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. robear Says:

    Just spun that GA>Caspian>Light and all I can say is

    Holy Grail!!

  2. Phishm0610 Says:

    LOL most of the time doesn’t cut it, but no way now. Seriously, that is some good Phish there. good to hear from you bear. real.

  3. robear Says:

    At one point near the back half in ‘Light’ Trey is just spanking us with his leads.

  4. Phishm0610 Says:

    ok. I took way too good of a nap today. Just spinnin LB again. RnR to start. love that 2nd set.

  5. Phishm0610 Says:

    I’m sure everyone’s sleeping or doing fun stuff. Not going to fill up pages of fluff again during this set. All I gotta say is it was allright.
    Peace all.

  6. robear Says:

    Getting Bieber’d? I always hoped they would turn SoCal on its ear. Ghost to book end the tour. Classy.

  7. Phishm0610 Says:

    how long was this RnR from LB. Seems like it’s been going forever, but only for a few minutes. Remember loving the ghost and the Hood blew me away. OK. Saving pages there. Night all.

  8. Phishm0610 Says:

    forgot to add the WOW. I hear ya bear. Almost too good to be true. Amazing music.

  9. Aquaman Says:

    Report Filed: 2012-09-08 01:42:00 AM

    Good evening / very early morning all. Aquaman here reporting as the in the field correspondent for all things BB and

    I have just returned from the beautifully and newly restored Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY, where a truly special evening of music went down. Fresh of the heels of last Tuesday’s Capitol Theater grand opening featuring Bob Dylan, the old-skool theater opened it’s doors to The Roots with Bob Weir opening. What made this show extra special was the late announcement that Big Red himself would be sitting in on the second set.

    What transpired was a good time, homey feel, yet musically fun and interesting show. To open we were treated to Bob Weir, Warren Haynes and Grace Potter covering some of the Dead’s finer tunes along with interesting but albeit mellow covers like Fleetwood Mac’s “Rhiannon”.

    Set Two, in what definitely felt more like a three set show rather that a Band with a traditional opener, The Roots brought the house down with their special combination of hip-hop-y, jazzy, New Orleans inspired Neo-Funk. I like the Roots enough, but in a move that felt more pushed that organic, ?uest Love and his fellow percussionist embarked on a five minute plus, answer and call, “Drums” segment, that was more fitting of two dudes who have never played before and couldn’t quite gel, than two fellow band members. They sounded like they were in their fist band practice. Rest assured this was a temporary glitch as they both brought heat for the remainder of the show.

    The main course of course was the Big Red sit-in. Coming to the stage for set three / encore, in a fury of applause Trey led The Roots into an exploration of “First Tube” that was befitting of any solid jazz outfit. Next came a funkified, yet in the box “Bathtub Gin” that was truly remarkable for it’s ability to break the song to it’s individual parts. We rarely here this tune so contained yet so different and interesting. This concept to me musical difference as it falls on my ear, similar to Miner’s concept of musical density. Sparse, sick, different – in an absolute strip down way – this Gin asked the listener to rethink the song all over again. With time meausre and down being so different it was a Gin that made me pay attention. The next tune was perhaps the best example of musical difference for the evening as Red and Grace Potter teamed up for what can only be described as “The Best Pigtail Evah!”. You heard me…I will only type it once.

    Closing out the show was a fun hoedown style jam session as Warren, Bob, Trey, The Roots and Grace Potter lead the gang through fun yet unsatisfying versions of “The Thrill if Gone” and “Whipping Post”. I loved his show for it’s home town vibe and easy gong nature. The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, NY is a venue to be watched for interesting upcoming show, while at the same time being able to capture the same gritty small theater vibe that made it so great for bands like, the Dead, Frank Zappa and Santana in the 60’s and 70’s. What we are witnessing is the resurrection of a rock venue icon. The folks behind Brooklyn Bowl, who own and have spearheaded this restoration, are to be commended for their efforts. We as music fans who can fall in love with venues should 100% throw our support toward this restored musical gem.

    That is all for now as the Heineken and bane are starting to get the better of me.

    pea shout to all,


  10. Aquaman Says:

    Yes, I am a wee bit buzzed……

    ‘Sup Robear? Made love your way right now.


  11. Aquaman Says:

    Maybe….I should listent to some Phish while I sit here.

  12. voopa Says:

    Nice Aqua! Thanks for the dispatch.

  13. albert walker Says:

    What up aqua?

    Chicago represent!

  14. Phishm0610 Says:

    awesome review aqua. It led me to the beginning of this ghost RnR>ghost from LB. Perfect timing. Can’t wait to listen to that one too.

  15. RedRedWorm Says:

    Very well played Aquaman.

  16. albert walker Says:

    Fuck me.


  17. robear Says:

    Aqua. Inside super hero maneuver.

  18. Phishm0610 Says:

    I know I posted this last night, but total MSG ghost on something. Not sure. Never taken meth, but seems right.

  19. Aquaman Says:

    What is up AW!

    Got the last minute intel on tonight’s show, and went straight to the venue from work. Great time was had by all.


    I feel like a dork, as the Mac ran out of battery while submitting that second post, I ran to the end of my hallway where I have better wifi, so I can post with you nerds on my iPhone.

    Power to all things nerd!


    Ok, non-sequitter, I am spinning last summers Blossom Sally. In the wake of all this, best of talk, do y’all remember how heady that track was when it dropped?

    Seems like a distant past…….


  20. robear Says:

    ^msg ghost on #BathSalts

  21. Phishm0610 Says:

    and they end with the circus is the place for me. Right on.

  22. Aquaman Says:

    Did I just type, made love your way, to robear?

    Meant to say, mad love.

    Comes off much different that way.


  23. RedRedWorm Says:

    Fish and Mike 7:00 min mark forward during Dick’s Chalkdust=Rolling Thunder

  24. albert walker Says:


  25. Phishm0610 Says:

    Funny stuff Aq. What you do behind closed doors is…. Can’t even finish that sentence.
    Whatever gets you there. Seriously pholks. whatever gets you there without ever letting you not be in control. Once you lose control then how would I know that your’re you?

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