8.31.2012 Commerce City, CO (Graham Lucas)

When Phish dropped “You Enjoy Myself” halfway through the first set, albeit a surprise, it felt totally out of place. They had just slayed an extended “Carini” that immediately vaulted into the elite versions of all time, and all of a sudden we were headed for a vocal jam? Nonetheless, Phish was on fire and throwing IT down. Halfway through “Ocelot,” my friend told me a theory someone had just hatched: the band was spelling “Fuck Your Face” with the first letter of each song. My first reaction was, “Really? Yeah, right.” Then we quickly went through the setlist—“First Tube,” “Uncle Pen,” “Carini,” “YEM,” Ocelot.” Really!? It seemed like a brilliant idea—referencing the “S” set from the first night at Dick’s last year—and I immediately believed. If the band played “Undermind” next, it was clearly going down. And boy did they ever play “Undermind!” Closing the first set with a staggering piece of cathartic improvisation, Phish wrote last night’s “Undermind” into the record books. With an uplifting piece of utter bliss, the band stamped a divine exclamation point on one of the best first sets of all time—and the setlist spelled “F.U.C.K.Y.O.U.”

Official Colorado Print—Blue (T.Stout)

It was one of those magical nights that only happen in Gamehendge; one of those shows that we will never forget; one that will live in legend forever. Drenched with jamming of the highest level—including two excursions in “Undermind” and “Chalk Dust” that easily flirt with the loftiest jams in band history—the first night at Dick’s 2012 contained more masterful improvisation than several “normal” shows combined. The guys were as thrilled to be in Colorado as much as we were, illustrated by their “Phish Love Dick’s” vocal jam in “YEM.” Trey was notably on from his solo in “First Tube,” and he played as well he ever has all night long. The entire band swam in IT throughout the show, cranking out mystical, uplifting music for the duration. Following a late-summer trend of bliss jams, the band added two of their best to date last night with “Undermind” and—easily— the greatest “Chalk Dust” ever played. Phish feels great these days, as Trey admitted openly on Denver’s KBCO yesterday morning, and that feeling is permeating their music. With every jam last night, Phish reached points of rapture and exhilaration, sculpting their most spiritually significant night of music in memory.

8.31.12 (G.Lucas)

At setbreak, everyone hypothesized how the band would spell “R.F.A.C.E.” in the second half. My call was “Rock and Roll > Free, Crosseyed > Esther,” but I wound up going 0-4 in my guesses, which was all part of the face-fucking theme of the evening. Starting out the set with the first long-form “Runaway Jim” since Miami ’03 (but that was slop, so really, the E Center on 7.3.2000), the band dropped an exploratory epic that touched on incredibly diverse feels from wah-clav ’97 dance-funk to ambient, etheral realms. About halfway through, the band “reset” the jam into groove, and from that point out, it only grew in grandeur. Reaching several remarkable planes, the guys continued to gravitate towards the euphoric at every opportunity. An exploration that likened the old days, but with the music of Phish 2012, this one couldn’t have been a bigger surprise. After playing “Farmhouse,” however, Phish set up the prank of the night.

8.31.12 (G.Lucas)

Building a several minute ambient intro, it was all but clear that “Also Sprach Zarathustra”—better known as “2001”—would be the next song. But throwing a left hook that nobody saw coming, the band dropped into “Alaska!” Causing a collective groan from much of the audience, the fake out was an incredibly Phishy maneuver. It soon became part of the joke—the band played the best show of the year with “Farmhouse” and “Alaska” in the middle of the second set! When the guys kicked into “Chalk Dust” for “C,” they simply unveiled the best version of all-time. If you love Phish, and you love inspired guitar playing from one, Trey Anastasio, this jam is as good as it gets. Connecting on every level—another theme of the night—the band improvised out of the end of the song and into heaven. Combined with “Undermind,” these two pieces have instantly earned plaques in the Hall of Fame that are being chiseled as I type. This music was the stuff of dreams. Highlighted by four magnificent jams—totaling a ludicrous 68 minutes of top-shelf Phish—the band’s music spoke for itself last night; an aural revelation of the highest degree. And the face-fucking wasn’t over.

8.31.2012 (Graham Lucas)

At setbreak, the only song anyone could think of that started with “E” was “Esther”—an odd closer, but what else could they play? As fans were catching their breath from an intergalactic “Chalk Dust,” the guys started the Rolling Stones “Emotional Rescue” for the first time since September 30, 2000! After spelling it out, the band closed the set with “Fuck Your Face,” a song that I thought would be the encore. But Phish came out to a with a double encore of “Grind” and “Meatstick,” a pairing that put a comical twist on the theme of the night.

A combination of the mountain air, the great energy of the crowd and the end of a spectacular summer converged to cause a musical bolt of lighting last night in Colorado. And nobody can wait to get back into that soccer stadium tomorrow night! This has been a special year for Phish, and they are capping it with their most impressive playing of the season. It has been a blessing to watch the band climb back to prominence since 2009, and to see them reaching new heights, never previously touched, is the greatest reward one could ever ask for.

I: First Tube, Uncle Pen, Carini, Kill Devil Falls, You Enjoy Myself, Ocelot, Undermind

II: Runaway Jim > Farmhouse > Alaska, Chalk Dust Torture, Emotional Rescue > Fuck Your Face

Encore: Grind, Meatstick

8.31.2012 (Graham Lucas)

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754 Responses to “FUCK’d”

  1. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    No, we are not selling veggie burros.

    Do not miss CO phish!

    Blissed Off!

  2. Cable Hogue Says:


    right on.

  3. MiA Says:

    Met Gdad’s friend Chris. Super nice guy. Also met Punkmug and his wife. And Pham B and his crew.

    Just went and read back through the show notes. So happy people got the webcast and positive vibe.

    Can’t wait to listen to this tomorrow.

    Big Ghost > Piper > Wolfmans tomorrow.

  4. negev79 Says:



  5. tba Says:

    Best show ever? Miner you are all over the place with your reviews this summer. Your blog you can do whatefer the f you want. That said, if there is any song where it literally is not possible to identify a version as the best, hands down; IMHO Chalkdust is that song. There are just way too many great/epic versions to pick just one.

    Still, the fact you are using terms like “best” and “jamming of the highest level”; that alone shows it all. Still to be the “best” you have to remember all the words to Emotional Rescue, as even though I agree energy and flow are more important than a few flubs, for a show to be the best, it should be technically flawless or close to it, as ER was a bit of a train wreck. After all, we are talking about a band that has produced shows like NYE 95′, Gorge 2001 Mikes 98′, 1/1/11, Front shows from 90′, and Dayton or Hampton/Carolina 97 to name but a few of 50 or so. At a certain point there is no best, just as good as a show can get, than if there is a personal ingredient that makes the show a best for each person, OK, but musically, there is a tie of more than at least 20, and up to arguably 50.

    For example, the show tonight was great, but there were a few little things, for example, Jones Beach the “jumper show”, I first noticed Trey using the scratchy scratch riff in Tweezer and YEM too (My bet is he had used it many other times and I just really took notice that show), but he has kept using it more and more in Tweezer. Last night, he was playing the instrumental chorus in that style, and gordon had to stop and reset to get back in rythm. Not a show killer in any large sense, but little things like that add up, especially when you compare to say 1/1/11 where even if they made a flub in that show, it was immediately turned into improv gold, see the Sneaking vocal jam for one. OK you also were talking about last night not tonight’s, but my point is I noticed enough issues from both shows not to rank either one higher than ones I regard the best ever. Whatever it’s all opinion 🙂

    Be nice for the boys to do an impromptu One City nine night run (at least more than 6) on both coasts this FALL in order to capture this peak playing. Well Warfield would work, but my choice would be either Santa Barabra bowl or Shoreline (100 section Shoreline has the BEST sight/sound of any shed anywhere hands down. And not talking about the setting of the shed in terms of the natural sights, but of the sight/sound of a band itself). Unfortunately, the latter two are not really realistic for different reasons. As for the East coast, I would have to pick a New England location, since NY has NYE, hmmm, maybe Maine or Manchester NH would work, I’d prefer The Boston Garden, but unless they did it early Fall, probably too busy, but with the NHL striking maybe not. I know many of you hate Boston, and like the recent episode of louis CK, I too hate the Joeys and their nightmare accent and I grew up here. By the way that episode “Dad” is classic when he goes off after the guy goes you wanna staaaawt sumthing, and Louis just gets flustered, and can’t really find the right words to diss the guy he’s so bothered, then Louis gets a bloody nose. So the scene calms down, and the joey is like whatever you queerwwr you moosh in a heavy accent, so funny I cried laughing. Not only have I felt like Louis in that exact type of scene more times than I can recall w/ idiots like that, the sketch fucking captures that person exactly, even down to the specific type of Boston accent that is the most annoying (Some are benign).

    OK one more show, let’s go; let’s go; let’s go; let’s go.

  6. sumodie Says:

    G & I entered the twilight zone tonite!

    Nah, not at the show, which was great, but afterwards

    Apparently Prince Harry is staying here this evening

    total clusterfuck to get to the hotel, nevermind into our room

    Went thru at least 5 checkpoints. So glad this wasnt a tart

  7. tba Says:

    PS Thanks for the :<), well done as that part did not fit. you r a good man bro

  8. sumodie Says:

    So glad this wasn’t a tart nite cause i was already spooked enough til they finally told us why all the cops, swat team, fire truck, etc were here

    hope prince harry is havin another raging nekkid party

  9. tela'smuff Says:

    @sumo – saw g reaching out to the cosmos tonight. Very inspiring!


  10. tela'smuff Says:

    Spice it down @tba

  11. tba Says:

    sumodie I feel your fear, as red rocks 96 I could not get a sense of direction, all the high way lights were crazy, no signs for anything. Road work EVERWHERE. My then GF and I drove around for an hour and 1/2 when it should have taken 5 mnutes, and then were so tired when we finally reached the motel, we passed out immediately and I got nothing, and since it was after night four, we woke up rushing for the airport her back east, me to SF w/ a serious case of suicide Tuesday from a Molly four day melt down doh :<) Speaking of best shows; night 3 with the harry hood thunderstorm and norwegian Tweezer, sickness.

  12. tba Says:

    my bad Tela, gnight

  13. sumodie Says:

    I was thinking andromeda strain or a serial killer on the loose

    finally by the 4th checkpoint while they’re searching the car, i ask what’s up

    almost busted out laughing to learn all the freaky spooky shit was cause of british royalty

  14. sumodie Says:

    I sure as hell saw the light tonite

    sure, we got our set one back (thoroughly enjoyed it too)

    But that set 2 opening trifecta was massive facemelter

    GA & Caspian featured excellent improv,

    then Light sucked us down a psychedelic wormhole into another universe

    nothing else mattered after that, tho i continued to throw down thru reprise

    not last night, yet still another fantastic outing at Dick’s

    awesome venue

  15. tba Says:

    Great way to enjoy a PPV. First you need a hot tub, preferablt at ur house. Then a wireless weather proof space ball speaker. Enter hot tub, turn on speaker, and float and stare at moon and stars until you can literally control thoughts, and thus meditate very well. OK Tela last post gnight take 2

  16. Multibeast Says:

    Whoa. Epic post @tba. Kind of made my head hurt.

    Saw robear tonight @ the wheel and that kid can make me smile. Got the trip print and the wonderous glow. Thx man! See you tomorrow nite! Today. You get me.

  17. PigSong Says:

    Wooooo! So much fun watching from my living room last night. Thanks to all checking in post show, makes it much more real.

    15 hours till the last shuttle launch of the year!

  18. PigSong Says:

    Wooooo! So much fun watching from my living room last night. Thanks to all checking in post show, makes it much more real.
    15 hours till the last shuttle launch of the year!

  19. PigSong Says:

    Watch tonight clunck and everyone forget this summer. What’s the saying? The next show is the best show, the last show is the best way to judge a bands whole career.

    8). Have a good ones, back much later to hang.

  20. PigSong Says:

    23:56, could have swore that light was 30+

    Call me a sucker, but I love horse>silent

    and GA>Caspian>Light

  21. joe Says:

    chair dancing to a 3rd song into the first set tweezer not a bad way to settle in to a Sunday morning at work.

    what’s the cherry on top tonight? have to figure out a way to get webcast’d somehow.

  22. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Light is next level.

    Only thing that bums me out is that tonight is last show for a while.. Just as they are peaking.

  23. joe Says:

    watching attractive lady in the field across the street do calisthenics with fluffhead blasting in my headphones not to bad either. smile on my face might be a little creepy though.

  24. joe Says:

    we’ll have acoustic sing along trey a month from now, though, Mr. P. so there’s that to look forward to.

  25. Mr. Palmer Says:

    At this point, I think next year I’ll just skip everything prior and go to Dick’s .

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