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. kayatosh Says:

    stand strong, gdad. way to represent.

    spinning tahoe tweezer from where i left off yesterday. This jam (or jams?) is growing on me more and more. massive jam masterpiece. $$$ for sure, and probably deserves a + tacked on there.

  2. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    He clearly hasn’t checked his email today then. 😎

  3. Angryjoggerz Says:

    GD, good to see you, let’s do it some more. Wheel chair dancer was epic

  4. bob dylan Says:

    That’s fair kaya. Wotc my time woulda been where ghost was your time.

    Too many strong IPAs last night led me to believe that I could in fact puff the wax pen during first set. (My buddy’s apartment is smoke free and I didn’t wanna wait til set break to puff. Nail in the coffin as it were.

  5. bob dylan Says:

    Gdad, 20 years later. How’s Colorado phish hold up?

  6. ren Says:

    Morning All!!! Had a blast getting down with BB last night!!! Such great vibes and space…love this venue.

    Need to find you guys I wasn’t able to connect with last night. Brunch is sounding mighty good.

  7. butter Says:

    Don’t know what I’m doing up, need to fall back to sleep – went big last night – need to hydrate

    Riddle ridden show

  8. Gavinsdad Says:

    I’m pounding water in my room @ butter

  9. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Ren, where were you?

  10. Marcoesq Says:

    No tiii, everything worked great. Super smooth. Thanks

  11. Marcoesq Says:

    Ren, breakfast is legit here at the hotel. Just had a zucchini and asparagus omelet

  12. ren Says:

    @aj- right around MiA, Tzara, sumo, berserker. I’ll make a point of seeking you out tonight

    @marco- right here at the doubletree?

    I need to burn one down with a Gatorade in hand

  13. MiA Says:

    My driver ran out of Gluten Free fuel. I think I did too. Left during Meatstick and ended up hearing the Japanese lyrics over and over in my head.

    Loved the thick grooves of Sand. Seems like the band has been playing together since Hollywood.

    I’m gonna rethink the bar at the show idea. Needed something more for when the muscle relaxant effects wore off.

  14. MiA Says:

    I was derelict in introducing Ren and Mrs. and Hazel to AJ and BB Massive

  15. stapes Says:


  16. jtran Says:

    morning comrades

    funny, silly and I kept thinking they went themeless this year, but I guess we were wrong. I really thought Sand > Say Something was $$$..dug how they let the groove end in Sand then started Say Something, which kinda sounded like it was a continuation of the Sand jam

    Enjoy tonight! SLF and I are heading down to mexico in an hour or so to chill on the beach. Gonna try to no spoilers the last 2 nights of Dix, if Miner even posts those anymore

  17. jtran Says:

    looks like he does!

  18. jtran Says:

    from set 1 thought Heavy Things, Theme and Stash were all great. Especially Theme..solo was crushed

  19. MiA Says:

    Loved last night. Esther was awesome to hear. Big highlight with the lyrics about the rainstorm and wind blowing harder to lift Esther up above the clouds.

    2 more days!

  20. RoosterPizza Says:

    Heavy things made me put my foot in my mouth last night. I can’t believe it is only 5:55. Stash and Sand…

  21. BingosBrother Says:

    I’ll forever chase Icculus. Lucky pricks.


  22. RoosterPizza Says:

    Sneaking on the field is not a possibility this year. Stands were douchy last night– glow sticks and cellphones. However, therewas plenty of space, the sound was good, and I am getting greedy to ask for more than that.

    Big thank you to revise for the hospitality.

  23. ren Says:

    So good finally meeting so many peeps. Great energy being passed around.

  24. RoosterPizza Says:


    I discovered the two H’s of Denver: hydrated and high

    Also, Kuroda was on last night. Those old school Charlotte Hornets colors were the bomb.

  25. ren Says:

    Cabbing it actually worked out really nicely last night as well. Hit the lot for a GC and a some ipa’s. Got on the cab line and were back at the hotel puffing and eating a piping hot $5 pizza that appeared out of no where by 12:30-12:45.

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