Phish arrived in Bethel Woods, NY a day early ahead of its three-night run at the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in the spring of 2011. As the band prepared for three nights of musical mayhem at the outdoor amphitheater, the group delivered a soundcheck that lasted for hours, weaving through its catalog with musical fluidity. Among the now-legendary jams that took place during that session on May 26th, 2011 was that of “Waves”, and the recording still sounds out as one of the best in the history of the band from Vermont.

Shared by archivist Kevin Shapiro as part of his From The Archives series, the 5/26/11 soundcheck performance of “Waves” is something to behold. The band worked in themes from John Coltrane‘s A Love Supreme throughout the 25+ minute soundcheck. Even without the crowd to please, the band explored extra-musical liberties throughout, and the result was simply sublime.

Revisit the band’s soundcheck performance of “Waves” via the video below.

Phish – “Waves” – 5/26/2011 [Soundcheck]

[Audio: Dig Dug]

[Originally published 5/26/17]