misconceptions.” From the over using comma guy.

  2. snowbank Says:

    Homeboy posted a retort on to his article:
    “2) I included the paragraph about the Mr. Miner’s of the world in response to several posts that I read which stated Phish did not actually play that well at SBIX, i.e., the jams were too short, bla bla bla bla. It was not in response to Mr. Miner’s actual review of the show, which I later read, and as it turns out, I thought was pretty dead on. Rather my reference to the Mr. Miner’s of the world was to those in general who overly dissect each song’s quality and placement during a show and not to him specifically. Lets be honest here, at the end of the day aren’t we all following a band that can barely sing?”


  3. Mdawg Says:

    Big Up!

  4. MrCompletely Says:

    I’m glad that lunatic crossed the Godwin’s Law line. Officially ends the twit-thread according to one of the oldest rules of the Internet

  5. Mike in Austin Says:

    This 8-17-98 Gorge show should have been a LivePhish release.

    I’m in the deep Gumbo again right now. This remaster sounds pretty darn good too.

  6. Mike in Austin Says:

    Did they start talking about Nazi’s?

  7. RamblinMind Says:

    MIA – is that remaster from KP or is it an aud that showed up on etree?

  8. joe Says:

    I do dig the ghostfunk – thanks for the rec. – definitely appeals to my oldschool/east coast sensibilities.

  9. Mr.Miner Says:

    godwins law @ C….wow! never heard of that. crazy!

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    indeed MiA

    Godwin’s Law wins again

    been true for 21 years and no matter how much the internet changes, that never does

  11. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    MiA, apostrophes don’t make words plural

  12. Mike in Austin Says:

    Ramblin, it’s on the Spreadsheet, but instead of picking the year, there is page called “Remasters”

    They have most of KP’s remasters up there. This one is PhishJam10’s.

    Love to have KP take a run at it and do the Pepsi challenge.

  13. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Hey Mr. C. Never got back to you, but that Bombino is indeed the bomb. Totally not what i was expecting. Amazing. Can’t wait to spin again later tonight. Gladly give that man $18 of my money. Well worth it.

    Miner- saw your little twitter war with those children. Fuck those clowns.

    Where’s AW? Did the hipster killas take down the rasta himself?

  14. snowbank Says:

    So at this point the question is: who is the bigger douche? fatness1 or ReverendJustito.

    fatness1 basically just explained that he spend most of his essay bitching about something that doesn’t really bother him because he had no response to my comment. And that he referenced a person in an insult that he did not mean to include in the insult.

    ReverendJustito has invoked hitler and keeps calling Mr Miner a journalist. He also confuses a pointless crappy essay as criticism.

    This is douchebag competition that would impress even John Stewart.

  15. snowbank Says:

    *spent (for MiA)

  16. Mr. Palmer Says:

    In case anyone forgot. The end of Boogie on into Waves at Bethel #1 is the shit. Talk about coming out of the gates hot. Just had it blaring on the car ride home from work. Thought i’d mention it. 🙂

  17. Mike in Austin Says:

    “MiA, apostrophes don’t make words plural”

    Yeah. Put a period on the end of that sentance too DF. 😉

    Nazi’s, Nazis, 220, 221, whatever it takes.

  18. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Yeah. Put a period on the end of that sentance too DF.

    ^^^ hahhaha

  19. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    lol, sentance

  20. Mike in Austin Says:

    Ha. Wondering if you’d see that.

  21. Mdawg Says:

    I really appreciate Trey taking a stand for something he feels strongly about. Too often “celebrities” are nowhere to be found on certain “issues” we face as a society. Big Up!

    “I am going to say one more thing and then I get to introduce the senator. My case manager’s name is Melanie Vaughn. She could not be here today. When I was in drug court, she scared me. [laughs] I ended up going to jail, and you know everything that happens in drug court. Today, she is one of my best friends. We text each other all the time. The reason she couldn’t be here is ’cause in Washington County — which is in New York, upstate New York, very economically depressed part of the country — there is one case manager in Washington County drug treatment court for probably about 60 or 70 participants. She couldn’t afford to be here and she couldn’t take the time. But she sends her love. And I send my love to you, Melanie, and wish you could be here. And like I said, thank all of you. Keep doing what you are doing.”

  22. lumpyhead Says:

    HAHAHA I just saw the nazi posts!

  23. lumpyhead Says:

    Mr. C….

    wow..Godwin’s law…whodathunkit… that’s the best thing I’ve read today.

  24. sumodie Says:


    Godwin’s law (also known as Godwin’s Rule of Nazi Analogies or Godwin’s Law of Nazi Analogies) is a humorous observation made by Mike Godwin in 1990 which has become an Internet adage.

    It states: “As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1 (100%).”

    In other words, Godwin put forth the hyperbolic observation that, given enough time, in any online discussion—regardless of topic or scope—someone inevitably criticizes some point made in the discussion by comparing it to beliefs held by Hitler and the Nazis.

  25. Jtran Says:

    Some people are pretty ignorant

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