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. voopa Says:

    Yeah marco Gin between 1st Tube and Pigtail

  2. Duder Says:

    thnx Butterz

  3. Al Says:

    Light and Sand will end up on my perphect reel. Along with Raleigh 97 Taste, AC 10 Stash, ALO Yem, Augusta 10 Reba, Darien 00 Suzy, West Palm Beach 96 Hood…

    Denver Hood is in the Top 5 Hood-list with Hampton 97, Burlington 97, MSG 95 and….

  4. Al Says:

    All Tweezers from leg two are good. Not one peaked like the JB version from leg 1, though.

  5. Duder Says:

    Great name for a boy Phishm 😉

  6. Phishm0610 Says:

    gonna get my day started. Thinking a trip to the park will do us good. I know the dog’s are in. And the kids are always in.
    You all take care. Enjoy your Saturdays. I know I will.
    and yes, I love the name Jacob. Enjoy Duder. It only gets better.

  7. robear Says:

    Phuck yeah Duder!!!! Big poppa

    Phishm. Wtf r u talking about re: a poster?

  8. Duder Says:

    @ Robear

    We got lucky with the pallet.
    We feel very fortunate

  9. robear Says:

    Saw that. It all works out. Just a little freaked out. All the pre info can be a blessing and a curse. Love conquers. So happy. All those cool uncles too. G$$$$$ an Leo duty comin up.

  10. dognamedwilson Says:

    Nice story @phishm

    What is Jacob’s dog’s name? 😉

  11. Calpain Says:

    congrats on the lil one @Duder! good vibes your way.

    made it through the whole Dick’s run the past 2 days. first time hearing the shows in full. they are bringing the sauce full force, tapped in and jamming with new ideas. great run. Dick’s ’13 is a must for me.

  12. dorn76 Says:

    This thread is IT.

    I’m spent, can’t keep up.

  13. dorn76 Says:

    “great chicken”

    Funniest shit I’ve read in a while. (20 pages ago)

  14. robear Says:

    Dognamed, thx for sharing yesterday. Heavy stuff. And thanks for completely backing my earlier, crass statement with real life stories.

  15. tela'smuff Says:

    “Mitt Romney doesn’t want you to get your $40 of chicken for $6.”


  16. MiA Says:

    Phishm = Mia
    gig is up.

    Ouch. figured Kaya new me better than that. I’m not pathalogical.

    I think it was a joke though. Probably over-reacting.

  17. robear Says:

    Nope. Mitt wants u to get $6 of chicken for $40, with the rest going to Bain Capital

  18. MiA Says:


  19. robear Says:

    Telas and MiA, I finally got to respin GA thru Light from DSGP. Speechless. Just dumbfounded. Trey starts to just spank us with his swanky leads near the end. A virtual ass whipping.

    G$$$$ is my hero for that maneuver he pulled.

  20. MiA Says:

    Funny Robear, doing that right now. Just finished SITM.

  21. leo weaver Says:

    Trey spanked us with those swanky leads in nearly all the jams. And they often came just when you’d think the jam was dying out. Rey FTW!

    Morning kids. Sour d, cup o Joe, and a day of football coming up…still in the show afterglow. What a day. Oh, and I’m going to meet the lil’ duder in a bit. Then pick up fall veggie transplants. Yeah, what a day.

  22. MiA Says:

    First part of Light, I was thinking “Oh, I’ve heard this before. Second part of Light = extraterrestrial.”

  23. tela'smuff Says:

    read back. wow. epicness abounds. great report by Aqua. congrats again Duder.

    i have one quick story……. IT

    i went for a stony cruise last night and ended up at a couple of breweries. talked Dick’s all night with some kids at Asher. everybody still buzzing. GA>Light is redic, as is Sand>Piper, as is Jim>Emotional Rescue.

  24. MiA Says:

    Found my avatar on phanart. I want the t-shirt.

  25. MiA Says:

    As is First Tube -> Emotional Rescue.

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