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. BooVT Says:

    Hey All,
    How to make a looong solo drive from Poughkeepsie to Boston bearable?
    Dicks FYF show, did the trick, of course.
    Fantastic Carini, Undermind, CDT. And some comic relief in YEM vocal jam.
    I love this band.

    Loving the comments about triple beverages here tonight, too. Laughing out loud to myself.

  2. jdub Says:


    I hear ya man, extended family is so nice for raising kids. Best of luck to your transition period. Never easy.

    Missed the ticket sales for TAB but will be on the lookout. I need my Trey fix and the wife loves TAB more than Phish (the horns get her every time) so I am in charge of finding tickets.

  3. joemeg Says:

    Good stuff dnw, way to take control. And good advice, you don’t have to be anything you don’t want to be

  4. kayatosh Says:

    I need a miracle everyday

    ^^^ we all do. and everyday is a miracle.

  5. jdub Says:

    Good work dnw!

  6. Phishm0610 Says:

    dang Kaya. Took the words out of my mouth.
    I find it funny that some thought I was you.
    Nothing wrong with thinking for yourself kids. No need to affirm from somebody else what you think for yourself.
    Dang – There I go again.

  7. jdub Says:

    ok, since it’s pg 103 here is my fave show in the last 10 years. Very lucky to catch this one, favorite Tweezer ever.

    Friday, 02/28/2003
    Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY

    Set 1: Birds of a Feather, Destiny Unbound, Horn > Bathtub Gin, Sleep, Back on the Train, Bouncing Around the Room, Walls of the Cave
    Set 2: Tweezer[1] > Soul Shakedown Party -> David Bowie, Round Room > Harry Hood
    Encore: Contact, Mexican Cousin > Tweezer Reprise

    [1] Do You Feel Like We Do tease.

    Although I have never heard the Frampton tease in Tweezer. Maybe I should listen again.

  8. kayatosh Says:

    “No need to affirm from somebody else what you think for yourself.”

    ^^^ There you go again. these statements melt my brain.

    Thankfully i have this supreme GA (9.1.12) to keep me anchored.

  9. Phishm0610 Says:

    Looks like another gem. Not sure if I’ve linstened to that one yet jdub. Keep coming back for the conversation and leave with more awesome music to quest after.
    Another 2 shows that I go back to time after time is spac 2004. Both shows are amazing, but that twist is where they make the music come back to the stage and then slowly start dancing. Just amazing.
    I know that was a lowpoint in the band due to Troy’s addiction, but the music was insane.

  10. BingosBrother Says:

    Way to keep it up jdub. I hear alot about that show, but have yet to spin it. Fav Tweez ever? Gotta get on this.

    Since we missed 2002. Waves debut baby and the end of hiatus. for a while.

    Tuesday, 12/31/2002
    Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
    Set 1: Piper[1], Guyute, NICU, Horn, Wilson[2], Mound, CoilThe Squirming Coil > BowieDavid Bowie[3]

    Set 2: Waves[4] > DividedDivided Sky, Lawn Boy, Carini, Rift, HoodHarry Hood > Character Zero

    Set 3: SampleSample in a Jar, Seven Below[4] > Auld Lang Syne > Runaway Jim[5] -> Time Loves a Hero, Taste, Strange Design, WotCWalls of the Cave[4]

    Encore: Velvet SeaWading in the Velvet Sea

    [1] Low Rider tease.
    [2] Castaway intro and “Tom Hanks” guest appearance.
    [3] DEG tease.
    [4] Debut.
    [5] What’s the Use? tease.

  11. joemeg Says:

    Can’t post from iPad, very strange.

    It’s there jdub, you might have to listen again, which wouldn’t be the worst thing

  12. kayatosh Says:


    ^^^ not sure any other 3fer reaches the levels of creative genius realized here.

  13. Phishm0610 Says:

    how far along are you Kaya? just started GA. Needed to take a smoke break.

  14. joemeg Says:

    That twist is IT

  15. joemeg Says:

    Caspain just started. Here we go!

  16. voopa Says:

    joemeg- make sure your email’s correct on the ‘pad.

  17. Phishm0610 Says:

    nevermind. My son can’t sleep and just asked if we could play some PS3. Pause the music for now.
    Love this lryic however.
    clap you hands if you think your soul if free. and the silence was astounding.

  18. kayatosh Says:

    Just started caspian. been rolling 9.1 straight through. no lulz. great show. wasn’t really feelin roses, but everything else in that set I was smooth sailing. set II opening 3fer is a awesome, gorgeous suite.

  19. kayatosh Says:

    is this caspian fo real? wow! best caspian ever. trey peeling off sheets of notes.

  20. jdub Says:

    I wore that Tweezer out and have not listened in a long while. A little show bias perhaps, labeling it my fave ever. But damn that jam melted my brain live and on many subsequent listens. Kind of shocked that I have never heard the Frampton tease in it. Will have to fire it up very soon. Not tonight though.

  21. dognamedwilson Says:

    Is “particularly special” redundant?

    Someone said “most unique” earlier :shakehead:

  22. jdub Says:

    Yeah @Kaya, probably hottest 3 consecutive jams in a long while. I mean really… Off the hook

  23. joemeg Says:

    Thanks voopa. That’s what I thought it might be at first too, but it’s not that.

    You know when you can say that Caspain is why I see phish that it was a great show

  24. kayatosh Says:

    cannot get over this dick’s caspian. top jam of the weekend. holy mother of pearl.

  25. joemeg Says:

    Meg doesn’t get it when I tell her about this Caspain. She’s like really, prince Caspain? And she keeps falling asleep to soon

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