Dreaming In Denver

9.3.11 Michael Stein

On the middle night of Denver’s summer finale, Phish threw down a show that rivaled any of the season. Without having listened back just yet, because sometimes—well—it’s just better that way, I can, unquestionably, vouch for the two-set powerhouse. In an absolute showcase of why I travel this country far and wide chasing down a dream, the band crafted a second set that underlined the intangible excellence of now in the universe of Phish.

Fusing central jam vehicles “Down with Disease” and “Tweezer” into a half-hour of the most sublime music of the summer, the band finally went deep on “Tweezer” and came up with timeless jam that immediately vaulted itself into my favorite pieces of music I’ve ever experienced. I don’t need to hear it again—I don’t need any listen-back guarantee—it’s that good. Fusing bliss and groove in an improvisational odyssey, the likes of which I thought only lived in the far recesses of my imagination, Phish dropped a jam that will remain in all of our listening rotations for the rest of time.

9.3.11 (M.Stein)

And how they got there was a great part of the adventure. Taking a set-opening “Disease” into an exploratory realm and then patiently building towards a ridiculous segue into “Tweezer,” the band seemed in the brink of an all-time transition. Having deliberately spent time weaving the song’s together, at the last second the band (or a single member) inexplicably rushed the final entry into “Tweezer,” botching the pure transition. But at the same time, having just jammed a stellar “Disease” into “Tweezer,” rushed by a five seconds or not, shit was on like donkey kong! And instead of my writing about this “Tweezer” right now, do yourself a favor and just go listen. It’s rare that I get back to my hotel without the immediate desire replay what I just lived, but somehow, once I got back home last-night, this soul-cleansing journey wasn’t something I was ready to hear so quickly. In all seriousness, however, if you weren’t there, you should do it now. Check it out…Phish at their absolute finest.

9.2.11 (M.Stein)

When the opening half-hour of the second set consisted of nothing but “Disease -> Tweezer,” the band could have played “Julius” six times and walked off stage and I’d have been a pig in shit. But, thankfully, they only played it once towards the end of the set when things had already been scribed in the record books by a set of music that never let up for a moment. After a half-hour of exploratory jamming, one would expect such an epic “Tweezer” to bleed into “Prince Caspian,” and certainly not “Golden Age!” But that’s the kind of night it was. Tacking on the first jammed-out version since Super Ball, Phish tied a third open jam onto an unfolding masterpiece. Punctuating the opening run with a spectacular and hard-peaking “Limb by Limb,” for the second night in row, anything the band touched was turning to gold. Thus, when they started up “Kill Devil Falls”—a song I’d never want to hear in the middle of a second set—it didn’t make me flinch. On a night like last, the songs were completely secondary to the in-the-moment jamming that took hold of the band from the onset of the show. And as the band careened through the blistering rock jam, just when song usually winds down, the band hopped right back into the high-speed textures from which they had just descended. And when this bonus segment came to a close, the band seeped into the ambient openings of “2001.”

9.3.11 (Michael Stein)

It felt like a “YEM” might sprout from the peak of “2001,” but when “Light” came out of the song’s peak, the dreamscape just became more vivid. A passionate exploration of “Light”—another highlight of a set made of them—built to a delicate passage where Trey hinted at the “Down With Disease” lick. And as the rest of the band jumped into a percussive hybrid of the two songs—a legitimate “Disease Reprise”—one of the show’s most awe-inducing moments materialized out of the unlikeliest of places. At this stage of the set, the band, the crowd, and the entire universe had experienced a massive triumph, and when the band did finally segue into “Julius” amidst one of their sickest sets of the year, it seemed sardonically appropriate. “Cavern,” the seeming set-closer, set the table for an “Antelope” that punctuated this show complete. And to bring the set full circle, amidst the chaotic jam, Trey wove in calculated “Disease” licks, another sign of a band that is clearly communicating as well if not better than ever.

The classic encore of “Sleeping Monkey,” “Tweezer Reprise” provided a classy signature on a show of immediate lore. I’ll be back after the tour to rehash this whole affair in a far more musically-focused fashion. But for now, the emotions are all that will come through the keys. With one night left of a summer of legend, the band is at the top of their game, and it’s all just a blessing to be a part of.

9.2.11 (M.Stein)

First Set Thoughts: The opening frame of last night show—though only containing one true jam vehicle in “Wolfman’s Brother,” retained full engagement from the get go. Each and every song in the set got the full treatment, as each piece represented a supercharged version of its normal self. If one song stood out to me in the first set, it was “Llama.” For the past couple years, the song seemed like its old-school energy could never be matched, and that a bust-out would always be fun for the memories. But in the type of performance that underlines the band’s unbridled confidence of the moment, they exploded with a fury brought the audience back to the song’s most gloriest of days. A super smooth “Moma,” an unusually huge “Ocelot” and a slamming “Funky Bitch” also stood out in a frame that featured on-point playing throughout. And to close the set came another creative excursion of “Wolfman’s,” a version that grew into uncharted waters before returning to the song’s conclusion in a massive set closer. Fuck—even “Possum” shredded. It was just one of those nights.

I: Possum, The Moma Dance, The Wedge, Ocelot, The Divided Sky, Funky Bitch, Axilla > Llama, Fast Enough for You, Wolfman’s Brother

II: Down with Disease -> Tweezer > Golden Age > Limb By Limb, Kill Devil Falls > Also Sprach Zarathustra > Light* -> Julius > Cavern, Run Like an Antelope

E: Sleeping Monkey > Tweezer Reprise

*w/ “Disease Reprise” jam

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1,147 Responses to “Dreaming In Denver”

  1. garretc Says:

    What kind of world am I living in where two Phish shows have occured without either of the sbds being posted on deemon? Is this the middle ages or something? How am I supposed to catch up on these shows no spoila style so I can come back and kick it with you cool cats?

    Can anybody save me from the horrors of sbd deprivation? If so, shoot me an email at garretconour at gmail and I will reward your kindness by sending you an email response made of 100% gratitude!

    Hope everybody is having a blast this weekend in Commerce City!

  2. Lycanthropist Says:

    Fantastic show last night.

    Watched the first set solo

    Llama Wolfman’s Funky Bitch and Ocelot all killed

    Wife brought beer and food right before the second set… just in time for that spiritual Tweezer.

    I definitely think the botched segues with both DWD > Tweezer and the DWD reprise were on Fish.

    Trey gave the band plenty of time to get in sync and it seemed like FIsh just never really made it happen.

    I mean Fish is the one who stopped the music before goin into Tweezer.

    Small complaint, just sayin, can’t blame it on Trey this time.

    Tweezer and Light were messages of hope to me. Deliberate celebrations of life and all its tender and subtle aspects..

    Just pure beauty.

  3. Ryan Says:

    WoW – last night had the heat

  4. Robear Says:

    Tweezer, take 2. Yes and yes!

  5. Mike in Austin Says:

    Bring on the HEAT!

  6. Robear Says:

    This summers highlights reel will make an all-timer list!

    Trey can really hit home runs with the effects peddles at times.

    Noticing he is staying away from the Whale pedal on this run. Thanks and Praises!!!

  7. Luther T. Justice Says:

    @garretc
    The noid has been strange as of late. Everything from leg 2 is an external source and takes forever to be posted.

  8. themanatee Says:

    tweezer is simply an all timer

  9. Robear Says:

    Garret, u could be at the shows.

    Suffer without the soundboards!

  10. Robear Says:

    Need a playlist with ‘RnR>Gorage Jam>Tweezer>waves>Undermind’

  11. tela'smuff Says:

    last night was fantastic. great thoughts Lycan! Halcyon has similar feelings on that.

    so the tweezer is basically a really slowed down blissed out Disease Jam right? sick sick Tweez. totally different than the Gorge RnR, Tahoe Light, or UIC Disease. but amazing in it’s own way.

    two great sections of musical flow, Disease>Tweez>Golden Age and KDF>2001>>Light>Disease.

    what a day before the show as well. good crew, hanging by Boulder Creek soaking in the surroundings.

  12. kayatosh Says:

    8.5 mins. into DWD and things start getting real interesting. after 2.5 mins. of tasty, mike-filled space, trey gets antsy and brings it back to rock. tweezers it.

    listening to tweezer for first time since last night. loved it live (webcast). mike + fish = baddest ryhtm section in the land.

  13. albert walker Says:

    That tweezer is so fresh 3.0

    A bit 98 with the slight melodic ambience

    Peak 3.0 phish

  14. Luther T. Justice Says:

    @Robear
    This summer has really been a blessing. Leaving us plenty to mull over until the break is over. Dick’s is leaving us with more nuts to get us through the winter. Some of Dick’s nuts are big ones. Big Dick’s nuts.

  15. kayatosh Says:

    phish drops a tweezer like this gem from last night, and they got me for on the line for night 3. done deal.

    3.5 mins. in the tweez: what is that tease page is laying down? classic rock, but can’t place it. brilliantly woven in there. this tweezer is the stuff of dreams. so much to love w/in 14.5 mins.

  16. albert walker Says:

    The DWD is the energy builder that sets up the exploratory tweezer

    Shred to bliss

    I feel looking for type 2 in DWD detracts from that feel

    Rough segue but not cut short

  17. tela'smuff Says:

    also, one final reminder.

    BB meetup/bbq starting around 3:45-4ish in lot. shooting for Lot A.

    hit me funkybch gmail if you need details.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    dream tweezer @ dick’s

  19. Robear Says:

    ‘RnR>Tweezer>Light(Tahoe)>Waves>Undermind’

    Heaven

  20. tela'smuff Says:

    in Tweezer Page teases that classic rock tune “Green Eyed Lady” by Sugarloaf. at least that’s what i hear

  21. kayatosh Says:

    mainly agreed, aw. could have used a little more stretch to that dwd, but it does set up tweezer nicely, where the promise of dwd is realized. melodic jam. dwd>tweez = one movement.

  22. Robear Says:

    AW, not always looking for Type II DWD. Looking for some more original sounding licks ala SBIX DWD. not a complaint. Just a take from the confines of home. Worked real well as a whole. Would have danced my ass off.

  23. kayatosh Says:

    tela’s: at the 3.5 min. mark? green eyed lady, huh? i’ll have to check that out, see if that’s what i’m hearing. the tease of whatever theme it is distinct. thanks for weighing in.

  24. Robear Says:

    @kaya, Telas, I heard something in there too, I couldn’t quite place.

  25. Luther T. Justice Says:

    They soundchecked Brown-Eyed Girl yesterday. Now they tease Green-Eyed Lady? The eyes have it!

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