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

Tags: ,

1,147 Responses to “Dreaming In Denver”

  1. albert walker Says:

    Maybe rob ill have to spin. I was out of my head

    Check bethel for sick type 1 DWD

  2. kayatosh Says:

    green eyed lady by sugarloaf it is. well done, tela’s. that’s a high level call. dope song.

  3. Lycanthropist Says:

    i thought the DWD was smoking..

    kinda thought it was staying type I when Trey pushed it back up again before the segue jam…

  4. butter Says:

    still lurkin

  5. kayatosh Says:


    listen to the tune from around the 50 sec. mark through 1:20 min mark.

    then listen to page on the tweez at the 3.5 min mark. a sped up version of that same riff.

  6. butter Says:

    i mean what are they gunna do, try and top DTE Disease on the second to last show of the summer, hell na

  7. ThePigSong Says:

    fucking love this write up.

    can’t wait till this weekend of friends, family and booze is over so I can get back to my phish obsession. 😉

  8. Punt N Tend It Says:

    Dicks Disease needed a Tweezer to find the Light

    Hope you ready for the Premature Ejaculation set thats coming tonight

    Set 2:
    Mike’s > Ghost > Piper > Twist > Weekapaug Groove, Fluffhead, Roggae, Zero, You Enjoy Myself

    Before you get too excited, Mike’s through Groove will only take 40 min

  9. ThePigSong Says:

    anyone heard anything about a VT benefit in two weeks?

    I brought it up to the slf and she says we need to be there. I’d love to see this come to fruition.

  10. Mdawg Says:

    Nice Telas! Couldn’t put a name to that page tease.

  11. voopa Says:

    Anyone try to DL the HD FLACs from LP? Light and Disease Reprise have been incomplete for me for over 10 hours now! The rest of the files took like 10 minutes, and then this. Pissing me off. And LP custy service is closed for the weekend.

  12. butter Says:

    CEP, Piper, Hood, Carini, Waves

  13. voidboy Says:

    Hey BB’ers… Awesome shows going down right now.

    Someone was mentioning FLAV files out there… has anyone posted links?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.


  14. joe Says:

    random side note: caught the last bit of the Sirius Countdown of the top 50 Phish songs. late friday night. The # song as voted by the fans (what fans, I’m not sure) was…Fluffhead.

    They played live versions of the songs I heard, but not specifically saying this is the best version of the best song.

  15. c0wfunk Says:

    seemed like when the tweezer riff kicked in Trey felt the jam wasn’t getting to where he wanted quickly enough. His immediacy in the tweezer jam bears this out – took an upward turn to the soaring where the dwd was headed downward and kind of melting down.. Or that’s what I felt like watching the stream. Really nice show I was pretty worn out after mtn biking in the afternoon and drifted in and out. Dreaming indeed. Look forward to hearing back in a more lucid state.

  16. butter Says:

    The hd’s are a bit of a pain in the ass in general for me. They skip on wifes older generation iPod. They take longer for lp to have up. They are a bit obnoxious in file size.

    Coming to the conclusion, that for now, the flacs are good enough.

  17. c0wfunk Says:

    agreed that the tweezer jam felt like “A bit 98 with the slight melodic ambience” Trey’s soaring chording took it to that rising ebullient almost phillip glass kind of realm

  18. ThePigSong Says:

    five seconds I guess, that tranny sounded pretty smooth as far as tweez trannies go.

  19. c0wfunk Says:

    gorge 97 has a pretty smooth -> tweezer out of dwd. Don’t recall another that was very smooth at all.

  20. Mr palmer Says:

    Pigsong- I heard that rumor as well. Sept 14th. I think was the date.

  21. ThePigSong Says:

    btw – Fluff is definitely the top ph song for me. I don’t want to hear it at every show, but it means a lot to this 3.0 fan. Especially since I waited five years to see this band and when I finally did they opened with Fluffhead.

  22. ThePigSong Says:

    halfway through the tweezer and I’m loving the page fills.

    wifes fucking friend walks into the room just now and says, “argh the phish”.

    My answer “isn’t this sublime?”

    Her “Oh I LOVE Sublime”

    who the fuck am I hanging out with?

  23. Robear Says:

    We need Plord or Jtran to weigh in on Vt rumor.

  24. ThePigSong Says:

    and yeah that’s the date I saw too palmer, hope it’s actually the 15th though.

    Saturday night is a lock, Friday not so much.

  25. ThePigSong Says:

    I couldn’t turn the tweezer jam up loud enough. loved it.

    I’m out. adios kids, have a good one.

Leave a Reply