Monday 09/07/2015 by lumpblockclod

DICK'S XV: YOU'RE WELCOME

Heading into last night's summer finale at Dick's, it's safe to say there was a sense of collective unease. The first two shows of the run were solid, but decidedly unspectacular. Phish is currently playing at a high level, so by no means were Friday and Saturday nights bad shows. They just felt a little... ordinary. The Friday spelling tradition was seemingly put to rest and there was little acknowledgment that we were at DICK'S. It was understandable. Magnaball was such a smashing success, that it was going to be nearly impossible for this run not to feel a little anti-climactic.


"The Landlady" – Photo © @tweeprise

Phish came out and played two sets that largely stuck to that script. It was going to be my job to shine a light on the high points, note some of the more questionable calls, and try not to let too much of my disappointment show through that this year's Dick's shows felt like just another three-night run. And there were some genuine high points, most obviously the sterling "Down with Disease."

Alas, in the first set, those high points were not always easy to come by. A languid "Landlady" opener crossed off a never-before-seen song on many fans' lists (though they had, of course, likely seen it many times inside of "PYITE"). The "Free," "Moma," "Seven Below" sequence that followed showcased a veritable murderer's row of anthemic Trey licks. It's more difficult to be charitable about the song selection from the rest of the first set. But why on earth should we dwell on that here? And, hey, that's just, like, my opinion, anyway. I'm sure there are some folks out there who thought each call from "Caspian" through "Halfway to the Moon" was better than the last.


"Frankenstein" – Photo © @tweeprise

Setbreak was longer than usual, and the clock watchers among us noted ominously that Phish had only given themselves about an hour and twenty minutes for the second set and encore. That wasn't necessarily ideal, but sometimes shorter sets tend to be more focused, delivering wall-to-wall meat. That wasn't necessarily the case last night. The aforementioned "Disease" certainly fit the bill, as they deconstructed the jam to a minimalist groove and then built it back up into major-key euphoria. The last minute of the "DWD" seemed to hint at "Tweezer" before downshifting into "Carini." At just nine minutes, the "Carini" is compact but featured an echoplex-fueled jam that was reminiscent of 12/29/13.

"Compact" would be the watchword of the set, as "Steam," "Piper," "2001," and "Tweezer" all fit that description. "Piper," in particular, squeezed a lot of action into its eight-and-a-half minutes. This was all high-quality, enjoyable Phish, and had it taken place mid-tour, I'm sure I'd be singing its praises. But when "Tweezer" gave way to "The Horse," it felt like we were going to leave Dick's without a true standout show. Oddly, they started up "Slave" at 11:48. ::Does math:: How on earth are they going to play "Slave" and fit in an encore by curfew?


"Down With Disease" – Photo © @tweeprise

When they came back on for the encore just after midnight and launched into "Tweeprise," the plot thickened. A "Tweeprise" stand-alone encore would be rare but perhaps it made sense with the show running past curfew.

The best Phish moments always seem to be unexpected. Truth be told, even if the show had ended right here, it would have capped off an amazing weekend in every respect. But it didn't. The band recognized the significance of Dick's all along, and had completely faked us out. In 2011 we got the 'S' show. In 2012 they spelled "Fuck Your Face." In 2013 they spelled backwards. Last year gave us the "Lushington" fake out. Each year a new twist. What was left to do? All the permutations had seemingly been exhausted. All but one: spell a message on the last night.


"Tweezer Reprise" – Photo © @tweeprise

"Oom pa pa oom pa pa oom pa pa oom pa paaaaaaa-ah!" Setlist antics were the farthest thing from anyone's mind when "Harpua" started up. Trey clued everyone in by letting us know that when you write your setlist to only include "Harpua" once, and to "keep that in the back of your mind." Of course, that went completely over my head. In this installment of the story, east coast Jimmy needed an oxygen tank to cope with the altitude in Colorado. On his turntable he played the appropriately timed "After Midnight." But it turns out he bought the oxygen tank at the Phish show and it was really "NO2" (played for the second time this tour). Somehow this led into the first "Keyboard Cavalry" since 1995, and the bells brought Jimmy back to consciousness whereupon he noticed "Your Pet Cat," Poster Nutbag.

Unfortunately, Mike accidentally ate Poster Nutbag, causing Jimmy to wax philosophical and ask himself "How did I get here?" Thus spawned the first "Once in a Lifetime" since the Remain in Light set in '96. Was it a little rough around the edges? Sure. Did that matter even a little? Not really. We truly were in "Once in a Lifetime" territory at this point. To finish up the message, Trey thanked us all for being a part of this unique community, wrapping up with the Brotherhood of Man song, "United We Stand."

Of course, we should really be the ones thanking Trey, Mike, Page and Fish for the amount of joy that they bring to all of our lives. The fact that they are still doing it after all these years and at such a high level is nothing short of amazing. Last night, after over 32 years of shows, Phish delivered the Best. Encore. Ever. No qualifier necessary. It will certainly go down as one of the most joyful moments I’ve ever experienced at a Phish show. The legend of Dick’s continues.

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 Little PN....

My favorite part of the encore is when Trey, and he must have been containing this laugh since set break goes,

- So I reflect, I wonder how long people have been keeping cats for pets....

Nice review. I concur with your opinion -
, comment by Ravinus
Ravinus Great night last night. Nothing bad to be said. Not to take aware from any other jams, but 2001> tweezer segment is nasty.
, comment by Ravinus
Ravinus *away
, comment by whatstheuse324
whatstheuse324 Did anyone else see Trey catch that frisbee at the end of the show? He snagged it, waved, and just walked off the stage. I just started cracking up thinking about this clip from PCU.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=YN07XxCh5kA

Amazing show, glad I stayed up.
, comment by phunguy2001
phunguy2001 12/30/97 is still the best encore ever. Close though.
, comment by ProfessorDude
ProfessorDude I can't get the disgusting image of "wall to wall meat" out of my mind. One of the grosser mixed metaphors I've run across.
, comment by Iiiculus
Iiiculus I was at 12/30/97 and not dicks this year (but I'll be there next year) and yes musically the encore was better, but when you consider the significance and meaning behind last nights encore I would take dicks over 12/30/97 any night. It's just another notch on the old memory belt with phish that we all share and which make this such s truly special thing to be a part of
, comment by TnJedHead
TnJedHead Enjoyed parts of your review and very glad you enjoyed the encore, but no mention of the Birdwatcher or Frankenstein to end the 1st set? 3 epic bustouts in one show even though there wasn't a 20+ Minute jam still has the ingredients for what was a well above average show (if now average by Summer '15 standards).
, comment by theresoundingecho
theresoundingecho From the couch the first set was below average, the second set was well above average, and the encore melted my face. Best band in all the land.
, comment by NipseySlicer
NipseySlicer I love this band. I have since Nectars in the spring of 87. In the last two weeks, I listened to every Harpua ever, knowing it was time for another and that we would get one at Dick's, since (phew....) it didn't go down at Magna. Truth be told , I have seen a few Harpuas and was more excited for my Phish brothers and sisters chasing this song (for me stories are funny but I really want to get down with the get down...all they way down).
The first five minutes of Harpua is my favorite Phish. DIRTY, NASTY, PHUNKED UP PUNK FUNK. Can you imagine my JOY that the culmination of my focus was also the focus of my favorite band , and the center piece (all be it the finale) of DICKS !?! Can you feel the LOVE that I feel that they when me they loved me (THANK YOU) and played me a musical story that helped me shake the last gram of energy out of my 48 year old legs and back, after 3 days camping and RAGING at DICKS ?!!!!
So I feel safe after floating on air for the last 24 hours, to tell you, that Phish ARE PHUCKERS !
They hold out until and tease you till you think you might cry. Like a hot, crazy, manipulative girlfriend, they seduce you and then push you away .....and... then... BLAM!!! THEY GIVE IT TO YOU FULL FORCE!!!
The first set Sunday night at DICKS was just as much a part of the GAG as the 3rd set. Trey ejected from a gorgeously bouncy 7 Below to Caspian and then ejected from that into a Number Line, Line . How cold can your favorite band be? When it's Phish? Pretty phuckin' cold. The doubt has crept in by now . What can save this horrendous first set ? Mule and I Saw It Again , revive my hope, only to be dashed on the rocks of Halfway To The Moon, a beautiful lullaby, but I'm so freakin' rested by now. C'mon guys , GIVE IT TO US ! FUCK YEAH FRANKENSTEIN !!!!
The second set went according to plan. Wilson ! check DWD . check . Carini, going strong only to disperse, CHECK. Steam had a very funky groove that made the entire vocal part of the song AMAZING...short plaintive whale jam and OUT ! Piper was a uniquely slow tempo and very interesting ...2001 (HERE WE GO !).....TWEEZER!!! AWWW YEAH !!! with the segue of the weekend ! So bittersweet emotions ran high during the Horse Silent Slave . Confusion abounded in Tweeprize. Then the BIG PAYOFF ! I LOVE THIS BAND! They know us so well, and put so much into this show. Nice to know ,they love us too.
, comment by shargroov
shargroov I think we can all agree on the encore, but I seemed to be one of the few who loved the pre-encore show. I was already thinking it was easily the best of the six I saw live this summer (3 Dick's, 2 Bend, Shoreline). Don't understand the first set hate. Landlady bustout? Come on! And the jam out of 7 Below was not too shabby for a first set song. (Also I happen to like that song, and it was my first since 2004). And I love Backwards, but I don't like it messing up my second sets. So I was highly appreciative of the appropriate placement of that song. And Scent and Saw It Again? Are you kidding me? Who can have a problem with that song selection? So awesome. Your set was ruined by Halfway to the Moon? What? Phish isn't allowed to play slower tunes ever? Best first set of the weekend. Easily.

Second set, also the best of the weekend. That jam at the end of DWD is a very memorable one. And the 2001!!!! The 2001!!! Not one of the 20 minute epics of the late 90s, but not one of those four minute short change versions they sometimes do in 3.0 either. Easily the funkiest in a long time that I've seen. I was already smiling ear to ear after that second set. I figured they were past curfew and would walk off after Tweeprise, and I was totally ok with that. But then......well we all know what happened next. Words cannot describe. Other than to say again what the reviewer said. Best.Encore.Ever.
, comment by dipped
dipped Wow. I thinks I have a different take on set 2. Despite the lack of looong jams, I felt we were finally back in Summer 2015. The playing was developed (DWD) dirty (Carini) fluid (Steam> Piper) and climactic (ASZ). Sure the Tweezer was nipped by the Horse, but in retrospect, given that they knew what was coming after, I get it.

The encore was awesome fun: Joyful, silly, playful. (I called the OIAL when I figured out what was going on); But it's the DWD> > > Tweezer I'll reach for next time I go to mow the lawn.
, comment by mistermooner
mistermooner Is that first picture from Landlady? It says Mule...but I just watched it and it looks like Landlady
, comment by NipseySlicer
NipseySlicer @shargroov said: [quote]I think we can all agree on the encore, but I seemed to be one of the few who loved the pre-encore show.Yes you are ! The first set was a part of the gag. I was already thinking it was easily the best of the six I saw live this summer (3 Dick's, 2 Bend, Shoreline). Don't understand the first set hate. Landlady bustout? Come on! And the jam out of 7 Below was not too shabby for a first set song. I Love it too,but it was truncated by Trey for his favorite eject vehicle, Caspian (Also I happen to like that song, and it was my first since 2004). And I love Backwards, but I don't like it messing up my second sets.Please never let it appear in the same set as a Line again.PLEASE! So I was highly appreciative of the appropriate placement of that song. And Scent and Saw It Again? Are you kidding me? I said they revived my hope ! I LOVE then BOTH.Who can have a problem with that song selection? So awesome. Your set was ruined by Halfway to the Moon? What? Phish isn't allowed to play slower tunes ever? Not 4 pee breaks in a first set and never Number Line Line (that is a joke I tell my phellow Phish heads about 2014 "chasing that Line> Number Line > Line ) Best first set of the weekend. Easily. NOT EVEN Friday grabbed you with the first four: Tube, Ghost (I say went out there deep early), Haley's, Undermind , first pee break is Yarmouth ( which we all agree has no hope , it's groove just doesn't) then a solid Gin , breather Waiting All Night, Horn ,Wedge ,46 Days (which is CRUSHING IT ALL YEAR after being hopeless in 2014) and wrapped up tight with a bow by Antelope.
, comment by jadedforbin
jadedforbin If you went to this show, you're basking in the joy of the greatest encore ever and best show of the year. If you went to anything else this year (save perhaps Magna) you're kicking yourself for your decision, like me. Simple as that. Top 3 shows of 3.0...and that's if it was only the encore. This stuff is why we go. I just wish I could catch one of these. But won't ever get one like that. Best encore in Phish history. The end. Sucks for u if you did anything besides Dicks.
, comment by jadedforbin
jadedforbin I tweeted endlessly about Harpua > YPC for Miami but they failed to deliver the real goods on NYE again. Then do this the next year. Super bummed. Grats on the best show of 3.0. Alpine2 felt really great at the time; I got my Sanity and my Forbin finally at 73 shows. But everything I saw feels like garbage now. 9/6 will be an all time legend. I missed it again. ;)
, comment by jadedforbin
jadedforbin Just sucks to have everything that happened previously made irrelevant by them doing a stunt like this. Secret sets, impromptu third set encores, Harpuas...all things that only take place when I do not attend. ;) Sad, dejected kitty here.
, comment by unoclay
unoclay I just came in to say that you lead off statement "The first two shows of the run were solid, but decidedly unspectacular" means you need to check the second set from Saturday again. It was magnaball quality all the way and then some--phish at the top of their game. If that isnt spectacular, i dont know what is.

I also thought the overall 3rd show was somewhat better than the tone of this review implies--first set was fun, if not legendary, and the second set had plenty of good stuff, even before the Thank You encore.

To each their own though! ;']
, comment by thebuzzman
thebuzzman What? Not one mention of how good that Slave was?
, comment by BestBandEver
BestBandEver Yea I have NO IDEA where the reviewer was for the first two nights, but to describe what was happening on the floor before Night 3 as "collective unease" is about as far off the mark as you can go. Night 3 was my 100th show, and I will say that every single person from the total newbs to the jaded vets I was at the shows with was 100% PHIRED UP. There was unanimous agreement in my crew that Phish picked up right where they left off at Magna Ball - from note 1 I thought the boys were super tight and locked in - sure they may have played some songs that not everyone absolutely loves, but even those renditions were rad overall. I have not seen such joy, inspiration and ENERGY coming from the band since, well, shit I don't even know - ever? While I totally respect the reviewer's right to have their own opinions, maybe give the shows a re-listen before posting a review basically saying that the weekend was "barely saved" only by the night 3 encore - I had a vastly different, and from the sounds of it, waaaaaaay better experience than the reviewer, as did everyone of the 45 or so phroends I was raging Page side with every night. I love Phish. I love Dicks. Best Fucking Band Ever. Thank You Thank You Thank You!!!
, comment by raidcehlalred
raidcehlalred @jadedforbin said:
Just sucks to have everything that happened previously made irrelevant by them doing a stunt like this. Secret sets, impromptu third set encores, Harpuas...all things that only take place when I do not attend. ;) Sad, dejected kitty here.
jaded.... sorry, man, but the secret sets aren't that secret - so if you want one, go to a festival. too bad one of your 76 wasn't c. ball or the went: you'd have gotten your harpua

it was a cool show, but nothing was made irrelevant. i caught a lot of music, and i probably like the cheezer even better than the mann twist, and i like the mann twist better than anything at dick's....

although trey's UNITED solo was cool.

but still....
, comment by jacnaughton
jacnaughton pretty sure they were going to go into piper during the down with disease
, comment by doglogin
doglogin There are a lot of choices for best encore ever. I think that, ultimately, is a personal preference.
, comment by Arafel
Arafel I'm surprised no one is talking abut the Piper. Maybe it's because it's one of my favorite Phish tunes, if not my favorite, but this version seemed particularly incredible. Listen to the jam that starts at about the 3:30 mark, with Trey doing this little building G maj lick. It's unreal, great guitar tone.

Also, I don't get the hate for the first two shows. I thought they had a lot of amazing moments. I've seen all the Dick's shows. Even before Sunday's amazing show, I thought this year was better than 2014, and possibly better than 2013 as well.
, comment by Arafel
Arafel @jacnaughton said:
pretty sure they were going to go into piper during the down with disease
Glad I'm not the only one! My friend who is a taper so my going ape for what I thought was coming, because he says I sometimes am really good at calling things. I said "Piper." He said no, because it was being played too fast, but I loved that it hinted at the Piper and then they came back to it after Steam.
, comment by wombat6889
wombat6889 I personally hate reading reviews done by people are sitting on their couch or just listening to the soundboard. You say there were questionable calls? There wasn't, the show was fucking awesome. People complain about the dumbest things; this song doesnt belong here or there or this would have been better, bla bla bla.

I was there all three nights on the floor and the energy was amazing. Now in my opinion, I left a little disappointed friday because i felt although the song selection was great, they didn't perform as high as they had been for a while. There seemed to be some confusion as where to take the jams. The wolfmans was stellar but overall i didn't really "feel" the show. Saturday was a completely different story. Insane chalkdust, great rock and roll, great mercury and great hood encore. Not a bad first set at all either. I was moving. Then sunday, i left absolutely speechless. I had so badly wanted a wombat and mikes groove but during the show that wasn't even on my mind due to how awesome the playing was. I seem to pick the right shows to attend, because im very very very rarely ever left disappointed.
, comment by wombat6889
wombat6889 I personally hate reading reviews done by people are sitting on their couch or just listening to the soundboard. You say there were questionable calls? There wasn't, the show was fucking awesome. People complain about the dumbest things; this song doesnt belong here or there or this would have been better, bla bla bla.

I was there all three nights on the floor and the energy was amazing. Now in my opinion, I left a little disappointed friday because i felt although the song selection was great, they didn't perform as high as they had been for a while. There seemed to be some confusion as where to take the jams. The wolfmans was stellar but overall i didn't really "feel" the show. Saturday was a completely different story. Insane chalkdust, great rock and roll, great mercury and great hood encore. Not a bad first set at all either. I was moving. Then sunday, i left absolutely speechless. I had so badly wanted a wombat and mikes groove but during the show that wasn't even on my mind due to how awesome the playing was. The piper was amazing and featured what i think to be a doobie brother tease of "rolling down the highway" and into the amazing 2001. I love was living life so much in that moment. I seem to pick the right shows to attend, because im very very very rarely ever left disappointed.
, comment by fluff_hen
fluff_hen I thoroughly disagree with 'unspectacular' re: Friday/Saturday and Sunday pre-encore, sounds like couch tour bias. I've been at great shows this summer (@jadedforbin, cheer up - it's about the shows you CATCH, not the ones you miss) and these were right up there, save a few moments in Saturday's first set that just felt, well, first-set, but they crushed SOAM and never looked back. Thrill to hear Mercury again and the outro jam was very cool. Carini, Piper, Tweezer> 2001 on Sunday all rocked hard. The place was electric all weekend with the sell-out crowds and what seemed like 50/50 guys/girls. Sunday encore was just the cherry on the sundae.

This guy's piece really captures the love:

https://medium.com/the-phish-from-vermont/so-beautiful-so-unique-a22a3d006db8
, comment by gootch350
gootch350 I would like to throw
into the ring as best encore ever
, comment by UltraPH
UltraPH And no mention of the "Let Page Stand" shirt Trey was wearing first set. I felt I was experiencing first set, second quality complete with a Birdwatcher and Frankenstein encore. They were joking and having fun right from the beginning. Great Show!
, comment by raidcehlalred
raidcehlalred @wombat6889 said:
I personally hate reading reviews done by people are sitting on their couch or just listening to the soundboard. You say there were questionable calls? There wasn't, the show was fucking awesome. People complain about the dumbest things; this song doesnt belong here or there or this would have been better, bla bla bla.

I was there all three nights on the floor and the energy was amazing. Now in my opinion, I left a little disappointed friday because i felt although the song selection was great, they didn't perform as high as they had been for a while. There seemed to be some confusion as where to take the jams. The wolfmans was stellar but overall i didn't really "feel" the show. Saturday was a completely different story. Insane chalkdust, great rock and roll, great mercury and great hood encore. Not a bad first set at all either. I was moving. Then sunday, i left absolutely speechless. I had so badly wanted a wombat and mikes groove but during the show that wasn't even on my mind due to how awesome the playing was. The piper was amazing and featured what i think to be a doobie brother tease of "rolling down the highway" and into the amazing 2001. I love was living life so much in that moment. I seem to pick the right shows to attend, because im very very very rarely ever left disappointed.
this place will be pretty quiet post-Mexico, then....
, comment by Longhaireddan
Longhaireddan I am surprised as well with the lack of respect given this show until the encore. It was clearly special when they opened with The Landlady, whether '93 sharp or not, it was meant as a treat for us. Free> Moma> 7 was rock solid if unspectacular, Caspian> Line The Line a little mellow for mid-set perhaps. But I did dig The Line, there's nothing wrong with slow songs. Scent through Frankenstein brought the energy back up, plus another bustout.

Second set was HOSE. From the beginning. Disease got way out there for a bit and the Carini through Tweezer was a smooth flow of songs. They played sharp versions of all and then dove off the deep end between. Particularly loved the excellent build into 2001. It was given a lot more patience and care then most all 3.0 versions. Steam's choppy funk was excellent as well. After all of that ripping it up, The Horse> Silent can't be complained about I'd think. Delicate into anthemic, a emotional pair for them and many of us. And as they slid into one of the most euphoric Phish songs, Slave, I felt awed and humbled by the power of this band. Encore doesn't need to be talked about, it was Phishy to the extreme. Before it I felt I already had seen the best Phish set of my 30 shows.

I went to Magnaball and Friday Dick's as well. I think all are on the same level, this band's level right now. We get deep improv, fun bustouts and shenanigans, and stellar versions of composed songs (Horn on Friday-wow! tight tight tight). Of course there are slow moments, botched parts, but the band powers through all of it and has left my jaw on the floor in 2015. Thanks guys, you are giving us all you got.
, comment by Phrederick
Phrederick I don't understand how this (these?) Dick's have hurt so many butts. They were not disappointing any more than Saturday Magnaball deserves to be the highest rated show ever, even if it was the best one that I was at (if it was, I dunno). I don't go to shows expecting, or demanding, that they equal my first time or whatever. I expect a great time, maybe more. I've been slack-jawed for the past month, and barely saw my couch, with Phish to thank.
, comment by raidcehlalred
raidcehlalred sweet non-shenanigan encore(s) here:

Wednesday, 07/02/1997

Encore: Free

Encore 2: David Bowie

the free has a totally cool jam, and the bowie is nice
, comment by theresoundingecho
theresoundingecho @gootch350 said:
I would like to throw 2011-08-15 into the ring as best encore ever
I'm biased for having been there, but I would second this as a phine example of a quality encore.
, comment by Mr_Draned
Mr_Draned They say never miss a Sunday show, and they weren't kidding!
Bummed this was the one that I missed...but glad the boys f'ing killed it.
, comment by EvilKingWilson9
EvilKingWilson9

Deserves mention
, comment by EvilKingWilson9
EvilKingWilson9 12/06/1996
, comment by Scott
Scott "it's safe to say there was a sense of collective unease" -- No, this is your bubble talking.

I agree that none of the Dick's first sets matched the better first sets from the end of summer (or Bend2 for that matter), Saturday's being especially clunky, but the dismissal of the Wolfmans through Fuego, LxL through Wingsuit, and Sunday's entire 2nd set sounds awfully sour. Most of the people I talked to on site caught some off moments and lack of flow in the first sets but also praised the improvisatory stretches in the 2nds, and moreover, were having such a good time that we deferred deep criticism until we got home and had a chance to listen again. I haven't made it through everything but so far I find conventional wisdom to be overwrought as usual. Go back and listen to the Chalkdust, especially the last 5 minutes, and the Piper-2001-Tweezer, all 3 insanely great (but they aren't 15+ minutes so why bother, amirite?). Try out the Fuego, the most jammed out and exploratory version under 12 minutes yet played, not at all like the other shorter versions. Roggae, Ghost, Bathtub, and 7 Below all hiding in plain sight.

And then, the Harpua -- it took everything to a whole other level. At least on that we can agree. One of my favorite concert experiences ever without question.

I respect this reviewer's high standards but I don't agree that s/he should be in a position to write the first draft of history. The scene in Denver was not feeling uneasy. That does not mean people were unaware of how Friday and Saturday compared to the best of 2015; I doubt many will put those shows in a top 10. Nothing to be uneasy about unless you have a iffy sense of phish history or a strange sense of entitlement. Colorado itself was too busy having fun to get grumpy about merely good shows.
, comment by Jake0712
Jake0712 gootch350: are you kidding about the UIC 2011 with Camel, Guyute, The Horse> Silent In The Morning> Harry Hood as the best encore over Dicks?? I'm going to write the encore for you to read again and just to remind you tell me which encore you would rather have?

Tweezer Reprise
Harpua
After Midnight
N02
Keyboard Army
Your Pet Cat
Once In A Lifetime
United We Stand

I don't think I need to write another word...

THANK YOU PHISH!
, comment by vinniebart
vinniebart @jadedforbin said:
Just sucks to have everything that happened previously made irrelevant by them doing a stunt like this. Secret sets, impromptu third set encores, Harpuas...all things that only take place when I do not attend. ;) Sad, dejected kitty here.

Quit bitching, please.
, comment by EvilKingWilson9
EvilKingWilson9 I MUST reiterate.... 12.06.1996.
, comment by Phrederick
Phrederick @Scott said:
"it's safe to say there was a sense of collective unease" -- No, this is your bubble talking.

I respect this reviewer's high standards but I don't agree that s/he should be in a position to write the first draft of history. The scene in Denver was not feeling uneasy. That does not mean people were unaware of how Friday and Saturday compared to the best of 2015; I doubt many will put those shows in a top 10. Nothing to be uneasy about unless you have a iffy sense of phish history or a strange sense of entitlement. Colorado itself was too busy having fun to get grumpy about merely good shows.
Thanks, that what I had been trying to say!
, comment by cberns
cberns No way. That show was fantastic BEFORE the encore. It was my favorite show I saw between the Texas shows, MagnaBall and Dicks. If they had not even come out for an encore I would have said that show was the best of the 8 I saw this summer. To totally disregard it and then to glorify the encore only is to completely miss the ball on this one.
, comment by spinsbackwards
spinsbackwards All I know is this.

I'm 56. I've seen a lot of rock and roll shows. I rode in the backseat when my Dad took my sister and brother to see the Beatles at Red Rocks. I rode shotgun when my Dad took my brother and sister to see the Doors at The Family Dog. I was with my parents when they picked up my sister and brother after being tear gassed at the Jethro Tull show at Red Rocks.

I was at Red Rocks back when they used to let you in at Noon.

I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd at D.U., then 7 or only god knows how many times after (lost count -- because of all the drugs I used to do). Hell I've even been to a Kiss concert.

Keith Richards taught my buddy's son to play guitar. I was with the Stones this summer in KC.

I started following Phish last year.

Like I say, I seen a lot of shows. I still go to a lot of shows.

I have never, seen a band thank their fans the way Trey did Sunday night. And I have never, never, seen an encore like Sunday. Jeezus, I was blown away.

I'm going to keep going to see this band every time they're in CO. I'll be there to see Trey in Denver in November. If I'm fortunate enough, I'll take a trip to see them.

Trey, is one of the great guitar players of my time. I put him right up there with the best.

They harmonize, they play well together. The fact that they play so many covers shows they have respect and humility.

Phish, is a great band -- any time they take the stage.

They're special.

I'm not going to commiserate over what I missed. Instead, I'm going to be happy for what I have. I'm grateful for being able to see a concert -- any concert. But when I see what I saw on Sunday night, man, that's why I keep going to shows. It keeps me young, it shows me the flame still burns bright.

Sunday night is not the standard by which I'll now measure all over shows. But I'm happy to say I saw what happens when 4 fellas love their fans and play rock and roll.

I was there all 3 nights at Dick's. I just love the vibe, their fans are nice. I get the posters, magnets, t-shirts. I download the shows. It's fun, fun, fun.

John Lennon was murdered, George died of cancer. They'll be a day when Phish is gone. I can't make up for lost time. But I'm going to try to catch every moment, from here on out. I'm gonna cherish every moment. Because life really is, short.

###
, comment by bankmeister
bankmeister @fluff_hen said:
I thoroughly disagree with 'unspectacular' re: Friday/Saturday and Sunday pre-encore, sounds like couch tour bias. I've been at great shows this summer (@jadedforbin, cheer up - it's about the shows you CATCH, not the ones you miss) and these were right up there, save a few moments in Saturday's first set that just felt, well, first-set, but they crushed SOAM and never looked back. Thrill to hear Mercury again and the outro jam was very cool. Carini, Piper, Tweezer> 2001 on Sunday all rocked hard. The place was electric all weekend with the sell-out crowds and what seemed like 50/50 guys/girls. Sunday encore was just the cherry on the sundae.

This guy's piece really captures the love:

https://medium.com/the-phish-from-vermont/so-beautiful-so-unique-a22a3d006db8
That guy has some good mojo, but if he wants to commemorate himself as a writer, he needs to proofread and edit before he posts.
, comment by bankmeister
bankmeister @spinsbackwards said:
All I know is this.

I'm 56. I've seen a lot of rock and roll shows. I rode in the backseat when my Dad took my sister and brother to see the Beatles at Red Rocks. I rode shotgun when my Dad took my brother and sister to see the Doors at The Family Dog. I was with my parents when they picked up my sister and brother after being tear gassed at the Jethro Tull show at Red Rocks.

I was at Red Rocks back when they used to let you in at Noon.

I saw Lynyrd Skynyrd at D.U., then 7 or only god knows how many times after (lost count -- because of all the drugs I used to do). Hell I've even been to a Kiss concert.

Keith Richards taught my buddy's son to play guitar. I was with the Stones this summer in KC.

I started following Phish last year.

Like I say, I seen a lot of shows. I still go to a lot of shows.

I have never, seen a band thank their fans the way Trey did Sunday night. And I have never, never, seen an encore like Sunday. Jeezus, I was blown away.

I'm going to keep going to see this band every time they're in CO. I'll be there to see Trey in Denver in November. If I'm fortunate enough, I'll take a trip to see them.

Trey, is one of the great guitar players of my time. I put him right up there with the best.

They harmonize, they play well together. The fact that they play so many covers shows they have respect and humility.

Phish, is a great band -- any time they take the stage.

They're special.

I'm not going to commiserate over what I missed. Instead, I'm going to be happy for what I have. I'm grateful for being able to see a concert -- any concert. But when I see what I saw on Sunday night, man, that's why I keep going to shows. It keeps me young, it shows me the flame still burns bright.

Sunday night is not the standard by which I'll now measure all over shows. But I'm happy to say I saw what happens when 4 fellas love their fans and play rock and roll.

I was there all 3 nights at Dick's. I just love the vibe, their fans are nice. I get the posters, magnets, t-shirts. I download the shows. It's fun, fun, fun.

John Lennon was murdered, George died of cancer. They'll be a day when Phish is gone. I can't make up for lost time. But I'm going to try to catch every moment, from here on out. I'm gonna cherish every moment. Because life really is, short.

###
What is it you kids say? Oh, yeah: ^^^FTW.
, comment by raidcehlalred
raidcehlalred Sorry, but to @jadedforbin:

within your 'review' post, all that can be measured with objective CERTAINTY is point number two: the song lengths were not super extended....

i've listened to phish since i was a little kid, and i waited until this year to post reviews: there seemed to be a bit of room as some really great writers took breathers....

there are other reviewers whose opinions i value greatly, as i think they are level-headed, fair, AND passionate: in this section of phish.net, @philbombs77 comes to mind - and others. if i can't hit a show, but want to know if i should spent the money on the board, it's cool there are places to turn.

given Llama's history, i'd argue that Llama, in its original format, is the biggest bustout by far; much more interesting than Landlady (don't get me wrong, that was cool, too....)

and OIAL was cool, but having been at 31/96, it almost hurt to hear.... again: not that it mattered, but are you going to listen to that version often?

this show is easily a number five if you were there (and thought it was that great).

but this is an Event show.

for that reason, more than anything else, it's in its own category.

and so there is nothing 'easy' about this show.

and i don't understand the East Coast bias thing. i simply don't know a single fan who 'knocks down' shows because of venue or locale played. you might be able to argue that, say, some awesome summer 97 show in texas with a souped-up gin and additional drummer is 'less-known,' but look at the ratings for this show alone: approaching 400.

had this happened at Watkins, would there be that much of a difference? both stands sold out....

This show was awesome. But to go crazy over a Keyboard Army or something - which is cool enough - (fyi: this would destroy a show's rating in some 95 or 97 shows) is to miss the point. What impact would a Kung have had; or, more interestingly, a KDF.... Would one less 'bustout' mean anything?
, comment by Spoonie_B
Spoonie_B @raidcehlalred said:
given Llama's history, i'd argue that Llama, in its original format, is the biggest bustout by far; much more interesting than Landlady (don't get me wrong, that was cool, too
I didn't think of the Landlady as much as a bust-out as a sly nod by Trey to how badly he fucked this up in the Magna PYITE. If that hadn't happened, I don't think the Landlady would have made that appearance. Funny that he couldn't get it right the second time, either.

and OIAL was cool, but having been at 31/96, it almost hurt to hear.... again: not that it mattered, but are you going to listen to that version often?

. . .

This show was awesome. But to go crazy over a Keyboard Army or something - which is cool enough - (fyi: this would destroy a show's rating in some 95 or 97 shows) is to miss the point. What impact would a Kung have had; or, more interestingly, a KDF.... Would one less 'bustout' mean anything?
I think you're missing the point with bust-outs. What's fun about them isn't necessarily the music in a vacuum, unless it's Fluffhead after a decade or something. Bust-outs are fun because they're part of what a lot of us love about Phish (alongside the musicianship, the songs, the jams, the party, etc. etc.) - their ability to surprise and delight us over and over again. Just when you think you know what they're up to, they throw something new at you. I don't laugh out loud at the sheer creativity and balls of any band, especially during a song at a show, but Phish. It's not that Keyboard Kavalry is amazing music or that OIAL was played perfectly. It's that we haven't seen them in 20ish years, which means a lot of younger fans have only heard about them. OIAL is a great song with some cool Phish history. Keyboard Kavalry is just fun to see and watch. Yes, it was way better in that spot (of a minute or 2) than many other things would have been, if for no other reason than its rarity and the spectacle itself. Harpua is a doorway to gags for the band, and when they really have fun with it, you get something like the Dick's 3 encore. If SOME of why you like Phish isn't about the fun they have in delighting us in many ways - some of which are lighthearted - then I have to think you're missing the point. Yes, the music comes first, always. But Phish is about more than just the music. At this stage, they really seem to appreciate their history with us as much as we do. The Harpua encore celebrated the bond the band feels with us after a long ride that keeps on going. They seem as happy on stage as I can ever remember. They're crushing it night after night. They're overflowing with new music and creative risks, and a seeming rededication to making our experience one huge delight. Everything isn't about replay value. I understand that people (myself included) appreciate a way to pick out what's worth repeated listening by reading reviews. But listening to a show and being at a show are two different experiences. Some people review more with an eye to one than the other. Personally, I don't care if the Dick's OIAL is worth hearing again on its musical merits. I will listen again and again because that show is phenomenal and the encore as a whole was a jaw-on-the-floor laugh/dance riot that I will enjoy every time.

Besides, I've seen Kung and KDF. I'd never seen The Landlady, Harpua, After Midnight, NO2, Keyboard Kavalry, OIAL, or United We Stand (obviously). I win! ;)
, comment by raidcehlalred
raidcehlalred maybe @ Spoonie_B, but i don't think you read carefully; your response is a bit of a non-sequitur....

But listening to a show and being at a show are two different experiences.

right: you're reiterating my point.

and right, you're reiterating my point: KK is something to behold, not necessarily listen to.

i was responding to forbin's review - i didn't say anything about bustouts, generally, being good, bad, or otherwise.

you could be right about landlady (only that segment in PYITE gets butchered regularly).

but i'm happy you had a great time.

just wish thank you had TWO h's in it; cause all i'm missing is Have Mercy.
, comment by Thingfisher
Thingfisher I was fortunate to have gone to Sunday night's show, my first Dick's. Great venue, nice weather and great vibe. It was definitely a memorable show - I think end of tour shows generally are like that, especially when they've been as successful and as well appreciated as this one has been.

But the things that stays with me after the show are these:

(1) the playing in the second 1/2 of DWD. The chord riffs and interplay at 10:30 is magical, and then a minute and a half later, Trey starts repeating and building on this beautiful up and down stair-step riff over and over.

2) Same type of thing in the Piper jam leading up to the Doobie Bros. groove. Everything just gels.

3) Slave. One of the most sublime musical moments that I have experienced at any concert. Few musicians can project such feeling.

Keep it rolling boys!
, comment by ajcmixer
ajcmixer I usually write reviews for shows that I attend but chose to review only Friday night and I, too, have to disagree with the reviewer about at least Friday if not also Saturday. I had such a great time and thought that Friday Set 1 was so much like a 2nd Set that by the end of Blaze On in the 2nd Set I was pretty much toast, emotionally drained but in the best of ways.

I also thought that Sunday Set 1 was one of the best 1st Sets I've ever had the pleasure of being in the building for out of the 70+ shows I've seen in the 3.0 era.

Set 1: The Landlady, Free > The Moma Dance > Seven Below > Prince Caspian > Backwards Down the Number Line, The Line, Scent of a Mule[1] > Saw It Again, Halfway to the Moon, The Birdwatcher, Frankenstein[2]

As I look at it, what is there to complain about? Frankenstein to end Set 1! Moma Dance> Seven Below was great. The Caspian might have paled next to MagnaBall but I certainly didn't care. One of the best and most fun Mule's I've ever witnessed. Saw It Again was on fire. And they finally showcased Halfway To The Moon, loved its perfect placement to my ears near the end of the set and felt it was the best version they ever done of it.

I'm basically a 3.0 newbie, having been a DeadHead, and love songs. Better when songs are jammed out but that shouldn't diminish the songs themselves. Not every song was meant to be jammed out so while I understand the love of the jam sometimes I feel like reviewers are too quick to shortchange 1st Sets because of the lack of jamming. A solid 1st Set is to my ears the foundation of a great show and both Friday and Sunday 1st Sets is what made my experience of the total show so enjoyable.

Peace,
Alex
, comment by VWPhan
VWPhan If you're gonna complain about Phish shows... it's probably time to stop going to them.

Comparing shows against one another is an exercise in absolute futility. What's the point? They're all completely different, how can they really be compared? It's all subjective.

I love every show I go to... because I got to go to it.

I love every show they play, good or bad, because THEY'RE STILL PLAYING SHOWS FOR US.

They're gonna play songs that I don't love. That's ok.

They're gonna play shows that are below the average. That's ok.

I'll see you at the next one that I'm so lucky to be able to attend!
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