Summer’s Swan Song

8.30.13 (Graham Lucas)

8.30.13 (Graham Lucas)

Phish finalized their summer season on Sunday night in the Rockies with a well-played show, though the second set lacked coherency and flow. The highs of “Carini” and “Prince Caspian > Piper” were quite high, but the main event didn’t fully elevate as a whole. Although the band was on top of their game musically, the weekend’s final set didn’t have the punch we’ve come to expect from performances at Dick’s Sporting Goods pavilion. With some out of place singles breaking up the fluidity, the second set had a patchwork makeup. But coming at the end of a revolutionary summer tour, this show felt just fine.

9/1 Official (K.Taylor)

9/1 Official (K.Taylor)

The first set translated quite well as the band showcased their on point musicianship by tackling several of their most technical songs. Tearing through “Rift,” and then “It’s Ice,” “Guelah Papyrus” and a smoking “Divided Sky” in succession, the band was challenging itself and they passing with flying colors. Closing the first half with a classicly-shaped “David Bowie,” the band finalized their virtuoso display. The rarities, “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” and “Meat,” the former of which opened the show for the first time since it’s Brooklyn debut in 2004, rounded out a solid opening frame, and when setbreak came, Phish seemed primed to tear apart their final set at Dick’s. But when the dust settled, the second set contained more of an up and down flow than we are used to in the Rockies of Colorado.

Most everyone I spoke to expected the band to open their final set with “Down with Disease” or “Energy,” but they threw a curveball in the form of “Carini.” And as soon as it started, everyone knew “Carini” was going huge. Spending only a brief time in darkness, the band moved into an uplifting, atmospheric jam that shied from an outright groove for quite some time. The jam carried a feeling of ascension—a communal floating into the heavens above after a summer tour that far surpassed everyone’s expectations. Trey tickled spiritual melodies and Fish backed the piece with delicate, complex rhythms as the cerebral music enveloped the audience. The band reached a cathartic plateau and remained their for a while, allowing their fans to revel in the blissed out music. Then—finally—deep into the excursion, the guys hit a change and Fish moved into a mid-tempo groove that spoke to the soul. This was one of those moments that resonated through your entire being—an arrival of the collective consciousness. The energies of the band and audience united in truly spiritual event, leaving souls purged and jaws on the floor. The coolest part of “Carini”—the outright highlight of Sunday night—was how different it was from Saturday’s “Chalk Dust” and Friday’s “Sand.” Show me another band on earth that can play three such diverse pieces of virtuoso improvisation and I’ll show you a liar.

8.30.13 (G.Lucas)

8.30.13 (G.Lucas)

As “Carini” floated in the stratosphere, steeped in reverie, Trey decided it was time for “Birds of a Feather.” Ouch. And there happened the first strike against the flow of this set. Trey seemed to be only stopping off in a rocking interlude when he started up “Golden Age,” one of this summer’s signature jams. But this time, the band decided not to jam it at all, carrying out the composed vibe of the song before dissolving into “Prince Caspian”—another bumpy migration. But the band absolutely slayed “Caspian” as Trey developed a three-chord theme that transformed into the focus of the whole-group improv. A tasteful exploration of the song evoked memories of 2012’s Denver “Caspian” before the band segued nicely into “Piper.”

The combination of “Caspian” and “Piper” became the second highlight of the show, as the band constructed an uptemo canvas that Fishman painted with lightening-quick breakbeats. This full-throttle version hinted, momentarily, at “Guy Forget” as the band sprinted towards the finish line of their last open jam of the summer. And as Trey would have it, this “Piper” wouldn’t be complete without a final set of “Woos.” As the audience responded to his stops and starts, he seemed quite happy with the late summer development, but will he bring the “Woos” to fall? We shall see.

8.30 (G.Lucas)

8.30 (G.Lucas)

An awkward combination of “Boogie On” and” Saw It Again” preceded a quick run through a “Mike’s Groove,” that filled the closing spot of the set—a five-song sequence that flowed like a pile of bricks. Summer’s closing “Groove” did, however, feature a comical nod to Colorado’s recent marijuana tolerance with the debut of Peter Tosh’s “Legalize It.” After a stadium-wide smoke session, Trey dropped a final version of “Character Zero” and the summer came to a close. This year, however, the feeling wasn’t so bittersweet with fall tour sitting but six weeks away! For the first time, Dick’s will not be the last we see of Phish until the holidays at MSG. Nope, this year we’re on the road again.

I: A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing, Kill Devil Falls, Back on the Train, Rift, Meat, It’s Ice, Guelah Papyrus, Divided Sky, Funky Bitch, Cavern, Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan, David Bowie

II: Carini > Birds of a Feather, Golden Age > Prince Caspian > Piper, Boogie On Reggae Woman > Saw It Again, Mike’s Song > Legalize It* > Weekapaug Groove, Show of Life, Suzy Greenberg

E: Character Zero


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371 Responses to “Summer’s Swan Song”

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  1. joe Says:

    good work all summer, Mr. Miner.

  2. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Thanks for all the hard work this Summer, Miner. I know it wasn’t easy for you.

    See you in a couple months.

  3. willowed Says:

    Nice work this summer Miner. Much appreciated. You do so much and I (us) are so grateful. I can’t thank you enough.


    I’m not really a video watcher but I had to watch that lazy lightning vid of CDT.

    Wow. Had to see Fishman killing it one more time. There is a reason why the band is named after the man.

  4. willowed Says:

    One more thing. When the Trza came out with a tee shirt on for the second set of night 2, I had a feeling it was on. Then they dropped the CDT.

    Tee shirt time = hot jams

  5. willowed Says:

    Love the little man n top of dads shoulders. Not sure if I would do that, but you can tell that dad is grooving because the little cats head is just bobbing up and down.

    I would have been in the back with a bit more space. But that little cat can always say he was at dick’s to see the CDT. I bet his buds at school had a less exciting weekend.

  6. MiA Says:

    Agree with Joe. Thanks for putting it out there all summer!

  7. hazel mango Says:

    Repost from end of last thread. Glad to know I didn’t miss the money show.

    LU: welcome back from la playa, glad you survived!

    Reentry is a total beat down…
    To everyone I met at Dick’s, what a great time! Really wish I could have met more and made it to Sunday, but it all worked out very well ultimately.
    LOVED meeting all the Mrs. Obviously I adore Mrs. MiA, but how great to meet Mrs. ren, Mrs. T’sGhost, Mrs. Justino, and Mrs. Pham B.!! A bonus to get to say hi to Robear and the amazing and beautiful Stash.
    Met lumpy and AJ too. Such fun, and seriously, those corners at dicks are where it’s at!

  8. sumodie Says:

    Miner, well said

    I let the flow thing go early on in the show (esp since I was too ill & tired to lose myself completely in the music) and instead rode up and down with what came. Lo & behold lots of terrific moments unfolded the entire night

    Just got permission to bomb down & back for 10/31 as long as I promise to have all loose ends tied up by 10/30 (and not crash the car). Game on!

  9. phishm Says:

    Sorry to hear that MiA. Vibes to your friend. Fuck cancer is right.

  10. dorn76 Says:

    Nice, man, I stopped back at just the right moment.

    Thanks for the reviews. Weird how displaced from Phish and everything else a few days away can make me feel.

    2 day week. I got this.

  11. Mr.Miner Says:

    thanks guys. thanks for reading and for making the BB what it is. I’ve never met someone I didn’t like from this community. psyched for fall!

  12. sumodie Says:

    East coast Phil & Friends fall tour kicks off on 10/31 Port Chester followed by NYC & Philly

    Not my fave lineup but here it is: Phil Lesh, Grahame Lesh, Anders Osborne, Luther Dickinson, Jason Crosby and Tony Leone

  13. phish...yup Says:

    Great reviews Miner. Hope you get on typeiicast for an end of summer review.

  14. willowed Says:

    Sumo. I have a hotel rez from 10/31 – 11/02

    I can’t get there until 11/1. If you want to check in for that night, just let me know. Then I will take it over.

    It’s at the Ramada. You can take it for the night until I get there the next night. Pretty cheep. I booked early. i think its like 60.00 per night or something.

    E-mail me if you want.

  15. little umbrellas Says:

    Hazel. Thank you. think that was my 11th and ‘getting back’ is still a process. these days we got a pretty good thing goin out there. Fun to hear back from the BB about others playa vibes though.

    Need to learn how to doppelgang myself and hit dicks at the same time.

  16. sumodie Says:

    Psyched for fall indeed! Using Dick’s afterglow to lock down fall plans

    Hampton VA: besides all forms of partying, what else is there to do in that region?

  17. sumodie Says:

    Willowed, I already have a 10/30-11/3 reservation at the Chelsea Pub & Inn that I have to cancel. Gotta be in Boston by 2pm Friday 11/1. Skipping the next two AC shows obviously

    But thnx!

  18. joe Says:

    ok, now that the pleasantries are out of the way, I thought the second set was better from the couch than the review makes it sound.

    those looking for a change of pace tonight could do a lot worse than this

  19. little umbrellas Says:

    Nice link Willowed. Grazie

  20. joe Says:

    I could do the down and back bomb session sumo. (or at least down, linger, gamble, come back to earth and drive back early am) Can’t 100% commit to it yet but it’s been on my mind that I really wanted to do Halloween this year.

  21. PigSong Says:

    Thanks for the writeups al summer long, miner. I’m still grounding myself after an astounding weekend. Biggest of props for what you provide to us all.

    Thank you.

  22. tela's_muff Says:

    Well done Miner! Good work this summer. You nailed the Dicks run.

  23. Willowed Says:

    Sumo. I wonder if you cancel if they will let me take your spot from 11-1 and 11-2.

    I tried landing a spot there but they were all booked.

    Can you ask when you cancel? If not, no worries.

  24. sumodie Says:

    Joe, duly noted!

    Don’t want to get too far ahead of myself but shotgunning south with you again is a strong (& very favorable) possibility. I might even be able to get you in the door without using any jedi skills…will be in touch but def keep your calendar open

  25. Mr. Bull Twinkle Says:

    Loved this Carini in person and on playback. Listen for a quick little run on the Two Versions of Me chord progression around 10:15 mark. Trey plays a little hammer on/pull off riff that is almost identical to some solos he took in that song during ’03. Just found that interesting.

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