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:

    Awesome Telas! U get to experience the Rocky Mountain Afterglow!!!!!!!!!

    Ga – “is this STILL Golden Age”
    Caspian “Is this STILL Prince Caspian”
    Light “;)$$&&@$$&&!!!&(;//:;()$&@”

  2. angryjoggerz Says:

    Voopa –

    The new Sea and Cake album is worth a listen as well.

    other good new stuff:

    Adrian Sherwood – Survival and Resistance
    The Sea and Cake – Runner
    VA – Fac Dance 2 (Factory Records comp)
    Matthew Dear – Beams
    Knxwledge – Kopasetik LP
    JJ Doom – Keys to the Cuff
    Fourtet – Pink
    B.Lewis – A Lion’s Aperture
    Oh No – Dr. No’s Kali Tornado Funk
    VA – Personal Space compilation

  3. Phishm0610 Says:

    @robear – Just kiddin on the poster. I remember you blogging that night if anyone wanted a poster to look you up. I posted, but never got a response. It’s all good. Just stuck again in mobile with the…. dang, wrong band.
    Good stuff going on the blog. Thanks for sharing all. OK, got the car packed up. Heading off for a day outdoors with the kids and doggies.
    Take care.

  4. PigSong Says:

  5. Phishm0610 Says:

    and @dnw his dog’s name is Shelby. His protector on the other side of the tracks.

  6. Duder Says:

    pics up on FB fwiw

  7. voopa Says:

    Thanks AJ!

    The latest Bloc Party album and remix EP are nice too.

  8. MiA Says:

    FWIW, MrsMia thinks Stapes looks like Jason Statham.

    I wasn’t paying attention Stapes, but if my wife was talking to you a lot, I apologize.

  9. BooVT Says:

    “but if my wife was talking to you a lot, I apologize.”

    ^^That’s funny. Story of my life. I love my wife dearly, but she seldom has a thought she doesn’t share…

  10. marcoesq Says:

    Dancing in trh Street from last night

  11. voopa Says:

    My wife’s a musician, she doesn’t talk at shows. It’s awesome. Doesn’t dance tho either, she’s too cool apparently. But she’s not into Phish right now anyway, so she’s clearly crazy.

    Whoops, mentioned Bloc Party twice. Ignore that. Is good tho.

  12. robear Says:

    Missed the request Phism. Next time.

  13. MiA Says:

    i meant pre-gaming before the show of course.

    I imagine if Stapes talked to her during the show she would have said :

    “Listen Mr. Transporter guy. No talking!”

    I don’t know though.

  14. P.S.H.S Says:

    Today is the big day, I’m getting married! Debating wheather or not to open my first beer…

  15. tela'smuff Says:

    @AJ – i need to hear all of those. i did grab the Matthew Dear and I like that one. first time i’ve heard him.

    yeah @robear, it was pretty nice to get with people last night to bounce off some of that remaining Dicks energy. i think i got ripped into a party bus for the Sunday night Red Rocks Further show. haven’t been to RR for a show, haven’t seen Further. might as well.

  16. voopa Says:

    ‘grats P.S.! A beer or 6 for the jitters is mandatory.

  17. MiA Says:

    Congrats ps.

    Underdog = “my precious”

    i no longer share. I’m talking to my jar now. woke up, picked up my jar, and said “How are you boys doing this morning? Wanna go for a walk?”

  18. tela'smuff Says:

    i’m going to Stapes wedding reception today. some choice beers tapped. another one bites the dust.

    congrats P.S.H.S.

  19. MiA Says:

    MrsmiA – “Are you seriously talking to that jar of weed?”
    Mia – “Don’t listen to her my nugget friends. She’s just jealous. Obviously wants to separate us. She’s tricksy.”

  20. robear Says:

    Do it Telas! Absolutely. No brainer. I went up on Monday to pay Raspects to the place. Just tourists, exercise freaks, and the rocks. $$$

  21. robear Says:

    Also Telas. Ani ruelz! She’s no Win Butler, but I’ve been around strong female characters a long time and learned to dig Ani long ago.

  22. Gavinsdad Says:

    Pageside. – congrats. Beers after ceremony but that’s just my opinion.

    Dognamed – appreciated your post from last nite. Keep up the good work.

    El dude – congrats. I was looking for the post about your son actually being born to get the recap on his palette vs cleft lip. Looks as tho things are better than forecasted. That’s great news. Congrats to you and your old lady.

  23. MiA Says:

    I guess i’m not funny. better mow the yard. hook ’em

  24. Duder Says:

    thank you GDad

  25. robear Says:

    I laughed mike. Already mowed yard too. Any it hot there for yard work?

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