Sunday 09/06/2015 by pzerbo

DICK'S 2 RECAP: TWIST AND SHOUT!

Saturday night at Dick’s started somewhat ominously – as the early crew assembled around the stage, dark clouds and stiffer breezes were of enough concern that the stage crew was forced to scramble and lower the Page-side PA stack, which was swaying precariously from the rafters. The storm clouds passed... and this minor non-event was the only real thing that went “wrong” all night. The rest was all win.

There would be an abundance of Peak Phish performed this evening, but it didn’t come early. The new summer dance machine vehicle “No Men In No Man's Land” opened a show for the second time this summer. Showing such early promise upon which fans have rightly heaped considerable praise, this version didn’t sniff the peaks of the Forum, Mann, or MagnaBall versions from earlier in the tour, but set an upbeat tone that carried into a compact but excellent “Martian Monster.” The set then settled in to stock footage with a mostly forgettable sequence of “NICU,” “Stealing Time From the Faulty Plan,” “Bouncing Around the Room” and “555.”


Photo by Patrick Jordan © Phish From the Road

At this point we we’re looking at the inflection point of the set – it wasn’t honestly going very well, with a real sense of going through the motions. In the song’s early days, most fans would certainly not have thought of “Winterqueen” as a song that could step in to save a set, but that’s pretty much what happened, as if there was a mid-set recalibration. While Fuego’s title track initially seemed most likely to provide the best opportunity for improvisational expansion (and has indeed offered many gems), “Winterqueen” has quietly become perhaps the most consistent contributor from that song batch. A comparatively rare mid-set “Split Open and Melt” opened the jamming jets with some dark tension established with Trey and Page engaged in delightfully weird swirling counterpoints. An excellent “Limb By Limb” and soaring “Roggae” offered a perfect pairing of contemplation and soul-inspiring peaks, before “Character Zero” (“the crowd was going wild”) took us into the break. The set had some balance issues, but it grew progressively better as it went along, and left high hopes for the money frame.

The second-set opening “A Song I Heard the Ocean Sing” didn’t go deep but was more than a table-setter, burning brightly as the first stage rocket booster was released, igniting the show’s improvisational centerpiece, “Chalk Dust Torture.” Up against stiff competition for the title of Dick’s Finest Dust (see 8/31/12 and 8/31/13), this year’s “CDT” was a thrilling ride, an active and exploratory adventure of sound, shape, light, and vibration that was so deep and rich and brimming with joy that you never wanted it to end. Rounding out at a little over sixteen minutes it seemed considerably longer. As exhilarating as the “CDT” proper was, the dream textbook segue into “Twist” was a beauty to behold. The best of song transitions happen organically, where the seeds of the subsequent song are infused with ease, grace, patience, and dramatic pregnant intention. Trey laid the first hints of the "Twist" well over a minute before they dropped into the song proper, with everyone else insistent on powering through on the current jam theme. Trey guided them to a blissful and brilliantly fluid culmination into “Twist,” leaving a Peak Phish moment that is in a class with some of the greatest segues in Phish’s history.


Photo by Patrick Jordan © Phish From the Road

The “Twist” proper was gravy and yielded to the third-ever performance of “Mercury,” its first in a big second set slot. The song having several sections led to a funny exchange with a buddy: he asked “what song is this?” “Mercury.” Then a few minutes later, “so what song is this?” “Mercury.” “No, this one?” “Still ‘Mercury’!” They’ve been working this song out in soundcheck over the course of the tour which paid considerable dividends tonight. More or less out of the blue – and after two consecutive years of adding sizeable batches of new songs in each of the last two Halloweens – ”Mercury” is a pretty huge development, given it is one of if not the most significant new original of the post-breakup era. Fish’s Marimba Lumina solo bridges the song’s two main sections, and the timing of this section in the flow of the set contained the slightest echo of “Drums” > “Space.” “Mercury” is a hybrid club in Phish’s bag, with engaging composition yet offering tremendous freedom to roam and explore. Get comfortable with “Mercury” – this winner is here to stay.

The set could easily have coasted home to victory on a succession of set-closers at this point, but the improvisational fuel was still burning bright enough for a late-set “Light” that packed enough ideas for a jam twice its length, with Page and Fish contributing especially vibrant and engaging performances. A powerful, dramatic and perfectly-placed “Wingsuit” soared its way to a emphatic, ground-shaking, fist-pumping “Rock and Roll” to take the set home.


"Split Open & Melt" – Photo © @tweeprise

Page seemed legitimately choked-up leading in to his favorite encore song, “Sleeping Monkey,” before we headed into true bonus time with a bright, happy, cathartic “Harry Hood.” “A Day in the Life” finally closed the books on this show that saw the band using all the weapons in its considerable arsenal of artistic magic that we’ve all been so privileged to witness. I’d be remiss not to note how exceptional the crowd has been; in contrast to a few of the nights last year, front center floor has been virtually stress-free with considerable space and minimal-to-non-existent hassle. One last night to empty the tank before we head into the fall break. Be in the moment, but consider taking a few of those moments for inventory, to reflect upon the bounty of awesome which we can be thankful for: our friends, our band, our community. It’s a happy time in the Phish world, so soak it in!

-Phillip Zerbo

Phish Summer 2015 – Setlists & Recaps
07/21/15 SetlistRecap – Bend 1
07/22/15 SetlistRecap – Bend 2
07/24/15 SetlistRecap, Recap2 – Shoreline
07/25/15 SetlistRecap – LA Forum
07/28/15 SetlistRecap – Austin
07/29/15 SetlistRecap – Grand Prarie
07/31/15 SetlistRecap – Atlanta 1
08/01/15 SetlistRecap – Atlanta 2
08/02/15 SetlistRecap – Tuscaloosa
08/04/15 SetlistRecap – Nashville
08/05/15 SetlistRecap – Kansas City
08/07/15 SetlistRecap – Blossom
08/08/15 SetlistRecap – Alpine 1
08/09/15 SetlistRecap – Apline 2
08/11/15 SetlistRecap – Mann 1
08/12/15 SetlistRecap – Mann 2
08/14/15 SetlistRecap – Raleigh
08/15/15 SetlistRecap – Merriweather 1
08/16/15 SetlistRecap – Merriweather 2
08/21/15 SetlistRecap – Magnaball 1
08/22/15 SetlistRecap – Magnaball 2
08/23/15 SetlistRecap – Magnaball 3
09/04/15 SetlistRecap – Dick's 1
09/05/15 SetlistRecap – Dick's 2
09/06/15 SetlistRecap – Dick's 3


Commerce City, CO posters by Rich Kelly. 12x24, Edition of 850 each night.

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Comments

, comment by raidcehlalred
raidcehlalred I love the direction(s) Mercury is headed, and this, with Scabbard, have me totally intrigued and excited for a potentially great, mature record.

Some tracks from Radiohead's _Amnesiac_ scream _Kid A_ sessions (this, obviously, because they were from those sessions). I get the distinct vibe that Mercury 'rises' from the Fuego cutting-room floor. I really, really hope they continue to pursue this direction, even more so than the fun and punchy Dead-like summer fare.
, comment by raidcehlalred
raidcehlalred I will try to shut up, but this had me exicted....

In reviewing what has been written, and in agreeing in total with the assessments regarding the average nature of the first couple nights (although I really appreciate your upbeat vibe here), I've been trying to discern what might emerge tonight, it seems like a SAND is likely. So I ran through 9/2/12 to bring about some karma and whatnot.

Sorry if this has been pointed out before - or if I'm way off - but check out the six-minute mark.... And then at later points throughout.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_r0btgnmFQ

Doesn't it sound like one Martian Monster.... Particularly the really, really tight 10/31 version?

@AbeVigoda pointed out that 8/29/14's SIMPLE seems to 'contain' NMINML.

wonder what else is at play....
, comment by MOstGhoSt
MOstGhoSt oh my God - i loved this night and will never forget this experience.
- sheer heaven on earth beneath beautiful colorado open skies - endless space... sound and magic!

this night was amazing! well said mr zerbo!
i too loved that cdt transition into twist and felt it so emphatically - just wow oh man oh man.

set one - i enjoyed much being there and in attendance. there were so many interesting and experimental moments. the bass within "roggae" sounded so good, i got lost in the tones and stayed there for the entirety of the concert. the bass sounded quite resonant from our floor spot - very very good.

set two - last night is in my future...
it is my new go to - repeat and rinse - i shall be listening to this set including the encore for all my upcoming pedestrian moments in NYc when this vacation is concluded...
very over and often - set two is perfection.

let me just say - i LOVE dicks!

"mercury" is so interesting to me - i think i may have heard things in the lyrics that did not actually happen and i am still debating that possibility with my traveling crew. ( cool that we have recordings to refer back with for arguments sake ) i have not yet had the pleasure of wrapping my mind around the lyrics in "mercury" and exactly how many sections are in this song. it feels like three sections. so new. i just love it and all the potential jam exploration in this arrangement... and again the lyrics are "food for thought". ( my guess - the lyrics shift and change at times in a given moment )

last night was so much incredible energy. it was saturday night - rock it the f*c* out. this is tour end - let's let it all go down!

anyone who does not like this second set at this juncture with the phish from vermont is confused and unable to grasp the concept of excellent artistic progression. there were so many interesting and experimental moments.

the energy on the floor was alive alive alive. just rocking! so most excellent - the phish really brought it to the summer tour end. ( i had no doubt all along - this summer tour conclusion - so most excellent )

about that encore - it was the gift that kept on giving.
"sleeping monkey" - "hood" - "a day in the life"

this might be my most favorite encore experince ever!
( last night's encore was really up there too )

my goodness... when they played the notes for "a day in the life"
my thought was - we are so lucky to hear this song right now - this is just going and going - i wanted more... but would have been perfectly understanding with a time stop. i had lost track of all time at this point. if you were not there last night in person, this night was perfect! check the recording out - set two including the encore. set one was the pathway to get to this amazing rock out high energy saturday unique special. ( i do so love the phish from vermont. )

may i just also say - i love my phriends! thank you for vacating with me.
, comment by nichobert
nichobert Listening to this Wingsuit made me realize they really need to do something with the "And it feels good" and "Put your wingsuit on" bridge.. Either some sort of instrumental lead-in to it, a big bold ascending piano figure under it.. Something.. Just feels half-baked compared to the rest of the song.

Loving how great the short Lights & Limbs have been this tour!
, comment by raidcehlalred
raidcehlalred @nichobert said:
Listening to this Wingsuit made me realize they really need to do something with the "And it feels good" and "Put your wingsuit on" bridge.. Either some sort of instrumental lead-in to it, a big bold ascending piano figure under it.. Something.. Just feels half-baked compared to the rest of the song.

Loving how great the short Lights & Limbs have been this tour!
lights and limbs are great....

yeah: they, they must have figured that out, too.... as they changed the title from wsuit to fuego. forgetting the cheesy lyrics, it's flawed. put the gimour/divison-bell guitar part is cool enough -
, comment by raidcehlalred
raidcehlalred Question:

Is it just me, or is it taking less and less to get the DEG tease affixed to a jam?

Not that it ever took much.

But still....
, comment by kentuckyphan
kentuckyphan When the highlight of the first set is Roggae, you know it's slim pickings. CDT was our singular bright spot. They could've played nearly anything for the encore and it would not have mattered. Melt was embarrassing, especially considering how good this tour has been. Didn't even attempt tje signature ending we all love.

Oh, well, they're entitled to an off-night. Prolly tired.
, comment by Arafel
Arafel @kentuckyphan said:
When the highlight of the first set is Roggae, you know it's slim pickings. CDT was our singular bright spot. They could've played nearly anything for the encore and it would not have mattered. Melt was embarrassing, especially considering how good this tour has been. Didn't even attempt tje signature ending we all love.

Oh, well, they're entitled to an off-night. Prolly tired.
Not sure what show you listened to but it wasn't this one. The Melt was amazing, and the Melt-Limb had energy to spare. CZ to end the first set was perfect. CDT kicked off the second set with some amazing jamming, and the Mercury-Light combo was absolutely brilliant.
, comment by Dressed_In_Gray
Dressed_In_Gray Page was *not* legitimately choked up.

Good write up, thought.
, comment by TwiceBitten
TwiceBitten I enjoyed this show well enough and am surprised at the generally negative outlook seen in the reviews on the setlist page http://phish.net/setlists/?d=2015-09-05
, comment by MOstGhoSt
MOstGhoSt @Dressed_In_Gray said:
Page was *not* legitimately choked up.

Good write up, thought.
i just relistened to that part with page and "sleeping monkey" and page sounds sincerely though humorously, happily a little choked up - but nothing serious.

this part of sleeping monkey makes me smile.
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