Through the Hourglass

9.2.2012 – Commerce City, CO (Michael Stein)

When Trey stepped to the mic to thank the crowd for a wonderful three nights in Colorado and a “joyous” summer, one could hear the emotion and gratitude seep through his voice. But, in reality, we should be thanking him and the band for a second leg of summer tour that grew to places unimaginable, and the unbelievably inspirational music within. Punctuating the season with a seamless set of music that was centered on a mammoth sequence of “Sand -> Ghost -> Piper,” the band left no doubt about the state of affairs in the world of Phish—better than ever.

Official Print – Purple (Stout)

After two historic nights of music to start their stay at Dick’s, the guys needed a first set of songs to exhale and set their bearings after surfing the astral plane for so long. Once the lights dropped for the main event, however, Phish ramped things right back up with a “Sand” that exited stage left into a monumental excursion. “Sand” has been a villain of groove all summer long, birthing sweltering dance sessions since Worcester’s all-star rendition. But if Worcester’s “Sand” makes the all-star team, last night’s is a first-ballot Hall of Famer. All things seemed par for the course as the guys bathed in a scorching groove, but midway through the normal jam, they found a wormhole through which they squeezed, completely switching musical feels. But once they reached the other side, the music moved into space.

Fish dropped his beat and band built an eerie soundscape through which Mike and Fish initiated a triumphant, mid-tempo groove. Instanstaneously, the piece elevated into blissful open pastures, and when Trey rejoined the mix over his own loop, the jam transformed into heaven. Once peaking this euphoric segment, Trey threw down some hard rhythm chops, and the band immediately entered another section of jamming. All weekend long, where Trey would typically pull back, the pushed forth, and as expected, his mates were more than happy to oblige. Building this final part into a soaring rock groove, Trey took the jam to the top, sounding like it was “46 Days.” A seething solo over a full band peak capped this all-time great, or so we thought.

9.2.2012 (Graham Lucas)

At this juncture, and at the end of “Ghost,” the band took their time to pass between songs, intentionally extending jams into the musical setting of the forthcoming piece. This patience helped craft, perhaps, the tightest set of tour. Thus, when Trey turned back to the theme of “Sand” and proceeded to lead a jam out if it, the move just about knocked the socks off everyone in the stadium! With care the band worked the jam into a slower groove, laced with effects, and they morphed into the second “Ghost” of Leg Two. Where Long Beach’s version moved into uplifting sonic reverie, this rendition gravitated towards the dark, though didn’t reach the levels of its tour-opening counterpart. Leading the first part of the jam with an uncompressed, Hendrix-like scream, and stepping back for the second sequence of percussive grooves, Trey hit on multiple styles in this three-part “Ghost.” Finalizing the piece was another “segue jam,” an ambient crawl into “Piper.”

9.2.2012 (M.Stein)

Though not as developed as many of the jams we heard this tour, “Piper,” nonetheless, reached completely original ground. An uptempo staccato carnival, in which Trey locked into some stellar melodies, dazzled the crowd, while Page comped Red with quality piano stylings. The quartet was immersed in some of the more engaging music of the night, but as they had improvising non-stop for nearly 50 minutes straight—and for the first time all weekend—the band pulled up on a jam that still had plenty of life. Artistically twisting into the first appearance of “Twenty Years Later,” Phish completed a colossal chunk of improv, and audience roared in approval.

As the band paired “Twenty Years Later”—a retrospective song about time gone by and life experiences—and their earliest-era, Gamhendge classic,”Lizards,” a certain poignancy emerged. Here the band stood onstage in 2012, nearly 30 years removed from its genesis, and playing the best music of their lives. It felt like the guys realized this as well, using these two songs as a juxtaposition of times in their lives and a celebration of all that has happened in between. And there is no other way to end a musical celebration than with “Harry Hood.” A song that has been played with passion all year long took one more run around the block last night with glorious results. Ending the summer with a cathartic exclamation point, Trey wove a dreamlike solo before stepping up and sharing his thoughts with the audience.

9.2.2012 (Eric Battuello)

If 2009 initiated the Golden Age of Phish, 2012 brought us into a modern renaissance, where the band is no longer limited to jam “portions,” but now feel comfortable to extend their ideas over long periods of time, crafting thematic journeys rather than mere glimpses of the infinite. This summer, starting in Worcester and progressing through Denver, Phish hit a stride like never before this era, and Leg Two has been their crowning achievement. Strewn with all-time jams, Dick’s three-night run was the culmination of this magical year, and the feeling as we break until New Year’s couldn’t be more jubilant. As they started to sing in ’09, Phish wants us to be happy. Well, mission accomplished.

I: Cars Trucks Buses, AC/DC Bag, Down with Disease, Bathtub Gin, Nellie Kane, Sample in a Jar, Back on the Train, Rift, Free, Ride Captain Ride, Maze, Halley’s Comet > 46 Days, Possum

II: Sand -> Ghost -> Piper > Twenty Years Later, The Lizards, Harry Hood

E: Character Zero

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2,780 Responses to “Through the Hourglass”

  1. joemeg Says:

    Yes, fluffhead early in the first set. I’ll take that all day. That’s what I wanted (and many others I’m sure) them to open the hampt

  2. joemeg Says:

    on comeback show with and they did. I love these guys

  3. jdub Says:

    How’s the east coast treating you @halcy? Hope things are going well. I know missing Dick’s was hard. But you get quantity out here.

  4. joe Says:

    that wasn’t the one Mike came out for the encore? doesn’t look like it. punch drunk here. 3 hours till first vacation puff and stiff drink. and maybe a beverage. drinking not pouring and without spectators, or whatever you kinky freaks are talking about.

  5. joemeg Says:

    I was at that too jdub, and I honestly can’t remember anything about it. That’s probably my fault though

  6. kayatosh Says:

    cheers, joe. knock it out. maybe make it a stiff puff and a vacation drink.

  7. kayatosh Says:

    so duder has a little duder? congratulations. great stuff. enjoy it.

  8. jdub Says:

    All I remember is there was sand instead of grass on the back lawn and I got to chill with a good friend who was on Appalachian Trail since Georgia. Picked him up in Great Berrington before the show and drove him back after. Long day. He made it to Katahdin by the end of the summer. His way of cleaning up his life and it worked.

  9. dognamedwilson Says:

    We gotta lotta bosses around here lately


    @phishm is the real deal. I love the enthusiasm and especially from someone who knows the band and has seen a bunch of shows. Our use of the word “fluffing” devalues the accolades we pour on the band. Why do we have to qualify our love by putting a slightly negative spin on it?

    If @phishm was a Beiberite who just found his way here, and everything else he shared was the same, we would be thrilled (if we believed the persona) to have him. He is a peer who’s bubbling over because he found an appropriate outlet. I can relate to that.

  10. jdub Says:

    Nice, my itunes flowed right into Dick’s after Meatstick from night 1. Way it should be. Antelope opener to get the juices flowing early. Think I’m behind everyone else on this one.

  11. joemeg Says:

    Ha! Yes I remember the sand, someone said it was from Jimmy buffet

  12. Phishm0610 Says:

    ok, one more thing. I thought a lot about what I wrote before. And am trying to not say anything stupid, as I can come across incorrectly through words on paper.
    This is the real me. The other part that sends emails at work and works in a professional envrionment, that is the part of me that knows when to be professional and when to allow my non professional personality to get involved. I appreciate this forum to give me an opportunity to talk about the music and how it has personally affected me. From show to show and year to year.
    I’m gonna shut up now and try to avoid typing something that will make me think about it later.
    As genuine as you get from me on here. Peace all.

  13. Phishm0610 Says:

    and then I read above. Thanks dnw. U are the real deal brother.

  14. halcyon Says:

    We are sloooowly adjusting and settling in……there are many upsides to being back here, but damm do we miss being out west. New job will be good, will be tough, and very demanding. Our families are so excited to be near their granddaughter and niece so that is the bright side. We still may end up back west, for now being east for family is good.

    Will you be hitting TAB this fall/ October 27 T3 and I coincidentally picked up tickets in the same row.

  15. halcyon Says:

    ^ For Jdub

  16. kayatosh Says:

    this dick’s Theme from the Bottom kick’s the SF version in the teeth. wow.

  17. joemeg Says:

    Posts not getting through again…

    Phishm, I never doubted you. I find your posts refreshing. I mean how can you not feel the love from this summer. I hope you stick around

  18. joemeg Says:

    There we go. I guess I can post from the ipad

  19. joemeg Says:

    Stealing time just started for me kaya. I’m getting excited for set 2. But Meg is asleep now, just like last week

  20. kayatosh Says:

    how’d you get to STFTFP already? still on golgi here.

  21. Phishm0610 Says:

    just started STFTFP. Going to play some super mario brothers 3 with my son as that was his request, and how can I say no. But also looking forward to that monster of a GA>Caspian>Light

  22. dognamedwilson Says:

    AND, since it came up and in case anyone out there wants to hear it and can relate…

    I am an alcoholic.

    I take more strength and affirmation and appreciation for life from this board than I could ever offer back. Some of you are particularly special to me. Your posts are what I look forward to when I dial up the site. The combination of willingness and self-restraint that it takes to write on this topic in this forum deaerves celebrating. Ive been posting here for two years now. By the the place was what it is. The place already existed and I found it.

    A year ago I resolved to not be a drunkass piece of shit anymore. I’m not calling anyone names but myself here. I didn’t want to be like that anymore. I didn’t know where to turn, but I knew I something that supposedly worked for some people. I had to at least give it a shot. AA works for me. I didn’t think it would work but it did.

    I’m just going to say this because someone who will read this needs to hear it again: you don’t have to be anything you don’t want to be. If you don’t want to be that way, there is a way out. I promise it gets better

    My handle at gmail if ever for any reason

  23. joemeg Says:

    I guess I was a little ahead of you. I wanted to fast forward so that meg might make it to the Caspain, but I didn’t, and she didn’t

  24. dognamedwilson Says:

    I need a miracle everyday

  25. joemeg Says:

    I’ll pause for set break puff may you will catch up

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