A Mile High

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

7.14.13 (Andrea Nusinov)

This time around, Denver’s summer farewell feels more like a party than a pronouncement. Although we’ve yet to hear a note, this stand-alone weekend already serves as a punctuation mark on a triumphant season of music. This summer, Phish began to carve new sonic pathways again, jamming with intent and efficiency and birthing original music with a magical consistency. Finally adding fluidity and set craftsmanship to their modern repertoire, entire shows—well, mostly entire second sets—elevated like never before in this era. Adding some new songs to the rotation—”Energy” and “Yarmouth Road”—and reviving some old ones—”Steam,” “David Bowie,” and “Split Open and Melt”—the band played their best start to finish tour of 3.0. Now, as we step into our favorite soccer stadium for three shows that will, undoubtedly, contain plenty of action, the only question that remains to be answered is, “Will this weekend top it all?”

In each of the past two years, Phish showcased fireworks in their Rockies swan song. After setlist trickery on both opening nights, one can expect some sort of prank as we approach tonight’s performance. Musically, in 2011, the band played one of their finest jams of the year in 9.3’s “Tweezer,” while dotting the weekend with a stellar second set sequence of “Twist > Piper > Hood” and a rocking “Ghost” taboot. Last year, however, Dick’s opened the gateway to the improvisational glory we have witnessed since that star-crossed weekend. A couple all-star jams over New Year’s bridged the community to this summer tour, when creativity and Phish met at the crossroads of destiny. So many jams, so many sets, so many shows this summer surpassed most of what we have seen over the past few years; a true renaissance of the highest degree. And it all started back at this soccer stadium one year ago with antics and musical triumphs that few saw coming.

First the band came out jamming with a “Fuck You” opening set that featured one of 3.0’s finest moments in “Undermind.” The second half contained another jam of the year in “Chalk Dust” not to mention a long-form “Runaway Jim.” Then came “Light.” Setting a new precedent for modern jamming, Phish unleashed a masterpiece on the second night of Labor Day weekend 2012. Spanning emotive feels, heavy groove and a cathartic blues rock crescendo, Dick’s “Light” immediately stood head to head with the Gorge’s “Rock and Roll” of 2011 for the magnum opus of the modern era, immediately upping the legend of the corporate-named stadium on the outskirts of Denver. A cosmically connected version of “Sand,” yet another timeless gem, cemented the weekend of legend  the final night of summer tour.

So what will happen this time around? What jams will we be talking about for the six-week offseason as we get ready for Fall? Though it really matters not what goes down this weekend—for the band has nothing to prove—something tells me it will be one of great memories. What they will be made of we will soon find out… 

576 Responses to “A Mile High”

  1. voopa Says:

    Nice Corey. Get some visuals.

  2. phishm Says:

    Amazing lyrics C. You always have a way of making me think. Damn you.

  3. voopa Says:

    Poppa’s in the swing

  4. phishm Says:

    Wouldn’t it be cool if really good art was based on happy thoughts?

  5. Selector J Says:

    Do you smell something?

    Me neither.

  6. wolfmansfather Says:

    eat more phishm

  7. phishm Says:

    JK of course. This 2nd set will blow my mom’s mind. I’m not sure if I’m OK with that. Oh well. She’s old and has listened to a lot of the other webcasts this year. She thought she was levitating during the Gorge. Wonder what this will do?

  8. phishm Says:

    Good call wolfmans. Going silent. Fucked up for sure. Enjoy the 2nd.

  9. voopa Says:

    Plord- Weir/Wasserman did it right most of the time. Their live album is good. I’ll add it to my orange, when it’s orange again. Look out.

  10. voopa Says:

    Mine would be all over this phishm…in fact, I would probably be watching with her.

  11. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah I liked the mellow acoustic versions bob did back in the day. one of the things I’d really look forward to at those shows. then I heard the original…mind blown. never have heard an OG era LF live version

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    WE WONT SPELL SOMETHING would be funny with While My Guitar encore

  13. MrCompletely Says:

    (courtesy of @GMS on le twuts)

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    ^^ that’s my call. We Won’t Spell Something

  15. Mr. Palmer Says:


  16. sniveling sneven Says:

    All your bases are belong to us…

    Killer first set, cup overflowing already. 🙂

  17. phishm Says:

    I hear you voopa. It’s cool to finally have her understand why I’m so weird. turns out she’s as weird as I am. Go figure.

  18. Selector J Says:

    “I’d like to buy a vowel. An E”
    ::ding… ding::
    “Two E’s”

    “Hm…I’ll spin.”

    “An M.”
    “Sorry, no M’s.”

  19. sniveling sneven Says:

    @Mr.C… the last E could be emotional rescue?

  20. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    What’s the Vegas line on Peaches here?

  21. Stoney Case Says:

    Party Time
    Scents and Subtle Sounds

  22. jdub Says:

    That was a real treat for sure. This band can still surprise from time to time. In fact, I can’t even begin to guess what we will hear in set 2.

    Don’t make the good girls go bad.

  23. jdub Says:

    Punch opener has good odds out Vegas rift now

  24. sniveling sneven Says:

    >Sand would work well… need a big sand anyhoo

  25. HarryHood Says:

    Sand> Twist

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