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. MiA Says:

    Re: Dick’s Dust : I think I woo’d hard during the Chalkdust at 15:53 to 16:00 or so. Hit me like a wave. You can hear everyone going nuts. Then those big ringing chords around 16:40 or so accentuated and hard edged yet melodically there. Total fist pumping moment.

    I think I saw Hazel Mango boxing up a storm at this point. She has a very good Muhammad Ali dance that seemed well choreographed.

  2. voopa Says:

    You know you got such dark eyes…

  3. MrCompletely Says:

    I only like specific over/unders that double up an existing bet, like, you’re saying team A is gonna win, and it’s the kind of game that for team A to win, there’s gonna be a lot of scoring…

    either that or really really specific matchup things

  4. MiA Says:

    “I was thinking more like 2/3.
    I’ll take 2 ints in the first 23 minutes. $10 even money.”

    Few or couple?

    I’ll still take your couple ints in 19 mins. Call it a give/give both sides.

  5. MrCompletely Says:

    word @voopa. by that measure the crowd woos started in 1979 I think

  6. chris Says:

    why did trey decide to get trey-dd at dicks …could have been soooo epic to finish what was the best 3.0 tour yet

  7. MrCompletely Says:

    some of these prop bets are hilarious. first coach to get fired? amazing.

  8. MiA Says:

    The OU to me, is the biggest blowout at times. But too high of an OU, and you see people doing crazy shit in NFL like kneeling on the 3rd down with :45 left in the game instead of kicking a field goal if they are already ahead.

    “Don’t embarrass the other team” is complete crap to me. Kill them, and embarrass them. Absolutely.

    But obviously if you have the under, it can go both ways.

  9. MiA Says:

    I’m thinking 27 to 17 tonight. Or close. Gonna take Denver and the Under in a parlay.

  10. MrCompletely Says:

    yeah I was talking to @oldskool about that “choppiness” thing…we are both pretty big fans of the ’95 era Phish from Vermont…all those shows would be classified as “lacking flow” or being ADHD’d or choppy or whatever…as @aw has been pointing out this week…

    I fall into that mindset very easily so I’m not saying it’s a crazy observation, I feel that way in the moment quite often, but seriously this is nothing new.

    Trey sometimes has 100 ideas a set and plays 20 of them when maybe 10 or 12 would do. Just how it is I guess.

    Twas ever thus

  11. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Another FF question:

    Couldn’t I just offer to my coworkers to trade all my good players (assuming I must have at least one or two) and let my team just be like a dumping ground for their bad picks? Wouldn’t that provide a service? Trying to find an angle on doing nothing, ha. Apparently “I despise football” is not that angle, just blank stares. Jesus, even the women seem to enjoy it, lol.

  12. snow Says:

    dude, 2 ints in the first half is a bad bet… let alone in the first 19mins.
    I can just paypal you $10 if you need it? 😉

  13. BingosBrother Says:

    I still believe in sportsmanship and running up the score is not cool at any level in my mind. One of many reasons I detest Jim Harbaugh. Running up the score on teenagers is especially despicable.

    Maybe the Woos ate leading up to the most epic Woo song of all time? The Shakedown Woo.

  14. BingosBrother Says:

    Terrible idea aj. The only way to come out ahead in this is let the cpu autodraft and spend 5 minites doing your lineup every week. Bad blood will occur with most other decisions.

  15. Type III Jamming Personality Disorder Says:

    The woos go stratospheric in the City of Woo 10.25-26

    Mark it.

  16. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Why is that terrible, though? Can I just do random picks every week? I have no desire to win. I still think just never touching it again is the best way, sorry, lost my password style.

  17. Angryjoggerz Says:

    The dark part of me is also interested in ways I can prank this thing hard, but not winning. Any angles on that?

  18. revise your despise Says:

    @AJ both of those things throw off the competitive balance of the league.

  19. snow Says:

    @Aj- get the ladies to help you!
    that seems like a win on all levels.

    I don’t really know what people mean by set flow… at least the way it gets talked about.
    For me, it’s a fancy way of saying the second set had a some inspired play and then went flat.

    Looks like concentrates will remain a black market deal in WA…

    “WAC 314-55-079 What is a marijuana retailer license and what are
    the requirements and fees related to a marijuana retailer license? (1)
    A marijuana retailer license allows the licensee to sell only usable
    marijuana, marijuana-infused products, and marijuana paraphernalia at
    retail in retail outlets to persons twenty-one years of age and older.
    (2) Marijuana extracts, such as hash, hash oil, shatter, and wax
    can be infused in products sold in a marijuana retail store, but RCW
    69.50.354 does not allow the sale of extracts that are not infused in
    products. A marijuana extract does not meet the definition of a marijuana-
    infused product per RCW 69.50.101.”

  20. voopa Says:

    aj, there’s usually controls for trolls, like Do Not Trade labels and such.

  21. Angryjoggerz Says:

    Thanks, think I’m gonna stick with plan A.

  22. MiA Says:

    Snow, put your money where your mouth is.

    I hear you saying you think you blathered something and now are regretting saying a “few quick interceptions”

    Don’t need your $10. Just pointing out it was a rusiculous statement.

  23. snow Says:

    @Aj – you could go mercenary style and trade good players for bad players to people you want to like you.

    I know that I’d be asking Summer, aka miss lady of the night perfume sprayer, for help with my team every week if that was going down in my office.

  24. MiA Says:

    Hey, I’m not into badminton either, but I don’t go onto the firld and become some sort of conscientious objector and cross my arms. 😉

    Give it everything you got! Be a winner!

  25. voopa Says:

    For me a set that flows is one where there’s a continuous theme (subtle or overt), or the music connects throughout. 8/6/96 II is my go to example for the latter (AW and I were both there, TYVM).

    But those are rare. A set doesn’t need that to be a great set.

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