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:

    Phish missed the point? Wow that’s a statement. I loved the show. To each their own.

  2. Berkeley Head Says:

    You should try being happy

  3. PigSong Says:

    Kept glancing over WW tent way, thought there may be a BBr there. Thanks Stoney for the family friendly spot suggestion. Perfection.

    Someone stop by this weekend. Mike side accessible section, top back. Good peoples.

  4. Stoney Case Says:

    Wow. Df earlier = $$$

  5. voopa Says:

    Thanks for the OTG update, Mr. Case. Love your work.

  6. Selector J Says:

    Ddin’t couch tour so just went to phish.net to check the setlist and was really confused at first.

    Me: “M-O-S-T-S-H-T-W-S-S-P… spell something. Most sh-tw-s…? What the hell is shtws? Makes no sense…. Well they almost spelled something. So I guess they were just fucking with everyone… Haha! Brilliant!… The Brad Sands photo of setlists. Man, That. Is. Hilarious. Maybe the gag was them being Dicks at Dick’s. I can just imagine everyone scratching their heads trying to figure out what’s going on. Googling ‘shtws’ on their phone.. Oh man that’s good.

    “Oh…. wait. Phish.net calls it The Oh Kee Pah Ceremony… So Oh Kee Pah. ‘Most shows spell something.’ Huh. Okay. I guess that’s funny, too.”

  7. voopa Says:

    Props to accessability.

  8. DaNcInG fOoL Says:

    Haha @stoney I’m the new Stoney

  9. voopa Says:

    Yes J!

  10. voopa Says:

    Sometimes I missspall.

    And post frequently. Backs away.

  11. phishm Says:

    They actually spelled something backwards if you consider moma dance to start with an m. Like I figured just to fuck with people. Phish is funny.
    Now if you are look at the setlist they spelled most shows spell something, but backwards. Crazy fuckers. Just get rid of the The’s.

  12. Foul_Domain Says:

    “You should try being happy” (BH)

    ^ Is that directed at me? Maybe not. If so… I live and breathe music. Not just Phish, but all the music I can get my greasy little hands on. I have obsessed over this band for 2 decades. Believe me – I’m happy with this band. That’s why I’m here to share my phishthoughts.

  13. Stoney Case Says:

    PG! So glad to hear! Wish I had a stroller for the 13 yr olds. They were tuckered out.

    I was at the booth on the opposite side.

  14. revise your despise Says:

    Sitting alone in a hotel room with a broken torch. #waxthoughts

  15. Stoney Case Says:

    Revise ! Hilarious. Not really. Come to WW booth tomorrow and get me waxed man!

  16. Stoney Case Says:

    Say Something smoked! Great Stash. Awesome piano work in Heavy Things. Some cool moments in Twist. Even a type 2 bubble.


  17. voopa Says:

    It don’t run in our blood,
    That kind of lux just ain’t for us.
    We crave a different kind of buzz.

  18. voopa Says:

    Broken Torch Blues

  19. tela's_muff Says:


  20. revise your despise Says:

    Great meeting you tonight telas!

    @stoney ill def see you tomorrow at the booth


  21. voopa Says:

    I’ll drool
    I’ll drool


  22. Berkeley Head Says:

    Yeah sorry @fd. That was poor form on my part. I actually agree with your critique… But when I first read it I was still in the venue parking lot and still in the mode of appreciating/realizing what had just happened, so I wasn’t ready to hear the complaints yet. In retrospect i probably should have not checked in with the bb until I had a chance to gather my own thoughts on everything.

  23. c0wfunk Says:

    Most shows spell something eh? Clever boys.

  24. c0wfunk Says:

    Lulz@ phish missed the point. You kids are too funny.

  25. Admiral Ackbar Says:

    Describe, in as few words as possible, Trey’s maniacal laughter at the thought of hundreds of phishies poring over setlists looking for acronyms that don’t exist.

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