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”

  1. angryjoggerz Says:

    When I realized they expected me to do something I tried to drop out today but I guess you cannot drop out once something or another happened. I think the computer can do it for me or something. That is my plan and I am sticking with it, hahah.

    FF pro tip – dont ask the guy who hates football to just play so you can fill in your league and expect him to actually do something

    See, we are all learning together.

  2. Mr. Palmer Says:

    AJ- only issue is what Robear said. You are playing team X . Team X is battling team Y for the overall lead. You have a lineup of injured guys, and players on bye week. Team Y gets pissed at you…

    Stoney- Not sure if thats good or bad, But I sent my pick in.. Indy it is

  3. Fly Says:

    I agree with Cu$ty, AJ. If playing you is an automatic victory (your lineup isn’t set), your plan will backfire because someone will need your opponent to lose to get into the playoffs. They will think your team is compromising the integrity of the league.

    You can avoid this by spending five minutes (or less) per week to set your lineup. It is very simple. I would highly recommend doing this if you want your plan to work.

  4. Fly Says:

    Whoops, my bad, should have refreshed. Palmer’s got it.

  5. Mr. Palmer Says:

    Whatever you decide though, if need or feel you should make some sort of educated football decision, just reach out.

  6. Fly Says:

    In fact, AJ, I can just run your team for you if you want. You can make me comanager and I can do everything for you in a matter of minutes every week.

  7. Fly Says:

    Of course that could backfire too because I’ll end up making a bunch of moves and trying to win and they might think that was lame. Sry for all the posts, paddlin.

  8. snow Says:

    yeah, @AJ, @palms is right. if you need an educated football decision, I’m here for you.

  9. angryjoggerz Says:

    I’m fine guys, no worries. I was clear about my level of participation from the onset so if that has somehow changed, its not on me. I suspect a ploy to “get me to like football”. I’m good, thanks.

  10. revise your despise Says:

    @leo thanks for the kind thoughts. It was the least I could do after the incredible hospitality you gave my bro and I last year.

    My only regret of the weekend is not meeting more BBers as everyone I have met so far has been amazing and exactly the kind of peeps I like to see shows with.

    AC thoughts: I’ve got a res at the Trump Taj. Anyone else staying there?

  11. phlorida phan Says:

    ^It would probably end up like this…
    coworker-” nice job benching wr x this week in putting wr y.”
    AJ-“wwwhhhhaaaaatttt “

  12. angryjoggerz Says:

    Alright, enough about fantasy football. How about that crap on the dancefloor at tahoe?

  13. Stoney Case Says:

    Revise = clutch playa’

    Missed seeing you Leo! Dang. i was staying Page side as that was where our booth was.

  14. Mr. Palmer Says:

    note to self: Stay away from the Trump Taj during daytime hours while in AC… Ha..

    See you there, Revise..

  15. angryjoggerz Says:

    Revise has a very mellow and “holding it down” presence. Very fun and cool to be around.

  16. little umbrellas Says:

    HeadyB now brandishes his own soul gifted light saber.

  17. ren Says:

    @leo- you are a true good ‘ole boy! (hope I’m using that properly…northerner and all). I imagine we would have got our selves into some trouble back in the day

    @stoney- the “play by plays” of your show experience are very entertaining. Definitely created some new dance moves on the fly when you bopped into our space.

    BB still showing teenage kids how it’s done…the RIGHT way

  18. BingosBrother Says:

    Revise dabs
    Dabs in the daytime

  19. Leo Weaver Says:

    Yeah Stoney…I saw you dart through our group on Friday I think but couldn’t get over to ya before you disappeared into the crowd. I was in no shape to make it up to WW that night. Tried on Sunday, but the sea of people was too much.

  20. little umbrellas Says:

    Burgeoning new traditions, Dicks Also Sprach Fakeout.

  21. snow Says:

    @Revise – nice to meet you and thanks. I think I dropped my name and not my handle when we met. anyway, we met on saturday. You prolly remember my faux pas. most people know me by faux pas.

    snow = consistently snow

    is what it is.

    @leo on the other hand knows me from not fucking up and I wish I got to see you. Hope you are well!

  22. Stoney Case Says:

    that’s a difficult move to go from the corner speaker mike’s side to where our booth was. i only did it once and felt exhausted!

  23. snow Says:

    People Dab
    Dab in the day time
    if they want to
    if they want to

  24. sumodie Says:

    ” oh. just asked someone in the know. I think anny run is off.


    Miner just crushed my Dick’s afterglow

    Srsly, tho, thnx for heads up. Makes me ever more committed to pull off my fall tour plans

  25. Stoney Case Says:

    these daytime dabber’s must have two brains’. One that takes a nap while the other performs basic function.

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