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. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Kangfirmed was looking for title on the tease

    BB FTW!

  2. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    some one needs to run that shazaam app for the teases in the show.

  3. Tray Says:

    “Phish – Confusing wives since 1983”

  4. [Not Tom] Says:

    Tweezer coming through very nicely upon replay. Nice when the relisten can sound fresh.

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    doing the tweezer relisten now. This passage in the 9-10 min range has a very 98 sound to it the static chord rising ambiance. Some really nice subtle loop work from the guitar player.

  6. Mike in Austin Says:

    “Tweezer, Tweezer, Tweezer!!!! Is that all you ever talk about?”

    Signed, Wolfmans (ala Jan)

  7. BrandonKayda Says:

    PT is disgusting. Somebody OD’d at Dick’s and people are asking for pictures. Terrible.

  8. Mike in Austin Says:

    Ugh. That spot is a mind field of stupidity 99.9% of the time. Brazen jackasses almost all of them.

  9. Robear Says:

    Need some DL codes so I can make my uber-bliss playlist. Need the codes from your dick’s tix.

  10. butter Says:

    when you break it down to cd’s

    disc 2 from last night is lookin dirty

    Wolf thru Limb……..looks like uncut Phish right ther

  11. [Not Tom] Says:

    RObese gonna make a Dick’s Picks for 2011. Nice.

  12. [Not Tom] Says:

    Robear – iPhone typing fail

  13. Robear Says:

    Yes. I already have it worked out.

    30K seat venue. Let’s not be stingy with the codes people!

  14. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    hafta second miners “just one of those nights” statement about the first and obv second set.

    i was at the nyc webcast party in times square.
    chill theaater, they let us smoke drink w.e

    anyway, i felt like such a noob because the entire first set i was SO into every single song and i wasnt sure if it was just the weed or what but, as miner confirmed, they were just SHREDDING every single thing apart. just such a solid performance, let alone the awesome jamming.

    cant wait for the stream to leak

  15. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    trey after 13 minute mark in tweezer… wtf. then mike matches him perfectly

  16. purplehumpbackwhale Says:

    (wtf in a good way)

  17. [Not Tom] Says:

    Robear – code coming your way

  18. Robear Says:

    Nice! Thx @ not Tom! Got last night. Uber-bliss pl nearly complete.

  19. Random Poster...Nutbag Says:

    purple…I felt exactly like you just described at the show and when I got home. I literally had the exact same conversation in my mind as I went to bed.

    Denver Post review…


  20. Luminous Llama Says:

    [Not Tom] ~~> could I possibly be so lucky & so very thankful as ‘Robear’ is now ?! Much Appreciated either way …. Loved that DWD Reprise that effortlessly appeared outta nowhere !!!

  21. Brett Says:

    The Tweezer intro botch doesn’t sound quite so bad on re-listen. I was def disappointed in person since they were on course for something of all time lore and it seemed like all the sudden some confusion on stage but it was one hell of a segue either way. Everything was just downright nasty last night.

  22. dusty Says:

    enjoy your days folks. Off to spin on skates in the park to beats.

  23. jtran Says:

    I’ve heard no vt rumors, although I’ve been out of the loop out here just hanging in denver.

    Harryhood needs to report in from the office

  24. Robear Says:

    Nice link @ RPN!

    Mineresque review?

  25. BingosBrother Says:

    Love reading Miners review and then the BB all the way through, especially when Miner Likes IT! You people make my day better.

    4 chicks in the front row. Record? Way to Sislarahdo!


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