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. mitch Says:

    you can tell when i made that site since it has a hampton comeback image

  2. mitch Says:

    mr c,
    send me details if you find out about the VIP please. thx

  3. sumodie Says:

    Terrace is like Glen Close

    Glamping is like Jessica Biel

  4. mitch Says:

    Glamping is like that blonde girl I learned about last week from the rolling stone cover. Yowza

  5. mitch Says:

    Googled: Blake lively

  6. voopa Says:

    mrs. v is making popcorn w/ oven baked applewood bacon grease.


  7. MrCompletely Says:

    “laugh all you want about Glamping (I sure do), but Glamping camping sold out even before Gorge Phish tix went on sale”

    ‘zactly. terrible name, pretty sweet setup. can’t deny it, that’s a good move by them

  8. mitch Says:

    sounds like a honeymoon suite if i ever saw one.

    POPCORN WITH BACON GREASE!! why didnt we ever think of that. i live in a state known for corn and fat people.

    gonna run that idea by mom tomorrow.

  9. Mdawg Says:


  10. sumodie Says:

    my CO buddy Dave told me he was sickened by the smell of chocolate covered bacon that was selling like hot cakes at the Broomfield Phish shows

    so after the MSG NYE shows I sent bacon flavored gum balls along with his NYC swag that I had to snail mail him

    now I’ve got some bacon flavored floss to give Dave at the Gorge


  11. mitch Says:

    intrigued by NYC swag.

    chocolate bacon is actually popping up all over. they make fancy ice cream with chilis, chocolate and bacon that you can order online its so popular.

    salty and sweet is awesome. bacon floss however… the point of floss is to feel clean…

  12. DukeOfLizards Says:

    re: NYC swag

    My grocery store of choice just picked up the Sweet Action.

    Oh yeah.

  13. sumodie Says:

    NYC swag for Telluride Dave = a shit ton of architecture books from Strand and Phaidon bookstores

    figured some bacon gum balls were a necessary accoutrement with that kind of reading

  14. butter Says:

    good evening

  15. MrCompletely Says:

    bacon and chocolate can be pretty great


  16. butter Says:

    got like 2 or 3 of those voodo doughnut’s up there, don’t ya C?

  17. butter Says:

    all hopped up on some blue bottle,

    had a pour over before dinner and a latte for dessert

    have you had there coffee yet C?

  18. BrandonKayda Says:

    you guys should hop on over to turntable

    free jazz night

  19. butter Says:

    dont have a fb, bk

  20. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    I cannot enter tonight

  21. mitch Says:

    butter, havent been using my fake login lately if you wanna share it. just be sure to tell them you are me.

    duke, found 6 bottles of sweet action double deuces in a brooklyn grocery in the ghetto by my buddies place on kent ave. bought em out and took what was left to gdads spot pre camden. grocery lady was like “i’ve never heard of this before” and im all, thats why you had 6 bottles left since i cant find it anywhere else.

    i bet your grocer pulled them out of the back since it hasnt been around for a while. dont think its something they can pickup on right now. either way… SCORE! for you. save one for me and i’ll haggle some robane when im home 😉

  22. butter Says:

    thanks Mitch, it was kind of a polite excuse anyway 😉

    Gorge bitches

  23. voopa Says:


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