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. Phishm0610 Says:

    I hate reviewing shows that noone else is listening to like I did last night, but this dirt just sounds so good. Love this tune.


  2. RedRedWorm Says:


    This band.

    Delivered on so many levels last weekend. I feel extremely fortunately on so many levels to be a part of such excellence.


  3. Phishm0610 Says:

    Already reviewed this hood last night. Just wanted to say thank you mr. miner. peace all.

  4. Phishm0610 Says:

    oh ya, bear. were you able to grab my poster? Let me know how much I owe you if you were able to. My boy could care less, but I would love to have it.

  5. Mr.Miner Says:

    denver light #bestphishjamever

  6. MiA Says:

    A lot of enthusiasm on here lately.

    I’ll look into orangeness. Thx for the heads-up.

    Keep dreaming about Dick’s. Wakes me up at night.


  7. PigSong Says:

    Well done Aqua. Superhero indeed. Heading home for the week. First class upgrade stylee. Dicks 2 Set II commence…

  8. Oldskool Says:

    Miner, do you truly believe Denver Light is the single best jam Phish has ever played? I don’t have an opinion yet but am very interested if you truly feel that way?

  9. PigSong Says:

    Fuck me just woke up landing to Trza owning his Paug solo. Slept since middle of Caspian, I didn’t miss much did I? Mostly second set filler probably.

  10. PigSong Says:

    Oh Lordy.

    Light: from the melodic Mike solo to where Trey starts playing two lines almost at once, then his sol and subsequent breakdown/organic ending. #mygod #bestbandevah

    But you all knew this.

    Have a good one kids.

  11. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Yay pouring rain for move in day

  12. marcoesq Says:

    What’d they play last night?

  13. RedRedWorm Says:

    Last night at the HeadCount benefit at the Capitol Theatre Trey played with The Roots for First Tube, Pigtail$, Dancing in the Streets*, Whipping Post#
    $with Grace Potter
    *with Bob Weir, Grace Potter, Warren Haynes, Bobby Keys
    #with Warren Haynes, Bobby Keys, Grace Potter

  14. marcoesq Says:

    siiiick…first tube w/ ?uest love?? get me auds!

  15. voopa Says:

    Gin too!

  16. Duder Says:

    WOW! what an exhausting evening!

  17. marcoesq Says:

    They played Gin?

    Baby party time, duder?

  18. Phishm0610 Says:

    Morning all. Wow, may be an understatement for what the Duder experienced last night. Nothing like the 1st night with the baby.
    Not sure if you are still in the hospital or not. I remember the 1st night having the nurse come in to take the baby to the nursery.
    We left the next day and both realized there wasn’t going to be a nurse to take the baby anywhere.
    That is when we locked ourselves in our room for 3 days and just basked. Good stuff all around.

  19. Al Says:

    Denver Light, Sand and Jim best jams. Only Worcester Jim getting close. Got all 3 dicks webcasts on my Smartphone. Life is good.

  20. Duder Says:

    We kept him in the room with us all night.
    No time like the present Phishm


    BB southern cross contingent will be here today, we go home tomorrow

  21. butter Says:

    Pig, I think what your describing are those rainbow bright lines Trey plucks out of the moment, truly best shit ever, I agree Miner also

    I mean for that jam to be so morphing and powerful, and harness so many of Phish’s best sounds and put them into one jam….I don’t know

    But that one micro moment – Trey spits those robot rainbow lines, then leaves them all together to let the jam keep passing thru different corridors =

    Mind blown on multiple levels

  22. butter Says:

    That fast fingered Paug solo by Red is just technical devastation and on point awesomeness, but still somehow exudes a chill vibe

  23. butter Says:

    Lil Duder is here! Congrats man!

  24. voopa Says:

    Checking some new releases this AM, we’ll see what sticks:
    Bobby D
    Jonny Greenwood
    Amanda Palmer
    Mark Knopfler
    Cat Power
    Bloc Party
    Album Leaf
    Animal Collective

  25. Phishm0610 Says:

    wanted to share a story real quick and I’m pretty sure that light had something to do with it.
    My son lost one of his dog’s at his mom’s place. Me and her just don’t get along at all. Well, long story short, the dog came back last night. She called and told me the whole story. We shared a laugh and sort of extended a hug to Jacob (my boy).
    The past 2 days, while talking about his dog, is the best we have gotten along in a while. Amazing how souls can unite when they are uniting for the right reason. I think she finally is starting to get it on her own level. Let’s see how the rest of the week goes.
    OK, story over. Sorry to blab, but woke up with my son glowing from heart to soul, jumping up and down, letting me know his dog at the other house came back. Good stuff. WOW.

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