Dust And Stars And There You Are

10.8.10 - (Graham Lucas)

Phish stepped to Broomfield’s undersized arena in over-sized fashion last night, torching the building with two scintillating sets of music. Beginning from note one, last night’s show boasted a polar opposite vibe of the tour opener, flowing unflappably through the most impressive first set in eons and winding an adventurous path through a second set filled with twists and turns. Compiling a setlist that could make eyes bleed, Phish got back to business in earnest on Monday night, foreshadowing a fall run that will bring the band further down the unforged wilderness of the modern era.

The opening frame read like a page from the Phish canon, from the “Runaway Jim, “Foam” opening combo to the late-set “Halley’s > Tweezer” and everything in between. Following the clean and crisp beginning, “Wolfman’s” got the meat of the first frame underway with snapping, collaborative dance rhythms that stoked a fire of groove in the band which continued for the duration of the show. Piggybacking on the swank excursion, Phish went right ahead and dropped a divine “Reba” that brought the show to a colossal peak very early on. A dynamic version that sprinted right past the several”Rebas” of summer, its likeness in this era may not be found. Treating the piece with utmost delicacy, the band came out incredibly gently, worked cohesively from the start to create an intricate ocean of bliss. As the piece gained momentum, so did Trey, leading the band with an emotional solo that carried them to monumental heights, pushing through the song’s apparent peak to yet a higher plane of sonic sorcery.

Jones Beach (M. Ladd)

And just when it seemed Phish might insert a breather into the set, instead they dropped into the hallowed combo of “Halley’s > Tweezer.” The short launch pad carried a certain tempo and energy that spilled directly into the next massive peak of the opening half – “Tweezer.” Surprising everyone with its first set appearance, “Tweezer” delivered the message that nobody would be waking us from this first-set dream. As Phish splashed into the jam with a laid-back rain forest of funk, Mike grabbed the lead while Trey came in with a set of low-key rhythm licks before stepping to the forefront with a pimped-out, bluesy solo that Page comped masterfully. Clicking with the same semblance of groove that drenched the entire first frame, Trey gradually led this “Tweezer” into more climactic territory with the entire band locked at his hip. Taking the classic version through charted but highly dramatic waters, Phish built an intense, old-school incarnation of their seminal launchpad, all the way down to the gradual “wind-down” ending. Fitting perfectly with the theme of the set, “Tweezer” brought a darker counterpoint to “Reba’s” lucid dream.

And after a sluggish Gordon debut – “What Things Seem” – that combined the sounds of “Spock’s Brain” and “Fikus,” Phish got right back to the their catalog of greatest hits, punctuating the set with the combination of “Squirming Coil,” and “Antelope,” with a hearty emphasis placed on the intense and jazzy set closer. Phew! And that was only the end of the first half? That’s what the clock said, so everyone hunkered down for a whole ‘nother set of Phish. Sometimes after the band drops such a crushing opening frame, the second set becomes an afterthought. But that was not the case last night in Colorado, as the band came out to play another set that continued to light up the 1st Bank Center, including a to-die-for “Twist” that provided the unquestionable highlight of the show.

10.8.10 (G.Lucas)

10.8.10 (G.Lucas)

As Trey began strumming the to open the set, one could barely make out the beginning of…”Golden Age?!” Out of the blue the Phish’s one-time cover of the indie, electro-pop outfit, TV On the Radio, came soaring back into play, kicking off the second set with a celebratory vibe. Playing the piece far more crisply than last fall in Albany, the band shot everyone with 1000 cc’s of adrenaline to the dome while initiating a three-piece musical puzzle. Riding on and the cathartic melodies the song, Phish extended their take this time around, providing a gorgeous structured jam and then continuing the piece after the lyrical refrain. Deconstructing the jam into a percussive canvas that continued to move further away from “Golden Age,” Phish morphed into a shimmering, ambient outro and moved seamlessly into “Piper.”

Bursting with energy as soon as the lyrics subsided, the band tore into this piece with passion, moving as a single entity through a multiverse of musical density. Blazing an aggressive path of one-minded music that featured a subtle, high-speed nod to “Guy Forget,” Phish packed a wallop within a succinct piece, proving again that the length of their jams are meaningless at this point in their career. Soon after the band peaked the blistering affair and broke it down into an alternate canvas, Trey coyly slid in the opening lick to “Camel Walk” and the band was right on top of it, converging to form a seamless surprise segue. The musical molasses of “Camel Walk” brought the set’s opening sequence to a close, but the night’s best music was yet to come.

8.7.2010 (W.Rogell)

Phish inserted “Alaska” as a mid-set cool down before re-upping the show’s proclivity to groove with “Jibboo.” More of a showcase for Trey than anything else, “Jibboo” fit within the feel of the show and got the crowd moving again with a lengthy stretch of straight-ahead rhythmic calisthenics. As the jam moved forth, Trey grew more creative with his offerings, bringing some melodic diversity to the largely, one-dimensional song. Taking “Jibboo” to the top with relentless guitar leads, Trey brought the band from the dance crescendo into a “Velvet Sea” that he laced with particularly soulful playing, transcending any standard version of the ballad. With a slot set up perfectly for “You Enjoy Myself,” the band made a far wiser choice, dropping into the hands-down highlight of the show – and this young fall tour – in a masterful “Twist.”

Official Broomfield Poster

Setting sail into an improvisational matrix, Phish slid into an emphatically slowed down groove in which all four members connected in the type of virtuoso improvisation we dream about. Oozing into a fully locked and ultra-patient groove, the band converged in a dripping psychedelic fantasy that evoked true magic for the first time this tour. Playing off each others’ ideas as if reading minds, Trey and Page formed a melodic pairing that combined with Fishman and Gordon’s slicker-than-ever pocket, forming the standout moment of Colorado thus far. Taking a deep dive late in the set, not only was “Twist’s” placement a surprise, the jam shocked and persuaded souls to ignite throughout the intimate venue. Skillfully steering the murky improv to back to the end of the song, minds were left in puddles on the floor after the final note.

Albeit a somewhat sloppy version, “Fluffhead” brought a boisterous final peak to the set before an randomly placed “Number Line” provided an afterthought to a redonkulous evening of Phish. And to close the show, another nugget of classic lore – “Monkey,” “Reprise” – and all was good for the night. Some evenings of Phish just pop more than others, and the second show of fall did just that. Taking giant steps forward from night one, and leaving night three hanging on the brink, fall tour is just getting underway. Hop on for the ride…

I: Runaway Jim, Foam, Back on the Train, Wolfman’s Brother, Reba, Halley’s Comet > Tweezer, What Things Seem*, The Squirming Coil, Run Like an Antelope

II: Golden Age > Piper > Camel Walk, Alaska, Gotta Jibboo, Wading in the Velvet Sea, Twist, Fluffhead, Backwards Down the Number Line

E: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise

*debut

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1,045 Responses to “Dust And Stars And There You Are”

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  1. uberchef Says:

    Looks like a great show last night, especially the 2nd frame.

    Anyone need a pair for providence @ face? sec. 230 row b. hit me at zahmintashen@gmail.com

    Cheers!

  2. Guyute711 Says:

    Am I the only one hoping we don’t get a Squirming Coil in Charleston?

  3. SillyWilly Says:

    “Compiling a setlist that would make eyes bleed”

    Awesome, Miner!

    I can’t wait to hear what they do tonight.

    missing shows sucks.

    I need to re-evaluate the priorities in my life

  4. st8 of mind Says:

    Good work Miner!

  5. willowed Says:

    Lot of great lines in there Miner

  6. Tweezer Says:

    Interesting that you and I can have such varying distinct opinions about last night. For the second set, I thought the Golden Age could have taken us places like the sick version from Albany but it died out. I heard Page start something good but Trey immediately pulled the ebrake on it and looked over at Page with an apologetic look. Boo! I thought the rest of the set was lacking any real communication between the guys and most jams were left floating around without any real direction. Camel Walk was spot on and the end of Fluffhead raged but over all, meah. That Wolfman’s groove was absolutely stellar.

  7. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    what is it about Jibboo that grabs me every time in 3.0? I used to really really not like that song and it has become one I know will provide what I need every time now.

  8. ThePigSong Says:

    shit, I need some live phish in my life. period.

  9. Leo Weaver Says:

    I’m with you T3 re: Jibboo. Kinda meh about it back in the day, but really enjoy it now.

  10. halcyon Says:

    Another scorcher everyone. Give this one a listen!

  11. Leo Weaver Says:

    So is last night’s show streaming anywhere?

  12. willowed Says:

    I feel the same way about Guyte in 3.0

    Back in the day….not feeling it so much

    Now…i go freakin’ banana’s

  13. halcyon Says:

    the energy was explosive last night. nearly lost my voice

  14. lastwaltzer Says:

    Gotta say I hear a lot of potential in night one. While most of the jamming is really short there is a lot of really cool textures and themes they just don’t get much breathing room. That being said they weren’t horse’d which is encouraging.

    Really like this Stash, almost sounded like the rest of the band wanted to keep going and Page was trying to reel it in. The Simple touches on some nice spots and was starting to remind me of the greek one until they gracefully moved into Ghost which also has some nice themes. The Ghost groove got worked over nicely, trey lays down some nice licks with cool effects before moving into the jerky funk starting around the eleven minute mark, really liked this portion especially the start-stop aspect. The end of the jam is also really unique almost reminded me of some the Bowie/Eno instrumentals..

    Fee has a nice jam tacked on the end that sounded like it was going to drift off into some ambient space, too bad they didn’t surrender to the flow.

    Not liking “My Problem Right There”. The groove is good for a blues shuffle but uh lyrics are not only weak but it suffers from Dr.Gabel Syndrome. Not to mention another product placement.

    That said, gotta love that Traffic Light, slicK.

    Can’t wait to hear night two.

  15. SillyWilly Says:

    I feel like last night they set the tone where anything goes.

    They could pull anything out the bag

    For example:

    Liquid time>Sand

    Or C&P>Undermind>Split.

  16. SillyWilly Says:

    I might fold up the rest of my day at 9:54AM

    and just imagine combinations of songs they could play.

    Wayyyy more productive than work or school.

  17. Mr.Miner Says:

    @ lw…you’re too damn smart. That’s your problem right there. 😉

  18. Bad Nirvana Cover Band Says:

    I listened to 11/17/97 Denver yesterday.

    WAY TOO JAMMY! I couldn’t even tell what song they were playing half the time.

  19. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Not to mention another product placement.

    trza’s kids gotta eat, yo!

  20. Robear Says:

    ‘Jim>FOAM’ screams oldschool!

    Take me to Providence, dear Lizza, dear Lizza!

  21. SillyWilly Says:

    Llama>Tube>massive Light to open things off tonight.

  22. Lycanthropist Says:

    “C&P>Undermind>Split.”

    ^^^ This is Charleston Please!!

  23. SillyWilly Says:

    After that combo Trey will give us the devil grin and flip us off and say, “Yeah. I did that.”

  24. whole tour! Says:

    last night was solid.
    it was legit.
    what a setlist!
    charleston will be blown off the map this weekend!

  25. ThePigSong Says:

    well, I was going to spin most of night 1 this morning – but after that review I’m skipping ahead after hitting the Ghost and Slave.

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