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. phishm Says:


  2. [an unrelated] wilson Says:

    I knew it.

  3. sniveling sneven Says:

    Stuck with the ‘stick… lololol;)

  4. Stoney Case Says:

    Lots of letters!
    My theme song.

  5. FoggyDoggy Says:

    It’s a meta prank! How many of us went back to check if previous shows from Summer ’13 actually spell something? “Made ya look!” Brilliant. Nothing like a Phish show.

  6. Stoney Case Says:

    Hope Df bought extra socks !

  7. jp Says:

    love that the catalog continues to open up

    keep it rolling

    miner warned the west about what was heading its way after toronto

    seems like the same could be said about the east after leg 2+

  8. phishm Says:

    So does my theory that they were calling everyone a bunch of dumb asses hold up?

  9. MrCompletely Says:

    how long till someone data-mines phish.net for the initials of every set and runs em all through an anagram engine?

    ’bout a day, right?

  10. voopa Says:

    No jams at all C. What kind of band do you think this is?

  11. phishm Says:

    JK. Night all. tomorrow should be fun too. Can’t wait. Can’t wait to hear those that disliked this show and why. Anyways I enjoyed the concert. Hope everyone did too.

  12. voopa Says:

    I Enjoy Their Concerts

  13. jp Says:

    since gnihtemosllepsswohstsom, wonder what the next two nights will bring letter wise

    liphe is good

  14. MrCompletely Says:

    I can tell without having heard a note of set 2 that I liked it.

  15. Foul_Domain Says:

    “I can tell without having heard a note of set 2 that I liked it.”

    ^ Really? Is that even possible?

    I tuned in at Sand. This was a good warm up show, but not a whole lot more. Trey was really staying within his comfort zone, and that made the difference. Honestly, the flow of the 2nd set was choppy at best. Sand had great moments, but certainly not a great fully realized jam. I like ‘Say Something’, but it flowed like a bucket of rocks after Sand. They pushed Sand, but just not top tier for 3.0, by any stretch. Just couldn’t connect, imo.

    Also, Hood just died. I thought they were setting up for a Phishy return to the Hood jam after SITM, but to no avail. Well, That’s Phish for ya!

    Tomorrow is the jam night. Fuck songs! Free form improv is what we’re here for, and its primed for tomorrow night (tonight, technically, I suppose)

    Hope y’all had fun tonight. I sure did!

  16. PigSong Says:

    I liked it.

    Operation PigSong family shows a smashing success. Danced like crazy with the little one for most of the first set, v beginning of second. She snoozed in her ultra pimp stroller the rest of the time. Back of venue, accessible area on the concourse was amazing. Very, very little chatter, sound was good.

    Choppy setlist here and there, had a fun time. I thought sand with the 2001 beat was going to explode. Danced like a mad man to Stash. Hood>Silent was perfect. Guy next to me called slave when hood started, thought he was nuts, high fives when he nailed it.

    We were both a little apprehensive about bringing the tyke, wife left beaming. Nuff said.

  17. PigSong Says:

    Also, Hood just died.

    ^didnt feel that way to me. But I like Silent…

    Definitely thought they’d bring hood back though..

  18. voopa Says:

    Perhaps I was listening to a different show.

  19. voopa Says:

    Meaning I loved it obvs.

  20. Foul_Domain Says:

    I like Silent too, but where’s the rest of ‘Hood’?

  21. PigSong Says:

    Clever placement of ‘Say Something’.

    I dunno foul, I liked where Hood went.

    Peace dudes, two more!

  22. Stoney Case Says:

    Excellent time with the BB massive. Holding down no less than two spots. Back corner Mikes. Front corner Page.
    We triangulated the place.

    Our zone became Phish aerobics. They lost the crowd I was near when they segued into Silent. Lots of people just started talking and didn’t stop. Our crew stay focused, yet it was noticeable around.

    Pretty great show overall. Sand had all kind of texture.

  23. Berkeley Head Says:

    @FD I’m earth, have we met?

  24. Foul_Domain Says:

    @BH – No we have not. Pleased to meet you, earth.

  25. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Yep, too many songs. They missed the point. Tomorrow will slay.

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