Monday 09/03/2012 by TheEmu

GOOD TO THE LAST DICK'S - DICK'S 3 RECAP

I just looked at the calendar and, indeed, it is not 1997 any more. I suspected as much, given the way my back feels when I get out of bed, but it’s good to double check sometimes. It doesn’t seem like it should be 15 years since Phish destroyed America. I want to call it a few years ago, five at the most, but the gray on my head and in my beard, like Mike, says no. So it must not be that Phish just played DCU last week; it must be true that the last show of the summer took place just hours ago. I was feeling old going into the Dick’s run, and I felt that the promise shown by Long Beach and BG3 had faded as the second leg went on, and I was wondering where the band was at and where it was going. I did not, however, forget one of the original commandments: Never put anything past Phish. These guys will make you throw out your preconceptions and will melt your face at the drop of a hat. This weekend was a jaunt in the WABAC Machine, three shows that will be talked about for years while they find a place among the greats. Debating how exactly to rate Dick’s 2012 can wait long enough, though, for us to appreciate that Phish closed out the summer in classic style, with a series of fist-pumping peaks in the first set and deep, inspired type-II jams in the second.

“Cars, Trucks, Buses” takes us around the block a few times to get our motors running, with Trey showing off how well he can drive this vehicle built by Page, and is paired with another traditional opener in “AC/DC Bag.” “Bag” features more dexterous soloing from Trey, builds steadily to the climax, and sublimates just as it should, but it quickly condenses again into the ominous Gordo growl that announces “Down With Disease.” It’s a fantastic segue that sets up a contained but confident “Disease” (with a lyric flub like a Persian Flaw) that Trey just manages to keep from becoming a monster. “Bathtub Gin” steps to the plate like a cleanup man and knocks home the opening tunes, thanks to Fishman’s shift to a higher tempo that combines the disco feel of Riverport with the “Ridin’ in the Bathtub” segment of Murat. It’s type-I all the way, but powerful and satisfying, too.

I love “Nellie Kane” and love its placement here as a cool down. “Sample in a Jar” is its old, reliable self and pumps the energy back up for “Back on the Train,” which rolls down the line a short way without getting too far off track. “Rift” is almost pristine and leads us cleanly into “Free,” which I will admit to being frustrated by as version after version is played with essentially no jam, but Phish leaves me little time to grouse. “Ride Captain Ride” works as a wonderful bait and switch when its feel-good vibe is plugged directly into the paranoid ticking of "Maze," and a Page vocal spotlight becomes a Chairman organ explosion. Trey doesn’t quite match Page’s punch in “Maze,” but the fist-pumping isn’t over yet. “Halley’s Comet” perfectly sets up a screaming “46 Days,” and “Possum” finds Trey employing some serious tension for one final climax before the set break.

It is impossible, under the space and time constraints of a post-show recap, to adequately dissect and explore the awesome and beautiful art that was created by Phish during each of the second sets at Dick’s. I fully expected “Sand” to open this last set of the tour, and tried to prepare myself for where it would take me. The spaces where for two years we have talked about ripcords and shuffle play, at least for now, have been replaced with patience and room to grow. “Sand” touches on many themes, at times hinting at “Bathtub Gin,” “46 Days” and “Prince Caspian” without ever sounding rehashed. Then, as the jam is about to die away, we are treated to a reprise of the main “Sand” theme with dark, plinko-infused funk that effortlessly morphs into “Ghost” in what might be the best segue of the year. “Ghost” gets right down to business, breaking down and putting on the mantle of rock regalia before dropping into another delicious funk groove and, ultimately, basking in ambient afterglow. This leads to another seamless segue and a “Piper” intro which takes more time than it has in years. In “Piper” we soon find ourselves in a quirky but delightful realm where all four band mates tinkle in the upper registers of bliss. It’s the last stroke on a fifty minute masterpiece that will be explored by my ears again and again in the cool months to come.

I don’t want to spend too much time on negatives. I’ll just say that “Twenty Years Later,” while an interesting call coming out of “Piper,” didn’t grab my attention, and the “Character Zero” encore was something of a disappointment for me. I didn’t necessarily expect a “Harpua” encore, but something more meaty than a 6 minute rocker would have been great. On the other hand, the “Harry Hood” may not be legendary, but I think it deserves to be listened to with headphones on and eyes closed.

Also, please permit me a moment to acknowledge Trevor Jackson. Trev, a devoted fan and dear friend of many .Netters, passed away one year ago tomorrow, before the final night at Dick’s. Yet even heavy hearts get a lift with the knowledge that Trev had a spot on the rail last night to hear “The Lizards,” his favorite song. The joy that flows from the music is joined with his spirit, and reaches me daily through the love of the people whose lives he enriched.

I look forward to the nitpicking and arguing about how great this show and the whole Dick’s run truly are. It’s the kind of obsessive geekery that turned me on to Phish in the first place. For now, though, I can only stress my renewed optimism and undying love of this band who, after all these years, still finds ways to blow my mind. The jams of the past weekend take the mature skill I’ve heard over the last three years and apply it to classic Phish risk-taking, and the payoff was enormous. It was beautiful to hear, and it leaves me with only one question:

When do they announce New Year’s Eve?

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Comments

, comment by e_dollo
e_dollo A grand finale.
, comment by ikew73
ikew73 When do they announce the Thanksgiving run?
, comment by dipped
dipped I'll take SPAC.
, comment by mgouker
mgouker I liked Twenty Years Later. I thought it was placed well and played better than it has been for a long time.
, comment by parrott56
parrott56 @TheEmu said:
I didn’t necessarily expect a “Harpua” encore, but something more meaty than a 6 minute rocker would have been great.
I heard it suggested somewhere on the 'nets that the reason behind the short encore and earlier end time last night (and last year on 9/4/11) was because the next day's Labor Day. The band wants to let the crew get home early in honor of the holiday.
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM SPAC vs. Dick's huh? I'm not even getting into the quality of the jams at dick's which are far superior. Let's just look at the willingness and patience...

SPAC 7/6/12

SET ONE

Runaway Jim(7:50)
Ocelot(8:56)
Heavy Things(6:05)
Back on the Train(9:01)
Funky Bitch(6:08)
Tube(1:35)
Psycho Killer(2:50)
Tube(2:19)
Hold Your Head Up(2:25)
Cracklin' Rosie(2:58)
Hold Your Head Up(3:47)
Stash(11:12)
Bouncing Around the Room(3:58)
Paul and Silas(2:34)
Horn(4:30)
Corinna(5:37)
Light Up or Leave Me Alone(8:44)

SET TWO

Chalk Dust Torture(8:30)
Carini(8:53)
Sand(10:15)
Roses Are Free(5:34)
Punch You in the Eye(9:24)
Sneakin' Sally thru the Alley(13:02)
Ghost(11:44)
Suzy Greenberg(5:46)
Run Like an Antelope(11:54)

ENCORE

Loving Cup(6:39)

SPAC 7/7/12

SET ONE

Grind(2:11)
Possum(8:32)
Golgi Apparatus(4:51)
The Moma Dance(7:23)
Torn And Frayed(7:40)
Rift(6:13)
Cities(6:03)
Maze(9:54)
Lawn Boy(3:24)
Peaches En Regalia(3:17)
Bathtub Gin(11:58)
Good Times, Bad Times(6:23)

SET TWO

Down with Disease(5:21)
Blister in the Sun(:45)
Down with Disease(6:11)
Boogie On Reggae Woman(7:03)
Golden Age(6:58)
2001(6:13)
Backwards Down the Number Line(7:18)
Prince Caspian(6:17)
Scent of a Mule(8:42)
Mike's Song(7:35)
Contact(6:37)
Weekapaug Groove(8:41)

ENCORE

Sabotage(3:52)

SPAC 7/8/12

SET ONE

AC/DC Bag(6:25)
My Soul(5:56)
Camel Walk(5:43)
Sample in a Jar(5:23)
Wilson(4:35)
Party Time(8:42)
Gumbo(5:24)
Nellie Kane(2:54)
Driver(3:49)
Foam(9:11)
If I Could(7:51)
Split Open and Melt(11:45)
La Grange(5:23)

SET TWO

Axilla I(3:50)
Light(13:16)
Twist(7:06)
Kill Devil Falls(10:44)
My Friend, My Friend(5:48)
Swept Away(:59)
Steep(3:50)
Piper(15:30)
Free(7:06)
Kung(2:55)
Harry Hood(11:21)
Cavern(4:42)
David Bowie(11:34)

ENCORE

You Enjoy Myself(20:40)

VERSUS....

Dick's 8/31/12

SET ONE

First Tube(9:41)
Uncle Pen(4:29)
Carini(13:51)
Kill Devil Falls(9:28)
You Enjoy Myself(19:14)
Ocelot(10:26)
Undermind(15:31)

SET TWO

Runaway Jim(20:00)
Farmhouse(10:54)
Alaska(9:53)
Chalk Dust Torture(18:28)
Emotional Rescue(5:55)
Fuck Your Face(4:35)

ENCORE

Grind(1:34)
Meatstick(7:07)

Dick's 9/1/12

SET ONE

Run Like an Antelope(10:38)
Backwards Down the Number Line (7:31)
Tweezer(13:25)
Fluffhead(14:19)
Roses Are Free(5:09)
Funky Bitch(6:24)
The Moma Dance(6:12)
When the Circus Comes(5:44)
Theme from the Bottom(8:07)
Golgi Apparatus(4:46)
Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan(5:33)

SET TWO

Golden Age(13:38)
Prince Caspian(11:13)
Light(23:56)
Boogie On Reggae Woman(6:16)
The Wedge(6:06)
The Horse(1:18)
Silent In The Morning(5:02)
Mike's Song(6:58)
No Quarter(7:37)
Weekapaug Groove(8:35)

ENCORE
Sleeping Monkey(5:49)
Tweezer Reprise(4:02)

Dick's 9/2/12

SET ONE

Cars Trucks Buses(6:36)
AC/DC Bag(5:59)
Down with Disease(9:49)
Bathtub Gin(10:51)
Nellie Kane(2:46)
Sample in a Jar(5:10)
Back on the Train(6:34)
Rift(5:50)
Free(7:38)
Ride Captain Ride(5:39)
Maze(9:22)
Halley's Comet(5:25)
46 Days(6:45)
Possum(8:59)

SET TWO

Sand(24:29)
Ghost(14:20)
Piper(9:38)
Twenty Years Later(6:31)
The Lizards(10:17)
Harry Hood(16:19)

ENCORE

Character Zero(6:38)

Night one at SPAC had a nice little sneakin sally> ghost interlude. Night two...yeah not so much...unless you like blister in the sun a whole lot. Pretty caspian tho. Night three decent light decent piper.

And dick's...well it speaks for itself really. Have you listened to the shows yet?
, comment by Cerias
Cerias I truly enjoyed the show, though there were some spots in it that I wasn't a big fan of. The Sand -> Ghost was epic. The Piper -> 20 years, not so much. I will say that Piper bothers me. I have never liked it, and though I know many do, I just feel like it never really goes anywhere. Lizards was great, as well as most of the first set. I echo the Zero sentiment and Hood. I don't have a lot of opportunity to see them anymore, so my last show prior to this was the last night of Dick's a year ago. And, sadly, they repeated 8 songs from that show. I suppose in some measure it can be attributed to how the rotation works itself out each tour, but variety would have been a little better for me. With all that said, I still love seeing these guys, and am glad they are still willing to put it on the line for us each and every night. Thanks for a great time, boys, see ya next time!
, comment by e_dollo
e_dollo fall 97- phish destroys america
summer 2012- phish rebuilds america
, comment by elfinito
elfinito Haven't listened to night three yet -- but so far this was magical end to a great summer.

Really miss the build-up Piper intro (not sure why they abandoned it) -- can't wait to give this a listen.

Sand was never a favorite of mine, and I thought Light was okay, but with promise -- man has that changed this summer. Sand and Light have been revelations and the heart of what the boys put together this Summer -- a unique tour in Phish History.

@e_dollo -- I like it -- "Phish Rebuilds America" -- great play on the '97 tour, combined with some campaign year humor...
, comment by Dreamer
Dreamer Sand and Light have got to be the co-MVP songs of the summer...so many fantastic versions to pick from.
, comment by Raible
Raible The SBD mixes from LivePhish are sooooo nice. Super meaty and BIG.
, comment by kyediggs
kyediggs I love it all always out of the 113 shows ive been too i have never said to myself dam i wish i didnt go tonight even on the worst days (vegas 04, Coventry). This band has got me through some of my darkest days. Anytime im upset or in a bad mood i can put on just about any phish show and all those feelings fade away like a nice spacey ambient jam!
, comment by Puffy
Puffy My friend who works for Dick's said 2 of the band members had to switch flights last minute and that's why a bit of an earlier start and finish. I was real nervous that after such a great weekend we would get a rushed show. Although some songs were played not as long there were many moments that you thought the ripcord was going to be pulled but it wasn't. The segues last night were on and the lack of gimmicks and bust outs made it a real nice cool down to a face fucking weekend.
, comment by nichobert
nichobert I've been saying Phish Rebuilds America since Sand-> Nellie Kane in Worcester!

It just feels RIGHT!
, comment by MDosque
MDosque I webcasted the show last night. Sand into Ghost was absolutely amazing. This Dick's run has also given me peace of mind that this band has a shitload of badass music at their disposal. If they want to, they can let loose serious stuff anytime. I can't wait to see what's in store next. New album, special year, etc. I have thoroughly enjoyed following along this summer. Keep it rolling fellas. Stay healthy, happy, and motivated!

Sincerely,
Dosque
, comment by whatstheuse324
whatstheuse324 I am assuming that someone within the inner circle and has some pull may read this, so I will just get to the point.

The whole webcast evolution is truly incredible and it is time to webcast every show. There should also be a season pass option. I am willing to bet that they make more than enough in webcast revenue to make this a feasible option. I am also willing to bet that a lot of people would pay for this option if it was available.

Phish has always been a leader in marketing innovation. They already webcast a third of the shows anyway. Someone please make this happen.

Thanks and see you for new years.
, comment by Sneknsally
Sneknsally What a great finish to a great summer tour ( both leg 1 and 2)!!! Dicks was by far the best 3 night run phish 3.0 hands down! I was not able to attend but watched all three nights on couch tour. 60inch flat screen with speakers blasting and it was truley magic. Can only image being there. Got to see Alpine1,KC, and STL this summer, with STL taking the top show for me that a personally attended. But phuck me silly I should have been at Dicks! First night...well dont even need to really say anything, we all know how creative and speacial that night was. Dicks 2.... Can anyone say Golden Age> Caspian> LIGHT, personlly i have seen some really great jams come out of light in the last 4 years but I think this Jam in Dick's light is in there for top 20 jams of all times.... again personally opinion here folks.. Great energy from the crowd and band all three nights with some many highlights I'm just sticking to the ones that have been giving me the chills all day today relistening to them. 3rd night second set was fkning insane..Sand thru piper was beautiful, i agree with the twenty years later comment but they did make up for it with a perfectly played Lizards!!! So happy to see the boys taking risks again and with the maturety in they're playing so much potential still yet to be unleshed!! Have seen 21 3.0 shows and have always walked away pretty happy with a few exceptions DC 09, both Toyota park shows and Riverbend 2011. Saw 36 show from Kiel 96 thru alpine 04.. Saw some truley EPIC shows during that time, so I hate the fact that eveyone thinks every show is epic now. There not... however Dicks was!! Was at Big Cypruss, Island Tour, 07/11/2000 and saw several shows during 97 summer and fall including alot of 98-2000. Those were different times then. The band has changed, hell we all have grown up. We still want the Jams but I think 09-2011 the band has sharpened their skills, trimmed the fat so to speak, and all came together at DICKS. So wish there was fall tour this year, if they could keep pushing with just a little time off from here on out I think we can have some of the best Phish years yet to come.... Just my 2 cents. My favorite shows that I have attended 3.0 knoxville 09, Gorge1 09, alpine1 2010, UIC1 2011, Alpine1 2012, spac3 2012, STL 2012..... But with out a doubt 2012 has been the best year 3.0.... From Worchester with Gems thru out leg one ending with a great run at spac to second leg longbeach, SF3, STL and then the holy Grail of 2012 DICKS!!!!! Couldn't be more excited to be a phish phan than right now. Im older, have kids and a 8 to 5 but phuck it, at least now i can afford to travel and see the shows I want with out having to fuck with shady work on lot to get me to the next show like the old days.... God I love this band!! See you folks next time around. Be safe and remeber kids MODERATION is the key word here. Side Note: Does any one remember the Harry Hood from Rosemont Fall of 99... I need a good recording of that show! Any help would be nice..... PEACE
, comment by kidrob
kidrob let me just say that i like the way this recap was written. very adjective filled sentences that precisely describe the music that went on last night. i don't think last night left anyone disappointed with this weekend. it was absolutely incredible from the first tube until character zero.
, comment by stickydohnuts
stickydohnuts Why does every show have to be about what is better than what... everything we get from these amazing musicians is gold no matter how flubbed or how transcendent they evoke strong emotional response and thats why we all love them and i know we all love them just let them be the best band uve ever fuckin heard or seen and enjoy this time in phistory!!!!
, comment by nichobert
nichobert My estimation for Twenty Years Later rose big time.

That's the sign of a great set- does a ballad feel like it fits? Or does it feel like a throw-in?
If I Could from Worcester and Billy Breathes from Atlantic City fit the criteria also. Two songs I've always appreciated, but suddenly loved again after one great placement.

My only issue with it? It isn't Roggae. I'm not sure if Phish realizes that people are all about that song now. It seems like they try and slip it in like medicine, hoping we don't reject it. Just feed us Roggae like baby birds, Phish. Halfway To The Moon would have been bang-up as well.

That Piper is fantastic though, holy crap. They've really figured out how to play sub-10 minute Pipers this year. It always seemed like an option, with even some of the greatest shows of the 90s employing short Pipers that were all build. Now it's like the build is secondary to that explosion off the cliff at the end. And JEEZ LOUISE am I loving the improv from this version. Around 5 minutes in is some of the most unique music I've ever heard Phish play.

, comment by planetneutral
planetneutral My only real complaint is that Trey hasn't given that sick Twenty Years Later groove a chance at stretching out. The song was well-placed and came out of a great segue, but could easily become a future highlight with some room to breathe. Nice to hear this song so close to my 20th Phishiversary too. "All are free, all are free, second time around..."
, comment by ZapRowsdower
ZapRowsdower @dipped said:
I'll take SPAC.
Nobody is trying to take SPAC away from you.
, comment by ZapRowsdower
ZapRowsdower I thought the Twenty Years Later placement was perfect. A good "cool down" spot after the mind melting.

20 years ago the band was jamming just like they did Sunday night, and they still can.
, comment by York_Durden
York_Durden Twenty Years Later... hadn't been much of a fan, but its placement and performance here I found to be exemplary. Glad to see it come back here at tour's end. These were the three best shows I've attended in 3.0, and I'm glad to hear that there were pragmatic considerations for what seemed (despite the mad and wondrous jam to open the set) a bit rushed end to it all.

I don't have much affection for Character Zero—in fact, my jaw dropped when they played it, and not in a good way—but here it raged and rocked and felt like a solid enough period on the end of the Phish sentence that was the Dick's 2012 run, I just wanted an exclamation point, i.e., one final bustout, one final Big Statement of Phish like the rest of the shows had been. But when I hear that they wanted their crew, in honor of Labor Day, to be on their way, it makes me respect them only more. Good guys. We'd had our fill by then, as had they. There's nowhere to go from those jams in summer 2012—the moment ends, but the moment is eternal, and Phish seems caught up in what feels like Their Moment. I think any record made by these guys this fall is going to smoke, and future shows will as well... if they can maintain this level of energy and engagement. Nothing's a lock, and it can always go wrong, but for my money, Phish is peaking again right now. Glad to be a part of it.
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM So maybe its too soon, but I feel like I have to try and put this run into perspective. As an OCD-type junior-archivist, the immediate urge to compare Dick's to past eras of glory is difficult to escape. I think I will have to compromise and not name any specific shows from other eras for comparison, but content myself with speaking on the development of 2012 and 3.0 in general.

As I have said ad infinitum on previous posts, this year has been the year of attention to detail and overall show-craft resulting in more thoroughly satisfying shows as a whole. Without going into detail, just go back over leg I and see how many shows were dload "skippable" and compare that with 09, 10, and 11. Some shows from 11 and the occasional from 09 and 10 had greater heights but not many had the whole show breadth of 12. Guyutica, Pine Knob, and Element Set are the exception to this trend (and before anyone says that I intentionally omitted the best set/show ever, I'm sure I'm missing some here).

More frequently, there was a great individual jam that made the highlight reel but the rest of the show was so-so. Another exception is BGCA night two for 2012 (Simple) that demonstrated this phenomenon. But I would posit, as a whole, 12 has been the year for developing entire shows. Maybe I'm biased towards this type of thing because I love to listen to entire shows from start to finish; I want to sit back and soak in the entirety to glimpse (if only vicariously) what it might have been like to have been there. Also, I think we should note that this is obviously how phish shows are actually played. Seems dumb to mention, but I think it puts one in a better perspective to go to a show and enjoy it.

With these types of whole-show entities, the normal parameters of songs are transcended to provide the context, the space in which the songs are felt and the jams are jammed. This is beautifully said @nichobert in the post above on balladry. These well-earned ballads glisten with the dew of the previous jam as a triumphant return is made; we come to them having known the journey and each note of the glorious melody is the sense of we have arrived. Think about the Dirt in the Element, or that If I Could (or if you want to get crazy, Stella Blue).

But enough about the ethos of whole-show. I could talk forever about it. The point to me was that they showed their willingness in 11 to jam the jams. And I'm not talking about any nifty 9 minute ghosts or 12 minute tweezers here. It was the dawn of the Disease. The only concern at the time was that that was the only platform that still seemed to be a launchpad (this would be alleviated soon enough).

Fast-forward to leg I. Oh dear God, they are not jamming the 20-minuters! Well, they were too busy relearning how to craft an entire show. I posted on this ad nauseum over the course of the tour so I won't bore everyone again with the details. Let's just say they bothered to take care of their songs and their sets again. I was actually thinking a little pre-thought from the band in terms of setlists might be a good idea, not as a blue print but as a source for flow. It seems as if they proved it to themselves that they had it in them to jam the real jams in 11 and then went back and handled the rest of the business in leg I. Leg I+11 style jamming= motherfucking, leg II.

I hate to be that "I told you so" guy, but I told you so. In the SPAC 2 recap blog. There seemed to be some haters hating and I had to let them know what was in store for us in leg II. I recall one guy actually said something like, Phish has never been less dynamic over a 4 year timespan. Ugh. Sorry, I just could not resist the urge that I foretold of the greatness and yea it was good. But I am not a unique snowflake and many many other people out there with brains saw this coming. Look at how much they care and how much fun they're having throughout leg I. We already saw that they could jam if the jamming moment was right. Leg I was about getting to the place where the time is always right to do what is jam.

And. Man. Did. They. Ever. I know its only 3 shows, and was immediately preceded by a show with an 09 mask on, but how can this not be a watershed moment for phish? We were no longer *really* hoping that they were as good as their potential (night one AC was my first revelation of this), but they were swaggeringly putting that shit right in our ears. Like this is what we came for, what did you expect? The Dick's run to me is not the culmination of the bands 3.0 arc, but is instead the impetus for 2012- onward. By revisiting the past, the band finally arrived in the present, and our ears may be pointed skyward to the future. The asterisk has finally left the building and those glimpses of glory that the 12 min jams provided are fully and thoroughly explored now.

And while I might draw some hate here, I think it is because they now have a willingness to sound bad. They are no longer afraid of falling flat on their faces in a jam, and we can get moments where the cohesion is lost that pushes the band to find new horizons of jam within the context of the ongoing jam. Runaway Jim, I thought was a perfect example of this. You can clearly hear the searching, shift and new direction the jam takes. In 10 or 11, this would have phased out and BDTNL would have started. The most basic requirement for jamming is the commitment to the jam because most of the time glorious hose does not just immediately leap out from the collected depths (unless its Undermind night one).

The second aspect seems to be an open mind. There have been amazing sands. Don't get me wrong here, I love the sand jam. I love the groove I love the melody, I even *gasp* love the lyrics. But, aside from the brief moment from DCU before it segues into Nellie Kane, I don't think I can name a single type-II jam that has come out of sand. Ever. Until now. Talk about a turn to left field, they deconstructed that mother hard. And then rebuilt it, somehow, but not quite, leaving the door open to one of the most solid segues of their career. Those segues where it's like they've just stuck the landing, 10/10, there is no better because it is perfection. You can get there again but you can't do better (unless you count creativity points for unusual pairings).

Anyway, before this becomes some kind of epic, I guess I should steer back to the main point. By giving us a taste of what can be, they have raised the expectations. Fair or unfair, realistic or not, we all know (them included) that they can do it. I think it would be reasonable to expect them to at least try (as in the Jim jam) to have the commitment to jamming. If a jam has an organic peak, then that's the time for the segue. If there is no peak, but glorious apocalypse instead ("storage" ;) then ride that shit out! If the they are still in the searching phase, have the patience to wait and see what will develop. These are not edicts to the band, but I think instead, standards that they have demonstrated of their own accord. It is no coincidence that these jamming elements have led to the best shows (as a run) since 2003 (OK, 6/04 had its moments).

I don't think we should have the realistic expectation that they will just play like its Dicks for all of 2013-> ? because (other than fall 97) they have never consistently done that over there career. But this ******giant******* leap forward should grant them a framework from which to work off of. I hope (not yet expect) that we will get a show of Dick's willingness to jam (if not caliber of jam) maybe every third show or so on tours from hereon out. With most shows displaying at least one real jam in the first set. And maybe something like: show 1 (17 min jam> 12min Jam) show 2 (15 min jam 1st set, 15 min jam 2nd set) show 3 (23 min jam> 15 min jam). Along with a sprinkling of fresh takes on bowie, reba, and last quarter hoods/slaves.

And finally (I swear), an understanding of what songs make sense in what point in the setlist. Strong 4th quarters are the final hurdle. This is the dawn of 4.0, folks, and I sincerely believe that we will get there soon.

Addendum: what is like fall 97 is the fact that in Dick's at least: we don't know what songs the jams will come from!!!!!!!! Chalkdust???!!! Prince caspian? Easily best ever. Ok, I'm outta here.
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM Not sure where that emoticon came from. Don't get me wrong, it's fine for other people. Just really not my thing. Unless my gf demands a response emoticon.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten fantastic post @AlbanyYEM
, comment by ThinMan
ThinMan The asterisk has finally left the building

sweet line -- great post
, comment by DreadBeast
DreadBeast Thanks @AlbanyYEM for the awesome post!
, comment by budgreen
budgreen @AlbanyYEM - spot on assessment of where we are in Phish time, I believe.
, comment by dipped
dipped Not taking anything away from Dick's, which I thought was great. I've now listened to all of Dick's twice in entirety, and SPAC a good 5 or 6. I like the flow to SPAC more.
Night 1 Dick's was cute, and the crowd energy brilliant, but flow? Night two, just fine. Night three? Sand! Yes. I'll go ahead and say it's my favorite (I detest using words like better and best int the absolute when there is so much variability in the listeners). In fact I think the whole Sand/Ghost/Piper is brilliant. 20 years later, I can do without. Sure I can rationalize that they needed to breathe after those first three songs, but...
And I can really do without Ride Captain Ride.

I do enjoy the recap - well written and insightful. I particularly echo the willingness of the band to go there, to explore, safety nets be damned. I just wish we could get away from having to rank them in some sort of absolute way. Much like food, what is "best" depends on the moment you are listening, the mood of the listener, the listening environment.
Let's stick with favorites and be clear that our judgments are our own and can change from moment to moment. That being said, maybe Dick's will grow on me. (ahem)

On a side note, will someone define for me the 1.0/2.0/3.0 thing?
While I've only been to 40 or 60 shows, they are scattered throughout their history, beginning at the campus club in ’87 or '88 (age revealed). I imagine that early time period is now referred to as 1.0? And I imagine 3.0 begins after the break-up. But when does 2.0 start? Or are these classifications more style classifications that are not as much rooted in time periods?

And speaking of the campus club, I have a distinct memory of a skin-headed Trey. Can anyone confirm?
, comment by gratefulkeith
gratefulkeith 1.0 is before hiatus. 2.0 is after hiatus till 2004 break-up 3.0 is post break-up till present
, comment by elfinito
elfinito @dipped:

1.0 - Through 2000 (first "Hiatus" ;)
2.0 - 12/31/02 - Coventry
3.0 - '09 - present

As for your comments -- I think both legs had great flow in most shows (a few exceptions, particularly in the 4th Quarter of many shows in Leg 1 -- see July 4th)

But the improvisational flow and Giants coming out of Dicks (and SF 3) seem to my ears to surpass anything heard in SPAC. (I just don't see any 50+ min segments of improvisational flow form SPAC that can hold a candle to what was done in all 3 nights of Dicks, and SF 3)

And, really, SPAC 2 was fun -- but not really sure how it compares musically to Dicks.
, comment by dipped
dipped So 2.0 is a two year window?

What are the Giants to which you refer?

And yes, I definitely prefer SPAC 2 to Dick's 2 (save the No Quarter in place of Contact).

More questions...Does a "Type 2 Jam" refer to the time period 2.0?

And what are some qualities many would associate with each of the 1.0/2.0/3.0 eras? Just trying to catch up on the conversation that's all.

Any no takers for the skinheaded Trey?
, comment by elfinito
elfinito yes -- 2.0 is only 2 years, 03/04.

Type 2 refers to Jamming that breaks form the chord structure of the principle song/Jam (Type 1 Jams maintain the chord structure). This has nothing to do with the 1.0/2.0/3.0 time eras.

This Type 2 distinction is the large factor that separates Dicks and BGCA 3 from SPAC (and most of Leg 1) -- and largely what had been missing in 3.0 in general.

Some "Giants" of leg 2:
- Crosseyed-Light-Sally-Crosseyed Reprise of BGCA 3 (among my favorite 50+ Mins of Phish ever)
- Jim-Farmhouse, and Chalkdust-Emotional Rescue-FYF of Dicks 1
- Golden Age-Caspien-Light of Dicks 2 (Nothing in SPAC 2 touches the depth in this Light)
- Sand-Ghost-Piper
, comment by dipped
dipped Type 2 understood now - and definitely appreciated. now I have the language to describe what I've called Exploratory jamming. But...

"This Type 2 distinction is the large factor that separates Dicks and BGCA 3 from SPAC (and most of Leg 1) -- and largely what had been missing in 3.0 in general."

Really??? Then what the heck is it that I love so much about the SPAC Light> Twist? I think I still disagree though I haven't listened to SPAC since Dick's...

And yes I LOVE the cross eyed....cross eyed segment in BGCA 3.
, comment by merothasweyles
merothasweyles Best>
Time>
Ever
, comment by elfinito
elfinito @dipped said:

And what are some qualities many would associate with each of the 1.0/2.0/3.0 eras? Just trying to catch up on the conversation that's all.

1.0 -- is 15 years, has so many different periods. Thai is a gross over-simplification, but here is my take.

- Pre '94 - Perhaps more like 3.0. Less Type 2, more song-based Jamming. Very little deep funk and other basic-chord-progression jams. mostly high energy arena rock, and Phish's brand of quirky jazz (see Junta).

-'94-mid '96. Arena Rock on Steroids!!! Type 2 high octane shows. I think Page comes into his own as driving a style. Fall '94 and Dec. '95 among others contain many must listen shows.

late '96 - '98. Funk the Funk!!! deep in dark in '97, through dancing cow-funk of '98. Perhaps launched by their work to cover Talking Heads' Remain in the Light. (many consider Fall '97 to be the THE TOUR. Along with infamous "Island Tour" of April 98.))

'98-2000. A more rock-based Funk. The very light Trey-Band infused (some would say "cheesier" ;) songs enter the mix. Solid jamming throughout.

2.0 - Probably the most deep in Type 2 and maybe the weakest in performing written music (YEM intro always butchered, and Fluffhead not even tried). Perhaps a bit repetitive in the darkness of the emerging Jams. Very eery, dark spacey Type 2 Jams (see Scents and Subtle Sounds from Camden in summer '03, not sure of date). 2/28/03 and 6/19/04 are among the highlights. And a monster 46 Days and Ghost from IT are good Jams to hear the vibe of the time.

3.0 - Arena Anthem Rock Gods!! lol. Tight rocking sets as they find their improv legs. Type 1 jamming almost exclusively. 25 song shows a normal. Some great stuff in '09, and a lull to most of us in '10 -- but signs of what was to come in Summer '11. (Bethel, and the Storage Jam are good indications of what had the scene buzzing by the end of 2011, despite falling a bit flat at the NYE MSG run.) And now this monster summer!!

The last 3 years have been amazing to listen to them build a new style of Arena Anthem rock, psychedelia jamming, and Funk. Kind of melding a hybrid between the various styles, in what hopefully will continue to explode from the Glory we saw this summer.
, comment by elfinito
elfinito The Light-Twist at SPAC is amazing. (and I really enjoyed Swept Away-Steep-Piper)

I think SPAC 3 is above Dicks 2. I put SPAC 3 as Number 3 of the summer. (Behind Dicks 3 and BGCA 3). Though the Dicks 2 Caspien-Light is possibly Jam of 3.0 so far (and I hate Capsien!!).
, comment by LightsWentOut
LightsWentOut For me, these shows were the best live concert events I have ever witnessed. I am honestly having a hard time processing it all even now and I had a bunch of time alone in a car on the way home to think about it. I actually was at the point of tears during certain points of each night. Sitting here on my living room couch trying to make some kind of sense of the experience is just proving to be a very difficult task but at the same time, I can't think about anything else. I can honestly say that my entire world just looks and feels different right now and not in a bad way. Crazy? Perhaps, but jeebus those were some shows.
, comment by phisherman
phisherman really funny to hear all of the people trying to take the opportunity while rating a sick phish run to say that it doesn't hold a candle to some shows in the '94-'97 era. i saw them for the first time in '92 and have been seeing them ever since, and i must say that they are on fire right now. i also must say that if they toured with the same setlists for their entire career it would be a huge dissapointment. if you are on this board and commenting on shows from 20 years ago you are the same guy that sits in bars and talks about how many touchdowns you scored your senior year.
, comment by dipped
dipped It seems that we can agree that what's going on right now with them is very very satisfying. It's difficult for me to put it in historical perspective, not only because memory fades to myth (RIP Robrt Jordan), but because I'm not the same person I was in '87 or '93 or ’97 or '03 or even '10. All that remain from those years is an impression of a feeling. For example, listening to Glen Falls ’94 now I can't quite recall exactly how it felt that day (except of course the confusion as I asked myself "Is that Fish's cock?" ;)
In some ways, even though it's recorded on tape or disk or stored on a hard drive, the music seems to change - to age. It'd be overly simplistic to say that merely the listener has changed. Indeed the entire backdrop for listening to the music changes - from listener to the listening environ as a whole. What the band does tomorrow does have some impact on how the music of yesterday sounds. The foreground of these shows form the background of 2013 and beyond.
And boy, what a background!
, comment by AlbanyYEM
AlbanyYEM thanks everybody. @dipped well done. Whether the music itself has aged or the universe has just moved away from that point is a question for another day. Man, do I love those context issues, and that was a great reversal at the end there. To say that the present is the background, in this sense of the older shows, and the past is the foreground is an extremely poignant little vignette.

Just wanted to add the ripple that how we have characterized past eras (as you pointed out with Robert Johnson) takes on an ideality of its own. I would argue that this actually changes the music itself as the source artifact can no longer be relevant in the same way it was to the world that created it. The present-moment of creation is the event of the art, but the shows immediate wake is that art's world. So we have our perception of that era laid over the top of the music from then, as well as our current orientation towards music today that informs the perception.

Further, it seems to me that these characterizations of the past eras not only inform our current reception of past shows but also serve as the contexting of the present. As you said, we are no longer in that time so we cannot actually perceive things as if we were, thus we have symbols as placeholders for how those times were. We abstract that time in terms of definable chunks (cowfunk, ambient, etc) and those chunks make up the history of the band as we perceive it. Finally, that perceived abstraction of history itself changes the "narrative" for how shows are received in the present. The past has its necessary narrative, but how can we define the present?

I think as long as the possibility for change exists, there is freedom from definitions. The past is over so we of course seek to define it. For a band that creates art in the moment, this freedom itself is its defining essence. When that freedom demands of us to accept the present, then we can truly live without past and future narratives clouding our now. And to me at least, there is a sense of joy. Just a connection that we are all on the rift of time forever cutting future into past, and when we are reminded of this through the morph juggernauts known as phish, then there is an opening and the clarity of reality shines through. These past shows were truly inspirational to me and a reminder of how I can be instead of who and what.
, comment by n00b100
n00b100 The big thing for me about this run is that I'm legitimately excited for 2013, not just in the general "oh, Phish is playing, that's awesome" sense, but in the "oh shit, where is Phish going to go next?" sense. The second leg had gotten my hopes up in a pretty big way anyway, mainly because I will gladly trade a run of "consistent" shows that I will play once and then forget about/save the best jams from over a run with some stinkers and some goddamn mind-melting shows, which is what Summer Leg 2 had been giving us. But Dick's went absolutely beyond the pale, with three shows that have shown us what this band is capable of now, while stretching out the length of the jams without sacrificing any quality. I've said before that I have no problems with Phish playing 14 minute jams instead of 20 minute jams, but if Phish is going to give us 20 minute jams with this many musical ideas and a minimum of "gotta get this to 20" wankery, then bring on the added length. And Phish has done just that over their last 3 shows.

2013 (and the NYE 2012 run, if that comes to pass) are going to be utterly amazing, on the evidence of the past 3 shows/St. Louis/BGCA3/Long Beach. I can't wait to watch it unfold with the rest of .net.
, comment by WaxBrain
WaxBrain GREAT summer....daaaaaamn.

Loved Worcester, both those shows were just an absolute blast; that 2nd set of nite 1, I'll never forget that shiz. The Ace.
Getting to hear Friar Tuck sing "Purple Rain" on July 4th made every mile, every second, every cent I ever spent on this wonderful musical group worth it.
SPAC 3... All I really 'wanted' to hear this season was Melt. This "Melt> La Grange" I'll be always thankful fer as well. La Grange! Summer of fuking awesome covers!
But when I think about it, the end jam of "Golden Age" 7-3 was my favorite single piece all summer. One of those I'll be remembering a long time. It was just spooky.

Then an uneven -- yet still pretty boss, meaty useful jams, pick a show, any show, they're there; lets not BS here -- Leg II definitely got book-ended by 2 of the best shows of 3.0, without doubt.
Showing off for Biebers in Long Beach.
Showing off for the fans with an always sweet "Lizards" (et al.) to close the run.
It was a good summer my friends.....a great one. Smiles all around.

I'd take no NYE Run for a Late Fall one.....but I know I'm just dreaming.
See you at MSG, or wherever...
Peace to the Middle East.
, comment by lenuto46
lenuto46 I echo the sentiment about Zero and I was listening and trying to figure out what would be better... my conclusion: Coil. A nice, soaring, Coil capped off with a lovely Page solo to finish the show and the summer... it would have been epic.
, comment by merothasweyles
merothasweyles Do yourselves and the staff that ran "dicks run" a favor and take a minute to email and thank them for being absolutely AMAZING! I have never been around more friendly and well informed venue employees in ALL my years! Way to go "DICK HEADS" You made the weekend for us all!
, comment by phunky58
phunky58 fantastic review, i felt the exact same way during the run of shows between bgca3 and dicks. I also wasn't sure in what direction the band was heading as it seemed they began to lose a little steam. Ripchords started making an appearance during these shows. The patience trey exhibited was starting to be abandoned and shredding took over. Jamming was becoming minimal, sets were rather standard. dont get me wrong there were some definite highlights such as limb by limb from st. louis or chalkdust into wats the use from atlanta among others. Goin into dicks I was hoping they would get back to the exploration that has been exhibited so beautifully all throughout this tour but wasn't expecting it. Then night1 of dicks happened. i really dont have the words for night1 as i was absolutely blown away. imo night1 was the best show of tour. like someone said earlier today phish has the ability to melt faces AT WILL. two first set exploratory monsters came in the form of carini and undermind. along with an above average first set yem. Then came a monster jim to open the 2nd. If that wasn't enough chalkdust was taken deep as well. fuck your face had capped off the antics in this show which were great. but the real heat came in the form of the tunes i mentioned. the rest of the run speaks for itself. light, sand--> ghost--> piper and a beautiful hood nuff said. this run goes down in phish history. and imo this was the best tour of 3.0. thank you Phish
, comment by PianoFight
PianoFight SPAC! -and DICKS!
, comment by GHOSTLY
GHOSTLY You hit the Sand-> Ghost> Piper spot on. Heavy Caspian vibe in Sand to come full circle to that "reprise" lead strongly by fish.

Great review
, comment by Nastiphish
Nastiphish Dicks was great, arguably the best they've played...if you place jamming above everything else. If you like bustouts, crazy covers, or hijinks (stage banter, tucking), night one was tits, but the other two fell flat like most of leg 2. I think these things are equally important to an "ultimate" show. Just a different opinion fom a setlist geek. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
, comment by gperk
gperk I don't know bro, the Moma and Nellie Kane were longer at SPAC. The masters of restraint.

@AlbanyYEM said:
SPAC vs. Dick's huh? I'm not even getting into the quality of the jams at dick's which are far superior. Let's just look at the willingness and patience...

SPAC 7/6/12

SET ONE

Runaway Jim(7:50)
Ocelot(8:56)
Heavy Things(6:05)
Back on the Train(9:01)
Funky Bitch(6:08)
Tube(1:35)
Psycho Killer(2:50)
Tube(2:19)
Hold Your Head Up(2:25)
Cracklin' Rosie(2:58)
Hold Your Head Up(3:47)
Stash(11:12)
Bouncing Around the Room(3:58)
Paul and Silas(2:34)
Horn(4:30)
Corinna(5:37)
Light Up or Leave Me Alone(8:44)

SET TWO

Chalk Dust Torture(8:30)
Carini(8:53)
Sand(10:15)
Roses Are Free(5:34)
Punch You in the Eye(9:24)
Sneakin' Sally thru the Alley(13:02)
Ghost(11:44)
Suzy Greenberg(5:46)
Run Like an Antelope(11:54)

ENCORE

Loving Cup(6:39)

SPAC 7/7/12

SET ONE

Grind(2:11)
Possum(8:32)
Golgi Apparatus(4:51)
The Moma Dance(7:23)
Torn And Frayed(7:40)
Rift(6:13)
Cities(6:03)
Maze(9:54)
Lawn Boy(3:24)
Peaches En Regalia(3:17)
Bathtub Gin(11:58)
Good Times, Bad Times(6:23)

SET TWO

Down with Disease(5:21)
Blister in the Sun(:45)
Down with Disease(6:11)
Boogie On Reggae Woman(7:03)
Golden Age(6:58)
2001(6:13)
Backwards Down the Number Line(7:18)
Prince Caspian(6:17)
Scent of a Mule(8:42)
Mike's Song(7:35)
Contact(6:37)
Weekapaug Groove(8:41)

ENCORE

Sabotage(3:52)

SPAC 7/8/12

SET ONE

AC/DC Bag(6:25)
My Soul(5:56)
Camel Walk(5:43)
Sample in a Jar(5:23)
Wilson(4:35)
Party Time(8:42)
Gumbo(5:24)
Nellie Kane(2:54)
Driver(3:49)
Foam(9:11)
If I Could(7:51)
Split Open and Melt(11:45)
La Grange(5:23)

SET TWO

Axilla I(3:50)
Light(13:16)
Twist(7:06)
Kill Devil Falls(10:44)
My Friend, My Friend(5:48)
Swept Away(:59)
Steep(3:50)
Piper(15:30)
Free(7:06)
Kung(2:55)
Harry Hood(11:21)
Cavern(4:42)
David Bowie(11:34)

ENCORE

You Enjoy Myself(20:40)

VERSUS....

Dick's 8/31/12

SET ONE

First Tube(9:41)
Uncle Pen(4:29)
Carini(13:51)
Kill Devil Falls(9:28)
You Enjoy Myself(19:14)
Ocelot(10:26)
Undermind(15:31)

SET TWO

Runaway Jim(20:00)
Farmhouse(10:54)
Alaska(9:53)
Chalk Dust Torture(18:28)
Emotional Rescue(5:55)
Fuck Your Face(4:35)

ENCORE

Grind(1:34)
Meatstick(7:07)

Dick's 9/1/12

SET ONE

Run Like an Antelope(10:38)
Backwards Down the Number Line (7:31)
Tweezer(13:25)
Fluffhead(14:19)
Roses Are Free(5:09)
Funky Bitch(6:24)
The Moma Dance(6:12)
When the Circus Comes(5:44)
Theme from the Bottom(8:07)
Golgi Apparatus(4:46)
Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan(5:33)

SET TWO

Golden Age(13:38)
Prince Caspian(11:13)
Light(23:56)
Boogie On Reggae Woman(6:16)
The Wedge(6:06)
The Horse(1:18)
Silent In The Morning(5:02)
Mike's Song(6:58)
No Quarter(7:37)
Weekapaug Groove(8:35)

ENCORE
Sleeping Monkey(5:49)
Tweezer Reprise(4:02)

Dick's 9/2/12

SET ONE

Cars Trucks Buses(6:36)
AC/DC Bag(5:59)
Down with Disease(9:49)
Bathtub Gin(10:51)
Nellie Kane(2:46)
Sample in a Jar(5:10)
Back on the Train(6:34)
Rift(5:50)
Free(7:38)
Ride Captain Ride(5:39)
Maze(9:22)
Halley's Comet(5:25)
46 Days(6:45)
Possum(8:59)

SET TWO

Sand(24:29)
Ghost(14:20)
Piper(9:38)
Twenty Years Later(6:31)
The Lizards(10:17)
Harry Hood(16:19)

ENCORE

Character Zero(6:38)

Night one at SPAC had a nice little sneakin sally> ghost interlude. Night two...yeah not so much...unless you like blister in the sun a whole lot. Pretty caspian tho. Night three decent light decent piper.

And dick's...well it speaks for itself really. Have you listened to the shows yet?
, comment by ajcmixer
ajcmixer In order, I enjoyed Dick's 1 then 3 then 2. I, too, don't dwell (too much, anyways, LOL!) what I may not have liked as much as on what I did like and there was so so much to like over three beautiful nights and starting on my birthday on Friday. Excellent review by the OP, to my ears Sunday wasn't perfect in this or that way but perfection in music is way overrated IMHO and it is the journey of trying to get there that makes and made this weekend an extraordinary one. I was mentally prepared for the lava overflow in the 2nd set but was not prepared for the audio onslaught that started from Maze and didn't let up for a second until the end of Possum. It may have been the most fun I had dancing and rocking it up to them in the entire 3 night run of a run that had some of the most magnificent and sustained moments of any run that I know of. Just to see the smiles of old and young alike, both in physical and Phish age, made everything about it worth it. The rest of the year is going to be a happier one knowing I was fortunate enough to attend this run. On to NYE's..

Peace,
Alex
, comment by SikeMo
SikeMo To my 18 years of Phish listening ears, set 2 is probably the best set I've heard since 1998. The Sand-> Ghost is just phenomenal. A perfect, high energy Lizards and a Hood to top it off. Didn't even mind the 20 Years Later. I wasn't at this show, but was at SF1 and 3. This is much better than SF3 in my opinion. Trey is finally playing on top of the beat/charging ahead like he used to. I don't know what changed, but I love it!
, comment by Como_te_llama
Como_te_llama Regarding song choice and/or placement of Ride Captain Ride and Twenty Years Later...

I like many think that I have this uncanny ability to call songs. Most of the time I'm wrong. Bummer.

Anyways, during Ride Captain Ride I swore I heard Page really emphasize part of this line... "Be aMAZEd at the friends you have here on your trip." Before the song ended I leaned into my buddies and confidently whispered "Maze." My buddy signals me back over. "Bowie" he says. Ironic. Cue the high-hat...

Fast-forwarded a bit....

Twenty Years Later - when I first heard the song my first thought was "WOW - what a god awful chorus this song has." Twenty Years Later I will still think that this song has one of the worst choruses that Phish ever put out. BUT, the rest of the song is killer in my opinion. I love the sound of the verses and the outro is just out of this world good. It's Gov't Mule all the way. I love it. Change the chorus and this is a BAD ASS Phish tune.

The reason I bring up placement again though is because of the line that gave up The Lizards..
"I stop for a stranger just to give him a lift
I cling like a lizard to the side of the cliff"

Low and behold I leaned in just as the tune wound down. "Here's your Lizards".

I felt good about myself. Got some high fives. Kissed my girlfriend. Realized that I was getting my 2nd Lizards in 55 shows while my baby is getting Lizards in their 2nd show (in utero).

The insignificance of all of this is astoundingly awesome.
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