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. jdub Says:

    A tweeprisish peak from Page and Trey. It’s in there.

  2. Phishm0610 Says:

    Just in your face IT from this light. Couldn’t keep my mouth shut.
    Agree with Kaya and probably everyone else. So many ideas that just flow. Page is all over this. Think he may of brought some light to the band with the birth of his new baby…. or something. Either way, congrats Duder. Play this light to your newborn and he will be enlightened. Good stuff.

  3. jdub Says:

    Tons of ideas in this Light. Wow. just Wow. Nuff said.

  4. Phishm0610 Says:

    just heard the tweeprise from Page and Rey. Good stuff. Now another idea. Brilliant.

  5. Phishm0610 Says:

    double blues jam and a little GA mixed in. Just a sprinkle. Wow.

  6. Phishm0610 Says:

    now loving cup. not a sprinkle. the real deal.

  7. Phishm0610 Says:

    almost a JJLC tease, but in a different key.

  8. Phishm0610 Says:

    and it’s over. Gonna stick around for the rest of the set.
    That was silly good. I love Phish.

  9. Lycanthropist Says:

    man the segue between Sand and Ghost is glorious… I wish the Ghost had elevated a bit more, but the last few minutes of “chamber jam” are beautiful.

  10. Cable Hogue Says:

    Cannonball Adderly “Mercy Mercy Mercy” tease at the end of Dick’s Light.

  11. Cable Hogue Says:

  12. MiA Says:

    Step away for a few minutes, and the whole world goes upside down.


  13. MiA Says:

    Hilarious conco to iChat. Thanks for the entertainment

  14. Phishm0610 Says:

    see what happens when you step away MiA. Just got to no quarter. Dick’s 2 is for real. Wow.

  15. jdub Says:

    Nice one @Cable Hogue. And thanks for sharing. Just did a listen back and Page seams to be playing Mercy Mercy Mercy for the last 5 minutes of the light jam. Jam seems to close with a very similar melody as well.

  16. lumpyhead Says:

    love this phishm character.

  17. jdub Says:

    No Quarter after Mikes is Srs bzns at this point in show. What an ending.

  18. Phishm0610 Says:

    I’ll wait until the end, but yes. a very good ending.

  19. Brett Says:

    re: Light… There were Tweeprise notes throughout several songs on Saturday night. I was assuming it would encore, but we started with Antelope so anything is possible. My buddy kept telling me, “here it comes again!” in several songs. I heard it too when he did, but yeah, especially in Light. I was a little bit crazy at that point and was almost certain they were going to segue into Fire on the Mountain early on, then believed we were going into I Know You Rider (after hearing back, at the 14 minute mark). I have no idea why I assumed a Dead segue, but either way, definitely more than just one tease in there. Around 18 minutes we get another quick Tweeprise glimpse dissolving into tension and chaos before getting back to an earlier theme then just hosing the whole place into oblivion. Wow is correct.

  20. Phishm0610 Says:

    and they end with that song about sharing in the groove. I remember hearing some grovel’s about the paugh being too short.
    Was and is the correct length to these ears. then again i’m still in the middle of it.
    I would love to review the 1st set, but can’t remember that. Oh, wait, started with GA. Awesome set. Just WOW.

  21. Phishm0610 Says:

    banana. funny. Night all.

  22. jdub Says:

    Peace.Love.Spice Phishm0610

    Cheers and goodnight as well.

  23. Phishm0610 Says:

    and there’s the tweeprise. Wow.
    I remember getting down to Cornell 77 and Halloween 91 before this show. That Jerry. Wow.

  24. jdub Says:

    We love you MiA, all your on site craziness and sharing of course. Night 3 orange has an issue, two set 1s FYI.

  25. Phishm0610 Says:

    and good night jdub. Hard to sleep sometimes. Cheers brother.

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