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:

    Duder, is mum able to take some leave time? Or r u insta daddy daycare?

  2. dusty Says:

    red rock desert dust is cooler than salt flat desert dust. Drive back from utah was crazy with all the burners getting popped on the highway.

    I attended a family wedding a few years ago where couple left ceremony to 2001…line exited to ski lodge deck with pints being handed out. 8+ hr party proceeded. Cool wedding…

  3. stapes Says:

    @ MiA – had a nice chat with Mrs MiA pregaming Sunday. Definitely no show chatter. So glad to finally meet you both. And you definitely need your avatar on a shirt.

    @ tela’s – go to RR. see you shortly! we will feast and drink and dance.

    @ duder – just great news. congrats!

    crazy week. Wow. what can i say? I think i’ve hugged more people in the last week than possibly my whole life. Dick’s was all hugs. Opened me up and prepared me for the week that has followed. Turned a year older. Hiked 10 miles to a beautiful high alpine lake with close family and married my best friend and absolute best woman I know. Partied with old friends last night. Big farm party today. So many things just coming together. Mind blown. Gotta go get in a run and spin Dick’s Light for the first time since.

  4. stapes Says:

    oh and congrats Pageside!!! Cheers man!

  5. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    Big Congrats to stapes and pageside!
    Lots of brightly shining lights of late

  6. dorn76 Says:

    Congrats @stapes. This Summer has been a big win for many in this little community of weirdos. Great to hear it! New babies, new brides, new jobs, cheap chicken, triple beverages.

    Only problem seems to be the damn tricksy wives always scheming to part us from the precious.

  7. MiA Says:

    Fixed lawn mower (again).

    It’s 86° here today. Cold front blew in.


  8. plord Says:

    What up BB.

    Winds from the south today on Lake Champlain: srs bzns. The lake is flowing the wrong way. Windsurfers and especially kiteboarders having a field day. I’m hoping the half dead willow tree doesn’t fall on the house.

    Nothin’ left to do but crank this Dick’s Light.

  9. MiA Says:

    Beverage + a side car. Nice.

    Everyone’s pregnant or getting closer. Or birthing mind babies.

    I blame the high quality of Tweezers being played nightly. Replacing Al Green and Marvin Gaye as Business Time music of choice.

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    everyone is home. no more ticket and hoey (or hotey) money needed. Consider pipcking up some Island Pins! They look sick displayed on your desk or counter top with the plexi tower.

  11. dorn76 Says:

    Wind off the LI Sound today bringing in actual surf. Made for a fun swim.


  12. robear Says:

    Hoey $ FTW!!!!!

  13. DocGanz Says:

    Congrats to Pageside!

    Stapes- Congrats man and Happy Birthday!

  14. Mr.Miner Says:

    Oh, and fwiw, Denver Light is the #bestphishjamever

  15. MiA Says:

    I meant 77°. Woot.

  16. Gavinsdad Says:

    Was just told to go take nap on actual bed as opposed to couch.

    The luau last nite and the bite of gumdrop hurt me.

    Birthday weekend continues tonite.

  17. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    That’s downright frosty for you guys, MiA

  18. voopa Says:

    Huh, I just mowed too. Must be contagious.

  19. Phishm0610 Says:

    Just came in from the outside. Absolutely beautiful today.
    wow do I need to cut my grass too. Lawn mower is broke, but have a great neighbor that let me use his last time. I know he will do the same. Plus his mower is so much nicer then mine.
    I’m fairly new to this blog. Is it normal to be on page 110?
    Lot’s of good stuff out there. Wow. Nice to have the AC off and the windows open. Love that breeze. Refreshing.

  20. Phishm0610 Says:

    My other neighbor just built a great fire pit in their back yard. Their son is playing with Jacob right now. Thinking it’s a perfect night for a bonfire. Drinks, music and friends. Gotta love the weekends.

  21. Phishm0610 Says:

    u all take care. Going to make some music on my drum set and start the party a little early. Here’s to ya all. Cheers.

  22. MiA Says:

    Phishm added 30 pages himself.

    Need 1 picture, new blog posting.

    Dick’s Light.

  23. IrieWalton Says:

    Took a kief capsule more than an hour ago with my coffee and can’t really feel a thing. Any one know how long these take to kick in?

  24. dognamedwilson Says:

    Robear Says:
    September 7th, 2012 at 7:55 am
    Love how society coddles alcoholics, like they are the ‘victims’ and shuns herb smokers.

    ^curious what precipitated this comment @rob. Without any context we can infer any mistaken meaning that speaks to us. I suspect you were talking more about herbs and used alcohol as a point of comparison.

    IMO drug addicts are treated with pretty much the same level of scorn and disdain by ‘society’ (in the largest, most general sense) regardless of the specific drug. This is especially true of addicts who are suffering the most right now. It’s easy to hate a homeless thief. So I don’t think that society in general coddles active alcoholics any more than they coddle a crackhead or a junkie. Society just views them as failures at life when it’s a stranger on the train. Alcoholism is in everyone’s family history. That’s really the only difference as far as “how society” judges sufferers.

    I am interested why you said that tho

    Perhaps support groups are coddling but that is a different discussion.

  25. butter Says:

    Dicks Sand type 2 section reminds me of millennium sound, and such a patient build into the 46days jam

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