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. Mr.Miner Says:

    we need an nfl thread on here 😉

  2. MrCompletely Says:

    18 game NFL season not gonna happen. terrible idea that the owners only put out there in order to give it up as a “concession” in the labor negotiations. which totally worked BTW.

  3. marcoesq Says:

    morning all. wow, that video is pretty crazy

    Actually got into a fight with 4 canadiens after they sold me and 2 other people fake tix to 1.4.03 in Hampton

    That was the beginning of the “claim your tickets were lost, order new ones so they cancel the validity of the original tix bar code and then sell those originals on lot”

    Had my own tickets to the 1st and 2nd night of Hampton but ended up throwing away over $300 for 2 fake tix to the 3rd night.

    I’ll spare the details but tried to walk in the show and ended up getting restrained by Hampton security until I broke free and ran away. Waited for 3hrs in our car until they came out, ended up holding my own for 10min against 4 guys until they all piled in their white chrysler mini van w Canada plates (Anyone know these guys??) as they sped off while bottoming out on those grass hills in the one Hampton lot

    Ended up missing that night’s show and was pretty pissed off for a while

  4. marcoesq Says:


  5. Phamily Berzerker Says:

    Yup, the video was the guy wearing the “spiderman” mask.

    I am in the video as it ends. I did the voice over credits reading.

    Oh what? They cut that?!? Gotta talk to my agent now.

  6. negev79 Says:

    Morning folks. I’m down with the wook flu. D’oh! Worth it though.

    Have to take my mom to the mall today – ugh, I hate shopping.

    I’ve only ever been in one fight – when I was 12. I don’t remember what it was about. It was with another girl whose name I don’t even remember. I’m not even sure who won. I remember that I got a bloody lip because she slapped me and I had braces. And I think I gave her a bloody nose. But maybe I got my ass kicked – it was a long time ago!

    Many thanks for the TTFF Miner and for all your posts all summer.

    Gonna be a hot one today in PDX.

  7. Guyute711 Says:

    GB looked awesome….on offense. Long year folks.

  8. butter Says:

    gimme a break, this Llama’s dick is bulging with vigor

    just ferocious

    now they should attack a Split with that “fast enough for you” approach, and not even worry about the jam, and i bet it would all come together

    also, i had originally pimped the jam between the final versus of Steam, and went back to it this morn. red hot Trey, and the band starts to really explore Steam’s textures. it has mad tension/release potential.

    that said, i feel they are over playing it, as the lyrics get a bit cloak and daggerish for me as the song gets repeated

    throw an ashitos in for every other steam

    would love to hit the bene, but am in no position to play the two days on a plane for one show game right now

    gettin pysched for new years, as i feel its a comin, can a get a nanny all up in NYC? i actually hear there are more nanny’s/ babysitters in Manhattan, than anywhere in the country

  9. Robear Says:

    Butter, there’s a network of nannies for hire in NYC and Manhattan ESP. Do a google search.

  10. Mr.Miner Says:

    tweezing again. I’m addicted.

  11. Jtran Says:

    DF asked yesterday but I’m not sure anyone answered him. How strong are these MSG NYE rumors?

    Miami rumors are dieing out, right?

  12. MrCompletely Says:

    once i shot a man in Reno, just to watch him die

  13. marcoesq Says:

    Tweezer is ridic, yerp

  14. MrCompletely Says:

    i think we should all just start carrying concealed six-shooters to shows. what could go wrong?

  15. lastwaltzer Says:


    you don’t already?

    Thats straight custy.

  16. Mr.Miner Says:

    nye msg

  17. butter Says:

    my friend tried to book an event at MSG and they said its booked..

    so obviously its on..

  18. Robear Says:

    Nice play to end game by Saints. WTF? Hadn’t worked all game, running up gut. How about play action with one of NGL’s best QB’s?

    ::wanted GB to win. Rooting for overtime::

  19. butter Says:

    pretty much only question is 3 or 4?

  20. marcoesq Says:

    sounds like a plan. I come off sounding kinda aggro from above but the thing that really pissed me off was that we had been partying TOGETHER for hours before the show. I had been sharing beers and other things with them all afternoon. And not only that, they also sold fake tix to an older couple that had NO money but really wanted to see Phish. They were locals that came down to see their first show.

    I didnt even have any intentions of throwing fists, just wanted my money back. But they started pushing me around and I was kinda stuck

  21. MrCompletely Says:

    they overthought that last play. “they totally won’t expect us to do this thing that doesn’t work, so it will totally work”

    lost the game on the play before. two over the middle was smart. third was overkill.

    great game, both offenses looked sharp. crisply played game overall

  22. marcoesq Says:

    Green Bay is ridiculous. IF they stay healthy and keep a consistent running game to back up Rodgers, they will go 14-2 no problem

  23. Mr.Miner Says:

    this tweeze is like a liquid jigsaw puzzle. so fucking bomb. did i mention i like this tweeze?

  24. MrCompletely Says:

    sometimes shit just goes that way @marco

    like I said you shoulda been packin heat. you wouldn’t even get in trouble, its legal to kill canadians in the south

  25. butter Says:

    lots of nannies, ftw

    and a redefining year capping NYE run, sounding better and better

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