On Cloud 9 In Colorado

Denver (Charles Bridwell)

Leaving Colorado, I had been blown away by three days—six sets—of spectacular music; Phish hadn’t put such a run together thus far this summer. While other three-nighters all had one lesser night or at least lulls throughout, Denver had none. Coming to the Rocky Mountains to close a monumental summer, Phish left with three timeless shows under their their belt and a list of highlights that just doesn’t end.

Using their three-night stand as a definitive statement as to where they stand right now, the band sent a message of excellence and exuberance to their fans—things could not be finer in the world of Phish. With authoritative playing all weekend long, the guys sculpted jams of all shapes and sizes, illustrating their diversity of styles in 2011. And as a result, top-shelf highlights poured from the stage from Friday’s first set through Sunday’s last.

Denver (C.Bridwell)

Perhaps the most original and forward-looking excursion of the weekend came in Friday night’s “Seven Below.” Growing into the peak of the “S” set, the band launched into an experiment in quick-paced groove, a path that eventually led them into the storage shed psychedelia that has quickly developed into Phish’s most innovative style of play. Earlier in the set, the band showed off their ambient soundscapes in a gorgeous rendition of “Simple,” and before that, a smashing, bass-led “Sand” capped off a summer of scintillating dance grooves from the song. In a run that featured all-star first sets, taboot, Friday night saw the three-song combination of “Stash,” “Sneakin’ Sally > Sparks” light up the opening set of the run. In “Sally,” Phish took another ride through unconventional groove and into the storage shed, before landing perfectly in a demonstrative cover of “Sparks” for the first time in 15 years.

Amidst their improvisational combo platter of in Denver, Phish dropped their most blissful and uplifting jam in memory— “Tweezer.” While Fishman maintained infectious beats throughout, Trey, Mike and Page combined in awe-inducing mélange of sound that groove that carried massive emotion and spirituality. After all the traveling and shows this summer, “Tweezer” summed up the heightened emotional state of the band and their community with music harnessed from the divine. Bathing in IT for the duration of this stunning version, this transformed into one of those life-affirming moments in which any and every decision that I had ever made that brought me to the place I stood in Colorado was absolutely fated—this “Tweezer” was the reason. A sky-scraping jam that touched the very soul of IT all, “Tweezer” felt like a poignant ode to life’s eternal spirit. This was most definitely the reason.

Denver (Charles Bridwell)

Later in the set, the band jumped off “2001” into a unsuspecting “Light,” a move that would culminate in one of the moments of the weekend. Amidst a passionate jam that Mike owned with rolling, melodic basslines—a divergence from the song’s futuristic soundscapes of summer—Phish migrated into a intricate and percussive section. Trey laced the “Disease” melody—piece by piece—perfectly into this context and the band joined him in an instrumental reprise of the set-opener without ever leaving the rhythmic template of “Light”—a true moment of catharsis in a weekend laced with majesty.

Denver (C.Bridwell)

On Sunday, the centerpiece of the non-stop final set—possibly, the most complete set of all—a low-ride in “Twist” seamlessly segued into a voyage through a red, red wormhole in “Piper” and then Phish led a celestial ascent with a “Hood” for the ages.  Employing quickened yet danceable grooves in “Piper,” the band locked into one of the weekends indelible excursions, one in which Page infused the Theremin like never before. This high-speed musical drama ended with another pass through the storage shed of sonic psychedelia in what became the most creative music of the final night. And Phish hasn’t played a “Hood” like the version that followed in ages. Combining the staccato stylings of more modern renditions with the precision and passion that defined “Hoods” of the mid-‘90s, this rendition was a staggering spiritual triumph. And while we are at, throw a first set “Bathtub Gin” into the mix that was one of the most exhilarating dance sessions of the weekend.

Needless to say, Phish had it all working over Denver’s three-day extravaganza. Stamping summer complete with—easily—their most accomplished, top-to-bottom stand of the season, the band likened musical superheroes as they had their way with each and every piece they played. Creative, responsive, and innovative, Phish finished tour on a mile-high note in Denver, leaving their community in a state of bliss. And who would have thought this is where we’d be when September rolled around?

Enjoy “Dick’s Picks” in this installment of Ten Tunes For Friday!


Denver (Charles Bridwell)


TTFF: “Dick’s Picks”

Bathtub Gin” 9.4 I



Seven Below” 9.2 II



Sneakin’ Sally > Sparks” 9.2 I



Tweezer” 9.3 II



Simple -> Steam” 9.2 II



Ghost -> Guy Forget -> Ghost” 9.4 II



Light -> Down with Disease” 9.3 II



Twist -> Piper > Hood” 9.4 II

[audio:http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ph2011-09-04t15.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ph2011-09-04t16.mp3,http://phishthoughts.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ph2011-09-04t17.mp3] Tags: ,

680 Responses to “On Cloud 9 In Colorado”

  1. lastwaltzer Says:

    Looks like this guy’s company stops people from bootlegging merch and has been hired by tons of bands over the years.

    If phish is gonna police their lots they shouldn’t be outsourcing it to people like this. Really hope this gets back to the band. Phan Art is not that big of a problem.

  2. Mike in Austin Says:

    I think the guy with blood was someone selling stickers or something.

    I find it best to ignore that stuff. Can’t do anything about it now.

    I also find it best to ignore PT in general.

  3. Mike in Austin Says:

    Agree LW.

  4. sumodie Says:

    Miner, nice summary! Thank you for all the hard work this summer -always a treat to check out the fruits of your late night/early morning typing sessions

    I never thought Phish would reach the heights that they did this summer. But then again, I’ve been carrying the faith that they would ever since 3.0 began -it’s been a magnificent journey to behold and participate in -once more the band stands atop the mountain, masters of musical magic

    I couldn’t be more pleased and I remain ever grateful

  5. c0wfunk Says:

    went through that drama a bit.. from what I gather these guys don’t work for anyone and are just local thugs and scammers, no real credentials.

  6. BingosBrother Says:

    “And who would have thought this is where we’d when September rolled around?”

    You did, and I kinda doubted it at the time. Optimists saying 1/1/11 would be a middle tier show by the end of summer and I thought no way man. 1/1/11 is mid tier comparably and I love that show. Their triumphant return to VT will be Odyssey like.

  7. c0wfunk Says:

    or possibly working for local promotor bill blass. The pt movement is actually pretty cool and things like that are one of the good things about that site. Spotlighting a thug is a good thing.

  8. bob dylan Says:

    Classic. I post that my head is having an error on the last page and wonder where everyone is.

  9. bob dylan Says:

    Dick tweezer > holy ghost maybe I should throw went gin next just cause

    Haven’t read up top but second dr p on the storage jam piece @miner

  10. butter Says:

    in classic Miner form, he drops a post tour Friday Dick bomb on us

    very well done sir… Dick’s Picks!!!!!!!!!!

  11. Mike in Austin Says:

    Tweezer > Ghost for sure.

    Watched the “beginning” of Went Gin on Vimeo. What a stark contrast to current playing. Sounded esp. “stiff” to me.

  12. [Not Tom] Says:

    When is Phish going to release a video from CO3?

  13. voopa Says:

    DP FTW

  14. angryjoggerz Says:

    TT anyone?

    Back in Chicago, happy to be here. NYC was tweakin me out with the 20 cops on every block and non stop 9/11 television. I have many opinions on this issue which I find best to keep to myself around this time of year. I was a school when the shit went down and a kid ran out yelling “the Chinese are bombing NY”. Doubled my resolve to at least do what I could around teaching about China.

  15. BingosBrother Says:

    “I have many opinions on this issue which I find best to keep to myself around this time of year. ”

    I also have this issue, which is doubly hard when my kids start asking me questions about it. “I don’t know” comes out a lot, which is the truth. I know what I think, but I know I don’t know.

  16. ThePigSong Says:

    hah palmer Dick Tease Tweez

  17. ThePigSong Says:

    wow that video is terrible. I’m not much a fighter, all that rage directed at another fan makes me sick.

    anyone got a PT link?

  18. SillyWilly Says:

    I came across this story from a law school friend about the Grateful Dead’s trademark counsel.

    At the University of Wisconsin, during the basketball season, the student section refers to themselves as the Grateful Red. Everyone where’s tie-dye shirts with “Grateful Red” written in Dead-like font.

    My friend this summer had to call the Dead’s lawyers and make sure they weren’t going to bring a lawsuit against UW.

    The lawyer: “Shit, man, we don’t care.”

  19. sumodie Says:

    Joe (from Boston) and Willowed: emails sent………

  20. bob dylan Says:

    “Sheeeeeeeeit, man, we don’t care.”

  21. c0wfunk Says:

    pig song..

    the latest thread which has links to the 3 499’d threads before it. Looks like they actually succeeded in getting this guy fired from his job as merch lot thug. The fb page is also pretty amusing.

  22. SillyWilly Says:

    re: fighting

    it’s been a few years since I’ve been in an old fashioned tussle

    but the one thing I distinctly remember is the empty, used feeling I always felt afterwards.

    even when I was justified (to be precise: when I FELT justified) when the dust settles I always felt completely shameful.

    of course there’s that rush of anger and adrenaline that almost feels good while you’re in the heat of the fight. that very real spike in your hormones.

    but then enough people pull you off and you’re stuck with your ass in the dirt, your shirt bloody, and a sore face and everyone looking at you like you’re a fucking dog.

    and it takes several weeks for people to feel comfortable around you again. like they’re waiting for you to snap again.

    so, yeah, fights happen and everything, but I’ve never left one feeling good.

  23. c0wfunk Says:

    from what I’ve gathered the general summary is this:

    **there is a shady group that shows up at a lot of CO shows flashing fake and / or real promotor credentials and taking kid’s merch. They’ve been spotted at WSP at RR and other events.

    **The big dude in the video was hassling some high school kid about some stickers

    **the asian dude in the video stood up for high school kid

    **big pony tail guy gets mad and somehow bloodies karate kid at which point that video begins.

    **asian guy plays defense and stalls while cops come

    **cops back off when they see ponytail guys creds

    **cops realize dude is just a thug and arrest him and he’s charged w/ assault

    **asian guy shows up in lot 15 minutes later collecting names and phone numbers of witnesses

    **PT gets wind, gathers lynch mob, fights w/ locals, and eventually succeeds in getting dude fired from whatever dubious position he held.

  24. Dr Pronoia Says:

    the idea of Silly in a fight just does not compute in my mind

    One more thing to thank 3.0 for….no more Silly fights

  25. alf Says:

    feelings of guilt when drinking earl grey, emptiness after fighting, and total bliss in a certain dirty hot sweaty ass indoor arena

    the world needs more sillywillys

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