We have come to the end of the road. What started on Memorial Day weekend at Bethel Woods will wind down this Labor Day weekend just outside of Denver, Colorado—and what a road it has been. Regardless of what may happen for New Year’s and beyond, this is time to appreciate and celebrate the tremendous music that Phish has cranked all summer long and all the unforgettable times that have gone along with IT.
Beginning with “Boogie On -> Waves -> Caspian > Crosseyed”on the opening night of Summer, Phish built upon the foundation of 2009 and 2010 and reinvented themselves this year. The band is back to creating original music, experimenting in new directions, and exploring sounds unique to this year alone. Armed with a diversity of jamming styles, razor sharp chops across the board and a willingness to explore again, Phish has made Summer 2011 a tour that will go down in history. Colorado will cap a season—and possibly a year—of music that many doubted could or would ever happen again. And in this summer of timeless Phish, the band has dropped more than a few handfuls of golden jams and frozen moments. And to think this has all happened in 2011…
What started as multi-legged 33-show monster has dwindled to a single three-pack. But the next three nights in Dick’s Stadium could be some of the shows we are talking about incessantly for months until we hear another note of live Phish. It isn’t like like band to go out with a whisper, and after a summer in which they have transformed as an improvisational unit, these three shows have serious potential. Three-nights stands have produced some of the highest highs of the modern era, and just this summer we have seen Phish absolutely incinerate Bethel Woods, Super Ball, and UIC Pavilion. And now, one more three-pack in the mountains of Colorado to stamp the summer complete.
Though life is truly lived in each unfolding moment, it is sometimes helpful to pause and appreciate the road traveled. And when gazing back over our shoulder at the past 30 shows of the season, what a truly astounding ride it has been it is, and something for which to be grateful for all eternity. From Bethel’s “Halley’s” to Clarkston’s “Disease” to Cincinnati’s “Tweezer” to Darien’s “2001” to Camden’s “Curtain With” to Atlanta’s storm-interrupted escapade to Charlotte’s “Ghost” to Portsmouth’s “Sand” to Super Ball’s Storage Jam and “Reba > Bowie” to the Gorge’s “Rock and Roll” to Tahoe’s “Light” to UIC’s “Undermind” and everything in between, 2011 has been nothing short of a revelation in the Phish universe and an amazing time to be a fan. And regardless of how long it is until the band’s next scheduled show, anyone who has followed along this summer can sit back and smile.
But no sitting yet. We have three more nights and many moments that will stay with us forever. See you at the stadium!