Third-Set Thunder

7.1.11 - Watkins Glen (Graham Lucas)

Of all the stellar musical sequences that took place over Super Ball weekend, the opening segment of Saturday night’s third set—”Golden Age” > “Caspian” > “Piper” > “Tweezer”—represents one of the improvisational best. Combining four flowing and creative pieces, the band kicked off the nighttime festivities with a run of music that showcased a broad spectrum of their styles while blowing just about everyone out of the water.

7.3.11 (G.Lucas)

It’s no coincidence that “Golden Age” has emerged as one of this era’s defining covers. Lyrically poignant for Phish’s modern renaissance, this song has grown in each outing since its Albany ’09 debut (11.27), and this summer “Golden Age” has broken out of its shell. In Darien, not only did the band take the jam further than it had ever gone, the song became the theme of the set, reemerging prominently in “Weekapaug” and “2001.” But when the guys dropped into the dance anthem at Super Ball, the piece took on a whole new life. Transcending the rhythm grooves that dotted Darien’s excursion, Phish explored demented and percussive planes while launching into genre-defying improv at Watkins Glen. All of a sudden, the fun cover became a trampoline into the void as its jam became more abstract and psychedelic by the minute. Mike completely owned the latter portions of this piece, acting as the musical rudder while Trey and Page bubbled at the water’s surface. Fishman’s quickened and precise break-beats bordered on inhuman as the band delved into a tightly-laced musical jigsaw puzzle. And each piece was exactly in the right place.

Upon conclusion of “Golden Age’s” adventure, Phish dropped into “Prince Caspian” but, applying their teeming creativity to the song, played an alternate take of the usually straightforward ballad. Trey started his solo with less notes, carrying each out for longer and creating an incredibly emotional feel over the band’s slowed, festival-sized canvas. But instead of bringing the song to a peak, Trey backed off and the band moved with him into a more delicate conversation. As the band brought the piece down an intricate path, Trey briefly hinted at the heavy chords that typically end the song, before they slid right into “Piper” without stopping.

Watkins Glen (Graham Lucas)

Phish barreled forth with enormous energy built from the set’s opening combo, and “Piper” took little time to reach soaring planes. As soon as the lyrics ended, this version burst wide-open with instinctual jamming—the kind where the music commands the band and all becomes one energetic blur. Chugging as a single-minded monster, the guys poured laced this high-paced jaunt with passionate interplay. Mike continued his mastery with accelerated bass lines that bled musical darkness. Trey fed off Gordon’s energy, soon sprouting melodic cries while Fishman annihilated his set like there was no tomorrow. Page filled in on piano and the band was off and sprinting through fields of psychedelic debauchery. As Trey inserted rhythmic chops to ease the mania, the band leaped on his idea, creating sparse and connected percussive textures. But before long, Phish collectively constructed another wall of sound—a wall that Trey tore down with the opening lick of “Tweezer.”

Super Ball (B.Ferguson)

From the get-go, this “Tweezer” had IT. Infused with creative fills, hits and stops during the composed section, when the jam dropped everyone knew things were gonna’ get buck wild. Dripping with over-sized grooves and an aggressive growl from Big Red, the band applied their retro-stop/start jamming to this festival sized monster, creating even more gooey, rhythmic tension. This was one of those versions that one lived rather than listened to—the shit was just raw. And as the colossal textures threatened to envelop the concert field, Trey initiated a pattern of seething guitar cries—which he echoed himself—before chopping the jam with his seismic, orbit-altering effect and oozing into jam’s next segment. Mike twisted teases of “Scents and Subtle Sounds” into this mellower groove as the band methodically moved towards a guitar-led build. The piece seemed to be winding to natural conclusion, but Trey jumped the gun a bit, rushing into the beginning of “Julius.” But after a such a stellar four-song run, everything else felt like gravy.

Though Sunday’s show would prove to be a more complete effort through and through, this segment from Saturday’s night’s third set provided one of the unquestionable high points of Super Ball’s unforgettable weekend.

The age of miracles.
The age of sound.
Well there’s a Golden Age
Comin’ round, comin’ round, comin’ round!


Jam of the Day:

Piper > Tweezer” 7.2.11 III

The latter half of this next-level run of music.


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465 Responses to “Third-Set Thunder”

  1. kayatosh Says:

    blizzard is right, sumodie.

    I grabbed 6.20.97; 6.24.97 vultures wolfman’s twist; 6.25 .97 dwd.piper>dwd meatstick makisupa; 7.1.97; and 7.1.98 moma faced, tweez, 2001

    all of the above $$$.

    I just have one Sball aud. and its the KP recommended CCM4 for 7.1. I’cve been enjoying it and don’t find it to be boomy. intend to check out GP’s rec.s man was on point in leg I.

  2. kenny powers Says:

    @ voop – oh wait…when you said FLAC i thought you meant pre-FM….do you know if they will be pre-FM? if they’re just lossless versions of the streams, they’ll still have the issue w/ the levels.

  3. Mulitbeast Says:

    Alright…the board has been pampin’ breaking bad: electric boogaloo for awhile now. I am going to start watching this week.

  4. Mulitbeast Says:

    Selector – I thought it was you who had been talking up Black Joe Lewis on the board. I actually went to them live in denver due to discussion of the band on the BB.

  5. kenny powers Says:

    you will not be disappointed multibeast. just last night i finished an episode with my head shaking and jaw agape.

  6. guitarpicker420! Says:

    the opening of season 3 is freaking wild.

  7. Mulitbeast Says:

    I am not really certain why I have waited this long to watch it. I usually jump on any cable show that is getting critical recognition pretty damn quick. The Walking Dead for example….and I watched the Killing with my fiancé. She loved it and I enjoyed it, but the season finale was wack.

  8. MrCompletely Says:

    I didn’t watch The Killing but the smackdown review of the finale was an instant classic

  9. sumodie Says:

    decent sbix video montage:

    a little too jerky at times for me but he does cover all the bases in only ~3 minutes

    (same guy also made one for F8)

  10. Lycanthropist Says:

    Mr. C

    I did some more investigating on Shadow of the Torturer.

    I can’t wait to read this book. Thanks for the rec.

    I would strongly encourage you to commit to reading the first book, A Game of Thrones, before watching the series. The series is absolutely fantastic, and one of the most faithful and best adaptations of page-to-screen period. I know that you will like it enough to at least watch the whole season and enjoy it.

    However, I am afraid that because of how good the show is you will be satisfied with getting the story through the show alone. If you do you would be robbing yourself of one Martin’s excellent writing and attention to detail that puts him in league with Tolkien and others.

    In fact it is a step outside of Tolkien in that there is no merry band of travelers that have to unite against impossible odds to overthrow the dark forces that threaten to destroy the world.

    No they are simply men and pride and honor and life and death is real in this series and it comes in much more realistic ways then any fantasy I’ve read.

    My long rambling point is, that the literary aspect of this book is as engaging as the story, which in the book rather than the series, is flavored and deepened by a rich and intriguing history.

  11. kayatosh Says:

    halcyon: thanks for repampin the dr. john meters bonarro stuff. just pulled that one down.

    bearito: congrats on rekindling. you pull some don juan like moves. well done.

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    ah cool Lycan. You will love the Torturer books, I’m certain of that. And ok, you talked me into it – I’ll get the first of those from the library and give it a spin.

  13. angryjoggerz Says:

    woot woot, Portishead on tour this fall, including 1.5 blocks from my house! The Greek too!

  14. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    ou might have to go see them in TO

  15. Mike in Austin Says:

    Lycan just sold me on getting these Game of Throne books. I watched the series and was hooked. Don’t know what the $$$ budget is on this series, but it really does give LOTR a run for the money in the art department.

  16. Wilson8or Says:

    Late to the game as always, but that Piper was the (o Y o)

  17. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    I have a home gaucamole lab.

    very discreet, huge payoff.

  18. Mulitbeast Says:

    gotta check out the grantland reveiw of the Killing finale. The show had built up such good will with their fans and than they just didn’t deliver on their initial promise.

    I am listening to the playback of the Bunny broadcasts from SBIX. I like it.

  19. ThePigSong Says:

    thanks for pointing out the F8 video sumo! There is another one out there, but a little longer.

    There is no comparing the actual concert grounds of sbix to F8. 8 was pure magic, IMO.

    That being said, I’ll take the overall experience of sbix any day of the week.

  20. Mulitbeast Says:

    Mr C-

    Due to your great recs on bluegrass/funk/GD/etc…..I was wondering if you were into any country music, and if so, if you had any recs?

    Every once a while, I like listening to a bit of country. Old country I should say.

  21. voopa Says:

    KP- Pretty sure they will be from a different source, not so sure about the pre-FM part.

  22. bhizzle Says:

    “I have a home gaucamole lab”.

    nasty explosions from that!

  23. Mulitbeast Says:

    have you seen portishead live before? I am fan….they are playing Denver. May have to check em out.

  24. sumodie Says:

    *Single day Outside Lands tix onsale Wednesday July 13th @ 10am PST*


    FRIDAY lineup:

    The Shins
    The Original Meters
    Erykah Badu
    Big Audio Dynamite
    Big Boi
    Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
    Ellie Goulding
    Collie Buddz
    Best Coast
    Foster The People
    Toro Y Moi
    The Joy Formidable
    The Limousines
    New Orleans Klezmer Allstars
    Kelley Stoltz
    Release The Sunbird
    Arann Harris & The Farm Band

  25. MrCompletely Says:

    my country music listening is pretty much early 70s Willie Nelson albums: Red Headed Stranger, Shotgun Willie, Phases and Stages, maybe Sound In Your Mind. Those and the Johnny Cash Rick Rubin American Recordings are about it except for a track here and there

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