Watch Phish’s 40-Minute ‘Chalk Dust Torture’ & 35-Minute ‘A Wave Of Hope’ In Mexico

Both rendtions were the longest known versions.

By Nate Todd Feb 26, 2024 2:45 pm PST

Phish shared official video of a pair of monster jams from their Riviera Maya Run at the Moon Palace in Cancún, Mexico this past weekend. The videos include the 40-minute “Chalk Dust Torture” from Friday and the 35-minute “A Wave Of Hope” from Thursday night.

Guitarist Trey Anastasio, bassist Mike Gordon, drummer Jon Fishman and keyboardist Page McConnell packed plenty of jam in their collective suitcases before heading south to Mexico. Clocking in at over 35 minutes, “A Wave Of Hope” in Mexico 2024 was the longest known version ever played, as per Phish.net.

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JamBase contributor Benjy Eisen recapped the show, writing this about the performance of “A Wave Of Hope”:

Anyone paying attention these past few years would tell you that a second set, second slot “A Wave of Hope” contains enough potential to make an entire set, even on nights when the aquatic theme doesn’t play directly into the actual setting. And there were signs from the beginning that this one would live up to that potential. Page took the first charge here with a grand piano exercise that he then tossed to Trey for the lick that leads back into the chorus.

Trey began to improvise verbally on the refrain, repeating “I am flying” as both a mantra and a proclamation, perhaps even a statement of intent. Fishman’s frenetic beats beneath deceptively offered the song an anchor, while Trey started his push for expansion. Repeated listens will reveal the micro jams that came roaring through on this one, each one a potential foundation for its own architecture. The band was in sync, listening well to each other while each exploring their own corners of the song’s ocean floor. Moments of precariousness were carried lightly by Fishman’s persistence on movement and a steady beat while Mike continued to look in the direction of Terrapin Crossroads. And sure enough, the moment that Trey came through with a soaring lead, the entire soundscape was woven together in a cohesive way that, from up above, formed a picture perfect image of the best that modern Phish has to offer, where the jams are continually creative and explorative without a constant need to shred at a younger man’s clip.

Intentionally disjointed spears of sounds shot through Trey’s rig while Page went to the Prophet Rev2 to draw in additional strains from outer space. Fishman’s continued freneticism rescued the exploratory jam from accidentally veering into any meandering topography, instead chugging along in its wild experimentation both above and below the waterline in territory that Dr. Gonzo himself would have felt at home in, once he put his game face on.

Wah-wah woven leads and additional Yamaha CS-60 sounds from Page laced this excursion with additional decorum, as it evolved into a more cohesive build of rock bombast and a rolling wall of sound cascaded into a spurious peak, while the song continued to have new things to say before finishing its sentence, err, paragraphs.

Moving full steam ahead with a headless arsenal of ideas, Trey took one cinematic lead after another, aware of the fear and loathing that threatened to bring the whole thing down if it didn’t have such a fearless leader and a unified band of well-decorated sonic astronauts by his side, willing to leap those leaps.

A new theme emerged more than 25 minutes into it, which the band entertained for maybe a minute before deciding to ride the wave right behind it — all this density gave the real time notion that this jam would have lots to unpack upon deserved multiple relistens. A reggae tinged idea from Trey got a literal second glance from Mike, who then offered his support while Trey disguised the inclination with tricks from his toy box, never actually changing the underlying reggae principles. Doubling down on it, in fact, Trey decided to sit on it for a spell, visibly (and happily) trapped inside its trance. When it shifted again, back en route to its final destination, Mike took the opportunity to explore his fretboard some while the song evolved yet again into what felt like its seventh or eighth jam, if you count them a certain way. Maybe more. Perhaps having that same thought himself, one sustained note from Trey signaled the return to form in the shape of “Oblivion” and the entire band quickly fell in line to launch into it proper.

The Internet will make much of the fact that this was the longest version of “A Wave of Hope” yet, weighing in at 35 minutes, but that’s not what makes this song such a heavyweight. That title was earned by the fact that it is indeed 35 minutes in length … and, yet, felt like a fraction of that in the here and now, when fully present inside the walls of its jam.

Not to be outdone, the subsequent evening’s “Chalk Dust” also saw it’s longest version in Mexico 2024 at over 40 minutes. JamBase’s Scott Bernstein wrote about the record-setting “Chalk Dust Torture”:

“Blaze On” kicked off last [Friday]’s second set and lived up to its title thanks to the aggressive handiwork of Trey Anastasio. A brief bit of form-breaking spaciness gave way to “Chalk Dust Torture.” Phish blew open the “Chalk Dust” outro by engaging in a bliss-laden trip. The band patiently wove creative ideas together during the dreamy foray. Out of nowhere, Trey kicked into overdrive and the foursome was off to the races in building the jam in energy as Page added Clavinet swampiness to the arena rock mix at the 15-minute mark. Fishman picked up the beat for hard-driving funkiness in the fourth distinct movement of a standout “Chalk Dust” fans could only have dreamed of back in the ’90s when the staple was rarely extended. Anastasio put a ring modulator to use for wild, extraterrestrial tones amplified by Gordon’s synth bass and Page on Moog. Chris Kuroda used the exploration to make the most of his lighting rig in emphasizing the otherworldly music wowing those on the beach and on the couch.

The final movement was sludgy, deliciously evil and more akin to “Split Open And Melt” than any previous “Chalk Dust.” All told, the Picture Of Nectar number spanned a hair under 40 minutes, the longest version in Phish history. Fans in Mexico were treated to two +30-minute jams in two nights following the massive “A Wave Of Hope” on Thursday.

Watch Phish explore “A Wave Of Hope” and “Chalk Dust Torture” at the Moon Palace below:


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Phish (See 253 videos)
Phish (See 4,022 videos)

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Phish (See 253 videos)
Phish (See 4,022 videos)
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